The First Suicide Squad Reviews Are Out, and We All Need to Adjust Our Expectations

Tuesday, 02 August 2016 - 12:34PM
DC Comics
Suicide Squad
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Tuesday, 02 August 2016 - 12:34PM
The First Suicide Squad Reviews Are Out, and We All Need to Adjust Our Expectations
DC (and DC fans) have a lot riding on Suicide Squad. After disappointing reception for both Man of Steel and Batman v Superman, Suicide Squad is Warner Bros' chance to redeem the burgeoning DCEU and get fans excited about future movies. And the hype for the movie so far has been insane, with early reviews praising Margot Robbie's Harley Quinn to no end, and lauding the movie's sense of humor, lighthearted tone, and quirky characters—including the famously method JokerLeto. 

But through all that, we hadn't read any actual reviews yet. So now that the embargo is finally lifted, does Suicide Squad live up to the hype? In short: probably not. While some reviewers were seduced by the film's energy and sense of humor, most have complained that the film is messy, disjointed, and ultimately toothless, making the villains sympathetic to the point that they're no longer interesting. Both positive and negative reviews agree that the plot is "nonsense," the Joker's role is a glorified cameo (although most reviewers like Jared Leto's take), the main villain is a generic CGI disaster, and Harley Quinn is sexualized to an absurd and sexist degree. We can still be excited, especially since Harley Quinn is apparently as amazing as we all thought, but for the movie as a whole, we might want to adjust our expectations a little bit.

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Thankfully, "Suicide Squad" is so overstuffed with characters, stunts, and its own unapologetically strange brand of humor, that it's easy to overlook its nonsense plot... Though wonky in structure, it makes a certain sense that this antihero tale wouldn't play by the rules. Packed with attitude, "Suicide Squad" is ferocious fun, boasting a bounty of action, mirthful mayhem, and a cavalcade of curious characters. It's just the kick in the pants Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment need to correct course ahead of next year's "Justice League." - CBR
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Opening quote
Suicide Squad represents a Flash-speed sprint of a catch-up for the rapidly forming DC Cinematic Universe. And, on that front at least, it's a real hoot... Like Avengers Assemble forced through a Deadpool mangle, Suicide Squad gives new life to DC's big-screen universe. So bad-to-the-bone it's good. - Empire
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Opening quote
Suicide Squad is the fun, action-packed movie DC Comics fans have been waiting for, delivering two hours of great quips, crazy action sequences, a pitch-perfect Harley Quinn, and other actors stepping swiftly and easily into their roles. Its flaws will bother some more than others - comicbook [sic] fans? You won't have to worry. - Comicbook.com
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Just when you think the summer movie season can't get any worse, along come the "Worst. Heroes. Ever." And while the film's official tagline is selling its stars a little bit short (surely last year's incarnation of The Fantastic Four still holds that dubious distinction), the mundane, milquetoast, and often mind-bogglingly stupid "Suicide Squad" almost makes good on the threat of its marketing campaign... This motley crew of demented rejects are bad in every sense of the word except for the one that might threaten to make them interesting. - Indiewire
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Some of the action is fun, some of the characters are great, and it does reach some nice emotional peaks. But it never feels like a true, cohesive movie. It feels a B-movie-an action-packed one, but a B-movie nonethelesses-that just happens to be set in the DC Universe. It's as if Ayer had too many balls to juggle and when they all came tumbling down he said, "Well that's still kind of cool." Cool? Maybe. That doesn't make it any less disappointing. io9
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Opening quote
A puzzlingly confused undertaking that never becomes as cool as it thinks it is, Suicide Squad assembles an all-star team of supervillains and then doesn't know what to do with them. Part smart-ass genre sendup, part grimy noir that wants to be as dirty as Deadpool but remains constrained by its PG-13 rating, and part short-falling attempt by Warner Bros. to get a big-budget DC Comics mashup right, the film starts with promise but disengages as it loses its creative bearings. - THR
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Opening quote
[Suicide Squad was] hyped as this year's "Guardians of the Galaxy"... [But] what they've given us is a formulaic, blood and bullet-riddled David Ayer ("Training Day/Fury") superhero thriller starring a high-mileage Will Smith and Margot Robbie's butt-cheeks.

There's a big laugh, about 25 minutes in. Will Smith lands a couple more, and Ike Barnholz adds levity to a corrupt comic relief prison guard. But otherwise, this is a joyless exercise in paint-by-numbers mayhem. - Movie Nation
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Opening quote
[Harley] adds to every scene she's in, and when she's on screen, Suicide Squad is at its best. But she also brings the Joker with her, and he brings his own problem. He's such an iconic, important villain, and yet he's an afterthought in the film. There's no big, meaty, iconic Joker scene for us to marvel at. His occasional appearances detract from the smaller characters the movie is actually about, to the point you almost wish he wasn't in the movie at all. - io9
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Opening quote
As evidenced by her gratuitous bathtub cameo in last year's "The Big Short," Robbie seems to represent what red-blooded, Maxim-reading audiences want from women on-screen in the year 2016: A doctor stripped of her intelligence and her conservative tweed professional attire, squeezed into hooker hot-pants and a too-tight baby T, who walks like a pole dancer and fights like some sort of homicidal cheerleader. Ayer allows Harley Quinn a certain deranged sense of humor, giving her the chance to deliver the sarcastic zinger to multiple scenes, but he only half-recognizes what a tragic character she is, and it's discouraging to think that the film's biggest laugh comes at the expense of Batman punching her in the face. - Variety
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Of course, there's always a chance that all of the negative reviews were written by Marvel shills (slash Hillary Clinton), if you believe this hilarious parody Twitter account (but more likely than not, the movie just isn't very good):


Suicide Squad comes out on Friday.
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