‘Suicide Squad’: End Of The Line For DC Extended Movie Universe?

Suicide Squad marks DC’s second attempt at creating an extended movie universe with the legs to stand against Marvel’s. It also appears to be the comic company and its parent Warner’s second critical failure.

At this point, the majority of Suicide Squad reviews are in, and they’re horrible. The film first registered with 33 percent on review aggregator Rotten Tomato‘s website. Two days later, it had fallen to 28 percent on 173 reviews.

As a result, the conspiracy theorists are out, theorizing that for the first time in the history of the movies there is a concerted effort to undermine a franchise of films across a vast body of media.

It’s likely paid for by Disney since they now own Marvel, the theorists attest. The only evidence: those who love DC and disbelieve in their ability to do anything wrong can’t see how the rest of the movie-going crowd could possibly disagree with their assessment of what Suicide Squad is.

To be fair, there do seem to be a number of Twitter users going wild for the film. Still, critics are seldom wrong when they collectively assault a film as they have this one, and they appear to have gotten the widespread consensus right on DC’s previous effort, Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice.

BvS was, of course, the film that kicked off the DCEU.

Directed by Zack Snyder, whose films are often target practice for critics and discerning movie-goers, the film was widely criticized for having an incoherent plot and trading characterization and storytelling for flashy computer-generated effects and loud noises – or as one critic put it, pretty much like every other Zack Snyder film ever made.

It also seemed to completely miss the nature of its characters, turning the noble Superman (Henry Cavill) into an arrogant, brash, and completely misguided god, while portraying Batman (Ben Affleck) as a cold-blooded murderer.

Critical response to the film tanked a promising start to the point that BvS, while profitable, was unable to hit $1 billion as the studio expected. It also created massive shake ups in the creative direction of Suicide Squad and other films to come, with Snyder’s creative control being reduced over the franchise.

The Suicide Squad trailer appeared to be more of the same, with cliched dialogue, obvious jokes, a transparent attempt at being edgy for the sake of being edgy, and an over-the-top performance from Jared Leto that seemed like an amalgam of the worst parts of Heath Ledger, Jack Nicholson, Cesar Romero, and Jared Leto all rolled into one.

With the one-two punch of Suicide Squad‘s poor initial trailer, its extensive reshoots, and the failure of BvS to live up to the hype, some are now speculating in the blogosphere as to the viability of this incarnation of the DCEU. While most are expecting a strong opening weekend for Suicide Squad, the real story — as with BvS — will be how well it does through the end of August.


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DC and Warner have been guarded about how much money Suicide Squad cost to make, though they did finally release a number this week through Box Office Mojo ($175 million), but that does not include marketing costs.

Regardless of what critics say, though, most are in agreement that DC and Warner can’t afford another BvS. They need a breakout hit, and if they couldn’t get it with their two most popular characters, what are the chances it happens with a ragtag bunch of villains?

Supporters are hoping for a hit along the lines of Deadpool, but that could be hard to replicate since the R-rated superhero comedy cost less than $60 million to make and grossed around $800 million.

Suicide Squad cost three times that amount, and it doesn’t have the name value of BvS.

But what do you think, readers? Is Suicide Squad the last stand for the DC Extended Movie Universe? Sound off in the comments section below.

[Image via DC, Warner Bros]

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