The reception to Suicide Squad as a whole has been pretty mixed with critics and fans squaring off on whether the movie was a success or not. No matter how you felt about it, there are a lot of things to judge. Whether it's character development, plot details, execution, or character portrayal, there are a lot of things that viewers can form an opinion on.
Although most would agree that Margot Robbie's version of #HarleyQuinn definitely stole the show, one of the most talked about aspects from Suicide Squad is Jared Leto's version of #TheJoker. From what I have personally seen, this Joker is a case of either loving it or hating it and there are definitely strong cases for both sides. However, given the fact that a majority of the Joker's scenes got cut short, or deleted entirely, did we even get enough footage to properly judge the version?
With this article, we will talk about the amount of screen time #JaredLeto managed to get in the theatrical cut and whether it actually is enough for all of us to be forming such strong opinions on. In the sea of never-ending comparisons between Leto and the previous Joker, Heath Ledger, I must say that I don't know if Leto is being treated fairly based upon the difference of screen time alone.
Was There Enough Of The Joker In Suicide Squad?
In my personal opinion, we did not get enough of the Joker in Suicide Squad. Leto himself has even expressed his opinions on the lack of screen time his character got when all was said and done and it doesn't seem to be coming from a spot of positivity. With that said, it is really hard to form a solid opinion on anything if you don't see a lot of it. Truth be told, we saw more of the Joker in the trailers and TV spots than we see in the actual movie and that's a major disappointment. Especially given the fact that he was a main focus in the marketing as the months went on.
This can be argued in a lot of different ways, but it seemed like they had an intention of making him a bigger character, as well as serving as an anchor for Harley Quinn's origins, but it just didn't happen. It worked for Harley's story, but cutting him out of the movie as much as they did ultimately cheated the impact that the Joker should (and usually does) have. A majority of the trailer clips he's in don't even appear in the final cut; we never get to see his toys, we don't see his face get burned up, and we never see the motorcycle/car chase between him and Dr. Harleen Quinzel. What we do see from him is extremely minimal and doesn't make as much of an impact as we were initially led to believe.
Should We Be Fully Judging Leto's Version Of The Joker?
You might disagree, but I don't think we should be so harsh towards Leto's version. Why? Well, we simply just didn't see enough of it. Like I said before, it is difficult to fully understand what is happening if you don't see a lot of something and the Joker is a prime example of that as far as Suicide Squad goes.
I will admit that I'm still not a huge fan of the tattooed, mobster appearance, but that wasn't really my main focus once I actually saw the movie. I wasn't sitting there thinking, "man I just hate those tattoos and teeth." From what we did get to see, the look they gave us does seem to match the intended portrayal of the character. He's a surprisingly clean businessman who obviously has been operating within #Gotham for quite some time. I was trying to understand the direction they were going with the character and how the iteration was going to support that. Unfortunately, we just didn't get that full support.
Do we all have a right to our opinions? Absolutely. I have mine just like anyone else has theirs. But let me say again, fully judging the portrayal of a character as a whole with less than 10 minutes (if not 8 minutes) of screen time is a bit harsh. I also think the comparisons to Heath Ledger in The Dark Knight are still too rampant and it's really for no reason. We all know Jared Leto couldn't have possibly outdone Ledger and even he knows it. This was meant to be a brand new iteration and it's just a shame that the studio short-changed us on it.
Leto had this to say about Heath Ledger on the Suicide Squad red carpet:
"Heath Ledger gave one of the best performances, one of the most beautiful performances, not just of any villain but, in my opinion, ever in the history of cinema. He was so incredible."
On the surface, I didn't think Leto's version of the Joker was all that bad. Could it have been better? Yes. I just wish we could have seen more of it because I do believe it could have been great if there was more Joker in the film. There is just no way of fully knowing without seeing the extensive footage. Maybe we will be able to form a full opinion of the Joker with an extended cut, or with the 10+ minutes of deleted scenes David Ayer has talked about, but only time will tell.
Check out what Leto had to say about the Joker's deleted scenes in the Movie Pilot original video below: