DC Universe Animated Original Movies (Part 31): Suicide Squad: Hell To Pay

Hello, my friends.  Though the road we’ve traveled on so far has been bloody long, it’s a trek that I’m still willing to take.  As such, I welcome you all back to another entry of my signature review series known as…

DC Universe A.O.M.

We’re back in the New 52 Animated Universe and it’s time for us to follow the venture of a super-skilled group of individuals.  No, I’m not talking about the world’s greatest superheroes or even our familiar super-powered youths.  In fact, we’re getting down and dirty as we go outside the law with a life-or-death quest told within a tale known as…

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Released for Digital Download on March 27, 2018 before coming out for DVD & Blu-Ray on April 10, this marks the 10th entry in this specifically shared universe, the fourth R-Rated entry of the overall series and the first R-Rated Suicide Squad film.  What twists and turns will this iteration of Task Force X face?  Let’s gear up and find out.

We open within the Adriatic Sea as a high-tech craft makes its way through the water.  With it being driven by David Hyde a.k.a. Black Manta (having survived his defeat in “Justice League: Throne Of Atlantis” and voiced by Dave Fennoy), he tells Werner Zytle a.k.a. Count Vertigo (voiced by Jim Pirri) that they’re currently three kilometers (less than two miles) off the coast.  Afterwards, Vertigo heads back to join his teammates, consisting of Punch (voiced by Trevor Devall), his fellow lover-in-crime Jewelee (voiced by The Zeta Project’s Rosalie Rowan herself, Julie Nathanson) and Floyd Lawton a.k.a. Deadshot (voiced by Christian Slater).  Not too long afterwards, they’re contacted by their head honcho: Amanda Waller (voiced by Vanessa Williams).  She tells them that they must infiltrate a vital underboss in Black Mask’s gang named Tobias Whale (also voiced by Dave Fennoy), since he has a flash drive that contains “payoffs to dictators, senators playing footsies in restrooms, the usual”. More importantly, it also has leaked information that would expose her Task Force X operations.  Afterwards, she tells them that she’ll be on radio silence until their mission is complete.

Later, Black Manta’s craft emerges from the water and proceeds to hover over Whale’s train as he allows the Suicide Squad to board on top before taking his leave.  From there, they shoot a few unsuspecting guards as they make their way inside.

Upon approaching a dual-level car, Vertigo silently orders Punch to circle around to the other side.  As such, he uses his air shoes to run along the side while the rest of his team heads in.  After accompanying Deadshot to the top, Werner uses his Vertigo Effect to disorient the guards so that he and Floyd can easily kill them.  Afterwards, he checks the computer console to discover where the flash drive is currently located.

Down below, Jewelee casually walks up to the guards and proceeds to slice them apart with her energy gem.  She takes out a pair before it goes on the fritz and allows the opposing thugs to retaliate with gunfire, thus forcing her to take cover.  Just then, a sting string flies in and strikes one of the goons as Punch controls him into shooting his own men before Jewelee recovers to finish the job.

As the Suicide Squad regroups, they’re suddenly approached by more thugs from behind as they open fire and cause our delinquents to flee for their lives.  The shootout makes its way to the data storage car before Jewelee manages to get her energy gem working again and proceeds to slice the cart in half with the goons on the detached side.

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With Tobias Whale enjoying a dance session from a stripper in his party car, his enjoyment gets interrupted when one of his men informs him of their current situation as he heads out to prepare.

The Suicide Squad ultimately reaches the party car as they slaughter the remaining goons.  While Punch and Jewelee head upstairs to take care of any remaining thug, Count Vertigo and Deadshot stay down below to search for any surviving felon.  However, Tobias managed to hide as he gets the drop on them and beats them up before pinning Floyd down in order to execute him.  Fortunately, Werner uses his Vertigo Effect to disorient the beefy boss long enough for Punch to arrive with a timely assist from his sting string.  As such, he makes Tobias take himself out with an offscreen headshot.

After Count Vertigo acquires the flash drive, he unexpectedly turns on the team as he strikes Floyd with his Vertigo Effect.  Punch starts to question about this abrupt heal-turn when he’s suddenly blasted through the chest.  It turns out that Jewelee was also in on Vertigo’s side-plan since they secretly became a couple while in prison.  After planning Deadshot’s death via train mutilation, Werner tells Floyd that he’ll make a copy of everything that’s on the flash drive and give the original back to Waller before selling the incriminating evidence upon their release via parole.

