Suicide Squad is trying to stand out from the flood of exhaustingly samey superhero movies by taking The Christopher Nolan Dark Method a step further and sheathing itself in a grunge/ punk aesthetic: Its logo with the dead-eyed smiley evokes equal parts Nirvana and Juggalo. That’s all very good, but if the marketing people truly wanted to differentiate it from the superhero noise, they should emphasize its connection to The Fast and the Furious franchise via writer and director David Ayer, who also wrote the Fast and the Furious screenplay.
“But what does that have anything to do with anything?” you might be thinking. “So the same guy wrote them both — why does it matter?” It matters because, upon closer examination, you can use The Fast and The Furious to scientifically predict some of Suicide Squad’s plot points and character beats.
Before you pronounce me as crazy as the Leto Joker, ponder these mind-blowing similarities.
1. I’m not saying the joker is Vin Diesel, but… What am I, wildly speculating about a movie that isn’t coming out for 10 months just for the hell of it?! Of course David Ayer isn’t merely recycling his characters. Vin Diesel’s Dominic Toretto is clearly equally sprinkled between Leto’s joker and Will Smith’s Deadshot. You think Dominic Toretto and Brian O’Connor had a cute bromance? Look at Deadshot and Rick Flagg. Smith even has Toretto’s look down, from the shaved head to the muscle shirts.
Rick Flagg is, of course, the Brian O’Connor character — the generally law-abiding antihero with conflicting loyalties who gets reluctantly involved with the gang of misfit lawbreakers.
2. I’m not saying Harley Quinn is Letty, but she’s totally Letty.
Suicide Squad’s Harley Quinn has a weird relationship with a dangerous guy, and she herself is a tough girl you wouldn’t want to get on the wrong side of — just like Letty. Letty and Harley are both deceptively vicious and take shit from nobody except the object of her affection. According to an extremely reputable gossip site, Michelle Rodriguez used to date Cara Delevingne, Suicide Squad’s other female lead. Not that I’m making wild connections between real people and their fictional counterparts, but there is definitely a connection here.
3. I’m not saying having rappers-turned-actors in both movies means something, but it definitely means something.
Ludacris is in The Fast and The Furious. Common is in Suicide Squad. They are both rappers. Now, you might be thinking I’m making wild generalizations, and I certainly would be if we were talking about other rappers-turned-actors like Ice Cube or Queen Latifah. But Ludacris and Common — this connection is almost too much to handle.
4. I’m not saying foreign-villain stereotypes and Juggalos are the same, but they totally are. Jared Leto’s joker shares many characteristics with the subculture of Juggalos, as many astute citizens of the internet have pointed out.
Similarly, remember back in the good old days before the Fast and Furious franchise introduced the Rock and a superhuman Jason Statham, when its villains were racial stereotypes with cartoonish demeanors?
In straying away from Jack Nicholson’s gangster joker and Heath Ledger’s anarchist Joker in favor of a Juggalo joker, Ayer is updating cartoonish foreign villains for our modern era while sticking with the basic idea.
5. Their trailers are actually very similar.
Sure, they’ve got a few differences, e.g., one being about street racing and the other not featuring street racing in any way whatsoever, but those are superficial! Look at the music in both: Fast and Furious’s blaring fist-pumping metal might sound comical today, but that was basically the early 2000s version of the indie cover of the Bee Gees playing in the Suicide Squad trailer. Both trailers also prominently feature things that are completely impractical — colorful flames shooting out of cars; people hanging upside down — but they sure look cool.
I wouldn’t be so ridiculous as to try and predict the ending of a movie that’s coming out in 10 months, or to suggest Suicide Squad and The Fast and the Furious will have the same ending, but Suicide Squad will definitely end with reluctant bonding and near death stunts. In other words — spoiler alert! — here is Suicide Squad’s ending.