‘The Suicide Squad’ 4K UHD Blu-Ray Review – A Wonderfully Unhinged Journey Into The Mind Of James Gunn

Welcome to hell—a.k.a. Belle Reve, the prison with the highest mortality rate in the US of A. Where the worst Super-Villains are kept and where they will do anything to get out—even join the super-secret, super-shady Task Force X. Today’s do-or-die assignment? Assemble a collection of cons, including Bloodsport, Peacemaker, Captain Boomerang, Ratcatcher 2, Savant, King Shark, Blackguard, Javelin and everyone’s favorite psycho, Harley Quinn. Then arm them heavily and drop them (literally) on the remote, enemy-infused island of Corto Maltese. Trekking through a jungle teeming with militant adversaries and guerrilla forces at every turn, the Squad is on a search-and-destroy mission with only Colonel Rick Flag on the ground to make them behave…and Amanda Waller’s government techies in their ears, tracking their every movement. And as always, one wrong move and they’re dead (whether at the hands of their opponents, a teammate, or Waller herself). If anyone’s laying down bets, the smart money is against them—all of them.

For in-depth thoughts on The Suicide Squad, please see my colleague Dom Fisher’s review from its original theatrical release here

Video Quality

The 4K UHD Blu-Ray of The Suicide Squad offers a pleasing uptick in quality over the already sumptuous accompanying Blu-Ray, making it a top-notch contender for new release of the year. The highlights in the film are more defined with whites more pure and balanced with no instances of blooming to be found. Elements in the film taking place in the cover of darkness are more vivid and finely delineated. The black levels are especially strong in this presentation, staying deep and inky with great detail. This 4K UHD presentation really delivers on all fronts including strong gains in clarity and color. 

Skin tones appear more natural with healthy doses of crisp detail apparent on faces such as pores. The increased range of the color spectrum is stunning to behold. The Dolby Vision and HDR enriches the colors from already impressive to out of this world when it comes to vibrancy. This film explodes with color and visits new and exciting locations that are visually striking. Just take a look at the Harley escape sequence as she dispatches with enemies in a most wholesome way to see the lush colors leaping off the screen. Don’t get me started on the final sequence with Starro The Conqueor and all of the blobs of color being hurled around in such a standout way. The Blu-Ray is great, but Warner Bros. has delivered another demo-worthy transfer on this latest 4K release. 

Audio Quality

This disc comes equipped with a dynamite Dolby Atmos presentation that feels like it just might bring your house down. This is a title that is made to be played loud and provide complete immersion, and the addition of the height channels aids in accomplishing that goal. Various overhead elements provide a special touch that will have you vibrating. Sounds are appropriately rendered with precise directionality from the more kinetic action scenes to interpersonal moments of dialogue. Ambient details are plentiful and quite satisfying in the rear and overhead channels. The momentous score from John Murphy and the needle drops envelope the room with a ferociousness that you will not soon forget. Dialogue is presented perfectly clear without ever being overwhelmed by any of the competing sonic elements. The heavy gunfire and tumbling of buildings provides an all-encompassing soundscape that kicks in throughout all the speakers. The low end is pushed to the limits here in a way that will have your neighbors complaining. The mix will be a fun one to put on to demo your sound system. 

Special Features

  • Audio Commentary: Director/Writer James Gunn begins the track by expressing his regrets for not writing down any notes about the production of the film and having to speak off the cuff. By the time you are done with this track, you will never be able to tell as he speaks very eloquently without much of a break throughout as he reveals fun cameos, moments that were improvised, who he believes the “heart” of the story is, the scenes that Gunn did not get around to storyboarding, his process for writing scripts and so much more. Most of his thoughts are scene-specific and endlessly entertaining. One of the best commentary tracks you will hear all year. 
  • Deleted And Extended Scenes: A nearly 18-minute collection of unused material including moments of Harley arriving to her “royal subjects”, scenes of Flagg reminiscing about time spent in the office with Waller, King Shark taking in the sight of the people on the street, an exchange between The Thinker and Polka-Dot Man and much more that is full of great moments that fans will love. 
  • Gag Reel: A ten-minute collection of flubbed or forgotten lines, missed steps, malfunctioning props, goofing around and more. These are always a joy to watch. 
  • Bringing King Shark To Life: A six-minute look at one of the breakout characters of the film with some asides from Gunn about why he is perplexed that people find King Shark “adorable” due to his basic design. There is some great behind-the-scenes footage of Steve Agee standing in on set for reference to bring the character to life digitally. 
  • Gotta Love The Squad: A 12-minute featurette in which Suicide Squad creator John Ostrander and Gunn discuss the creation of the source material and how these characters were brought to the screen in roles big and small. Costume Designer Judianna Makovsky talks about how Gunn wanted her to approach every design as if they were coming out of their own movie. There are also brief interviews with many of the performers about their role in the film and bringing their characters to life. 
  • The Way Of The Gunn: An eight-minute featurette in which the cast and crew discuss the unique qualities that James Gunn brought to this tale. 
  • Scene Breakdowns
    • It’s A Suicide Mission: A seven-minute look at the memorable opening scene and how Gunn viewed the feature as a genuine “war film” that subverted expectations while establishing stakes. The enormous beach set that was built is truly mind boggling. 
    • My Gun’s Bigger Than Yours: A six-minute look at the dueling gun scene between Deadshot and Peacemaker. In this piece there are discussions about balancing the humor with the violence, along with the immense storyboarding process for the tracking shots. 
    • Harley’s Great Escape: A seven-minute featurette in which Gunn, Robbie and various other crew members take you through the colorful, violent journey that is Harley’s escape and how everyone came together to make this a reality. It is fun hearing from Robbie about which stunts she was able to do on her own, along with seeing footage of Gunn planning out the sequence during pre-production. 
    • The Fall Of Jotunheim: A six-minute look at the epic siege at the end of the film and the complex stunt work that went along with it. Turns out, working with real water can make things complicated. 
  • Starro – It’s A Freakin’ Kaiju!: A six-minute look at the ambitious monster we face at the end of the narrative and how they brought it to life believably for the audience and the actors on the set. 
  • War Movie Retro Trailer: A hilarious three-and-a-half minute trailer that gives a unique traditional “war movie” spin on the material. 
  • Horror Movie Retro Trailer: This time out is a minute-and-a-half parody trailer which uses the Starro material to keep things unsettling. 
  • Buddy-Cop Retro Trailer: Finally there is a minute-and-a-half trailer that positions Peacemaker and Deadshot as the perfect buddy cop duo. 

 

Final Thoughts

The Suicide Squad is a distillation of all of James Gunn’s outlandish ideas into one film, and the results could not be more fun. As a director, he really understands what makes all of these characters work on the big screen, which allows you to actually care about what happens to them. There is the expected rude, hilarious humor and big action set pieces, but this film delivers more heart than a lot of the biggest blockbusters. Warner Bros. Home Entertainment has released a 4K UHD Blu-Ray featuring a stellar A/V presentation and a wide array of entertaining special features. Now that we have this lovely home entertainment release, let’s get to work on that sequel. Highly Recommended 

The Suicide Squad will be available to purchase on 4K UHD Blu-Ray, Blu-Ray and DVD on October 26, 2021. The film is currently available to own on Digital. 

Note: Images presented in this review are not reflective of the image quality of the 4K UHD Blu-Ray.

Disclaimer: Warner Bros. Home Entertainment has supplied a copy of this disc free of charge for review purposes. All opinions in this review are the honest reactions of the author.