As a fan, the negative critical reception towards SUICIDE SQUAD hit me hard. I’ve been looking forward to the film since it was announced, and couldn’t fathom that the movie would be a disappointment. Everything in the marketing led me to believe we’d be in for a fun, wild ride, and I have every expectation that this is exactly what the studio was hoping.
If the negative reception to a film hit me — someone with no real personal investment in the picture — hard, I can’t even imagine what a shock it must be to director David Ayer, who put in years and countless hours into the project. No one sets out to make a bad movie, and oftentimes, when in the thick of the process, it’s difficult to be subjective.
Well, the movie is nearing release, and Ayer has clearly been reading up on what critics have had to say about it. Rather than backpedal on the film — or even defend it — Ayer is standing his ground, as evidenced by a tweet, which comes in the form of a quote from Mexican revolutionary Emiliano Zapata.
The quote roughly translates to “I prefer to die on my feet than live on my knees.”
It’s a bit on the dramatic side, yes, but the essence one can infer is that Ayer stands by his film wholeheartedly, as he clarified in a follow-up tweet.
When in the thick of the initial reactions to one’s films, filmmakers can defend the film, stand by the film, or straight-up blame the studio. As was evidenced with BATMAN v SUPERMAN, director Zack Snyder is more likely to defend the film vehemently — almost to a blind fault. Last year, we saw FANTASTIC FOUR director Josh Trank turn on Fox, blaming them for the terrible cut of the film. Today, however, sees Ayer take something of a middle ground, accepting the film for what it is, not blaming viewers or critics for not getting it, and simply owning it.
It’s a classy move on Ayer’s part, and hopefully when fans get to see SUICIDE SQUAD tomorrow evening, they’ll grow to love the film as well.