Doing it Better: Suicide Squad (movie)
Hello, and welcome to my new highly irregularly recurring series “Doing it Better”. Where I rewrite a ‘failed’ popular movie/TV show/book/comic or other form of pop media. I will be looking at recent attractions that I feel had a wasted opportunity, and write it better.
Spoiler Warning (clearly)
Today we look at the financial success, but critically panned, Suicide Squad. Whether you liked the frenetic action the trailers promised, or hated the nonsensical story, there’s one thing everyone seems to agree, the villain made no sense for the team assembled. This problem has one of two solutions, change the members of the Squad to more powerful metahumans that are better suited to take care of the Enchantress. Not to mention the team was assembled for the purpose of taking on a rogue Superman, yet the only member with powers is El Diablo, who was great in the movie, but would do nothing against Supes. Clearly DC wanted to bank on the name recognition of Harley Quinn (obviously joined by Joker) and Deadshot, so we’re going to stick with the members the movie gave us (with one change I’ll address shortly), leaving us with the other option available, change the threat the team was tasked with handling. Honestly, even if DC wasn’t hell-bent on marketing Joker, Harley and Will Smith, getting rid of Enchantress will always be the better option.
Enchantress and her brother, who I don’t think was named in the actual movie, but was credited as Incubus, are largely unexplained, awkward looking, ill defined, and above all else, way too powerful for the team assembled.
That being said, here’s how I would have written the movie; keep the opening largely the same, perhaps better editing to make it more coherent, and better explain the members that aren’t Harley or Deadshot. Another thing that needs to be added are the names of additional Task Force X candidates that could be called into rotation. These names should include metahumans with varying power levels, like Killer Frost, Multiplex, and other villains from the team’s storied past. This would establish that Waller can cherry pick the right team for the right mission, because clearly a crazy chick with a baseball bat has no right stepping to Zhul… I mean Enchantress.
Also during the formation of the team, I would keep the scene where the guard gives Harley the phone which she’s talking to Joker with, but I wouldn’t show him yet. Certainly not in a flashback of a therapy session. That cannot be the first onscreen introduction of this new Joker. I don’t care if he was shown in every trailer, and all over the marketing, that is not a proper introduction of the Clowned Prince of Crime.
Now here’s where I would change one member of the team. Slipknot’s lack of introduction, and quick death, were obviously a plot device to show the neck/head bombs were legit, but the character brought nothing to the movie. Get rid of him, and replace him with KGBeast. That’s right, bring in Anatoli Knyazev, Lex Luthor’s main henchman from Batman V Superman. Put him in the mask from the comics, and reveal that it’s covering a badly scarred face as a result from Batman’s attack, revealing that Batman in fact didn’t kill him. Granted, this wouldn’t mitigate Batman’s body count from that movie too much, but it’d be a nice connection to the rest of the DCEU, and people would actually be slightly surprised when his head blows up in glorious fashion. However, his inclusion will also tie into their new mission, since Enchantress will have nothing to do with this movie.
Because in this movie, their mission isn’t to fight and defeat some ex Machina villain, but to protect Lex Luthor as he’s transferred from prison to another facility where he’s agreed to work with the government in preparing for the eventual arrival of Darkseid/Steppenwolf. So this is why KGBeast was chosen for this mission as he still has ties with Luthor and would want to ensure his employer is out safely. The transfer is staged as a prison break because it can’t be revealed that Luthor was simply released and working with the government after what he did in Dawn of Justice. The warden is told of what’s going to happen, and assured his men will be fine, but that no one else may know. This makes it look real and gives the movie a nice action sequence.
During the transport to the prison, Deadshot sees the phone Harley has, much like in the movie now, but she explicitly tells him that Joker is coming to save her. Floyd Lawton, despite starring down the Bat, gets nervous about this. He doesn’t trust Joker showing up, at all.
Once at the prison, Rick Flagg and his 2-3 man crew remain behind so they can save face if anything goes wrong inside. The Squad is given strict orders to not kill any guards, and this would be where Captain Boomerang convinces KGBeast they should make a break for it. All of the Squad are being monitored, and as soon as KGBeast makes an attempt at killing a guard or escaping his head goes pop. All the while Boomerang watches in disappointment.
The breakout begins in earnest, Deadshot is taking non-lethal shots, Katana sticks with hand-to-hand combat the whole time talking to her sword, saying that she can’t take any of these lives. In the middle of all of the action Harley stops to check her phone, and tells the team that ‘Joker says he’s around the corner, he’ll be here for me soon.’ Everyone on the Squad has a similar reaction as Deadshot, and get very concerned about Joker’s arrival. During this, one of the guards sees that the prison staff is no match for the Squad, so he runs to inmate belongings storage facility, and Lyle Bolton emerges with strength enhancing armor and weapons to take on the Squad. That’s right Lock-Up makes his live action film debut trying to protect Lex Luthor. This will be Killer Croc’s scene to shine, not that waste of an underwater segment that slowed the pace of the climax. Croc is much stronger in this movie, and after a brief fight he rips off Lock-Up’s armor with his teeth. His excitement gets the better of him, and he’s about to kill Lyle, but Katana stops him by drawing her sword to his throat. Now unsheathed, everyone can hear the blade almost humming with energy, and she continues to speak to it.
