Joel Kinnaman, the actor who played Rick Flag in both the original Suicide Squad, as well as the upcoming standalone sequel (The Suicide Squad), admits that the first film didn’t meet expectations.

Immediately after that he established a high bar for the second try. 

Kinnaman stated both his disappointment and excitement in a recent Variety interview. For full context, his questioner (Marc Malkin) had told Kinnaman that he, in contrast with most critics, loved the first movie when it was released in 2016. Kinnaman responded to that by saying that the “first 40 minutes [were] fucking great,” but that the rest of the film didn’t hold up. 

“There were conflicting visions and it just didn’t end up being what we all hoped it was,” Kinnaman said. “It didn’t feel like the movie that we hoped we were going to make.”

He said that The Suicide Squad, which is directed and written by James Gunn, is “something very different.” 

“It’s just a different universe,” he added. “It’s a James Gunn universe. It’s a very hilarious and depraved place.”

Asked if he’d seen the movie, Kinnaman responded in the affirmative. That’s when he established some big expectations.

“We saw it a couple days ago. It’s insane. It’s by far James Gunn’s best movie,” he said.

Obviously he was asked why in a follow-up.

“It just takes it to another level,” he continued. “It’s an insane film. At the same time, it was very much the movie that I thought it was going to be because the vision was so clear from the beginning. While we were shooting it, it was so clear what we were doing. It’s so entertaining. I’m of course hopelessly biased, but I found it to be one of the most entertaining films I’ve ever seen.”

Assess your own past moviegoing experiences and establish your own standards. 

In addition to Gunn helming the project, the cast will be made up of Margot Robbie, Idris Elba, John Cena, Pete Davidson, and Viola Davis, among others. People writes of the plot, “The Suicide Squad follows the supervillains imprisoned at Belle Reve, as they’re sent by the government to the South American island of Corto Maltese on a search-and-destroy mission.”

Previously, producer Peter Safran had said the movie is “completely unique,” while adding that “this is a gritty 1970s war movie combined with the grittiness of James Gunn’s characters and comedy.”

Safran also labeled the movie a “total reboot” rather than a sequel. 

It’ll be in theaters and on HBO Max on August 6.