First Time Watching: Suicide Squad

Do other people watch movies and think to themselves, “what is this movie even about?” or is it just me? I swear, I have done that many times over the course of this, “First Time Watching” blog series.

Do I just not follow the story properly? An hour into watching Suicide Squad, I had no idea what it was about. Am I dumb? Or can I just blame the movie? Because I am definitely going to blame the movie.

Three minutes in, three different songs had already played. That was the first tip that the movie had a large budget. It was showing off.

Let’s get this out of the way right now. The movie was fine. The plot was weird. The characters were…I don’t know. I’ll get into that later.

This is normally the part where I go through the plot, with the assistance of Wikipedia to touch on the important parts. I’m going to stray from that path and just talk about the movie as I saw it.

So, Viola Davis is the architect of a group of criminals. She thinks World War 3 will be one fought with superpowers, so it would be best if the government had the best supernatural humans working for them.

During her presentation to the government, a Doctor turns into a witch, who is 6373 years old (thank you, on-screen biography), and does some hocus pocus that gets Viola Davis permission to form her task force.

And then this witch, who was seemingly on Viola’s side, betrays her? Something about taking over the world. The witch has a brother. It’s a family business, I guess.

But that’s okay! Have no fear, a group was conveniently just put together to stop demons like her! Perfect!

This is what lost me for a little bit. Viola Davis formed this group before there was a real threat. And then the threat is the special guest she brought in for her presentation to the government. Okay, whatever.

Viola’s sidekick is a guy in the military, who I recognized from a show called, The Killing. In that show was a character named, Bullet, who also popped up in the television series, Scream, before being in 13 Reasons Why.

I just had to get that out. There was a stretch where every TV show I watched had this same actor.

Anyway, sidekick guy is in love with the Doctor who is possessed by a demon. Is it a demon? Can I call it a demon? Let’s call it a demon.

Having sat through a whole season of Nancy Drew, where characters were constantly being possessed by spirits, this storyline had me dead on arrival.

The cast of goons that were put together included Will Smith. I’ll be honest, I couldn’t take him seriously. I didn’t think he fit the role.

He was in jail because he killed people for money. But he also really loved his daughter. He was a #GirlDad to the extreme, except he was also a bad guy who murdered people. It was very confusing.

I understand trying to be a multidimensional human being nowadays, but this wasn’t it. I didn’t find him tough, or menacing, or dangerous, or scary, or even murderous. If anything, he gave off, “I took the fall for someone; I’m not actually guilty” vibes.

Next up we had Harley Quinn. You may remember her from the Halloween costumes that consumed your Instagram feed five (5) years ago.

To me, she was the star of the movie and it wasn’t even close. Margot Robbie played that character so well.

Her boyfriend is the Joker, who was played by Jared Leto. Every time he was on-screen, I was waiting for him to say, “and we’re 30 seconds to Mars” in his Joker voice.

I’ve heard people say that Leto is the worst Joker. Now, feel free to tell me I don’t even go here, but I thought he did a good job. Granted, I’ve never seen anyone else’s portrayal of the Joker.

I thought he was fine. Was he supposed to be crazier? What did people want from him? I’m genuinely curious.

Honestly, there wasn’t really anything for him to do in the movie. Nothing revolved around him. He just felt like a character they wrote into the script, so the other actors could take a breather.

To prove just how out of the loop I am with this entire universe, I thought the Joker was going to be a member of Viola’s squad. I was even anticipating his dance-walk down a staircase, but I guess that’s a different movie.

The Joker was just there. Harley Quinn overshadowed him.

Also in the squad was an Australian with a boomerang, a guy I’m going to call “Fire Palms”, and someone named Killer Croc, who spoke as if he had his retainer in. I think I’m missing someone, but they killed him off early, didn’t they?

There was also a Japanese woman with a sword and I had no clue where she came from or what her role was. She wasn’t a criminal. Was she just back-up? Was (what seemed like) the entire military not enough?

I wasn’t that invested in the charactersI didn’t care to see them succeed. I didn’t worry about them, should they fail. Maybe I was just in the mood for being apathetic, or maybe it was the script not developing the characters enough.

We may never know.

Anyway, this group is at the mercy of Viola. She threatens to kill them if they don’t get the job done (hunt down the witch and save the world). If they succeed, she will take 10 years off their jail sentence.

That’s it? For criminals this bad?

To me, it felt like when a teacher lets the class go out for recess early, but it’s only a 30-second (not to Mars) head start. It’s kind of chintzy.

One guy said he had two life sentences. Ten years wouldn’t make a difference.

These individuals didn’t want to die and that, at times, forced them to keep going, even if they wanted to stop.

I don’t mean this in a dark way, but it was weird that none of the characters were like, “going back to jail for the rest of my life would be worse than death”. You know, a dramatic movie quote.

