Joel Kinnaman discusses Suicide Squad’s issues and where it went wrong


Despite being a box-office hit, Suicide Squad was a critical flop and Joel Kinnaman knows where the movie went wrong and what the sequel should be like.

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The DCEU began its journey with Man of Steel and with the exception of Wonder Woman, every installment has failed to connect with the critics. While Dawn of Justice, Suicide Squad and Wonder Woman have raked in the numbers, Justice League managed to fail financially and critically. So, as this has become a harmful trend for the franchise, Joel Kinnaman has taken David Ayer’s example of accepting their movies’ faults and thereby learning about the areas that need improvement.

Suicide Squad followed the premise of a supernatural mission gone wrong, due to which the good guys had to team up with the not-so-bad guys and defeat the villains. Kinnaman played Rick Flag, who was in this mission due to his sense of duty and because his girlfriend was possessed by the antagonistic witch, Enchantress (Cara Delevigne). And according to Kinnaman’s interview with Yahoo Movies, this juxtaposition of weird and realistic was one of the primary problems of the movie.

Suicide Squad
Photo courtesy Warner Bros/DC Comics via WB Press /

"“It was a great set-up, great characters. I think that, when we do a second one, I wouldn’t be surprised if we see more of a grounded version of the film. I think the characters are so extreme, so I think it could be more effective if we were seeing them with maybe less sorcery. I think that the characters become more extreme if you see them in conjunction with more real people.”"

The Suicide Squad comprises of a variety of characters, that range from a humanoid crocodile to a modern Onna-bugeisha whose sword traps the souls of its victims. As Kinnaman’s character had to make a team out of these odd group of people, it must’ve been hard for him to match up to the other actors’ role-based quirks or the bizarre make-up. Hence, he’s right in his place to demand a relatively realistic environment so that he & his character can feel at home. However, it’s hard to agree with his opinion that altering the movie’s tone to be more practical will improve Suicide Squad 2.

What is the definite solution for saving the Suicide Squad?

Before searching for the solution, we must look at Suicide Squad‘s development process. One of the first problems that the movie had is the dispute between Ayer and Warner Bros. regarding the tone of the movie. While Ayer wanted the grounded tone he was accustomed to directing, W.B. wanted a fun & edgy vibe. This led to a movie that was edited by a trailer-making company, who butchered the coherency of the plot and spent most of the 1st act introducing & re-introducing the characters. Additionally, as Ayer was given only 6 weeks to develop the movie, Suicide Squad also suffered from bad dialogues & poor character development.

Photo – Warner Bros.
Photo – Warner Bros. /

So, while the technical aspects of Suicide Squad 2 will be up to the editors, we must look at the characterizations of the Suicide Squad and how they should be used to fit the narrative. While Kinnaman is absolutely correct in pointing out the abnormality of the characters, they shouldn’t be normalized in order to fit the realistic style of the universe. As a matter of fact, since they’re based on comic-books, the strangeness of the premise should be heightened in order to enhance the characters’ individual features. However, as many have pointed out the uselessness of Harley’s bat or Captain Boomerang‘s boomerang against a witch, they should be sent to tackle threats that don’t make their skills look plain stupid.

Next: Will the Aquaman movie set a new course for DC?

Although there’s a lot of rivalry between Marvel and DC fans, it’s a fact that Kevin Feige’s vision has helped the MCU to familiarize the audience with their characters. That’s why, despite starting their journey in concrete color-grading and one-tone villains, it has sustained long enough to experiment and become more akin to their source material. As DC has a multitude of interesting characters and equally riveting stories, it should try to get its characters right before trying anything radical. While the Justice League has failed to strike a chord with audiences and critics, if done right, the Suicide Squad might be the saviors of DC’s cinematic universe.

What do you want to see in Suicide Squad 2? Let me know in the comments.