Unfortunately for them, Deadshot tells them that “she knows”.  It turns out that Amanda listened in via Lawton’s comlink, since she suspected one of her teammates to be a hidden traitor.  Now that she’s in on the true identity, she activates the nanotech bomb within Count Vertigo’s neck and causes the loyal-less criminal’s head to blow up.  She then proceeds to activate Jewelee’s bomb as the felon tearfully tells Lawton that this was Vertigo’s plan all along and that she doesn’t want to die the same way.  As such, Deadshot fires a single shot and gives her a mercy kill.  When Amanda smirks and asks if he’s getting soft, the scene ends with Floyd stating that he’s only “saving on the dry cleaning”.

Following the title card, we shift over to an abandoned medical hall in Gotham City.  An operation is about to be performed by Lazlo Valentin a.k.a. Professor Pyg (voiced by James Urbaniak) and his patient is Harvey Dent a.k.a. Two-Face (voiced by the Ultimate Avengers’ Thor himself, Dave Boat).  The procedure will see Pyg work on his face so that his malevolent side can have full control, but Harvey’s benevolent side is too terrified and unwilling to comply.

Just as Pyg is about to begin the illegal operation by lobotomizing Dent’s innocent side with a power drill, he and his mutated assistants are suddenly attacked by a pair of women.  Knockout (voiced by Cissy Jones) takes care of the nurses before knocking out Two-Face with a single punch to his face.  Meanwhile, Pyg is held at blade point by Scandal Savage (voiced by Dania Ramirez a.k.a. Callisto of “X-Men: The Last Stand”) as she tells him that his services are immediately needed for a patient of theirs.  As such, he agrees to help.

We then cut to the Belle Reve Correctional Institute as Waller goes through a CAT Scan in the facility’s prison infirmary.  Following her check-up, she’s given grave news as it’s revealed that she has a terminal illness.

Elsewhere on the compound, Floyd is in his cell when mail call rolls around.  To his dismay, a letter that he sent out to his daughter Zoe ultimately came back to him.  As it turns out, this isn’t the first time that one of his letters to his only kin was eventually denied.

Just then, a small paper boomerang flies in and smacks Lawton as it turns out to be his nearby cellmate George Harkness a.k.a. Captain Boomerang (voiced by TV’s Spartacus himself, Liam McIntyre).  As he continues his taunting on his parental failings, Floyd takes a rubber band holding some of his letters, removes a button from his prison outfit and fires it in a way for it to bounce around before smacking George in his eye.

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Just then, Waller comes in to break up their mini-scuffle.  With fellow prisoner Dr. Harleen Quinzel a.k.a. Harley Quinn (voiced by Tara Strong) alongside her, she lets both Lawton and Harkness out for an upcoming mission.

As they venture down the hall, Amanda lets them know who’ll be joining them on their deadly task.  First up, there’s Crystal Frost a.k.a. Killer Frost (voiced by Man Hands herself, Kristin Bauer van Straten) who gained ice powers while she was under the thumb of abusive parents.  Needless to say, she got her vengeance by killing them.  Next up, there’s Sameer Park a.k.a. Copperhead (voiced by Deucalion himself, Gideon Emery), a meta contortionist who’s undergone an “extreme body modification” in the past.  He possesses a biotech tail and can spit acid venom.  Finally, there’s Ben Turner a.k.a. Bronze Tiger (voiced by Det. Nate Lahey himself, Billy Brown).  He’s a skilled martial artist who was a former C.I.A. agent before becoming a vigilante and he lives by a strict “no-kill” policy towards innocent people.

Following a quick scene where our six inmates get a nanotech bomb injected into their necks…

…we then cut to Waller’s office where she lets her team know about their upcoming mission, which involves them going after a specific card.  It was previously held by a man named Steel Maxim (voiced by Greg Gunberg) who has a lower back tattoo in the shape of a Egyptian Ankh.  For the first part of their mission, she wants them to go after him in order to get the location of a mysterious card.  From there, she appoints Deadshot as the team leader.

From there, we cut to the prison’s parking garage where Waller presents her team with their means of transportation and rest: a Winnebago.  As such, they drive off and begin their trek.

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One night later back in New Orleans, a Belle Reve assistant (the same guy who injected the nanotech bombs into our delinquent team) visits a shady basement containing a different group of villains, which consists of Siobhan Smythe a.k.a. Silver Banshee (also voiced by Julie Nathanson), Blockbuster (also voiced by Dave Fennoy) and most surprising of all: Eobard Thawne a.k.a. Professor Zoom a.k.a. Reverse-Flash (voiced by C. Thomas Howell).  He tells them that Waller’s illness only gives her six months to live as he gives them everything she has on this specific card.  As he gets paid for providing them with the necessary information, Eobard asks him where she sent Task Force X.  He tells them that the group is en route to Branson in order to find their target.

