Love him or hate him, Jared Leto’s Joker was certainly a very…noticeable…part of Suicide Squad. And now Gotham City’s very own juggalo clown prince of crime is getting his very own spinoff because clearly Warner Bros. has remembered just who the hell Jared Leto is and recognized that he will not tolerate being left out of that other Joker movie that may or may not actually happen. How dare they.
The spotlight in the DC Extended Universe is squarely on women right now. Wonder Woman is still tying moviegoers in knots; just one more good weekend will make it the second biggest DCEU movie in the U.S., and it could pass Batman v Superman for the top spot not long after. Princess Diana will get back in the spotlight in Justice League this fall, and last summer was all about Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn stealing scenes from Will Smith and the rest of the Suicide Squad. Basically DC sisters are doing it for themselves.
Movie fans will recognize Ninja and Yolandi Visser — collectively known as the group Die Antwoord — as the human stars of Chappie, Neill Blomkamp’s RoboCop/Short Circuit hybrid about a dystopian future where a police robot gains sentience and starts talking like Sharlto Copley. According to Die Antwoord, though, movie fans should also recognize them as the people who inspired the look of Suicide Squad, currently the biggest movie in America, shattering box office records left and right, even though they didn’t get any kind of credit or compensation.
By all accounts, a lot of stuff got cut out of Suicide Squad. If you believe the recent press reports, there were two totally different versions of the film competing for release: A darker take from director David Ayer, and a jokier movie edited in consultation with the company that made the film’s popular, upbeat trailers.
The box-office records it demolished over the weekend aren’t the only broken parts of Suicide Squad. For all its admittedly impressive financial success, the movie’s story is shockingly incoherent, and that’s when the film has a story at all. Sure, Will Smith was great and Margot Robbie made an impressively committed Harley Quinn. But in much the same way the Suicide Squad is held hostage in Midway City by sinister bureaucrats, Smith, Robbie, and company are trapped in a movie that gives them very little play and makes even less sense.
Jared Leto is the second name on the poster for Suicide Squad. The only actor to get billed above him is Will Smith. Leto is listed ahead of actors like Margot Robbie, Joel Kinnaman, and Viola Davis, who, unlike the Joker, are all actual members of the Suicide Squad. Despite Leto’s billing, though, and despite the large amount of publicity surrounding his unusual version of the character (not to mention his unusual preparations to play the role, which included sending disgusting “gifts” to his colleagues), Leto has very little screentime in the final film. He’s featured mostly in flashbacks about Robbie’s Harley Quinn and her time before she was captured by Batman. When he finally appears in the contemporary story, he shows up to “rescue” Harley, fails, and crashes in a helicopter. Then he doesn’t show up again until the very last scenes of the movie, when he tries to break her out of prison.
How was the Joker? Is Ben Affleck’s Batman a welcome addition? What about the other surprise DC cameo? Does Amanda Waller’s plan make any sense at all? Who the heck is Slipknot? How does Harley Quinn fit into the rest of the Suicide Squad? Why did they introduce Katana so late in the movie? What the hell was going on with the Enchantress? Did they really just rip off Ghostbusters with that ending? All of those topics and more are on the table for our FULL SPOILERS discussion and review of Suicide Squad.