If one movie has a chance of exciting DC comic fans more than Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, it has to be Suicide Squad. After the leak of exclusive footage from San Diego Comic-Con last year, Warner Bros. ultimately acquiesced to the whims of the fans and released a full, glorious trailer online for the world to see. And now the latest trailer has arrived which you can watch at the bottom of this article.
With Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody" playing over a new introduction, we move to Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) having dinner with some fellow government officials, where she explains that after a great deal of work, she has assembled a group of some of the worst criminals and “bad guys” from around the world; she intends to turn them into a task force to do the dirty work that the government would rather not take blame for. From there, a montage set to a slow, ominous rendition of The Bee Gees’ “I Started a Joke” begins, and we get our first glimpse of the squad. From Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie) to Captain Boomerang (Jai Courtney), everyone gets their moment of screen time – although some much more than others – culminating in the final reveal of Jared Leto’s Joker.
It’s understandable why fans wanted this trailer released online: it’s amazing. The action, in particular, has a dark grittiness not seen since Christopher Nolan departed from the genre. Although existing in a universe populated by Superman and Wonder Woman, Suicide Squad appears to make a concerted effort towards grounding its fantastical elements in a realistic world.
Coming right off of the heels of Batman V Superman, this film seems to perfectly showcase the difference between the DC and Marvel Cinematic Universes. Marvel opted to begin with numerous origin films and culminate in a team-up, eventually leading to riskier, more obscure properties such as Guardians of the Galaxy. Warner Bros., on the other hand, seem to have taken the opposite approach: immediately following Man of Steel with a team-up, and their own – although tonally much different – risky, obscure property. In a way this approach feels considerably more organic when compared to Marvel’s – the Point Break inspired used of a Batman mask by a gunman in the trailer is a nice touch.
All of the characterizations – Harley’s playfulness, Killer Croc’s (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje) feral nature, etc. – seem specific and faithful to their comic origins. In particular, Amanda Waller herself immediately stands out as an imposing figure; the way she calmly cuts her bloody steak gives her a sinister, carnivorous undertone. From the little we get in this trailer, Leto’s Joker excites in particular—a blend of Nicholson, and Ledger, with a dash of Hannibal Lecter thrown in for good measure.
Right off the bat, it’s clear that Deadshot (Will Smith), Harley, and Joker will be the stars of the show, based off of their literal star power. Most of the action seems to revolve around these characters while we get considerably less of Enchantress (Cara Delevingne), El Diablo (Jay Hernandez) and Boomerang – just to name a few. It makes sense for the trailer, as the marketing team obviously wants to play to the film’s strengths, but the final product must make sure to find a proper balance of personalities – big and small. That facet is one area the aforementioned Guardians of the Galaxy did incredibly well. The same goes for the presence of Batman (Ben Affleck) because this film is about villains and not heroes.
Overall, the Suicide Squad has given us myriad reasons to get excited about Summer 2016. The film’s commitment to a dark, yet grounded universe seems to suit the ensemble of classic characters. If David Ayer can find a steady equilibrium between the characters – both popular and obscure – then Suicide Squad could prove to be the lynchpin of DC’s new cinematic universe.