Suicide Squad, the anti-superhero movie about a bunch of psychopathic bad guys who have to save the day, hits theaters after what feels like a decade-long promotional cycle on Friday, and the reviews have finally begun popping up online. The Warner Brothers tentpole (which stars, among countless others, Margot Robbie, Will Smith, and Jared Leto) is being called a “crushingly puerile” and “nonsensical” film filled with “mildly appalling sexism.” What fun!
Below is a selection of some of the more notable comments.
Germain Lussier, io9
The movie itself is also a motley amalgamation—a strange blend of different tones, stories, and pacing all mashed into something that has cool individual elements, but never really comes together.
Robbie Collin, The Telegraph
Warner Bros. even commissioned reshoots, reportedly as recently as April and costing in excess of $10 million, to add more action and humour. Even by a generous count, that works out at a sum in the high six figures per memorable action sequence, or million bucks gross per gag that actually lands – although eardrum-puncturingly bad dialogue, scowling self-pity, covert pornography and scrappy CGI are apparently a lot more affordable.
Peter Debruge, Variety
Ayer allows Harley Quinn a certain deranged sense of humor, giving her the chance to deliver the sarcastic zinger to multiple scenes, but he only half-recognizes what a tragic character she is, and it’s discouraging to think that the film’s biggest laugh comes at the expense of Batman punching her in the face.
Richard Lawson, Vanity Fair
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.
Fiona Williams, SBS Australia
It overcomplicates a simple plot by plonking in franchise-friendly breadcrumbs (oh, here’s where I’m probably meant to tell you to stay to the end of the credits), and kills its early buzz with uninventive, repetitive call backs to its characters’ past tragedies as a shortcut to empathy.
David Ehrlich, Indiewire
Just when you think the summer movie season can’t get any worse, along come the “Worst. Heroes. Ever.” And while the film’s official tagline is selling its stars a little bit short (surely last year’s incarnation of The Fantastic Four still holds that dubious distinction), the mundane, milquetoast, and often mind-bogglingly stupid “Suicide Squad” almost makes good on the threat of its marketing campaign.
Jen Yamato, The Daily Beast
Do you like montages and flashbacks? Writer-director David Ayer loves them. He cannot get enough of them. He leans on both far too heavily for far too long in a movie so stuffed to the rafters with colorful characters, there’s barely any room for a serviceable plot.
Matt Singer, Screencrush
From the first scene to the last, it’s an absolute mess, one whose harried pacing, jumbled narrative, and blaring soundtrack of radio hits suggests a desperate post-production attempt to reconfigure what Ayer got on set into something palatable and poppy.
Joshua Yehl, IGN
Every “twist” that comes, if you can even call them that, can be seen a mile away, and none seismically affect the trajectory of the plot or the emotions of the characters. For a movie called Suicide Squad, it feels strange for it to play everything so safe.
But not everyone despised it, and most people praised some performances—Viola Davis and Margot Robbie’s, specifically. Entertainment Weekly’s Chris Nashawaty gave it a B-, calling it “a small step forward” after this year’s Batman v Superman. Comic Book Resources’s Kristy Puchko gave it a positive review after admitting she “dreaded” seeing it. But it honestly doesn’t matter what the reviews say, as the movie is on track to beat all kinds of box office records this weekend.