Rant: “The Suicide Squad” (2021) [SPOILERS!]

Daniela Melchior as ‘Ratcatcher 2’ in “The Suicide Squad” (2021)

Right off the bat (pun?), it has to be said that this movie is a vast improvement on its predecessor in every possible way!* Sure, there were several dud lines of dialogue and plot-holes a-plenty… it’s one of those stories that crumbles to dust the more you think about it after the fact… but it’s also a super-fun, sweary, ridiculous, hilarious, psychedelic, blood-splattered thrill-ride in its own right. There are even occasional moments of actual, earned emotion… mostly thanks to sleepy/sweet-hearted newbie ‘Ratcatcher 2’ (aka Cleo Cazo), as originated by Daniela Melchior. With the ability to summon a plague of rats at will, she’s kinda like a grunge-y Squirrel Girl… so the fact that she also played such a crucial role in bringing down the baddies was very much appreciated/cheered by me. And the “Mystery Mini” and Funko figures of her character are straight-up adorable… though sadly there aren’t (currently) any comics to buy, because she was created exclusively for the movie (by de-aging and gender-flipping a pre-existing character).

Margot Robbie as ‘Harley Quinn’ in “The Suicide Squad” (2021)

Meanwhile, I also felt a genuine pang of disappointment/“grief” when ‘Captain Boomerang’ (Jai Courtney) got snuffed in the beach assault, just as I was starting to remember why I enjoyed that character so much the first time! Ack! I realise that’s the whole purpose of him being there, to underline the fact that anyone can be killed off at any time, but even so… I’d love to see him get a spin-off prequel movie or mini-series in the very-near-future, please and thank-you!

And speaking of returning characters, as a Harley Quinn fanboy from waaay back, I obviously have very strong opinions about how she “should” sound/look/behave, and this is certainly the closest that the Margot Robbie incarnation has come to meeting my expectations. For one thing, they scrubbed the “rotten” face tattoo, and got her back in her trademark red-and-black outfits… they also dropped her annoying habit of aggressively psychoanalysing the other characters for no good reason, and gave her some proper jokes, along with a crazy “whirlwind romance” subplot, and some impressive contortions/acrobatics. I mean, she’s still only my third favourite live-action Harley**, but she’s definitely closing the gap, so yay for that!   

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* Though I do wish they’d given it a less lazy/needlessly-confusing title! Gah!

** First is Francesca Root-Dodson as the proto-Harley ‘Ecco’ in Gotham (S4-5), and then Tara Strong when she cosplays at conventions, icywc.

About Dee CrowSeer

A comic book writer with an interest in feminism, philosophy, and affirmative action. He/him.
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