We're currently three films into the DC Extended Universe, and unlike the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the films in the DCEU are, shall we say...divisive? If you'll recall, last week, there was a PETITION TO SHUT DOWN ROTTEN TOMATOES. The reason? Some fans thought that critics were unfairly critical of DC films.
While I don't agree with the actions taken by those particular fans, I can kind of understand the sentiment. Just because a film doesn't stand among the best doesn't mean it's not enjoyable to watch. Can it be that some critics are going in with the wrong expectations? This seems to be the opinion for comic book writer John Ostrander, whose relevant credit includes the SUICIDE SQUAD comic.
Here's what he had to say about the critical reception to the David Ayer-directed film:
"I know some of the critics, both in print and online, do not like the movie. That's okay; everyone has a right to their own opinion even when it's wrong. My problem is that, at least with some of the media reviews, is that the critic is also tired of superhero and "tentpole" films and, overtly or covertly, would like to see their end. Look, I get it -- they have to see all the films out there and they must be tired of all the blockbusters. If every superhero film is not THE DARK KNIGHT, they'll bitch. I think that's going on here to a certain degree. Just as I came prepared to love the movie, they came prepared to hate it."
I find myself torn on this subject. I half-see what he's talking about, but at the same time, there is no denying that both BATMAN v SUPERMAN and SUICIDE SQUAD have some narrative problems. Despite those problems, however, I was able to find there was a decent amount of enjoyment to be had with both movies. But let's be real: not everyone is as forgiving as I am.
But Ostrander brings up another question in addition to unrealistic expectations: superhero fatigue. Had this film come out back in 2009, would it have received the negative reception it's received today? How much of the hate comes as a result of simply being sick of superhero tropes and what's been labeled as acceptable storytelling? While I get where he's coming from, the recent reception to Marvel's own CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR seems to indicate otherwise. More than anything, critics are looking for a strong storytelling experience.
As much as I enjoyed SUICIDE SQUAD, I can't say it provided a particularly strong storytelling experience, but rather an interesting style mixed in with fun, likable characters. In the end, it mostly depended on how much weight that experience carried relative to its weaker elements. But that's just my two cents.
What about you? Do you think Ostrander brings up a valid point, or is SUICIDE SQUAD just a bad movie? Let us know your thoughts down below!
SUICIDE SQUAD is in theaters now.
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