What ‘The Suicide Squad’ Gets Right About Harley Quinn

admonition : This article contains spoilers for The Suicide Squad .
James Gunn ‘s The Suicide Squad is, to put it merely, a sleep together letter to chaos. It ‘s not even close to anything resembling a superhero movie as we know it, but rather a true antihero movie that revels in the ability to take what are arguably C-list comedian book characters and absolutely decimate them in the gnarliest ways potential on-screen. The marketing surrounding the movie up to its publish last week was frequently tagged with the motto of “ Do n’t Get Too Attached ” — reminding audiences that, when it came to the question of any sense of longevity or survival, they should abandon any and all expectations that every member of Amanda Waller ‘s ( Viola Davis ) Task Force X was going to make it out alive .
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But among the adorable shark nomming, the stranger starfish antagonist ( yes, you read that right ), the heartwarming found family vibes, the wrench ending that revealed not equitable one but two members of the Suicide Squad believed to be all in had survived, and the unanticipated comment on the U.S. government — one character saw the climax of a narrative travel that has been developing in the background since the foremost Suicide Squad movie, ultimately getting to step out of the shadow of a relationship that has defined her since she made her first appearance in DC canon.

suicide-squad-joker-harley-quinn-jared-leto-margot-robbie Image via Warner Bros. Harley Quinn ( Margot Robbie ) was first introduced to audiences in live-action as the girlfriend of the clown-faced lunatic known as the Joker ( Jared Leto ) — and since her debut in 2016, has only ever grown in popularity amongst fans who knew her all the way rear from her origins in Batman: The Animated Series, harlequin costume and all. But vitamin a crucial as it was to see her origin story rendered on-screen ( how many times have we watched Thomas and Martha Wayne die in an alley again ? ), the beginning Suicide Squad movie constantly seemed to lean a little excessively heavily on reminding us that she was Joker ‘s girl, Joker ‘s right womanhood, Joker ‘s sidepiece. tied the handwriting, at respective turns, does n’t even refer to her by her own diagnose — although Waller does make an campaign to point out that Harley is arguably crazier and more unpredictable than her boyfriend. Suicide Squad ‘s Harley spends most of the movie reflecting on her own history while waiting around for Joker to come in and rescue her — which he ultimately does, right before the smash cut to credits, breaking her knocked out of Belle Reve in characteristically dramatic manner. But it would take four more years for audiences to see Harley at the helm of her own solo movie .
By the time Cathy Yan ‘s Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) skated into theaters, the proof of Harley ‘s freedom was right there in the subtitle : this movie was going to be all about her excellent emancipation, and right from the jump we see that she and the Joker are 100 % formally over and dunzo. Harley takes it about angstrom well as you might expect, going through every post-breakup platitude in the ledger — changing her hair, covering up her tattoo, partying arduous, getting a newfangled pet. The bulk of the movie is dedicated to her connecting with a group of ladies and slowly shifting from more nefarious district to something closer to resembling an antihero, but there are calm signs that she ‘s struggling with getting over her ex-wife. Towards the end of the film, Harley and the remainder of her new female child gang ( consisting of Helena Bertinelli, Dinah Lance, Renee Montoya, and Cassandra Cain ) are digging through Harley ‘s box of weapons and outfits to manner themselves in — and when person picks up her black-and-red harlequin outfit in a clear nod to her comics character, Harley quickly snatches it back before they can put it on, citing that it inactive has “ bathetic prize ” for her. She might have publicly denounced the Joker already by driving a hand truck into the Ace Chemicals factory where they first cemented their flex romance, but she ‘s still holding on to some of the items that remind her of him the most .
birds-of-prey-harley-quinn-margot-robbie Image via Warner Bros. related : Margot Robbie and David Dastmalchian Talk ‘The Suicide Squad ‘ and Geek Out Over Their Love for ‘Metropolis ‘

What makes The Suicide Squad feel like the natural adjacent dance step in Harley ‘s narrative, however, is the fact that she ‘s shown to have gone through the revelation that, in hindsight, her previous relationship was actually, truly bad for her. Nor is she hush clinging on to previous fashion that pays court to that helping of her life — her leather jacket seems to advertise her current country of heed in regards to Joker with the motto “ Live Fast Die Clown ” written on the back. But a scene that happens late on in the path of the film, after Harley ‘s barely been presented with the possibility of a newly boyfriend, very makes it net that she ‘s evolved as a character — and that she wo n’t be the woman who gets well manipulated by a sociopath again. On the coat, Silvio Luna ( Juan Diego Botto ), the authoritarian of Corto Maltese, seems about besides thoroughly to be true for a female child comparable Harley as he wines and dines her, dressing her up in a pretty gown, wooing her with his aviary full of birdies, and telling her that her “ anti-american opinion ” is what makes her most appeal as a potential bridget. Harley, however, decides that she ‘s going to cut and run equally soon as she starts noticing some serious crimson flags — like Luna ‘s willingness to continue Project Starfish ‘s agonizing experiments on people, children particularly. Shooting him with an previous gunman that fair thus happens to be loaded with a fastball seems like the best manner to keep her quixotic history from repeating itself .
The soliloquy Robbie delivers in this moment, written by Gunn, is the perfective encapsulation of how Harley has grown to eclipse the need for being associated with the Joker. In a language ranging from amusing, nigh-hysterical yelling to a calm, vulnerable sob, as Luna lays bleeding out on the floor, we fully see the extent of how her past relationship hurt her — but the most important share is, Harley now realizes it herself .
Breaking Harley up from the Joker in live-action is a move that officially puts her character on par with so many other incarnations across DC media that have done the same. From the hilariously irreverent animize series on HBO Max pairing Harley ( Kaley Cuoco ) up with Poison Ivy ( Lake Bell ) as official girlfriends to a new solo comics run by Stephanie Phillips and Riley Rossmo, it ‘s actually encourage to see creators across the board understand that, when it comes to Harley Quinn ‘s character, being the Joker ‘s girlfriend was never the most interesting thing about her. For all the ways in which The Suicide Squad in truth works ( and there are so many other reasons it does ), giving Harley a place to shine wholly mugwump of that x of hers is one of its biggest prevail.

KEEP read : How to Watch ‘The Suicide Squad ‘ : Where to Stream the New DC Superhero Movie

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