We then cut to Branson, Missouri with our felons making their arrival.  While Bronze Tiger, Copperhead and Captain Boomerang stay behind for surveillance purposes, Deadshot, Harley Quinn and Killer Frost head inside the strip club to find their target.  Once inside, Floyd tells the ladies to spread out and search.  Meanwhile, the remainder of Task Force X has hacked into the club’s security cameras to keep watch.  Copperhead tries to leave on the grounds that he’s bored, but Bronze Tiger reminds him that they have a job to do.  When Sameer refuses to comply, Ben holds him up to the wall and threatens to damage his jaw with his tiger claws.  They ultimately calm themselves down as Turner tells Park to stay focused on their mission.

Back inside, Floyd, Harley and Crystal are unable to find Steel Maxim as Deadshot gives the order to head out.  Just then, a new strip act begins as a sarcophagus rises onto the stage with “The Pharaoh” emerging to give a sultry dance to the women in the audience.  Our group then notices the familiar ankh on his lower back as they realize that they’ve found their target.

Just then, Steel is shocked to see Silver Banshee within the crowd.  Having seemingly known her in the past, he tries to run away.  However, he doesn’t get backstage as Blockbuster intervenes and tries to capture him while the rest of the women in the crowd believe that this is part of the show.  As such, the Suicide Squad springs into as Deadshot fires his wrist gun towards the behemoth as the patrons flee towards the exit with Harley and Crystal caught up within the surge of terrified civilians.

While Blockbuster chases after Maxim, Floyd gets attacked by Silver Banshee’s piercing supersonic scream.  Lawton manages to take her out by striking a nearby set of stage lights before re-engaging the massive brute.  He manages to score a precise hit on Blockbuster’s right eye and tries to help Steel escape, but Deadshot is immediately captured by the towering thug and gets thrown towards the bar, slamming off of Maxim and unintentionally disorients him out in the process.

Fortunately, the rest of the Suicide Squad arrives as Bronze Tiger engages Blockbuster.  Maxim tries to run away, but Silver Banshee knocks him out with her scream.  Just then, Captain Boomerang manages to hit her in the throat with a boomerang before Copperhead comes in to wrap her up with his tail.

Meanwhile, Deadshot, Captain Boomerang and Bronze Tiger manage to take out Blockbuster.  Just as they’re about to acquire their target subject however, Reverse-Flash arrives and easily overwhelms them with his super-speed strikes before relieving Copperhead’s grasp of Silver Banshee.  He then tells Blockbuster to go get Maxim, but Harley drives in and rams the Winnebago into the behemoth, knocking him into Thawne in the process.

Our group manages to acquire Maxim as they hop into their mobile home and try to drive off.  However, Blockbuster recovers and picks the vehicle up by its back bumper.  Fortunately, Captain Boomerang throws a boomerang that strikes the behemoth in his crotch and allows his team to escape.

However, the Suicide Squad isn’t out of the woods yet as Reverse-Flash runs after them.  As Deadshot tries to give his team cover fire, he notices that something’s off about the opposing speedster after he didn’t turn as sharply, especially since Eobard should have already caught up and killed them by this point.  Instead, Floyd manages to force Thawne around with his gunfire in order for Killer Frost to freeze a piece of the road.  This causes Zoom to slip, slam into a pair of parked cars and fall onto the ground as our group finally manages to get away.

Later, our delinquents are deep within the woods as they set up a campfire in time for Maxim to regain consciousness.  They ask him why Zoom and especially Silver Banshee are out to get him, to which Steel reveals that he used to cross paths with Siobhan in the past since he used to be the superhero Dr. Fate.  He explains that he was nearing the end of a 10K run when he was suddenly approached by a mystical being named Nabu.  From there, the Helmet of Fate gets placed onto him as he’s chosen to become Dr. Fate.

During a moment when he confronts Silver Banshee while she was robbing a bank, he says that they would engage each other in numerous superpowered fights before ultimately becoming intimate lovers.  As his story continues, Maxim explains that Nabu allowed him to stay in the Tower of Fate and guard his otherworldly objects.  He then mentions a particular item in said collection: a literal “Get Out Of Hell Free” card.  He tells the Suicide Squad that if you have it on you when you die, you automatically go to heaven.  However, it can only be used once.  Unfortunately for Steel, it also ruined him in a big way.

He was only two months into his superheroic tenure when he ventured out to a bar and came across Knockout as he began to flirt with her.  Eventually, he took her back to the Tower of Fate and even allowed her partner Scandal Savage under his own mindset that he was going to have a little two-for-one action.  However, he catches Scandal attempting to steal the mystical card as he makes a dash for the Helmet of Fate.  Savage tries to stop him, but he manages to send an otherworldly creature out to subdue her.  Just as he’s about to put the helmet on, Knockout stops him and throws him into the wall as the two ladies escape with the card.  By the time he regained consciousness, it was daylight and Nabu was furious with what happened.  As such, he strips Steel of his Dr. Fate title and tosses him out of the Tower of Fate before the structure disappears.  Eventually, he legally changed his named and laid low as a male stripper.

