Feature Length Films

Mr. Khan’s Review on The Suicide Squad (2021)

A review on American Superhero film, The Suicide Squad (2021). The film is considered a “soft reboot/ sequel” to the 2016 film Suicide Squad and is directed by James Gunn. The film includes a stacked cast of actors including Margot Robbie, Idris Elba, John Cena, Joel Kinnaman and Sylvester Stallone. The Suicide Squad is part of the DCEU and distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures.

+ Crew

  • Directed by James Gunn
  • Written by James Gunn
  • Cinematography by Henry Braham
  • Music by John Murphy
  • Edited by Fred Raskin and Christian Wagner
  • Production by DC Films, Atlas Entertainment and The Safran Company
  • Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures

+ Note

After the surprise success of James Gunn’s film for MCU Guardians Of The Galaxy in 2014, Warner Bros. and DCEU introduced their own band of misfits known as the Suicide Squad and David Ayer was set to direct the film. Suicide Squad (2016) was unfortunately met with mostly negative reviews from the critics and fans as the film failed to encapsulate the fun and excitement of what made GOTG such a fun experience to watch. Many sources indicate that it was due Warner Bros.’ constant meddling, reshoots and re-edits of the film that sabotaged David Ayer’s original vision of the film. In order to rectify their mistake, Warner Bros. decided to approach the man himself, James Gunn to handle the “soft reboot/ sequel” to Suicide Squad, giving him virtually full creative control on the project. The director (this time around) optied for a hard R rating on the film with full of violence, gore and dark humor. Considering James Gunn’s previous cult classics like Slither (2006) and Super (2010) , he seemed very familiar with the genre.

Some actors (who already had a fan following) retained their roles from the first film, including Margot Robbie as the maniacal Harley Quinn and Viola Davis as Amanda Waller. But it also introduced strange, disposable D-List Superheroes/villains from DC Comics like Polka-Dot Man, Peacemaker and King Shark. The film was released in cinemas on July 30, 2021 and has met with praise from the critics and fans alike.

+ Main Cast

  1. Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn
  2. Idris Elba as Robert DuBois / Bloodsport
  3. John Cena as Christopher Smith / Peacemaker
  4. Joel Kinnaman as Colonel Rick Flag
  5. Sylvester Stallone as the voice of Nanaue / King Shark
  6. Viola Davis as Amanda Waller
  7. David Dastmalchian as Abner Krill / Polka-Dot Man
  8. Daniela Melchior as Cleo Cazo / Ratcatcher 2
  9. Michael Rooker as Brian Durlin / Savant
  10. Jai Courtney as George “Digger” Harkness / Captain Boomerang
  11. Peter Capaldi as Gaius Grieves / The Thinker
  12. Alice Braga as Sol Soria
  13. Pete Davidson as Richard “Dick” Hertz / Blackguard

+ Plot

The American government needs a team to counter their foreign enemies. A team of super powered individuals who are instantly disposable and never to be mentioned again. Enter: The Suicide Squad! Lead by Amanda Waller and includes loveable characters like the psychopath Harley Quinn, the redeemable Bloodsport, the patriot Peacemaker and many other losers. Can the team band together and fight an adversary which threatens humanity’s very existence on planet Earth?

+ High Points

i – James Gunn knows how to make a fun premise. Judging by his filmography, he is very familiar with dark humor and cartoonishly absurd gore and violence in his films. Unlike the disaster that was Suicide Squad (2016), THE Suicide Squad (2021) is hilarious, quince inducing and exciting from the start to finish. The characters are likable, the action is fast paced, the pacing is never stagnated, The Suicide Squad knows its absurd premise and runs away with it. It’s an acquired taste (most certainly) and will not be everyone’s cup of tea but then again, it never needs to be.

