The Suicide Squad Is A Step Backwards For Harley Quinn’s Characterization
Harley Quinn was a shining example of the excellence binds of Prey. The Suicide SquadShe tries to channel her unique brand, calculated chaos, but she forgets the spark of humanity that it takes. Birds of PreyThis makes Harley feel shallow and unnatural. Harley’s jokes may still make fans laugh, but can they relate to Harley?
This is an important question, considering that both Birds of Prey (and The Suicide Squad) relied heavily upon Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn as a promotion tool. Birds of Prey delivered the most in terms of screen time. The Suicide Squad had a lot more characters to manage – even though it did dispose of a lot of them in the most horrific ways possible. This meant that fans didn’t see Harley Quinn for long periods of the movie. This was for some a minor issue. After all, the movie is called Suicide Squad.
Others felt that the emphasis on her character in promotional materials, especially coming after a movie that allowed her to shine, was misleading. This was especially true when the movie omitted most of the depth her character was allowed to show in Birds of Prey. Harley was able to save herself and she didn’t even need help from anyone. She saved herself and delivered one of the most visually stunning sequences in the movie while at it. Was there an emotional arc for Harley in Suicide Squad
She did not make many new friends. She didn’t spend much time with her old friends. She was not able to show her intelligence or education, which has been noted repeatedly in movies. She actually started the movie right where she stated she would not be at the end of Birds of Prey. But she did so with her usual cheerful disposition. Then she didn’t grow. This might have been OK if the movie had not also removed most of the growth from Birds of Prey.
Yes, this Harley Quinn is free of the Joker. That’s it. However, Harley isn’t returning to the arms of a homicidal lunatic who never really loved her. This doesn’t mean that the movie does not continue with her character arc. It doesn’t contradict itself in the way it should. Although it is slight mercy, it is not enough. This is especially true when you consider that the movie did not feature a Joker so there was no way to go back.
The Suicide Squad attempts to be different from the 2016 Suicide Squad. It succeeds in most aspects. But not Harley Quinn. Because watching the three movies side-by-side feels like you’re in two universes that don’t follow a linear pattern. The Harley in the 2016 movie is closer to The Suicide Squad’s Harley than the Harley from Birds of Prey. Although smart and extremely capable, the Harley from 2016 feels very similar to the Harley from Birds of Prey. Not to mention, this Harley still feels to be hovering on the edge of self-destruction, instead of existing in a controlled chaos of her own making.
This Harley Quinn is easier to handle. It’s easier to write her. With such a large cast, it is easier to write her. The storyline in Birds of Prey required more reflection, which would have meant fewer jokes. Except Birds of Prey managed to be amusing, provide character development for Harley and multiple characters, as well as make us care about their team. The Suicide Squad was also entertaining, but it had very little substance. The most shocking example is Harley’s characterization, which actually took a step back. However, the movie failed entirely to explore the complexity of any of its characters.
The movie attempted to portray the theme of found family superficially. It’s hard to believe that the people left alive at the end really care about one another. They were the ones who managed to escape, and they will remain together because it’s easier, and Waller was beaten by them. That’s all. There is no emotional resonance.
Harley Quinn is still a fun character.DC would be a good choice to to learn more, keep reading. Gotham City Sirens looks like the ideal next step for her. Whatever DC does with Harley’s character, it is important to remember that Harley was the best version of herself. Birds of Prey. Harley Quinn is not just a chaotic agent Suicide Squadher to be. It is possible for the character to be successful other than team-up movies whether she is allowed to grow and not stuck in her “cool girl” role will determine whether or not she succeeds.