«Suicide Squad»: Can the evil be white?

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Approximate reading time: 17 min.
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A film «Suicide Squad» became popular before its official premiere thanks to a haunting advertising campaign typical for many Hollywood works. A new crazy team of superheroes was frequently mentioned in the Internet and social networks which guaranteed flow of visitors to the cinemas. Unfortunately, most people consider films only as entertainment. That’s why they can easily swallow any «cinematic candy’ in a bright wrapper especially if it’s praised by others.

In this review we’ll try to clear up what images and types of behavior are imposed on viewers of the film.


Combating with another evil well-known Superman dies. In this difficult situation American government decide to fight fire with fire and call notorious criminals imprisoned in the most severe and protected jail in the world for help. And now these sociopaths, murderers and monsters with superpower and big experience of killing people are released and ready to safeguard peace. Special microchips with bombs are implanted into their necks just in case they refuse to follow commands.

The team of the worst out of the worst consists of several characters. Deadshot is elite hitman. Harley is a maniac. El Diablo can control fire; once playing with it he killed his wife and children by accident. Genetic mutation Killer Croc is animalistic criminal with crocodilian appearance and cannibalistic tendencies. Captain Boomerang is opportunistic thief. Slipknot is specialized assassin who believes that bombs in microchips are fake. Also there are some other characters of minor importance.

 Ideas promoted in the film

  1. Villains are saviors of the world.
  2. «Being a scoundrel is not my fault!»
  3. Criminal romance and woman image
  4. Attractive evil

Villains are saviors of the world

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Is it possible to make villain attractive for viewers so that they sympathize with him? Yes, and more than that, it’s easy! The only necessary requirements for this are to invent a sentimental prehistory for this villain and to compare him with even worse rabble. Also it would do no harm to put him into unjust life conditions. All of this is exactly what happens with main characters in «Suicide Squad».

The main characters became scoundrels, because society treated them badly. This is the idea that runs all through the film. Each villain shares their own sad and touching story with viewers. And listening to it we are supposed to forgive bad deeds of the criminals since they resorted to the evil for reasons beyond their control. However, the fact is that a choice of the evil in our life is always made only by a person himself, but in the film this logic is intentionally distorted by the authors. Besides, we finally find out that American government and the military are even worse than the main characters and some of them, e.g. Deadshot, feel free to reprimand representatives of authorities.

69th minute. We see a conversation between Deadshot and a military supervisor of the squad. Hitman has understood that his interlocutor deceives him. And Deadshot says, «Hey, man I know you can’t hear me ’cause you’re trapped in your temple of soldierly self- righteousness… But a two-faced dude like you wouldn’t survive a second on the street». «Oh, says the guy who shoots people for money», the soldier replies. «My cards are on the table, man», Deadshot says.

70th minute. Deadshot is talking about Amanda Walker – the government official from national security office who has just killed her subordinates. «A mean lady». «Yeah. You get used to it», the soldier says. «And I’m the bad guy? That’s gangsta», Deadshot replies motioning to Amanda.

In the middle of the film it turns out that unprincipled government is involved in creating the superevil. And now authorities try to shift responsibility for citizens’ lives onto the Suicide Squad. And the criminals who think of saving their reputation accept a challenge.

In the finale after rescuing the world they are not just thanked orally, but their terms of imprisonment are reduced by ten years. However, it seems to be a malicious joke, because each of them has life imprisonment. And their common indignation is understandable.

72nd minute. «Well, we almost pulled it off… Despite what everybody thought. Worst part of it is, they’re gonna blame us for the whole thing. And they can’t have people knowing the truth. We’re the patsies. The cover-up. Don’t forget, we’re the bad guys».

102nd minute. Harley explains why there is no need in saving the world (it is a trick though, and she saves it), «What’s the world ever done for us anyway? It hates us».

Pay your attention to the logic shift: the idea «Society rejects me, because I’m a criminal» is substituted by another one – «Society hates me, so why should I defend it»?

Thus, in the beginning of the film the main characters are presented to us as sheer scoundrels, whereas later they are shown as victims of insidious society consisting of normal people who hate them. The authors want us to see the squad members being uncommon personalities with sense of humor and ready for a team work. It is evident that friendship and mutual assistance of the villains must stir up viewers’ sympathy especially for a sad prehistory of each of them.

«Being a scoundrel is not my fault!»

As it has been just mentioned the main underlying message of the film is that the evil was the good, but one day became evil against its will due to certain heavy events. Each character gets their biography where reasons for becoming a criminal are explained. It is a fault of everyone else (and of course, society in general), but not a character’s. Sounds like a swansong of a fallen angel, doesn’t it?

Harley was a young beginning psychiatrist, but once she fell in love with her patient mad Joker. The film is rich in flashbacks demonstrating their really insane love. El Diablo, as well as Croc, gained their superpower against their will and can’t control it. Katana, a swordswoman, became a murderer when she revenged for her husband and took the mystical Soultaker blade.

In the finale of the film we are shown a dream of each villain. It’s made on purpose to whitewash criminals once and for all. They dream of ordinary life, resurrection of dead relatives, big and friendly families, etc. Although such wishes are typical of normal people, here they look like excuses for the scoundrels. And once again the general message can be easily seen: society spoiled them, they are innocent. What a perfect excuse exploited by perverts of every stripe! But we all know for sure that actually it’s a trick of Hollywood producers and script writers who want to water down boundary between the good and the evil.

Criminal romance and woman image

All in all, there are five female characters in the film three of which are interpreted. And the one depicted most of all is Harley Quinn. Since she is considered to be the main brand of the film, the authors show her as an interesting, funny and attractive character. But who she really is?

