REview: The Suicide Squad (2021) | The Final Nail in the Coffin

James Gunn is one of those directors that I feel does better when he’s forced to innovate, which is typically the case when someone doesn’t have access to resources and is forced to make do.

That is no longer the case, especially after the success of the Guardians of the Galaxy movies though what The Suicide Squad showed is that maybe there’s a such thing as being too successful because The Suicide Squad embodies some really regrettable tendencies.

It uses gore for purposes of either irony or humor and while it sort of works well in the first instance – the parakeet – it goes over fairly leadenly afterward because there’s no reason for it beyond gore for gore’s sake.

It isn’t funny, clever or interesting, though it is well done, though not at all practical.

This tendency to lean into fairly realistic gore is at the end of the day problematic because, besides not serving the narrative, it’s fairly conditional such as the death of Starro (what did you expect it to be called, Square-o?).

Starro, for those unaware, is a world-conquering giant single-eyed entity that happens to resemble a giant starfish.

And speaking of Starro, if you were going to shoot such an entity, were would you aim?

At one of the five arms or the HUGE eye at the center?

If you’re Bloodsport (Idris Elba) supposedly one of the most accurate shots on the planet you ignore that huge target – that literally looks like a target by the way – and shoot anywhere else but the eye.

If the rest of the movie even pretended to be as realistic as the gore, Starro would have been dead the minute he turned up because everyone would have aimed at that massive eye.

But you can’t do that, because that’s Harley Quinn’s moment to shine.

It’s a fairly ridiculous scene and the only way I can find that it happened was the Gunn figured that we’d be so caught up in the narrative – such as it is – that you wouldn’t notice how silly it actually was.

And could someone explain to me Gunn’s tendency to use A-List actors like Sylvester Stallone to voice characters like King Shark, who you can be sure isn’t doing the actual motion capture work?

I deliberately didn’t mention Rocket (Bradley Cooper, who also doesn’t do the motion capture for the Guardians’ movies) because unlike King Shark he’s not monosyllabic and actually does an extensive bit of voice acting in those movies.

The Suicide Squad is narratively speaking better than the 2016 movie – which considering how the latter was edited is fairly easy to do – though it’s also more cynical which makes the whole thing a bit of a wash.

Except the 2016 version was insanely profitable, while the reboot?

Not so much.


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