The Suicide Squad Extended Cut contains 11 extra minutes of footage, but is that enough to make the divisive movie any better? Unless your name is Harley Quinn, no, not really.
This article is solely focused on whether the Extended Edition makes Suicide Squad a better film and what new material appears in this version. Check out my review of the Suicide Squad theatrical release for my full thoughts and the film’s critical score.
Warning: beware of spoilers for Suicide Squad!
Suicide Squad’s main problems had to do with the clunky story, mishandling of key characters, and the use of a dozen too-many pop songs that made it feel like a feature length trailer more than a cohesive film. The addition of a few cut scenes and putting some lines of dialogue back in doesn’t change any of that.
Most of the restored material focuses on Harley Quinn and the Joker, two criminals who are crazy in love, emphasis on the crazy. Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn was the breakout character of the film, so this new material strengthens what was already good, rather than fixing what didn’t work.
You can check out a full list of everything that was added at the end of this article, but for now let’s focus on the biggest, most important additions.
The first notable change comes during the flashback featuring Harley Quinn and Joker’s time together at Arkham Asylum, specifically when the Joker decides to hurt Harley Quinn really, really bad. There’s not much added here, but the Joker’s additional lines shed light on just what kind of treatment Harley gave him during her time as his psychiatrist. “You helped me by erasing my mind, worked through faded memories I had!” he shouts. “No. You left me in a black hole of rage and confusion. Is that the medicine you practice, Dr. Quinzel?” The intro narrated by Amanda Waller makes it seem like the Joker was manipulating Harley into falling in love with him during their sessions, but these lines imply that he wasn’t in total control and he actually suffered trauma, making him even more deranged than before. This makes his decision to torture her with electroshock therapy devices an act of vengeance — getting back at her for what she did to him — rather than just a random act of cruelty.
Also, it never made sense for the Joker to ask Harley for a machine gun when the next scene shows his goons breaking in to Arkham with machine guns of their own. I expected to see some connective tissue added here to smooth that out.
The next key scene between the pair is an additional flashback that was completely cut from the film, which takes place while Harley is still her normal, unbleached self. She chases down the Joker on a motorcycle, begging him to accept that she loves him. He rebuffs her, saying “I am not someone who is loved. I’m an idea, state of mind. I execute my will according to my plan, and you, Doctor, are not part of my plan.” His dialogue is a bit too self-aware, much like his numerous tattoos of Joker iconography, but it also shows that he was totally playing her in order to escape.
Again, there’s a bit of connective tissue missing: the next flashback we see shows him ready to accept her love if she dives into the vat inside ACE Chemicals. But he ended the previous scene telling her to go away, so at what point did he decide that he actually does want Harley? And why? This added scene actually creates a bit of confusion rather than alleviating it.
Jared Leto conceived a new, strange version of the Joker for this movie, one that has received a lot of mixed fan reactions, so one plus of these extra scenes is that we hear him talk about himself a bit more. We get a somewhat better idea of this Joker’s worldview and what makes him tick.
One complaint made about the movie was that it didn’t service each character enough. The Extended Edition helps this a tad when we see, early on when the team first crash lands in Midway City, Captain Boomerang “secretly” informing each member about his plan to kill Flag and their armed escort and make a break for it. Everyone gets some screen time and their personalities are fleshed out a smidge more.
We get another round of this later in the film when, again during a walk down the street, Harley Quinn taps into her roots and starts to psychoanalyze each member of the Squad. It’s a playful scene with a devious tone, and it helps to better showcase each character’s weird personality.
Above all, it’s yet another scene that Harley Quinn gets to shine. If the Extended Edition does anything, it essentially transforms the movie into “Harley Quinn and the Suicide Squad” where she gets the most screen time and feels more like the heart and (black) soul of the team.
However, the Extended Edition will likely disappoint many fans for the deleted scenes it doesn’t include. The Suicide Squad trailers, promo images, set photos and commercials showed a lot of footage that was cut from the movie, and unfortunately the best of that is nowhere to be found. Shots like…
The Joker saying “I can’t wait to show you my toys!”
These shots alluding to what looked like a meatier role for Katana, including her Soultaker Sword, her eyes going black, and a fight against Killer Croc.
And what appeared to be the Joker’s participation in the film’s original climax before it was reportedly scrapped and reshot.
All films leave footage on the cutting room floor, but Suicide Squad seemed to have a disproportionate amount of footage cut from the final product, and a lot of that happened to look really cool. Who wouldn’t want to see a climactic scene with the Joker looking crazier than ever and half his face burnt off?
Much like the Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Ultimate Edition, this Extended Edition isn’t going to change anyone’s mind about Suicide Squad. If you liked it before, then you’ll surely enjoy getting more time with Joker and Harley in addition to getting to seeing each member of the Squad fleshed out a bit more. If you weren’t a fan before, then know that the 11 added minutes do not contain anything so game-changing that you’d reverse your original opinion.
For those of you looking to see exactly what was added, here you go.
- Added lines from Joker to the scene where he tortures Harley in Arkham Asylum
- An extended scene of Killer Croc being fed a skinned goat in Belle Reve
- A cameo of director David Ayer as a Belle Reve guard
- A somber shot of Deadshot in his cell where he’s imagining his daughter’s voice
- Increased security around Belle Reve, including a sniper above the prison yard
- Killer Croc vomiting during the Squad’s helicopter flight to Midway City
- Captain Boomerang planning a mutiny with the other Squad members
- Flag offering Deadshot a private deal, essentially the same one about getting his freedom and his daughter
- Deadshot questions who the target of their rescue mission is, better setting up the twist later on
- Harley Quinn chasing down the Joker on a motorcycle to convince him to accept her love
- Harley Quinn psychoanalyzes the team during a walk down the street
- The scene where Harley makes the Squad drinks is showed in full, including the parts shown in trailers but cut from the theatrical release
- Flag opens up to Deadshot about his love for June Moon, showing they bond over acting out of love for someone they care about
What did you think of the Suicide Squad Extended Edition? Did you catch anything else that was in the new cut that we missed? Let us know in the comments!