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A psychiatrist-to-be Harley falls in love with a maniacal patient of mental hospital Joker. She brings him a weapon using which he kills many people and escapes. In reward for this he performs an incredible initiation rite with her during which she dies and resurrects after his kiss. At this moment she becomes the same as Joker; even her hair changes its color. A plotline of love between Harley Quinn and Joker takes nearly a quarter of the film (and according to mass media, there were even more scenes with Joker, but creators decided to cut them from the final version). Joker appears like a bat out of the hell and viewers have no other choice but to watch him missing his girlfriend and making efforts to release her form jail.

In one flashback we can see that Joker doesn’t blame Harley for her careless behavior. More than that, he supports her. In this exact scene Joker gives Harley as a «present» to his new friend and she immediately tries to seduce him. When this character refuses to take such a «present» saying that she has a boyfriend, the couple perceives it as an insult and kills him. However, there’s nothing to be surprised at when we are talking about a mad woman like Harley. She hears voices, feels happy anticipating someone’s death and can’t stop hitting a dead body of her enemy after a fight.

Although these scenes have nothing to do with the general plotline, they contain another message aimed at female viewers. «Wicked romance of dark love» not only leads Harley to victories, but also saves her life for several times and finally dismisses her from jail. Passionate words, declarations of love, memories of her beloved one apart from him and ritual wedding making Harley similar to Joker – all these things are attempts to arouse romantic feelings among female teenagers. Like many others, this film tends to develop girls’ unconscious taste of bad guys.

To sum up, the main female image of the film is a mad and eccentric whore without any moral principles at all. In many scenes cameraman focuses on her ass in mini-shorts – or maxi-panties to be precise. No doubt that she wins viewers’ approval, because she is a pretty woman who saves the world and makes funny jokes. Girls will try to imitate her in ordinary life, whereas boys will consider her as ideal of woman.

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Attractive evil

Fear, in addition to fastidiousness and modesty is a natural barrier to all alien things for one’s personality, because nothing but fear launches profound mechanisms of resistance against various life dangers.

Each human sense has its function. If we try to get rid of one sense, its function won’t be performed and the whole algorithm of person’s adaptation to the environment will be disrupted. From evolutional point of view, main function of fear is to protect human being and invent various strategies for resistance against dangers. And it doesn’t matter whether the source of person’s psychological fear is real or not. However, being naïve we are used to get rid of every bothering sense. We can’t realize that senses are just signals indicating that we took a wrong way.

There are people who are used to fear and don’t respond to it. It means that they are about to lose this ancient mechanism of self-preservation. Conscious control of fear differs from a habit of fear, because in the hour of danger spotless mind is able to analyze the situation immediately, examine alternatives and finally react, whereas atrophied sense of fear would cause no actions at all. This exact difference is hidden under the unclear term «tolerance». Fastidiousness is a barrier to dirtiness and meanness, modesty is a barrier to whoredom, as well as fear is a final frontier to all the evil. Even if you are tempted, a habit of fear will help you to change your mind.

For more than a decade a great number of bloody action and horror films and thrillers storm this final frontier. One of the main messages of «Suicide Squad» is «Don’t be afraid of terrifying things!» In the film bad deeds of main characters are justified by existence of even worse evil. A mentally sane person is decisive in denying cruelty and murder. However, if they are committed by a green-haired clown with a smile on his painted lips who turns out to be a sensitive loving person, in this case a normal scale of values can just fail.

The same things can be said regarding Joker’s girlfriend. She looks sweet and naïve child with two colored cute ponytails – and a heart of filthy whore and cruel murderer. In the same way hitman Deadshot is depicted: in one scene he kills, whereas in another one we see him walking with his favorite small daughter. «Is it fair that being imprisoned such a loving father can’t meet his child?’ this question is easily read between the lines. In other words, thorough maniacs shown as humiliated and insulted characters broadcast «Don’t be afraid of terrifying things!» By the way, the same message is promoted in official motto «Justice has a bad side».


All characters drink alcohol and sometimes take drugs. One of them believes for a joke that magical vortex is a hallucination from his candies.


The only interpreted image of woman in the film is a hussy, a prostitute. So, many jokes are connected with it.


All main characters are maniacs who enjoy killing people (during the film viewers can hear replies like «A lot of people will die – hurrah!» for many times). In «Suicide Squad» violence is used to achieve goals.


The «Suicide Squad» film promotes several ideas:

  • Villains are saviors of the world. The main characters are monsters and scoundrels whom fate has driven to save humanity and become heroes. Besides, their exploits are followed by pompous speeches.
  • «Being a scoundrel is not my fault!» Watching a film even a child will grasp that villains can be guiltless of their crimes. It’s just simple feelings and affections, as well as any other coincidences that have led to such grave consequences. All in all, criminals should be forgiven.
  • Criminal romance and woman image. Almost a quarter of the film is dedicated to a love story of two insane marginal persons. The main female character is a mad murderer and a whore.
  • Attractive evil. Authors suggest demolishing the final psychological frontier to the evil, which is an instinct of fear and self-preservation.

A curious detail, there is no doubt that the film is aimed at discrediting American government and secret service. In all probability Hollywood is involved in global policy and should be considered as an instrument of global power elite, not a regional one. Making American government fully responsible for global threats can signify that balance of power in international relations is coming to its end, as well as dethronement of the American Dream.

Elizaveta Kvasnyuk

Translated by Denis Yuzhakov

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