Thursday, July 16, 2015

Of babes and bondage: Reviewing the 'Suicide Squad' trailer

"Oh, I won't kill you. ... I just want to hurt you really, really bad."
-- The Joker

So Harley Quinn's "Mistah J" is a sadist who is into bondage.

Not surprise. And it's no shocker that Jared Leto's Joker gets a big grin on his face when he promises to hurt his bound-up victim, Dr. Harleen Quinzel, the pre-Harley Quinn played by Margot Robbie.

In the comics and "Batman: Animated Series," Harley put up with a lot of abuse at the hands of The Joker, her "puddin'," who didn't seem to care -- much less know what he was doing.

In the first trailer for "Sucide Squad," it appears The Joker has taken the future Harley Quinn captive and he plans to have some twisted fun and games. I have a sick feeling she'll go from frantic and terrified to digging it soon enough. ...

Again, not a surprise really. When DC Entertainment and Warner Bros. chose their next film to feature villains, edginess is a given. As a result we have a Joker with a tight haircut who has many, many tattoos and likes to be barechested.

Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie) takes aim with her baseball in this screenshot
from the "Suicide Squad" trailer. On the left is Killer Croc.
Harley, on the other hand, is what I'd say is the skanky, street-walker version of her New 52 bombshell variant. (Something I pointed months ago when the first on-set images of Harley Quinn went on the Internet.)

So if you're going edgy, why not have "Suicide Squad" feature a psychotic couple?

Let's just hope director David Ayer doesn't get carried away with The Joker and Harley Quinn's abusive relationship. Submissive women and some bondage is OK to a certain extent -- but only to a certain extent. Otherwise, parts of "Suicide Squad" could devolve into torture porn.

But I gotta give it DCE/WB, Will Smith's Deadshot costume looks like it's straight out of the comic books — red tactical costume, cool eyepiece and all. Well done, costume designers!

Since Smith has been cast and Deadpool's mask covers his entire face, expect to see the assassin to be unmasked for a large part of "Suicide Squad."

Another character design I'm also rally digging is Killer Croc. The set and publicity photos don't do this fierce dude any justice. Killer Croc doesn't just look reptilian -- which he very much should -- but the movie version adheres closely to his first comic-book appearances in the mid-1980s and even through the mid-1990s.

Having watched the San Diego Comic-Con International trailer twice, I'm struck by how various characters see the group of supervillains brought together to do covert missions.

Deadshot sees the Squad as "patsies."

But it's Viola Davis' Amander Waller who knows exactly what this team is.

"I want to assemble a task force of the most dangerous people on the planet, who I think can do some good," she says.

In essence, the Suicide Suqad consists of misfits from the other side of the law who don't have any reason to team up, much less work together for a common goal. But the government forces them to do just that.

I really dig Waller's take on the team/task force -- bad guys who could redeem themselves or as seen another way, they're the unredeemable who don't deserve a second chance and are unlikely to do the right thing. These themes should be the focus of "Suicide Squad."

Have you noticed many of the Squad members have to ties to Batman? They're either his enemies (The Joker, Harley Quinn and Killer Croc) or in the case of Katana, in the comics, she worked alongside the Caped Crusader in The Outsiders.

Meme by CARY ASHBY/CARY'S COMICS CRAZE
Obviously for this lifelong Batman fan, the highlight of the trailer is the blink-and-you-will-miss-it of Ben Affleck's Dark Knight hanging on for dear life on the top of The Joker's sports car. Honestly, I'm surprised the clip made the final cut of the trailer, as leaving it could have added more buzz and talk about Batman's possible involvement in the film.

How much we'll see of "Batfleck" is to be determined.

I expect the Dark Knight to be treated as he is in the highly recommended "Batman: Assault on Arkham" animated film. He won't be the focus, possibly could be seen by the Squad members as a "bad guy" and in fact, the Dark Knight may have nothing more than an extended cameo.

But that's OK. "Suicide Squad" is about the bad guys anyway! Any of DCE's good guys will be viewed as the enemy.

Grade: B

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