DC, Too Dark In Movies? Part 5: Suicide Squad: Criminal Minds and The Dirty Work

Today, we will be continuing our look at the DC Cinematic Universe and how it defines the world of DC in film. We will also look at the effects the characters bring in the movie and how it can help shape the world of DC.

Right now, we will be looking at the infamous Suicide Squad.

The film tells us a story of a group of misfits and criminals who were brought together to do the dirty work of the government. If they do it right, their sentences gets reduced. So that’s the plan of Amanda Waller, the director of ARGUS. She proposes this to the government which is approved.

In the group, we have the woman behind the operations Director Amanda Waller, the director of ARGUS. Then we have their team leader, Colonel Rick Flag. He is tasked to lead the team in missions Waller would give to them. Then we have, Harley Quinn, the girlfriend of The Clown Prince of Crime, The Joker; Floyd Lawton a.k.a. Deadshot; George “Digger” Harkness, the Aussie also known as Captain Boomerang; Chato Santana refered as El Diablo; Waylon Jones who is known as Killer Croc; Christopher Weiss with the alias Slipknot; and an addition to the team, Tatsu Yamashiro also known as Katana. These group of individuals, whether they like it or not must work together to save the world.

Now these method is not new to us. Usually, the government uses dirty tactics for their own benefit. In the Philippines, we have the Davao Death Squad which was used by our president to execute drug lords in his city. Although, some may say that he didn’t do it and while some will say otherwise. On what I saw in the news and what I’ve read in news articles, the Davao Death Squad were used to reinforce the laws of the country. If you disobeyed, there will be dire consequences. Now that is what the Suicide Squad’s purpose only a bit more different.

The Squad’s goals were to be a covert group doing things ARGUS wants them to do or shall we say what Waller wants them to do, even if it cost their lives. ARGUS doesn’t mind getting their hands dirty. The important thing is that they get the job done. It is an exact representation in our society and our government. This is all politics to them. and what I just said a while back, they don’t mind getting their hands dirty.

Amanda Waller presenting the Suicide Squad. dr duke dave
Amanda Waller presenting the Suicide Squad.

In the film, it doesn’t fall short in showing us a government official who is not afraid to get her hands dirty. Director Amanda Waller is the person behind the operations. We can somehow compare Waller to other government officials who truly wants to save and protect the human race. Waller thinks that Superman is just the start and wants to take the necessary precautions if the next Kryptonian would turn their back from humanity and kill everyone. She wants take matters on her hands and protect the human race, whatever it takes. When we look at it in real circumstances, we can s=compare Waller to politicians and government officials who are against immigrants. These are the people who think that immigrants are dangerous no matter where they came from and should never be trusted. We see them in the news, in the government and even with our friends. They want to eradicate tourists and teach them a lesson. They view tourists and immigrants as menaces of the society which is really wrong if you think about it.

Then we have the powerful and corrupt who uses their power for their own benefit. Usually, even if some will say that it is so far fetched, politicians or shall I say corrupt politicians hire gun men to kill individuals who are a threat in their position. When the deed is done, they place it under the books so no one can find it. In Suicide Squad however, we see them being used as an extraction team in a very dangerous mission in Midway City. It requires the team to shoot to kill anything that comes in their way and execute the mission in order. There should be no questions asked.

Rick Flag ready for duty! dr duke dave
Rick Flag ready for duty!

In the film, while others see the Squad as a typical super villain team, I see them as complex characters that are forced to work together. In here we have their leader, Rick Flag, a military personnel who was commanded to lead these band of misfits as a team to save the world. In the start of the film, we see him reluctant in leading a team with criminals. In reality, we can compare Flag to ourselves at times when we think that we want to do the right thing but we are forced to work with people we don’t like to accomplish a common goal. At the end of the film, we get to see Rick a changed man, seeing that even in the worst criminals in the world can do good things for the safety of the world.

Dr. Harleen Quinzel and The Joker in Arkham Asylum dr duke dave
Dr. Harleen Quinzel and The Joker in Arkham Asylum

In the team, we also see Harley Quinn which was fun. But what interests me is her back story. Dr. Harleen Quinzel is an psychiatrist intern in Arkham Asylum and was assigned to the Clown Prince of Crime. In the film, we see slowly falling for him and this is where we see that The Joker began to use her. Out of love, Harley follows her not knowing that this would escalate to a bad situation. When The Joker breaks out of Arkham, Harley now pursues him because she loves him. Although in the film, it didn’t show how The Joker beats her and leaves her but we see the part where The Joker asks Harley o jump in a vat full of toxic waste just as he did. Out of love of him, Harley jumps in. In reality, we can compare Harley to anyone who is following anyone blindly out of love. When we are overwhelmed with our senses, usually we don’t use our head and we use most of the time our feelings, on what we “feel” is right. This is bad. When following your feelings all the time, we tend to hurt ourselves badly. Feelings are a wonderful gift from God but he gave us common sense to use also, not just the emotional part. Using our emotions will be catastrophic leading us to our self inflicted pain. Just as Harley did, we too do stupid stuff out of love and honestly I am not exempted in doing this kind of idiotic stuff. We decide not with our minds when we are in love and we rely on our feelings. And most of the time this makes us vulnerable and weak and the people around us uses it against us.

