Trailer Breakdown: Suicide Squad

Last night, DC premiered the full trailer for Suicide Squad during the premier episode of Legends of Tomorrow. It’s certainly a well done trailer, cut very carefully to Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody. It’s a fun song that helps highlight the different nature of this movie – it’s about a team of bad guys working for the good guys. Specifically, supervillain prisoners on a high-risk mission for the government where they’re expendable. The team is composed of a number of popular members from the comics: Rick Flagg, Deadshot, Captain Boomerang and some other colorful characters like Harley Quinn and Killer Croc among others. Let’s break it down to see what we can learn about which characters are in it, what elements they adapt from the comics and what the plot could be about.

Boomerang in solitary

The trailer kicks off with Captain Boomerang (or maybe just Boomerang in this movie?) ranting and begging to get out. I think he says, “Lemme outta here, doll, please.” He’s in solitary and the guard just closes his little window on him. In the original comics which started in 1987 by writer John Ostrander, the various supervillains that comprised the rotating cast of the Suicide Squad were held at Belle Reve, a fictional prison for metahumans deep in Louisiana. We frequently got to know their therapists and guards as the team got debriefed and got to know these antagonists more as real people. A very cool idea. Boomerang was originally created back in 1960 as a villain for the Flash. He throws razor and other gimmick boomerangs with uncanny accuracy but was definitely fleshed out the most as a character in the Suicide Squad comics. He was not tremendously trustworthy. Here, he’s played by Jai Courtenay who turns everything he touches into gold. To be fair, he has the huge muttonchop sideburns down, which make him look more like Tom Hardy. That’s a good thing.

Harley Quinn drinking tea in jail

While we keep hearing Boomerang shout, we see Harley Quinn quietly sipping tea and reading a romance novel. She gets all that and pink slippers? Maybe she’s being a model prisoner. Or maybe she used to work at Belle Reve and her former coworkers allow her some leeway? Harley Quinn was created as Joker’s constant companion/sidekick for the Batman: The Animated Series in 1992. Her backstory is that she was once Dr. Harleen Quinzel, a therapist who fell for her patient, the Joker, and was corrupted. She eventually found her way into the comics as well, and when DC rebooted their comics in 2011, she was forcibly recruited into the Suicide Squad. She’s played by Margot Robbie, who has the look but has also opted to talk in her normal voice instead of the thick New York accent she has traditionally been portrayed with.

Deadshot in prison

Next we see Will Smith gazing longingly out his window. He plays Deadshot, aka Floyd Lawton. Deadshot was originally a Batman villain who dressed like a magician in a tux and top hat in 1950 but quickly changed to an assassin-for-hire who wore a targeting eyepiece on his right eye and wrist mounted guns. He was one of the main characters of Suicide Squad and we found that while not suicidal, he didn’t really care if he lived or died. His most frequent motivation is simply to earn money to leave to his estranged child. Deadshot was ruthless but also kept to a fairly strict code and had a moral conscience. My best guess is Harley will be our viewpoint character where we are told about the Squad while she learns about it but that Deadshot will be the lead character, the one with the most obvious motivation and the most active protagonist.

Killer Croc doing pushups

We get to see some more prisoners like Killer Croc doing pushups in some sort of sewer prison. Killer Croc is a Batman villain who grew up with a weird skin condition that makes him look reptilian. He grew up as a sideshow freak until he turned to a life of crime. He’s usually a massive powerhouse, but technically is still human. This version seems to really play up the crocodile look, though. He’s never been a member of Suicide Squad in the comics, but he is a dangerous and visually interesting supervillain so it’s more than plausible. Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje plays Croc and has described him as “a cannibal with rage issues.” Accurate.

El Diablo emits fire

Jay Hernandez plays one of the more obscure DC villains, El Diablo. Technically, there have been three versions of El Diablo but the first two were heroes. In 2008, DC created Chato Santana, an ex-gang member with the ability to control fire. He shortly joined the current Suicide Squad and became a prominent member. That’s obviously the basis for the movie version. He’s got some nobility but isn’t that well known. In a movie called Suicide Squad, some of the team has to die so this guy’s the most likely to perform a heroic sacrifice at some point.