Afterwards, Deadshot steps aside from the group to talk to Waller.  It turns out that she was listening in and says that Maxim told the truth.  As Floyd exclaims that this kind of thievery isn’t the kind of thing that Scandal and Knockout usually do, Amanda says that it isn’t and it’s most likely in service to Savage’s own father whom the Justice League database describes as “a 50,000-year-old caveman who’s affected by radiation from a meteorite”.  It also turns out that he’s been in various battles under the guises of historical conquerors: Alexander The Great, Julius Caesar and Genghis Khan.  She wants her task force to go get the card and bring it back to her since she’s slowly approaching death’s door.  She then tells Floyd that if they successfully pull this off, she’ll take 10 years off of their sentences.  Since that’s what Lawton currently has, he would become a free man.  Afterwards, Deadshot returns to tell his team that they’re heading out at once.  After he asks Waller what they should do with Maxim, the scene ends the next day with our team dropping him off in the middle of nowhere.

As they venture northward, they talk about Waller’s desire for the card and on Heaven & Hell itself.  Captain Boomerang exclaims that Amanda deserves to go to Hell for lording her power over her recruited convicts before the rest of the team gives their thoughts on the afterlife.  Ultimately, Bronze Tiger exclaims that he believes in both forms of hereafter and that nary a morning goes by whether or not he wonders if he’s heading for judgment day, the moment where he’ll either be reunited with his beloved lady in bright & comforting light or burn forever with the criminals he’s killed.

We then have a quick scene where Steel is being arrested by a state trooper for public indecency.  Just then, a van pulls up as it’s revealed to be Reverse-Flash and his cronies as they look to take care of the official in order to (presumably) ask Maxim where our delinquents have gone.

As Waller informs her team that Scandal & Knockout are at their apartment in Denver (which also has a hidden safe), we cut to said open-air rooftop place at night.  With Professor Pyg captured, Scandal learns that her father is on en route to meet up.  As such, she tells Knockout (who’s relaxing in a floor tub) to get ready as the two lovers share a kiss.

Meanwhile on ground level, the Suicide Squad make their way in after Killer Frost takes care of the lone nightguard on duty.  Later, Knockout rejoins her lover wearing her battle outfit from her time on Apokolips prior to her escape as Copperhead watches from inside the air vents to stealthily inform the team.

From there, the rest of the squad emerges from the penthouse elevator and proceed to engage the fierce ladies.  They fight for a while before Bronze Tiger and Copperhead manage to defeat Scandal while Deadshot fires a shot that Knockout deflects with her shield, but forces her back into the pool.

With the situation under control, Killer Frost and Harley Quinn manage to break open the safe with Bronze Tiger retrieving the card as our delinquents prepare to take their leave.

Just then, an aircraft flies in to let a group of armored guards out as they proceed to open fire.  Within the distraction, Knockout manages to deck Bronze Tiger and cause him to lose possession of the card.  Further attempts to reclaim it are dashed due to the opposing gunfire as they’re forced to fight back while Copperhead manages to leap back into the air ducts for safety.

During the commotion, Bronze Tiger has unknowingly gotten into one of the guards’ crosshairs.  Because he’s still in the middle of his fight against Knockout, she’s unintentionally blocking the sentry’s aim.  When his master tells him “the woman is expendable”, he and the rest of his men open fire as Knockout gets hit by a barrage of bullets and falls over in a bloodied mess.  Scandal ultimately sees what happened to her girlfriend as she stabs the guards in anger.

The firefight ceases when Deadshot manages to shoot the remaining troops while reacquiring the card, but more guards come in as Vandal Savage (also voiced by Jim Pirri) emerges to view the standstill.  As Floyd tells his teammates to get behind him, he holds the card up as his means of leverage.  Vandal tells his daughter to get Professor Pyg onto his aircraft, but Scandal doesn’t want to leave her wounded girlfriend behind.  With no remorse, he proceeds to fire a single shot at Knockout in order for her to comply with his demand.

Just as the elevator arrives, our felons slowly make their way inside as Vandal once again demands for the card.  As the doors close, Floyd tosses it towards him and thus give Savage’s team their chance to open fire.  The elevator starts to head down, but the controls get hit and causes the lift to get stuck with our team trapped amongst an increasing bullet barrage.

Fortunately, Copperhead manages to reach the elevator shaft as he spits acid onto the cables and allow his teammates to narrowly avoid getting blasted by a rocket launcher.  Killer Frost then uses her power to form enough ice on the sides in order to ease their decent as they reach ground level and head out.

