A sort-of sequel to 2016’s much-criticised Suicide Squad, this has Guardian Of The Galaxy’s James Gunn taking over the story of a group of super villains with dubious powers/skills who are forced on super-secret missions by shady Task Force X leader Amanda Waller (Davis).
You don’t need to have seen the previous movie to understand what’s going on, as the swift opening scenes have Waller forming a new Suicide Squad team of expendable criminals who are sent to the island of Corto Maltese to deal with some bad guys.
Writer/director Gunn picks some of the quirkiest DC criminals for the mission – including Michael Rooker’s long-haired Savant, Nathan Fillion’s T.D.K (the Detachable Kid, who can detach his arms from his body to slap people from a distance) and Sean Gunn as Weasel – but it is crack shot Bloodsport (Elba), kooky Harley Quinn (Robbie), righteous Peacemaker (Cena), Ratcatcher 2 (Daniela Melchior), King Shark (voiced by Sylvester Stallone) and Polka Dot Man (David Dastmalchian) who, led by Kinnaman’s Colonel Rick Flag, discover there is more to the mission (think big, squishy alien) than Waller had been letting on.
It’s as silly as it sounds, but that is as it should be – if you are going to have a movie that includes a girl who can command rats, a giant Shark man who wants to eat humans (“nom nom”), and Peter Capaldi as a man with plugs coming out of his head (he’s the ‘Thinker’, you see) you don’t want them having to deal with serious plot twists. Instead, you want a huge alien starfish stomping through a fictional town, loads of gratuitous fight scenes, deadpan delivery and sharp one-liners, and that is what you get here.
The effects, including Starro, the aforementioned mega-starfish, are great, the script is witty and Gunn’s direction is fast-paced and explosive, which is just what you want from a deliciously daft comic book movie. Best of all are the cast – Robbie is once again superb as Harley Quinn, Elba is a great addition as the reluctant Bloodsport and Melchior gives the movie heart as Ratcatcher 2, but best of all is Stallone as the voice of Nanaue/King Shark. Come for the action, and stay for his hilarious delivery of some very limited dialogue.
Finally, one word of warning – this is heavier on the gore (and language) than you may expect from a 15 certificate (in the UK). Of course, the violence is cartoonish, but there is a huge amount of it, including a head being sliced off, an internal view of a heart as it is being stabbed, slashings, torture, exploding people – well, you get the idea. The squishy bits are often really funny (if you like that sort of thing) but certainly not suitable for younger viewers (see Parents’ Notes, below for more information).
Is The Suicide Squad suitable for kids? Here are our parents’ notes...
This is a 15 certificate in the UK, but many people have questioned why it was not given an 18 certificate due to the amount of graphic violence featured in the film.
It is very much a comic book movie, but there are some very grisly scenes in which characters explode, are beheaded, stabbed, tortured etc and it is not suitable for under-15s.
In July 2021, the British Board of Film Classification released the following comment to the Independent newspaper in the UK:
“Whilst comparatively more violent than the last film, the violence is mitigated by the film’s humour and the action-packed fantasy context… At 15, our Classification Guidelines state that ‘violence may be strong but should not dwell on the infliction of pain or injury.”
The film is rated R in the US.
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