ii – The main cast of characters are all fun to watch. Harley Quinn (this time around) is much better handled, her psychotic character is better explored as compared to being an “eye candy” for the fan boys to slobber over. Also new characters such as Bloodsport (Idris Elba) is a much better fit to the film as compared to Will Smith, John Cena is great as Peacemaker and minor characters like Daniela Melchior as Ratcatcher 2, David Dastmalchian as Polka-Dot Man and Sylvester Stallone as King Shark also tend to grow on you throughout the film’s runtime. What made Guardians Of The Galaxy a likeable bunch was due to their offbeat characterizations and even though The Suicide Squad is way more darker, it still manages to find a place in your heart to root for at the end.

iii – Although the film is not as funny as James Gunn’s previous works (I’ll get to that later in the Low Points section), The Suicide Squad is still a blast to watch. Not all jokes land but the ones that do land will have you laugh out loud. Most of the gags poke fun at how absurd the whole concept of being a “superhero/ villain” is and how utterly disposable some of them are! You have absurd powers like throwing deadly Polka Dots at someone or having detachable arms or being an anthropomorphic Shark or a Weasel or… the list just goes on. It’s obvious that James Gunn just loves the absurdity of the D-List characters in Superhero comics and just wants to have a laugh at their expense!

iv – The R rating works perfectly for the film. The Suicide Squad would’ve never been half as enjoyable if not for its foul language, dark humor and brain exploding, blood splattering hardcore violence. The first film really suffered for not having a R rating and felt muted from the themes that the film could’ve explored. Even though I am an advocate that not all films need to be R rated, some films definitely need it to explore their true potential. And films like Deadpool (2016), Logan (2017) and The Suicide Squad thrive in entertainment because of that.

v – Some scenes like Harley Quinn’s escape sequence and the invasion of the Rebel Camp are incredibly well shot and directed. James Gunn and Henry Braham did an outstanding job in delivering those scenes with flair and excitement without overstaying their welcome. The camerawork was controlled but never stagnating, the timing of the humor was great and the film can become instantly memorable because of them. While Phase 4 Marvel films are becoming more and more stale and generic, The Suicide Squad injects some life onto the superhero films and how creative they can be.

vi – Even though the film’s pacing is not a complete smooth sail from start to finish, the Third Act could possibly be one of the most memorable fight scenes in recent memory. I will not spoil what it is but let’s just say it fully embraced the absurdity of the world of Superheroes.

+ Low Points

i – Not everything is perfect about the film, namely the humor. While some jokes landed well, others did feel a bit tiresome. The film does at times push the supposed “nudging” to the audience a bit too far. The Suicide Squad is not as funny as his previous Guardians Of The Galaxy films where I felt we genuinely loved each and every character in the group. Whereas with The Suicide Squad, (due to the character’s disposable nature) you can’t really fall in love with them because they are essentially murderers. While The Suicide Squad is a fun film to watch, there is a lack in emotional investment that the audience could potentially feel for our protagonists as compared to GOTG.

ii – Peter Capaldi as Gaius Grieves / The Thinker was unfortunately not a villain you could wholeheartedly hate upon. His character and motivations were not sufficiently built upon for us to despise him. And because of that, the rooting for the Suicide Squad to succeed seems a bit timid. The film needed a strong antagonist for our team to fight against and no matter how deplorable our “heroes” are, the film needed an even bigger baddy to counter against. There are other “villains” that are introduced later in the film but by that time, it was a tad bit too late.

iii –  As I mentioned earlier, there is a bit too much “winking” at the audience as if to say “Can you believe how crazy this all is??”. Some jokes perhaps should have been left on the cutting room floor but I suppose that is the risk a work of Art has when the creator is in (almost) full control of his project.

+ Overall

The Suicide Squad is a blast to watch from start to finish. And even though it will not serve as everyone’s cup of tea, it’s entertaining to see some life and creativity injected into the superhero genre once again.

Rate : out of 5 stars

Feature Length Films

Mr. Khan’s Review on Zack Snyder’s Justice League (2021)

A review on Hollywood feature length film, Zack Snyder’s Justice League (2021). The film is distributed by HBO Max streaming service and is part of the continuing DC Extended Universe.

