One of the biggest critiques Suicide Squad received was that they ruined the movie with the character backstories. By simply giving the audience a montage of the characters they essentially said, “Here’s the characters. Now onto the plot.” We were told who the characters were in a way, instead of shown.
In The Suicide Squad we were given names and basic abilities at the beginning, not their whole backstory. This allowed for great character interplay as a way to reveal greater character. This was very evident when Peacemaker and Bloodsport have a competition while taking a base. The fact that a similar situation hadn’t happened between Boomerang and Deadshot was a common complaint of Suicide Squad. Watching the scene, I was pleased, seeing that the critique of the first movie was obviously being addressed. Here we were being shown the egos of the characters and how they responded to competition. We saw how they used their tools and what they considered a good shot. Through this one scene we are shown not just what they could do, but who they were.
We were also shown character when it came to the people working for Waller that weren’t inmates. We saw them place bets on the mission, now a regular occurrence in their lives. The casual interaction gave us a glimpse of the day to day behind the scenes. This was also used as a way to introduce our initial characters a little further. It is here we were told some of their abilities and full names.
As the story progressed, we were able to see that how the missions were run had also changed. This idea of a suicide squad was no longer limited to a handful of characters. This meant that certain tactical changes were made.
In reviews The Suicide Squad ranked the same as Suicide Squad. Both received 90% on Rotten Tomatoes, 3/5 from Rolling Stone, and 7.3/10 from IMBD. Sequels typically perform poorer and/or receive harsher review than the initial movie. That the sequel is held in equal esteem to the first is a testament to what can be achieved when you listen to your audience. By addressing the biggest concerns from the first movie they were able to keep the legacy of The Suicide Squad intact, allowing for further franchise expansion. Something that is not only a smart business move but also celebrated by fans.