A standalone sequel to 2016’s Suicide Squad, Guardians of the Galaxy writer and director James Gunn’s take on the supervillain team once again stars Margot Robbie, Joel Kinnaman, Viola Davis, and Jai Courtney with the new additions of Idris Elba, John Cena, Sylvester Stallone, and others. The new film is a blast, start to finish, featuring Gunn’s signature snappy dialogue and knack for visual humor. Gunn’s sensibilities also aid the film in juggling its massive cast; he understands his characters here and manages to wring both humor and sometimes genuine emotion from even the most ridiculous members of the supervillain ensemble here.
The committed performances from the cast, with Sylvester Stallone’s voice work as King Shark standing out in particular, certainly help sell the team dynamic here, which feels a lot more natural than in the film’s predecessor. Because of its extensive use in most blockbusters, visual effects work rarely stands out anymore in huge films like this, which is why it’s especially refreshing to see Gunn make the most of the film’s budget with the truly incredible uses of CGI for some of the action sequences (and the character design!) in this film. The action set-pieces, and the bombastic direction Gunn takes them, truly utilize the heroes’ gonzo powers to make for some truly visually dazzling sequences. But
Gunn’s screenplay is the real star of the show here, as it manages to elude and subvert the most pervasive bad habits of comic book movies while simultaneously utilizing their perpetually by-the-numbers structure as a framework to make the absolute most of the genre and still pack surprises. The Suicide Squad is a hilarious, exciting, and even shocking dive into some of DC’s wackiest heroes that still retains a strong emotional core, as is James Gunn’s way.