The Suicide Squad – John Murphy

The choice for a movie title is sometimes a bit confusing, as is the case with the latest movie in the DC Universe: The Suicide Squad. This movie takes place in the same world as Man of Steel and Justice League, but it has even closer ties with the direct prequels Birds of Prey and Suicide Squad – yes, a movie with almost the same name, except for the article ‘the.’ The music for these two movies was composed by Daniel Pemberton and Steven Price. For The Suicide Squad another composer was introduced to the DC Universe, as the assignment was given to John Murphy. 

The first track “So This Is the Famous Suicide Squad” is a good impression of what kind of music you can expect for a bunch of anti-heroes. The track starts with a rhythmic pattern of one note, using a loud electric guitar. It does not take long before the guitar is supported by more guitars, a bass guitar and drums, creating a simple but fun piece of music. By deploying a rock band that uses rhythmic patterns instead of more complex melodies is how Murphy represents the squad during their mission. Other similar rock tracks are “Approaching the Beach,” “Mayhem on the Beach”, the end of “Approaching the Guerrilla Camp,” “Breaking Into Jotunheim” and “The Star‐Crossed Wake Up.” In “The Squad Fight Back” the guitars provide support for the squad during their heroic moment in the movie.

There are also some emotional tracks on the album. Some are used to underscore the origin stories of certain squad members, like the synth sounds in “Interdimensional Virus,” and the emotional violin and guitar play in “Ratcatcher’s Story.” There are two moments in the movie for squad member Harley Quinn that need some emotion. They can be heard in “Red Flag” and “Harley Sings,” although the latter is just a shorter version of the first one. These two last tracks are perfect examples of how Murphy tries to make a scene emotional by using long orchestral lines. Other examples of these can be found in “Dirty Little Secrets,” “Panic on the Streets” and “Bloodsport’s Deal.”

There are two musical highlights on the album that are played during two specific scenes. One is “King Shark and the Clyrax,” which is like a lullaby, sung by a female vocalist, supported only by a guitar in the beginning, until the orchestra joins in. The other highlight is “Ratism,” which is like a rock song, with a female choir singing the melody. They are all working towards a climax, with even the help of the orchestra at the end.

After watching the movie, and analyzing the music for a while, I came to the conclusion that the music provides some fun for such a dark mature comedy, but it does not play a large role overall in the movie. The majority of it is just there to support the scenes, and sometimes you really have to listen carefully to even hear the music. I had fun while watching the movie though. The strong start with the guitars in “So This Is the Famous Suicide Squad,” and the tracks “King Shark and the Clyrax” and “Ratism” are wonderfully written, but in my opinion, the film could have used more of these kinds of cues. It would have made watching the movie an even better experience for me. 

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The highlights are in bold.

  1. So This Is the Famous Suicide Squad (1:49)
  2. Approaching the Beach (1:12)
  3. Mayhem on the Beach (2:13)
  4. Waller’s Deal – Meet the Team (2:19)
  5. Harley Gets the Javelin (0:58)
  6. Approaching the Guerrilla Camp (1:46)
  7. Project Starfish (2:03)
  8. Red Flag (2:48)
  9. Interdimensional Virus (2:26)
  10. Ratcatcher’s Story (3:09)
  11. Harley Sings (1:31)
  12. Breaking Into Jotunheim (1:37)
  13. Dirty Little Secrets (2:23)
  14. Peacemaker… What a Joke (1:41)
  15. King Shark and the Clyrax (2:16)
  16. Bombs Go Off! (2:57)
  17. Suicide Squad Vs. Starro the Conqueror (3:55)
  18. The Star‐Crossed Wake Up (1:47)
  19. Panic on the Streets (1:17)
  20. The Squad Turn Back (1:32)
  21. The Squad Fight Back (3:30)
  22. Ratism (3:28)
  23. Bloodsport’s Deal (2:10)

Total length: 50 minutes
Troll Court (2021)

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