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Suicide Squad a Critical Flop, But Here’s What Critics Who Like It Say

Margo Robbie stars in the DE Comics movie 'Suicide Squad.' What's not to like? (Photo: D.C. Comics)

Margot Robbie stars in the DC Comics movie ‘Suicide Squad.’ What’s not to like? Plenty, say critics. (Photo: D.C. Comics)

“Suicide Squad,” one of the most highly anticipated movies of the summer blockbuster season, has been thoroughly trashed by most, but not all critics. Some actually liked the movie. So, here’s what they have to say.

The film seemed to have everything going for it when production started.

It’s all-star cast includes Will Smith, Margot Robbie, Joel Kinnaman, Viola Davis, Scott Eastwood, model Cara Delevingne and Jared Leto.

The screen writing and the direction was left in the hands of David Ayer, who seemed more than capable given the material.

He’s best known as the writer for 2001’s “Training Day,” and directing and writing “Harsh Times” (2005), “Sabotage” (2014), and the Brad Pitt World War II tank film “Fury” (2014).

These Critics Gave a Thumb’s Up
“It will be interesting to see where DC takes these characters after the semi-delightful mess that is “Suicide Squad.” But, for now, just enjoy the sloppy, wild ride.”

–Tony Hicks, San Jose Mercury News

“It’s probably best to think of “Suicide Squad” as a primer, an entry into a side world of the DC Universe that may pay bigger benefits in later films.”

–Bill Goodykoontz, Arizona Republic

“The characters are the ultimate in “squad goals,” but they’re far more fun than the actual story itself.”

–Katie Walsh, Tribune News Service

“Compared to its ilk, Suicide Squad is an excellently quirky, proudly raised middle finger to the staid superhero-movie establishment.”

–Brian Truitt, USA Today

“Suicide Squad is the rare superhero movie in which I actually found myself wondering about the characters’ inner lives.”

–Bilge Ebiri, Village Voice

“For DC, which blew it with Batman v Superman last spring, Suicide Squad is a small step forward. But it could have been a giant leap.”

–Chris Nashawaty, Entertainment Weekly

“A twisted B-side to some of the slicker comic book movies.”

–Dave Calhoun, Time Out


But Ayer bears nearly all of the critical scorn for the picture.

New York magazine’s David Edelstein calls it “the year’s most muddled piece of storytelling.”

Mara Reinstein, of USWeekly, pretty much summarized most critics who panned the move.

“David Ayer’s flash-and-dash directing style makes it a challenge to follow the story, not to mention a chore to process the onslaught of violence,” she wrote.

Fans of the DC comic book series were stunned by the film’s backlash. So far, “Suicide Squad” has a 33 rating on rottentomatoes, which tracks reviews. Metacritic gives it a somewhat higher 45 rating based on 43 reviews.

But, hey, some critics actually liked the picture. Their voices, however, are being drowned out by the flood of media reports trashing it.

Their praise is faint, which could be interpreted as a form of damnation, as well. But most of those who gave the film a thumbs up did so because they see great potential in the franchise.

“It will be interesting to see where DC takes these characters after the semi-delightful mess that is ‘Suicide Squad.’ But, for now, just enjoy the sloppy and wild ride,” wrote Tony Hicks of The San Jose Mercury News.

Bill Goodykoontz, of The Arizona Republic echoed a similar theme.

“It’s probably best to think of ‘Suicide Squad’ as a primer, an entry into a side world of the DC Universe that may pay bigger benefits in later films,” he wrote.

In Ayer’s defense, some fans say he was hampered by orders to shoot for a PG-13 rating, a tough task given the material.

Ayer, himself, defended the film on Twitter. Quoting Mexican revolutionary Emiliano Zapata, he Tweeted in Spanish: “I’d prefer to die standing, than to live always on my knees.”

In a second Tweet he added: “Zapata quote is my way of saying ‘I love the movie and believe in it. Made it for the fans. Best experience of my life.’”

Indeed, critics may be trashing the film, but it’s likely to still rake in enough at the box office to merit a sequel.

DC Comic’s last superhero movie “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice,” was a box office smash, despite bad writing and a messy plot. It received a 27 rating on rottentomatoes.

Yet, it pulled in more than $800 million worldwide, against a $250 million production cost.

So, hope exists for the “Suicide Squad” franchise, even if this movie stinks.

But you can bet Ayer won’t be directing or writing the next one.

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