Suicide Squad opens this weekend, and though many of us are excited to see Jared Leto’s rendition of The Joker, there’s a big problem: the movie sucks.
At least according to critics. Today, the review embargo lifted for critics, and a tidal wave of bad reviews hit the interwebz. At just about every turn, critics were damning the movie.
Here are a few samples. First, the Chicago Tribune:
But folks, this is a lousy script, blobby like the endlessly beheaded minions of the squad’s chief adversary. It’s not satisfying storytelling; the flashbacks roll in and out, explaining either too much or too little, and the action may be violent but it’s not interesting. At this point in 2016 America, if there’s one thing I could vote out of all movies, permanently, it’s the drooling slow-motion close-up of hundreds of assault weapon bullets bouncing off gorgeously lit pavement.
Vanity Fair? Also not into it:
Suicide Squad is bad. Not fun bad. Not redeemable bad. Not the kind of bad that is the unfortunate result of artists honorably striving for something ambitious and falling short. Suicide Squad is just bad. It’s ugly and boring, a toxic combination that means the film’s highly fetishized violence doesn’t even have the exciting tingle of the wicked or the taboo. (Oh, how the movie wants to be both of those things.) It’s simply a dull chore steeped in flaccid machismo, a shapeless, poorly edited trudge that adds some mildly appalling sexism and even a soupçon of racism to its abundant, hideously timed gun worship. But, perhaps worst of all, Suicide Squad is ultimately too shoddy and forgettable to even register as revolting. At least revolting would have been something.
Variety is… also not digging Suicide Squad:
And where is Batman anyway through all of this? (Or the Flash, who appropriately flits by in a blink-and-you-miss-it cameo.) Isn’t the Enchantress situation better suited to the Justice League’s skills than those of a bunch of renegades who, were it not for the Wayne Industry-crafted explosive devices implanted in their spinal columns, would gladly join the deranged witch in destroying the world? Whereas “Batman v Superman” managed to raise certain pseudo-provocative questions about how real people might react to being protected by vigilante “meta-humans,” “Suicide Squad” deals with a 100% unreasonable solution to future threats. Like “Deadpool” earlier this year, it’s entertaining insofar as it allows the characters to crack wise and act out, though they can only go so far within the confines of MPAA guidelines and the rigid DC mythology. On paper, this could have been the antidote to an increasingly codified strain of comic-book movies, but in the end, it’s just another high-attitude version of the same.
Writer-director David Ayer (End of Watch) skillfully sets up the film, introducing each of the crazies with caffeinated comic-book energy. But their mission — to take down Cara Delevingne’s undersketched witch, Enchantress, and her giant golem-like brother — is a bit of a bust. The stakes should feel higher. As someone who isn’t fluent in Suicide Squad lore, I can’t imagine there wasn’t a better villain in its back catalog. Still, it’s nothing compared with how wasted Leto’s scene-stealing Joker is. With his toxic-green hair, shiny metal teeth, and demented rictus grin, he’s the most dangerous live wire in the film. But he’s stranded in the periphery. For DC, which blew it with Batman v Superman last spring, Suicide Squad is a small step forward. But it could have been a giant leap.
USA Today was kinder, but it almost feels as though their reviewer was trying to find excuses for Suicide Squad being so bad:
Like The Dirty Dozen for the Hot Topic generation, the team gets in-your-face introductions and things just grow more mental from there. But compared to its ilk, Suicide Squad is an excellently quirky, proudly raised middle finger to the staid superhero-movie establishment.
As for the film’s director, he doesn’t seem phased. He tweeted was translates (roughly) to ‘I’d prefer to die standing than live on my knees.’ Let’s just hope he ‘dies’ with a profitable move that fans like, even if the critics hate it.
Prefiero morir de pie que vivir de rodillas – Emiliano Zapata
— David Ayer (@DavidAyerMovies) August 2, 2016
Suicide Squad open on August 5, and currently has a 34 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes.