Rubado column: Second try at ‘The Suicide Squad’ a smashing success
The following is an opinion column written by an Echo Press editorial staff member. It does not necessarily reflect the views of the Echo Press.
When we look back at what the DC hero movie franchise was able to do with “The Suicide Squad,” it could go down as one of the greatest redemption stories in cinema history.
To dive deeper into this, we have to start with DC and its underwhelming cinematic franchise. Other franchises based around books and comics have been wildly successful—Lord of the Rings, Marvel, Harry Potter, etc.
DC is compared to Marvel in almost every aspect because they are both based on superheroes. What’s even more bizarre is the amount of success Marvel has had despite objectively having the less popular heroes. Characters such as Iron Man were never seen as mainstay heroes until the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) came around. Batman and Superman, however, have always been popular.
The DCEU (DC Extended Universe), which is the DC equivalent of the MCU, has had a lack of direction since its origin in 2013 with “Man of Steel.” The timeline was nonexistent, and the movies were disappointing. The DCEU had some diamonds in the rough, such as “Wonder Woman” and “Shazam!” but failed in putting together a cohesive story that ties these films together.
Arguably the worst of these films came in August of 2016. The original “Suicide Squad” went down as one of the worst superhero movies of the decade. Revisionist history tends to be kind to movies like this, but not “Suicide Squad.” Its perception has gotten worse over time, which drew a ton of skepticism for a reboot project in 2021.
“The Suicide Squad” is the biggest thing at the box office right now, and it’s one of the more unique films of the year.
The first thing you need to know is that you shouldn’t take its R-rating lightly. It’s not a typical superhero movie for the whole family. This is a movie for mature audiences. It’s filled with graphic content and language, so please take your time in doing your research before seeing this movie.
“The Suicide Squad” is not a sequel to the first iteration. It’s a reboot, which means you should pretend the first one didn’t happen. It’s the story of the government pairing the most dangerous villains in the world on a search-and destroy mission. It’s an anti-hero story that cuts to the root of what makes a villain a villain.
“The Suicide Squad” is an absolute blast, and it’s a hilarious movie. I found myself geeking throughout the entire film. The opening scene is one of my favorites of the year, which comes as no surprise considering who made it.
James Gunn is the brain behind “The Suicide Squad” and had nothing to do with the first one. He also made both Guardians of the Galaxy films. “Guardians of the Galaxy” is one of the best sci-fi movies of all time. Gunn’s opening scenes are iconic, and he did it again in “The Suicide Squad.”
This film also has a stacked cast. Idris Elba, Margot Robbie, Viola Davis, John Cena, Pete Davidson, Sylvester Stalone and Taika Waititi all star in “The Suicide Squad.” Seeing so many big names on screen at one time is always a treat.
I think “The Suicide Squad” gets a little messy at times in terms of story pacing, which can often make big moments feel less important. It’s tough to pace a movie with this many characters to where they all get adequate screen time while not running for three hours.
I thought the actual villains could’ve been more fearful as well. It never felt like they were a threat, which didn’t seem intended. But where “The Suicide Squad” lacks intricacies, it makes up for in humor, action and a promising future in the DCEU.
I am stunned this movie worked as well as it did, considering the various strings holding it back. I give it an 89/100. It’s in theaters and streaming on HBO Max, but go see it in theaters.