Why Deadshot Is The MVP Of David Ayer’s Suicide Squad

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Why Deadshot Is The MVP Of David Ayer's Suicide Squad

Seeing as David Ayer’s commercially successful super-villain team-up flick, Suicide Squad, hit theaters recently, I’ve decided to launch a series of editorials exploring the MVP of each DCEU (DC Extended Universe) film. Not only will these passionate pieces delve into the histories of each film’s star player, but they’ll also shine a telling light on that player and what they brought to the movie in which they appeared. For the sake of relevance, I’ll start with Suicide Squad, but check back next week for the MVP of Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice.

For the Suicide Squad, heroism can be messy. Really messy. Why? Because the prevailing logic seems to say why stick to a code of ethics when you can make a quick $2 million gunning down other mobsters in broad daylight? Why be “good” when you can be a raging psychopath free of societal constraints? Right? Right? Wrong.

While these thieves, killers and liars all have some pretty breathtaking personal issues, they also have the ability to band together to do good. Do they do it willingly? Of course not! It takes an aggressive play on government agent Amanda Waller’s part to keep these “heroes” in check, and even that doesn’t work 100% of the time. Still, they try, and that’s something, right?

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Of these baddies, who takes the cake as the worst of the worst (meant in the best, most positive way possible)? Hint: It’s not Katana, Slipknot or Killer Croc, because they did absolutely nothing to warrant their inclusion in the film. Heck, Katana has around three lines, Killer Croc fails to live up to his reputation as the “muscle” and Slipknot gets his neck blown out because he listened to Captain Boomerang (who hilariously receives ZERO consequences even though he is just as guilty). Boomerang proves to be a fitting addition to the villain roster, but again, he doesn’t stand out enough to earn himself the coveted (and entirely fictional) DC MVP award.

After cutting out the weakest contenders, we’re left with Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn, Will Smith’s Deadshot and Jay Hernandez’s El Diablo. A solid case could be made for each of these killers, but who rises above the rest and who truly deserves the title of MVP?

If you guessed Deadshot, you guessed correctly. Harley Quinn and El Diablo both bask in the spotlight on more than one occasion, but it’s Deadshot who keeps this boat afloat. Not only does he shoulder most of the the film’s emotional weight, but he also single-handedly saves the film from collapsing in on itself completely.

As I watched Suicide Squad vomit its scenes with sickly abandon, I knew that Will Smith would have to draw upon every bit of acting experience he’s gathered over the course of his illustrious career to make his character work. Margot Robbie helps carry some of the film, but it’s Smith who does the heavy-lifting when it comes to delivery.

Sure, you could make the argument that his Deadshot isn’t an accurate portrayal of the comic book character, but we’re not talking about the comics. He works remarkably well within the context created by Ayer and his creative team, and it’ll be interesting to see where his character goes in the sequel.

As the credits rolled and the film played itself back to me in my head, it was Deadshot I kept remembering. It was Deadshot who carried the movie with sheer will and an honest, earnest performance from Smith. His relationship with his daughter stood tall as the only thing that carried any real heft or held any real resonance.

In a film as empty and soulless as Suicide Squad, it’s important to have a Deadshot. It’s important to have someone that’s as human and vulnerable as he is, because at the end of the day, that’s what connects us to fictional characters.