James Gunns The Suicide Squad: A violent, funny and bonkers DC universe comeback

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After 18 months of madness, it feels like a return to some semblance of normality, although there isn’t a lot normal, or kid-friendly, about this new DC movie.

Pitched somewhere between a reboot and a sequel, this is a violent, funny, foul-mouthed and gleefully bonkers attempt to right the wrongs of David Ayer’s Suicide Squad.

While that 2016 film (a bland, comic-book Dirty Dozen) felt like it was made by committee, The Suicide Squad is the product of the very singular mind of Guardians Of The Galaxy writer-director James Gunn.

After he was fired by Marvel/Disney over old off-brand tweets, Gunn was a risky signing for DC’s beleaguered movie franchise. But you can see it pay off in an off-kilter first act.

As a menagerie of oddball villains are sprung from prison to raid a South American island, it’s like watching the po-faced DC Extended Universe tear itself apart.

After a bravura twist, Gunn’s leads emerge from a very crowded pack – Bloodsport (Idris Elba), Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie), Ratcatcher 2 (Daniela Melchior), Peacemaker (John Cena), Polka-Dot Man (David Dastmalchian), Colonel Rick Flag (Joel Kinnaman) and King Shark, a dunderheaded, CGI aquatic god amusingly voiced by Sylvester Stallone.

The film offers striking action scenes, a dastardly turn from Peter Capaldi, an unpredictable plot, big-hearted drama and a smattering of killer lines.

“I cherish peace with all my heart,” says Cena’s patriotic dork. “I don’t care how many men, women and children I need to kill to get it.”

The future of the DC movie now looks deliciously dark.

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