It’s been a rough debut for Warner Bros., DC Comics, and David Ayer’s Suicide Squad, but the toughest time of all has probably been had by hardcore fans of the comics, their characters, and the beleaguered cinematic universe. Those fans are understandably upset, flipping plates of chicken nuggets and swallowing LEGO Batman figures in their grief. But there’s a bright side to the gloomy reviews that have emerged for Suicide Squad so far!
Though the majority of critics, including our own Matt Goldberg, found the antihero film to be lacking, there are a number of other reviewers out there who found plenty of positive things to say. In summation, there are heaps of praise for Will Smith as Deadshot, Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn, and Viola Davis as Amanda Waller. There’s also a lot of optimism that the style and substance of Suicide Squad is a step in the right direction for the DC Cinematic Universe at large. We’ve compiled the best of the best below:
DC Comics super-nerd and collaborator Kevin Smith posted his thoughts on Ayer and Suicide Squad on his Facebook page for all to see:
Uh… You guys. Super confused. Just went to the premiere of #SuicideSquad. Hadn’t seen it. It’s great! Not sort of great. GREAT! I mean…
— Patty Jenkins (@PattyJenks) August 3, 2016
…I loved it. So surprised by some reviews. I don’t get it. I thought it was awesome. And NOT just because I’m in the DC world. Truly.
— Patty Jenkins (@PattyJenks) August 3, 2016
Now, for the opinions of some folks not quite so closely tied to Warner Bros. and DC Comics, let’s take a look at some other reviews from around the net. First up, Complex’s Zach Frydenlund’s review, which touts the performances of Smith, Robbie, and Davis, calls the movie:
[E]xactly what DC needs right now. The film is not only enjoyable and will be a commercial success, but it’s proof they’re going off the established Marvel formula: kick-ass action scenes plus witty jokes and plenty of teases for future projects. Suicide Squad does that in bunches, with plenty of Easter eggs to keep fanboys happy and enough intense action scenes to satisfy the casual fans at the same time. The film directly answers the issues of Batman v Superman—those boring, action-deprived moments. Instead of getting retreads, like how BvS forced us to see Batman’s parents die AGAIN, fans get to see Batfleck square up against the Joker and Deadshot; they get to see Will Smith shoot guns while Kanye West blasts in the background.
Screenrant’s Ben Kendrick found Suicide Squad to be “a lively comic book movie – albeit one that is undermined by plot holes and uneven execution of action, character, and comedy.” Kendrick also found Smith, Davis and Robbie’s performances to be standouts:
Harley, especially, is a living-breathing version of the fan-favorite villainess and Margot Robbie manages to highlight the character’s humanity as much as her deranged mind. For all of Harley’s over-the-top antics, Ayer and Robbie ensure this version isn’t just crazy. She’s unhinged but self-aware – enough to offer insightful reflection on the irony of the team’s assignment: save a world that hates them. In a film that struggles to define certain Squad members, Harley is fully-realized, brought to life by a dynamic performance, bubbly physical comedy, and several of the film’s best lines.
Similarly, Deadshot’s journey from selfish gun-for-hire to de facto leader of the Squad keeps the movie grounded. While Lawton’s goal remains the same (care for his daughter), the crisis in Midway City affords the assassin opportunities to evolve and redefine his identity. Will Smith brings his usual charm and action chops to the role – making Deadshot a (comparatively) sympathetic entry point into the Suicide Squad, while at the same time serving up slick weapons-work and sassy digs at his teammates… Fortunately, Suicide Squad makes good use of Waller, positioning the hardline A.R.G.U.S. commander for future appearances in the DCEU. Davis is solid in the role – presenting a Waller who is just as intimidating, manipulative, and cold-blooded as comic book fans remember.
A back-handed positive review from Phil Villarreal describes it as:
A brazen, exuberant rush of cinematic sizzle that serves as an antidote for the brooding misery of “Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice,” ‘Suicide Squad” fuses its unlikely rogues gallery into a ridiculous but fascinating train wreck of an action flick. Director David Ayer manages to expand the interconnected DC movie world –laying the groundwork for a bevy of compelling characters that will pop up in later films — while spinning off a satisfying, self-contained one-shot.
DailyMail’s Brian Viner four-out-of-five-star review says:
It’s explosive, preposterous, exhilarating and like all the best films based on comic-book characters, doesn’t take itself too seriously. Indeed, there are more than a few laugh-out-loud moments.
The Mercury’s Tim Martain sums it up as follows:
In all, I thought Suicide Squad was a joyously deranged action flick that was great fun to watch.
It is a long way from perfect, but might have breathed a little life back into the DC Extended Universe series of movies in the wake of Batman v Superman.
Alex Doenau of Trespass Magazine found optimism in Suicide Squad that the DC Cinematic Universe will hopefully carry forward:
Suicide Squad is a risk: an edgy name, an edgy campaign, a cast of characters mostly unheard of out of established DC fan circles. It’s also the first DC Extended Universe film not directed by Zack Snyder, an indicator of what these movies can look and feel like without that singular vision at the helm. And, while it’s not the complete package, Suicide Squad shows a promise that Man of Steel never managed to muster: maybe DC movies are going to get better from here on out…Suicide Squad is the best looking and most satisfying entry of the three DC Extended Universe films to date.
Michael Smith’s Tulsa World review sums up the experience as follows:
Embrace the bad-guy version of being good, and how visibly uncomfortable that fit is on the members of “Suicide Squad,” and you’ll find some fun.
Peter Howell of The Star also sees Suicide Squad as a step in the right direction for Warner Bros.’ DC Comics’ future:
Still and all, Suicide Squad deserves to live, if only because it whets our appetite for what these super freaks will do in future chapters. Now that they’ve got the pesky introductions over with, maybe they can really get on the good foot to do the bad thing.
For more on Suicide Squad, be sure to get caught up with our recent coverage below:
- ‘Suicide Squad’: What Did You Think?
- Surprise! Zack Snyder Directed a Scene in ‘Suicide Squad’
- ‘Suicide Squad’ May Not Get Released in China
- ‘Suicide Squad’ Video Review: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
- August Box Office Predictions: Can ‘Suicide Squad’ Ignite the DC Extended Universe?