None of these menacing criminals said that, I don’t think. The scariest and most destructive inmates they could find, were actually quite acquiescent. I just wanted some push back, other than Harley having a plan for the Joker to rescue her.

Anyway, they find the witch and kill her. The Doctor is reunited with sidekick guy. Will Smith gets to go home and help his daughter find the hypotenuse of a right-angle triangle.

Harley Quinn is broken out of her cell within a cell, by the Joker.

There was a scene with Viola Davis after the credits, but I have no idea what it was about.

So, that’s Suicide Squad from my eyes.

Parts of the movie were filmed in Toronto. I remember there were videos on social media of the Batmobile pursuing the Joker down Yonge Street in the middle of the night. So, I knew to look at the background of scenes and see what I could spot.

I’m pretty sure Harley Quinn “broke a window” at the Eaton Centre.

There were some scenes at subway stations. I’d recognize those white tiles anywhere. I saw “Downsview” on the wall in one scene, and there was a Bay St. sign in another.

I wonder if they used any of the deserted subway stations for filming. Deserted subway stations freak me out, by the way. Toronto has some “ghost stations”. There are videos of them on YouTube. Apparently, some trains take riders on a detour through them sometimes.

Everything about them just gives me the creeps. I don’t get this way about many things.

Now that I’ve looked up filming locations, they did film at Lower Bay Station, which is deserted.

The final battle scene was filmed at Union Station. I kind of guessed that while watching, but I couldn’t figure out exactly where inside the station. The multiple staircases were throwing me off.

Anyway, the movie just felt like they wanted to film a lot of cool action scenes and then build a plot around it. Harley Quinn and the Joker were the only character that felt 100% believable.

The Fire Palms character had a bunch of face tattoos, but every time I saw him I thought about how long he must’ve had to sit in the makeup chair every day.

The mission to stop the demonic witch from taking over the world was a bit too tropey for me. The reunion of the sidekick with his love interest at the end didn’t even give me “happy ending” feelings.

The movie just didn’t work for me. I’m sorry if that is offensive.

I’m not someone who is well-versed with the DC Universe. I couldn’t tell you what’s a DC film and what’s a Marvel film. That is not my realm of expertise.

So, take my thoughts with a grain of salt if you must. I know not what I watch.

However, IMDB is telling me the movie is rated 5.9/10, so maybe my analysis is spot-on? See, I knew I wasn’t dumb!

I’m glad I finally watched Suicide Squad to see what it was about.

Thanks for reading!

Have you seen Suicide Squad? What did you like, or dislike, about it? Are you creeped out by deserted subway stations?

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30 Responses to First Time Watching: Suicide Squad

  1. Oh my gosh I was at Bay St station yesterday, Paul!

    So thank you for explaining the movie. I did watch it on some sort of streaming device a few years ago. I have a feeling it was on a not so legal type of site, but now I’m strictly legit. Anyway, I was on my phone the whole time so couldn’t tell you anything about it other than that girl had cute pig tails.

    In my opinion, Heath Ledger is the best joker. And I should know – I’ve seen his movie and this one so clearly I’m an expert. Ya know what, watch the Heath Ledger Batman! Im sure Aaron can tell you the proper name for it because I am not going to use any energy to find it. I saw it in theatres with my brother and it was good! Add it to your list lol

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sabrina B says:

    Suicide Squad gets a bit of a bad rep, I honestly enjoyed it, I think it’s fun. BUT I will say if you don’t watch a lot of superhero movies already…this was probably not the right one to start with hahaha. There’s a lot going on and I feel like it leans a bit on you having knowledge of the DC universe and knowledge of superhero/villain tropes in general.

    Harley Quinn really was the star of this film, and they agreed! Because she got her own movie (which i LOVE and think is better than this movie, but I’m also not sure how it reads to someone not invested in the genre), and she is also coming back for The Suicide Squad which is a soft sequel/almost reboot of the film. It looks like it will be weirder, which I’m personally into.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Paul says:

      Haha which superhero movie would you suggest I start with? I did feel lost at times and like I didn’t do prior readings/viewings. I think Batman was dead on a sidewalk at one point? It could’ve been someone else. I had no idea how they got there.

      I just looked up the Harley Quinn movie and can confirm this is the first time I’ve ever heard of it. I’ll hang my head in shame now.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Sabrina B says:

        Oh god that’s a big question. I guess depends if you want to stick with DC (as in whats happening pre SS), whether you want to try foray into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, or general DC/Marvel, or general superhero…Gimme parameters and I can make some suggestions haha.

