I said, what I said. The Suicide Squad really tried to come at me with a mediocre version of Harley Quinn and I’m not here for it. And the advertising for The Suicide Squad knew what it was doing when putting together it’s social media packages. They featured Margot Robbie‘s Harley as much as they could to make it seem like she was prominent in the movie. And I fell for it! Plenty of us did. Unfortunately, she wasn’t key to the movie as the trailers tried to make us believe. She got lost in the sauce of the mess of a bunch of men who legitimately were two seconds away from whipping it out and measuring their own packages.
This leads to concern number one when it comes to The Suicide Squad. What was her story arc about? What did she learn? How did she grow? Because from where I’m standing The Suicide Squad used Harley for one epic fight sequence and then spent the rest of the time having her laugh in the way only Harley does, have crazy sex with a dictator, and look beautiful while looking like she’s lost her train of thought because of rainbows, flowers, and unicorns that only she can see. That doesn’t make for a productive or interesting character, especially with someone as loved as Harley Quinn.
This leads to concern number two when it comes to The Suicide Squad. When does this take place in Harley Quinn’s story? Because the Harley that we saw in Birds of Prey, aka the superior DC movie, moved past a lot of the pain of her past life with the Joker. She closed that door, lit the house on fire, and found a family worth fighting for. It’s like James Gunn watched Birds of Prey, ignored it because it didn’t fit the story he was building, and ended up giving us a dollar story version of Harley while trying to convince me, “Oh, don’t worry. It’s all the same. She’s all the same. Trust me.” No, I don’t trust you.
This leads to concern number three when it comes to The Suicide Squad. It was missed opportunity after missed opportunity with this movie while giving us flashbacks and scenes that added absolutely nothing to the overall story in this movie. Ratcatcher? Don’t care. Polka Dot man? Ehhhh I don’t care to see your mom as everyone and whoever thought that was funny was wrong. Even the scene with King Shark and the cute jellies, how did that add to the overall story? That includes the montage where Harley was in a romantic movie with dictator dude. What was the point? Because I still don’t understand it or care to do so.
This leads to concern number four when it comes to The Suicide Squad. It wasn’t funny. From beginning to end, I was waiting for the laughs. But the only laughs that I got in this movie were the ones that came from Harley. That’s it. No one was funny, the situations they were in missed the mark time after time, and they were trying to be so serious and brooding that I wondered for a second whether I was watching The Suicide Squad or fanfiction written by Ben Affleck’s Batman where everyone is brooding, bland, and basic AF. Because there were plenty of hits and beats that reminded me of how bad Batman vs. Superman truly was.
And finally, the last concern I have when it comes to The Suicide Squad is the direction this movie took when it came to it’s women. Harley was there to laugh maniacally, screw dictators, and have moments with herself that we never got to see even though the movie wasted plenty of time on Bloodsport and Peacemaker trying to one up each other, King Shark doing nothing, and Polka Dot man just growing these weird polka dots of death on his skin. Where was the same time and dedication when it came to Harley? And why did the movie think we were going to connect with Ratcatcher? Because that fell flat as a pancake.
Also, why was the only Latina, Alice Braga‘s character Sol Soria, a guerilla style warrior? Because from where I’m standing it’s unoriginal idea after unoriginal idea with a side of, “Look at me, I did a movie, laugh for me and ignore how I treated the women in this movie.” How about no? How about I don’t ignore the dollar store version of Harley Quinn that I was fed while living with scraps when it comes the Latinx character IN A FICTIONAL LATINX COUNTRY IN SOUTH AMERICA!?” *deep breath*
Point being, I started this piece talking about Harley and everything this movie missed when it came to her. But the problems with The Suicide Squad run deeper than I first thought or expected. So yeah, I’m going to delete this movie from my memory, watch the superior movie of Birds of Prey, and hope that the next version of Harley that we get (or just any woman in the DC universe) gets the respect that she deserves. She’s badass, she’s fire, and she’s the reason why people tuned into this movie. Unfortunately this movie failed to deliver on Harley and then some.
I said, what I said.
The Suicide Squad is available on HBO Max.