Suicide Squad: Introducing DC’s “The Averagers”

Jack Johnson is a columnist for the College Heights Herald.

Jack Johnson

“Suicide Squad” is one of those movies that is very entertaining, but in a “man, what a mess” kind of way.

It has an alright cast, although the two biggest names are, predictably enough, the show-stealers. Will Smith plays an assassin who never misses his mark, Deadshot, while Margot Robbie plays Harley Quinn, the crazed other half of the Joker, who’s played this time around by Jared Leto.

The basic rundown — after Superman’s death in “Batman v. Superman,” the U.S. government is looking into using superpowered folk to handle tasks too dangerous for regular humans.

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The twist here, though, is that they’re criminals. Think of how Nick Fury assembled the Avengers, but Nick Fury is a horrible, ruthless woman, and the Avengers are all people you’re supposed to feel sorry for.

In theory, this concept is neat: audiences love watching a rag-tag group of no-gooders coming together to do good despite their past of no-gooding. The thing is, most other movies with the same premise spend more time on substance than spectacle; an issue “Suicide Squad” pays for in folds.

Given, most young moviegoers are familiar with characters like the Joker and Harley Quinn, though many wouldn’t have known who Deadshot was until his story is explained.

But what about classic DC characters like Killer Croc, The Enchantress or *chuckles* Captain Boomerang? It goes about as far as “he’s Australian and throws boomerangs real good.” You can’t deduce a person’s character just by what superpower they have, DC.

The most blaring issue with the film is how rushed it all feels; you’re very quickly introduced to the main cast, then they’re jettisoned into the fray because the movie has to happen.

It’s no secret that “Suicide Squad” was cut heavily to save time, and there’s no greater blunder from that decision than every scene with the Joker. Though the movie is mainly focused on Deadshot and Harley, there’s very little attempt to make the audience care about Harley’s love affair with Gotham’s clown prince. Which is a pain, as the movie really shoves that whole dynamic down your throat.

If the movie wants to romanticize what basically comes down to Stockholm syndrome, that’s its own beef, but at least make it enjoyable to watch. Leto’s Joker is just a weird creep. I’d like to like him more, but I just don’t. He’s not scary so much as he is just a nuisance to the plot.

Speaking of plot, most of the pivotal moments happen seemingly only because the movie needs them to happen. For example, during the final act of the film, everyone is suddenly hunky-dory on the whole “squad” aspect. But we’re never treated to the bonding or kindling of their relationship as a group; the best camaraderie, again, comes from Smith and Robbie in their roles.

Not to mention how the entire final scene is essentially “Diablo ex machina,” because as we all know, likeable characters have to die or it’s not a superhero flick. It’s a fun movie, for sure, but even with all the trimming, there’s still too much fat on this one to really leave a good taste in your mouth.