Suicide Squad is currently getting all the criticism in the world, to the point that there is petition to shut down Rotten Tomatoes. Fans of the film are angry that Suicide Squad is currently rocking a 26% on the website, meaning it’s rotten. Usually 26% would be just about right for a DC film, but perhaps critics did judge this one too harshly.
For starters, this is a summer blockbuster film, which by definition would require it be entertaining but not necessarily life-changing cinema. Of course, in the past decade, the expectations for summer blockbusters have gone way up, which is majorly thanks to Nolan, who released The Dark Knight and Inception during the summer. Marvel has also upped the ante in terms of superhero films in general. Now, it’s a lot of pressure to release a summer superhero movie when before, there wouldn’t have been such high expectations.
Suicide Squad is not The Dark Knight or even Guardians of the Galaxy. You should not go see Suicide Squad thinking that it will be on the level of those films. It is far from a perfect film but it is undoubtedly better than Batman v Superman. Suicide Squad may actually be DC’s best attempt at constructing their universe in recent history. While it is certainly far from perfect, it is worth seeing as it did get a few things right. Below are 15 things that Suicide Squad definitely did right.
15. Batman Punching Harley Quinn
For the love of all that is good, what do we want? First there was backlash when Jennifer Lawrence‘s Mystique was depicted being choked on billboards for X-Men: Apocalypse. There was so much backlash that Fox apologized and took the billboards down. There were even several think pieces penned about the strangling of women in comic book movies and why it must come to women being strangled, as it leaves them defenseless.
Now, everyone is angry about Batman punching Harley Quinn. Literally, what do we want? For women in comic book films to never run the risk of being physically hurt? That would be an even worse depiction of women.
The scene in which Batman punches Harley Quinn was criticized because it draws a laugh from the audience, as it did from the audience when I saw the film. I even laughed. But guys, it’s Batman punching Harley Quinn, not some 5-year-old girl playing with her dolls. I’m sure she can take it. Girlfriend has been through worse.
14. Ike Barinholtz
Ike Barinholtz was a welcomed addition to the film. He played Griggs, a security officer who deals with the likes of Harley Quinn and Deadshot. Every scene Barinholtz was in had laughs. His performance drew laugh after laugh, whether he was dealing with his repressed sexual feelings for Harley Quinn or his fear of Deadshot. Having a seasoned comedic actor in the film definitely helped lighten things up. Oh, if only someone remotely funny was in Batman v Superman.
Also, Ike Barinholtz never disappoints, as he is more or less the only thing keeping The Mindy Project watchable. Sorry, Mindy Kaling. I still love you, boo boo.
13. Will Smith As Deadshot
I’m not sure if Will Smith needed this movie or if this movie needed Will Smith more but the both definitely needed each other. A lot.
Will Smith as Deadshot was wonderful casting. He carried the film with his charismatic scene presence. Also, while many of the other members of the Suicide Squad had tragic backstories, Deadshot’s was the one that pulled on the heartstrings the most. Knowing that he desperately wants to spend time with his daughter makes his motivations very clear.
Besides all of that though, did you guys know that Will Smith is a movie star? I sure as hell was starting to forget that he is one of those light-up-the-screen, star-of-the-show movie stars. The fact that he crushed this role and that the movie will pull in some mega money in the box office is just what Will Smith’s career needed right now.
12. No Minority Or Women’s Issue
We’re very fast to criticize films for having minority or women issues, with the absence of casting minorities in big roles and the general portrayal of minorities or women. Well, in Suicide Squad, there really wasn’t a huge minority or women’s issue and that was cool. For the record, I shouldn’t have to praise a film for – oh, I don’t know – casting and portraying people in an accurate way but since Hollywood has gotten it so wrong in the past, I will.
By the way, yes, Harley Quinn did prance around in minimal clothes but that was all part of her character and never took away from her being empowered. Sure, she was easy on the eyes but her character was much more than that too. She layers to her. She also played a major role in the climax scene so let’s not get too hung up on the fact that she’s attractive.
Any character ever that Margot Robbie plays is going to be attractive because she is. Neither she nor the film should not be faulted for that.
11. The Soundtrack
Of the latest superhero films released, this soundtrack is one of the best. No, it’s not as good as Guardians of the Galaxy but that’s because music played a mega role in Guardians. The music in this film definitely did help create the specific tone they were trying to nail down – entertaining, funny and dangerous.
When we meet Harley Quinn with “You Don’t Own Me” playing in the background, it’s easily helps set up her character. The singer lets out the lyrics like “I’m not just one of your many toys” in a playful, doll-like but seductive voice, which is pretty much Harley Quinn’s thing – being playful and seductive.
10. Viola Davis
Viola Davis should be in every movie ever. She’s amazing and delivered just as expected in this film.
In fact, she’s a better villain than the actual villain because let’s be real, the movie had a huge villain problem. Casting Cara Delevingne was an odd choice considering how new to acting she is. One can assume the model was cast based on her social media following, as she has nearly 32 million followers on Instagram alone. She did a fine job when playing June, a federal agent, but once she is possessed by the Enchantress her portrayal is… well, not good.
To make matters worse, Enchantress was made to seem like she was unable to be defeated, then the climax played out almost too easily. Actually, it played out way too easily if we’re being honest.
9. Jared Leto’s Joker
The Joker is a very hard character to talk about because fanboys can be pretty passionate about him. That being said, Jared Leto was not the worst. Almost everyone agrees that Caesar Romero’s Joker was pretty awful. Of course, the two most recent portrayals of Joker come from Heath Ledger, who won an Oscar for the role, and Jack Nicholson. They left some pretty big shoes to fill and while Leto may not have filled them, he also didn’t bomb.
