3 Reasons Why "The Suicide Squad" Is Better Than "Suicide Squad"

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Reasons Why
Image Source: Collider

The film Suicide Squad (2016) was hyped up from its premise, actors, brand, and studio company, making it successful in the box office. However, it left DC fans disappointed. 

Now in 2021, there’s a new film called The Suicide Squad. 

What’s up with that? And I’m with you; I was equally confused by the title. These days franchises avoid placing numbers in their titles, so it comes across as a reboot or sequel. But it’s neither. According to James Gunn, The Suicide Squad is a stand-alone film. 

James Gunn was initially hired by Warner Brothers to write a Superman movie. But he had a particular interest in “The Suicide Squad” comics, specifically with John Ostrander's version and his idea of the villains being disposable. How’s the film not a reboot then? Because the multiverse exists. Yet some features make it sound like a sequel. 

Before Gunn started working on this project, he was told he could take out or leave in anything he wanted from the 2016 version. Because of this, his decision to leave some things unchanged can support the film as a sequel, despite his intention to be a stand-alone film.

But of course, intention and interpretation are always up for debate, which is a conversation for another day. Because of this, it’s best to think of the film as a different version of Suicide Squad (2016). 

The Suicide Squad (2021) didn’t do well at the box office due to covid, but the film succeeded in areas where Suicide Squad (2016) failed. With that said, what are the differences?

The Editing Of The Exposition Was Long, But "The Suicide Squad" Cuts To The Chase.

The editing of Suicide Squad (2016) was a colossal failure that everyone can notice its plot holes and continuity errors. But the editing also drags the story for no reason.

In the beginning, we’re met with Deadshot and Harley Quinn for two minutes with separate introductions before we see Amanda Waller pitching her idea of the suicide squad for the next 20 minutes, where each member is introduced with their individual backstories.

It isn’t until ten minutes later that we’re finally introduced to the villains, but it takes another five to see them in action before seeing the suicide squad assemble.

The Editing Of The Exposition Was Long, But
Image Source: The From Superheroes Network

In The Suicide Squad (2021), the team was quickly assembled and went straight action, which is gory. We are told through dialogue the characters’ abilities without having flashbacks of who they are. Instead, It’s a quick run down through the prison, which, spoiler, happens twice.

At first, I believed we were getting two separate teams, and we did, but the first was actually a distraction that ended up dying- which was the first gory part of the film. The second was the real team, and with them, only two to three backstories were told in the beginning or in certain scenes where they decide to be deep. 

My favorite was ratcatcher two since her story was a misunderstanding and sentimental, which was emphasized through flashbacks reflected off a window. I also loved how the environment would be used as intertitle cards.

Roots were used to write “Meanwhile Harley” or “8 minutes earlier” with clouds, which is a lot better homage to the squad’s comic book origins than the colorful trading card introductions made from Suicide Squad (2016) and its mixed tones.

The Insistent Tones Make The Story A Mess, But "The Suicide Squad" Is Clear With Its Goals. 

The Suicide Squad (2021) is intentionally funny and chaotic with its twists and turns resembling The Guardians of the Galaxy’s humor and showcases Gunn’s signature chaotic style in action scenes. But Suicide Squad (2016) is a mess. We have sentimentality from Deadshot, eeriness from Enchantress, and glitter and glamour from the Harley and Joker action. Then the cringe humor in between serious moments to relieve tension from Will Smith. 

The Insistent Tones Make The Story A Mess, But
Image Source: Giphy

And the tone doesn’t get any better with songs inserted from Queen to attached to the characters, making it obvious that they were going for The Guardians of the Galaxy’s music sequence.  

However, they failed to acknowledge that the songs were attached to Star Lord’s personality, who is the funniest in the group, making Suicide Squad (2016) songs random and useless since they don’t align with the characters nor add anything to the scenes.

In fact, these songs have been overused, making their usage bad execution, overrated, and cliche. But with James Gunn in this new version, the music is better selected and matches the action scenes.

The Characters Were Underdeveloped, But "The Suicide Squad" Reveal Who They Are.

While we get to see who everyone is through their backstories and interactions in Suicide Squad (2016), some characters like Captin Boomerang and Killer Croc don’t have much focus, making them side characters. This is what happens when there are too many characters, but at the same time, it’s not impossible to handle.

The Suicide Squad (2021) has a big cast too, but a majority are quickly killed off to sell the disposable theme and reduce the team to an efficient number. But even then, we don’t get a lot of flashbacks like Suicide Squad (2016). Instead, their interactions are the main focus through butting heads.

The Characters Were Underdeveloped, But
Image Source: Giphy

Bloodsport has a tragic backstory with his father, which made him tough, but he’s also a softie. We mostly see this when he interacts with Ratcatcher Two since he grows to learn to see her as his daughter. Before that, they’d butt heads with her ability to communicate with rats and her optimist perspective. Bloodsport also butt heads with Peacemaker and his style of killing.

In fact, we get a gory scene of the two of them showing off their kill style as they murder a whole rescue team by accident, making it hilarious to watch. Then Peacemaker butts head with Rick Flag with their opposing moral compasses, who are both reasonable with their views.

This doesn’t happen in Suicide Squad (2016); when they teamed up, they go straight to the action. And whenever they do have time to interact, the story is focused on the bonding between Deadshot and Harley Quinn or Rick Flag and June Moone.

At the same time, their skills aren’t that impressive nor super to handle an event as big as saving the world, especially against a powerful being wielding magic. Captain Boomerang only throws boomerangs, Killer Croc eats people, and Harley has a hammer. These people are criminals and villains, but their low-tier skills are better for small missions.

They do save the world from Enchantress, but it was only possible through Harley’s deceit of switching to her side, which makes no sense since it happens towards the end of the film, making Enchantress look naive despite being powerful and merciless. But of course, they needed a way to end the story somehow.

The Suicide Squad (2021) also deals with a world-saving mission
Image Source: Giphy

The Suicide Squad (2021) also deals with a world-saving mission, but they willingly get involved. This new team doesn’t have super powerful skills either, but their initial mission is to destroy a facility and its evidence, which delves into the problematic mess of the United States government. This is a small mission they can handle, but things take a turn. They were advised not to get involved afterward, but they chose to save the world, and they save it coherently, unlike Suicide Squad (2016)


With that said, despite the disaster the last film was, James Gunn made improvements with his version, so you won’t regret watching this one.

I personally had a good time with the plot, the camera shots, and the characters. Plus, there’s an adorable shark on the team! I mean, look, who can resist this guy: 

adorable shark in the suicide squad
Image Source: Giphy
Hi! Hello! My pronouns are she/her, and I'm an aroace storyteller who loves tea and cats.

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