The reaction to David Ayer’s “Suicide Squad” from critics has not been kind, and surprisingly some of the sharpest arrows have been hurled at Jared Leto’s performance as The Joker – or rather the lack there of it. Teased heavily in the trailers, the character ultimately features in only a few minutes in the film with some of the key lines he spouts in the promo material removed from the final cut.
As a result, and despite Leto having put a lot of work into developing his performance, it’s a character that feels decidedly underdeveloped. Ayer and Leto’s take comes off more like a sociopathic and narcissistic rich brat than Jack Nicholson’s ego-fuelled psychopathic gangster or Heath Ledger’s violent bipolar anarchist.
Things aren’t helped by the fact that Joker disappears for essentially half the film following a helicopter crash. Asked by IGN what happened, Leto responded:
“That’s a good question. I have no idea. I think he probably went and had a drink or something. Stretched – once you get blown up in a helicopter your muscles get a little tight.”
Leto was also asked straight up if he was upset about the scenes being cut. Reportedly the actor got a bit upset as he responded:
“Were there any that didn’t get cut? I’m asking you, were there any that didn’t get cut? There were so many scenes that got cut from the movie, I couldn’t even start. If I die anytime soon, it’s probably likely that it’ll surface somewhere. That’s the good news about the death of an actor is all that stuff seems to come out.”
Director David Ayer was asked about the film’s deleted scenes to which he said the Blu-ray version has over ten minutes worth, but only said “maybe” in response to a follow-up question about whether any of those scenes featured The Joker and Harley Quinn.
Leto reprises his role for Rick Ross’ music video for “Purple Lamborghini” by Skrillex which has gone online and can be seen below. “Suicide Squad” is now out in cinemas and currently tracking for a $62 million opening day and $140 million opening weekend.