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It’s a bit rushed, probably could have done better if some of the characters were introduced after the DC universe fully established itself, but as long as you don’t compare it to what Marvel offers, you’ll enjoy it.
Violence Against Women
Characters Worth Noting
Deadshot (Will Smith) | Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie) | Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) | Enchantress (Cara Delevingne) | The Joker (Jared Leto) | Diable (Jay Hernandez)
Main Storyline (with Commentary)
The story begins with a very good question: What would the world, though as always specifically America, do if a being like Superman came down and didn’t side with man, but decided instead to annihilate it? Well, this is what Amanda Waller asks. This is the reason why she believes she should be allowed to use a host of different villains, all of which primarily have no real powers so they remain semi-useless, but they are bad guys. If they die, it’s a win. If they live and somehow handle the task given, it’s a win. All you gotta do is implant a bomb in them and send them off. After all, as much as they all are villains, seemingly fearless, everyone has a weakness and for them, it is one of the few loved ones they have which, despite knowing how cruel and evil they can be, love them despite of.
There are really only three characters worth noting, in a positive manner. The first being Viola Davis as Amanda Waller. I highlight her performance because it is rare for a Black woman to be in a role like this. On top of her being the boss, she is a bad ass, a hard ass, and doesn’t at all try to be likable. Her main objective is to be good, no, excel at her job by any means necessary. All of which Davis plays in such a good way. Granted, there isn’t a movie or show in which she doesn’t seem drained from dealing with people’s BS and likely wanting to shoot people as Waller does, but getting to see her actually do it was something.
Next up is Jared Leto’s Joker. Now, unfortunately, we don’t get Joker in full effect. He isn’t the primary villain of the film so outside of his romance with Harley, if you want to call it that, he comes and goes rather frequently. With that said, in an ideal world, before this movie we might have seen him go against Ben Affleck’s Batman. For while he does seem like a hipster Joker, and surely isn’t as comical or interesting as Heath Ledger’s take, he isn’t as bad as many thought he would be.
Leaving everyone’s favorite: Harley Quinn. This character has deserved to be in a live action production for years. After all, when you think of female villains, in the DC or even Marvel universe, there aren’t a whole lot with the profile Harley has. So with the way Robbie plays her, again you get a similar vibe like you get with Leto. You honestly wonder why this character wasn’t allowed to be properly introduced? Why is she starting in a group movie where, yeah, director/ writer David Ayer knew to feature her, but couldn’t just have her dominate, as perhaps she should have. I mean, I won’t pretend that her one liners and being the group weirdo didn’t get old, but with the flashbacks dealing with how she fell in love with Joker, alongside some of the scenes she had with the squad, it is hard to argue that Robbie maybe one of the few who may full on benefit from this movie.
Storywise, and when it comes to The Enchantress, that is the downfall of the film. The story tries to give you just enough to know who every villain is, but it really isn’t enough. For the actors who have charisma, or know how to play their characters, like Smith and Robbie, you are left wanting more. As for everyone else, you are left wondering: 1. Who are they, 2. Who is the hero to their villain, and 3. Can’t they die to give Deadshot and Harley more screen time?
To dive a bit deeper, Deadshot and Harley are given backstories. We are told how they fought and lost against the Batman, we get to learn why they are cool, and we are given enough to the point you honestly feel that you are watching snippets of a movie Warner Brothers didn’t fully finance. With that though comes those two trying to keep you engaged while The Enchantress, played by Cara Delevingne, is supposed to be your villain.
Now, I have nothing against Delevingne, but the model turned actress reminds me a lot of Jessica Alba. Yes, she is pretty and likely fun to work with, probably knows all her lines when someone yells “Action!” but she is kind of dead on the screen. Granted, she is playing against Will Smith and Margot Robbie, but come on! The one thing DC has over Marvel is at least their villains, well the Batman ones anyway, are formidable, interesting, and well known. Why use this one? Much less, why have Delevingne play her?
Though perhaps the real issue is that the whole argument for the Suicide Squad is that one day there might be a being, like The Enchantress, who decides to not side with man like Superman did but try to destroy the world. That is what the Enchantress tries to do and who do they send? People who know how to use weapons, with Deadshot having deadly accuracy, and one guy, Diablo, who is actually a meta-human and can do something. Everyone else is pretty much impractical in situations like this. Making it so when The Enchantress is defeated by them, especially considering how she is defeated, you begin to realize why so many critics, so fiercely, trashed this movie.