So Warner Bros. has released a new trailer for the Suicide Squad.
If Warner Bros. had anything to say about it, this would have been the first look the world outside of the San Diego Comic Con would have had at David Ayer’s Suicide Squad. Unfortunately for them, the footage got leaked almost immediately and proliferated on the Internet faster than a speeding bullet.
I have to say, I’m pretty surprised that Warner Bros. has resisted the pull of using the mystique of Jared Leto’s Joker. Sure, he appears a fair amount, with at least 6 costumes that I’ve seen, but it doesn’t feel forced, and the other cast members all have a chance to shine and show off.
It’s dirty, and violent, and unabashedly flashy. It looks and feels entirely unlike any other comic book superhero – or in this case, supervillain might be more apt a descriptor – film (or film trailer, I suppose would be more accurate) released in the past decade. Especially it’s predecessors, Man of Steel and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. It’s more of a grimy crime film than it is a mainstream superhero caper. Which makes sense. Because after all, it is a film about bad guys. The music is chopped up and thrown in together with exactly the right footage to make an exquisite trailer.
But perhaps the real triumph is Margot Robbie’s character, Harley Quinn. One of the most popular female comic characters ever since she appeared in Batman: The Animated Series, Harley Quinn is a former psychiatrist, who was seduced to the dark side by the Joker, deluding herself to be in love with him. She’s served as love interest – as far as any love interest can serve when the Joker is Romeo – and sidekick to the Clown Prince of Crime. And her struggle with her past as a doctor, as an agent of healing, with what she has become under the Joker’s thrall is a gripping and intoxicating draw for audiences that Warner Bros. and DC Comics are using to the fullest. And if the Suicide Squad film ends up being the first female-centric comic book movie of the modern era, so much the better.
2016 is going to be interesting at the box office for a number of reasons – chief among them being that it’s the first year that ‘superhero fatigue’ proposed by Steven Spielberg will truly be tested, with 6 comic book superhero films by DC and Marvel.
All in all, from first appearances Suicide Squad may very well be the DCEU’s analogue to the MCU’s Guardians of the Galaxy.
*Pictures to come.