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6 Thoughts I Had While Watching ‘The Suicide Squad’ in a Movie Theater Near Me

Hey, Hollywooders! What’s Good in the ‘Wood?

I went on opening night (August 6) to see The Suicide Squad, one of the many new movie releases out now in movie theaters.

I took a look at theaters near me to compare movie showtimes and settled on going to the 6:20 pm movie showtime at the Showcase Cinemas theater near me. Since it was opening night, I assumed the movie theater would be busy. I made sure to purchase my ticket online before heading to the theater for an easy entrance.

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I was surprised to walk into the theater to see the upper seats completely full, while my row was empty. I had the entire third row to myself and trust me, I was not complaining. This made for an awesome, distraction-free movie viewing experience. I was close enough to the screen to notice everything but far enough not to get a headache or neck cramp. It was perfect!

Friday morning, I had heard nothing but good reviews about the film. I love myself a good comic book movie and ensemble cast, so I was so excited to see what the hype was about.

Watch The Suicide Squad trailer here:

Do I need to know about DC comics to see The Suicide Squad

Quick answer: no. I know next to nothing about DC Comics or the DC extended Universe: I have seen Suicide Squad (2016) and Birds of Prey (2020) and that’s about the extent of my knowledge. My lack of proficiency in this universe did not hinder my viewing experience whatsoever! I still enjoyed the film and there was nothing that I felt I should have read up on ahead of time.

Since The Suicide Squad is a standalone sequel to the 2016 film, you don’t need to have seen Suicide Squad before heading to the movie theater. If you want to know about some of the recurring characters, here’s a rundown: Harley Quinn is a former psychiatrist and the ex-girlfriend of the Joker who is now a famed criminal; Amanda Waller is a government official who has assembled Task Force X or the “Suicide Squad”; Rick Flag is a colonel who leads the squad.

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Now that we’re all caught up, let’s get into how The Suicide Squad (2021) compares to Suicide Squad (2016). I was not a huge fan of Suicide Squad when I saw the film. I thought Margot Robbie stood out as Harley Quinn, but other than that, nothing really captured my attention. I was not drawn to the storyline and did not find myself invested in any of the characters.

The Suicide Squad, on the other hand, immediately drew me in with the opening scene (which I’ll dive into next) and I genuinely cared about each character’s backstory and arc. Overall, I thought that The Suicide Squad was a much more enjoyable watch than the first Suicide Squad. With plenty of action, humor, and touching moments, I think it is perfect for any film lover, not just comic book movie fans.

The opening scene is very intense 

Like I mentioned, the first scene of The Suicide Squad immediately drew me in and made me excited for what was to come. The opening was full of intense action and loud sound effects that made the seats vibrate throughout the movie theater.

After the opening sequence, things are looking grim for Task Force X, but the audience quickly learns that there is a backup squad. This is the team that the remainder of the film follows. It is made up of ex-cons who have been recruited to put an end to “Project Starfish”— an evil plan that has taken an alien into captivity in an attempt to control human beings.

Over the next two hours, the audience watches the events unfold as Bloodsport and the rest of the Suicide Squad try to work together despite their differences and individual struggles.

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I cannot get over this star-studded cast 

As I was watching The Suicide Squad I could not believe how many huge Hollywood names starred in the film. Taskforce X consists of Bloodsport (Idris Elba), Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie), Peacemaker (John Cena), Rick Flag (Joel Kinnaman), Ratcatcher 2 (Daniela Melchior), Polka-Dot Man (David Dastmalchian), and King Shark (Sylvester Stallone). The movie also featured Viola Davis, Taika Waititi, Pete Davidson, and Storm Reid.

Idris Elba and Viola Davis give stellar performances from the jump. Idris Elba is very convincing in a scene he shares with Storm Reid (who plays his daughter) as the two are arguing through a glass divider in a prison visiting room. Viola Davis’s character Amanda Waller then recruits Bloodsport to be part of Task Force X. Viola Davis portrays Waller with sternness and determination, giving the character a great sense of power.

