I went to see Suicide Squad the other night. I was on the fence about going in the first place. DC has been a little lackluster in the film department. It’s not entirely their fault; Marvel beat them to it this time around. Anything they do is going to be compared to Marvel by default, and the bar was set relatively high, if only because everything they’d done hadn’t been done before (or at least not well).
It wasn’t just that, though.
Suicide Squad is meant to be over the top. It’s about the *bad* guys being the kind-of-good guys. They save the day, but they do it with chips on their shoulders and a little bit of dark attitude and crazy. Honor among thieves! Harley and Joker really love each other, like Bonnie and Clyde!
Sure, when I was 15, I was obsessed with Harley Quinn. She just got me. She was dark because the world is dark, and she loved Joker, who was also dark. She laughed in the face of it, too.
And I did all the things that one might expect of a 15 year old obsessed with a character that is written to be cool to a 15 year old. I wore a lot of black eyeliner. I talked about the darkness and the weirdness and the uniqueness of everything. I read the Bell Jar like 87 times. Sylvia Plath understood my pain. And so did Harley! She was kind of crazy but in a *fun* way.
I was all kinds of stereotype.
And then I grew out of it. I stopped romanticizing depression and mental illness in general because, you know, it’s not romantic.
Now things are weird between us: me and my interests, I mean.
I want to go to conventions, enjoy myself, indulge in some comic buying, what with the whole disposable income thing. I mean, why do I work if not to enjoy my various interests, right?
The problem is that so many of the things that I enjoyed, that were somewhat obscure, are starting to become mainstream. I was not prepared for that. And I most definitely was not prepared for having to see 15 year old girls prancing around in impossibly more suggestive outfits than what Harley Quinn used to wear. Because apparently skin tight black and red wasn’t objectifying enough – now she wears barely-there shorts and t-shirt that says “Daddy’s Lil Monster.”
I could go on for days about how offensive that is.
These girls have the eye liner and shorts that leave literally nothing to the imagination, corsets, and thigh-highs. They are laughing about all of the dark things in the world, and they are romanticizing mental illness.
I want to smack them into their 20’s, so they grow out of it.
And going to see Suicide Squad was a culmination of these things. It was the joy of seeing a childhood interest come to life, combined with the abject disgust of seeing versions of my younger self walking around.
The movie itself wasn’t memorable enough to overshadow all of this strange introspection.
It wasn’t bad. It really wasn’t. It just wasn’t worth the baggage for me.
All that said. Go see it. It IS a fun movie. (I’m allowed to contradict myself. Back off.) And it’s not the worst way to spend a couple hours.