As Vandal heads out and leaves her daughter besides her badly-wounded lover, Thawne and his team arrive too late to intervene.  Because Savage is an elusive figure, Zoom takes out a tracking device and runs after the aircraft.  Despite his surprisingly weakened condition, he manages to run up the side of a building and gain enough upward momentum to place the tracker onto Vandal’s craft before roughly landing on the roof.  Afterwards, he notices that he’s bleeding from underneath his mask as Savage’s jet flies off.

Back at the Winnebago, Waller proceeds to chastise her team for not acquiring the card despite being caught offguard.  Deadshot says that Vandal’s aircraft should be big enough for the U.S. Government satiellites to track, but she shoots that down since Savage’s jet contains a cloaking device.  Bronze Tiger says that the plane has to have left some sort of trail behind, be it a heat signature or even cloud disruption.  Waller decides to go with his idea and warns them that her officials better find something or else.  After cutting transmission, Deadshot heads out to “get some air” and recklessly leaves Harley in charge of the group.

We then cut to Lacoma, Utah (Side Note: I’m assuming it’s a fictional city at the most northern part of the state since I couldn’t find anything about it outside of this film and given the distance from Denver) where Floyd had secretly hitched a ride to the Lacoma Academy since his daughter Zoe is currently attending classes there.  He sneaks into his daughter’s dorm room only to find her roommate Darma (voiced by Natalie Lander) as he asks why Zoe isn’t here.  She says that Zoe “stays away a lot” and that she usually hangs out at a drug house over on the south side of King Street.  Lawton then learns that even though her own daughter likes to “live dangerously” (mainly smoking weed), she also partially despises him.  Afterwards, Deadshot pulls a “Batman Exit” and quietly leaves.

Later, he arrives at the rundown drug house and starts to search for his daughter.  After noticing a girl in silouette upstairs, he chases after her thinking that it’s Zoe.  By the time he reaches the top floor, she’s climbing out of the window as he goes after her.  Suddenly, he’s approached by a pair of druggies who’re looking to institgate some trouble.  Floyd easily takes them down but is then confronted by Bronze Tiger who berates him for shutting off his comm line and ditching the team for his kid.

As Deadshot lashes out, Ben pins him to the wall and reminds him that he’s not the lone teammate “who’s lost someone”.  After a brief mention that Lawton once worked with the League of Assassins in the past, Turner gives his backstory where he went undercover to infiltrate said group for the CIA.  Unfortunately, the enemy group found out about him and ultimately slayed his fiancee which was done by the eventual Deathstroke himself, Slade Wilson.  He hunted down and slayed as many L.O.A. members as he could, but couldn’t fulfill his personal mission.  After completing his story, he says that he did everything he could to protect his lady while Floyd “threw his daughter away”.

This enrages Deadshot as a scuffle breaks out between the two teammates, but with Ben scoring most of the hits.  The fight makes its way out to a scaffolding, but it ultimately gives way under their weight as they fall onto the ground below.  Before they can resume their brawl, their teammates catch up as Harley tells Lawton to talk to Waller since Quinn let slip that she was left in charge of the group.  Just then, Deadshot notices the girl from before and discovers that she’s not Zoe (yet weirdly looks exactly like Rebecca Langstrom from “Son of Batman”, just with muted colors) as he reluctantly heads inside.

Amanda tells him that he’s fortunate to not have his nanobomb activated as a result of his personal sidequest.  However, he’s now been stripped of his team leader status as she places Bronze Tiger in charge before signing out.  As such, the scene ends with Ben ordering him to drive.

We then cut to the next day as our group takes a break from their northbound travels and stop at Stickeez Restuarant for some nourishment.  Everybody but Deadshot heads inside while Killer Frost heads towards the restroom.  Just then, Floyd gets a surprise call from Scandal Savage.  It turns out that Knockout wasn’t killed, but is currently in critical condition.  Willing to turn on her father for what he did, she gives Lawton some specific coordinates (32.1° North, -112° East) before immediately hanging up.

Meanwhile, Crystal is washing her face when she’s suddenly attacked by Silver Banshee who was hiding in a stall.  She manages to freeze Siobhan inside before using her powers through the pipes in order to finish her off.  However, Silver Banshee uses her supersonic cry to free herself and then blast Frost.  Crystal gets forced back into the wall before hitting her head on the sink, causing her to get knocked out and allow Blockbuster to come in and pick her unconscious body up.

Afterwards, Deadshot sees the two fiends carry Killer Frost back to their van and drive off.  Floyd informs Bronze Tiger of what just happened before he drives off after them.  A chase ensues before Silver Banshee pops up and uses her supersonic cry, blasting the Winnebago as it rolls over onto the desert landscape yet lands rightside up as our felons escape.  Not only that, but his team’s vehicle is complete broken.  Fortunately, Lawton’s teammates were able to follow fairly close behind having stolen a missionary school bus as they pick him up and continue on their way.

