How Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn Saved Suicide Squad

Warner Bros. Entertainment

Warner Bros. Entertainment

The critics and fans reviews are in for Suicide Squad and it seems the consensus is not that bad of a movie but not extremely memorable.

There is so much to talk about Suicide Squad. Which makes me like it (to an extent). I think the “26%” rating on Rotten Tomatoes is a little harsh. However, I’m not going to sign the petition to shut Rotten Tomatoes down. Sit down fanboys.

Warner Bros. Entertainment

Warner Bros. Entertainment

Let’s start with Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn. I still stand strong in my opinion that she was the most compelling presence on the Suicide Squad screen. I’m not alone in this and it’s probably why she’s getting her very own movie. While Margot Robbie was doing ballet for three hours a day while filming Squad her costar Jared Leto (who played the infamous Joker) was sending her dead rats. Um, charming? Let’s hope that one is just movie buzz rumors so we can talk about something else other than it didn’t meet expectations.

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Anyways, Margot is the best thing about this movie. I went into the movie intrigued by her preparation for her role. Watching her acrobatic moves in the first trailer was eerie. I was hooked. She kept me interested as did Will Smith’s Deadshot character. She reminded me of another scene stealer in The Dark Knight, Heath Ledger’s joker.

But the awkward one liners made me cringe. I had an a-ha moment near the end with a combination of slow mo, rain, awkward one liner quips and more rain (because you know, it’s cinematic) that this was written and directed by the same person. My initial reaction after going out of the theater was that the writer director, David Ayer, kind of blew it. After hearing all the trouble with the rushed deadline, reshoots, cut footage I thought that maybe it’s not Ayer’s fault this wasn’t up to my Dark Knight standards. Hey, Chris Nolan left some big shoes to fill and so did Heath Ledger’s Joker.

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The Dark Knight trilogy was a compelling way of intertwining old comic book characters with ethical dilemmas. The joker that “just wanted to watch the world burn” was comical, scary, smart and psychopathic. He’s definitely a character easy to fall in love with because he is a manipulator of the strongest kind. He steals the screen from Batman and makes the audience want to know more about how he got those scars.

Jared Leto’s maniacal version of the Joker was comical but lacking depth. He played the iconic character on the gangster level with crusted gold teeth and an outrageously green hairstyle. When I saw the teaser trailer a year ago I was terrified by him. Which is how you are suppose to feel about a super villain! He seemed darker, much darker than the Dark Knight joker. Even only after 8 years since Dark Knight. With little screen time for the joker on Suicide Squad the joker storyline fell flat.

Warner Bros. Entertainment

Warner Bros. Entertainment

I find it hard to believe that a psychiatric doctor would fall so easily in love with a patient that tells her he needs a machine gun. Oh but what would you want to do with a machine gun? Thinking of the Dark Knight world and Heath Ledger’s joker I’ll believe it because I knew that joker. I knew he was a massive manipulative psychopath and I still liked the character. I don’t know this joker very well. Which could be why I didn’t like him. That and also because the audience was only getting snippets into their love story dynamic with not so flushed out story lines. I’ll give them that.

Warner Bros. Entertainment

Warner Bros. Entertainment

The frustration with this movie with audiences I think is the lack of focus with the story. Cramming in twenty stories about super villains we have never met (in this specific universe) does not make the audience love them or even understand them. Leaving too much to flashbacks and on screen subtitle text about what is happening in the movie is never a smart tactic. If Warner Bros. really wanted to milk this franchise they would have started with individual films for each of the characters. Which is what happened with Batman v. Superman but by then it was too late. Way, way, way too late for reshoots to be funnier like Deadpool (cue: Ryan Reynolds “aww”). Flush out those backstories in each movie versus cramming it down our throats in one giant movie.

Warner Bros. Entertainment

Warner Bros. Entertainment

Squad is still projected to make $140 million opening weekend which is good enough for Warner Bros. It also got a 7.2 rating on IMdb which is a more reasonable rating than 26%. I just think it had so much potential. I hate saying that because everything has potential but that trailer was killer. It was so enticing in fact that the studio allegedly did reshoots after the flop of Batman v. Superman and got the trailer editors to help edit the rest of Squad. Already a bad sign.

If you go into it with low expectations and just want to escape for a couple hours in a blockbuster you will enjoy this movie. If you go into it as a critic you will only see it’s flaws.

Maybe it was just too soon for those die hard Dark Knight fans like me. Too soon after Heath Ledger.

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