First Reactions to Suicide Squad Are In, But Do They Mean Anything?

Sunday, 22 May 2016 - 2:42PM
DC Comics
Suicide Squad
Sunday, 22 May 2016 - 2:42PM
First Reactions to Suicide Squad Are In, But Do They Mean Anything?
Many news sites are reporting on the fact that Warner Bros. apparently had a secret screening for a select group of fans in Union City, California, and judging by their commentsSuicide Squad is definitely something to look forward to. However, the fact that other recent superhero movies also received positive first reactions and then went on to disappoint fans begs the question, do these first reactions even mean anything?  



Consider Fantastic Four and Batman v Superman. If one were to judge by first reactions alone, they'd likely come to the conclusion that both films were two of the greatest superhero movies ever made. In reality, they turned out to be disappointments to the grand majority of fans, garnering for themselves a ton of negative reviews and critical backlash. On the other hand, Captain America: Civil War also received very, very positive first reactions, and it turned out to be greatly loved by the majority of fans. So what does this mean about first reactions to comic book films?  

The common sense answer is that first reactions likely mean nothing in the grand scheme of things. In the case of Suicide Squad, the fans attending the special screening were given a pass after attending Civil War earlier that week. They weren't specially selected for their loyalty to the company or their grand insight into what makes a movie great. They were just a group of people who were allowed to see a major movie months in advance, something that would make even the most skeptical viewer excited; and excitement is something that can very easily blur judgments. There's no sounding board for these fans to go to and talk about what worked and didn't in the film, there's just the feeling they were left with walking out of the theater after seeing one of the most anticipated movies of 2016 before anyone else they know.    

Of course, none of this is to say that the first reactions to Suicide Squad are wrong and that the movie is going to be a train wreck; it's simply to say that in most cases, first reactions are sometimes meaningless gauges for what to expect walking into the theater. Suicide Squad has already had some great trailers and marketing, the cast is remarkable, and it has the benefit of featuring the most popular comic book villains of all time (and arguably the most popular hero of all time as well). There's some great nuggets in the source material for the team to work with, and David Ayer has made a lot of good movies in the past with similar themes. There's a ton of reasons to be hopeful about Suicide Squad - it's just that these first reactions aren't one of them.
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Suicide Squad

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