ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT EDITOR
As of this writing I have not seen Suicide Squad yet, so I will be basing my writing off of my experience with Batman v. Superman. The embargo lifted on the reviews for Suicide Squad, the next film in the DC Cinematic universe, and they’re….. not good. Many criticisms entail it being muddled, that it’s hard to follow the story and that the action is subdued.
Joshua Yesl of IGN Movies writes: “It goes for subversive, funny and stylish, and it succeeds wildly during the first act. But then… It plods on, checking off boxes on a list of cliched moments and meaningless plot points, making you wonder where all the razzle-dazzle went,” Mike Ryan of Uproxx writes: “The story is bad. It’s confusing, poorly edited and just way too over the top and contrived,” and Todd McCarthy of the Hollywood Reporter writes: “A puz-zlingly 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.” There’s more where that came from.
What does this mean for the DC Movieverse, which hasn’t really ever gotten off on the right foot? Man of Steel made money, so did Batman v. Superman, but neither did as gangbusters as Warner Bros. wanted. These problems lead me to believe that there might be some blame to be allocated to the studio plan, and not just Zack Snyder for having no clue whatsoever how to make a movie. It sounds like, from these early reviews, that Suicide Squad and Batman v. Superman share a lot of problems.
When I watched Batman v. Superman, I was flabbergasted by how baffling the editing was. Scene transitions made no sense, and it was a struggle to figure out what character was doing which thing
for what reasons at the right time. Suicide Squad could exasperate that problem, now that there’s more characters to follow.
You’ve got so many different actors like that in Suicide Squad as well: A Will Smith performance could be any variety of things, Jai Courtney has a streak of duds behind him, and roles like The Joker and Harley Quinn are practically begging for an actor to give just a *little* too much. They have that kind of marketability to them where there’s going to be that added pressure.
One complaint persistent with Suicide Squad is that it’s too over-the-top, similar to how BvS is too dark.
I almost want to roll my eyes, because it seems like critics are hard to please, but I kind of see what they mean. It’s possible that when Squad went in for reshoots, they only fixed the lack of humor and nothing else.
What all of this could mean going forward is that either the studios get frustrated with the critics, or they make Justice League pitch-black dark again, or they actually fix the script/editing problems that plagued BvS and appear to be plaguing Suicide Squad.
Don’t take this as much more than speculation, however.