Suicide Squad: A Strong Continuation Of The DCEU

NOTE: Work first appeared on

It is safe to suggest that comic book fans, specifically those who relate more to DC than Marvel, are set to hit theatres this weekend with apprehension. Let’s be honest here: the DCEU has been a turmoil of unmet expectations and disappointment. At best, it can be said that the three films in the DCEU are divisive. Now, we have Suicide Squad — a team of Super-Villains thrown into the limelight to boost a cinematic universe, which is seemingly having trouble catching up with itself.

If you are reading this, it’s safe to assume you have read the Rotten Tomatoes score on Suicide Squad. And it’s really not good. Unfortunately, this isn’t surprising, either. Man of Steel was in the middle ground, and this year’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice was largely panned by critics and fans. Suicide Squad should certainly not be aligned with its predecessors.

The DCEU seems to be strategizing a completely opposite tactic to its rival, Marvel. Whereas the latter spent years growing its universe with individual films to meet in Avengers, DC and Warner Bros. haven’t been so lucky. It is an inverted triangle of sorts: introducing its audience to a myriad of characters, and supplying the spin-off films at a later date. BvS crammed in three members of the Justice League. Suicide Squad learnt from this and carefully — albeit through forced exposition over a cheesy soundtrack — engaged audiences with a new group of characters we can expect to follow in the years to come.

And it works. No, really, it does. With the exception of Killer Croc and Slipknot, we meet each character and learn their backstories. We understand the stakes and realise their motives. We care for them. Will Smith must have a clause in his contract whereby he needs to be the leading man in an ensemble film (he even says to the title of the film, causing eye rolls from the audience). But Warner Bros. needs his star power and charisma to support the rest of the team he works with. Hell, they even brought in an Oscar-winning actor to portray their most famous villain (more on him later!). Smith with the help of the amazing Margot Robbie really guide the story and build a bond together. This much is clear. Through a completely unrealistic and random scene in a bar, we are honoured to be in the company of such developed characters as they explain what they’re doing and why.

Now, what are they doing? The build-up to Suicide Squad worked because we knew so little about its story. We knew it was a team of bad guys saving the world. We knew they were the patsies, and we knew it would be fun. Fun being the keyword here, as it had to be a ‘stark’ (sorry, couldn’t resist) contrast to films seen previously. The main problem with Suicide Squad is the main problem with most Marvel films — there just isn’t a coherent villain in which they fight. Enchantress is over-the-top, underdeveloped, and not rendered correctly in the editing room. Seriously, CGI here is not up to scratch. The final act relies on this heavily and it is a shame to see it fail.

Outside of the somewhat mediocre storyline is The Joker. A much-anticipated portrayal by Jared Leto, seems to go without much direction by David Ayer. Sure, we understand Harley Quinn’s story more and we can witness some fun scenes, showing us if all his crazy antics on set were worth it. However, it seems to fall a bit flat. He’s impressive, yes, but in perhaps the blandest and safest way possible. Heath Ledger, he ain’t. It wouldn’t be shocking at all if they were saving some of his best material and antics for future instalments, but for now, it seemed to be a random side plot with as many holes as his generic laughs we heard in every trailer.

There have been rumours floating around of sudden recuts of Suicide Squad to meet the demands of the studio before its release. This wouldn’t be very shocking, as although it starts off fun and new, it quickly falls into WB’s old tricks of removing classic songs (Spirit in the Sky and The House of the Rising Sun), with its more conventional and dark score. Without the last blast of Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody (most likely included due to its positive reception), the tone of the movie shifts dramatically.

Of course, we are going to see these characters again. Of course, the studio is showing signs of actually listening to its fans. Fans of the DCEU have remained loyal and supportive until now. It is unsure if the regular cinema-goer will be so forgiving next time. They had a great thing going at the start of this movie, let’s see if they can keep that going until the end of their universe.

Suicide Squad is in theaters now.

Image: Warner Bros.

Originally published at on August 5, 2016.

One clap, two clap, three clap, forty?

By clapping more or less, you can signal to us which stories really stand out.