It’s one of 2016’s most highly-anticipated films, but as ‘Suicide Squad’ prepares to arrive in cinemas worldwide this week, the reviews have proved to be… lukewarm, to put it politely.
The latest DC Comics outing has been torn apart by some critics, and while others have been somewhat more forgiving, the all-star cast (including Will Smith, Jared Leto, Margot Robbie and Cara Delevingne) might want to avoid newspapers for the next 24 hours.
Here is just a snippet of what the critics have had to say…
“Harley Quinn’s entrance is the best moment in ‘Suicide Squad’. After that, you can leave. Robbie is a criminally appealing actress, likable in just about every way, but that intro aside, ‘Suicide Squad’ doesn’t serve her well. It serves no one well, least of all its audience.”
The Telegraph (2/5)
“While it surely wasn’t Warner Bros’ intention, Suicide Squad often feels like the film equivalent of a crumpled note passed to the anti-’Ghostbusters’ trolls outside detention. “See?” it seems to say. “At leastwe haven’t forgotten you. We’ve got tube tops and gussets and proud but tormented men, and a scene in which Will Smith (as Deadshot, the world’s greatest marksman) shoots a wide range of deafening projectile weapons to a rousing pop music soundtrack.
“When you compare ‘Suicide Squad’ to what James Gunn and Marvel Studios achieved in ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ – low-profile property, oddball characters, make-it-fun brief – the film makes you cringe so hard your teeth come loose. But it’s a slog even on its own crushingly puerile terms.”
“’Pussy’ is the insult of choice used by Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie in an enjoyably over the top performance) for anyone who isn’t as bad as he or she pretends to be - and it could be applied to every single member of the cast. The real problem with the Suicide Squad is that its members are nowhere near nasty enough.
“‘Suicide Squad’ has a 15 certificate (instead of the 12A that most summer blockbusters are given.) The expectations were that this would be a film with an edge; that it would touch on some very dark themes. With Jared Leto playing Joker, the promise was of a return to the kind of storytelling found in Christopher Nolan’s ‘The Dark Knight’ (2008.) Sadly, that doesn’t prove to be the case at all.”
“If Marvel has the best superheroes, so the prevailing geek-logic goes, then DC has the coolest villains. So it’s only sensible they’re finally placed front, centre and in the firing line. Filling its entire super-team with previously unseen antagonists, Suicide Squad represents a Flash-speed sprint of a catch-up for the rapidly forming DC Cinematic Universe. And, on that front at least, it’s a real hoot.”
The Guardian (3/5)
“It’s undoubtedly an advance on that recent uneasy face-off, ‘Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice’. But does it bring the funny? Not the way the Marvel movies do it, really: that ingredient of sympathetic humour hasn’t quite worked its way into DC’s mix yet – though I accept that writer-director David Ayer (who made Brad Pitt’s second world war drama ‘Fury’, as well as ‘End Of Watch’ and ‘Harsh Times’) intended Suicide Squad to be darker, meaner and more violent than that – all of which has earned his film a 15 certificate in the UK.
“‘Suicide Squad’ promises madness, and a dense downpour of madness is what it delivers. I could have done with more fun and more lightness of touch.”
Digital Spy (2/5)
The good news first: it’s probably the best of the new DC Universe films. The bad: it’s still not very good. Big shame.
Okay, so it’s less po-faced and mean-spirited than ‘Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice’, more colourful, varied and inventive than ‘Man Of Steel’. It’s probably the least-worst DC movie so far. But these are not the (anti) heroes we were waiting for.
Rolling Stone (1/5)
“’Suicide Squad’ wussies out when it should have been down with the Dirty Dozen of DC Comics. Audiences complained that ‘Batman v Superman’ was too dark and depressing. So director-writer David Ayer (’End Of Watch’, ‘Fury’) counters with light and candy-assed. I call bullshit.
“Superfreaks become supersweeties and ‘Suicide Squad: Dawn of Dullness’ (my subtitle) does the impossible. Forget ‘Batman v Superman’ — at least it tried. This botch job makes ‘Fantastic Four’ look good.”
“The ‘worst of the worst’ turn out to be rather sweet underneath, and the ‘suicide’ part of the title means zip, nada. Many of The Dirty Dozen and The Magnificent Seven die in the course of their ‘suicide’ missions, but DC and Marvel can’t bear to part with copyrighted characters that have the potential for multiple spinoffs. So the climactic battles are just CGI in a void — sound and fury signifying nothing.
“As storytelling, ‘Suicide Squad’ is the worst of the worst, but it’s no different in kind from the best of the best. This is all just high-priced junk.”
‘Suicide Squad’ arrives in UK cinemas on Friday 5 August.
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