REVIEW / FILM OPINION – With “The Suicide Squad” James Gunn enjoys great freedom to stage a new suicide mission with DC universe villains played by Margot Robbie, Idris Elba, John Cena or the revelation Daniela Melchior.
We take (almost) the same and start over
Even with over $ 700 million at the global box office, Suicide Squad (2016) is considered a failure for Warner. Directed by David Ayer, the film was torched by much of the press and the public. But difficult to completely abandon the idea of staging a team of supervillains from the DC Universe when so much money was made. This is why Warner took advantage of the temporary sidelining of James gunn by his competitor Disney / Marvel to hire the director on The Suicide Squad.
Almost the same title, a simple addition of “Tea”As if to mean that the real movie about the Suicide Squad is this one, and make us forget the previous one while reusing some elements. A sequel that is not really one therefore. But who takes advantage of what has already been done to speed up its implementation.
So, no need to procrastinate. In two sentences Amanda Walker (Viola Davis) recalls the procedure for a supervillain of Belle Reve prison. If he agrees to participate in a suicide mission led by Colonel Rick Flag (Joel Kinnaman) and survives, he will be entitled to a reduced sentence. James Gunn doesn’t bother with the details and neither one nor two here we are on a beach with a team of enthusiasts who shoot at everything that moves. The tone is set. A completely crazy first sequence (as its conclusion) from a director above all there to have fun while benefiting fromeven more freedom than at Disney. Not sure that the big-eared firm will one day agree to show a penis, an overdose or even liters of hemoglobin in a Marvel production. At Warner / DC, it is possible, and James Gunn takes advantage.
Bloodsport and Ratcatcher, stars of The Suicide Squad
In front of the camera, we find Rick Flag interpreted by Joel Kinnaman, more comfortable with the tone proposed by James Gunn. With him, Margot Robbie stack up to offer some memorable passages in Harley Quinn. But this is not the star of the film. And finally remains sufficiently behind to let the new members express themselves at best. First, Idris elba in Bloodsport which must lead this team of astounded. Then, Daniela Melchior in Ratcatcher II.
Both clearly stand out in The Suicide Squad. Idris Elba participates with class in the action sequences, shows self-deprecation by playing the one with the biggest with the brilliant Peacemaker (John Cena, perfect in this register), and brings emotion in his passages with the young Portuguese actress. Moments that reveal the touching and tragic past of Ratcatcher II as much as the fragility of Bloodsport. So, the duo complement each other wonderfully and Daniela Melchior, whose first major role in the cinema, is revealed as an actress to follow.
Yet when preparing for The Suicide Squad, the choice of characters could be puzzling. Ratcatcher II, unknown to the general public, for example has the superpower of controlling rats. A rodent considered repulsive for the majority. How then to make the public have an interest, an empathy, a fascination for this character? The same goes for the simpleton King Shark (half man, half shark) and the sociopath Polka-Dot Man who are added to the team. Characters who, at first glance, do not impose with costumes on purpose a little cheap.
James Gunn at his best
This is the strength of James Gunn. In The Suicide Squad, he gives back beautiful and exciting what is ugly and off-putting. Mainly in its creative action sequences. There is this sequence shot in the jungle concluded by a brilliant twist, this fight filmed through the reflection of a helmet, this explosion of violence by Harley Quinn full of fantasy, or even this colorful attack of rats in one eye. giant. James Gunn plays on the shift between the horror of the facts and an embellished representation, without minimizing the violence.
A position that allows him to better understand these left-behind, but also to break codes and mix genres. For a moment, he even offers us a romantic comedy with Harley Quinn. In this, the filmmaker surpasses himself after Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) and its sequel. The first being sympathetic and stood out above all by its singularity vis-à-vis the classicism of other productions …