DEADSHOT dr duke dave
Deadshot and his daughter

Now we go and take a look two villains in the group which are El Diablo and Deadshot. These two as you can see are different in many ways but when you look deeper we get to see that they are alike. One is that they are both family men. Deadshot has his own family which went haywire while El Diablo has his but accidentally kills them with his fiery power. The two also desires a normal life but unlike Deadshot, El Diablo already accepts that he can’t live a normal life anymore. Deadshot still thinks that even with his assassination work, he can still be together with his daughter and give her a good life. While El Diablo accepts that even if he wanted to have a normal life with his family, he can’t for they are already dead. He accepted his fate that he can’t have it with his deadly powers in fear that he will kill his family.

El Diablo vs Incubus dr duke dave
El Diablo vs Incubus

Another similarity is that they look for their own. Even if you don’t see it, Deadshot and El Diablo has this paternal instinct. They want to protect what’s closest to them. Even though the film didn’t mention it, Deadshot and El Diablo somehow showed us that they are trying to protect the team, even if they don’t want to. In reality, men; most especially fathers, has this instinct when someone close gets hurt or going to be hurt, they protect them. In the film, we see Deadshot when facing off with Incubus, he shoots him with his gauntlet guns even though that it would not do any damage. Meanwhile El Diablo transforms and defends the team against Incubus even to the point of sacrificing himself for the Squad. We see that their fatherly instincts took charge when the Squad is in danger. They do not care if this will cost them their life.

Captain Boomerang hiding! dr duke dave
Captain Boomerang hiding!

The next character in our list are somehow secondary characters. They are included in the Squad but their goals were never mentioned. We can view them either a contributor or as a distraction for the group. The first character in our list is Captain Boomerang who in first is just an unnecessary addition to the group. At first, he is one of the distractions in the Squad. At first, he took advantage on the temporary freedom they had by escaping. After his failed escape, Harkness was still a hard headed bastard who just wants to survive. But as the story unfolds, we get to see Captain Boomerang help the Squad in the realization that without them, he will not survive this impending chaos. In the end, Captain Boomerang became a contributor to the Squad.

Next in line is Killer Croc. In the Squad, he is the power house of the group. Although he has limited screen time, we saw that he can be a huge contributor in the group. His intentions were never mentioned in the film but the reasons Image result for suicide squad killer crocwere given. He was seen in the sewers as its resident. He was caught and brought in Belle Reve to contain the monster. But in the film, Killer Croc was a great help in the Squad. Not only he beat a lot of The Enchantress’ henchmen. He also helped the other soldiers in leading them underground to locate a bomb. So even if he looks hideous, Croc still proved that he can be a valuable player in the team.

Then we have Slipknot which is really just a distraction for the Squad. We see him get killed in the start because of trying to escape. His head was blown into bits and Slipknot was no more. Now we proceed to the next key player which is Katana.  Like what Flagg said, Katana is his personal bodyguard. In the film, it was revealed that she’s on Image result for suicide squad katanathe verge of avenging his husband’s murder. Eventually, Katana helped the team even though there’s no price to be given. She risked her life for the betterment of the world and so that it would be safe. In this case, Katana is considered as a contributor.

Now we go to the villain. In Suicide Squad, there are two villains and they are The Enchantress and Incubus, siblings who were awoken in a strange world and want to change it to their liking. They want to enslave mankind again and want the humans to worship them. Now, if we look at them and relate them in reality, in society, they are the people who thinks they are above everyone else. Like Zod in the Man of Steel who thinks that Kryptonian are the superior ones from the humans and needs to be saved, Enchantress and Incubus views humans as just low level beings and needs to be ruled. In our society, there are certain individuals that think they need to rule men. They are hungry for power. This kinds of people are dangerous and should be taken with caution.

Now we look at the wild card in the film. Geoff Johns, the head of entertainment in DC Comics, mentions in an interview that The Joker is the wild card in this film. Although a lot of people were disappointed in Jared Leto’s portrayal, his role as the Clown Prince of Crime is still important. In here we get to see two sides of The Joker. The first one is when he was still in Arkham Asylum. We see him manipulate and use Dr. Harleen Quinzel into breakingImage result for suicide squad the joker out of the Asylum. And when he breaks out, change starts to happen when Harley beins to bug him. When Harley transitions from her old life to the life of crime, The Joker also changed. He became more protective, obsessive and brutal and when Harley was caught by the Bat, he begins to look for her, like a man looking for the love of his life. In life, a man who has his woman is over protective. Men also gets jealous and that’s what happened to Joker in the film wherein his jealousy clouded him and shot the man in cold man. The Joker can be a mirror to a man who is over-protective to everything that he has. He doesn’t care if he hurts someone, he just cares about himself.

So basically, as we conclude our look in Suicide Squad, we can say that on this part of the DCEU, we can see the slow transition from being too dark to a more light tone. We can also say that we’ve learned something from the villains of the DC Universe. They taught us about life, family, and trust. They may be villains but still they can impart wisdom to our lives.

Next time, we will be looking at the new day in the DC Extended Universe. We will look at the events that transpired in Wonder Woman and how it affected Diana in walking out to humanity. Although, I said that this will only be a six-part series but now since Wonder Woman is out, I want to add it in our series. So next time, we will be looking at the new face of hope in the DCEU.

Image result for wonder woman

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