I believe David Ayer when he says that he's pissed about the leak of the “Suicide Squad” trailer over the weekend.
I also believe he's got nothing to worry about when it comes to the official release of that footage this afternoon, because the more I look at it, the more I like what he's doing. It feels like DC Films is off to a wildly divisive start, and this is going to be more of the same, and frankly, I'm fine with that. It gets boring when everyone loves everything. One of the things that is clear from the response to the DC Films footage shown this weekend is that it will not be for everyone, and they are making big, clear choices about how they're going to approach this world they're building.
“Maybe Superman served as some sort of… beacon,” Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) says at one point, and it makes me wonder if Warner wishes they could have started building this shared universe around “Batman Begins” in hindsight. That's the point made at the end of that movie, after all. Batman's appearance led to an escalation of weird, and now it looks like Superman's appearance in “Man Of Steel” made it okay for all of the super-powered freaks to start to reveal themselves.
Margot Robbie is haunting in the trailer, which is exactly what I expect from Harley Quinn. Robbie is a beautiful actress, yes, but what I find fascinating about her is how she vanishes into each of the films I've seen her in so far. She has not been the same person at all. Her Harley Quinn is the Harley Quinn I hoped we'd see in the film, mad and gorgeous and impossible to pin down in terms of where she stands. The shots of her driving with Batman on top of her car, and her delivery of “Hope you've got insurance” are, in the opinion of this particular fan of the character since her introduction on “Batman: The Animated Series,” spot on.
“So that's it, huh? We're the patsies?” I don't know some of these characters as well, but I like the general look of things, and Will Smith in the mix fascinates me. I like the weird-ass make-up. I like the general chaos of it. And, yeah, while I wonder about the real-world logistics of how The Joker ended up looking like that, I am pleased to see that they're not just doing a new riff on Ledger's version.
It's interesting that this wave of DC Films is starting at a place where some of these characters already have a great deal of history. As we see in the “Batman v Superman” trailer, the Joker and Batman have already clashed enough times that Batman's got an old Robin suit, defaced by the character, under glass somewhere and suggesting a terrible history. Harley's thing with Mr. J isn't new here, and watching the two of them slowly but surely drawn back together will no doubt be one of the film's highlights.
Considering we'll see another one of these panels next July, “Suicide Squad” is still a long way off, but if Warner had to do this today because their hand was forced, at least they know that the reel they're releasing is a strong one.
“Suicide Squad” is in theaters August 5, 2016.