The Suicide Squad Review: Someone Give James Gunn An Award Already!

Can Gunn direct all DC films?

Anyone one would do, an Oscar, a Golden Globe, the higher it is the better! While these award events aren’t a big fan of MCU and DCEU films, for once they should let James Gunn take the prize home because it would be a shame if the director is not honored for the wonder he has created with The Suicide Squad. Here we thought that Gunn couldn’t do better than the Guardians of the Galaxy films, but The Suicide Squad is everything we never expected a DC film to accomplish and better.

You know what we mean. In the last two decades or so, a unique tone has been set for DCEU films- dark, gritty, and rather matter of fact even as they grappled with a fantastical world of superheroes. Be it Christopher Nolan’s version of Batman, Zack Snyder’s take at the Dark Knight and Superman, or Matt Reeves’ upcoming attempt to reinstate the Gotham’s savior to his former cinematic glory- they have all stuck to a dreary world and a world-weary superhero. So, when James Gunn set about to make The Suicide Squad, everyone expected the filmmaker to bring his signature campy tone to the DC’s bleak setting. But while he does customize the characters, he does so by retaining the hardcore setting, and more dire stakes DC films are known for. 

We know what you are going to say- So, Thanos snapping away half of all living forms in the world wasn’t a big stake for MCU heroes? Of course, it was. But in there, Thanos was the only big bad. In DC, death is lurking at all corners. And Gunn actually sticks to this troupe in The Suicide Squad while ensuring that there are moments of levity but when it comes to those dire stakes we mentioned above, the danger is also palpable. 

When James Gunn said not to get attached to any one character in The Suicide Squad, he sure as hell meant it. While we won’t spoil the film for you by even hinting who dies and who survives by the end of the film, there are many surprise deaths as well as unexpected survivals to look out for, and just when you peg that a certain character is too important to be killed… BAM! They die. 

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Usually, when some ensemble films are made, not everyone is important. And while The Suicide Squad does do away with a few characters before we even get a chance to meet them properly, there is still a fairly large number of supervillains (are they still villains?) left and everyone gets their time in the spotlight, even when more than half of them will be dead by the time the end credits roll in. Psst!… just a reminder- do stick around for the post-credit and end-credit scenes. 

Another breath of fresh air in The Suicide Squad is the fact that for once Harley Quinn is not pinning for the joker, just like Margot Robbie promised in a recent interview. The only time that the Joker is indirectly mentioned is when Harley is musing over her bad taste in men. We won’t jump into the whole David Ayer’s Suicide Squad vs James Gunn’s film because it is now known that the studio tampered with the former’s work and butchered it like they did Justice League. But given that Gunn, with his repeat binge-worthy The Suicide Squad, has actually infused life in a cinematic universe whose films can not be watched more than once in one sitting. The story is funny, dangerous, violent, gory, sad, exciting, and a zillion other emotions rolled into a little over 120 minutes, and not even for a second did we have the urge to touch the forward button. Now, that’s a level of amazing that no director has touched in a long, long time. 

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