It’s no secret that Suicide Squad has been a divisive film. Despite raking in tons of money at the box office and breaking the record for the biggest debut in the month of August, David Ayer’s anarchic take on superhero films has been poorly received by critics and audiences alike. A lot of the blame for the film’s many shortcomings can be attributed to its troubled production, in which Warner Bros. reportedly hired the company that put together the film’s first excellent trailer to come in and create an entirely new cut alongside Ayer’s original. It’s a film that features some great performances and ideas, but one that is undermined by a terrible plot structure and some truly confounding editing work. As such, Suicide Squad leaves a ton of lingering questions that are seemingly without answer. Here are some of the biggest that I wish the movie would have provided answers to:
12. Where Were The Justice League?
The central premise of Suicide Squad — that the US government is so desperate for a metahuman deterrent that they are willing to use criminals for the job — is definitely intriguing, but the film kind of contradicts itself by not offering a legitimate reason for Task Force X to get the green light. Amanda Waller activates Deadshot, Harley Quinn, and the rest of the squad for active duty after Enchantress goes AWOL and starts building some sort of world destruction device, but it’s never explained where the Justice League are or why they’re not called upon first.
Yes, Suicide Squad takes place prior to the events of Zack Snyder’s upcoming Justice League film (at least I think; the only thing that’s really made clear is that it takes place after Batman v Superman), so Batman has yet to put the team together into a cohesive unit. Still, that doesn’t mean that the likes of Batman, Wonder Woman, or The Flash aren’t still around doing superhero stuff. Sure, having the Justice League show up would completely invalidate the entire premise of Suicide Squad, but it would have been appreciated to learn what its various members are up do during a world-threatening event that prevents them from finding time to stop it.
11. Why Did The Joker Leave Harley To Die?
I’m not really sure if this is a plot hole or not, but it still felt like a strange direction for the film to take regardless. During Harley’s introduction sequence, we see her and the Joker’s “date night” rudely interrupted by Batman, leading Mr. J to crash his car into Gotham Bay. When Batman jumps in to check if either of them are alive, he finds only Harley in the passenger seat with the Joker nowhere in sight. Now, before you say that saving his own skin is exactly what the Joker would do in this situation, remember that we see multiple examples throughout the rest of the film of the extreme measures he will take to save her.
He not only saves her from drowning in the Ace Chemicals vat (which, to be fair, he did push her into), but he takes on the entire Suicide Squad to get her back and even breaks Harley out of prison at the end of the movie. Honestly, it feels the only reason why this scene plays out the way it does is that director David Ayer got a mandate from Warner Bros. demanding that Batman and The Joker not share the screen together. The studio wouldn’t want to spoil their inevitable meeting in a future Batman film, after all.
10. What Happened To Griggs?
Despite being kind of reprehensible, Ike Barinholtz’s Captain Griggs is one of the funniest characters in the film. Unfortunately, he disappears completely after the first act. This wouldn’t be so much of a problem if Margot Robbie’s Harely Quinn didn’t imply that Griggs is “so screwed” despite having helped the Joker make contact with his crazed mistress. Perhaps Mr. J left Griggs alive in order to help him get inside Belle Reve prison at the end of the film in order to bust Harley out, but it’s difficult to say considering there’s no mention of him after the aforementioned scene. Considering so many Joker scenes were reportedly left out of the Suicide Squad theatrical cut, there’s probably a scene that explains all of this sitting on the cutting room floor somewhere.
9. Does Amanda Waller Really Think Task Force X Could Take Down Superman?
As already mentioned, the whole point of establishing the Suicide Squad is to safeguard against future metahuman threats. As David Harbour’s Dexter Toliver muses at one point, “What if Superman had decided to fly down, rip off the roof of the White House, and grab the President right out of the Oval Office? Who would have stopped him?” Well, not the Suicide Squad, that’s for sure. When four of your group’s six members don’t have any superpowers at all, what hope do stand against the Man of Steel? Heck, even the two members of Task Force X with actual abilities—Killer Croc and El Diablo—would barely be able to make Superman break a sweat.
