The Suicide Squad – 4K UHD Blu-ray Review
Film Title: The Suicide Squad (2021)
Release Date: 2021
Runtime: 132 minutes
Region Coding: Region Free
Audio Format: Dolby Atmos
High Dynamic Range: HDR10, Dolby Vision, HDR10+
Aspect Ratio: 1.90:1
Version Reviewed: 4K UHD Blu-ray
Release Date: 10/26/21
Director: James Gunn
Cast: Viola Davis, Joel Kinnaman, Margot Robbie, Idris Elba, John Cena, Daniela Melchior, David Dastmalchian, Michael Rooker, Nathan Fillion, Jai Courtney, Flula Borg, Mayling Ng, Pete Davidson, Sean Gunn, Steve Agee, Peter Capaldi, Juan Diego Botto, Joaquín Cosio, Storm Reid, Julio Cesar Ruiz, Taika Waititi, Sylvester Stallone, Lynne Ashe
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Full 4K Tech Specs found at the bottom
“The Suicide Squad” was a 2021 film that does not serve as a sequel to, nor is it supposed to be connected to, “Suicide Squad“ (2016). Although, both films do include a few of the same characters, and some even are played again by the same actors.
This film, The Suicide Squad, was both written & directed by James Gunn, based on the DC Comics characters and also the “Suicide Squad“ franchise from the comics — and not the previous film, with a similar title.
James Gunn started his career out as a screenwriter, working at Troma Entertainment on the screenplay for “Tromeo and Juliet” (1996). Then, he took a turn and wrote the screenplay adaptations of “Scooby-Doo” (2002) and “Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed” (2004) live-action films. Yes, he actually wrote those. But, then Gunn took one major turn and wrote a screenplay for the remake of one of the most respected horror films ever “Dawn of the Dead” (2004). From then on out James Gunn would not only be a screenwriter but would become a double threat as a writer/director with films such as “Slither” (2006), “Super” (2010), as well as “Guardians of the Galaxy” (2014), and “Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2” (2017).
The story here revolves around a ragtag group of expendable supervillains that a woman named “Amanda Waller” (Viola Davis) is in control of. Each member is injected with an explosive inside their skull that she has control of and will detonate if they stray from the objective. There are two teams with this instance of The Suicide Squad on this particular mission.
Leading things, under Waller, is “Colonel Rick Flag” (Joel Kinnaman). Joining Flag on team 1 we have first a few other familiar faces with “Harley Quinn” (Margot Robbie) and “Captain Boomerang” (Jai Courtney). Our protagonist (of sorts) for team 1 is a guy by the name of “Savant” (Michael Rooker). Rounding out team 1 we have some interesting characters like “T.D.K.” (Nathan Fillion), “Javelin” (Flula Borg), “Mongal” (Mayling Ng), “Blackguard” (Pete Davidson), and “Weasel” (Sean Gunn).
Team 2 here is comprised of “Bloodsport” (Idris Elba), “Peacemaker” (John Cena), “Polka-Dot Man” (David Dastmalchian), “Ratcatcher 2” (Daniela Melchior), and “King Shark” (voiced by Sylvester Stallone). The two teams, as part of “Task Force X,” have been sent to Corto Maltese to stop a dictator named “Presidente General Silvio Luna” (Juan Diego Botto) from using a top-secret weapon known as “Starfish.” Under Luna’s command at Joutenheim, he has “Mayor General Mateo Suarez” (Joaquín Cosio), and “The Thinker” (Peter Capaldi). They’re up to the typical evil that bad guys are known for, but on a much larger scale.
I’ll leave it at that to avoid dishing out any spoilers or anything. Let’s just say that it’s up to The Suicide Squad to stop this asshole with the starfish from taking over the world. Not your typical scenario, sure, but it makes for one hell of a film. I’ve watched it a total of five times now. This film has my seal of approval.
Movie Rating: 5 (out of 5)
“The Suicide Squad” on 4K UHD Blu-ray is presented in the 1.90:1 aspect ratio with HDR10, Dolby Vision, and HDR10+ forms of high dynamic range. That’s every form of HDR out there, on one release. Something that isn’t all that common. So, that’s a plus itself for this release and for the 4K UHD Blu-ray format.
This movie was shot digitally in 8K and 6K resolutions in Redcode RAW format using the following cameras: Red Komodo IMAX, Red Ranger Monstro IMAX, and Red Weapon Monstro IMAX. So, yes this was shot with three different Red IMAX cameras, and the 8K and 6K source material then received a 4K DI (digital intermediate) master. In terms of lenses, they used Leitz Thalia and M 0.8 Lenses and Angenieux Optimo Ultra 12x Lenses — according to IMDb‘s technical specifications page. It’s also worth noting that the movie was finished to be presented in Dolby Cinema with the Dolby Vision form of HDR during post-production.
