This week I want to talk about a little something called “Suicide Squad.” I don’t know you, but I’m guessing you had a strong reaction to seeing those words. Maybe you signed the petition to shut down Rotten Tomatoes because their aggregate of the reviews for the film don’t give it a high score. Maybe you read original “Suicide Squad” comic creator John Ostrander’s comments about how critics came in prepared to hate the movie. As someone who reviews films, whether in writing or on my podcast, let me clear something up. No one wants to hate a movie. I want to be pleasantly surprised when I go in. I’m not only willing to love it, despite what many of my colleagues said. I’m hoping that I do!
Just so you know, I purposely did not see the film before I wrote this. I’m going this week. What I want fans to understand is that, while some critics may not love comic book movies, most of the critics I know (and that is a lot of people) do. Those who don’t might not get some of the deep dive comic nods or feel the connection to Harley Quinn that fans do. But we still review based on the quality of the film. A few bad reviews from a few reviewers who didn’t get it are one thing. When a large portion of the critical population doesn’t like something, there may be a kernel of truth in there. That, however doesn’t mean it’s awful or you aren’t going to like it. Hell, I love Harley, the cast is amazing, and despite the reviews I read, I’m still excited to watch it!
As critics, most of us don’t mind having an unpopular opinion, and since we are giving our opinions, we know that not everyone is going to agree. (My very first death threat came from a negative review of “Avatar.” FYI, the death threat and numerous horrible comments were from people who hadn’t seen the film since it wasn’t out yet. On top of that, I gave it a seven out of 10.) I know this is part of my job. Hell, I’ve given good reviews to rom-coms, and I hate them. Hate. Them. That doesn’t mean I’m going to review it negatively. We’re looking at the quality of the film, not whether or not it’s our very favorite subject to watch a film about.
Most of the critics I know are DC fans. I’m one of the biggest DC fans out there! All my Underoos were DC. I didn’t like “Batman v Superman” at all, but that wasn’t the plan going in. I would have loved to walk out happy. This does not mean you can’t love it. I may hate “Suicide Squad.” I may love it. It’s fine if you disagree, but maybe let the anger at other opinions go. A petition, guys? Seriously? Sigh.