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Arts & Culture

'The Suicide Squad' Delivers Super Anti-Hero, R-Rated Fun

Bloodsport (Idris Elba) and Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) square off in the new James Gunn "The Suicide Squad."
Warner Brothers
Bloodsport (Idris Elba) and Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) square off in the new James Gunn "The Suicide Squad."

Director James Gunn gets tone right

Companion viewing

"Tromeo and Juliet" (1996)

"Slither" (2006)

"Guardians of the Galaxy" (2014)

"The Suicide Squad" has reassembled for a new movie and DC finally got everything right.

The Suicide Squad Gets It Right

"The Suicide Squad" is a follow up (perhaps more like a reboot, but whatever) to the 2016 "Suicide Squad" (note that this film is missing "The" from the title, apparently studios think changing an article in the title can make a difference), which was awful.

The release of the new "THE Suicide Squad" has prompted "Suicide Squad" director David Ayer to take to the Internet to plead his case for the release of his director's cut of the 2016 film (perhaps it can be called "A Suicide Squad"). He posted on social media: "I put my life into 'Suicide Squad,' I made something amazing. My cut is intricate and emotional journey with some bad people who are shit on and discarded (a theme that resonates in my soul). The studio cut is not my movie."


I'm not sure his cut could fix all that was wrong with that earlier film but if that cut exists Warner Brothers and DC should release it and let audiences decide. They let Zack Snyder have his cut of "Justice League" so be fair and give Ayer a chance to release his.

But for the moment we have a new DC Comics film and it is a new take on the "Suicide Squad" comic by John Ostrander, and it is spot-on perfect. Well by perfect, I mean it's a glorious mess of chaos and anarchy.

But let me be clear: if you can’t laugh at people getting blown up then James Gunn’s "The Suicide Squad" is not for you — and you’ve been warned. But if you enjoy cartoonish excess even when it extends to violence then this hard R, DC Comics super anti-hero action film is exactly what you need.

A film about a group of unruly, antisocial, insubordinate misfits whose moral compasses are seriously skewed needs a director who cut his teeth at Troma Entertainment, which brags that it has been disrupting media for 45 years. Gunn’s that director (he worked on Troma's "Tromeo and Juliet" at the beginning of his career) and his "The Suicide Squad" disrupts Hollywood conventions with glee and leaves delicious chaos in its wake.

It puts the idea of "suicide" front and center in this ragtag anti-hero team. So right from the start we discover that anyone can die, characters we like can be unexpectedly ripped from us, and lots of innocent people, children and creatures can be slaughtered ... and sometimes for laughs. Yes. If you think about it too much it is horrible but within the universe of this Suicide team that is all perfectly acceptable.


Gunn proved that he understood the dynamics of making a superhero buddy film with "Guardians of the Galaxy." Now he pairs that skill with his Troma roots of chaotic irreverence to deliver a "The Suicide Squad" film that truly understands the tone of the comic and the nature of its characters.

"The Suicide Squad" (again you are warned that it is a hard R) is not for everyone but for some of us it’s a refreshing piece of comic anarchy.