The critics have finally spoken about Suicide Squad, the long awaited superhero flick of the summer that was hyped to save the DCEU from the darkness and despair that set in after Batman v Superman. While early audiences were rumored to adore the movie, critics have (surprise, surprise) been quick to dismiss the movie as a colossal dud.
But that's not to say that they couldn't find any redeeming qualities. In general, critics agree that it was better than Batman v Superman and the acting was more than tolerable. But the one villain that got burned worst of all by their acid pens? That would be director David Ayer.
Peter Travers of Rolling Stone called out the Ayer for being (ironically) too concerned with people's expectations rather than with being true to the characters and the story:
Who stole the soul of Suicide Squad? I'd say it's Ayer's willingness to go all limp-dick and compromise his hardcore action bona fides for a PG-13 crowdpleaser that would rather ingratiate than cut deep, or even cut at all.
Yikes. Richard Lawson of Vanity Fair reached a similar conclusion, and listed Suicide Squad as the latest and lousiest in a list of lack-luster Ayer films:
Ayer has made two truly repugnant films in the past, the gruesome action mess Sabotage and the outright annihilating W.W. II tank movie Fury. While I’m no fan of those movies, I can at least appreciate that Ayer’s individual, idiosyncratic stamp was on both of them. (He also made the competent, harrowing L.A. cops downer End of Watch.) With Suicide Squad, though, there’s a whole studio franchise to be considered, one that has to be more palatable to a wider audience. And so the invigoratingly nasty crunch Ayer has brought to his previous work is nowhere to be seen here—save for the the lovingly filmed money shots of guns firing. (Don’t worry, Ayer fans, those are still very much present.) What results is a superhero movie that’s pointlessly downbeat, and a David Ayer film that has lost all its bite.
What does the source of all this critical disdain have to say for himself? Despite the liberal use of phrases like "limp-dick" being flung his way, he seems to have decided not to let it get him down. Last night, Ayer took to Twitter to share this inspirational quote:
Roughly translated, the Spanish expression means: "I would rather die on my feet than live on my knees." And just in case anyone had any doubts about exactly what he was getting at, he came back a few hours later with this clarification:
Of course it would have been nice if the critics praised the movie all the way to the Academy Awards, but if Twitter is any indication, the fans are about as bothered as David Ayer (except for the ones that started this petition to shut down Rotten Tomatoes!). The critics might have dubbed Suicide Squad a rotten egg, but where did they mention Easter Eggs or comic book comparisons? Regardless of this initial reaction, the film will undoubtedly still hold value for devoted DC fans:
What do YOU think of Suicide Squad?