Trailer Reaction: Suicide Squad | One of Us

Trailer Reaction: Suicide Squad

12 Submitted by on Mon, 13 July 2015, 16:30

After previously being leaked, the San Diego Comic Con first look trailer for DC’s upcoming Suicide Squad has been released online in full HD by Warner Bros. The film will be the third entry in DC’s cinematic universe and star a group of villains serving as mercenaries for a secret government agency’s black ops missions in exchange for clemency. This team includes Deadshot (Will Smith), Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie), Killer Croc (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje), Captain Boomerang (Jai Courtney), Rick Flagg (Joel Kinnaman), El Diablo (Jay Hernandez) and Slipknot (Adam Beach), who are called together by Amanda Waller (Viola Davis). Somewhere in the mix will be an appearance by Batman (Ben Affleck) and The Joker (Jared Leto). The film is set for release on August 5th 2016 and the trailer follows below;


I’ll start with the positives; Viola Davis seems to be an excellent fit for Amanda Waller. While not as physically heavyset as most portrayals of the character in other adaptations, this trailer shows off her ability to command true authority and gravitas that are vital for the character. Plus, her describing the essential point of the Squad shows that she has the conviction to come up with a plan this seemingly crazy, yet sell her reasoning without breaking a sweat. It makes me hopeful that we’ll see more of her in the oncoming DC slate.

… And that’s about all I can think of for positives honestly. The rest of this trailer just seems to confirm many of the worries I had had about the tone of DC’s film slate. Now I’m not as familiar with the Suicide Squad comic series, but when I first heard about the idea, I was intrigued. One could see the concept of a group of villains coming together to earn their freedom while begrudgingly helping the system that imprisoned them as an opportunity for an anti-hero focused supervillain tale we’ve never seen before cinematically. Now, that premise would necessitate a certain amount of darkness, but all of the grit that’s attempting to be displayed here by director David Ayer rings hollow. The cinematography looks like it’s stuck on the X-Pro II Instagram filter, the characters all have the same exact mean mugging glower that comes off as a forced attempt at portraying a sense of badassery and elements like someone dressed as a panda bear or in a Batman mask seem to really clash with the overall tone shown in the trailer. None of this is helped by the music choice of a “haunting” cover The Bee Gees’ ‘I Started A Joke’, which feeds into one of the worst current trends in trailers of having a dower cover of an existing song to give the false impression of this product being a new spin on an old idea, in this case that this isn’t your average superhero movie. And they kind of sell that… in that it looks far worse than your average superhero movie.

It doesn’t help that most of the actors and characters seem lost. Will Smith is less like Deadshot and more like a poor man’s Will Smith who spews one liners that are grating (“We’re some kinda suicide squad” being the worst offender), Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje as Killer Croc looks like a Goomba from the Super Mario Bros Movie and Jai Courtney as Captain Boomerang  radiates the same amount of wooden block charisma he usually does, only this time with his natural Australian accent. The worst offender here though is Harley Quinn. Margot Robbie’s portrayal of Harley feels completely out of character, ditching the Brooklyn accent and darkly humorous charm for a spacey look and far too much over sexualizing of the character. What worked about Harley Quinn since her initial arrival in Batman: The Animated Series was that she had a playfully psychotic sidekick to The Joker who embraced who she was yet still couldn’t fight the inherent tragedy of her backstory. Yet, based on what we’ve seen here, this Harley seems less like a clever retooling of that character’s core and more of an excuse to ogle at Margot Robbie’s admittedly alluring figure.

As for Jared Leto’s Joker, he seems just as much like a mix between late 90s Marilyn Manson and James Franco from Spring Breakers as he did back when we first got an official look at him several months ago. This is the first official time we’ve heard his voice, though that just feels like a nasally combination of Jack Nicholson and Heath Ledger’s portrayals of the character than anything really new. Plus, his confrontation with Batman we see glimpses of worries me, mainly due to the rumors that it’ll be a flashback sequence adapted from A Death In The Family, which saw Joker brutally murdering the second Robin Jason Todd. While this is ripe for potential in cinematic form, it seems perplexing to me that they’d have it happen this early, especially when we don’t know anything about this version of Jason Todd. If we don’t know that much about the character, I worry that his torture won’t have nearly as much impact as they’d potentially want.

But that’s just one man’s opinion. How did you all feel about Suicide Squad‘s trailer? Does it look promising or worrying? Post your thoughts below!


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Written by

Thomas Mariani is a born geek, with a bit of nerd mixed in here & there. A native of the (less) swampy parts of Florida, Thomas has always been a fan of films, television & other sources of media ever since he was a child, having been raised on Jim Henson, Star Wars and the basic cable cartoons of the ’90s & ’00s. He already has experience writing and podcasting about pop culture, which you can read/listen to on sites like Widescreen Warrior, TvTalk, and Doc Rotten or on Twitter as @NotTheWhosTommy

  • Kyle Voltti

    The problem is simple… they want to have an Avengers or Guardians of the galaxy but they aren’t willing to put in the work. They want the penthouse with out building the foundation. Now I will admit that I vastly prefer this to the Superman Batman trailer but this should have been for want of a better phrase a phase two movie maybe even a phase three movie.

  • dark knight fan

    Everybody’s profile picture, is going to have Jared Leto’s Joker on it.

