James Gunn’s “The Suicide Squad” outdoes the original

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(Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures/™ & © DC Comics)

“The Suicide Squad” from writer-director James Gunn arrives on Friday, Aug. 6, 2021. (Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures/™ & © DC Comics)

Violet Chace, Entertainment Editor

James Gunn’s “The Suicide Squad” was released on August 6 as a sequel to the worst DC movie ever made. It has the same general premise as the 2016 “Suicide Squad,” but is executed much better. A group of supervillains are assigned to defeat a threat to the American government in exchange for time off their sentences. Unlike the first movie, “The Suicide Squad” is successful when it comes to creating likeable characters that have genuine chemistry with one another. 

With a group of mischievous villains, an R rating gives filmmakers much more creative freedom and paid off in James Gunn’s “The Suicide Squad.” That being said, the gore, adult humor and explicit content may be a bit much for some viewers. Although it is a fun DC superhero movie, it was definitely not made for a young audience. 

Of course, Margot Robbi as Harley Quinn stole the show. Not only is her acting and stunt work immaculate, but her character development created an excellent arc from her character’s first appearance in 2016. In her film “Birds of Prey,” fans get to see her discovering her identity as her own person rather than as an extension of the Joker. In “The Suicide Squad,” fans get to see this new version of Harley Quinn, who is completely secure with who she is. Even through subtle changes in her costume design, it’s made evident that she has evolved as a person. 

Characters in this film were written much better than in the original “Suicide Squad.” The choice to cast some of the most obscure DC villains was incredibly smart. They are expendable and unlike with the characters Joker and Deadshot, fans have lower expectations for depictions of these villains such as Polka Dot Man and Ratcatcher 2. This gives writers more freedom and the ability to randomly kill people off, making the stakes for the characters higher. Knowing that any of the main cast could be killed off at any time is an element unique to “The Suicide Squad.” 

Peacemaker, played by John Cena, and Bloodsport, played by Idris Elba, have an especially fun dynamic and are hilarious together. In the movie they both are fighting for the alpha role in the team which leads to great dialogue. King Shark was also just so much fun. His relationship with Ratcatcher 2 was adorable, weirdly wholesome and sweet for such monstrous characters. Amanda Walller was perfectly cast as Viola Davis, the true villain of the story. She is one of the few characters, like Rick Flag and Harley Quinn, who returns in the same role that she played in the 2016 film. In the movie, she works with a tech team tracking and manipulating the supervillains for her missions. She was an excellent addition to this movie despite not being in most of the action-packed scenes. Pete Davidson also had a short role in this film for whatever reason. The trailer made it seem like he would be more involved; but, just like most things in this movie, his presence works hilariously well despite being random.

Overall, this “The Suicide Squad” is a must-watch for fans of the DC universe. There is no need to see any previous DC content to enjoy this film, so if you just need a laugh and a fun action flick, this is the movie for you. Hopefully the success of this film will lead to more directing opportunities for James Gunn, who is already scheduled to be a part of “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3”.