Warner Bros. unveiled a second, bigger look at the upcoming Suicide Squad film adaptation during their night of DC COMICS DOES EVERYTHING on the CW and... it's a much better look than the first time around.
Images and rumors and such have trickled out since the first trailer aired, but I've done my best to ignore those. The first trailer was frustrating, as it seemed to be repeating the same mistakes of the Nolan Trilogy of Batman films: self-seriousness, hit-you-over-the-head writing, and yet another PERFORMANCE of the Joker.
This second trailer threw most of that out the window.
I say "most" because some of the writing is still pretty clunky.
The most important take away from this, however, is that it looks fun. I immediately rolled my eyes once Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody" started playing--nothing screams self-importance like aligning yourself with one of the greatest rock and roll songs of all time. Like the song, though, the trailer is a real slow burn until it explodes (figuratively and literally because, y'know, of course there are explosions).
Everyone in the film (with the exception of Will Smith and Jared Leto for reasons I'll get to in a moment) seems to be thrilled with what they're doing. Even the super serious dinner scene featured in the last trailer shows Viola Davis enjoying the absurdity of the film's (and as such, her "squad"'s) premise. Margot Robbie's Harley Quinn is front and center this trailer, and you can see why. While her characterization seems a bit broad (Harley's taste for chaos always struck me as more motivated and grounded and personal than the Joker's, which is what made her alliance with him both perfect and uneasy), Robbie seems to be having so much fun that it's impossible to take your eyes off her (yes, for reasons obvious but also not obvious, perverts). There's still much to be revealed about Enchantress and Croc, but what's on display here is certainly interesting (Cara Delevingne seems to embody how the group is at once disparate and perfect for one another and Adewale Akinnuoye-Agabje cuts one hell of an imposing figure as Croc--then again, when does he ever not?).
The biggest surprise, however, has to be Jai Courtney's Captain Boomerang. Courtney's made his name being somewhat bland but capable toughs, so it's immediately refreshing to see him do something different, while also seeing it be so fun.
If I'm repeating the word "fun" a lot it's because I want to emphasize it. In retrospect, I can't see how a film about the Suicide Squad couldn't be fun, but you can forgive me for thinking otherwise, can't you?
I held off on talking about Jared Leto and Will Smith because the former still hasn't really been given a chance to show us what he's got, while the latter seems to be showing us everything--and it's not good.
DISCLAIMER: Of course any and all "final" reactions will be reserved until the film has been seen, but trailers exist to build excitement, don't they? And Will Smith's Deadshot isn't participating in that. Maybe it's Deadshot's fault (the character is, ironically, a bit hard to pin down--as a person), but Will Smith seemed to have put himself in "Swagger Mode" and just coasted on through.
I'm very cold on Jared Leto--not as the Joker, but in general. He's a part of a group of actors that seem to act to demonstrate they can act--along with guys like Sean Penn, Terence Howard, and Donald Glover. In their performances, you can see them Acting, and Being Good Actors, and it's frustrating, and annoying. Given the mystique now around the Joker as not a character, but a Role for Serious Actors, it made perfect yet frustrating sense that Jared Leto would take him on.
I love the Joker, and I think he's fit for reinvention every time he arrives, so I'm not against a "new kind"--I'm just against him being used as a prop for a performance (ironically Heath Ledger's Joker was the only thing I liked about The Dark Knight)(I'm also not saying that Heath Ledger used the Joker as a prop for a performance. He turned in a stellar performance, but as such the Joker is no longer a character, but a... *tosses Serious Acting Scarf around neck*... role). In the brief glimpses here, it seems Leto is having fun with everyone else, but how much remains to be seen.
Maybe that's the point? Maybe the "Squad" as it's assembled without the Joker is totally on board to do what they're asked to do and have fun with it, and maybe the Joker comes in and turns everything on its head.
Y'know, as he does.
Regardless, this trailer--which, to my surprise, ultimately made great use of "Bohemian Rhapsody"--has turned me around on Suicide Squad. While I still have my reservations, this is now a film I definitely want to see.