Now I know why Amanda Waller uses Enchantress as a demonstration, as she’s the only character in the film with honest-to-goodness godlike powers, but considering they lose control of her laughably fast (more on that coming up), it’s hard to imagine that Waller realistically considered her or any of the Suicide Squad to pose a threat to Superman or another being with similar abilities.
8. Why Doesn’t Enchantress Die When Waller Stabs Her Heart?
When Enchantress is introduced, Amanda Waller informs her colleagues (and the audience) that she is able to keep the ancient magical being under her control because she possesses her heart and makes assurances that if Enchantress ever goes AWOL, she will not hesitate to destroy it. True to her word, Waller starts aggressively stabbing Enchantress’ heart as soon as the witch turns against her. This severely weakens Enchantress but she’s able to hold out long enough to find her brother Incubus and have him save her with his power. This would be fine if it wasn’t established earlier in the Pentagon scene that even just poking and prodding the heart has a strong effect on Enchantress. Would it not follow that stabbing the crap out of her heart should probably have killed her? And why did Waller not just keep stabbing the heart or go to even greater means to destroy it? Then again, this is the same woman who assembles Task Force X just to come rescue her, so logic doesn’t seem to be her strong suit.
7. How Did The Joker Survive That Helicopter Crash?
It’s not that the idea of the Joker surviving a fiery helicopter crash is beyond the ream of possibility; after all, this is a villain who is routinely pummeled by Batman and just laughs it off, so we know he can take an obscene amount of pain and discomfort. Still, to have the Clown Prince of Crime go down in a fiery explosion, only to reappear in perfect health at the end of the film without any explanation is kind of the definition of a plot hole and a frustratingly obvious one at that. The worst part is that a scene was clearly shot that explains all of this, as we see the Joker with burns all over one side of his face in one of the trailers.
Perhaps David Ayer just figured that we all know that the Joker can easily brush off something as non-life threatening as a helicopter crash and assumed there was no need to fill the audience in on what actually happened. At this point, that’s the only explanation that makes sense, as I’d hate to think that the film’s editors knowingly included such a glaring plot hole …
6. Why Does Harley Come Back?
Harley Quinn and the Joker’s reunion is quickly cut short after Waller orders their helicopter be shot down, forcing Harley to fall onto a roof and watch as her lover crashes to his seeming death. You would assume that Harley would go looking for her ‘Puddin’ right away, but not long after this incident, the remaining members of Task Force X find her just chilling out on top of a car, seemingly waiting for them. While the movie’s basic structure dictates that Harley needs to rejoin the squad, why would she even do this? Are we really supposed to believe that she would choose to go on a literal suicide mission with a bunch of people she’s just met and has no connection to over going after the Joker, whom she apparently loves more than anything else?
Even more exasperating is the fact that the bomb in her neck has been rendered inert by this point, so there is nothing holding her to the squad or its mission. I guess you could just explain this away by pointing to Harley’s insanity and that this is just one of her flights of fancy, but this still feels like a decision that makes no sense based on what we know about Harley as a character up until this point in the film.
5. Why Does Captain Boomerang Come Back?
Speaking of comings and goings in this film, why does Captain Boomerang bother coming back to rejoin Task Force X? Immediately after Rick Flag disables the squad’s neck bombs and tells them they’re all free to go, Boomerang high tails it out of there; a delightful moment that fits right in with his characterization as a bit of a selfish coward. It’s pretty obvious at this point that it’s not the last we’ll see of the character, since his exit occurs right before the third act battle against Enchantress, but imagine my astonishment when he’s literally shown in the next scene walking down the street with the rest of the team as if nothing ever happened.
