The Joker and Will Smith hang out at the Eaton Centre: a breakdown of the Suicide Squad trailer

The Joker and Will Smith hang out at the Eaton Centre: a breakdown of the Suicide Squad trailer

A few days ago at San Diego Comic-Con, Suicide Squad, a new Warner Bros. action movie that was shot in Toronto, debuted its first trailer before a select group of nerds. Yesterday, Warners caved and released the three-minute video online. In it, Hogtown is covered in grit and darkness and beset upon by what looks to be at least nine thousand unrecognizable supervillains (and also, Jared Leto’s Joker).

We’ve given the trailer an extra-close look, in part to get to the bottom of what a “Suicide Squad” even is in the first place, and also to get a bead on how prominently Toronto features in this movie. Turns out, not very prominently! (Though we assume they’re saving the big Joker vs. Batman vs. Superman fight along the CN Tower’s Edgewalk for the theatrical debut. Why tip your hand, you know?)

0:04: The trailer begins, as trailers do, with a voiceover. “It’s taken some work,” says Viola Davis’ character, “but I finally have ‘em.” Have whom?! Tell us! Is it Pachi, the delightful Pan Am Games mascot? It’s Pachi, isn’t it.

0:07: “The worst of the worst.” Yep. It’s for sure Pachi the Pan American Porcupine.


0:18: Oh look, someone is cutting a piece of red meat to symbolize that they are, both literally and figuratively, a carnivore, a predator, tearing into flesh with rapacious glee. Put the meat away, Hollywood! Leave meat alone!

0:28: “Some of them have…abilities.” Abilities, yes. Like Pachi’s ability to unite the many member states of Pan America, each one represented by one of his lethal multi-coloured spikes.

0:38: “I want to assemble a task force of some of the most dangerous people on the planet, who I think can do some good.” So this is basically the plot of The Dirty Dozen?

0:51: “We’ll have built-in deniability.” Whoops! My mistake. This is precisely the plot of The Dirty Dozen. And Mission: Impossible. And The A-Team…almost.


1:02: Oh wait! There’s a woman. An upside-down woman. There were no upside-down women in The Dirty Dozen. Were there? Maybe like they strung up some Nazi baroness near the end? Maybe? I haven’t watched the film in days, but I don’t think so.

Also, this isn’t just any ol’ inverted woman: it’s Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn. Harley Quinn is familiar to all of us insufferable “90s kids” as the Joker’s main squeeze, as introduced on Batman: The Animated Series.

1:13: Aha! There he is! Pachi! We spotted Pachi!


1:15: No wait, it’s Will Smith punching stuff. Just like in Ali! Will this movie be as good as Ali? That, of course, remains to be seen. But also: probably not.


1:22: …and there’s Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, from Oz, as the reptilian bad guy Killer Croc. He’s strapped into a Hannibal Lecter-style gurney. So far, this is the first offhand, sort-of-reference to Toronto, where the TV show Hannibal was also shot.

1:35: Well, there’s a bunch more villains. We can’t possiblly be expected to keep track of all these villains. Why are there so many villains? In my day we had only one villain: the Kaiser.


1:43: There’s the Eaton Centre, I think. It’s hard to tell. It’s so dark. Why are superhero movies so dark and gritty these days? In my day, there was only one superhero: Pachi the Porcupine of Pan American Pride. And say what you will about the little rascal, but dammit, he was clean.

1:48: “We’re some kind of Suicide Squad,” says Smith, who plays Deadshot, who is some sort of assassin or marksman or other kind of gun guy. Ah, so that’s what a “suicide squad” is! In journalism, we call this “burying the lede.”


2:02: There’s Yonge-Dundas Square. Imagine seeing this movie at the theatre there, knowing the location you’re watching is right outside the door?! What a thrill!

2:14: There’s Margot Robbie licking the bar of a jail cell. Doesn’t strike me as especially sanitary. Subhuman behaviour, really. Like some kind of rodent. Practically…Pachiesque.


2:24: And there’s Batman riding on the Joker’s car, which is purple, of course. The filming of this scene was widely reported a while back, when some eagle-eyed Torontonians spotted it. Though, granted, it’s hard to miss a Batman riding on the trunk of a lavender supercar.

2:29: And speaking of the Joker: where is this darn Joker?! Jared Leto’s psycho-clown has been making meme-y waves across the Internet ever since photos surfaced of him sporting a grill and a whole bunch of tattoos.


2:35: Now there’s Margot Robbie inside of what appears to be a TTC station. Maybe the commute drove her mad? (Cue: riotous laughter of recognition, wild applause, seven National Magazine Awards for Best Humour Writing.)

2:38: Ooooh, menacing laughter! Could it be some kind of joker? Some kind of the Joker?


2:43: Oh yeah there he is. Oscar winner Jared Leto, in green hair, eye shadow and decked out with tattoos of skulls wearing jester hats. He looks, both literally and figuratively, like a clown.

2:58: “I’m not gonna kill ya,” says Jared Leto, who sings in possibly the worst band ever. “I’m just gonna hurt ya really, really bad.” No clue who he’s talking to, but we assume it’s Toronto Icon and Saviour of Pan America, Ambassador of Sport and Goodwill, Pachi The Wiggling Hedgehog, With His Rainbow Spikes of Acceptance And Glorious Yellow Cap.

3:02: Will the Suicide Squad save our Pan American Wiggle Buddy? You’ll have to wait until August 2016, when Suicide Squad premieres in cinemas across our great city, where it was shot.