To no one’s surprise, Margot Robbie gives a fierce performance as Harley Quinn, particularly during her scene where she saves herself from captivity. In this scene, Margot Robbie shows the audience that Harley Quinn is a total badass and although she is a team player, she can handle things on her own. Margot brings the perfect mix of madness and lovability to the character, quickly winning over the hearts of audiences.

This kind of reminds me of Guardians of the Galaxy 

Going in to see The Suicide Squad, I expected to be reminded of Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, as both were written and directed by James Gunn. Neither films take themselves too seriously and humor/ silliness are at the forefront of their storytelling.

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Aside from its resemblance to the Marvel film, I found The Suicide Squad to be very different than other comic book movies. One thing I loved about the film was that it played around with its timeline and didn’t unfold every scene in chronological order. This made it so just when the audience thinks they know what will happen next, the film rewinds to lead viewers through the subsequent events.

I also really liked the film’s tangential storylines and heartwarming moments among the rag-tag Suicide Squad. For example, at one point we see Harley Quinn rendezvous with a foreign diplomat, while at other times we learn the backstory and motivations of Pola-Dot Man and Ratcatcher 2.

Another way that The Suicide Squad takes a different spin on the superhero movie is with its unexpected ending. Although comic book films are not fairytales, audiences still expect the perceived good guys to get their ‘happily ever after.’ In this film however, not every member of Task Force X gets the ending that I would have initially imagined for them. This adds a level of spontaneity to the film and breaks away from the ‘good guys always win in the end’ trope.

I was not expecting The Suicide Squad to be this gruesome

Although I said The Suicide Squad was perfect for any movie-lover, I would not recommend it to viewers who get squeamish from seeing blood. This movie was much more gruesome that I ever expected it to be.

Throughout the film, many of the fight sequences resulted in blood shooting out of fresh wounds, graphic loss of limbs, and even King Shark gnawing on human body parts. I often found myself having to look away from the screen during these scenes as they became very difficult to watch.

This film teeters on the edge of political commentary  

The climax of The Suicide Squad took the storyline to a place I did not expect it to go: it provides commentary on loyalty to a country’s officials versus loyalty to the country’s citizens.

Some of the members of Task Force X are faced with the conflicting decision of whether to follow their orders or do what they feel is best for their country. This forces them to come to terms with the lives they have been living and who has actually benefited from the actions they’ve been carrying out.

What’s going to happen next? 

If you go to see The Suicide Squad at the movie theater, be sure to stay until the very end and sit through the credits. During an end credit scene, we see a teaser of a possible future storyline centering around one of the characters! Since I enjoyed this film so much, I’m both interested and excited to see what DC plans to do next.

What Critics Thought of The Suicide Squad

The Suicide Squad has received decent reviews from critics.

IndieWire’s David Ehrlich shared his opinion on how director James Gunn defied superhero film expectations with The Suicide Squad: “The most fun and least depressing superhero movie in a very long time, Gunn’s deliriously ultra-violent ‘The Suicide Squad’ wears the yoke of its genre with a lightness that allows it to slip loose of the usual restraints, if not quite shake them off altogether.

Alonso Duralde of The Wrap acknowledged that despite the film’s pitfalls, it sets itself apart from other comic book movies. He wrote, “‘The Suicide Squad’ is by no means perfect, but like the “Deadpool” movies, it’s a showcase for what can happen when a superhero movie is allowed to be sprightly, self-aware, and sardonic while also indulging in hard-R violence, gore, and language. Gunn’ latest creation is not without moments that drag, but when it pops, it pops brilliantly.

See what everyday movie fans are saying about The Suicide Squad here.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed The Suicide Squad and was so glad I saw it in theaters! While I probably won’t be running back to the theater to see it again, I’ll definitely rewatch it on HBO Max.

Will you be heading to the theaters to see The Suicide Squad or streaming it from home? Let us know over on our Instagram!

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