Finally the team gets to Lex’s cell and as one of them is going to open the door, Harley stops them. She once again says that Joker is on his way, she’s giddy with excitement. The rest of the team is still nervous, but now there’s some doubt. She keeps talking about him showing up, but nothing happens.
The free Lex, and make their way to roof where they’re to wait for a helicopter. I would make this Lex much more subdued than the Batman v Superman one, he’s focused and what’s coming, and is complacent with the team. As the helicopter approaches, Harley says this is her Puddin’ come to save her, and all the doubt the members had is washed away, and replaced with great fear. The drop gate in the rear opens, and it’s Flagg. Harley is crushed, she just crumbles to the floor crying. Most of the team completely dismisses her as a ‘crazy chick’ no longer fearing Joker’s sudden appearance. Diablo is the only one who feels remotely bad for her, and Lex is just silently amused by the whole display. Everyone boards the copter except for Harley, she refuses to leave, still clinging onto the hope that Joker will save her, but Diablo tries to comfort her. This makes her realize she’s showing her emotions, and brushes him off, and gets on the chopper. This helicopter ride should now be the bar scene that was in the movie. The team talks about some of their different motivations and whatnot. Harley goes last and starts opening about her abusive relationship with Joker, when she sees a rocket about to hit the tail of the chopper, and she once again yells out for Mr J. The copter crashes and they all survive like in the first, but once again Harley is disappointed in not finding Joker.
Instead, enter Deathstroke. After making the deal to assist Waller and the government, Lex Luthor planned his own escape and has hired Deathstroke to facilitate this. This story could be explained in one of the flashbacks that the DCEU seems so fond of. Deathstroke has henchmen of his own to give the Squad some fodder to really cut loose on. At this point Harley is furious at herself for continuously letting her hopes get crushed by Joker, and she’s going off on as many henchmen as she can get to. Deadshot gets on top of a car and does what he did in the first movie. Croc starts eating people, Boomerang is having fun with different types of boomerangs, and Diablo still doesn’t do anything. Flagg isn’t as incompetent as he was in the actual movie, and he keeps Lex from escaping to Deathstroke. Speaking of, he’s not just waiting for things to happen, he goes on the offensive, and is attacked by Katana and they have a sword fight. It’s nice, but doesn’t last too long. He kicks or throws her back, and as she charges him with her sword drawn, Deathstroke shoots the sword shattering it. Katana screams in pain as though she herself were shot, and this snaps Diablo out of it, just in time to see Deathstroke aim his shot on Katana. Diablo blasts Deathstroke, sending him flying back. Flagg, with Luthor, has acquired a mac truck, and the team boards to make an escape. Deathstroke’s men make a futile attempt on the truck that is easily repelled, but then Deathstroke himself once again blows up their transport. The team exits the wreckage, and prepare to take him on, including Diablo who lights up, but doesn’t Hulk out (I know, I’m crossing universe streams) like in the movie because that was just some stupid shit. Bang! Deathstroke shoots Diablo in the head, killing him instantly without letting him get a chance to do any more damage. Deadshot starts shooting Deathstroke, but his armor is protecting him enough from any damage, but he’s too distracted to target anyone else. Harley, still furious at Joker, and now upset that the only teammate that really showed her affection is dead, charges Deathstroke and hits him in the back of the head with her mallet. Croc gets his hands on Deathstroke, and puts him in a bear-hug from behind allowing Boomerang to target Deathstroke’s head. He fights out of Croc’s grip and defends himself from all of their attacks.
During this, Flagg escapes the area with Luthor, leaving the team behind in an attempt to complete the mission.
All of the Squad are fighting Deathstroke. Croc is once again holding him, when Katana stabs Deathstroke in the chest with her broken sword. It breaks through his body armor, and he rips it out taking a chunk of the armor with it. This opening is all Deadshot needed, and he drops Deathstroke with a single shot.
The team celebrates their victory when they’re surrounded by police, before they can decide what they want to do, Waller walks through the crowd holding the head-blow-up app (that the official title, I swear), and the Squad stands down. A paddy wagon rolls up, and as they all board, Waller breaks character, and tells them they did well. Their sentences are reduced, and each of them finds something new in their cells.
Queue Harley’s breakout! Joker finally shows up, final scene of the movie proper and Joker breaks Harley out just like in the movie, this time when he takes his helmet off… cut to black, roll credits, don’t show his face. Maybe that because I still can’t get over how shitty this Joker looked, or the fact I still feel a Joker needs to debut in a Batman movie, but I don’t want Joker’s face shown at all. We just end hearing the laugh. We now walk out of the theater knowing Joker is involved, and he has a reputation that scares the most fearless, he’s perfectly setup for the Batfleck movie, and Harley and the Squad did all the setup for him. I’d keep the mid-credit scene the same, but I’d add an end credit scene (this is not a concept exclusive to Marvel, so don’t fear it, when appropriate). Final scene, is a medical transport, inside the van is a body bag. Ripping out of the bag is Deathstroke with his healing factor having mended his wounds, and he escapes.
There you have it, Suicide Squad done better, it keeps the frenetic action feel of the actual movie, has a more coherent plot, and most importantly, the team assembled is actually a proper fit for the task at hand. It establishes all the same characters the movie did, and even adds Deathstroke to the mix, which is always a good thing.
Also, this version of the movie would save Common from his crappy scene with the Joker and Harley, and they could put that money into better editing.
What do you think? Agree? Disagree? And what would like me to tackle in my next installment? Comment with your opinions.