Now, let me get a bit even further technical here in terms of 4K UHD Blu-ray. This is on a BD-100 (100 gigabytes) disc using 85.1GB total and then 76.4GB for the film itself. That [in 2160p 4K] is double what you would typically see a film of this length use in terms of filesize on a Blu-ray Disc in 1080p HD. So, that’s rather impressive itself.
From the very start of this movie [in 4K], you’re going to notice one abundance of detail in every single shot, a very real sense of color timing thanks to the HDR (in many forms) with rich and vibrant colors. Also, the black level here is perfectly solid and you’ll notice that even more so during the opening of the film with some nighttime scenes. Flesh tones appear accurate here and you’ll even notice as much as strands of hair as well as skin pores in facial close-ups. This looks absolutely stellar thanks to coming from its higher resolution source material shot on IMAX cameras. Speaking of IMAX, it should be noted that there will not at all be any aspect ratio shifts here. So, don’t expect that and I have to say this works just fine staying in a fixed 1.90:1 aspect ratio.
This has so many bright colors to really show off the benefits of having the high dynamic range behind the 4K presentation with the extremely large sets and locations. Also, the costumes look phenomenal here in 4K and come with an abundance of detail. Take for example the helmet of “Peacemaker” which is so shiny and reflective, and then the bright red and blues of his costume. Then, there’s “Polka-Dot Man” and well, you’ll see.
All and all, “The Suicide Squad” looks great in 4K here physically on 4K UHD Blu-ray and feels like it has a more impressive presentation than I ever saw streaming it (multiple times) on HBO Max. That being said, this earns itself a perfect 5 rating for video quality. It looks sensational.
Video Quality Rating: 5 (out of 5)
“The Suicide Squad” arrives in the 4K UHD Blu-ray format with a Dolby Atmos sound mix, just as was the case during the theatrical and streaming [HBO Max] debut of the film. One of the things that James Gunn films are known for is the amazing soundtrack and this one is no exception. Starting out the soundtrack here you have “Folsom Prison Blues” by Johnny Cash. This cannot help but remind you of a film that James Gunn wrote the screenplay adaptation for that also started up with a song performed by Cash, with that being the 2004 remake of “Dawn of the Dead.” If that’s not all too weird, another song from that film that didn’t make the theatrical cut comes up. Too cool. The dialogue, later on, is delivered distinctly via primarily the center channel all throughout and never once required any volume adjustments.
The music fills the entire room here with the Dolby Atmos, be it the songs on the soundtrack or the original music composed by John Murphy. That theme song itself sounds so badass when it comes up and you see team 1 come marching in front of the American flag. You’ll be hearing the rear channels, height channels, and front channels all making use of the music here as well as for the sound effects. And the subwoofer will be getting things rocking as well and grab your attention when it needs to. When there’s gunfire, it’s loud as all hell but doesn’t dare distort, and it as with all sound effects feels to be coming from the proper direction(s). The sound space here is used very effectively with the addition of height channels. Speaking of which, during the big intense action scenes you’ll really hear the height channels being used to make the experience feel all that more immersive.
Also, in terms of the height channels, there’s some big action near the end of the film that makes for the amazing benefit of being in Dolby Atmos and it’s just downright intense. This movie has its share of scenes that translate over into some action that I honestly would deem worthy of being called “demo material” — the end especially. Again, just as was the case with video, in comparison here physically with streaming on HBO Max, I felt like this was one hell of a lot more impressive. Having said all of this, it should probably come as no surprise at all that “The Suicide Squad” earns itself a perfect 5 rating for audio quality with a superb Dolby Atmos sound mix.
Audio Quality Rating: 5 (out of 5)
- A Blu-ray Disc of the film is included in this “combo pack” release featuring a 1080p HD video presentation in the 1.90:1 aspect ratio and Dolby Atmos sound. This disc also contains the majority of the extras, as listed a bit further below.
- A Digital Copy (code) of the film is included via a paper insert, which is redeemable via Movies Anywhere with services like AppleTV (iTunes), VUDU, and more. The digital version will be in 4K and includes a basic set of 3 extras. Sadly, the digital version does not include the audio commentary track.
Bonus materials that are included on the 4K UHD Blu-ray Disc are listed below.
- Director Commentary is an audio commentary with writer/director James Gunn. This is a must-listen for any fan and is very scene-specific. Don’t expect any long areas of silence here, aside from during the opening credits for a short bit. This is very informative and proves to also be just enjoyable, as you’ve come to expect with the “off-the-cuff” candid nature of his audio commentary tracks. As a huge fan of James Gunn’s work, this is just a blast to listen to.
