[WARNING: This contains MASSIVE SPOILERS for Suicide Squad.]
The DC Extended Universe might have seen nothing but road blocks and stumbles on its three-film journey to movie theaters – there’s the controversies surrounding Man of Steel’s ending, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice’s critical bombardment, and, now, Suicide Squad’s extremely mixed reviews – but that doesn’t mean there’s not something to find enjoyable and, indeed, engaging in all the installments thus far (read our take on the film here).
Take Suicide Squad, for example. Despite all the tonal jumps and its loose plot structure, there are more moments of pure fun in this one movie than in its two predecessors combined. When joined together with its wide and diverse cast, this makes for a veritable plethora of laugh-out-load moments, specifically, and grin-inducing sequences, more generally.
Let’s count them all down, shall we? Here are the 15 Best Scenes In Suicide Squad.
15. The character intros
Somewhat breaking the fourth wall – and bringing a style that simply cannot be found in any of the other DCEU outings, or even comic book movies in general – is the introduction for the main members of Task Force X, provided when Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) pitches the idea for her metahuman team to fellow high-ranking members of the government.
Director David Ayer doesn’t waste the opportunity. In addition to providing exposition about each of the supervillains in a highly succinct manner, he also throws a good deal of humor and Easter eggs in their breakdowns – such as Deadshot’s (Will Smith) never-ending list of weapons he’s proficient with, or Captain Boomerang’s (Jai Courtney) fetish for pink unicorns (both of which get paid off later in the movie) – ensuring that viewers will have to watch them in slow-motion once the Blu-ray release hits stores later this year to keep an eye out for everything they missed.
(Speaking of which: will the home video release feature an “ultimate edition,” replete with additional footage and, perhaps, the rumored original cut that Ayer delivered? We don’t know, but it doesn’t seem likely.)
14. “I’m beautiful”
The Suicide Squad is sitting in a bar, chilling out for a moment while in the midst of a very important opportunity to literally save the entire human race. Each character has his or her own drink, which helps to further define each’s personality (Harley Quinn’s exotic, colorful concoction is clearly the favorite here), and the occasion also serves to further the backstory department. We learn, for example, that El Diablo (Jay Hernandez) murdered his entire family when he lost control of his anger and, thus, his pyrokinetic abilities.
But there are two specific moments that really shine here, that steal the scene and also stand out amongst the entire film. Harley offers the observation that they’re all beautiful on the outside but ugly within – except for Killer Croc (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje), who is ugly on both sides, given his monstrous nature. The man formerly known as Waylon Jones says that’s not true – he’s beautiful through and through. It’s one of the few jokes that Croc gets, and one of the few moments of bonding with his teammates.
13. Boomerang’s boomerang maneuver
And now for the second moment from the bar scene.
Colonel Rick Flag (Joel Kinnaman) enters Task Force X’s makeshift (Debbie Downer) party and decides to put all his cards out on the table, since Deadshot recovered a classified dossier on their mission and all. He explains his romance with Dr. June Moore (Cara Delevingne), who doubles as the witch Enchantress, and then decides to go out on a further limb of trust: he smashes his control pad that can activate each of the team members’ microbombs that have been implanted inside their heads, designed to keep them in check. He tells them they’re all free to go, but he’s going to push on to rescue his possessed girlfriend and, thus, save the world, and his squad mates all decide to stay and him out on the mission. Except for Captain Boomerang, that is, who’s out the door before Flag can finish speaking.
The humor of the beat is only slightly undermined by his return just a few minutes later, but, then, this is the second part of the joke-within-the-joke: he’s a boomerang, see, and always come back.
12. The Flash
Suicide Squad was long rumored to feature at least one Batman cameo, and then its location shooting in the streets of downtown Toronto – not to mention its series of trailers – sealed the fact long before the film came out, so knowing that at least one superhero was to make an appearance wasn’t anything surprising.
What did come as a shock, however, is the presence of a second future-Justice-League member, who also pops in for a quick cameo: the Flash (Ezra Miller), who’s seen apprehending Captain Boomerang as he makes his get-away attempt from a bank robbery. Although just one short scene with one line of dialogue, the importance of Flash’s appearance in the film cannot be overstated in its ability to further flesh out the DCEU beyond the few glimpses we’ve hitherto gotten. Since this is the first time that we’ve seen Barry Allen in costume, fighting crime, it establishes that he’s well into his own superhero career before Bruce Wayne goes to recruit him to join the Justice League in next year’s movie. This is certain to affect Justice League, Part I’s plot, we’re just not sure how yet.
Fun fact #1: this cameo was so secretive, Jai Courtney had no idea the Flash was showing up until he saw the movie for himself.
Fan fact #2: Zack Snyder was at the helm of this scene.
11. The Joker, in all his glory
Shortly before the film takes place, we see the Joker (Jared Leto) in one of his few appearances in Suicide Squad, reigning supreme as the Clown Prince if Crime, taking audience with a number of baddies in a club, with Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie) dancing down on the floor below. One particular thug (portrayed by rapper/actor Common) enters Mr. J’s “court” and is forced to kiss his larger-than-life ring, professing his fealty to the king.
