Three films into the DC Extended Universe and the cinematic comic book shared universe has built somewhat of a reputation for putting out bad movies, or movies that will be negatively criticized by critics. Some say these critics have been paid by Marvel Studios – if you believe in such a conspiracy – while others just want to believe that DCEU films get a bad rap. No matter how you slice it, we are still going to get films based on DC characters, at least until 2020. So hopefully by then Wonder Woman would have steered the DCEU ship into the right direction or at least save it from sinking itself.
It’s still hard to believe that Suicide Squad shares the same criticisms as the previous two DCEU films. But John Ostrander, the creator of the comic the movie is based on, believes that critics had it out for the film since the very beginning. More on the story below.
Ostrander wrote a review of the film over at ComicMix. EW pointed out that the comic book writer admits to his own biases, prejudices, and says that he has a vested interest in its success, and that he was more likely to “keep his trap shut” if the film was anything but successful.
But the film did succeed at the box office, and the writer revealed that he did like the film, despite some of its flaws. He does, however, praise many of the actors and their performances, citing Will Smith’s Deadshot who “did a great job” reflecting the character’s “intense, cynical, with a weak spot for his daughter” aspect. Smith was fine in my opinion. But he also gave some high praise to Margot Robbie for her performance as Harley Quinn and Viola Davis for her work as Amanda Waller. Although he does admit he would have liked to see more of Jai Courtney as Captain Boomerang and Jay Hernandez as El Diablo. Fair enough, those two didn’t get nearly as much screentime as Smith, and got even less attention since the marketing was fixated on the Joker – which apparently was another misdirect.
But here is where it gets interesting. Ostrander believes that critics had it out for the film since the very beginning:
“If every superhero film is not The Dark Knight, they’ll bitch. 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.”
Long before the film was ever released, it seemed that critics were genuinely excited to see that the DCEU could have a little fun. However, when the embargo lifted and reports of studio interferences came out, it was clear that Suicide Squad wasn’t the film we were promised – at least for some of us it wasn’t.
Still, Ostrander is willing to admit that the film did have its flaws, most notably in how the Squad diverted from its source material:
“I also liked having a political and/or social edge in my Squad stories. That would also give a greater feel of reality and I don’t see that here.”
In the comics, the squad was known for going on politically motivated missions, one that usually dealt with terrorism. But none of that happened in the film. It wasn’t even glossed over. Instead they had to do with a cliched supervillain threat.
He even admits there were a few problems with the characters:
“The antagonist(s) are not well defined and, to my mind, you need a good antagonist to help define the protagonist(s). It’s the antagonist who usually sets the plot in motion and it is defined by what they want. The story is a little more generic “we have to save the world” than I usually did; I always liked having one foot squarely in reality.”
Regardless of all the Suicide Squad‘s strengths and flaws, it should be interesting to see if it can maintain its success as we head towards the end of the summer.
[Source: EW via ComicMix]