It's safe to say the DCEU has had quite a bumpy ride since its inception back in 2013 with Man of Steel, fans divided by their allegiance to certain filmmakers and failure to replicate the success of the MCU meaning there was always a rather grey cloud looming over each of their repsective new releases. 2021 however seems to be the year the DCEU makes a sound resurgence with Zack Snyder's Justice League and now James Gunn's The Suicide Squad, both films being much more favourable with critics and audiences alike.

Supervillains Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie), Bloodsport (Idris Elba), Peacemaker (John Cena) and a collection of nutty cons at Belle Reve prison join the super-secret, super-shady Task Force X as they are dropped off at the remote, enemy-infused island of Corto Maltese.

Like a phoenix rising from the ashes, James Gunn has made a film that is not only a vast improvement on what came and left a bad taste in our mouths back in 2016, but also one of the better and more entertaining comic book films in recent years. The Suicide Squad is straight-up balls to the wall insanity from Gunn that further proves he is the go to guy for delivering the goods with a bunch of oddball characters at his disposal. While it is a little way off the quality of his Guardians of the Galaxy films, this is a film that will no doubt provide copious amounts of entertainment the more you watch it.

The opening to the film is a clear sign of the intentions Gunn has in this world and he doesn't hold back, blood splaying and limbs flying within the opening fifteen minutes. The best thing about it; absolutely nobody is safe, Gunn wielding his writing pen as if it were an axe coming down on the execution block. It makes for a riotous viewing experience as you feel these characters are very much expendable and could be offed in the most glorious way at any moment.

Gunn brings his usual bag of tricks to proceedings with a script full of quips and insults that might make you head for the exit if you are easily offended. It's a film laden with jokes and while a lot of them do land with often laugh out loud reactions, there's a fair few moments where they didn't. It feels a little as if a really stellar narrative was sacrificed for the inclusion of jokes at times however, that is something I can forgive if it's this much fun. The soundtrack is once again killer for a James Gunn comic book film, each song accompanying its respective scene perfectly and, in some cases, introducing me to a new song that will no doubt get played time after time on Spotify.

One of the greatest strength of The Suicide Squad is that each viewing may bring about a different opinion on who the best character is in the film, down to both the writing from Gunn and the brilliant ensemble cast brought in to play them. King Shark, voiced by Sylvester Stallone, makes for a great new addition to the DCEU with his no nonsense approach to taking down enemies and his search to have some friends in his life. David Dastmalchian as Polka-Dot Man provides the film with a nervous energy that's channeled through some hilarious visual gags that involve his mother, while Daniela Melchior's Ratcatcher 2 feels like the emotional heartbeat of the film thanks to an incredibly touching performance from Melchior.

John Cena showcases why he's a force to be reckoned with when it comes to comedic roles with a very direct and hilarious performance as Peacemaker, sharing a hugely entertaining back-and-forth with Idris Elba's Bloodsport throughout. Without a doubt though, Margot Robbie is once again the MVP of a Suicide Squad team-up with another great performance as Harley Quinn, her third outing in the role and still not feeling one-note in the role at all. Comic book films have always had actors that feel synonymous with a particular role and Margot Robbie is right up there as one of the best, making it incredibly difficult to imagine anyone else in the role.

The Suicide Squad is a film that doesn't care too much about setting up future instalments, save for a brief scene at the end of the credits, making it a breath of fresh air in the market of comic book films building a universe. With "the horribly beautiful mind" of James Gunn at the helm and a cast having an absolute blast with these characters, whether it be short-lived or not, audiences around the world are about to be introduced to something pretty special.

Verdict: ½


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