This Friday’s Suicide Squad is, as critics agree, not a very good film. And while it has many problems, it’s the structural plot revolving around Enchantress, a 6,000 year-old evil spirit who seeks to resurrect her brother Incubus and reclaim the world, that makes Suicide Squad kind of a dud when the credits roll.
Instead of sending the Justice League, because those guys are all too busy doing their own thing, Amanda Waller (Viola Davis), from the shady government branch A.R.G.U.S., assembles a team of bad guys and weirdos to stop Enchantress. It’s a suicide mission, fit only for a team known as the Suicide Squad.
Diving into the comic books isn’t very helpful to better understand Suicide Squad or Enchantress herself either. The movie took a lot of liberties with Enchantress and her brother, Incubus, who wasn’t her brother in the comics, but instead an entity that rips apart Dr. June Moore from Enchantress’s grasp. He’s an obscure character retooled for the film, but his significance is so little it doesn’t matter anyway. But in case you’re lost, don’t worry: We were too. Here’s what Enchantress was all about.
Dr. June Moore (Cara Delevigne) is an archaeologist who stumbles upon a cursed idol harboring Enchantress, an ancient sorceress able to manipulate all kinds of energy and teleport in an instant. (Enchantress has been around in comics for a long time too, appearing in Strange Adventures #187 back in 1966.)
Fortunately, Enchantress is still vulnerable: Amanda Waller keeps Enchantress’s heart (somehow, it was barely explained, just go with it), that stops Enchantress from doing her worst and from completely taking over June. So Enchantress is kept at bay, with the utterance of her name like an “on” switch for Enchantress to temporarily appear via June. Meanwhile, June has begun a relationship with Rick Flag (Joel Kinnaman), the special forces soldier assigned to protect her.
But Enchantress, the wily old witch, has other plans. At the first chance she gets (during a mission that goes haywire), Enchantress regains her heart and lays siege to Midway City, picking a host for her brother Incubus, another ancient sorcerer. Together they want to rule the world… or something. Look, Suicide Squad is bad, not because Disney pays critics, but because it does an actual poor job at properly establishing necessary plot points to understand what is happening.
Enchantress and Incubus’s backstories as forgotten gods was unclear and underdeveloped, making their endgame to take over the world (I mean, really?) unmemorable. Do they hope to turn the world into those zombie things that run amok in Midway City? Do they think that is what true worship is? Maybe! But we don’t know! And it’s that ambiguity that unfortunately sums up a lot of Suicide Squad. Enchantress was just one of them.
Photos via Warner Bros.