  • Joe Magaletta

    I really dug it. Always willing to see something new.

  • Batj()y

    I think this movie will be better then this trailer. Would have like to seen Tom Hardy as Bane in this lineup. Also how do you make a guy look like a shark and not go full blown Muppet? Does anyone believe that Snyder will make a better DC film then Ayers?

  • GodDamnRobots

    Upon closer inspection, these scenes look really well-filmed. From the VERY little I know so far, I would love to see an Affleck v.s. Leto movie.

  • Anthonyg1500

    Really? I think this is one of the more under-sexualized versions of Harley Quinn based on the trailer. Have you played the Arkham Games? Or read comics? Her cleavage could be a supporting character. They take 10 seconds to have Harley spin around and show off how short her skirt is in Batman Arkham Asylum, I didn’t see anything like that in this trailer.

  • Batj()y

    Yeah I didn’t think Harley showed much sex appeal in this trailer.

    • Maciek

      Ow, Harley is a goofy comic relief created to entertain the kids. She shouldn’t be sexy. It would be as silly as if DC would turn her into darker, psychotic character, took away the jester costume and give her a punk make-over. That would be just missing point of the character and… Oh! Wait…

  • Scott Johnson

    Damn, identifying the Joker as “90s Marilyn Manson and James Franco from Spring Breakers” is so on point. I’m okay with Harley Quinn as I’m relieved they didn’t go the more over-the-top Tara Strong route of recent years, but she feels comes off in this strange, airy, “off in her own world” type of way. It doesn’t feel like a comic book movie other than DC continued trumpeting of “DARKNESS, NO PARENTS.”

  • zgamer

    I actually think this is extremely promising. It’s more of a teaser than a trailer, so it’s hard to judge it fully. What I’m seeing, however, gives me confidence that it will be fun.

    Filters do not necessarily make a movie cheap. Yes there’s a distinct color palette that Ayers is applying, but we’ve seen him use it in other projects like Fury and we let people do cheaper looking filter work in stuff like Marvel films (it looks pretty cheap doing the sepia tones in the first Captain America film).

    So the people with Panda and Batman masks is off putting but the clown masks in The Dark Knight weren’t? Those were just as goofy looking if not more so when you have guys with gruff gangster accents under them.

    I will hand it to you that I didn’t care for the song choice. This trend in trailers needs to stop!

    And honestly, I think you’re being too hard on the actors. We got like, what, three lines of dialogue at most for a majority of the characters outside of Amanda Waller? I say that’s not a fair assessment of anyone.

    Yes it’s Will Smith playing Will Smith to some degree, but Deadshot is such a cipher these days and has been portrayed in a lot of different ways so I think it’s fine to have this version. Plus, there’s not really an organic way to work ‘Suicide Squad’ into a script without sounding goofy so I’m not worried about that. Would you rather have Waller do a corny line to introduce the moniker?

    Margot Robbie barely has a line longer than a few words in this, so it’s not enough to really judge her as bad or good (but she’s actually way under sexualized here than in the Arkham games or the comics). Plus, I agree with one of the commenters that I’m tired of the Tara Strong over done accent, so something a little softer would be pleasing.

    There’s not “set” way to depict Killer Croc and he has actually been portrayed in a similar way as Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje in this movie in other properties (I mean serious, the one from The Animated Series is pretty goofy looking too if you think about it). It seems more in line with their semi realism approach than doing the ten foot tall version from the Arkham games.

    At least Jai Courtenay is using his original accent. I wouldn’t say he’s a great actor by any means, but I’ve always felt a factor hindering what potential he could have is trying to hide his accent. Hollywood, we’re fine having foreigners in our movie be foreigners!

    Jared Leto, despite aping Ledger’s accent, seems totally immersed in the role in the best possible way and we know he can act. So I’m not going to complain that he’s borrowing from one of the best villain performances of all time because everyone borrows from the best. Heck, Ledger aped elements of Nicholson’s performance too, so it’s not like it hasn’t happened before. And man, the physicality of his performance is creepy and compelling. Those teeth man…it’s like he’s channeling his Fight Club days into the role!

    And honestly, subtext and implication are fine when it comes to Jason Todd. Do you seriously want them to go through all the history of the Robins and Todd’s run up to his death? Did we need to see every detail of how Captain America and Bucky met as kids and became friends to get the weight of their friendship in their movies (which is also retconning the fact that normally Bucky is younger than Rogers)? They are already starting this continuity in the latter part of Batman’s run, so that stuff would be old news already . As long as they can give the flashback context and weight, i can buy it. They did it in the Arkham Games, so they can do it here.

    Everyone to their own opinions, but I find this film much more promising that Batman vs. Superman because 1) it’s not directed by Zach Snyder, 2) they have more room to play with the story without strictly adhering to Man of Steel’s dumb story decisions and 3) we don’t get to see many movies led with all villain casts so it’s a nice change of pace. It’ll all be seen when the movie comes out, but I’m more on the optimistic side than not.

    Still, we all know that Ash vs. Evil Dead was the best trailer of Comic Con!

  • GodDamnRobots

    Oddly enough, I remember when I saw Spring Breakers and thought “hey, the design of James Franco’s character would make an interesting Joker design.” So I’m pretty happy about that element at least.

  • Preston

    The Joker’s looks are what the are–get over it.
    I think the trailer shows promise.