DC TV Report for week ending 8/7/2021 Movie Review: The Suicide Squad

 -        Li’l Eddie O’Hare


Welcome to the DC TV Report for the week ending Saturday August 7th, 2021. I'm here to bring you recaps, news and commentary for all live-action television shows based on DC Comics. There were no new episodes this week but a new DC Movie premiered.

Friday – 8/6/2021

The Suicide Squad - Released 8/6/2021 1) Amanda Waller ordered Col. Rick Flag to storm the beaches of the island nation of Corto Maltese with Harley Quinn and a gaggle of expendable Task Force X inmates. 2) Waller also blackmailed Bloodsport into leading Peacemaker, King Shark, Ratcatcher 2 and Polka-Dot Man on a mission to land on the other side of Corto Maltese, kidnap the Thinker, infiltrate Jotunheim tower and destroy all evidence of Project Starfish. 3) Harley survived the suicide mission and found herself being wined and dined by the Maltesian president who had just stolen power. Last Minute Reveal: Peacemaker clung to life support as Economos and Harcourt arrived at his bedside with orders from Waller on his next mission to save the world!


It is hard to think of a movie that I was more excited for and more disappointed in than 2016’s Suicide Squad. The group of super-villain convicts roped into covert ops missions in exchange for time off their sentence has been one of my favorite comic book teams since I was a teenager and discovered their first adventure written by John Ostrander in the Legends crossover series from 1986. Unfortunately, their maiden voyage on the silver screen was disjointed and void of much of the fun of the books. I believe I appeared on The Wicked Theory Podcast and said watching the movie was like “watching my cousin play a video game by himself.” Fortunately, Warner Bros. decided to take another crack at the idea, added an article to the title and let James Gunn write and direct without studio interference. The results were much more satisfying.

The reason Gunn is the perfect choice to tell this story is not his past success with Marvel, but rather his apprenticeship with Lloyd Kaufman, the King of Filth. Kaufman is the co-founder of Troma Entertainment and director of films such as The Toxic Avenger (1984) and Class of Nuke ‘Em High (1986), which mix obnoxious gore with embarrassingly lewd humor. They are the kind of films that your mother would catch you watching and immediately insist you seek psychiatric care. James Gunn began his career working on multiple Troma projects and has found success taking Kaufman’s sensibilities and making them more palatable for mainstream audiences. The Suicide Squad is the ultimate culmination of that practice.

Not only is this film filled with balls-to-the-wall action and humor but James Gunn’s real magic trick is how he injects all of his characters with pathos and sincerity. As expected, Harley Quinn’s emotional journey continues to develop as it had in the series initial installment and in last year’s Birds of Prey film. It is inspiring to see Harley with her fully developed self-image and the violence that results are some of the most shocking and beautiful ever seen in a comic book movie. More importantly, Gunn somehow found a way to give each and every laughably obscure character a moment of introspective resonance that not only makes you care about them but cry and whale when they are inevitably murdered in horrifying fashion.

To conclude, James Gunn should not only be lauded for delivering the best DC film since Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight (2008) but also for fully restoring the verisimilitude that Richard Donner brought to Superman: The Movie (1978). Fingers crossed that Warner Bros. will use this film as a jumping off point and learn the right lessons from its success.

Ed’s Winner for the Week:  James Gunn - Not only did the Marvel director get to work his magic with a DC property but the film's R-rating allowed him to achieve the purest expression of his style with a blockbuster budget. I cannot think of anyone winning on a bigger scale in any week since I started this report.



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