My earlier review of The Suicide Squad is still basically how I feel about the film; its greatest charms come from the moments where writer-director James Gunn is allowed to really let loose with his dark and violent comedic sensibilities. The first two acts are entertaining while the last falters trying to bring everything into a more traditional superhero-climax package. That said, while my initial review was mixed-positive, I’ve come to feel mixed-negative about the film as a whole. The shocking, bloody fun fades into memory as the denouement becomes more disappointing.
It’s certainly funny when Peacemaker and Bloodsport massacre a village of rebels on accident. But why should the climax include a feel-good B-plot of those rebels winning or ask me to care about Bloodsport’s angst?
Still, The Suicide Squad is pretty much destined to be a cult hit in certain segments of the film-obsessed population, just like Punisher: War Zone remains. Most audiences won’t care for it, but those that do will proselytize endlessly for decades to come.
Although it will eventually be available on HBOMax in perpetuity, right now the 4K release of The Suicide Squad is your best bet if you’re looking to own a copy. Although I have quibbles with the story, Gunn made an undeniably gorgeous film full of color and creative, often icky visuals. It’s one of the best-looking comic-book movies of the year, and this is the best way to view it; it won’t look this good in 4K even on HBOMax.
Speaking of Gunn: He has several making-of features here in addition to a really lively director’s commentary. Gunn is one of the most transparent makers of big-budget films, and The Suicide Squad was particularly well-documented. This release doubles as a fascinating look at what it takes to make a movie of this scope while maintaining a clear artistic vision.