Suicide Squad turns 6 | Why is David Ayer’s movie so HATED?

Suicide Squad turned 6 today. Released in early August 2016 (the 4th in Brazil and the 5th in the United States on a big circuit), the film was the promise of a true pop cultural phenomenon. And in part it was. But not in the expected way. It’s safe to say that no one, not even the fans, or those involved with the project expected the backlash the production would suffer after release – mainly due to the incisively bad reviews of the larger and more specialized vehicles. prestigious, who tore the long, for lack of a better word.

See what a disparity: while the recent The Suicide Squad (by James Gunn) garnered copies with 96% approval, its predecessor, using the same material at hand, only suffered a measly 26% approvals from the same press five years earlier. What can be inferred is not one filmmaker’s superiority or genius over another, but the learning of a major studio like Warner in terms of interfering with an artist’s vision for his work. Six years have passed and the same Warner gave in to fan pressure for a Snydercut, the version planned by Zack Snyder for his Justice League. And the company also seems to have given full freedom to director James Gunn, who is also writing the screenplay, to deliver the film he had planned.

Keep in mind that six years ago, Warner was desperate to set up a cinematic universe along the lines of what Marvel did. Thus, all DC films of the time would be stigmatized as schizophrenic productions more concerned with weaving links between their films than creating a coherent work with a beginning, a middle and an end. The pressure on filmmakers was such that they often had their films ‘hijacked’ by executives, with professionals hastily called in – and not involved in the production of the film – to give their opinion and edit these works. This was the case with Suicide Squad (2016), the final version of which was edited by the company Trailer Park, Inc., responsible for editing the trailer for the film – the one with Queen’s music which was a great success. and aroused everyone’s immediate interest in the film. .product.

The world is an unfair place, and in the world of cinema the competition is visceral. Promises and dreams can be instantly torn apart. The career of an artist, today with the advent of media within the reach of all viewers, can collapse all of a sudden. It’s devastating to think of the time and dedication that professionals put into a particular job and when the result comes in, if it doesn’t like it, someone has to be blamed. David Ayer was the director of Suicide Squad (2016), then an established filmmaker, having a successful job as both screenwriter (Fast and Furious/Training Day) and director (Marked for Die/Hearts of Iron).

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The new The Suicide Squad (2021) benefited in part from the hype held back over the feature film, which in no way compares to what was achieved with Ayer’s 2016 film. Six years ago, nothing in the style had been done before, with the film thus being the first to focus on villains as protagonists rather than heroes. This trailer containing the song Queen generated more views, for example, than the two most important films of the house that year: Batman v Superman, released in March 2016. In fact, one of the promises of Suicide Squad is that it would do for minor DC characters what Guardians of the Galaxy did for Marvel two years earlier. In other words, turn them into pop icons. And there is a fortuitous connection with James Gunn.

You also have to take into account that Suicide Squad had a more than lukewarm reception than Batman vs. Superman had received specialist media (with 28% approval). Even so, just one look at Ayer’s movie trailer was enough for everyone to gain a lot of confidence in the movie. There’s not a single person who hasn’t been “fooled” by the coolest preview in years. The problem was that after watching the movie, we realized that the trailer was more interesting and better. The hype, however, had been generated much earlier, with the reveal of the casting, with the release of images of the actors being cast as their characters. Suicide Squad had one of the best casts of the past few years, the kind that you don’t believe have managed to pack so many good people into a single project.

In particular, four names have attracted a lot of attention in front of the cameras. Will Smith, one of Hollywood’s biggest stars, stepped into so-called “superhero movies” for the first time, accepting a role that was a far cry from characters like Batman, Superman, or any other figure famous hoodie. In the film, he was the villainous Gunslinger, the villain B of the editor’s gallery. His participation demonstrated the actor’s confidence in the project and in the overall dynamic (a term used when there is more than one protagonist in the story). On Smith’s tail came Margot Robbie, a young Australian actress who had been revealed as a hurricane in The Wolf of Wall Street (2013) and here she repeated the double with Smith in Double Strike (2015). Robbie won the role of her career as Harley Quinn.

