How to Make Suicide Squad 2 Good
"The saddest thing in life is wasted talent." - A Bronx Tale
The actor that spoke this line did later go to jail for attempted burglary, but nevertheless.
Suicide Squad was a total waste of a great idea:
A superhero film about a group of villains acting covertly on the behalf of the government to reduce their prison sentences.
It was a unique and fresh premise in a saturated genre.
Naturally I was excited to see it. Until I did.
The chief problem of this movie is that it wasn't a movie about the bad guys no matter how hard they tried to convince you otherwise.
It was just another superhero movie which is the worst sin of all.
It was about a group of powerful people who had to band together to stop a world ending threat.
This wasn't Suicide Squad. It was just The Shitty Avengers.
Why would you try to imitate what Joss Whedon did so well with D-list heroes?
You liked when Iron Man and Captain America took on the Chitari? Well then you'll love Chicken Wing Man, Boomerang Lad and Conscientious Objector Human Torch as they take on an even more generic alien race and a sky laser.
Take advantage of your premise. Guardians of the Galaxy worked because it did something different.
You can't just play radio pop songs moms listen to and insist the movie had style.
Look at what Spider-Man: Homecoming just did. The stakes were low. It was a small and personal story. The giant threat was that Michael Keaton would steal some stuff.
The Suicide Squad shouldn't save the world. That's what the Justice League is for. If Batman showed up to arrest Deadshot and stop Harley, why wouldn't he also try and stop Enchantress?
Are you trying to imply that Batman chose not to save the world? Or worse, that he wasn't even aware that something was happening?? You wanna throw hands, David?
The Suicide Squad should be used for some shady shit that's purposely kept under the radar.
Assassinations of foreign leaders. Stealing valuable property or information. Secret stuff the public isn't aware of.
So that in case anything goes wrong, Amanda Waller can just remotely blow them up and deny that anything ever happened.
The reason you would use villains is precisely because they are expendable.
In Suicide Squad, the main characters just got in the way of Rick Flagg's soldiers.
Why do you need Harley Quinn and her baseball bat if you have trained Marines.
This movie did not live up to its promise. The premise and the story did not mesh.
Having said all that, I think a sequel does present a golden opportunity for redemption, precisely because of how badly they missed the mark the first time.
If a competent filmmaker gets hold of this property, they could do wonders with it.
And for the life of me, I can't think of another instance where the sequel was great when the original sucked. (Maybe The Wolverine?)
Step 1: Get rid of the soldiers.
People paid money to see the Suicide Squad. They don't want to see Clint Eastwood's crappy son and a host of other nameless grunts third-wheeling it into the Deadshot and Harley show.
It undermines and distracts from the main characters. Rick Flagg is enough. His character represents the law and keeps everybody in check. He doesn't need chaperones.
Step 2: Send the Suicide Squad somewhere they don't belong to do something they shouldn't be doing.
You send the Suicide Squad instead of soldiers so you have plausible deniability when things go sideways. You just kill them with no remorse because they are irredeemable trash.
They don't have to save the world.
Step 3: Play to the strengths of your characters.
Showcase what they are capable of doing and why they are valuable.
Captain Boomerang throws a boomerang one time and it lands like a wet fart. Diablo chose to ride the bench for 3/4 of the movie. Katana didn't cut anyone down like mowin' the lawn or trap the souls of her victims in her sword.
And at the end of the movie when somebody needed to throw a bomb in the air for Will Smith to shoot at, who threw it? Was it the guy whose specialty is throwing things? No, it was the giant crocodile man.
Have your characters use their powers.
Step 4: Add new characters.
One of the reasons that the Suicide Squad comic is cool is because these characters are evil and they turn on each other constantly.
The mission should be full of backstabbing and in-fighting. There should be a few characters like Slipknot whose sole purpose is to get murdered by someone else.
It builds up the tension to think that anybody could die at any minute. (Except for Margot Robbie and Will Smith of course because $$$)
DC has a glut of villains they can use. Put them in there. And put in Killer Frost too.
Step 5: Change the Instagram Gangster Aesthetic
You hear me? You hear me you son of a bitch?
I would take Schumacher's BatNipples over Pimp Joker and racial stereotype Killer Croc.
I don't like Joker texting. Or his on-the-nose tattoos. Or his gold cane. Or his neatly organized circle of knives.
Get rid of that DAMAGED tattoo at once, continuity be damned. He's not a middle schooler that listens to Linkin Park.
If we're to believe Joker sat patiently at a tattoo parlor I am fine believing that he also got tattoo removal.
I get that you made all that sweet Hot Topic money, but please adhere to the comic book art style.
Step 6: Make Will Smith wear the Deadshot mask for more than 5 seconds
This won't monumentally improve the movie, but just do it anyway.
Step 7: Advertise the movie properly
The marketing for Suicide Squad was what got that movie to over $700 million. So in that sense, the marketing was a success.
But it was false advertising. They advertised a candy colored, wacky world with jokes and famous songs. The movie was dark and grim.
As a result they had to edit the movie to make it match people's expectations and created a giant mess.
The advertising of Suicide Squad led people to believe that the Joker was the villain. This was not the case. He was in the movie for about 10 minutes.
Either have the Joker or don't. Don't waste him on a glorified cameo.
Step 8: Make Deathstroke the villain.
Since Matt Reeves is starting The Batman over from scratch, it seems possible that Deathstroke could get cut out.
Deathstroke could fit into Suicide Squad quite nicely. (Or Nightwing for that matter.)
Suicide Squad lacked a worthy villain and Slade Wilson could pose a serious threat.
And a Deathstroke v. Deadshot face-off could be pretty cool.
Step 9: Don't rush it.
David Ayer had only 6 weeks to write the script for Suicide Squad and it shows.
To paraphrase Shigeru Miyamoto, "A delayed movie is eventually good but a rushed movie is forever bad."
Whoever directs Suicide Squad 2 should take their time with it.
In a cinematic universe, a bomb not only hurts the movie itself, but the brand as a whole.
Even though Suicide Squad made a ton of money, it was a giant blow to the reputation of DC.
It helped create a stigma that DC only makes bad movies. Wonder Woman disproved this but Warner Bros. is still trying to earn back fans' trust.
DC can't afford another bomb.
Step 10: Have a vision.
David Ayer and Warner Bros. were making different movies.
In the future there should be a singular, agreed upon vision for the sequel.
The main reason something like Guardians of the Galaxy succeeds is because James Gunn is passionate and has a vision.
Whoever they get to helm this sequel should love the Suicide Squad and try to make something nobody has ever made before.
So there it is. Exactly those 10 things is all it takes to make a good movie. You see how simple that all is? Directing a movie is easy. Especially from this armchair.