Sex sells. We know this. And that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. But when a character is objectified to the point where it is damaging to the plot and the audience watching it, I am afraid we as film lovers have a responsibility to call it out.
Suicide Squad has been long anticipated and, as such, should be considered somewhat influential in shaping the DC universe and our conception of the characters. The hype alone is going to get people seeing this film, even if they have never picked up a comic before in their life. What is more, it is rated 15 in the UK and just PG-13 in the US. This means teenagers can go see this film without context, without advisement. A young demographic already known for being body conscious and easily influenced; surely this means the director has some responsibility to uphold here?
Instead we are confronted with a character that is basically naked throughout the film, without warning or need. A character whose physical appearance is, apparently, central to their entire being and existence. Their flesh on show is completely unnecessary to plot development – it is clearly done simply for shock value and sex appeal. I am talking, of course, about Killer Croc.
Maybe he’s born with it, maybe it’s Mabe..oh wait, he was born with it? We all envy someone who is naturally sexy; I can barely pull it off with layers of makeup, standing in my frilliest pants. Killer Croc is one of those lucky few; born with a condition which others mocked (I can only assume out of jealousy) he developed a strong, independent personality that allowed him to overcome adversary and lead others. But this is overlooked in Suicide Squad, which instead seems to follow the mantra ‘Killer Croc is better seen, not heard’. With barely any lines and multiple scenes which include full nudity, it begs the question, what message are the film makers trying to send out here? If you have a swimmer’s body, great biceps and a washboard stomach, best just keep your pretty mouth shut? It makes me sad to think that directors go for mass appeal, rather than develop a character that is so complex in the original comics. Pain, suffering and ultimately a strong personality are overlooked, once again, in favour of objectifying an, admittedly, nice body.
If it weren’t for Harley Quinn’s fine looking ass, I would have walked out of this film altogether…
Jokes aside though, there has been a lot of backlash against Harley Quinn in recent weeks, many deeming David Ayer’s portrayal of the famed sociopathic villain to be an oversexualised depiction of abuse. This is far from the case, however, as her flirtatious nature and skimpy costumes are merely tools used to highlight the damage that has been done to this woman. Abused physically and mentally, while we may be able to sympathise with Harley, we are never meant to condone her actions. She is not meant to be a role model. Her statement ‘We’re bad guys, it’s what we do’ mocks our simplification of motive and understanding when it comes to villains. A great villain is complex and multilayered – not pure evil (as if such a thing exists) but driven by the circumstances that created them and their own emotions. Because, at the end of the day, aren’t we all?
Hats off to Robbie (who evidently can play crazy, innocent, nasty and the victim all in one scene) for truly doing Harley Quinn and her tragic backstory some justice.
What do you think?
SUICIDE SQUAD IS OUT NOW!
READ OUR REVIEW