James Gunn Responds to Complaints About The Suicide Squad Rating

By Russ Milheim Updated:
The Suicide Squad, James Gunn

The first Suicide Squad movie was a disaster—the reviews weren’t very good, and the box office performance wasn’t much better. Many thought it was a one-and-done, with the franchise dead in the water. But then James Gunn came around and released The Suicide Squad. This soft reboot was received far better and even went on to spawn a spin-off show, Peacemaker. But what made it different this time?

For one, its R-rating played a big role. It allowed Gunn to go insane with every aspect of the film; needless to say, he was in his comfort zone.

Somebody might even be able to make the argument that it’s one of the most gruesome DC Comics projects to have come from Warner Bros. to date. Well, now, it’s been revealed that despite its higher rating, some in the UK feel its classification was a little off.

The Suicide Squad’s Rating Was Questioned

James Gunn Suicide Suicide

As reported by Yahoo UK, The British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) has revealed which 2021 movie rating was contested the most, and the honor went to James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad, which got a 15 rating.

So how many people complained? According to the report, it was only ten people—whom all likely thought the rating should have been higher.

In defending its decision, the BBFC claimed that “the focus on action within a comic, fantastical, superhero context mitigated against the violence and gore.”

They also noted how the film’s “lighter tin and a greater emphasis on irreverent dark comedy counter the increase in bloodshed [when compared to 2016’s Suicide Squad].”

So what was Gunn’s response to this information? The director simply shrugged it off, saying in a tweet: “still only ten complaints.”

Was The 15 Rating High Enough?

As Gunn said in his tweet, at the end of the day, it is only ten people’s complaints. So this doesn’t really represent most of the audience.

What makes this interesting is that a 15 rating in the UK is basically what an R-rating is in the United States. Seeing as how The Suicide Squad was rated R when it was released, this UK ruling should not be a surprise.

Anything higher than that rating, in the US system at least, would be an NC-17 rating—which rarely is assigned to projects as it severely limits profitability and where the project can screen. There was certainly nothing in the film that would have justified bumping the rating up to that point.

There will always be debates over any rating system and what is more extreme than something else. At the end of the day, it’s best just to look at its reasons for classification and then make an informed judgment from there to determine if it’s okay for one’s personal viewing.

So who will get the honor next year? People might want to start placing their bets on Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness—some of those Illuminati deaths are brutal. Even Ms. Marvel star Iman Vellani was thrown off by Black Bolt’s demise.

The Suicide Squad is now streaming on HBO Max.

- About The Author: Russ Milheim
Russ Milheim is the Industry Relations Coordinator at The Direct. On top of utilizing his expertise on the many corners of today’s entertainment to cover the latest news and theories, he establishes and maintains communication and relations between the outlet and the many studio and talent representatives.