+ Crew

  • Directed by Zack Snyder
  • Cinematography by Fabian Wagner
  • Edited by David Brenner
  • Written by Chris Terrio
  • Music by Tom Holkenborg
  • Produced by Charles Roven and Deborah Snyder

+ Crew II (Production Houses)

  • Warner Bros. Pictures
  • DC Films
  • Atlas Entertainment
  • The Stone Quarry

+ Note

During the Production of Justice League (2017), a terrible family tragedy occurred and the director Zack Snyder had to leave the project. Whilst adding the finishing touches to the film, the executives at Warner Bros. decided to hire Joss Whedon (who had prior experience on directing the massive Marvel success The Avengers (2012)) as the replacement for Snyder. But during Post Production, the WB executives became skeptical as to how they would compete and market Synder’s dark vision of Superheroes against a massive conglomerate like Marvel Studios. This led the company to add numerous reshoots, cut down the runtime from 4 hours to 2, rewrite certain scenes, shoot completely new footage and of course, the infamous ‘Moustache-gate’. The film was finally released in 2017, to a critical and commercial disappointment. The film was not the Snyder vision that DCEU fans were accustomed to neither was it the fun, light hearted ‘marvelesque’ superhero film that the WB execs were going for. It was obvious at that point that the DC cinematic Universe was in trouble.

In the coming years, fans started speculating that in the vaults of Warner Bros., lies an uncut Zack Snyder’s version of Justice League. Pretty soon, hashtags like #ReleaseTheSnyderCut were trending on social media and a massive cult following began for the unreleased version. Due to its strong popularity and demand, Zack Snyder and Warner Bros. reached an agreement with the streaming platform HBO Max to exclusively release the Zack Snyder’s version Justice League, as it was originally intended. The project began taking shape in early 2020. The film was then reassembled from ground up, excluding all reshot scenes and dialogue, instead opting for what Snyder had intended the film to be. There were a couple of scenes reshot exclusively for the Snyder Cut but most importantly, Zack Snyder got to revisit and fulfill his vision of Justice League. The film was finally finished and released on March 18 2021, garnering praise from critics and fans alike.

+ Main Cast

  1. Ben Affleck as Bruce Wayne / Batman
  2. Henry Cavill as Kal-El / Clark Kent / Superman
  3. Amy Adams as Lois Lane
  4. Gal Gadot as Diana Prince / Wonder Woman
  5. Ray Fisher as Victor Stone / Cyborg
  6. Jason Momoa as Arthur Curry / Aquaman
  7. Ezra Miller as Barry Allen / The Flash
  8. Willem Dafoe as Nuidis Vulko
  9. Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor
  10. Jeremy Irons as Alfred Pennyworth
  11.  J. K. Simmons as James Gordon
  12. Ciarán Hinds as Steppenwolf

+ Plot

Superman is dead. And a new world threatening event is on the horizon. Wonder Woman and Batman need to assemble a team of superheroes (calling themselves ‘Justice League’) in order to fight for the very existence of the human race. Flash, Cyborg, Aquaman, all ultimately join in to fight against Steppenwolf, the destroyer of civilizations across the universe. Will the Justice League be able to defend the planet or would they need the help of the Man of Steel in order to fight this new wrath of Evil?

+ High Points

i – Zack Snyder’s Justice League is an improvement over the original theatrical cut in every possible way. The narrative flows a lot smoother, each character’s motivations are much better explained and get to bask in their own spotlight. It is truly baffling to me why Warner Bros. decided to chop the film and reshoot scenes which were perfectly good/ serviceable to begin with! And in most cases, better! The Snyder cut is yet another example why Studio execs should only focus on marketing the film rather than making creative choices. After the less than expected Box Office returns for Man of Steel and Batman v Superman, Warner Bros. execs panicked and tried their best to emulate the “Marvel Formula”. From badly written quips to light hearted banter, the film ended up resonating with neither the Marvel fans nor the Snyder fans. Thanks to active petition from the fans, we get to see the “behind the scenes” drama of how a creative force gets destroyed in order to have a safe financial return. Now, even Zack Snyder’s Justice League has its own set of flaws (which I will get to later on in the review) but it is safe to assume that the film exceeded my expectations (considering what a mess his last two DCEU films were).

