Suicide Squad has been one of the most anticipated films of the summer and regardless of what the critics thought, I loved it. Spoilers ahead, beware!
The basic plot of Suicide Squad is a group of ‘villains’ who are rounded up by a congressional aide (Amanda Waller played by Viola Davis) to protect the city from villains worse than they are. I loved the fact that the bad guys have essentially been forced into being heroes, because it made them much more unpredictable and they were far more willing to go where heroes would not. The suicide squad consists of Deadshot (Will Smith), Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie), Captain Boomering (Jai Courtney), Killer Croc (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje) and Diablo (Jay Hernandez) along with good guys Rick Flag (Joel Kinnaman) and Katana (Karen Fukuhara). There was another villain who was part of the suicide squad but he died so quickly I didn’t even catch his name.
Rather than wasting time on in depth back stories, the film used Amanda Waller explaining the characters to some Government officials as the introduction for the villains. I loved this and thought it worked really well, it didn’t waste time and was easy to follow. In terms of characters, there was a little too much emphasis on Deadshot, which is kind of unsurprising as he’s played by the incredible Will Smith. They probably wanted to get their money’s worth! Out of all the character’s, Captain Boomerang was my favourite. His comedic timing, his habit for sneaking a beer in the middle of a fight and his unashamed cowardice was perfect and it really made the film for me.
And now what I thought of the Joker, the character portrayal everyone has been waiting to judge. Jared Leto was always going to have the toughest part in this film as he was following Heath Ledger’s Joker. Not only was Ledger’s Joker amazing, Ledger sadly passed away not long after, which makes his role in the film even more loved. I went to the film trying not to let my memory of Ledger’s Joker cloud my judgement of Leto’s Joker. Regardless, I wasn’t a huge fan of Leto’s Joker. When he wasn’t speaking, laughing or making weird snorting noises, he was the perfect Joker. But as soon as he started speaking, he became a cartoon character that just annoyed me as it was so awkward to watch. Props to Jared Leto for having the balls to take on such a challenging role though!
Harley Quinn and the Joker
My main beef with Suicide Squad is the portrayal of Harley Quinn and the Joker’s relationship. If you’re familiar with their relationship in the comics, then you probably already know that the Joker is abusive towards Harley Quinn. The signs of this abuse were merely hinted at in Suicide Squad, a dangerous tactic in media. Because of this, some have since been referring to Harley Quinn and the Joker as ‘relationship goals’. Sure, they love each other a crazy amount in their crazy way but regardless of feelings, the way the Joker treats Harley Quinn is atrocious and not what anyone should strive for in a relationship.
Some people are of the opinion that because what he does to Harley Quinn is out of love that it’s okay for the Joker to treat her the way he does. That it’s okay to convince her to dive into a pool of hot wax and almost leave her to die, because he loves her and he doesn’t actually let her die. That it’s okay to manipulate her into freeing him, torture her to insanity, leave her to drown, and leave her in the hands of Batman in order to save himself. Under no circumstances is this behaviour okay, and while I think it’s great to have the portrayal of an abusive relationship in modern media, I wish their relationship would be spoken of because it is terrible, rather than because it is ‘relationship goals’.
Editing and Special Effects
The editing and special effects really stood out for me in Suicide Squad. The slow motion effect wasn’t used excessively but in important areas that showed the most badass moves by these anti-heroes. A particular slow motion scene that stood out for me was the empty bullet shells raining down on the ground as the suicide squad fought together for the first time. The soundtrack was unnatural but fitted perfectly and in a way mirrored the oddness of the villains playing at being heroes.
For me, Suicide Squad hinted at amazing things to come for DC, even after the lame start from Batman v Superman. I’ve always been a Marvel girl but DC is coming up fighting!