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Comic Con International bestowed upon us a glut of new trailers and images and genocide metaphors. Amongst such gifts we received the first trailer for DC’s upcoming Suicide Squad movie. Overall? Not bad. Different than how I expected it to be.
However, if you’ve read the title you have already realized that we’re here to pick it apart to a degree unwarranted by a three minute video . So without further ado, I’ll break down the good aspects of the trailer and–more importantly–the bad things. Oh, wait a minute, here’s one more ado. Here’s the trailer:
I had worried that The Brothers Warner would try to change Amanda Waller for the movie. Make her more like the Nu52 version. I dunno. It’s not that another version could be good, it’s just that this will be most people’s first introduction to the character, and I think that the original version is the best one.
From everything we’ve seen in the trailer it appears that my fears were unfounded! I think it hits all the beats just right. The way she commands the scene–a scene that includes generals, the confidence in which she thinks she can control the Task Force, even the little things like the way she saws through bloody meat.
I think a really easy trap for this movie to fall into would be to have an anti-hero or “misunderstood villain” be forced into the Squad. Someone that a general audience can feel good about. Instead, it seems that they stuck with just straight-out villains. No punches pulled, from the very get-go we’re shown that these are “bad guys”.
Now, yes, they have Rick Flag on the team and I suppose you could argue that they’ll play up Deadshot’s daughter to garner sympathy. They may even play up Harley’s abuse to try and make her more sympathetic. Couldn’t these be “misunderstood villains”?
Maybe in a technical sense, but re-watch the trailer. At no point do they try to build up the idea that there’s a specific villain with a heart of gold that we can root for. A cop-out villain who isn’t really all that bad. Instead we’re presented with what appears to be out and out in-universe villains. That’s cool.
Okay. Full disclosure? I didn’t like Harley Quinn’s design for this movie. It didn’t do it for me, but I didn’t let it ruin my whole day. Her look isn’t that huge a part of her character. As long as they maintain the damaged aspect of her. The duality of her character, the fact that she’s cold and cruel to everyone save the Joker–the one person who is cold and cruel to her. With that in place, it should be fine.
Guys, I’m worried. Most of this trailer shows her as merely “hot clown girl”. She beats up a cop in her cage, sure, but the rest of the time is “oh man, look at this”. We meet her doing upside down sexy… yoga? We see her work the bar, lick another bar, walk slowly in heels, and… and bite. Also she helpfully asks if someone has insurance. At least she’s thoughtful.
I’m worried because, while it could be sheer marketing, it could also be indicative of the movie itself . After all it’s a big summer action movie. A mentally disturbed victim of abuse working past her abuser’s manipulation isn’t that marketable. You know what is? A hot crazy girl. It sucks, because if you take away her issues with the Joker and relationships in general then she’s just generic. Sexy femme fatal #2043. Now with more vague clown theme!
So I’ve been following the photos and set videos leading up to this trailer and my hopes began to rise. Joker was driving a pimped-out lambo. They had a Killer Croc that looked like a Killer Croc. In fact, everyone’s costume was pretty comic-bookish. I began to secretly hope that this movie would depart from Man of Steel‘s “but what if it was reaaal life” and dabble in more of the source material.
Maybe it was only this trailer, but I feel like this was played a little bit too straight forward. It was slow paced, dimly lit, it had a slow, piano-heavy version of a song. It felt like it was gunning for “this is important” super hard. It seems like a bit of a misstep.
I’m not saying go the other way, by any means. There’s a huge gulf between Man of Steel‘s third trailer and the trailer for Guardians of the Galaxy. This shouldn’t be a light story, it’s a bloody, brooding, dark story, but it shouldn’t be “grimdark” either. They have a Captain Boomerang! Dressed like a white trash gangster! There should be some acknowledgment that this world is stranger than the real one. Bigger! This is comics, you guys, this is mythology. Embrace it.