Later, Crystal wakes up inside of a small house as she’s approached by Thawne and his cohorts.  He tells her that he means no harm and is even impressed with her powers.  So much so that he asks her a favor: help him get the supernatural card.  Frost reminds him that she has a tracking device on her and that their location will get picked up by Waller and her personal task force, but Zoom offers to help her be rid of it if she helps him since he just realized how Professor Pyg is relevant to these current events.  With Crystal convinced, Reverse-Flash then proceeds to vibrate his hand at a fast enough rate to go through her neck and safely dislodge her nanotech bomb (while encoring a minor cramp afterwards).

Later, the Suicide Squad catches up to the house as Waller informs them that Killer Frost is currently in the building.  Her team initially find no trace of activity, so she gives them 30 seconds to find Crystal or else she’s detonating her nanotech bomb.  As such, they split up with Copperhead taking the underside.  Unfortunately, they can’t find their teammate in time so Waller proceeds to wipe Frost out.  As he’s searching, Sameer hears some beeping as he discovers that Crystal’s nanotech bomb has been frozen onto a larger bomb and it’s about to blow up.  Our delinquents manage to escape before the house goes up in flames, but Bronze Tiger was unable to get completely out in time and ends up wounded.

We then cut to the next day as our delinquents continue their trek while an injured Ben is resting up.  Waller informs Deadshot about a canyon shortcut towards the supplied coordinates and that it’ll take a while for her to join them there.  Lawton asks her if there’s a hospital on the way, but Amanda says that Ben’s a soldier and that “dying’s an occupational hazard” as she reminds him to stay focused.  Afterwards, Captain Boomerang expresses his appreciation towards Bronze Tiger for his nobleness while he and the rest of his teammates are essentially “a bunch of puppets just trying to get through the show with our strings attached”.

Night falls as we cut to Vandal’s base of operations with the Suicide Squad eliminating the guards while making their way onto the compound.  They reach the front door before it opens and allows them to go in as they soon discover Professor Pyg sitting in a chair.  Unfortunately for him, he’s already been executed by a headshot as another set of doors open up to let our felons venture further.

They enter the main chamber as Vandal exclaims that he found out about Scandal turning on him.  Deadshot demands that he hands over the card, but Savage shows why that’s not possible.  It turns out he had Professor Pyg surgically implant the card in his chest so that any attempt to remove it would kill Vandal and give him a free pass to heaven.  Captain Boomerang wonders how this is even possible due to the fiend’s abnormally long lifespan.  Savage explains that while he does have immortality, he’s still vulnerable and he’s come closer to death over the past decade alone due to the rise of metahumans.  Just then, he activates a neurosynaptic discharge panel beneath our felons as he takes out a handgun and prepares to execute Floyd.

Just then, Silver Banshee flies in with her supersonic cry to disorient Vandal and bring him to his knees.  However, our felons are suddenly frozen in place by a heel-turned Killer Frost as Reverse-Flash and Blockbuster come in to set their plan in motion.

Immediately afterwards, Floyd is informed by Waller that she’s on her way to the compound and will rendezvous with them at 2 am.  From there, Crystal proceeds to freeze Savage just enough for his body temperature to come down to a workable level.  Lawton then asks Zoom why he needs help from others now when he has super-speed.  In response, Thawne pulls off his mask to reveal a familiar bullet hole in his head. From there, he explains how he got in this situation to begin with.

During the climax to “Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox”, he was shot in the head by the Thomas Wayne version of Batman.  However, he didn’t die right there.  Instead, he fiercely vibrated his inner molecules to save as much of his brain as he could while the bullet tore right through it.  From that tiny split-second before his death, he accessed the Speed Force to keep his own life going from that moment onwards.

Afterwards, Crystal has managed to slow Savage’s body enough for Eobard to vibrate his hand into the fiend’s body.  After a tense moment, he’s able to successfully pull the card out.  Vandal struggles to try and get it back, but the surgery and the stress are too much as he finally dies.

Shortly afterwards, Killer Frost begins to turn on him as she successfully chills both Silver Banshee and Blockbuster to death before encasing Zoom in ice.  She then tells her former teammates that she plans on selling the card to the highest bidder as Waller overhears this and angrily flips out.

Fortunately, Copperhead used his bionic tail to free himself and engage his former teammate.  They proceed to fight each other as she loses the card in the process before Sameer is able to pin her down.  However, Crystal begins to encase him in ice as Deadshot informs Waller that Copperhead is about to completely falter.  As such, she activates his nanotech bomb which not only takes him out but Killer Frost as well.

Afterwards, Deadshot manages to free himself from his icy prison before helping out Captain Boomerang and Harley Quinn.  Just as he retrieves the card, George betrays him by hitting him on the head with a boomerang and taking the artifact for himself.  Harley warns him that Waller is capable of blowing him up, but he counters by saying that he’ll be safe as long he possesses the card.

