The Suicide Squad is a dark, humorous, and superior sequel to the last one.

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James Gunn has DC firing again with an anarchic reboot for the supervillian superteam.

The schools have broken up on schedule, the weather has taken a turn for the worse and superheroes, superstars and talking animals are battling it out at the multiplexes.

After 18 months of madness, it seems like a return to some semblance of normality. Although there isn’t a lot normal, or for that matter kid-friendly, about the new DC movie.

Pitched somewhere between a reboot and a sequel, this is a violent, foul-mouthed and gleefully bonkers attempt to the wrongs of David Ayer’s Suicide Squad.

While that 2016 film, a bland comic book Dirty Dozen, felt like it was made by committee (I suspect the plastic toy person had a prominent seat), The Suicide Squad (the definite article, it seems, has become edgy) is the product of a very singular mind.

The individual in question is writer-director James Gunn, the man behind Marvel’s surprise 2014 hit Guardians Of The Galaxy.

After he was fired from the second sequel over old off-brand tweets, Gunn was a risky signing for DC’s beleagured franchise.

But you can see it pay off in a gloriously off-kilter first act. As an menagerie of minor DC villains are sprung from prison to raid a South American island, it’s like watching the po-faced DC Universe tear itself apart.

After a bravura twist, Gunn’s leads emerge from a very crowded pack – Bloodsport (Idris Elba), Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie), Ratcatcher 2 (Daniela Melchior), Peacemaker (John Cena), Polka-Dot Man (David Dastmalchian), Colonel Rick Flag (Joel Kinnaman) and King Shark, a hungry CGI fish god amusingly voiced by Slyvester Stallone.

There are striking action scenes, a dastardly turn from Peter Capaldi and a refreshingly unpredictable plot.

“I cherish peace with all my heart,” says Cena’s patriotic superhero. “I don’t care how many men, women and children I need to kill to get it.”

I would have liked to have been funnier and the future of the DC Universe is looking deliciously dark.

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