The Suicide Squad’s King Shark Proves Sometimes Less Is More
In the past, DCEU has made numerous mistakes when it comes down to their characters. This includes oversexualizing their female heroes without good reasons or trying to squeeze too much development into one film. Some fans doubted that The Suicide Squad would succeed due to the harsh criticisms received by the original Suicide Squad.
This time around, it seems as if DC Studios and Warner Bros. have fixed some of their previous flaws, and King Shark serves as an excellent example. King Shark spoke only a few times throughout the movie. He often used a single word or a brief phrase to convey his thoughts. He was never working a secret angle, like Peacemaker was when trying to destroy the evidence of Project Starfish.
The motivations for joining the team were not based on another distant problem like Bloodsport who was forced to make an alliance with The Suicide Squad in order to save his daughter from being sent to jail. King Shark only went on the mission because he had a bomb in his skull and needed to do what was asked.
King Shark has a higher intelligence level than most sea creatures, but he is still not as smart as an average human. This is because he heavily relies on his animal instincts. King Shark still needs to learn from The Suicide Squad how to navigate dangerous situations. This is similar to the way Baby Groot had to seek help from the Guardians after he was killed in Guardians of the Galaxy. These quirky traits combined in a seamless combination created King Shark’s charming disposition. His childlike behavior encourages viewers to root for him even when he’s making a mess of grown men’s heads.
King Shark’s charisma and desire to make friends makes viewers want to root for him more. In one particularly heart-wrenching scene, King Shark stumbles upon an aquarium full of tiny aquatic creatures in the tower of Jotunheim, who mirror his movements and are quite adorable in that moment. Before he runs around with his new friends, he happily cries out “friends!” King Shark’s friends start to rip his flesh apart and turn on him a few minutes later.
Although it is quite common in media, the idea of trying to fit in is very effective in The Suicide Squad. Even though the betrayal was only for a few seconds, it brought out a lot of emotion. Despite his “nom nom” frenzies, King Shark comes off as a very wholesome character, because of how juvenile his mind is. He believed he had found the answer in the mysterious sea creatures, but he wasn’t expecting violence.
Although he has committed a lot of cold-blooded crime, it is hard to see him suffer at his new friends’ sharp-toothed ends. King Shark’s end was made more poignant by the realization that he could trust his remaining members of The Suicide Squad. Because he had spent so long searching for friendship, watching him bond with Bloodsport, Harley Quinn and most importantly Ratcatcher in the final moments of the film was one of the most satisfying parts of the entire movie.