Viola Davis at that time was already considered a great performer of pure performance. She had been nominated for an Oscar for Crossing Stories (2011), on television she was celebrated in the series How to Get Away With Murder (2014-2020) and the same year she would win the Oscar for A Boundary Between Us. Davis was the perfect choice for the cold and calculating Amanda Waller, head of a secret government agency. Closing out the main four, the eccentric Jared Leto had taken a break from his acting career until he returned for his Oscar win in Dallas Buyers Club (2013). His performance and win in the aforementioned movie landed him the role of the psychopathic Joker, one of pop culture’s biggest villains. From the aforementioned film to Suicide Squad, it took the actor three more years.

Some characterizations have hit the mark, like Robbie and Davis, others have become questionable and controversial choices, like Leto’s. In any case, there was an incredible effort on the part of all the players involved. Everyone has given themselves roles, learning the fights, training, challenging themselves, learning to handle weapons, combat techniques. Robbie learned trapeze and circus techniques. Smith dedicated himself to the Royal Navies. There have been months of study in the most varied fields by all the actors. Cara Delevingne, for example, cast in the role of the witch Magia without a script yet, was recommended by the director to walk naked in the moonlight and feel the mud on her bare feet – like a way to prepare for the character. Something the model and actress took literally.

Margot Robbie learned the art of tattooing, as her character has her body covered by the designs on her skin. The cast became so united that a strong friendship was created between them, the photos broadcast and everything surrounding the production wanted to underline this atmosphere of camaraderie, as we had not seen in a production of this scale. since a long time. It was everyone’s way of showing real involvement beyond their salary at the end of the job. The connection was so strong, with the actors believing so much in the project, that they all got tattoos (mostly by Robbie) on their bodies that read “SKWAD”, a slang term for the English word Squad. Of course, the most controversial reports came from Method actor Leto who, among other things, portrayed the Joker character, just wanted to be called out to the character, and sent gifts beyond the weird (like mouse) to his co-stars.

The pressure around the project was already being felt before its release, Margot Robbie admitting to having received death threats for having accepted the role, coming from hallucinated “fans” and having therefore realized the dimension of the project in which she was involved. . With the release of the film, the pressure was different, more real and consistent. David Ayer has sometimes written openly on his networks and to the media about his disappointment at having devoted himself so much and his work at not having been appreciated. Ayer also said he would do a lot of things differently if given another chance – much of his film was shredded and the character build (a significant number on screen) was compromised by cuts, numerous plans not being used in the final product. Leto’s Joker is one of the most suffered in the theatrically released version.

Suicide Squad (2016) fetched $175 million from Warner’s coffers and recouped nearly all of it in its North American opening weekend, with $133 million in cash. It grossed $325 million at the box office in its home turf and a total of $746 million worldwide, which ensured the film a financial success. Add to that an Oscar win (in the make-up category), making the feature the fourth film in the subgenre to hold such an honor. It’s a very curious fact that Suicide Squad is the most successful “hated” movie of recent years. The “failure,” however, didn’t go unnoticed by the same executives who tried to remove Ayer from the Gotham Sirens project, his next step in this universe.

Besides Ayer, one of those who felt the brunt the most was star Will Smith, who tried to stay away from Gunn’s sequel (and must regret it now). Between dead and injured, Margot Robbie was the most profitable in history (that is, without taking into account death threats). Harley Quinn made him an international star at 25. The character (and Robbie) won a solo movie last year (Birds of Prey) and was a gimmick again in The Suicide Squad (2021), as well as becoming the pop phenom that Suicide Squad (2016) planned to be. be. All the attention of the film went to the character and the actress, ensuring extreme popularity in the most varied media. Today, even those who have not seen the film know Harlequin.

Now David Ayer, six years later and the dust having settled, is starting to talk about his version of the film, wanting to follow the path of the Snydercut. Now that the property is in the hands of another filmmaker, the studio may consider this “boat to have sailed”. That is, unless the fans start moving in that direction.

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Robert King

I am Robert. I am the Managing editor of and I am responsible for deciding what goes on the website and what doesn’t. I have over twenty years of experience in online news publishing and by education I am a Masters in mass communication.
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