With Suicide Squad having now hit theaters, many are curious about why critics are panning the film. I personally nearly loved the film and rate it similarly to our own Shawn Madden in terms of a score.The characters seem to be the film’s saving grace however despite a couple botched interpretations, but here we’ll answer which characters truly shine and which fall flat. Note that we’ll be covering more than just the nine members of the Squad, we’ll also be throwing in Amanda Waller, the film’s villain, and the Joker into our rankings.
So, is the any Joker good? Did potentially bland characters like Rick Flagg and Slipknot overcome their boring shells? Who stood out? You’ll find out in the next couple of pages as it’s time to break down the best and worst characters from the assemblage of the worst heroes ever.
*MAJOR SPOILER WARNING*
As stated before, there are major spoilers in this editorial and as of now you’ve been sufficiently warned. The main reason Slipknot is last on our list, even when you hear about so many critics complain about the villain and enchantress is that Slipknot does nothing in this film. A seemingly boring character whose ability of knot tying and climbing buildings with ropes is pointless in the film and before we get to be proven wrong, he dies. Almost about five minutes after our brief introduction to Slipknot, he’s killed by the bomb in his neck as he attempts to escape. Sure it serves as a way to inform the rest of the Squad that Waller and Flagg aren’t kidding around, but a little more emotional investment in the character before his death could have helped. Also props to Boomerang for luring Slipknot into this trap, but that only hurts Slipknot more as these villains should be a little more intelligent even if they’re completely insane.
Well I’m sure you’ve heard by now that the villain of this movie’s pretty bad, and he is. Incubus, the brother of Enchantress is more like the side villain of the film as Enchantress only uses him as brawn, but nonetheless he’s completely underdeveloped. The sad thing is it isn’t that the characters in this movie are bad per se, it’s just that we don’t get enough time with them to learn why they could be good. And characters that are not only underdeveloped like Incubus, but we’ll never see again due to their death in the film have no possible redemption coming later down the line. Incubus is the inciting incident for why the Suicide Squad has to be activated, yet we never are really shown the fall of Midway City so he never feels like a big threat. Sure he can shoot things out of his arms and destroy stuff, but he just felt meh. Oh and also his CGI just looks out of place every time he appears in the scene and makes me glad there wasn’t a full CGI member of the Squad itself. It felt like he was ripped out of Gods of Egypt, and that’s not something you ever want.
Unfortunately the real villain of this film isn’t great either. Again suffering from little development, the witch side of Dr. Moone isn’t particularly interesting. Should I have decided to separate the two aspects of the character however, Dr. Moone would have ranked a little higher; but I didn’t choose to rank Moone and Enchantress separately. Instead we’ll focus on the Enchantress side, and well we don’t really get any motivation for her activating her brother or wanting to destroy the world. Sure she wants the humans to worship her again, but she’s been inside of Moone for some time now and only now thinks of this plan? She only now tries to release her brother? We aren’t explained as to why now is the prime time for this plot; and the activation of Task Force X, something Moon had knowledge about, makes me wonder how this was the perfect time at all. Let alone she basically did a Fant4stic Doctor Doom at the end of this movie by trying to fight fist to fist instead of using her godly insta-kill powers on the Squad. Her ultimate form also looks poorly photoshopped into the scenes. On the bright side her powers before she just stands there and waits are really cool, teleporting behind a mirror and bashing someone’s head by reaching across the other side has never looked cooler. Moone’s relationship with the witch however is really interesting, seeing this woman try to escape from what’s inhabiting her is truly riveting even if the demon inside is not.
9. The Joker
Audiences and critics alike seem to be divided on The Joker, with some loving Leto’s interpretation and others flat out hating it. I too find myself a bit divided on him, hence his spot on the list. I feel we didn’t get enough time with this Joker to really get a feel for him, because in most scenes with Harley he was great, but others just felt unbalanced. His attempts at gang banger fell flat, but his attack on the explosive development facility was great. This Joker certainly didn’t wow from the beginning the way Ledger’s did, but hopefully we’ll get more of him to flesh out Leto’s performance down the road.
8. Killer Croc
I felt Killer Croc was just kind of there a lot of the time. We didn’t get much of a backstory for him, certainly nothing to emotionally gravitate towards, but he was still fun. Serving as muscle for the team with several comedic bits, he was a nice addition even if underutilized. I don’t have much to say about him, but I guess hat’s because he didn’t particularly standout as good or bad.
7. Captain Boomerang
Now we’re getting into difficult teritory, even though several characters from here on out were also underdeveloped due to the film’s huge ensemble, I really liked all of them. As such it was hard deciding the rankings for these middle spots, but just know starting here I thought everyone was good if not great and deserves to show up more. Captain Boomerang was a fun addition to the team and brought plenty of laughs. His random love for pink unicorns was also quite adorable and fun and helped us understand the character without needing to give him much screentime. Would have loved to see more boomerang tossing and action from him, but maybe in the Flash movie? Oh and I loved his flashback scene with the Flash.
