What did James Gunn do with The Suicide Squad (2021) that the film was so well received by the public?
The The Suicide Squad (2021) released recently has received a great love from viewers thanks to its beautiful visuals and compelling story. However, it only reached about 40% of the box office revenue compared to the 2016 version of Suicide Squad, both critical and fake reviews of the 2021 version increased in its predecessor.
From the Rotten Tomatoes score of 26% of the 2016 version, James Gunn's Suicide Squad has received flying colors of 91% of the labels by Rotten Tomatoes. Based on this score, it says that James Gunn has revived the trademark of The Suicide Squad, which has had a few humiliation with the public appearances before.
So, through the hands of James Gunn, how has The Suicide Squad changed? Why is there such a disparity in ratings for both films?
The differences between 2 Directors
Originally, director David Ayer of Suicide Squad (2016) has never actually acted in any superhero movies in the comics. His film profile is mostly shooting action movies such as Fury (2014), Bright (2017), The Tax Collector (2020), ...
On the other hand, The Suicide Squad (2021) was written and directed by James Gunn, a great potential with a lot of experience in directing the superheroes movies like Guardian of the Galaxy vol 1.,Vol. 2. All characters in the movie directed by him, though small and little known, was transformed into the famous language of the people.
Finally, the most important factor probably comes from Warner Bros. With the pressure coming from this production company, David Ayer can't comfortably create the product he wants. And he still has a director cut version that waits for release. By 2021, when Suicide Squad was in the hands of James Gunn, Warner Bros gave him the freedom to do as he pleased.
More clarity in tones and emotions
Suicide Squad (2016) makes viewers confused about the approach that David Ayer wants to take. Sometimes it's an epic with wide shots and slow-motion, other times it's a comedy with fixed angles, making the most of Margot Robbie's grace and it sometimes creates a sentence of the sad love story of Harley Quinn and Joker.
The constant transition between these states is a double-edged sword, requiring a great deal of moderation and timing. And unfortunately, David Ayer didn't have that.
Given its nature as a movie about villains regrouping as a team to save the world, James Gunn's approach could have been much more effective. With a strength in movies that did not sound too "serious," James Gunn's humor put into The Suicide Squad fitted perfectly. The director confidently presented a world of madness and illogicality, aimed entirely at the entertainment of the audience.
More bloody, more violent, more savage!
Unlike other superhero movies adapted from comics, The Suicide Squad 2021 is classified as R-rated (Restricted - not for children under 17), and that is shown immediately from 5 first minute of the movie.
This decision of James Gunn was made as a condition as soon as Warner Bros invited him to direct. For James Gunn, classifying 2016 Suicide Squad as PG-13 would make the movie more of a children's movie and lose the original essence of the "Suicide Squad" idea. "This is going to be R-rated because it's a war movie," he said.
According to James Gunn, although Warner Bro did not like these two conditions, the company decided to accept it. That nodding from Warner Bro provided one of the key success factors for The Suicide Squad (2021) - making it the most bloody and violent film in the DC cinematic universe.
Invest enough time for the characters
Suicide Squad (2016) spent the main time of the film in-depth introduction to Deadshot, Harley and Enchantress, ignoring the supporting characters. Like Slipknot and Katana, they appeared without any source or explanation. The characters themselves also lacked the necessary depth, the values and personalities of these characters could all be described in just a few short words.
The Suicide Squad (2021) was completely different. Each character has had the opportunity to tell their story in general conversations without getting too deep into anyone. This created a bond for the whole movie. Every character had a depth that kept the viewer interested, and had a unique, clear and deep journey from point A to point B.
The narrative is fixed and clear
Anthony Lane wrote about Suicide Squad in the New Yorker, “To say that Suicide Squad is out of line the script is not really true either. Because saying that is like admitting that Suicide Squad has a script that it strays from in the first place.”
The 2016 version was shown through many different perspectives from different characters. This made viewers feel like they were watching many films patched together because the whole movie lacked clarity between nuances and emotions.
The story of this group of villains moved from an ordinary soldier (Rick Flag), to Harley Quinn, a villain who defined madness, and then back to another character with a little more conscience than was Deadshot. This made the audience not know how to see this squad.
Were they a bunch of villains that couldn’t figure out anything from Rick Flag's eyes? Or a completely normal group of friends from Harley Quinn's perspective? Or even a superhero team from Deadshot's point of view?
The 2021 version was only shown through certain points of view of a few main characters. This helped viewers to better understand the emotions they should be feeling. They had a fulcrum to know clearly what was normal, what was not, what was sad, or what was funny?.
Most of the film sticks firmly to the perspective of Bloodsport, a father who worked as an assassin for hire. With the fulcrum of Bloodsport's perspective, the majority of viewers would see Suicide Squad as a crazy squad consisting of unusual characters. The wickedness of the villains was also made clear through Bloodsport's daughter-loving human section.
Perhaps no one has described The Suicide Squad better than critic Joshua Yehl, “The Suicide Squad (2021) has allowed Gunn to lean into what he does best, combining action drama with intelligence smart and funny. This is what we have come to expect from 'Guardian of the Galaxy'. The director Gunn was Gene Wilder's Willy Wonka. Take your emotions on a roller coaster ride.”
Taking on the responsibility of remaking an idea that had failed in public like Suicide Squad, James Gunn injected the idea with the changes it needed to live up to its potential. The director's craziness, swagger, and irrepressible sense of humor are a dream match with a story as unique as The Suicide Squad.