- “Harley‘s Great Escape (Scene Breakdown)” (7 minutes, 16 seconds – 4K) gives you a glimpse at what all went into the making of one very cool and iconic scene from the film that involved the “Harley Quinn” character. Here, aside from behind-the-scenes glimpses at what all went into planning the scene and then the filming of said scene, you’ll get interviews with Margot Robbie (“Harley Quinn”) and writer/director James Gunn. This featurette is present on the Blu-ray as well, but here (with the 4K UHD Blu-ray Disc) it is actually included in full 2160p 4K resolution in SDR (standard dynamic range), without HDR. It’s awesome to get to see more 4K physical releases including some form of actual UHD (Ultra HD) 4K content for the extras. Below you can find 4 screenshots (in 4K) from this featurette.
Also, here’s a glimpse at the background for the menu on both the 4K UHD Blu-ray and the Blu-ray Disc versions of the film.
Bonus Materials are (as mentioned) primarily included on the Blu-ray Disc here and are listed below. These are all presented in 1080p HD video quality with Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo sound.
- Director Commentary is an audio commentary with writer/director James Gunn.
- Deleted & Extended Scenes (17 minutes, 28 seconds – HD) add a lot to the film, and come with more King Shark, Ratcatcher 2, Polka-Dot Man, as well as Harley Quinn, and even Milton! You’ll be able to tell where these scenes were supposed to go, but it would perhaps someday be nice to see them put together with the film in some sort of special extended cut. I’d love to see that, but these work great for now. NOTE: some of the VFX on King Shark are not complete here but enough so that you get a general idea.
- Gag Reel (10 minutes, 23 seconds – HD) consists of outtakes and screw-ups by the cast. This proves to be pretty damn funny.
- “Bringing King Shark to Life” (5 minutes, 40 seconds – HD) includes interviews with James Gunn (writer/director), Margot Robbie (“Harley Quinn”), Steve Agee (“John Economos” / On-Set “King Shark”), Dan Sudick (special effects supervisor), Kelvin McIlwain (visual effects supervisor), Sylvester Stallone (“King Shark”), and Peter Safran, p.g.a. (producer),
- “Gotta Love the Squad” (11 minutes, 37 seconds – HD) takes a look back at the comics that started it all and includes interviews with John Ostrander (comics legend, writer of “Suicide Squad”), James Gunn (writer/director), Peter Safran, p.g.a. (producer), Charles Roven, p.g.a. (producer), Judianna Makovsky (costume designer), Margot Robbie (“Harley Quinn”), Idris Elba (“Bloodsport”), Drew Petrotta (property master), John Cena (“Peacemaker”), Flula Borg (“Javelin”), Nathan Fillion (“T.D.K.”), Pete Davidson (“Blackguard”), Sean Gunn (“Weasel” / “Calander Man”), Jai Courtney (“Boomerang”), Michael Rooker (“Savant”), Mayling Ng (“Mongal”), David Dastmalchian (“Polka-Dot Man”), Daniela Melchior (“Ratcatcher 2”), Joel Kinnaman (“Colonel Rick Flag”), and Viola Davis (“Amanda Waller”).
- “The Way of the Gunn” (7 minutes, 50 seconds – HD) as some might notice, makes a nice parody of a film title but it primarily serves as a focus on writer/director James Gunn’s style of filmmaking and it gives you a glimpse behind-the-scenes long before the filming started on “El Dorado,” the movie’s name during the production. You’ll see James Gunn showing his storyboards to the crew, starting out. Here you’ll also get on-set footage and interviews with the following people: David Dastmalchian (“Polka-Dot Man”), Pete Davidson (“Blackguard”), Peter Safran, p.g.a. (producer), Margot Robbie (“Harley Quinn”), James Gunn (writer/director), Sean Gunn (“Weasel”/“Calendar Man”), John Cena (“Peacemaker”), Charles Roven, p.g.a. (producer), Nikolas Korda (executive producer), Joel Kinnaman (“Colonel Rick Flag”), Idris Elba (“Bloodsport”), Nathan Fillion (“T.D.K.”), Jai Courtney (“Captain Boomerang”), Michael Rooker (“Savant”), Viola Davis (“Amanda Waller”), and Flula Borg (“Javelin”).
