It’ll take more than a bad movie to bring the “Suicide Squad” down. Deep down there’s still a great movie to be made with this concept. “Assault on Arkham” showed it, and “Hell to Pay” proves it. You don’t have to make this group the center of the DC Universe fighting massive gods. They can just be super powered thugs doing the slimy stuff like stealing Lex Luthor’s chunk of Kryptonite, or breaking in to Batman’s fortress to steal incriminating evidence he has to bring down Amanda Waller. Something neat in the same vein happens in “Hell to Pay” when the group are assigned to track down a maguffin that is both silly and clever.
After the first Suicide Squad proved troublesome, Amanda Waller is pushed in to a corner and decides to re-assemble a new group of super villains, all of whom have to learn to work together. Shocking enough, though Batman is mentioned, none of the major DC superheroes are here to be used as a crutch, because the writers do such a good job of cobbling together a ragtag group of super baddies that pack immense chemistry. The only surviving member of the original Suicide Squad (or Task Force X), Deadshot, is brought back in to the fold, and teamed with martial artist Bronze Tiger, Captain Boomerang, Killer Frost, the snake man Copperhead, and your favorite and mine: Harley Quinn.
They’re tasked with tracking down the holder of a mystical item that can grant someone an entrance in to heaven, and a lot of people are after it. This includes Captain Zoom, whose own powers are destroying his body. “Hell to Pay” is a quick, brisk, and fun action movie with a ton of sleazy humor and a decidedly adult tone. The team members in Task Force X are slime balls, all of whom have mixed morals and kill people like it’s a bodily function. This is the Suicide Squad I was hoping for, the kind that work well together but are always a step away from turning around and stabbing one another in the back. The cast are dynamic with Vanessa Williams doing solid work as Waller, while Christian Slater is top notch as Deadshot. I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention C. Thomas Howell’s slimy turn as Zoom. The follow up to “Assault on Arkham” is a great return to form for our beloved DC scum: Task Force X.