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Review of James Gunn’s comic book adaptation “The Suicide Squad”

E.There are subtle cinematic means to make it clear to viewers that behind the action shown, not everything is what it seems. Anyone who has seen James Gunn’s last great success, the Marvel superhero spectacle “Guardians of the Galaxy 2”, knows: This director doesn’t think much of subtlety. And so in “The Suicide Squad” in the very first scene he pulls the rug from under the audience’s feet. To Johnny Cash’s “Folsom Prison Blues” a face appears against a blue sky, framed by long snow-white hair. Just when a man’s bored gaze becomes visible in between, the camera goes on a roller coaster ride and rotates 180 degrees. The clear blue sky was only a reflection in a puddle, the man sits surrounded by prison walls in the sunspot of a small inner courtyard and plays deadly games with birds with a rubber ball. The rest of the film continues as ambiguous; You should never rely on a character to tell the truth or to survive longer than ten minutes just because they are prominent. Gunn is gleefully turning some new twists into the old wooden egg of the action film genre.

The classic process of putting together a team for a suicidal mission to save the world can be done in just a few minutes. The white-haired man named Savant (Michael Rooker) is already sitting with a dozen other criminals, including a killer weasel and the happy psychopath Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie), in a military helicopter to go to the Caribbean island of “Corto Maltese” (the name alludes to a very important European comic by Hugo Pratt, who keeps the greatest possible distance from the American superhero genre), where a dictator previously supported by America and his family were killed in a military coup. The mission is to secure the island, but that, too, is just camouflage, as it quickly turns out. The operation is supervised by the unscrupulous Amanda Waller. Viola Davis plays the secret service chief with ice-cold looks that seem more deadly than the killers whom she yells commands into the microphone of the remote operations center in the Belle Reve maximum security prison. Of course, she’s also playing a double game with the team.

Usually mostly happy: Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn

Usually mostly happy: Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn

Image: AP

Declaration of love to Harley Quinn

With the daring twists and turns of content, one easily forgets that the film branch of the comic book publisher DC had only made a film five years ago about a loosely thrown together antihero ensemble that tried to save the world in a suicide squad and was also entitled “Suicide Squad” . With a wink, Gunn puts an article in front of the title and makes short declarations of love for his favorite characters from the previous film – Harley Quinn is allowed to break out of prison and use a red tulle dress as a weapon, instead of bullets, Disney princess blossoms explode. For his main team, Gunn brings a few marginal characters from the depths of the DC universe, which he gives meat on the thin template. Sometimes he even takes off the accelerator pedal briefly, with which the film races through its 132 minutes.



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