[Contains grassy bath-tubs and SPOILERS!!!]
I was trying to keep my previous rant about Suicide Squad (2016) as Harley-centric as possible, so I didn’t get around to discussing any of the other female characters… which is a shame because for the first 30-minutes or so, right up until she went rogue, I was really digging ‘Enchantress’ (Cara Delevingne). I wasn’t familiar with the character from any of her comic book outings*, so this was my first exposure… and I was immediately bewitched by her super-spooky/sexy appearance here. Like Harley herself, Enchantress has a genuinely intriguing and tragic back-story, which deserved far more screentime than it actually got in this flick: She’s essentially two separate entities, reluctantly inhabiting the same body… one is the unfortunately-named adventurer/explorer ‘June Moone’, and the other is a parasitic succubus that’s possessed her body. Although we got a tantalising taste of the Jekyll-and-Hyde conflict here, as well as the physical/mental/spiritual toll that it takes on June, we never spent enough time with her human-side to develop any real feelings for her, before the demon-side impulsively decided to piss all of that tension and intrigue up against a subway wall, and just go full-tilt super-villain.
The sorceress’s motivations are suggested in pretty broad strokes, but I didn’t really understood why she went from bemoaning the fact that people used to worship her as a goddess (and now worshipped their machines instead), to deciding she should just destroy all life on Earth, without at least trying to get them to worship her again first! Turning all the pesky humans into faceless foot-soldiers, and burning their cities to ash via a generic CGI tornado-of-destruction is really the stupidest and boringest thing any baddie can do… especially when you consider how slowly it was actually happening. I mean, was she seriously planning to spend the next couple years travelling from city to city, just to stand in one spot and turn all the locals into blob-creatures one-by-one-by-one-by-one-by-one…? Despite all her flashy magick, and vengeful anger, she’d essentially demoted herself from a wannabe-divinity to a production-line factory-worker, griping to her incubus brother about “the good old days” during their occasional sandwich-and-ciggy-breaks. Meh!
Sorry, I’m ranting again… I didn’t want to do that… but this movie wasted so much damn potential, it’s hard not to feel a little nerd-rage welling up… [slaps wrist]
All that aside, I have to give Delevingne a shout-out for her performance here, and also applaud the makeup and hairstyling teams for their well-deserved Oscar win t’other night! Whatever else us haters might say, there’s no question that the Squaddies all looked fantastic, and wall-poster-worthy. In fact, I’m seriously tempted to buy the Enchantress T-shirt and action figure, despite their association with a movie I have no intention of ever watching a second time.
* Fun fact: When Enchantress debuted in Strange Adventures #187 (April 1966), she was a wholesome heroine-next-door type, adorably dubbed “The Switcheroo-Witcheroo”, who used her powers to help a group of terrified party-goers escape a curse’d castle. Since then she’s passed through the hands of various writers, who’ve made her increasingly dark and diabolical over the decades.