Katana served as the muscle for the “good” bit of the team, protecting Flagg in case the villains got out of hand. I must say she was perfectly intimidating and I wanted to see more of her slashing through people. She definitely felt like an outsider from the group as she spoke Japanese for a lot of the film, but I instantly gravitated toward her character. Boomerang’s hots for her also added some nice comedic beats. Only gripe here is I wanted more of her slicing through actual humans so her sould sword could actually make a showing of its power. I don’t know where Katana would show up down the road, but I want more of her.
5. Rick Flagg
As the commanding straight arrow of the group, Rick Flagg had the potential to be one of the film’s most boring members of the Suicide Squad– luckily he managed to overcome that. It’s possible that Flagg ranks so high due to having more screentime to most of his counterparts, but the character was also layered with motivation and heart. His being baited by Amanda Waller into the Suicide Squad added depth to both characters, and Flagg was a very charismatic leader to the team. He was able to begin relating to the villains despite having to kill any of them at a moment’s notice, which was nice to see. Ayer could have easily kept Flagg separate from the villains emotionally, but to being in love with the villain and beginning to tolerate characters such as Deadshot and Diablo he was only fleshed out more.
4. Amanda Waller
Amanda Waller is ruthless, cunning, and aware of far more than she let on, Viola Davis did the same in her performance: perfect. As the members of the Suicide Squad learn Waller isn’t really a good guy either, she would likely rather the whole squad be killed once the mission is over than help them. Although some sympathy does seep through and at the end of the film each character has a slightly better imprisonment. Viola Davis’ portrayal was spot on and I look forward to seeing more of her character down the road–possibly butting heads with Batman and the soon-to-be-assembled Justice League. Oh and as if it had to be mentioned, DCEU Waller is far better than The CW incarnation as every character to appear in both so far (although aside from looks The CW Superman could change that).
3. El Diablo
El Diablo was a character, probably the only character aside from Incubus, that I knew nearly nothing about going in to the film. As such it’s a testament to Suicide Squad’s strong characters that I resonated so much with him, if only some of the ones lower on my list could have received similar treatment. From his tagic backstory of being unable to control his powers or temper resulting in murdering his wife and children to how reserved he was against using his abilities. Diablo seemed like the nicest guy on the team and it felt great to unleash his demon against Incubus even if it was another ugly CGI beast. Like seriously DC needs to get a new CGI department, the Hulk looks really good, I want to believe DC can get the same level of quality. Another interesting bit was the idea of Diablo’s demon making him able to resist the Enchantress’ charm and magic, unfortunately that both characters are now dead we’ll never get to explore that though. Speaking of, his death was pretty damn sad for me as I liked his character a lot.
Deadshot may be Will Smith’s return to form as an actor as he knocked it out of the park in the role. From his introductory flashback scene we immediately like the character as his cockiness charms and his skills delight. His relationship that develops with Harley is fantastic and he really brings a lot of weight to his character. You want Deadshot to succeed and reunite with his daughter even if he is a mercenary. It was also painful for us to watch as he has to make the choice between himself and his daughter as you want him to escape Batman, something we rarely root for with Batman’s rogues gallery. He supplied a lot of comedic beats that worked perfectly within the film, and was the most intelligent and possibly most skilled member of the squad. His brief reunion with his daughter at the end of the film was also touching and funny as he explains the geometry of shooting targets. Many could view Deadshot as the number one character and I’d completely be fine with agreeing with that assessment, but for me one character shines a bit brighter.
1. Harley Quinn
While I must admit my slight (possibly even large) bias towards the character of Harley Quinn having waited years for her to appear on screen, this also offerred the chance for me to be greatly disappointed. Luckily I was not and Harley was done to perfection. I new going in that as long as Harley was done right I would at the very least like the film, and oh was she done right. Where to start? How about the reveal of her being the one that killed Robin and not the Joker. Yeah, she’s a psychotic badass alright. She’s super fun, perfectly crazy, intelligent, and strong. Beating several of the Incubus minions on her own, outsmarting Enchantress, and trying to attack Batman even while drowning show off her strength and why she deserves to be on the team among powered individuals. Margot Robbie perfectly portays Harley’s gleeful insanity, and even layering the performance with her traumatic past and I ate every second of it up. As a result of how invested I was wih her character, her emotional beats of a desire for a normal life with the Joker really hit home. The easter egg appearance of her original costume was fantastic as well. The only thing I could have wished for was more than just the nod to her hammer, seeing that in action would have been incredible.