Just as he’s about to reach the front door, he’s suddenly confronted by Bronze Tiger.  George tries to lie his way to freedom, but Ben doesn’t buy his con for a moment.  Just as they’re about to fight each other, Reverse-Flash frees himself and knocks Turner out of the way before beating the snot out of Harkness in order to reclaim the card.  Back in the main chamber, Deadshot tells Harley to stay behind.

After he’s done roughing up Captain Boomerang, Thawne confronts Bronze Tiger who managed to acquire the card.  Ben manages to scratch Zoom’s chest, but the opposing speedster takes a tiny knife from the wall and proceeds to swiftly perform Lingchi (Death By A Thousand Cuts) on Turner as the numerous strikes start to take their toll before Zoom delivers the final strike by slicing Ben’s neck.

After Zoom reacquires the card, Deadshot approaches him with his gauntlets armed.  However, Eobard warns him that he’s still dangerous and requests to be killed in order for to use the artifact.  Unfortunately for him, a massive monkey wrench gets thrown into his scheme as Bronze Tiger uses his remaining strength to toss the small knife towards Thawne as it manages to slice off two of  his fingers.  With him no longer possessing the card, he proceeds to get blasted by Floyd’s bullet barrage and fall over.  Due to the lethal strain, this causes him to keel over in the doomed Flashpoint timeline and ultimately get erased from existence as he fades away.

With Waller making her arrival, Deadshot tells Bronze Tiger that despite their victory, he can’t be healed.  Lawton decides to give Turner the card since they both agree that Amanda is far too cruel to be given salvation.  After telling Floyd the name of his fiancee (Miyoshi), Bronze Tiger’s injuries takes its toll as he loses his life.  Shortly afterwards, he’s basked in a glowing light as the card takes effect and proceeds to automatically send his soul to heaven.

Shortly afterwards, Waller finally arrives and orders him to hand over the card.  He manages to do so as Harley rejoins him and says that Reverse-Flash has disappeared.  With the mission complete, he proceeds to head out.

And so, the film ends in Lacoma, Utah where Zoe is walking with her roommate when they suddenly see her father.  Darma takes her leave in order for the both of them to be reunited as father and daughter.

Reverse-Flash-I Have Arrived!.png

In terms of characters with the most amount of development, there’s a set group that I wish to focus on.  First up, we have our primary villain: Reverse-Flash.  After being an omnipresent force in Flashpoint Paradox for Barry Allen to overcome, he’s been downgraded to a force that can still be reckoned with but needs help to accomplish his task and other superpowered beings are able to give him a fight.  Just like Amanda Waller and Vandal Savage, he’s in dire need of the supernatural card in order to avoid eternal purgatory for his devious acts.  For Zoom, he’s able to run on a layer of borrowed time that no human could possibly have given his abilities.  Because he’s not able to be at full strength, he’s forced to rely on his cunning strategist mind and convincing act as well as the assistance of others.  He can be an example of the extreme side of humanity’s desperation in trying to keep their failing ways going, even going further than Vandal Savage who still has his immortality.  As mentioned in my recap, the film does give a few well-placed clues that informs the viewer of something being off for Eobard.  C. Thomas Howell was already solid as a looming presence back during this universe’s first film, but he still brings a strong presence with more on his plate here.  With his character getting more things to do, he’s able to bring a nice combination of determination and mile confidence.  Overall, he gives a rocksteady performance just like last time.

Bronze Tiger-Don't Get In My Way!.png

Next up,  we have our vigilante assassin: Bronze Tiger.  Out of everyone on the team, he’s the closest to being a noble hero.  However, he crossed a famous line that our familiar Batman refuses when he tried to get vengeance on the League of Assassins after Slade murdered his fiancee.  He’s still a loyal soldier with hand-to-hand combat skills that could give any brawling hero a solid fight and follows a personal code which could very well be his means of keeping his humanity.  His presence and attitude alone would make him suitable for running his own team since he doesn’t put up with disobedience of any kind, while also serving as the shining example of redemption due to his backstory.  If it wasn’t for his murderous streak, then maybe he could have served as this universe’s version of Rick Flagg except with martial arts skills.  Billy Brown’s performance is deep-sounding yet delivers an impressive range that compliments his character’s arc and helps to provide a proper balance to our cast of characters as he delivers the right amount of energy to what his scenes requires.

