Yesterday morning I went to see Suicide Squad for the second time. Strangely, not because I loved the movie that much, but because our youngest son hadn’t seen it yet and the first show of the day is only $5. I will say that I do like the movie. I stress the word ‘like’ and not ‘love’ because there are some serious holes with this movie that I just can’t get past.
Now, before I go too far into this, I want to clarify that I am a big Batman/Joker fan, but I have never really read the comics. My comics growing up were mostly Savage Sword of Conan, Excalibur and Elfquest. My DC fandom is primarily through shows, cartoons and movies, so if my synopsis doesn’t quite gel well with the DC comics readers, maybe someone can explain where my flaws lie.
OK, so with that being said, let’s get into the movie itself. First off, I’d like to state the obvious – this really wasn’t a Suicide Squad movie, it was a Deadshot and Harley Quinn movie. The entire plot line followed their stories and pushed all of the other characters to the sidelines and rendered them almost unnecessary to the story. Which really is a shame because I truly loved Diablo. Now, don’t get me wrong, I think Will Smith and Margot Robbie knocked their characters out of the park, but what was the biggest story and the primary chatter about this movie leading up to its release? Yep – The Joker – but the Joker was a sideline character in this movie also. With all of the hype prior to seeing it, the fact that Jared Leto’s Joker was pretty much unnecessary to the story was kind of disappointing and frankly, felt a little forced. It’s like the studios just couldn’t stand the idea of telling a Harley Quinn story without including the Joker and with Jared Leto’s Joker being comparably as good as Heath Ledger’s, they seemed to want to just add more parts to the film for him. But lets face it, The Joker was a bit distracting to the story itself. Yes, he is an amazing character, as a matter of fact, he is my all time favorite villain and I want to see more of Jared Leto’s Joker because I think he has just reset the standard for that character for many decades to come (in Heath Ledger’s absence, of course).
Before I get into my biggest pet peeve about this movie, I want to mention a couple of the smaller ones: Slipknot and Katana. Why exactly were they even part of this movie? They couldn’t come up with a better way to write in some way to prove to the Suicide Squad that their heads would explode if they didn’t obey? They really had to add another character for that? Quite hastily I might add – I mean the way Slipknot was thrown into the group made it pretty obvious he wasn’t going to live long. Maybe they could have lined all of them up in a room while they were strapped to their wheelchairs and presented the explosive results of insubordination on a mannequin. I don’t know, maybe it’s just me, but I think that would have been effective enough without wasted the audience’s time with introducing Slipknot to the story. Now to Katana. Other than me just disliking this character, it would seem that her only purpose for being in this film was so that Harley would have a sword available to her at the end to separate The Enchantress from her heart. Couldn’t she have used any other sharp object that was lying around? I mean, it’s not like there wasn’t a ton of potentially sharp debris lying around the joint.
Boomerang – unnecessary comic relief, Killer Croc – unnecessary street thug.
Diablo was the only sideline character that actually has a purpose in this movie. They needed his demon strength to fight the Incubus.
Now for the biggest flaw in this movie – the fact that the Joker would even chase after and save Harley Quinn from jail or danger OR ANYTHING AT ALL without needing her for a specific purpose. I mean, do they even know anything about the relationship between the Joker and Harley? The Joker is a complete violent sociopath. He is incapable of true empathy. That, in effect, is his super power. He doesn’t care about anyone or anything. Yes, he is infatuated with Harley and uses her as a permanent plaything, but he consistently discards her, displaying the true-life characteristic of a sociopath. They like to keep certain people under their power, but completely broken emotionally. The Joker would NEVER risk his own life or even waste any of his time to chase after someone simply for love. That would be a potential weakness for him and even if he did feel some sort of romantic attachment to Harley, he would resent her for it, only solidifying the need to show the world how much he absolutely doesn’t care for her. And Harley has an unwavering attraction to his power, so no matter how horribly he treats her and discards her, she still comes back to him every time and justifies his actions in her own mind by over-glorifying the little crumbs of kindness he shows her. They have a classic abusive relationship and the writers really dropped the ball on that one.
So, I guess my basic synopsis for the Suicide Squad movie is that the actors were great, but the writing was bad. It was a weak attempt to introduce a handful of characters and make a film as big as the Avengers. It fell short because they tried to do too much.
All of this being said, I actually really did like the movie. I mean, we did pay to see it twice. It was entertaining and I think Will Smith really got screwed over by the hype of the Jared Leto/Heath Ledger Joker comparison along with the pubescent excitement over Margot Robbie in her tiny shorts. He made me fall in love with the Deadshot character that I really knew nothing about prior to the movie. It’s really his character that makes me want to actually find some issues and read the Suicide Squad books. So if you haven’t seen it and love DC comics, movies, tv and cartoons, then by all means, go see it. It’s definitely worth a watch if you can get past the story holes. I can say that it was better the second time – after I had already worked through all the things that were irritating me.