‘Suicide Squad’ average at best

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About a month ago, on the 5th of August, Suicide Squad, directed by David Ayer, blew up the box office. The movie has made over $640 million, but critics are very diverse in their opinions of the movie. Financially, this movie was a huge success, but it was, at times, ripped apart by critics and fans alike. One critic compliments Ayer’s directing, while Te Boston Globe’s Ty Burr says the movie is “visually ugly as sin.” Comic book fans were also quick to criticize the movie, questioning its accuracy to DC Extended Universe (DCEU) and DC Comics’ canon.

As a big comic book fan myself, the differences between the comic book canon and the movie canon is very apparent. However, the movie is consumable by more audiences than just comic book fans. As a movie fan, there are some obvious critiques of this film. The character development is inconsistent, focusing more on Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie) and Deadshot (Will Smith) than any other character in the movie. Now, this wouldn’t be such a problem if the other characters had been introduced with less importance, but the audience was misled to believe that characters like Captain Boomerang (Jai Courtney), the Joker (Jared Leto) and Killer Croc (Adewale Akinnyoye-Agbaje) would play just as important a role in the movie as the aforementioned characters.

Something that is mentioned a lot about this movie is the role of Jared Leto’s Joker. In ads and promotions, the Joker appears to have a fairly large role in the film. However, when the movie came out, fans were surprised to see that Jared Leto only managed to clock about ten minutes of screen time. I believe that the producers used the iconic character of the Joker to lure viewers into watching the movie. Love or hate Jared Leto’s portrayal of the Joker, it seems as though his character was used for advertisement purposes more than anything, but who knows what will happen in possible sequels.

Other critics of the movie mention how Suicide Squad is an irreverent Deadpoolesque knockoff of the Avengers. My problem with this characterization of the film is that while it may carry some weight, comparing the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) and the DCEU to each other at this point in time is like comparing apples and oranges.

Marvel has been establishing their movie franchise since 2011, while DC is just now beginning, with the recent releases of Batman vs. Superman and Suicide Squad, with many more to come. I think that we should give the DCEU the benefit of the doubt and let them establish a chronology before we judge whether or not they are following after the MCU. With this in mind, it is good to remember that in both of these comic franchises, there are teams of superheroes (i.e. Justice League, the Avengers) and some concepts of the movies will be the same due to this fact. How they carry out these concepts is a whole different ball game.

Now, despite whether you enjoyed Suicide Squad or not, the fact is the movie made over $640 million at the box office, and is still ranked #2 on the Top Box Office Movies list on Fandango. Tere may have been too many backstories to cohesively tie together a plot, but the draw of seeing things from the villain’s perspective—an element that made Deadpool such a hit—was strong enough for this movie to gain international recognition. This being Will Smith’s first movie in months does nothing to hurt the number of viewers, either. All we can do to gauge whether DCEU will continue on the path of subpar plots is to wait for the Justice League and Wonder Woman movies to be released.