ii – Unlike Whedon’s Justice League, Snyder’s film has a much better explanation of the plot; the three mother boxes, how they got awakened and what consequences it would have once they are all synchronised together. This way, the story has much more stakes going in and keeps the viewer invested throughout the film.

iii – There are two characters that clearly benefited from this recut of Justice League and one of them is Cyborg. His complete backstory was cut out from the original film, left him utterly unrelatable and useless throughout the film. Here, his character (before his transformation) had a lot going for him, gives enough time for the viewer to sympathise with his unfortunate situation and probably, the most emotional backstory of all of the Justice League characters.

iv – The second has to be Barry Allen/ the Flash. In Whedon’s version, Flash was the supposite “comic relief” of the film. But in reality, he was an annoying, bad quip machine that quickly became the least likable character of the Justice League. In Snyder’s version, he is still a comic relief of the film but his personality traits fit much better this time around. Barry Allen’s introduction scene of the film has to be the best, most poetic moment throughout the film. It was simply delightful to watch and was just shaking my head throughout the scene wondering “Why was this scene ever cut from the theatrical release!?”. Not only that, Flash also ends up being pretty integral to the final climactic battle at the end.

v – Less bad jokes. No obnoxious rant on “What is Brunch!?” or awkward Batman dialogue “Guess we’re not getting the Band back together!” or “Do you talk to fish?” or Superman responding to being resurrected from the dead as “Itchy!”. Ugh.

vi – No CGI removal of Superman’s mustache. Funny how a film significantly improves with its exclusion, huh?

vii – One of the most significant improvements that the Snyder cut has is that Justice League really works as a team. They are not overly dependent just on Superman to do the job for them. Each member has their own task to fulfil and in the process, gets to resonate with the audience.

viii – Unlike Snyder’s Man of Steel and Batman v Superman, Justice League is much better paced, the dialogues are much better written and each character has their own story arcs. I am by no means a Zack Snyder advocate, I am still not a fan of his portrayal of Superman and his “dark” cinematic universe but I do have sympathy for him with this film. Invertedly, the studio execs took advantage of Snyder’s personal tragedy, butchered his work without his consent and what is even worse, they spent millions of dollars on something which was actually good to begin with! Sheer, utter madness!

+ Low Points

i – For all that’s good with Synder’s original vision, it is at times very self-indulgent and bloated with numerous unnecessary scenes and dialogue. There is a 5 minute scene where Lois Lane hands Clark a shirt. Why do we need to see that? The film is at 4 hour runtime and even though Snyder fans will enjoy every minute of it, it feels completely tacked on and unnecessary to the overall experience. On one hand, I can understand why the Studio execs panicked when they saw a 4 hour nightmare. Three hours or so would have benefited the film perfectly. 

ii – Unlike Thanos from the Marvel films, Steppenwolf is an utterly dull and tiresome villain of the week. True, his motivations have been a bit more explored compared to the original film but sadly, not enough. At best, Steppenwolf is just a plot device for the Justice League to band together to fight the big baddy at the end.

iii – Midway through the film, a certain character makes a very brief cameo appearance and there was no reason for this to happen other than fan service. It will probably leave most audience members completely baffled by it and I don’t blame them.

iv – The last climactic battle is still a dark, muddy CGI mess. The strength of the film lies in its First to Second Act but ultimately suffers from the same Third Act issues as its theatrical counterpart.

v – Speaking of Bad CGI, this whole film is riddled with it. The CGI characters have no weight to them, the movement/ details are jerky and unresponsive at times, it’s amazing that with all that budget, Warner Bros. still can’t accompany their summer blockbusters with decent special effects.

vi – For lack of a better phrase, the film just looks ugly. Yes, the original had color saturation up to 11 but at least you could actually understand what was happening on screen. Snyder always opts for dark, flat colors which are in complete odds with what the Justice League should represent. 

