According to Rotten Tomatoes, to date, critics give it a 27 percent favorable rating, while the audience score is 74 percent favorable. Needless to say, the critics and audience are not in sync with one another.
Criticism is tricky business; because, in jest, it’s partisan, attempting to persuade its opinion on the masses.
For instance, Colin Covert of Minneapolis Star Tribune wasn’t that into the film.
“This is what happens when the comic book fanboys have taken over the asylum. It is damaged goods from the get-go, the kind of film grown in a petri dish in Hollywood.”
One can add Anthony Lane of The New York Times to Suicide Squad‘s list of disdain.
“To say that the movie loses the plot would not be strictly accurate, for that would imply that there was a plot to lose.”
Even though I enjoyed the movie, I do agree with Lane; there were moments when the plot was choppy, especially in the beginning. Also, it could have used more Joker screentime and more insight to The Joker and Harley Quinn’s demented relationship. However, in the movies defense, they only had two hours to cover many aspects of the beloved DC Comics’ world of crazy characters.
Adam Graham of Detroit News didn’t mince words to his feelings of disgust and despair.
“Sometimes it’s good to be bad. In Suicide Squad’s case, bad is just plain bad. It gives villainy a bad name.”
Positive reviews from the critics were minimal, but there were some.
Vicky Roach of the Daily Telegraph found herself intrigued by The Joker. Thus, she enjoyed bits of the movie, “As always, The Joker stands apart. And that’s what makes him so fascinating.” Anaid Ramírez of Time Out Mexico enjoyed the action film too, “The film has enough action and elements to make it very entertaining.”
The audience, per usual with action films, were thrilled and satisfied.
Rotten Tomatoes user, rschingoetheschoolsa gave Suicide Squad four-and-a-half stars.
“I thought a lot of people were wrong about this film I thought it was very good, and I would totally recommend seeing this movie in the theaters.”
Another user, jediviatheforce, gave the movie four-and-a-half stars. This user found the plot between The Joker and Harley Quinn provocative, to stay engaged with the film.
“The Joker and Harley Quinn made this movie worth watching. (spoilers) Did Diablo die in that explosion with Enchantress’ Brother? His character (Diablo) had the most humanity, more relatable than Deadshot.”
Mike A was lukewarm about Suicide Squad and was highly critical of DC Comics angle with regards to a bevy of their action films as of late.
“The D.C.E.U. now has three films. Their directions seems to be this…visually stunning, some solid acting for the most part, and sloppy storytelling. This movie is entertaining but is all over the place and has a huge amount of plot holes. Although Zach Snyder doesn’t direct this, you can feel his presence throughout. I’ve come to terms with the fact that these simply will not have the depth of the MCU. That said I don’t hate them and have enjoyed them for the most part if I don’t think about the too critically. The characters were cast rather well and while I was skeptical of Will Smith as Deadshot, I did enjoy is portrayal. Leto as Joker was not in the film much, but so far I would say I feel lukewarm about his performance….We will see when he gets a larger role….and then there is Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn….by far the best part of the movie. She absolutely nails the character and steals every score both critics and the audiencecene.”
Critics’ apathetic response to Suicide Squad isn’t surprising. As Vox covered, action movies tend to rate at the bottom scale for film critics, while documentaries top their list. However, when you research what makes the studio’s money, it’s not documentaries but action movies. For instance, Suicide Squad cost $174 million to make, thus far, it’s earned $222.9 million at the box office. That’s no chump change. Of course not all action movies fair well at the box office, The Golden Compass cost $180 million and grossed $70 million. Critics and the audience disliked the film.
Kwame Opam of The Verve believes critics are alias for the audience.
“Good criticism = Better comics movies.”
I think this opinion is bat crazy, literally, off the marks, and elitist. Movie critics aren’t activists or messiahs. They’re opinionists. Don’t get me wrong; I think it’s a needed artform because I believe in many shapes of artistic expression, but it’s not something people should use to determine their interest, because, then they’d be limiting themselves to the opinions of others instead of basing life benefits on their experience.
For example, the critics loved the Oscar best picture film The Artist. I thought it was boring. Based on Rotten Tomatoes’ score, the critics and audience loved it, putting me out of sync with the masses. Still, that doesn’t mean my opinion is wrong. It’s just a sign of personal preference.
Aren Bergstrom of the Toronto Film Scene on film criticism writes, “…film criticism attempts to explore why films are or are not working.”
“For as long as there have been films, there have been people writing about them.”
Honestly, critics give themselves too much credit and take themselves far too seriously. I realize this makes me a hypocrite considering I’m a political commentator on my off time. However, unlike political commentary, movie criticism doesn’t make a break the world, it isn’t a call to arms. It’s simply a source of information, take it or leave it.
I thoroughly enjoyed Suicide Squad. I thought the cinematography was excellent, and the music was good. Never once did I get distracted by the actors, I was engulfed by the characters, especially Harley Quinn and Amanda Waller. I loved how Haley Quinn said “Puddin,” and how Walker was the boss of bosses and worked that gun. Also, an odd thing for me, I didn’t walk away mad about the constant racial stereotypes, I thought it enhanced the grit of the characters.
If you enjoyed Suicide Squad like me, who cares what the critics that didn’t have to say. That’s the beauty of opinion; you can ignore it or give it life. It’s your choice, “puddin.”
you know you're obsessed when you see @SuicideSquadWB twice in one week????— Amber Attwood (@attwoodamber) August 12, 2016
[Photo by Charley Gallay/Getty Images for DC Entertainment]