The Brilliance of THE SUICIDE SQUAD

I am proud to announce a new visitor to The Front Porch. Clint Tsao will bring his unique take on movies and pop culture on regular visits to the porch when he stops by to share his latest observations. I hope you enjoy.

By Clint Tsao

Writer/Director James Gunn brings a similar spirit and sense of camaraderie from his Marvel sensation, Guardians of the Galaxy, to DC Comics and his redux of The Suicide Squad. (Gunn was given creative rein at DC when he was temporarily fired from Marvel, and he makes full use of it).  The result is a no holds barred action film with deliriously bold, profane humor and explicit violence and a lot of heart.

An eclectic band of powerful, talented prisoners are given a deadly mission in exchange for reduced prison sentences. The ‘volunteers’ are also compelled by explosive implants in their heads controlled by the ruthless Amanda Waller (Viola Davis). The group, which includes Bloodsport (Idris Elba), Peacemaker (Jon Cena), Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie shines again as the DC icon), and a man-shark named Nanaue (a hoot as voiced by Sylvester Stallone), must depend on one another to complete a daunting task that becomes increasingly dangerous and convoluted.  When things goes awry, the remaining members must regroup and face a formidable menace that threatens the world.

Accompanied by his trademark pop score, Gunn adds an imaginative, visual style at once gross and beautiful to a narrative whose template is a hybrid of The Dirty Dozen and Mission Impossible with a Deadpool sensibility. He cleverly imbues his characters with psychological trauma, and part of the fun is watching this myriad of tortured souls coalesce and function as a team amid extreme adversity. The film actually has a moral compass that never loses focus, and you start to care about these misfits and their redemption.

It’s unlike any super hero movie you’ve seen, and though graphic, it has moments of bravery, sacrifice, betrayal, and yes, pathos. Gotta love those rats! (There are two end credit scenes.)

     out of    chairs on the porch.

Clint Tsao is a noted film and pop culture historian and critic. He may be reached at



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