The Suicide Squad
The best superhero film of the year, James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad, takes the superhero genre in gritty, inventive, and oddly more inspirational directions. I love that a mainstream big-budget superhero film has the look and feel of a 70’s exploitation film shot in the Philippines, with tons of gore and wild action meshed with the grimy jungle setting of the fictional Corto Maltese. While the film heavily builds on Gunn’s influences, namely The Dirty Dozen, his Troma roots, and the themes of his previous Guardians of the Galaxy films, the strength of The Suicide Squad is in its characters. Gunn took up the daunting task of making genuinely unlikable characters relatable and empathetic, and it worked. All the performances are great; John Cena has never been more hilarious, both Viola Davis and Idris Elba are enjoyably sinister, and Danielle Melchior is a shining light on the screen. Also, not enough can be said about how Margot Robbie IS Harley Quinn. It’s inspiring to see these characters who would be a villain’s henchman in any other story, still grow and show tremendous heart. James Gunn loves these characters and shows that love through his attention to detail with their characterization. Also, Sebastian is the best rat in all of cinema. Superhero films as a genre needed The Suicide Squad to inject some edge into the seemingly weary trend. Hopefully, we get more adult superhero films built off of this one’s success.