The sequence only gets better when the Joker gets riled into demented action, after his visitor makes the poor choice of commenting on Harley’s attractiveness. He has his girl come up and start playing with the would-be gangster, but the highlight is when he deploys one of his now-trademark tattoos into action, using the giant grin on his left hand to cover his mouth. The resultant effect is simultaneously clowny and chilling, and it helps to distinguish this take on the character from Jack Nicholson’s (in the original Batman) and Heath Ledger’s (in The Dark Knight).
10. The birth of Incubus
The main villain of Suicide Squad, as we have long suspected, is one of their very own: Enchantress, who manages to duck out of Amanda Waller’s grasp and free her long-imprisoned brother, Incubus. Together, they start into motion a diabolical plan to spread darkness across the entire world, allowing the two demonic spirits the ability to walk the planet as gods.
But, first, Incubus needs to feast on human flesh (and, presumably, souls) in order to regain his strength and to evolve into his ultimate form: a giant, flaming-armor-equipped monstrosity that is nearly indestructible. In order to do so, he travels to a crowded subway, feigns a black-out (in order to get as many people huddled around him as possible), and then grapples onto them all using disgusting-looking tentacles. He collects more and more individuals into his withering mass, then falls on the train tracks, where he juices up on all the electricity that they contain.
9. El Diablo… revealed
Chato Santana has refused to utilize his pyrokinetic superpowers ever since he burnt his wife and two young children alive as a type of penance (well, except for writing the word “bye” in flames above his head when trying to dismiss the Task Force X recruiters). This continues throughout the bulk of the movie, as he hangs back and attempts to stay out of the fight against Enchantress’s never-ending waves of eyeball monsters.
Viewers get a little taste of his abilities when he’s finally provoked into action by Deadshot, unleashing a huge torrent of flames that manages to wipe out three stories’ worth of baddies in one fell swoop. It’s an impressive display of metahuman powers, but it’s still nowhere near the full extent of what he’s capable of.
This finally arrives in the film’s climax, when the squad manages, at long last, to catch up with Enchantress and Incubus. With no other option seemingly available to them, El Diablo finally embraces his fiery nature and becomes a walking, towering inferno, nearly the same height as the giant Incubus and nearly succeeding in killing him single-handedly. It’s one of the most memorable images Suicide Squad has to offer.
8. “Would you live for me?”
The movie spends some time detailing Harley and Joker’s relationship, the origin of their love, and the depths to which they care for one another (in their own sick, twisted way, of course). Already showing how Mr. J “seduced” Dr. Harleen Quinzel at Arkham Asylum and then started a course of electroshock therapy on her, the finishing touch – and the highlight of their flashbacks – is an extended sequence where the Joker, in the Ace Chemical Plant (hello, Tim Burton’s Batman!), asks Harley if she’d die for him. “Yes,” she answers immediately, making the Clown Prince of Crime realize that that’s too easy of a question. “Would you live for me?” he asks instead, and the answer this time is a much more reluctant affirmative.
7. Enchantress’s first transformation
The scene where audiences get to see Dr. June Moore transform into her (unwitting) alter ego, the deadly “witch” known as Enchantress, for the first time is, hands down, one of the most effective sequences in the entire film, not to mention one of its most creative concoctions.
Perhaps not coincidentally, it’s also one of Suicide Squad’s most simplistic effects. June puts her hand out after intoning the sorceress’s name, and then the Enchantress’s blackened, frightening hand appears out of nowhere, grasping her normal-looking one from underneath and then flipping it. When the camera cuts to a shot of the character again, it’s the witch who’s now standing there.
Of course, it certainly doesn’t hurt that the rest of the scene serves as an excellent payoff to the Enchantress’s introduction: she moves about the military conference room unnervingly and manages to teleport herself across the space in the blink of an eye to stand right beside the chairman. And when she puts her hand on the clearly-uncomfortable government official’s shoulder, his muffled response to not touch him is nothing short of hilarious.
6. Waller’s not afraid to get her hands dirty
There is a certain presence that Viola Davis brings to Amanda Waller, one that radiates cool, calm, uncaring authority tinged with a hint of calculated menace, like she can strike out at any moment against anyone around her. And she certainly doesn’t flinch in the face of danger: when her Suicide Squad attempts to surround and threaten her, she literally shoulders the hulking Killer Croc out of the way. When her helicopter crashes and is almost immediately swarming with the ubiquitous magical monsters, she picks up an automatic rifle and opens fire on her would-be kidnappers.
But the single greatest example of the threat she poses – and of her complete lack of empathy (or, at least, of guilt) – is her coolly gunning down several underlings who work for her upon her extraction from Midway City, where Enchantress and Incubus have settled as their home base. When Colonel Flag looks at her, she simply notes that they didn’t have full clearance for all that they had witnessed, which made them a liability to national security – and, of course, to her ability to cover her own butt with the rest of the government and military. “Who’s the villain?” Deadshot asks him, looking on.
