Although the premiere looked like a lot of fun, the fact that Suicide Squad’s reviews were heavily embargoed seemed to suggest that perhaps the film itself wasn’t as fun and zany as many hoped. (I’m not that familiar with the source material, but none of the trailers seemed particularly funny to me.) While the DC Films unit underwent major changes and a new focus after the surprising finding that moviegoers enjoyed laughter, reports of reshoots to inject humor (although roundly denied) added a bit more worry. Perhaps it should come as no surprise then that the dark, brutal world view of Batman v Superman would be carried over to a film about a bunch of misshapen ne’er do wells and psychos. And the reviews are in and, well, Variety suggests the smiles didn’t come in time:
Blame it on Batman, but the DC universe has gotten awfully dark in recent years, especially compared with the candy-colored competition over at Marvel. Rather than bringing levity and irreverence to the increasingly unpleasant comic-book sphere, as its psychedelic acid-twisted marketing campaign suggests, “Suicide Squad” plunges audiences right back into the coal-black world of “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice,” picking up after the Man of Steel’s demise to imagine a government so desperate that its only hope to fight the next “meta-human” threat is by assembling a team of the gnarliest super-villains around.
Vulture’s Abraham Reisman just comes out and says it: Suicide Squad Isn’t Very Funny
Having now attended a press screening, we can put the rumors to bed: Suicide Squad is, for the most part, not a funny movie. That’s not to say it’s necessarily a bad movie — that kind of judgment comes from an entirely different set of criteria. But for those of you expecting, understandably, a lot of laughs out of your trip to the theater this weekend, you’ll find that the film isn’t going for that.
While this may be a disappointment, don’t cry too much for WB/DC Films: The movie is expected to be the biggest August opening of all times tracking for a MASSIVE $130-140 mil opening:
Suicide Squad will take the box office by storm this coming weekend with a massive run of about 4,200 theaters, with 380 in Imax and 400 more in large-format screens, positioning itself to become the biggest August opener in history. The Warner Bros film is expected to surpass current crown holder (and one of its comp films) Guardians of The Galaxy which scored a $94.3 million opening weekend in 2014. Guardians was is 100 fewer theaters.
While Suicide Squad’s execution may not be all that was hoped for, audiences are clearly clamoring for it, and Harley Quinn’s manic antics and amazing butt are set to take America by storm. And by all accounts, the lesson has been learned; going forward, DC’s movies will have a healthy dose of light hearted banter.
UPDATE: But Cynthia Francillon from Black Nerd Girls has a different take, as do most non-trade oriented sitesm who find the movie fun and action packed:
If you march into the theater believing that DC Entertainment’s latest venture, Suicide Squad, is a film meant to follow its predecessors in having this dark and serious tone that casts a shadow over your head, I’ll be the first to tell you to throw that thought away. Do yourself the biggest favor and walk into that theater with nothing but fun in mind, because that’s exactly what you’re going to get.
On July 30th, I had the opportunity to see the movie about a team of locked up “super-villains” who’ve been recruited to stop an evil force (Cara Delevingne as the Enchantress) that has the potential to do our world some terrible damage. Prior to the movie’s release, there have been many negative speculations generated by fans, because unfortunately, DC has a tendency to not get their live action movies based on their comic book heroes right. From a Fox film like The Fantastic Four to Batman v Superman, people have been biting down at the fists, giving DC the benefit of the doubt regardless. So when Suicide Squad became a thing, many wondered why; and most importantly, whether the movie will be added to the list of DC movie efforts that don’t quite cut it.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.