Writer-Director James Gunn (Guardians of the Galaxy) assembles a new Task Force X, aka The Suicide Squad, a more lively “sequel” to David Ayer’s studio-maligned 2016 original.
The Production: 3.5/5
I was not a fan of David Ayer’s 2016 Suicide Squad, finding it a lifeless bore, and went in to James Gunn’s follow-up, last summer’s The Suicide Squad, with fairly low expectations. While not quite as fun as Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy films for Marvel, this new film is still a quite enjoyable, if not overly long and at times gory, sequel (of sorts).
Amanda Walker (Viola Davis) has assembled two Suicide Squad teams to infiltrate the island nation of Corto Maltese, tasked to destroy Jötunheim, an old Nazi outpost where a secret weapon only known as “Project Starfish” is rumored to exist. The first team, led by Colonel Rick Flag (Joel Kinnaman) and consisting of team members Savant (Michael Rooker), TDK (Nathan Fillion), Captain Boomerang (Jai Courtney), Javelin (Flula Borg), Mongal (Mayling Ng), Blackguard (Pete Davidson), Weasel (Sean Gunn), and Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie), is nothing more than a distraction to get Team 2 behind enemy lines. That team of misfits is led by Bloodsport (Idris Elba) and consists of Peacemeaker (John Cena), Ratcatcher 2 (Daniela Melchior), Polka-Dot Man (David Dastmalchian) and King Shark (voiced by Sylvester Stallone). Both Harley Quinn and Rick Flag manage to escape the bloodbath of the first team’s ambush, only to eventually assist Bloodsport’s team. Their adventures are bizarre, sometimes backfiring (their village attack is hilariously so very wrong in the end), but Bloodsport’s efforts to get this band of misfits to work together is what drives the film to its fun and exciting conclusion.
3D Rating: NA
The Suicide Squad was captured at 6K and 8K resolutions on Red Komodo IMAX, Red Ranger Monstro IMAX, and Red Weapon Monstro IMAX cameras, then completed as a 4K digital intermediate in the 1.90:1 aspect ratio with Dolby Vision high dynamic range for its premium theatrical engagements. Warner’s HEVC-encoded 2160p transfer utilizes HDR10, HDR10+, and Dolby Vision HDR and is truly stunning in its color depth and strong detail. The disc was reviewed on an LG C1 OLED display and a Sony UBP-X800M2 with Dolby Vision activated, and Dolby Vision does provide a slightly more vivid color palette, particularly in the orange jumpsuits early on in the prison sequences and Harley Quinn’s red dress later on. Contrast is excellent, from the deep blacks during the night time jungle sequences to the blinding white rainstorm beginning at the 1:18:30 mark.
The default Dolby Atmos track does not disappoint, immersing the viewer in the world of Corto Maltese. Dialogue is mostly front and center, but does travel as necessary as characters move on screen and off. Sounds flow seamlessly around the viewing area with pinpoint accuracy, while music cues kick in all around you. This is a fun mix, with strong LFE presence without ever feeling too boomy.
Special Features: 4/5
Harley’s Great Escape (Scene Breakdown) (2160p/SDR; 7:17): A look behind the scenes of Harley’s escape from the Corto Maltese prison.
Audio Commentary with Director/Writer James Gunn: Much like his commentaries for the Guardians of the Galaxy films, Gunn takes a laid back approach after apologizing for not being more prepared, discussing various aspects of the production as they appear on screen.
Deleted and Extended Scenes (1080p; 17:27) Eight scenes have been included with no introductory titles.
Gag Reel (1080p; 10:23)
Bringing King Shark to Life (1080p; 5:40): A look at the creation of the King Shark character.
Gotta Love the Squad (1080p; 11:37): A look at the comic book origins.
The Way of the Gunn (1080p; 7:50): Cast and crew praise the work of director James Gunn.
Scene Breakdowns (1080p): It’s a Suicide Mission (6:37), My Gun’s Bigger Than Yours (5:44), Harley’s Great Escape (7:16 – reprise from UHD disc), and The Fall of Jötunheim (5:38).
Starro: It’s a Freakin’ Kaiju! (1080p; 6:17): A look at the creation of the big creature seen at the end of the movie.
War Movie Retro Trailer (1080p; 3:24)
Horror Movie Retro Trailer (1080p; 1:23)
Buddy Cop Retro Trailer (1080p; 1:17)
Audio Commentary with Director/Writer James Gunn
Digital Copy: An insert contains a code to redeem a digital copy on Movies Anywhere in 4K. There is also a code for a free one-month subscription to DC Universe.
The Suicide Squad under James Gunn is a much better film than the previous entry, and the presentation is excellent.
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