When Suicide Squad hit theaters, it was already tanked by the majority of critics’ reviews. We’ve seen time and time again that critic response can singlehandedly take down a movie’s chances of being a successful hit at the box office. Just ask Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. The film opened strong in its first weekend but had one of the biggest drops of all time in its second weekend. In the end, the film didn’t break a billion, which was needed for it to be a bonafide hit. In fact, it didn’t even hit $900 million.
For Batman v Superman, critics’ response and lukewarm response from fans proved to be a powerful potion to take down what was expected to be a successful offering in Warner Bros.’ rebooted DCU franchise. Now, it looks like we might see a repeat performance for the studio’s third outing, Suicide Squad. Although the film made it to No. 1 and grossed over $135 million over the weekend, some predict that the film will see a steep decline, like its predecessor Batman v Superman.
— Suicide Squad (@SuicideSquadWB) August 8, 2016
While it will take another weekend to see if Suicide Squad is a hit or miss with audiences, critics slammed the DC movie. Its created a critics vs super fans war, with heated arguments on Twitter and comments sections of many sites infiltrated with bashing. The critics argue that they just want to see quality films, while some fans have a theory that critics are being paid off by Marvel, the competing superhero studio. Well, now the creator of Suicide Squad offers a different opinion on why these new Warner Bros. films aren’t resonating with critics.
John Ostrander, who created the squad of villains wrote a piece for Comicmix to share his opinion on the film.
“I really liked the film. Not perfect by a long shot, but a really good time in the movie theater. And for me a lot of it was just amazing. The look, the detail, the feel of the film is not something I’ve seen in superhero movies before.”
Ostrander even complimented performances from Viola Davis, Margot Robbie, and Will Smith. Smith, who got early criticism for his casting given that Deadshot in the comics is white, is praised by Ostrander for making his take his own.
After the praise, Ostrander addressed the problem that the DCU is having with critics — and here’s where it gets interesting.
“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 b***h. 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.”
— Gizmodo (@Gizmodo) August 8, 2016
That said, there’s also a revealing piece published by the Hollywood Reporter that blames studio interference, competing cuts, rushed production, and high anxiety leading up to Suicide Squad‘s failure to deliver the goods. It’s said that after Batman v Superman was received poorly by critics and fans alike, egos at the studio rose and battled director David Ayer’s version of Suicide Squad, which was darker than what’s seen on the screen. One of the key critical elements of Batman v Superman is that it was too gritty, too dark, and took itself too seriously, which The Dark Knight series is guilty of too, but it was lead by Christopher Nolan, who is arguably far more nuanced than director Zack Snyder.
In an effort to do damage control on their third film Suicide Squad, Warner Bros. got ahead of the damage and ordered reshoots with a lighter tone. In the end, the studio allegedly went through multiple film editors and met in the middle with both versions. And rather than being criticized for tone, the chief complaint for Suicide Squad, seems to be that it lacks coherency.
In other interesting DCU news, it looks like Man of Steel 2, which was believed to be sacrificed in favor of Batman v Superman, was just greenlit, so it doesn’t look like Warner Bros. is too broken up about this year’s DCU releases.
[Image via Warner Bros.]