Boomerang on security monitor

Here’s one last shot of Boomerang screaming his head off, seen through a security monitor. Why’s he losing it so badly? Who is watching him?

Amanda Waller proposes the Suicide Squad

We cut to Amanda Waller, a government agent who assembles the Suicide Squad (technically called Task Force X). She’s a bit ruthless and assembles a team of completely expendable people to work off their prison sentences. Here, she’s played by Viola Davis. Great casting choice. She is apparently speaking with some military officers.

Amanda Waller says: “I want to assemble a task force of the most dangerous people on the planet.”

One of the generals responds, somewhat incredulously: “They’re bad guys.”

Waller replies: “Worst of the worst.”

And there’s your premise.

Deadshot psyches himself up for a prison fight

We now see Deadshot psyching himself up for a fight. Why does he expect this?

Guards hold Deadshot down

Sure enough, a ton of riot gear guards run into his cell and hold him down while one hits him in the stomach with a baton. They’re probably abducting him for Waller’s special project.

Guard douses El Diablo in water

Then we see El Diablo’s fire being put out by a bunch of water. Actually, he seems to be being dumped out of a tank of water so I guess that could be how he’s transported. Because he’s definitely outside and it looks more like a military base than a prison. Prisons don’t need camouflage netting.

Doctors at prison

We also see a bunch of doctors awaiting a patient. Could be for any of the characters, but with a large team like this, I wouldn’t be surprised if they’re experimenting on someone like Killer Croc. But it could be any of the characters with powers. As they treat the prisoners horribly, we get a quick shot of Deadshot at some sort of desert military base, asking: “What is this? Cheerleading tryouts?”

Boomerang in a body bag

Seemingly also at that military base (note all the men in camo togs), a body bag is unzipped and Boomerang jumps out, punching the first soldier he sees.

Slipknot punches an FBI agent

Then we see Slipknot for the first time, being escorted by FBI and he instantly punches one of the agents (a woman, at that). Good chance he’s being escorted to the same base. He’s played by Adam Beach. It’s worth noting that both Boomerang and Slipknot punch authority figures because out of all the Suicide Squad members, they are two of the least trustworthy ones. In the comics, they are fitted with collars that will explode if they go off mission. Boomerang convinces Slipknot that it’s probably a bluff and Slipknot runs away but it does go off. Boomerang was just testing it. I could definitely see something similar happening here because Slipknot doesn’t really have a power, he just makes strong ropes and is an expert with them. Strangling, knots, garrotes. Stuff like that. Not the MOST useful ability.

Harley at the same desert base happily chirps: “Hi boys!”

Rick Flagg examines his team roster

Rick Flagg goes over the dossiers on his team with June Moone behind him. Strange shot! Rick Flagg is played by Joel Kinnaman. Flagg has always been the military officer tasked with leading these nutjobs. This shot utterly stumps me and I like that. Cara Delevingne plays The Enchantress/June Moone. At least she plays The Enchantress and here she looks like a normal person. And in the comics, the Enchantress is June Moone, an artist who becomes possessed by a witch. She’s briefly a hero but is later not in full control of her abilities and turns villainous. She’s drafted into the Suicide Squad and slowly loses control of her powers. Deadshot is tasked with killing her if she loses control. But why is she human in the shot above? Does she work with Rick Flagg? She’s staring at him in a really creepy way. I suspect she could either be a huge wild card on the team or even the actual opponent somehow. Flagg has a Belle Reve transfer slip for Deadshot and says: “Deadshot. Guy shoots people.” We see Deadshot. Then we see Killer Croc and Flagg says: “He’s a crocodile and he eats people.” A shot of El Diablo as he says: “Burns people.”

Enchantress is possessed by a witch

Then we see this shot and Flagg says: “You’re possessed by a witch.” So he’s talking to June in the scene. How strange. Obviously the Enchantress persona looks pretty dark.

Harley Quinn laughs

Finally, we see Harley at the prison and Flagg says: “And she’s just crazy.”

Harley addresses the men at the base, saying: “What’s that? I should just kill everyone and escape? Sorry. The voices.”

Slipknot in prison

Kind of funny reaction shot by Slipknot. It’s not much of a reaction but he clearly thinks she’s out of her mind.

Rick Flagg gathers his team

Harley finishes: “I’m kidding! That’s not what they really said.” We can see Rick Flagg in the middle along with Deadshot and El Diablo in this scene. The gang is getting assembled.

Rick Flagg proposes Suicide Squad

Flagg explains the offer to the team and this is cross cut with several fast action shots, as seen below: “This is the deal: you’re going somewhere very bad that’ll get you killed.” It’s funny to see Will Smith’s smirk. He seems to understand exactly what’s going on.

Military helicopters fly through Chicago

Several military transport helicopters (three, I think) rush through a city. It definitely appears to be Chicago. There’s no cars or pedestrians in sight. And something is firing at the helicopters.

Suicide Squad and a crashed plane

A military squad crosses a street. An airplane is crashed in the distance. Seems to be a passenger plane. Is this an early response to whatever’s going on or is this the Suicide Squad? Maybe they start with actual military backup. We really have no idea what they’re facing.

Strange melted wreckage

But we do see this odd wreckage. It’s either melted metal or some sort of black goo. We see similar black stuff in upcoming shots. The building on the left has been marked by the military. They’re marking what’s been evacuated and cleared.

Suicide Squad assembles at night

A shot of the Suicide Squad that clearly does NOT include Enchantress. Or Slipknot for that matter. But it does include Katana, played in this movie by Karen Fukuhara. In the comics, Katana is absolutely a hero. She has gone along on some Suicide Squad missions but not as a prisoner working off her sentence. In this movie, she probably is Flagg’s bodyguard since the team is so untrustworthy and unstable. Katana is a fantastic martial artist and also has a mystical sword called the Soultaker. She has a really sad backstory where her husband’s brother attacked him so that he could be with Katana. He killed her husband though she killed him with the sword in return. However, the fight started a fire that also killed her two infant children. The sword claimed the soul of any it killed and she could communicate with the dead through it.

Boomerang and Slipknot nod to one another

Here’s a quick shot of Boomerang and Slipknot nodding at one another. So they’ll either betray the team or they have some sort of side arrangement going on.

Wreckage throughout a subway

The team enters a subway with bodies and that strange black goo everywhere. We’ll later see another shot of what happens in the subway station.

Deadshot has wrist guns

A quick hero shot of Deadshot firing his wrist cannons. He… does not wear his traditional mask much in this movie. I guess you don’t hire Will Smith and then cover up his face. But I’d hope that he’d at least wear his eyepiece most of the time.

Harley Quinn takes an elevator

A shot of Harley heading up an elevator and waving. Who’s she waving at. Is she trying to ditch the team? If she was supposed to be there, I’d expect at least one other team member.

Deadshot in full mask

Now we see several shots of the team battling… something in an office building. We hear Deadshot say: “Let’s go save the world.” And a quick shot of him actually wearing his mask. Although his eyepiece is on his left eye for some reason. Why would the movie make that change?

Killer Croc attacks a monster

Here’s a semi-clear shot of the things the Squad is fighting. Someone or something covered in the same strange, black substance. In this case, Killer Croc is knocking it around. But there’s a bunch of these guys.

Joker interrogates a prisoner

Oh yeah, apparently Joker is in this movie, as played by Jared Leto. He’s in more of a hospital type setting, slapping someone playfully and saying: “I can’t wait to show you my toys.” It does look interesting and he is talking with a weird voice. The tattoos bother me because I’d never expect the Joker to have that sort of patience. The bright green hair looks good.

Eyeball henchman

Then a shot of these weirdos in presumably the same place. A guy with an eyeball head? I can only guess he’s a Joker henchman. Is Joker who the team is after? That might make some sense. Or maybe we see flashbacks and learn about Harley’s origins? Both are plausible.

Joker in a tuxedo

I do really like this shot of Joker in a tuxedo, shooting a machine gun and laughing maniacally.

