'Suicide Squad' vs 'The Suicide Squad' - Which Is Better & Major Differences

How does James Gunn's vision compare to David Ayers?

By Kyle Knight

August 5, 2021

James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad is set to release on HBO Max today, August 5. With the latest DC movie hitting more screens via HBO’s streaming service, it’s going to have many fans going in wondering what happens when you put James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad vs David Ayer’s Suicide Squad.

Of course, we don’t mean quite literally have them fight each other. But, considering the two films are based on the same group of villains in the DC universe, which is better? Well, here’s what the reviews say.

Don’t worry, there are no spoilers in this article!

  • MORE: Does The Suicide Squad Have an End-Credit Scene? Ending Explained

THE SUICIDE SQUAD – Official Trailer

THE SUICIDE SQUAD – Official Trailer

The Suicide Squad (2021) vs Suicide Squad (2016) – Which Is Better?

Before we take a look at the reviews for both films, it’s important to remember that movies are pieces of art, which is incredibly subjective. Just because one review says “X movie is bad”, that doesn’t mean you as an individual won’t enjoy it. We definitely recommend watching both David Ayer’s version of Suicide Squad, as well as James Gunns.

The Suicide Squad (2021) is currently sat at a very healthy 96% on Rotten Tomatoes, making it certified fresh. Whilst Suicide Squad (2016) is sat at a rather miserable 26% with an audience score of 59%.

Many reviews have praised the director of The Suicide Squad (2021), James Gunn. Mario Alegre said that “James Gunn holds nothing back in his wickedly entertaining orgy of blood, guts and F-bombs”. Whilst John Lui said, “this is very much writer-director James Gunn’s move”.

Critics and fans alike have also made note of how gory, violent, stylish and damn right brutal Gunn’s The Suicide Squad (2021) really is. So, if it’s action you’re looking for, turn on HBO Max or head down to your local movie theatre now.

As for David Ayer’s Suicide Squad (2016), it wasn’t perceived as well by film critics and many fans. Samantha Riedel said that “DC Comics’ latest addition to their burgeoning cinematic universe fails in several rather spectacular ways”. Whilst Richard Propes simply said that Suicde Squad (2016) “falls remarkably short”.

However, there were some shining reviews found in a pile of dirt. Dan Stubbs of NME described the movie as “lurid superhero fun” and Tony Asankomah “loved how the entire film had a very recent and modern-day feel to it”.

But, based solely on reviews, James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad seems to have achieved something David Ayer couldn’t and actually made an enjoyable Suicide Squad movie. As we mentioned previously, everyone’s opinion will be different so it’s best to watch both movies and be your own judge.

What’re The Major Differences Between The Two?

We know that The Suicide Squad (2021) and Suicide Squad (2016) both have different directors, but what’s actually different about the two movies?

The Suicide Squad (2021) isn’t some sort of reboot or sequel, it’s just its very own film where we pretend the 2016 version didn’t happen. Although it has some returning cast members from the original Suicide Squad (2016), there are a bunch of new faces and characters. John Cena, Idris Elba and Sylvester Stallone are just some of the huge names featured in The Suicide Squad (2021).

The two movies also aren’t connected in any way, don’t fret about watching the 2016 version beforehand as this is a completely new story by director James Gunn.

That’s about it in terms of differences between the two. A star-studded cast with some returning faces, but as a standalone story not connected to the original. James Gunn has a completely different vision compared to David Ayer, making it a majorly different movie.

Where Can You Watch The Suicide Squad (2021)?

James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad (2021) is available now in select theatres and will release on HBO Max today, August 5th.

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Kyle Knight

Kyle is a Film and TV graduate from Coventry. He's a PC enthusiast with a not so enthusiastic PC and is all about triple-A titles!

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