This afternoon I was able to go to see Suicide Squad on opening day. (A huge thanks to T-Mobile who gave my wife and I tickets!) I was braced for the horrid portrayal of the Joker (I have yet to find anyone that can best Heath Ledger in my mind.) and was telling myself that there were two big reasons to brave the crowd to see the movie. First, I promised my wife that I would take her to see the movie when it opened and second, I am a HUGE Will Smith fan.
The show was pretty good, better than I had expected honestly; however, I have two complaints. One, Jared Leto does not make a good Joker, his acting fell short of the psychotic trickster mafia boss and didn’t embody Mr. J (as Harley would say) as it should have. His laughter should have drowned out all reasoning and held a timbre of insane genius; it did not. His smile should have had that vapid glaze that masked the not-quite-right intellectual mastermind; it did not. Simply put, he did not own the part as pretty much every other actor in the movie did. Will Smith did not disappoint, nor did the rest of the Suicide Squad.
My second complaint is a lot bigger than just bad acting, one that symbolizes the casual disregard of the Native American community that has been a travesty in America since the invasion by Anglo-Saxon colonists. One of the members of the Suicide Squad, Slipknot, is played by an actor of Native American decent and it shows. While according to the comics Slipknot isn’t killed while with the Suicide Squad he has a tragically short amount of screen time before he’s killed off in the movie. To me, this shows a blatant disregard for Native American lives. I could be overreacting, but I think we need to take a moment to realize the message that instances like these show moviegoers. A Native American didn’t have to be cast in this role, and it’s great that one was, but to use him as a ploy of inclusiveness is downright insulting.
As someone of Native American descent, I would have loved for Slipknot or even a Native American character to have a little more screen time and maybe a purpose other than showing another character that “the bombs are real”.