- “Scene Breakdowns” consists of the following:
- “It’s a Suicide Mission” (6 minutes, 37 seconds – HD)
- “My Gun’s Bigger Than Yours” (5 minutes, 44 seconds – HD)
- “Harley‘s Great Escape” (7 minutes, 16 seconds – HD)
- “The Fall of Joutenheim“ (5 minutes, 38 seconds – HD)
- “Starro: It’s a Freakin’ Kaiju!“ (6 minutes, 17 seconds – HD), as a featurette has one great title, considering that it includes one of my favorite lines in the film. The focus here is on a giant starfish known as “Starro” and I won’t get too much into further detail about the character and such, to avoid dishing out any spoilers here. This includes interviews with James Gunn (writer/director), Peter Capaldi (“Thinker”), Peter Safran, p.g.a. (producer), Steve Agee (“John Economos” / On-Set “King Shark”), Margot Robbie (“Harley Quinn”), Guy Williams (visual effects supervisor, WETA), Charles Roven, p.g.a. (producer), Shane Baxley (concept artist), Beth Mickle (production designer), and Kelvin McIlwain (visual effects supervisor).
- “War Movie Retro Trailer” (3 minutes, 24 seconds – HD) puts the film in a war movie scenario with an older feel for a trailer.
- “Horror Movie Retro Trailer” (1 minute, 23 seconds – HD) puts the film in a horror movie scenario, again with an older (retro) feel for the trailer.
- “Buddy-Cop Retro Trailer” (1 minute, 17 seconds – HD) puts the film in a typical buddy-cop scenario with an older feel for the trailer. This is probably the most far-out of the three retro-themed trailers here, in my honest opinion. Just based on the premise alone.
Overall, the bonus materials here are solid and leave you with a lot to enjoy after you’ve enjoyed the film [numerous times]. The audio commentary with James Gunn is a must-hear, as mentioned above. There’s a lot to enjoy in the featurettes here and learn about the making of the film as well as four different scene breakdowns. Plus, those extended and deleted scenes add a lot and prove to be very cool. The gag reel is great and the retro trailers are fun. Fans will certainly enjoy this set of supplemental materials.
Bonus Materials Rating: 4 (out of 5)
“The Suicide Squad” as a film and as one of the latest entries into the DC Universe proves to be a lot of fun from start to finish, in my own honest opinion. I know some will disagree, but they should probably realize that I’m not alone in liking this film. In fact, at the time of writing, this film is “Certified Fresh” over at Rotten Tomatoes [with a 90% rating]. Writer and director James Gunn went fun having his run over at Marvel Studios with two films in their universe [“Guardians of the Galaxy”] and then was given the opportunity to direct a film for the DC Universe at Warner Bros. With this film, Gunn really carried over his own personal style with that same great sense of humor during dialogue, as well as the energetic storytelling, and the overall amount of action extremely well. Chances are if you’ve enjoyed his films in the past, you’re really going to dig this one.
In terms of video quality, this looks stellar coming from both 8K and 6K IMAX camera source materials and a 4K DI. The amount of detail found here, in every single scene, is pretty jaw-dropping. The HDR here is available in all three of the formats currently available for 4K displays and makes it even more of a “demo disc” than just for having an amazing 2160p 4K visual presentation. This looks great and there’s nothing at all I found wrong.
In terms of audio quality, this comes with one very impressive Dolby Atmos sound mix that surpasses the quality that I had experienced on HBO Max previously via streaming. Physical media always brings a stronger sound mix, I’ve found, and this release of this film was no exception to that. The mix can be loud and rock the house, and that’s what I love about it.
Finally, in terms of bonus materials, this comes with a very solid set of extras. You get a Blu-ray in HD and a 4K digital copy in addition to the physical 4K disc. There’s an audio commentary by the writer/director James Gunn on both discs, but sadly not available with the digital version. So, technically the audio commentary is a physical media exclusive. Then there’s a good amount of extended and deleted scenes, one hilarious gag reel, lots of fun and informative featurettes, and there are even four different scene breakdowns. Plus, the 4K disc actually has one of those scene breakdowns in full 2160p video quality.
All and all, “The Suicide Squad” is a really fun film and makes for a very highly recommended 4K UHD Blu-ray release.
In terms of 4K UHD Blu-ray release, this gets:
5 (out of 5) for video quality
5 (out of 5) for audio quality
4 (out of 5) for bonus materials
Very Highly Recommended
4K UHD Blu-ray Screenshots:
4K UHD Blu-ray Technical Specifications:
Aspect Ratio: 1.90:1
Exact Runtime(s): 2:12:06
Audio Format(s): English Dolby Atmos (with a Dolby TrueHD 7.1 core), Italian Dolby Atmos (with a Dolby TrueHD 7.1 core), Dolby Digital 5.1
Languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Hindi, Hungarian, Polish, Tamil, Telugu
Subtitles: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Danish, Finnish, Greek, Hungarian, Norwegian, Polish, Romanian, Swedish, Hindi, Tamil, Telugu
HDR: HDR10, Dolby Vision, HDR10+
Disc Size: BD-100
Disc Use: 85.1GB total / 76.4GB for the film