        SHAME!!! It’s honestly great, I enjoyed it a lot. It came out only like a month before the pandemic kicked off here though so I mean, i can get how it slipped under your radar. Lots going on.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Paul says:

        I guess I’m open to both DC and Marvel. I just don’t know which movies to watch first. I have The Dark Knight Rises recorded on the PVR but I probably need to watch The Dark Knight first right? So as far as parameters, maybe stuff post 2005, and in sequential order? Or simply, what were your favourites?

        Ahhh that’s why. I’ll definitely blame the pandemic then.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Sabrina B says:

        Hilariously I just asked my brother for suggestions, because I think a lot of my faves are ones you’d have to watch more to understand!
        So for DC, definitely need to watch The Dark Knight before you watch TDKR. And TDK is actually a sequel to Batman Begins. I kind of think you can watch TDK without having watched Batman Begins, but you can decide whether you want to watch that one yourself. General Marvel: I’d actually suggest Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man (2002). It was the first superhero films in a WHILE to go mainstream at a time when they weren’t everywhere, so I think a really approachable origin story as well as being an enjoyable film. MCU: The first phase is made up of Iron Man, Iron Man 2, Thor, Captain America: The First Avenger, and The Avengers. I’d start with one or two of the solo films to see how much they appeal to you.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Paul says:

        Thank you, Brother B!

        Okay so it looks like I’ll be starting with Batman Begins then. That makes sense. I may try and start the Marvel movies afterwards just so I’m not jumping between universes and confusing myself even more.

        You’ll be proud of me, I actually saw that 2002 Spider-Man movie IN THEATRE. Also had the computer game for it. 11-year old me didn’t like Doc Ock.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Sabrina B says:

        Yes!! I will add the Batman in Batman Begins/TDK/TDKR is actually not the Batman referenced in Suicide Squad. BUT 1. that Batman doesn’t get origin movies so this is a way to know the character and 2. These are just damn good movies. Not jumping between these and Marvel still a good idea though! MCU gets very connected lol.

        I am proud of you!! funnily enough, Doc Ock is actually in Spider-Man 2 (2004)! Although probably was included in just general spider-man game because they needed more villains. Poor 11 year old you had to suffer.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Paul says:

        Multiple Batmans!?!?! Are they doing this to me on purpose?

        OH! It was definitely the 2004 movie I saw in theatres then because I remember it being Spider-Man 2. So it was actually 13 year old me that suffered haha

        (thehuntress915 mentions you in their comment below)

        Liked by 1 person

      • Sabrina B says:

        To make it more confusing for you: Ben Affleck Batman is the Batman in Batman vs Superman, referenced in SS, in Justice League, will be appearing in The Flash (2022), he’s a relatively older batman, more jaded. BUT THEN also in 2022, The Batman, starring a completely different Batman, played by Robert Pattinson (meant to be in his first few years of being Batman) will be released!

        Hahaha if you want more confusion THERE, that Doc Ock will actually be appearing in the upcoming Spider-Man movie–which is in a completely different continuity with a completely different Spider-Man than the 2004 films!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Paul says:

        God help me.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Paul says:

        Thanks for this breakdown. I can’t promise I’ll remember any of it tomorrow, but at least it’s here and you tried to help!

        Liked by 2 people

      • Sabrina B says:

        Haha you can always message with questions :p

        Liked by 2 people

  3. I’m in the minority of liking Suicide Squad, but DC movies are just never as good as Marvel movies!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m going to go with Sabrina on this, Suicide Squad definitely gets a bad rap. So let me tell you what I know of the movie. DC’s version of the MCU Avengers (I’m sure someone will say no but this is what I interpret it as). Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) was wanting permission from the Federal govt to put together a group kind of like super soldiers or “metahumans” as they put it now. And as she was doing so, the Enchantress (both DC and MCU have an “Enchantress, it gets confusing) the witch, decided she wasn’t going to listen to Ms. Waller (who is a pain in the behind if you ask me) and go and take over the world with her brother and her version of witchy soldiers.

    Queue the Suicide Squad, that’s how they got to fighting Enchantress and her brother. Many of the characters didn’t get a full intro but they are part of the DC universe, including “Fire Palms” or Chato Santana/El Diablo. That’s why he was able to fight off Enchantress’ brother in his Aztec fire god form. Killer Croc needs a movie of his own, his background is killer…no pun intended. As does Captain Boomerang. But my favorite character is definitely Harley Quinn. I think Margot Robbie does a fantastic job as Harley. I’m a comic geek, both DC and MCU so I know a little about the history of the characters portrayed in the Suicide Squad.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Sorry I meant to say DCs version of the villain’s turned good guys, not Avengers. That would be the Justice League. Which after Zach Snyder’s version is much more darker than the Joss Whedon film.