vii – I wish I did not have to say this but… Lois Lane in Snyder films just plain sucks. She is treated by the plot as someone extremely important but her demeanor says otherwise. I cannot (for the life of me) care why she is focused so much during the film when all she has done up till now is mop and being rescued by Superman. 

viii – The 4:3 aspect ratio was supposedly Snyder’s original vision of the film (to fit the large IMAX screens). There is no obvious benefit that Justice League has from this format and it also doesn’t make any sense to release it in IMAX format only to end up being viewed by everyone on their 16:9 Television screens on HBO Max. 

ix – SPOILER ALERT!!! (if you would like to avoid it, please skip directly to the Overall Section):

Snyder’s Justice League has the “LOTR: The Return of the King” effect. Too many ridiculous endings that serve no purpose to the film. Did we really needed to see Martian Manhunter approach Bruce and painstakingly explain to him what will happen in the next coming sequels (which are apparently abandoned by WB/Snyder as of now), how “Lois is the key to all this” nonsense, a badly written dystopian future with hilarious R Rated dialogue between the Batman and Jared Leto’s Joker. Please, I really do not want to hear Joker make a “reach around” joke with Batman. That really is Zack Snyder at his worst. Being pointlessly “dark and edgy”. The film should’ve ended when Darkseid’s threat was averted.  

+ Overall

While the film suffers at times with its incredibly long runtime and overindulgence, Zack Snyder’s Justice League is still a massive improvement over the original. It is a picture perfect example of how a film studio destroys a vision that filmmaker has and why creativity should be left best to the creators. 

Rating: 2.0 out of 5.0 stars (Theatrical release)

Rating: 3.75 out of 5.0 stars (Zack Snyder’s)

Feature Length Films

Mr. Khan’s Review on ‘Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice’ (2016) Ultimate Edition (with SPOILERS)

A review on Hollywood feature length film, ‘Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice’ (2016) [Ultimate Edition].  The Costume Designing by Michael Wilkinson while it’s Distributor is Warner Bros. Pictures.


+ Crew I

  1. Directed by Zack Snyder
  2. Written by Chris Terrio and David S. Goyer
  3. Cinematography by Larry Fong
  4. Edited by David Brenner
  5. Music by Hans Zimmer and Junkie XL
  6. Produced by Charles Roven and Deborah Snyder


+ Crew II (Production Houses)

  1. DC Entertainment
  2. RatPac Entertainment
  3. Atlas Entertainment
  4. Cruel and Unusual Films



Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice [Ultimate Edition] is heavily inspired by the graphic novel ‘The Dark Knight Returns’ by Frank Miller, ‘Superman: Peace on Earth’ & ‘Death of Superman’. The comic book fans would be thrilled to see these two iconic DC characters bash each other first time on big screens. However, some people complained the film to be much darker and grittier.

The director used Christianity religious beliefs & their symbolic figures on his characters throughout the film. Such as Superman can relate directly to Jesus Christ (PBUH). The fight scenes of Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman refers to ‘Trinity’ belief. Unlike the Batman in ‘The Dark Knight Trilogy’, this Batman shown as aged, most probably in his 40s with at least two decades of crime fighting experience. I see him as a very different Batman of another time line. I cannot and would not compare it with ones who have already portrayed Batman on screen.

The main henchman of Lex Luthor name ‘Anatoli Knyazev’ is one of the secondary villains of Batman story line up, who is also known as ‘KGB Beast’. Jena Malone character as Jenet Klyburn is also a treat to watch on the Ultimate Edition only.


+ Main Cast

  1. Ben Affleck as Bruce Wayne / Batman
  2. Henry Cavill as Clark Kent / Superman
  3. Gal Gadot as Diana Prince / Wonder Woman
  4. Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor
  5. Amy Adams as Lois Lane
  6. Jeremy Irons as Alfred Pennyworth
  7. Lawrence Fisherburne as Perry White
  8. Holly Hunter as June Finch
  9. Diane Lane as Martha Kent
  10. Scoot McNairy as Wallace Keefe
  11. Callan Mulvey as Anatoli Knyazev / KGB Beast
  12. Tao Okamoto as Mercy Graves


+ Plot

During the events of alien invasion by Gen. Zod and his army, Bruce Wayne and many people lose their loved ones as causalities. Ever since then, Batman grows hatred for Superman and sees him as the main threat to human race. On the other hand, Lex Luthor enjoys their hatred for each other so much that he even disturbs the corpse of Zod and releases the ultimate weapon of destruction upon this world.


