Suicide Squad: It Feels Good to be Bad


Alexa Conrad, Editor

Fans had different expectations as Suicide Squad inched closer to its movie release date. While some looked forward to Aug. 5, others were dreading the movie, for many reasons.  

More and more comic film franchises are seen incorporating connections among comic book characters in their movies. Captain America: Civil War, Batman vs. Superman, and Guardians of the Galaxy are all films that either hinted at or introduced the combination of superheroes. This strategy opened the doors for a new audience, incorporating more interest in the films. As they showed so much success, many producers saw the opportunity behind these sorts of films. Because of this, many more comic based cinemas hit the theaters, bringing fans excitement and anticipation as they combined their favorite heroes into one movie.

However, Suicide Squad has received mixed reactions from fans.

The story starts by introducing all members of the newer comic version of Suicide Squad, including villains who aren’t new in the DC world.

A sizable portion of the movie is too confusing, as the film is tasked with introducing too many, in my opinion, new characters who aren’t familiar on the big screens.

Characters including Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie), Deadshot (Will Smith), Enchantress (Cara Delevingne), Diablo (Jay Hernandez), Katana (Kara Fukahara), Boomerang (Jai Courtney),  Killer Croc (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje), and Slipknot (Adam Beach) are all characters who must fit their storylines together in a tight period of time. And not only are these characters struggling for time in the movie, we are also reintroduced to another beloved character, the Joker, played by Jared Leto.

Much of the audience was just too overwhelmed from the movie, whether it be Deadshot’s constant struggle with his past life, or Harley Quinn and the Joker’s romantic storyline background.

Maybe if DC had created individual movies for some of the characters and waited, rather than dive headfirst into Suicide Squad, it would have been less complex and muddled. There are just too many characters to introduce, and the audience is left struggling to understand and connect with each character.

As the movie focuses too much on character background, it also sacrifices another major component to the movie: its plotline. It seems as though nothing is really going on in the movie, as there is not enough time in the movie to create a well developed story.

The movie then turns to agent Amanda Waller (Viola Davis), a tough, no nonsense sort of woman who manages to assemble a team out of these criminals. In order to assure that there is a backup plan when the heroes aren’t here to save the day, Waller persuades much of the team to serve on the other side for once. And when it comes to our villain, the “squad” is met with a very powerful one.

Every really good movie has a relatable, complex antagonist. In this movie, our “heroes” are challenged against the Enchantress, a powerful ancient spirit that resides within the body of archaeologist June Moone. Pitting herself against the human race, she vows to destroy any trace of the human civilization, and rebuild her own world. While this character contains the threatening power quality that most villains contain, she fails to develop a credible background. We barely learn about the romance between June Moone and Rick Flag (Joel Kinnamen), and we never connect to the Enchantress, when there are many opportunities to do so.

Another aspect to the movie that is really confusing has to do with the number of scenes cut from it. Much of the film that is shown in trailers isn’t even featured on the big screen. One actor that seems really bothered by this is Jared Leto, as he had little time on the big screen after shooting so many scenes.

In an interview with BBC Radio 1, Leto shared his thoughts.

 “I think that I brought so much to the table in every scene, it was probably more about filtering all of the insanity. Because I wanted to give a lot of options, and I think there’s probably enough footage in this film for a Joker movie,” he said. “If I were to die tomorrow, maybe the studio would roll something out. Rated R or rated X performance in there somewhere.”

Even though all of these problems contributed to such a low rating on the movie, I have to be honest. I enjoyed the movie’s concept of bringing together one of the first villain/hero squads, along with the pieces of Harley and Joker’s past. I understand why many comic book fans would be angry with the movie, as it cuts out and alters many important factors to the movie. However, I think it’s an interesting twist from the all good superhero teams, and I was excited to see these characters on the big screen for the first time.

While I understand many comic fans were disappointed from such a watered down version of the comic, it still is a movie that had a lot of interesting aspects to it. Overall, I would recommend that if you haven’t heard of the comic before, this could be a movie that you could overall enjoy from its humor, adventure, and complex backstory.