How do you assemble a crack team of criminals, sociopaths, thugs and reptilian monstrosities and guarantee they stay in line and do some good for once in their lives? Simple: Put a government agent with balls of steel and the ability to command equal amounts respect and fear in the driving seat.
The final trailer for Suicide Squad, released yesterday, sees the movie's biggest scene-stealers take a back seat while Amanda Waller, the aforementioned steel balls-bearer, is given a chance to win over audiences with her own, very unique brand of "charm" — which essentially involves threatening to kill anybody who doesn't bend to her will.
Check out the new, minute-long trailer below, so long as you're prepared to lay eyes on a ton of new footage. Don't panic — it's almost entirely spoiler-free.
She may not be as boisterous as Captain Boomerang or as vexing as Harley Quinn, but Waller, with her confident swagger and nonchalant attitude toward death, nonetheless feels just a touch too outrageous to exist in real life — and as such, she perfectly encapsulates why people are so stoked to dive into the bold, colorful, morally bankrupt world of Suicide Squad.
Crucially, she also seems to possess enough of an unpredictable streak to rule her team with an iron fist. In the comics, Waller is typically a cold and calculating careerist who will use just about any means necessary to climb the ladder, without any thought for the revolving door of criminals who make up her squad.
This movie interpretation of Waller seems at least a touch less monstrous, and certainly funnier — her awkward banter with Rick Flag will most likely get some big laughs (and am I the only who sees a little sexual tension there?) — but when she spits "I am your consequence," it's clear that she's not all bark, no bite.
And don't go thinking of Amanda Waller as a desk-based battle commander who's afraid to get her hands dirty. As part of their promo blitz, Warner Bros. dropped individual teasers for the Joker, Enchantress and the rest of the Squad this weekend — and Waller's is particularly surprising for one shot of the MVP on board a military helicopter alongside the team, machine gun in hand.
Again, no spoilers: Just pure, unadulterated hype.
Between Waller, Harley Quinn and Enchantress, not to mention the Soultaker-wielding Katana, it's clear that David Ayer has taken the opportunity to give his female leads some serious respect in Suicide Squad. All appear to be well-drawn characters undefined by gender, which only serves to highlight the vast gulf between this movie and Zack Snyder's much-maligned Batman v Superman.
Allowing a black woman to be, arguably, the most morally shady person in a film packed with bad guys is also major progress for Hollywood. These are just some of the reasons Suicide Squad has the potential to be this year's best movie, and not just in the realm of superheroes.
Amanda Waller and her supervillainous team crash into theaters August 5.