5. Me and Mr. J
Once the Suicide Squad manages, at long last, to confront the Enchantress just as she’s putting the finishing touches on her spell of world conquest, she announces to the team that she knows just what each of them secretly desires,and if they kneel before her instead of trying to stop her, she’ll make it a reality for each of them.
While Deadshot dreams of killing Batman (Ben Affleck) in that Gotham alley where he was instead arrested, and El Diablo has visions of being reunited with his murdered family, it’s Harley Quinn’s secret fantasy that carries the most emotional heft. In her perfect world, she looks normal (well, mostly so) and carries a baby on her hip. Some unseen man walks into the frame and gives her a kiss before turning to something just off-screen – yet another child, this one a toddler, sitting in his high chair and attempting to eat. When the man turns just enough to get a glimpse of his face, we can see that it’s Jared Leto without his Joker makeup on – a normalized, healthy individual who’s more intent on raising families than pushing people into vats of acid.
4. The Suicide Squad’s origins
Heading into the film this weekend, one of the biggest questions fans had was just how much Suicide Squad would tie into the overarching mythology of the DC Extended Universe. The answer: not that much in terms of the quantity of references or crossover appearances, but fairly substantially in terms of the quality of the world-building moments.
The first of these, it turns out, is one of the most effective. Amanda Waller gives, as the justification for wanting to create her own metahuman team, the sudden vacuum in superpowered policing that Superman’s (Henry Cavill) death resulted in at the end of Batman v Superman. When coupled with her deep background in the intelligence community, this results in the thoroughly utilitarian approach of using metahuman assets that could be deployed in the field without fear of compromising America’s national security or standing in the world, thanks to their utter expendability.
What’s even better than these lines of dialogue is the visual that is conjured to go with them: a vendor sitting out on the street, selling black t-shirts that say “Superman” on the front and “remember” on the back. It’s one of the film’s few quiet moments, and it’s an effective one at that.
3. Reward time!
Once the mission is complete, both Enchantress and Incubus have been exterminated, and everyone gets to go back “home” to Belle Reve Penitentiary with 10 years shaved off of their sentences, the Task Force X agents manage to extract a single, simple reward from their handler, Amanda Waller. Each of these comprise some of the best scenes in the entire movie, without a doubt.
First there’s Harley Quinn, who gets a fancy new espresso machine installed in her cell, enabling her to read what appears to be a romance novel while sipping on the caffeinated drinks all fancy-like, replete with pinky sticking out. Next is Killer Croc, who gets a television inserted in his sewer cell, allowing him to watch BET all day and night long. And then, finally, comes Deadshot, who not only gets access to all the letters from his daughter that have been accumulating over the past several months, but also to have some visit time with her – where he manages to help her with her geometry homework, using the example of assassinating a target to drive across the concept of angles. It’s a strangely touching, if also simultaneously disturbing, interaction.
2. Deadshot’s one-man army
While it’s arguable whether Deadshot or Harley Quinn is the main lead of Suicide Squad (both are literally the only two characters to get any sort of fleshed-out backstory, both are the closest the movie comes to having nuanced characterizations, and both get the best action scenes), it’s unquestionable that Floyd Lawton is the man at the forefront of the team’s deployments on the battlefield.
This is nowhere near as evident – or impressive – as when the man who never misses a shot takes the charge when attempting to repel Enchantress’s countless eyeball-covered-and-thoroughly-disgusting minions. As the other Task Force Xers and military personnel appear on the verge of being overwhelmed by this first wave of baddies, Deadshot jumps atop a car and begins gunning down nearly the entire horde himself, switching from automatic rifles to hand guns to, finally, his wrist-mounted firearms. Everyone else is forced to take a breather, put their weapon down, and just take it in.
1. Mid-credits scene
There are several major ways in which Suicide Squad more closely resembles a Marvel Cinematic Universe film rather than one of its two predecessors, ranging from the greater inclusion of humor to a paper-thin antagonist. But the biggest way one can tell that the movie is taking its cues from Disney’s shared universe is in its usage of a mid-credits scene, which is designed to – what else? – set up later installments in the DC Extended Universe.
In this case, Amanda Waller is having a late-evening meal with Bruce Wayne. Given his contacts and influence with the federal government, Waller wishes Bruce to help keep her role in the debacle at Midway City a secret as much as possible, lest it ruin her illustrious career or put her in prison. Bruce, for his part, wants access to confidential information she has in regards to the various metahumans that exist across the country, with a particular interest on the four that he was first exposed to from Lex Luthor’s (Jesse Eisenberg) database in Batman v Superman. This, then, is the missing glue between the previous film’s discovery and Justice League’s recruitment, making smart use of the overarching storyline.
And oh, yeah – Waller essentially flat-out states that she knows Bruce Wayne’s little Bat secret, as well.
Did we miss your favorite scene? Do you think there’s something more speculator than the giant Justice League, Part I set-up? Let us know in the comments!