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The Suicide Squad Moment That Went Too Far

"The Suicide Squad" is, by its very nature, a violent film. The comic books the film is based around center on a task force comprised mostly of supervillains forced against their will to help Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) take on nigh-impossible missions. Waller's combatants are criminals, not heroes — at least not in the traditional sense — and each of them has an explosive device implanted at the base of their skulls. In other words, even if someone from Waller's Taskforce X were to somehow survive their mission, there's still a chance Waller might just pop their head like a grape.

James Gunn's latest adaptation of the team "The Suicide Squad" goes all the way on the gruesome and gory nature of the comic book source material. In fact, the entire opening of the film introduces us to a new character named Savant (Michael Rooker), makes us care about him, connects him with characters fans already love like Captain Boomerang (Jai Courtney) and Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie), only to have Waller blow his head off when he flees the mission. In fact, every single character other than Harley and Rick Flag (Joel Kinnaman) dies during the opening — each death more horrific than the last.

In short: when James Gunn says that there was a scene from "The Suicide Squad" that Warner Bros. thinks went too far when compared with the entire, grizzly opening, you know it's pretty bad. So what is the one scene Gunn had to fight to keep in the film?

Good guys killing other good guys by accident

Since one of the two teams Amanda Waller sends to Corto Maltese is effectively wiped out in moments, with the only two survivors being Rick Flag and Harley Quinn, as a result, the second team led by Bloodsport (Idris Elba) is sent on a mission to save Flag. Waller tells Bloodsport that they are to kill the dangerous people holding Flag "with extreme prejudice" causing Bloodsport and Peacemaker (John Cena) to go on a competitive, bloody rampage as they systematically wipe out everyone in the camp holding Flag. There's just one problem — Flag isn't a prisoner of war. In fact, he's being cared for by Sol Soria (Alice Braga) who is the leader of a resistance force fighting to bring peace and freedom to the citizens of Corto Maltese — and that's who Task Force X just killed. Oops! It turns out, this was the scene Warner Bros. balked at.

When asked if he got any pushback, Gunn told Variety, "Yeah, I did. The stuff with Bloodsport and Peacemaker, I had a lot of reservations about. I loved the sequence. It's funny and it goes to the heart of what the movie is about, for me, in terms of Bloodsport's journey of starting to learn that being a man and being a leader is not synonymous with being a toxic man, and that the path forward to true manhood is through vulnerability."

It was during an early screening for "The Suicide Squad" in which both Gunn and the proverbial brass started to have doubts. "There was some Warner Bros. execs who brought up, 'Is this the one place that we go too far,'" Gunn explained. "I think that's when I added, you know, Amanda Waller explicitly tells them to go into the camp and kill everyone, so they are following her orders, and she is in a way the antagonist in the film."

Based on fan reaction, though, it seems that audiences picked up what Gunn was putting down with the scene. 

The Suicide Squad viewers have some thoughts about the infamous scene

While the scene of Bloodsport and Peacemaker one-upping each other by killing their allies in the Corto Maltesean resistance is certainly a shocking and brutally ironic bit of ultraviolence ... that's kind of the point. "The Suicide Squad" is one of those films where the protagonists aren't necessarily the good guys in the grander scheme of things. A scene like the massacre at the rebel camp is a way to remind the viewer that while they may be rooting for these characters in the moment, there is a whole lot of moral grey area to contend with. At least, that's how fans on Reddit saw it.

In a general discussion thread for the film on r/movies, several viewers shared their thoughts on the controversial scene. User u/RazorThought instigated the discussion by writing, "Favorite scene was when the Squad is infiltrating the resistance camp and Bloodsport & Peacemaker are trying to outdo each other with flashy kills...just to find out they were accidentally killing the good guys the whole time. That scene was A+."

User u/kchuyamewtwo agreed, adding that the scene forces a necessary recalibration in the viewer's perception. They wrote, "Just reminding us that these are villains of our superheroes. Ready to do anything for their personal ambitions."

For u/Arma104, the scene was also indicative of the improvements that "The Suicide Squad" made over the infamous 2016 attempt at bringing the concept to screen. "This is what impressed me most about the movie," they said, adding, "The first one was hellbent on trying to make the characters cool and edgy. This one they're doing the most vile, evil s—, and are absolute dorks and morons."

"The Suicide Squad" is in theaters and streaming on HBO Max now.