(CNN)"The Suicide Squad" is simply a alternatively ironic rubric for a do-over, but that's what DC and Warner Bros. person fundamentally done, taking different stab astatine the squad of super-villains 5 years aft a anterior effort. On the positive side, writer-director James Gunn's movie is superior to its predecessor connected astir each level. Balancing that, the R-rated mayhem becomes a trifle numbing, blunting the wide effect.
At its best, Gunn manages to wed the team-of-misfits goofiness, garnished with a pinch of heart, from his "Guardians of the Galaxy" films for rival Marvel with the cheerful gore and irreverence of "Deadpool," catering to fans anxious to spot heroes (or villains) allowed to utterly chopped loose.
This caller "Suicide Squad" besides shrewdly cherry-picks the champion elements from David Ayer's film, bringing backmost Margot Robbie arsenic the Joker's homicidal sidekick Harley Quinn, Joel Kinnaman arsenic square-jawed Colonel Rick Flag and Viola Davis arsenic the ruthless authorities bureaucrat who oversees Task Force X, whose underlings evidently similar the much colloquial nickname erstwhile wagering connected who volition past the mission. (Ayer has recently discussed that the movie released wasn't his cut, but immoderate comparisons astatine this constituent tin lone beryllium based connected what audiences person seen.)
It's the specifics of the mission, actually, wherever "Suicide Squad" breaks down a bit, with the squad dispatched to a fictional land federation known arsenic Corto Maltese, 1 that has precocious experienced a coup, putting astatine hazard a concealed installation wherever an alien quality is reportedly being held.
The squad's occupation is to penetrate the state and destruct said facility, wading -- with a full batch of hiccups -- done a seemingly endless proviso of soldiers acceptable up to beryllium folded, spindled and mutilated successful originative and colorful ways.
Leading the team, grudgingly, is simply a ace changeable named Bloodsport (Idris Elba), whose skills fundamentally reflector those of Peacemaker (John Cena), different marksman supreme. Throw successful the always-hungry King Shark (voiced by Sylvester Stallone, channeling Groot), and the powers and characters turn progressively obscure -- unless you're a instrumentality of Ratcatcher 2 (Daniela Melchior) and Polka-Dot Man (David Dastmalchian) -- intelligibly having amusive with the alien quadrants of the comic-book universe, tonally successful overmuch the mode the caller Disney+ bid "Loki" did.
In a sense, the specified information that movies person the latitude to play truthful intricately disconnected comic-book lore reflects the genre's cinematic maturation, arsenic does the blood-soaked canvas upon which Gunn is allowed to paint, speckled with acheronian drama and adjacent commentary astir US overseas policy. Just successful presumption of boundaries, DC (like CNN and Warner Bros., a portion of WarnerMedia) has circled backmost to territory that "Watchmen" occupied a twelve years ago.
Still, it becomes progressively evident that "Suicide Squad" is fundamentally successful a contention to support topping itself, meaning if there's a peculiarly gruesome series aboriginal on, expect thing specifically designed to up the ante earlier it's over.
To his credit, Gunn deftly juggles a dizzying assortment of elements, creating memorable moments for his principals (Robbie, for example, fares overmuch amended present than successful Harley's dedicated showcase vehicle), and allowing the assorted characters to putty successful details fundamentally connected the fly, usually successful the signifier of acheronian sob stories.
What the movie truly lacks, finally, is an antagonist worthy of the team. Then again, acknowledgment to its different upgrades, "Suicide Squad" seems adjacent little apt to enactment dormant this clip around, truthful possibly that's a shortcoming that tin beryllium addressed successful the adjacent edition.
"The Suicide Squad" premieres Aug. 6 successful US theaters and connected HBO Max. It's rated R.