Even though it is the definite article used in all English language, I admit I did not think just adding “The” in a movie title could be a big improvement to a sequel.
Still, that change will help you remember which of the two Suicide Squad films is the superior one.
Unlike the first film from 2016, The Suicide Squad is not nearly as convoluted plot wise. The premise is still similar: a bunch of bad guys from the DC universe are recruited by Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) to embark on a deadly mission, getting ten years off their individual prison sentences in return. The mission this time around is to infiltrate the heavily armed island of Corto Maltese and destroy all aspects related to what is known as “Project Starfish”, led by The Thinker (Peter Capaldi).
In the first film, it was Will Smith’s Deadshot who was put as the unenthusiastic leader (from what I remember: I saw the first film once, and that was more than enough.) This time around, it is Bloodsport, played by Idris Elba. Like Smith’s character, Waller brings up his daughter to motivate him.
If you thought most of the characters from the original were less known DC characters, the sequel has ones that will have even the die hard DC fans scratching their heads. This was something director James Gunn (who did not helm the original film) did well with when he directed the first Guardians of the Galaxy back in 2014. This time around, we have characters such as the aforementioned Bloodsport (who has his weapons attached to his suit in an Iron Man type of way), John Cena as Peacemaker (think of a sleazeball version of Captain America), David Dastmalchian as Polka-Dot Man (yes, you heard correctly), Daniela Melchior as Ratcatcher 2 (who summons enough rats to not only creep out another character in the film, but enough to make me warn you that you should be wary if you have a rat phobia), and Sylvester Stallone as King Shark (literally a walking shark).
There is, of course, those who returned from the original: Joel Kinnaman’s Rick Flag, Jai Courtney’s Captain Boomerang, and, of course, Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn.
Perhaps the most intriguing ingredient in this film is how unabashed it is with the violence. The opening action scene shows us right away that not all of the characters will make it back (and that Amanda Waller’s employees are putting money on it). The results look like the film was under the guidance of Tarantino at some point. In short, this is not a film for kids (there is one scene of mild sexuality, plus one very brief shot of nudity).
There are some moments where the characters actually having semi sentimental moments, most notable Ratcatcher 2, who sees Bloodsport as a father like figure and vice versa. It does not stay on screen for too long, as the gang is back traveling the city in a van that reminded me a lot of The Mystery Machine from the Scooby Doo cartoons.
According to the film’s director James Gunn, this film is not a prequel nor a sequel to the first Suicide Squad film, but that “it is what it is.” What it “is” is a film that is probably the most enjoyable film the DCU has done so far, and while the MCU still has three films left to be released in 2021, The Suicide Squad could possibly give them a run for their money.