The newest DC movie, Suicide Squad, has been called out for hammy acting, one-dimensional characters, and a thin plot. But what it lacks in story it makes up for in music, so let’s break down why the movie’s hit songs work.
Purple Lamborghini by Skrillex & Rick Ross
Sounds like: Techno, rap and rock mixed into one. It’s what Skrillex does best, and the beats he delivers with Rick Ross is absolute fire. It’s one of the songs that you want to get into the car and drive fast to.
Why it works: Joker drives a purple Lamborghini, and Rick Ross’ raw rap fits the tone of the movie well, with lines like: “You wanna know my gang: Suicide Squad”.
Sucker For Pain by Lil Wayne, Wiz Khalifa, Ty Dolla $ign and Imagine Dragons
Sounds like: Wiz Khalifa comes in with a lazy verse that has a See You Again feel to it and Lil Wayne talks about peanut butter and jelly. The track doesn’t really come together but nevertheless, it’s a catchy song with Imagine Dragons repeating “I’m just a sucker for pain”. This song is one that will be stuck in your head after the movie.
Why it works: This lyrics of this song reflect the abusive relationship Harley has with the Joker, echoing her twisted need for suffering. Yep, it’s messed up.
SPOILER ALERT: Suicide Squad slays in opening act but then relies too much on conventions of its trope
Heathens by Twenty One Pilots
Sounds like: Twenty One Pilots does it again. The song is unique, with introspective lyrics that are both sung and rapped to a very catchy tune.
Why it works: It’s the theme song of Suicide Squad, and captures the idea that all the villain protagonists are alienated outsiders, viewed as “heathens”. The line “You don’t know the half of the abuse” suggests that there is a reason why these villains have become who they are.
Standing In The Rain by Action Bronson, Mark Ronson and Dan Auerbach
Sounds like: It starts off sounding like a 1960s cowboy movie, but Action Bronson’s rap turns the song into a blur of genres.
Why it works: This song’s lyrics about heartbreak and sadness don’t really match the movie, but it still works well in the scene where we’re introduced to Deadshot, building up a sense of anticipation to see this deadly killer in action.
Gangsta by Kehlani
Sounds like: It has a haunting and ghostly quality to it.
Why it works: The song serves as a monologue for Harley Quinn, expressing both her loyalty to Joker, and her own messed up personality.
Know Better by Kevin Gates
Sounds like: This song is trap and rap, with an opening that sounds a bit like Flo Rida.
Why it works: This song doesn’t play in the actual movie, but rather in the closing credits. However, this track talks about violence, which is fitting for the movie.
You Don’t Own Me by Grace ft. G-Eazy
Sounds like: A cover of Lesley Gore’s 1963 single You Don’t Own Me. It’s got a dreamy pop scenario cut with some rhymes from G-Eazy.
Why it works: The song preaches the message “I’m a strong independent woman, I don’t need a man”, which fits the strong female characters in the Suicide Squad.
Without Me by Eminem
Sounds like: This is an oldie but a goodie – everyone knows Eminem’s opener: “Guess who’s back, back again”.
Why it works: This track plays as the villains are getting dressed after being recruited to be the Suicide Squad, and this throwback song, along with the humour in the movie, offers some much-needed comic relief.
Wreak Havoc by Skylar Grey
Sounds like: Rapid fire drums kick off this song, with Skylar Grey being the primary rapper.
Why it works: This song was inspired by the villains in the movie, who like to cause a mess and “wreak havoc”.
Medieval Warfare by Grimes
Sounds like: Grimes lyrics is drowned in a wall of noise, with heavy basses and loud guitars.
Why it works: It’s another one that could easily be sung by Harley Quinn, especially when we get to the line: “Can you kill a man with your hands?” Harley can. She has.
Bohemian Rhapsody by Panic! at the Disco
Sounds like: Panic! at the Disco hasn’t done much to change this classic from Queen.
Why it works: The producers didn’t actually use Panic’s cover of this song in the movie, and went with the original version by Queen. Nevertheless, it’s a song that stands out from others, giving a feeling of grandeur to the otherwise edgy vibe of the soundtrack.
Slippin’ into Darkness by War
Sounds like: A very groovy funk classic, with lyrics that suggest a darker side of things.
Why it works: The lyrics of the song suggests how losing those close to you can slowly make you lose your mind, and as we all know, everyone on the Suicide Squad is a tad bit insane. Oh who am I kidding? They’re full blown insane.
Fortunate Son by Credence Clearwater Revival
Sounds like: Anyone who watched Forrest Gump would immediately recognise this tune about the Vietnam war. The classic rock gives a ’60s/’70s hippy kind of feel.
Why it works: This song is about war and fighting, so it fits perfectly in to this movie, which is pretty much non-stop combat.
I Started a Joke by ConfidentialMX, Becky Hanson
Sounds like: An eerie, ghostly voice softly sings: “I started a joke which started the whole world crying”. It’s depressing and grim, and suggests the idea that everyone in the world is against you.
Why it works: This song is especially fitting for the Joker, a maniac who is always up to something – we never know what’s going on in his mind.