In my opinion, The Suicide Squad is one of the best DCEU films out there. It’s everything that I wanted from a movie centred around Task Force X and in the film, I feel there’s one scene that is absolutely perfect in its handling of metaphor and meaning.
This is the scene at the end in which Ratcatcher 2 summons a legion of rats to take down Starro The Conquerer.
When I first saw this moment in the cinema I was absolutely blown away by not only the action but also the cameo, music and message. I’m a bit ashamed to admit that I may have, may have watched it again and that my eyes got a bit hurty from the water coming out of them. There was dust in the room yeah.
Now in case you haven’t seen it and are here for whatever reason, let’s just set the stage for how we got to this.
The Suicide Squad were sent to the island of the Corto Maltese in order to take down the tower Jothenheim which we discovered hid a dirty little secret commissioned by the US government. This involved an alien lifeform known as Starro the Conqueror which had been used in human experiments in order to see if there was a way to create a hive mind.
The Squad destroyed the tower and the Starfish was freed but rather than abandoning the island to it, they defied their orders to take it down.
When everything seemed lost Starro screamed “this city is mine” out through one of his drones.
Defiantly, though, Ratcatcher 2 fired back with one of the most powerful lines in the entire movie.
“This city isn’t yours, this city isn’t ours. This city, is theirs.”
Ratcatcher 2 brings forth her legion of Rats and they swarm Starro, climbing inside its eye and eating it from the inside.
Now not only is this a great way to take down the beast, but it’s also a metaphor for unity and the Squad itself.
Throughout the movie, we followed the downtrodden and often overlooked vermin of the DCEU and watched as they managed to work together to take down something far greater than themselves.
The Suicide Squad aren’t exactly the first people that come to mind when we think of superheroes and whereas DC has been brilliant at building Gods amongst men, it’s also important to remember that they have characters who aren’t exactly the best of the best of the best….sir.
For lack of a better word, the Squad themselves are very much the rats of society. In fact, when we are first introduced to them they’re either trapped in cages, on their knees scrubbing the floor or running around with no plan beyond their own survival.
The team is a complete mess and nowhere is this shown more than at the massacre at the beach which opens the movie. It showcases why they’re terrible and you’re meant to view them as being things that aren’t worthy of life and characters that don’t really deserve to have a movie made about them.
This is something that Gunn himself is incredible at doing and just in the same way that he took the Guardians and made them A-Listers, the director has built up a team of misfits and made them some of the best characters in the DCEU.
In my opinion of course.
Now the moment where the scene really hits home for me is when Ratcatcher remembers her father, the man she idolised and sadly lost due to drugs. Though the pair had nothing, they had a community of rats which were kept them warm at night and were very much their family. The pair were homeless and much like the rats that they loved, overlooked in society because they didn’t fit the conventional stereotypes of what a normal person should seek.
The pair weren’t materialistic or concerned with money, they just had each other and they also appreciated the beauty in life that one could find looking over a city holding the person that meant the most to them.
Not only is it a brilliant cameo to have Taika Waititi in the film but he also has the best line in the movie.
Ratcatcher 2 asks him why rats and he replies with
“if they have purpose, so do we all”.
It’s such a standout thing for me that sums up not only our own lives but also the lives of the squad themselves. They have up until this point been pretty much regarded as cannon fodder whose lives aren’t important.
Unifying the Squad
In the end, they end up defying the control that Waller has over them in order to take down a creature who has started to gain control over a population because they would rather be free than doom humanity to a cage.
This is the moment where the Squad really feel like a team to me and working together they manage to take down the goliath and conquer insurmountable odds.
Also yeah just the imagery of a million rats swarming everyone looks really cool.
Use of Music
Now I also absolutely love the score at this point too, it’s up there with Han Zimmer’s Man Of Steel theme for me in terms of driving home the emotion that the characters are feeling and it’s empowering and it’s hard not to well up whilst watching it.
It also changes when we enter Starro’s eyes with Harley and the composer removes all of the instruments except for the vocals and bells to add a sense of wonder and beauty to the destruction that we saw playing out.
Tragic end for Starro
There is some tragedy too as Starro says he was happy just floating and staring at the stars.
Ohhh so that’s why he’s a starfish.
However, much like the Squad he was plucked out of his home and forced to do things against his will to serve the nefarious purposes of the US government.
It’s a bitter-sweet ending that does allow our protagonist, Bloodsport, to overcome his fear of rats though and in doing so he conquers his own trauma. Bloodsport was abused by his father and locked in with the rats which led to a lifelong phobia, however seeing the good in them makes him change his perspective and the way that he sees the world. He very much overcomes the odds much like the rest of the Squad and it leads to true character growth and also a cute…very cute way to end the film.
So overall I think the scene is absolutely outstanding from the way that it’s filmed, the score, the emotion, meaning and also the cameo. It truly is a breath of fresh air that elevates the movie in so many ways and feels like the perfect way to close out not only the movie but also the journey that the characters have gone on.
This scene is perfect and it tops off one of my favourite comic book films in recent memory.