+ High Points

i – The first and second acts of the film are very interesting and of high quality in the comic book film standards.

ii – Jeremy Irons did a good job as Alfred Pennyworth. Ben Affleck also plays a good aged Batman. He and Gal Gadot’s performances were much appreciated.

iii – There was one particular scene where Batman is at a deserted site with ruined city background. Later on, we see Flash who is trying to warn Bruce / Batman of a distant future and trying to give a message in a very short time. This is a vision in the film that is intentionally shown as dark & gritty which is in fact taken from a story of popular DC video game is based on ‘Injustice: Gods among us’. It seems the director has very interesting story to connect later in the film series or in upcoming JLA film in 2017.

iv – The Ultimate Edition provides proper introduction between Lois Lane and the photographer who he accompanies with but for only short moment. The comic book fans would instantly recognize his name as one of the most beloved supporting characters of Superman story line that is ‘Jimmy Olsen’. Unfortunately, he has a very small limited role in one of the first scenes of the film.

v – The sound track and visual effects are executed well in the film.


+ Low Points

i – I believe that one of the main reasons why the critics did not like this film is due to the fact that the Act III was weaker out of the other two Acts of the film. In the Act III, we have major scenes of Batman vs Superman fight, Wonder Woman intro and Doomsday fight. When the final showdown comes of Batman and Superman fighting each other. The fight scene between the two is not as cool as shown in the graphic novel ‘The Dark Knight Returns’ or in its animated film.

ii – Due to a lame reason, Batman stops the fight and his huge grudge on Superman suddenly diminishes.

iii – The Lex Luthor is ‘wonderfully’ (NOT!) portrayed by Shahrukh Khan (Jesse Eisenberg). The audience would be able to see his true real appearance just like in comics comes in the end scenes of the film.

iv – The antagonist, ‘Doomsday’ appears on screen for the first time… it seemed as though a ‘Giant Ninja Turtle’ without his weapons or colored mask came to fight Superman and Batman. After a short while Wonder Woman joins the fight and so does the Doomsday get better by mutating itself he is nowhere near as terrified and frightening as it shown in the comics, video games and cartoons. Not only he doesn’t look like as it is shown in comics but even he never able to fire beams from his eyes. Superman’s one of the main villains ‘Darkseid’ is one who can fire Omega Beams from his eyes and not Doomsday. Whereas the fighting scenes of Wonder Woman with Doomsday, they tried to show no matter how much punches she takes from him, she treats it as if it’s a causal fight for her which does not stop her on her track but welcomes it. However, the facial expressions of Wonder Woman were as if she was getting sexually aroused by fighting him. Even after firing atomic bomb on Doomsday in very start of the fight between him & Superman, it doesn’t stop him… the US army very quickly (literally) gives up on fighting the monster villain. Then, Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman battle with Doomsday, we see no army, air force or police whatsoever for miles away from the fight. As if, people have abandoned them to keep themselves safe and hidden whereas at least half of Metropolis city is burned away very rapidly.

v – The fight scenes of this Batman are lesser in quality than of ‘The Dark Knight Trilogy’ series.

vi – The cameo appearances by the other JLA characters i.e. Aqua Man, Flash and Cyborg in Act III of the film seemed as though were forced to show.


+ Overall

Too much hype was created before the release of Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice. Although its ‘Ultimate Edition’ is far superior than the theatrical cut, yet it still can not fix major issues of the film which are connected with the main plot.


Rating: 2.75 out of 5.0 stars (Theatrical Edition)

Rating: 3.25 out of 5.0 stars (Ultimate Edition)