It's been hyped well enough by DC Comics as the antithesis of a regular superhero film — it's a bunch of supervillains teaming up, after all. But Suicide Squad, despite looking like an edgy take on DC's most notorious villains being forced to work together as a super-powered black ops team for the U.S. government, is looking like another failure for the comic brand still smarting from bad Batman v. Superman reviews.
Suicide Squad, which sits at a 37% "rotten" rating on Rotten Tomatoes, despite Warner Bros. review embargo just lifting Tuesday afternoon. Suicide Squad has been blasted for underwriting both its main villain and the members of the squad aside from Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn and Will Smith as Deadshot. The formulaic third act has also come under fire.
Below is a sampling of the early reviews — and the many reasons why Suicide Squad is a major failure for DC.
Richard Lawson wrote for Vanity Fair:
Somewhere about halfway through Suicide Squad, so far the nadir of Warner Bros. and DC's increasingly bungled attempt to build an enduring 'Avengers'-style superhero franchise, the movie's ostensible villain does some mumbo jumbo and a great light goes shooting up into the sky over a city, swirling around in a death circle, just like we've seen in so very many movies in the last almost decade. What a tired image, a stale and meaningless stab at grandeur.
Robbie Collin's thoughts for the Telegraph:
Here is a film in which model-turned-actress Cara Delevingne gives not only a personal worst performance, but something close to a former-profession-worst performance, as a gyrating, bikini-clad villainess called Enchantress, who kisses men full on the lips to turn them into her slaves (of course!) and talks like Vanessa Redgrave on rhinoceros tranquilizer.
Germain Lussier wrote for io9:
In terms of the squad, Diablo (Jay Hernandez) gets probably the next most screen time, with Captain Boomerang (Jai Courtney) and Killer Croc (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje) after that," "But compared to Deadshot and Harley, they're all supporting characters. The result is that whenever they're around, things are very hit or miss: If they do or say something that advances the story, it works, but if they're just standing there — which happens in a lot of the movie — you don't care about them. Almost any of these characters could completely disappear and it wouldn't matter in the slightest.
David Ehrlich summarized it best for IndieWire:
'Suicide Squad' never has the courage of its convictions — it doesn't own anything. At best, Ayer rents some pre-existing pop iconography and charges us $15 to watch him take it around the block for a spin. Forget the 'Worst. Heroes. Ever.' These guys don't even know how to be bad.
Thankfully, the saving grace of the film is Robbie's Harley Quinn, who stands out as the fan favorite female sidekick to the Joker (who was relegated to basically a cameo appearance).
Here's what Jen Yamato had to say for the Daily Beast:
In a movie that feels disproportionately anemic and disjointed at times, Harley Quinn is the beating, bananas heart of the film. Beneath an assortment of face tattoos, caked-on clown makeup, and very sparse costuming, she's always off-kilter and delightfully herself — a spunky supervillain who lacks impulse control and morals but keeps the makeshift squad together when self-interest and friction threaten to tear them apart.
Suicide Squad arrives in theaters Friday.