Frost mans a gun

Here’s a shot of a guy shooting a machine gun. Is he shooting out of a helicopter? The vague military jacket might give that impression but I am not so sure. See, he’s wearing a button down shirt underneath so I suspect it’s a disguise of some sort. On his arm it says “Frost.” In the comics, Joker once had a low-level thug named Jonny Frost that he took under his wing as a key henchman. Of course, he also kind did some horrible things to Frost. But he could be one of Joker’s key men. I think he’s played by actor Jim Parrack.

Enchantress in a government building

Here’s another confusing shot. Enchantress in what must be a government building. She says: “Let’s do something fun.” And behind her on that monitor is the seal of the White House. I’m not sure whether Enchantress or Joker is the ultimate threat, but maybe whoever it is kidnaps some government hostages? I don’t know what either would want, though.

Joker surrounded by weapons

Here’s a shot of Joker just laughing it up, surrounded by a lot of knives and guns. Looks nice.

Katana and her soultaker blade

And here’s Katana holding Soultaker. Obviously using its abilities somehow.

Boomerang sneaks a beer

Funny shot of Boomerang backing away from whatever’s going down to sneak a beer. He’s only out for himself. Not brave at all.

Harley dances in a diamond suit

A shot of Harley dancing in a club with a chain. Her outfit is covered in diamonds, reminiscent of her original design that had her in a jumpsuit that had such diamonds, like that of a playing card to go along with Joker’s theme. But does this take place during the movie or is it a flashback to how she came to be? The setting doesn’t seem to line up with anything else we see.

Panda bear with a machine gun

Actually, neither does this. A guy in a panda suit with a gun? So weird! What could that possibly be about?

A monster stops a subway train

Now we cut to a strange creature in the subway we saw earlier. We also see cable tentacles attack the subway train. I think it is covered by the weird black goo. I can’t line it up with any existing DC character, though. So if this character is scientifically based or supernatural? I can’t say. But it’s definitely causing the trouble that Suicide Squad is investigating.

Joker with strange henchmen

One more shot of Joker and some henchmen. He seems to be in a factory of some sort.

Killer Croc attacks Katana

A shot of Killer Croc attacking Katana. The team does not work well together. I’d bet on Katana, though.

Dr. Harleen Quinzel

This shot makes me wonder if we see Harley in flashbacks. Because she’s obviously still Dr. Harleen Quinzel here. She slams her hands on the hood of a car and is crying, seemingly terrified. Is it her origin?

Deadshot takes aim at a wave of monsters

Now we get a lot of rapid images. Deadshot finally has his eyepiece in place and is shooting down the city streets. Good hero shot.

Hordes attack Suicide Squad

There is a horde of men covered in that black gunk. So strange.

Julie Moon in a swampy tub

And then we cut to June Moone in a bathtub that’s just black and has weeds growing out of it. The blackness makes me wonder if Enchantress is behind those black goo men?

Joker high dives into chemicals

But we also see more of Joker! Here he is doing a high dive into a vat of chemicals. Why? He’s already Joker. Some origins of Joker involve him falling into a vat of chemicals at Ace Chemicals.

Joker pulls Harley out of chemicals

Well, here we see Joker lifting Harley out of that vat of chemicals. Does he force her to go through what he went and drive her mad in the process? Or is he saving her from something?

Suicide Squad sees a strange explosion

Here’s a very strange explosion of energy. And the team is by it. Could it be supernatural?

Harley takes time to steal jewelry

Finally, the Suicide Squad walks down the city street at night and Harley smashes a window to take some jewelry.

Flagg asks: “Seriously. What the hell’s wrong with you people?”

Harley rolls her eyes and replies: “We’re bad guys. It’s what we do.”

Suicide Squad movie title

Suicide Squad will be in theaters this August. Will you see it?

  • Skewed_View

    Yes, I will be seeing it. I have higher hopes for this movie than Batman v Superman, mostly because BvS just looks soooooooo depressing, and this seems fun (albeit in a dark way).
    Also, just to be a pedant, Margot Robbie’s normal voice has a pretty thick Australian accent. She may not be playing New York, but she is doing a voice.