In flashbacks, we get to see how the Joker was literally running the town, which was cool. Even Ledger’s Joker didn’t have this certain prestige about him, as he had to ask the mobsters to unite behind him.
Furthermore, this was not the Joker’s film. He had a few scenes but all in all, he didn’t have that much to do. It’s easier to praise Heather Ledger for being a better Joker when he had more to do, like rob a bank or throw Maggie Gyllenhaal‘s Rachel off a building. This was not a film about Joker’s diabolic plans and Leto worked well with the material he had.
8. The Lack Of The Joker
Yes, I just praised Leto’s Joker and now, I’m saying that how little he was in the film was a good thing. No, it was a great thing!
Like I said, this was not Joker’s movie. This was a movie about misfit villains uniting to be anti-heroes. If you threw Joker into the mix, it would not work. Joker is, like, Batman’s #1 villain. Fans love the psychopathic villain and seeing him be a quasi-good guy would be a poor use of the character.
Also, the way he was lightly sprinkled through the movie worked, as we got to know other characters. Let’s all be honest, when Joker is on the screen, he usually steals the show. This way other characters like Deadshot and Harley Quinn were introduced without having to fight for the attention of the audience.
7. The Flashbacks
Going into the film, I read reviews about David Ayer’s overuse of flashbacks and I was ready to watch something horribly constructed with flashbacks feeling forced and breaking up the actual movie. That wasn’t how the flashbacks played out. They were used mostly in the beginning of the film when Viola Davis’ character is going through the villains’ case files. Sure, I didn’t really need all the flashbacks that were included but Deadshot’s and Harley Quinn’s worked particularly well.
Also, being that they are introducing new characters and skipping any origin story films, they needed some way to tell us how these characters go to where they are now. Only knowing Harley Quinn as the psychopathic, bat-wielding, booty shorts-wearing version of herself would be a disservice to a layered character. Knowing that she was once a psychiatrist brings much more to the table for her.
6. David Harbour
David Harbour is on a roll right now. Between Stranger Things and his small role in Suicide Squad, he is hitting it out of the park. Admittedly, he really didn’t do much in Suicide Squad. His role was just to wear a suit and talk to Viola Davis, but every time he was on the scene, I was like “Yes, the dude from Stranger Things!” Then, for a second, I thought about how amazing Stranger Things was before getting back into Suicide Squad.
If you haven’t seen Stranger Things, it’s Netflix’s newest original series and you should stop reading this article right now and go watch it. I’m just kidding. Finish the article. But then go watch it.
5. Batman And The Flash
They, of course, were not in much of the film because if actual heroes were around, the bad guys wouldn’t have been enlisted to help. The way that they were sprinkled into small flashback scenes worked very well, as it reminded us of the universe we were in. This is definitely DC taking a page from Marvel but it finally worked for them. Actually, all of DC’s films are taking a page from Marvel right now but that’s beside the point.
With Ben Affleck as Batman and Ezra Miller as The Flash, these little scenes worked as reminders that Justice League is coming out in 2017. Oh, DC, way to plug a movie within another movie.
4. It Positively Expanded The DC Universe
Again in stealing a page from Marvel, this movie succeeded in expanding the DC Universe. Not only did the film bring in Batman and The Flash, it also kept the universe in check by setting this film in a post-Batman v Superman world.
The inciting incident of putting together this team of villains is that they want a team in case another Superman comes to Earth but he doesn’t like people the way OG Superman did. The fact that Batman v Superman kind of set the stage for Viola Davis putting together a suicide squad definitely worked, but it also could have also been talked about more.
3. Jay Hernandez As Diablo
Jay Hernandez has been around forever. You may remember him as Paxton, the dude who makes it out alive in Hostel, but he’s also been consistently working since 1999.
He’s finally hit it big this summer, with both Suicide Squad and Bad Moms. In Bad Moms, he plays the only likable guy in the entire movie so kudos to him for that role. In Suicide Squad, he plays Diablo, a man who has the ability to create fire. Because of his tragic backstory, he refuses to use his power, making him a more interesting character than many of the other villains enlisted for the suicide squad.
2. Margot Robbie As Harley Quinn
It would be quite easy to assume that Margot Robbie was cast as Harley Quinn because she’s hot AF. Seriously, have you seen The Wolf of Wall Street? Margot Robbie is hot, no question. The part about Robbie that was a wonderful surprise in this film is that she can act too! Sure, she was playing a sexy psychopath and that part was made easy because she’s sexy to begin with. On a deeper level though, she really nailed down the character in the quieter moments.
While Robbie did prance around in the shortest shorts ever and wear a white tee-shirt that got rained on, she also brought a lot to the table in terms of acting. Basically, Robbie stole almost every single scene she was in and it’s worth seeing the movie for her scenes alone.
1. Harley Quinn, Again
Harley Quinn is probably the best part of the film so we’re talking about her again. This time though, it isn’t about the fact that Robbie can act but rather about the character Harley Quinn.
Suicide Squad presents us with a female anti-hero who is perhaps more complex than anyone in their film universe at the moment because of the contradictory sides of her personality. Harley Quinn was both a psychiatrist but then also a woman who did a crazy thing like willingly jumping into a vat of chemicals for a guy she loved. She’s someone who steals a purse then says, “We’re bad guys. It’s what we do.” But, she’s also someone whose one true wish would be a simple, domesticated life with the Joker. The dichotomy of Harley’s secretly longing to be a married mother of two and the outward chaotic show she puts on is more intriguing than anything else DC has served us.
Ayer has faced criticism that he didn’t understand just how tragic of a character Harley Quinn is, but there is evidence to the contrary baked right in the film. He certainly understood alright, but he thankfully didn’t shove it down our throats. Currently, Harley Quinn stands as the most interesting character in the DC universe. She’s more complex than brooding Batman, golden-boy Superman or even the crazed Joker.