The first reactions to James Gunn's The Suicide Squad are now in, and it sounds like this could be adaptation that DC fans have been waiting for. Featuring an all-star ensemble cast that includes Margot Robbie, Idris Elba, John Cena, Joel Kinnaman, and Sylvester Stallone, those lucky enough to have seen The Suicide Squad early have praised the comic book movie adventure as the perfect blend of bonkers action, hyper-violence, and heartfelt emotion.
"#TheSuicideSquad is absolutely insane. Violent as hell, raunchy, unforgiving. James Gunn is fully unleashed. It's sometimes overwhelming. It has moments of heart, humor, action, emotion... all of it. Relentless. There's nothing like it. Damn!"
These sentiments were echoed by further reactions, with one viewer applauding Gunn's unique use of horror combined with genuine laughs.
"I had the BEST time watching #TheSuicideSquad - it is a swing-for-the-fences kind of comic book movie & I love that. It's big, bold & visually stunning. You will see James Gunn's horror roots splattered all over this thing. It's violent, but hilarious. Angry, but also VERY sweet."
The filmmaker's individualist approach to the comic book movie genre in The Suicide Squad is something that many of the early reactions highlight, along with the performances from the cast.
"#TheSuicideSquad is fantastic! A no holds barred, superhero/comics bonanza. Unpredictable in story, unique in style & full of risks. It's also violent & hilarious. Action set pieces are insane. Idris Elba, Margot Robbie & rest of cast are awesome. @JamesGunn has done it again."
The cinematic road of DC movies is littered with bumps and broken tarmac, with 2016's Suicide Squad often held up as how not to make a comic book movie, which left many wondering whether even James Gunn could save the band of misfits. Well, according to one viewer, "Any doubts you might have over #TheSuicideSquad will vanish after the outrageous opening. It's a violent, hilarious and unpredictable blockbuster, and everyone will have their own favourite from the terrific cast. It's just so entertaining that you'll want to see again instantly."
The movie has certainly made believers out of any remaining doubters; "So this skeptic loved #TheSuicideSquad. It is balls to the wall *bonkers* in very entertaining ways. i.e. If you're wondering whether James Gunn and that super rad @SuicideSquadWB cast would truly go there w/ the material & the R-rating, indeed they DO."
Many have even described the movie as the perfect adaptation of the beloved source material, something which the previous iteration was not.
"#TheSuicideSquad is a gory & explosive time that perfectly encaptures the chaos & violence of the source material. The cast is excellent together and there's never a dull moment. Unexpected & fun, one of DC's best."
While The Suicide Squad has been described as a completely separate entity to its 2016 predecessor, think relaunch rather than sequel, some could not help but make a comparison.
"#TheSuicideSquad an action-packed fun time full of wittiness. A perfect chaotic cast ensemble. It's gory, entertaining & a wild ride. Definitely a step-up from the first one."
One major difference between the two movies is that Gunn's outing has been gifted with an R-rating, something which many had wanted for the first adaptation attempt. According to these first reactions, The Suicide Squad earns the R and then some. "I recently got to see #TheSuicideSquad on @IMAX, which was an ill experience. @JamesGunn took full advantage of that hard R, delivering a big bad of MADNESS that's the most James Gunn film I've ever seen," said one audience member. "The best choice for a @SuicideSquadWB film, IMO."
Another reaction was strongly in agreement saying, "Had the chance to see #TheSuicideSquad a few weeks ago and MY GOODNESS was it awesome. It explodes off the screen. You'll love the characters. Epic scale. Awesome action. It's beyond deserving of the R-rating, by the way. Wild stuff. People are going to love it. SEE IT IN IMAX!"
Overall, the first reactions to The Suicide Squad are very promisingly positive, with James Gunn once again demonstrating how to launch a comic book movie ensemble piece.
"The Suicide Squad is as funny, irreverent and violent as promised. What I liked best, though, was its heart. Gunn really balances the silly and the serious in a way that the two compliment each other really well. I dug it. Also? King Shark RULES."
Written and directed by James Gunn, The Suicide Squad introduces audiences to the darker side of DC, as several imprisoned convicts of Belle Reve penitentiary are sent as members of Task Force X to the South American island of Corto Maltese to destroy Jotunheim, a Nazi-era prison and laboratory which held political prisoners and conducted experiments. Not only will things get a little darker, they will also get a lot more bizarre as, during the mission, the Suicide Squad come into conflict with Starro, a giant, telepathic alien starfish.
Much like Gunn's Guardians of the Galaxy before it, The Suicide Squad h as amassed a hugely talented ensemble cast, including the likes of Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn, Viola Davis as Amanda Waller, Joel Kinnaman as Rick Flag and Jai Courtney as Captain Boomerang, all of whom reprise their roles from the 2016 Suicide Squad effort.
Joining them on this dangerous mission are Idris Elba as Bloodsport, David Mastmalchian as Polka-Dot Man, Daniela Melchior as Ratcatcher, John Cena as Peacemaker, Flula Borg as Javelin, Nathan Fillion as T.D.K., Peter Capaldi as Thinker, Pete Davidson as Black Guard, Alice Braga as Sol Soria, Sean Gunn as Weasel, Michael Rooker as Savant, Mayling Ng as Mongal, and Sylvester Stallone as King Shark.
The Suicide Squad is scheduled to be theatrically released in the United Kingdom on July 30, 2021, and in the United States on August 5, before streaming on HBO Max the following day. Should the response from wider audiences be as overwhelmingly positive as these early reactions, James Gunn will have another major franchise on his hands. Warner Bros. has already shown their faith in the director, with a spin-off series focusing on John Cena's character, Peacemaker, already in development and due for release on HBO Max in January 2022.