After a military coup destabilizes the Caribbean nation of Corto Maltese, the U.S. government sends in Task Force X, aka The Suicide Squad, to sort things out. Under the command of the steely Amanda Waller (Viola Davis), with field leadership courtesy of Colonel Rick Flag (Joel Kinnaman), the squad are comprised of various mostly B-and-C-list DC villains pulling duty as deniable assets for Uncle Sugar in exchange for reduced sentences. Naturally, they’re used for the most dangerous missions, and unlike the previous film by David Ayer, that actually means something here — the body count is huuuuuuuuuge.
Which leaves me, your humble pop culture mine canary, in something of a conundrum — let’s call it “spoiler by omission.” The Suicide Squad has an impressively large — and just plain impressive — cast, and even listing them and explaining the characters they play would eat up a lot of my word count. If I don’t talk about a character, does that mean they don’t survive? Well, yes, probably — a smart reader would figure that out pretty quickly, and you guys seem pretty sharp. So, even though I promise not to reveal more than is strictly necessary, if you’re particularly spoiler-sensitive, a) grow up, and b) this film rocks hard. It lets writer-director James Gunn, Guardians of the Galaxy (2014), indulge his wildest impulses in a way Marvel would simply never allow and still manages to be very funny and emotionally satisfying, even if the focus is very much on gleeful splatter and shock, with any emotional catharsis feeling more like a nice added bonus rather than a core value.
Anyhoo, spoilers off the starboard bow.