      Liked by 3 people

    • Paul says:

      Thank you for this! You wrote a better synopsis than I did. Killer Croc was a cool character with some comedic timing. He definitely should get his own movie. Harley Quinn just stood out didn’t she? Every scene she was in was elevated because of her.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. peckapalooza says:

    *Cracks knuckles* *Prepares to write dissertation*
    Okay, I won’t really do that. I will say that if you want to see a good Joker performance, look at Heath Ledger’s turn as the character in The Dark Knight. But I wouldn’t suggest watching that before seeing Batman Begins. Then you may as well round out the trilogy with The Dark Knight Rises.
    A superhero movies go, I want to tell you the DC movies are brilliant, but I can’t do that. Some are definitely better than others and I definitely like them more than your average movie goer… but as an unabashed DC Comics kid, I’m biased. Warner Bros. just can’t do with DC what Disney has done with Marvel… but they’ve given themselves a couple dozen movies and 13 years to tell a pretty cohesive story. Not even being a Marvel fan growing up, I can honestly say that there hasn’t been a Marvel movie I haven’t enjoyed. Every single one of them is entertaining… So if you decide to explore more of the comic book genre, check out the MCU, but definitely watch in release order for it all to make the most sense.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Paul says:

      Every time you comment on my movie posts, I learn something new, so thank you for that.

      I do plan to watch that Batman trilogy. I’ve heard for years that Heath Ledger was the best Joker, so I’m excited to see that.

      I will give Marvel movies a shot, but I think it’ll be after I watch a few DC films so I’m not confusing myself even more than I already am.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. sopantooth says:

    I really wanted Suicide Squad to be good. It didn’t look like it would be but I still held out hope. It was not good. I even made people go see it with me.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Paul says:

      I feel like it had all the components to be good, but the story just felt so unimportant to me. The characters talking to each other about random stuff were some of my favourite parts.


  7. I haven’t watched this movie in a while, but I believe I felt the same way. Normally I re-watch superhero movies like crazy, but haven’t with this one (maybe I’ll do that soon though? who knows). I didn’t feel like the stakes were high enough in this one-the people who were trying to save the world didn’t want to be there, and I don’t remember why the Enchantress and her brother went all evil, so the motives didn’t stand out for me. I loved Harley Quinn, she definitely was my favorite part of this movie. I wasn’t really sure why the Joker was there-I don’t think Jared Leto did a terrible job portraying him, but his character had nothing to do with the movie. I guess they tried to romanticize him and Harley Quinn, but their relationship is quite abusive so that was a little weird (he’s not in her solo film/the new upcoming Suicide Squad though, so I suppose it’s okay).
    Overall it was pretty enjoyable; I think DC movies always tend to throw together their characters before anyone really knows them (they did this with Justice League as well), so they have to spend more time introducing/developing their characters in the movie…which can be difficult when you have a handful of characters, crazy comic storylines, and only a couple of hours.
    (Also I just watched through Nancy Drew so I totally get the whole possessed by demons storyline thing lol, they can’t stay away from them on that show.)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul says:

      Yes! You said it. The stakes weren’t high enough and their motive for saving the world was lame. It felt like they had all these characters and didn’t really know what to do with them. I think they pulled the whole “everyone thinks this character died, but then they reappear later on and are alive” gag at least 3 different times.

      I went into that show thinking it was just a cool group of friends going around town solving mysteries and then they’re like “YOU’RE POSSESSED BY A DEAD FRENCH LADY”

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Okay I watched this movie when i was young and I kinda liked it.
    Agreed, Margot Robbie carried this movie.. And if you liked her even though she didn’t get that much screen time.. you have to watch Birds of Prey. And that is absolutely 😍😍🔥
    Same.. Leto was the only Joker I have watched and I liked him.. and now Joaquin happened and you should definitely watch the new Joker movie.. it’s pretty dark!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Oh and I read now in the comments.. you haven’t really watched many superhero movies. And if you are looking to get into the genre. One word.. MARVEL. The MCU is amazing. I do like a bunch of DC movies.. but Marvel beats DC anyday.. xD
    Marvel is beautiful.. you can just watch the movies and enjoy the ride and leave at it.. or once you start properly watching and you analyse things and realise everything is connected and that makes it even more beautiful!
    If you are looking to start.. start at the very beginning. You can watch the movies in 2 ways… either watch it based on the year they were released or watch it via the MCU chronological order. I really do suggest watching the year they were released if you are watching it for the first time.. and that would be starting at Iron Man.
    Sorry I kept going on and on. But I really do love Marvel 😛

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Not the greatest DC film by any stretch of the imagination, it’ll never be in my top 10 comic book adaptations but its not entirely unwatchable. Its a quintessentially average film that could’ve been far better had Warner Bros. not interfered so heavily with the director’s vision.

    Liked by 1 person

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