Deadshot-Take Aim & Fire!.png

Finally, let’s dive into our trusty sharpshooter himself: Deadshot.  Just like “Batman: Assault On Arkham” and the live-action Suicide Squad film, Floyd Lawton gets to be front-and-center in Waller’s assembled gang.  While Neal McDonough’s version was more of the self-serious and mainly-focused leader that Bronze Tiger is here and Will Smith’s version was more of a “gangsta” feel who used to be an assassin-for-hire and even has his own personal code (also like Bronze Tiger), this version is a stoic and hardened figure who wishes to be a part of his daughter’s life and gets his golden opportunity when he learns that his remaining jail sentence (which must be no more than 10 years) will get purged if he completes his mission.  He has a conflicting work relationship with Waller since he mainly follows her orders, expect when he takes a lengthy side-trip to see Zoe while on his mission and yet his only punishment is losing his field general status to Bronze Tiger.  He must have built a somewhat stable rapport with Amanda during his prison time since I would assume that anyone else would have gotten their heads blown up if they to pull the same stunt that he did.  Though he does have a rocky partnership with Ben to start off, he does develop an understanding to his plight and cares for him when the fateful explosion and the final fight against Thawne ultimately does Turner in.  By the end, he takes the lesson he was given to heart and remains focused on the mission from there on out and ultimately gets rewarded with seeing his daughter again.  Christian Slater brings a gruff, tough-guy attitude towards his performance which helps in making Lawton feel somewhat down-to-Earth and very rough-&-tumble.  Overall, he turns in an enjoyably good presentation for our benefit.

Suicide Squad-The Gang's All Here!.png

As for the rest of the team, they each have their merits.  Killer Frost has the most to work with in terms of active character progression.  She’s mainly a team player throughout the majority of the mission with her dry & humorless attitude until her loyalties shift after getting kidnapped by Zoom’s cronies and he convinces her to join him in his cause after he frees her from Waller’s grip.  It would help if her willingness to sell the supernatural card on the black market came from some form of desire or motivation outside of “a girl’s gotta make money”, but it would be tricky since we’re dealing with a fairly long cast of characters.  Other than that piece of criticism, Kristin Bauer van Straten’s sarcastic tone helps out in her performance and serves as a fitting opposite to the only other lady of the group.  Speaking of which, I’ll tackle both Harley Quinn and Captain Boomerang at the same time since they’re the only ones beside Deadshot who survives the perilous trek.  They don’t have much in terms of a resemblance to an arc and it’s possible that they get more things to do in the sequel comic, but here’s what I got out of their individual onscreen time.  With Harley, her signature personality gets downplayed since there doesn’t seem to be much as far as the playful randomness is concerned.  Other than that, she longs to go to heaven upon her demise due to the years of putting up with abuse from the Joker and possibly has aspirations to be a team leader (maybe a nod to her current solo series where she actually formed her own “Gang of Harleys”).  Though not a definitive voice for the character, Tara Strong’s take is still solid enough to work with her.  As for Captain Boomerang, he’s a wise-cracking bloke throughout who respects the way that Bronze Tiger is contributing to the team yet also comes out as a weasel and tries to escape once he snatches the card for himself (even though he doesn’t get far).  As far as his character goes, Liam McIntyre holds things down and brings enough personality to our delinquent Aussie.  Finally, we have Copperhead.  His worth is mainly shown through stealth and agile combat while Gideon Emery delivers a slithery low-tone in his performance.  The voice fits well with the character and it serves this story to a suitable degree.  As far as Amanda Waller is concerned, Vanessa Williams brings a reasonable presence and command as a leader who’s slowly dying yet still carries the ruthless nature that the character has.  Despite the follow-up being in comic form and thus we don’t get to hear her during her attempt to save her soul, Williams’ performance is still suitable for what’s required of her.

Suicide Squad-United As One!

Overall, this is a bloody adult tale that’s still tasteful enough to deliver an effective and fun time.  The animation is solid, the action scenes are thrilling, the pacing moves at a nice clip and our characters handle a McGuffin Plot which doesn’t feel generic in the slightest.  There is a brief moment of nudity though it’s a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it moment involving Knockout while Eobard actually delivers a blood-gargled F-Bomb upon his demise, but this and “Justice League Dark” work in the same way that the Deadpool movies do for the X-Men film series in that they’re R-Rated films that can be tangentially connected with a series of films that’s mainly PG-13 without encroaching them too much so that those who aren’t old enough to watch feel shunned.  It’ll be interesting to see how this narrative continues in its comic book sequel, but it’s an enjoyable time as a singular piece so check it out since you’ll never feel like you’ve been dragged through Hell by the end.

Next Time: We’re staying in the New 52 Animated Universe, but giving an iconic ’90s tale another pass-over.  The Man of Steel is once again in a fight to the death, but he’ll get two films worth of space to work with.  The first half of the overall story will be explored as we delve into “The Death Of Superman”.

Suicide Squad (created by Robert Kanigher, Ross Andru & John Ostrander) and all related characters are owned by DC Comics.

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