[Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice](tag:711870) definitely wasn't everyone's cup of tea. Don't get me wrong, there were elements of the movie that I really enjoyed. But if there's one criticism most people agree with (along with the narrative pacing problems), it's that Batman v Superman didn't quite strike the balance of light and dark. Rather, it was an unrelentingly gloomy epic, taking many turns for the ponderous before plunging into a high octane finale.
To say that Dawn of Justice is divisive would be putting it mildly. Suicide Squad has also received a mixed response, and the movie isn't even out yet. But after the first trailer emphasised the psychological thriller element of the plot, the second trailer revealed that Suicide Squad has an excellent sense of humor.
So can Suicide Squad push the DCEU into a brighter future, after the drop of interest in Batman v Superman?
Balancing Light & Dark
There weren't many moments of comic relief in Dawn of Justice, which is probably a good thing. After all, this is a movie which explores some very heavy themes, as well as juggling the existential crisis of its two heroes.
Suicide Squad doesn't have this problem. With villains and anti-heroes as protagonists, there's no doubt that the film will have its fair share of darkness. But these characters are also some of the whackiest, most madcap that DC has to offer. And we can already see how the darker themes of the plot will be balanced with humor and excitement.
There's also a lot to be said for how Suicide Squad will expand the DCEU into different stories and new perspectives, as well as connecting to Batman v Superman. Joker's past history with Batman probably won't play into Suicide Squad much, but Batman's cameo along with that Jason Todd Easter Egg in Dawn Of Justice go a long way to setting up future plot threads to be explored in other DCEU films, like the Batman solo movie.
Introducing Harley Quinn
As one of DC's more popular characters, it's no surprise that Harley Quinn is subtly being positioned as one of the most important characters in the movie.
In both of the Suicide Squad trailers, Harley Quinn gets the most screentime, and director David Ayer has teased how pivotal her role is in the plot when speaking to Empire last year.
"[Suicide Squad] is about Harley breaking free of The Joker and becoming this fully actualized, independent person. That really is a metaphor for everyone’s journey here."
In this way, Harley's role will have repercussions for the entire Squad, as they are all striving to find a new life after their incarceration. Fans have been looking forward to Harley Quinn's big screen debut since the character first appeared Batman: The Animated Series (1992).
So far, her character in Suicide Squad seems pitch perfect: we'll see her origin story, as well as the gleefully evil villain she became. Harley Quinn already seems like the funniest and most engaging character in the movie, which bodes well for Suicide Squad's fan reception.
Pushing The DCEU Forward
Another really exciting thing that Suicide Squad is doing for the DCEU is to introduce magic to the overarching narrative.
Magic is a big part of the DC comics, with heroes such as Zatanna Zatara and Constantine using it in their heroic escapades. So far, no DC films have touched on this, although some of the TV shows (like Smallville) occasionally used the magic side of DC comics.
Suicide Squad looks set to change that. Who the main villain of the piece is remains to be seen, but there are many hints so far that Enchantress will be the antagonist which Task Force X is sent to take down. And her origin story is firmly set in magic: Enchantress is actually a dark spirit possessing spelunker June Moon. Similarly, Katana's story also incorporates a form of magic, as she wields the possessed sword Soultaker.
This has interesting implications for the DCEU, as it broadens and diversifies the story, allowing future films to incorporate magical characters and elements from magical plotlines.
Overall, Suicide Squad has the potential to be a real game changer, by introducing important DC characters like Amanda Waller and Harley Quinn, diversifying the story, and striking the perfect balance of light and dark which the DC movies need to achieve. Roll on July!
[Source: Empire via ComicBookMovie]