This whole movie feels like it was hacked to bits in the editing room but if there’s ever a moment where it feels like an entire scene is missing, it would be this one. Why does Boomerang just casually come back with no explanation (and don’t say it’s because that’s what boomerangs do)? It’s not like it’s even a big deal that Boomerang comes back, as this could have been explained with a throwaway line about him not having anything better to do, but as is, it’s just another plot hole in a film already riddled with them.
4. When Will We See The Suicide Squad Again?
At the conclusion of Suicide Squad, everyone ends up back in jail (but with perks like supervised visitations and espresso machines!) and things are pretty much returned to how they were before. With the film’s enormous box office success so far, it pretty much goes without saying that we’ll be seeing some or all of these characters again in a future DC Expanded Universe installment, but when? We can pretty much rule Wonder Woman out since the film is primarily set in the past and it’s unlikely that we’ll see anyone in Justice League except maybe briefly in a post-credits stinger or small, insignificant scene.
Suicide Squad 2 feels like a foregone conclusion, so we’ll obviously see these characters return there, but since that movie hasn’t been confirmed and there will be quite a few other DC movies released between now and then, we’ll probably see them used here and there in many of the standalone hero movies that are arriving in the next few years. For instance, Captain Boomerang will probably turn up in The Flash and if The Joker and/or Harley Quinn don’t figure into Ben Affleck’s Batman movie somehow I’ll be really surprised. Although I have many problems with Suicide Squad, I liked some of the characters and am looking forward to seeing them again throughout the DC Extended Universe .
3. What Happened To Scott Eastwood’s Character?
Poor Scott Eastwood. The guy’s just trying to carve out a film of his career and distinguish himself from his famous dad, only to be saddled with a thankless role as some nameless grunt in Suicide Squad (okay, his name is Lieutenant GQ Edwards but you totally didn’t remember that). The last we see of GQ, he’s accompanying Killer Croc under the Midway City Subway in order to set off a bomb to take out Incubus. While they are successful in their mission, GQ is pretty close to that bomb when it blows up, so it’s safe to assume that he’s dead. I can’t say this for sure though because the film never brings up what happens to him, which seems kind of weird considering he’s Rick Flag’s right hand man. Then again, Flag ends up getting his lady June Moone back, so what does he care what happened to his best buddy? In the words of Deadshot, Flag’s just “gangster” like that.
2. What’s The Deal With Harley’s Vision?
Right before she’s stopped from using her big sky laser machine to take over the world (or something like that), Enchantress tries to lure the Suicide Squad to her side by giving each of them a vision of their deepest desires (although we only get to see Deadshot’s, El Diablo’s, Rick Flag’s, and Harley Quinn’s; sorry Captain Boomerang and Killer Croc). The majority of these visions play out pretty much as you might expect, but it’s Harley’s that really goes off the rails into WTF territory. We see her living a suburban fantasy with a non-Joker Jared Leto and their two children, basically living a normal life. This scene is more than a little confusing considering Harley is supposed to be insane. If she wasn’t crazy, perhaps this vision would make more sense, but she’s not and as the rest of the film hammers home repeatedly, she is in LOVE with crazy Joker, not some normal version of him.
1. Will Jared Leto Return As The Joker?
One of the biggest questions I had after seeing Suicide Squad had nothing to do with the actual plot of the film, but rather if Warner Bros. really wants Jared Leto to be their Joker for the next decade or so of DCEU films. Leto’s portrayal is terrible on both a conceptual level and in execution and by all accounts, he was a rather toxic presence on set. Leto and even Margot Robbie may be of the mind that the studio is stockpiling all of Leto’s cut scenes from Suicide Squad to be used in a future movie, but I’m not so sure. Even Leto himself has claimed that he “wouldn’t want to overstay [his] welcome” if his performance ends up not being well-received and its safe to say that he’s not Heath Ledger! I just have a hard time seeing Leto return for Ben Affleck’s solo Batman movie as its lead antagonist. He’ll most likely be back because Suicide Squad didn’t bomb at the box office, so why change what’s making money, but the prospect of seeing more of Leto’s Joker is hard to stomach.