James Gunn’s part reimaging, part sequel to David Ayer’s 2016 offering – a film that left a sour taste in many mouths – is just as bonkers as you would expect from the Guardians of the Galaxy filmmaker. Having extracted who and what worked from the first, Gunn puts his own gruesomely imaginative stamp on this story of ragtag supervillains that could be construed as simply being misunderstood…
Gunn takes the criminals of Task Force X, so thoughtfully and almost reluctantly put together by Viola Davis’ Amanda Waller, on an outrageously visceral, R-rated wild ride that blends balls-to-the-wall action, blood-spattering violence and life-or-death scenarios starting from the very outset. In fact, Waller covers her back and not only sends in one team but two to take on the enemy on the remote island of Corto Maltese. That explains why this cast seems to be made up of name after name, but don’t expect half of them to hang around for too long as Gunn is extremely quick to pull the trigger in some spectacular ways.
Those that are pushed to the fore come in the form of the ageing Bloodsport (Idris Elba) and Peacemaker (John Cena) both with zero powers, extracted from their prison sentences for their do or die brawn to fight alongside the returning Rick Flag (Joel Kinnaman), Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie), King Shark (Sylvester Stallone) who loves to eat anything he can get his teeth into, Polka-Dot Man (David Dastmalchian) and Ratcatcher junior (Daniela Melchoir). Teaming up with a group of freedom fighters, after a rather unfortunate assumption which sees their numbers cut by more than half, they not only have to fight those power crazy billionaire government crooks but take on a giant starfish that shoots out baby starfish that suck faces off.
This mixture of experience and wide-eyed inexperience brings the gags and a whole lot of laughter. At every given chance Bloodsport and Peacemaker embroil themselves in a game of one-upmanship; basically, it’s who can swing their dick further. Talking of packages, thanks to one tighty whitey scene you’ll be looking at John Cena in a whole new light. Bloodsport also has a bit of a fear when it comes to rodents, when you’ve got someone on your team that can summon rats at any given moment, it proves a little problematic.
When it comes to Harley Quinn, we get to see a different side of her character, she loves to flirt but the men she flirts with are mostly full of red flags apart from one, but then he doesn’t last too long either which is a hell of a crying shame. She does get to experience a bit of a romance when she gets separated from the Squad and goes off on her own – and to be fair she takes out more men in the space of one psychedelic flower filled-rage induced escape scene than the whole gaggle of men in her team. Go, Harley! She’s not only a scene-stealer but carries the whole damn movie.
Gunn’s vision is always unique and his brilliantly sick mind was given the freedom it needed to evolve this once rotten apple into a blossoming gorefest that oozes with irreverent humour, heartfelt moments and total insanity, we can’t wait for him to hot step it into its sequel.