I’m So Glad The Suicide Squad Remembered That It’s Called The Suicide Squad
That's some Task Force you've got there
Spoilers for The Suicide Squad
This might seem like an obvious thing to point out about a movie called The Suicide Squad, but I really like that the group legitimately went on suicidal missions. People can, and do, die in the film – and not just folks on the opposite side of whatever weapon Harley Quinn is wielding that day.
I love that the movie does this because I realized, after I got to the credits, that David Ayer’s Suicide Squad didn’t have these kinds of stakes.
I’m not saying that I wanted the entire squad to die, nor did I require a huge body count (but it is a hefty size), but this is a team of expendable villains created by a woman who has no problem blowing up their heads. People on the team are going to die, but the only person we lost in the Ayer version was Slipknot, who we barely got to know. Arguably, Slipknot wasn’t the only squad member who felt like an NPC (my boy Killer Croc was robbed) which was a big problem for me with the 2016 film.
In this new version, I found myself caring about the team, which is hilarious when you see what we have to work with. James Gunn’s squad feels like the leftovers from Amanda Waller’s playbook, superglued together to make some semblance of a team. Some of the choices make sense while others make you scratch your head and wonder if they’ve been recruited to be a meat shield.
But you actually like those meat shields, you know? You’re rooting for them to survive because they’re interesting and have good chemistry with one another. That’s how it should be with The Suicide Squad. You got a shark, a girl who can summon rats, a dude who vomits polka dots, and a literal weasel among the list of headliners and you LIKE them as a team, but as Bloodsport says in the meeting, they’re gonna die.
And, well, a large number of them do!
It doesn’t take long for the film to show you that it has no problem killing characters off. At around the fifteen-minute mark, you can tell that 1) the squad is, indeed, a suicide squad sent out on missions that could kill them, and 2) Amanda Waller doesn’t give a single, solitary f*ck about using the squad this way. She purposely uses a team as a distraction so the “real” team can continue the mission, and if that “real” team backtalks her, she’ll dispose of them, too.
If people from Team Disposable live, cool. If not, oh well.
Waller’s coldness doesn’t end there. She truly does whatever she has to in order to get the team together. Forget Deadshot being able to reunite with his daughter in the 2016 movie, Bloodsport’s kid is at risk of ending up in prison after stealing a watch. Tyla’s old enough to be tried as an adult in Lousiana and, well, murder rates are so high in Belle Reve, the prison where Bloodsport is and where Waller says his daughter could end up.
Oh, and if you think we’re done losing beloved Waller cannon fodder after the opening of the movie, think again. Anyone is prone to be killed off, whether it’s because Starro the Conquerer is a viable threat or because Amanda Waller decides that it’s for the best.
I love this.
This is exactly what I wanted in The Suicide Squad. I wanted nonsensical characters forced to come together facing extraordinary circumstances that highlighted how devastating their missions were. I also wanted an Amanda Waller that was just as vicious – if not more vicious – than the main villain of the story.
I wanted to be torn about seeing supervillains risking it all and The Suicide Squad did exactly that.
Thanks, Task Force X.
(Image: Warner Bros.)
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