The Suicide Squad Reviews Are In And They Are Beating One Of The Greatest Superhero Movies Ever Made
After the disappointment that was David Ayer’s 2016 version of Suicide Squad, there was seemingly nowhere for the next film, a half-reboot, to go but up. Bringing James Gunn on to write the script and direct the new film was already looking like a masterstroke of good fortune and timing, and it is paying off in a huge way. The initial reviews are in for The Suicide Squad and they are crushing right now, on pace to beat one of the best-reviewed comic book movies ever in The Dark Knight.
As of right now, through 76 reviews, The Suicide Squad is sitting at a whopping 97% on Rotten Tomatoes. It’s an outstanding score with just two negative reviews in the bunch, standing out like sore thumbs in a sea of praise. There is still plenty of time for this score to drop some though considering the total review number will likely land over 200 when it is all said and done. By comparison, 2008’s The Dark Knight, Christopher Nolan’s masterpiece of a sequel is sitting at 94% on Rotten Tomatoes with 345 reviews in the bag. There’s a good chance The Suicide Squad lands in this range when it is all said and done.
From the early trailers for The Suicide Squad, it’s easy to see why critics latched on so easily especially in contrast to what David Ayer did with the original. The first movie was a solemn affair, offering a solid background to the formation of the group, but putting together a convoluted story and unneeded melancholy and seriousness around a group that’s anything but. While Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn easily stood out from the crowd, much of the rest of it was forgettable and even boring at times.
But not the James Gunn version, not by a long shot. When he was fired (briefly) from the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise, DC quickly snapped him up and gave him free rein over a new story for The Suicide Squad. He was able to bring back who he wanted and, to hear Gunn say it, was also greenlit to kill off anyone he wanted to as well. Robbie returned as Harley along with Viola Davis as Amanda Waller, Joel Kinnaman as Rick Flag, and Jai Courtney as Captain Boomerang. But that was all he needed from the original. From there, he went about changing the tone and adding a whole host of new characters.
The Suicide Squad added Idris Elba as Bloodsport whose claim to fame is nearly killing Superman and John Cena as Peacemaker who looks like he brings a doltish meathead bravado to the affair. Plus there’s Sylvester Stallone monosyllabically voicing King Shark, David Dastmalchian as Polka-Dot Man, Daniela Melchior as Ratcatcher, Michael Rooker as Savant, Pete Davidson as Blackguard, and Nathan Fillion as the limb-removing TDK. The flick looks just bananas, pulling no punches at all with its R-rating and devil may care attitude around human (and non-human) life.
Whether The Suicide Squad ends up besting The Dark Knight on Rotten Tomatoes remains to be seen. The score is likely to drop some over the course of the week when more reviews are released. But it won’t fall a ton and its already pretty clear that we have one of the highest-rated comic book films ever on our hands. It releases in United States theaters on August 5th.