James Gunn’s not kidding around with his new DC superhero movie “The Suicide Squad.” With F-bombs and people being ripped gorily in half, the director’s gone far afield from, say, a youngster-friendly talking raccoon and alien tree.
That’s not to say the “Guardians of the Galaxy” filmmaker hasn’t found something amazing with his new crew of misfits. The gleefully NSFW first trailer for the action extravaganza (in theaters and streaming on HBO Max Aug. 6), a soft reboot of 2016’s “Suicide Squad,” dropped Friday with the return of Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn, introduction to Idris Elba and John Cena’s debuting characters, and an appearance from a monstrous starfish that will warm comic-book nerds’ hearts.
Like Gunn’s “Guardians” trailers for Marvel, a little classic rock sets the stage for the new footage. Steely Dan’s “Dirty Work” plays as Task Force X rookies like Blackguard (Pete Davidson) and Weasel (Sean Gunn) appear. And Amanda Waller (original “Squad” star Viola Davis) down the rules: Supervillains at Belle Reve prison working for the government get 10 years off their jail time for a successful mission, and have their heads blown off if they fail.
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Polka Dot Man (David Dastmalchian, from left), Peacemaker (John Cena), Bloodsport (Idris Elba) and Ratcatcher 2 (Daniela Melchior) are the newcomers to Task Force X in James Gunn's "The Suicide Squad." (Photo: JESSICA MIGLIO/WARNER BROS. PICTURES)
The mission at hand involves going to the guerilla-filled enemy island of Corto Maltese and saving the world again. But Gunn puts the emphasis on colorful characters, with King Shark (voiced by Sylvester Stallone) eating a dude headfirst and the stoic Bloodsport (Elba) bickering with Peacemaker (Cena), a jerky Captain America type with boulders for biceps who will go to extremes for “liberty.”
Starro the Conqueror shows up in the trailer – in the comics, the antagonistic starfish was the first villain faced by the Justice League in the 1960s. Yet he’s not nearly as fun as Robbie’s ultra-wacky Harley, seen here wielding a bazooka, shooting bad guys, threatening new teammates and just enjoying the weather: “I love the rain. It’s like angels are smooching all over us.”
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