The review embargo for David Ayer’s Suicide Squad lifted earlier today and so far, critics have not been kind to DC’s villain ensemble. The script and the film’s pacing seem to be the elements receiving the most backlash, which can’t be good news for the DC movieverse as a whole, as Warner Bros was hoping this film would help spin the conversation in a more positive light in the wake of Batman v Superman’s critical thrashing earlier this year [Full Disclosure: we haven’t seen the movie yet. Look for our review this Friday].
David Ayer has issued a response of sorts to the negative review scores and it’s surprisingly classy and admirable:
Prefiero morir de pie que vivir de rodillas – Emiliano Zapata
— David Ayer (@DavidAyerMovies) August 2, 2016
The quote translates to “I’d prefer to die standing, than to live on my knees,” and was originally attributed to Mexican revolutionary Emiliana Zappata. Obviously the context is quite different here, but the sentiment Ayer seems to be going for is that he can take the beating and is happy that he went through the risk of creating something (you could also read this as a dig at critics as a whole).
Here are a few examples of what’s being said about Ayer’s movie:
Birth.Movies.Death – Devin Faraci
“[Suicide Squad is] a shambling mess whose script clearly never cohered, and whose reshoots only muddied the waters further. The structure is bad, the pacing is off and the stakes are often obfuscated. The entire second act is the Squad on a rescue mission, but it’s not clear who they’re rescuing, and when it’s revealed your reaction is just, “Oh, okay. I guess.” David Ayer makes a game attempt to bring his aesthetic to the material (besides directing he’s the sole credited writer), but either he’s half-assing it or he was getting pushback from above, because the whole film feels compromised from beginning to end. Warner Bros crows that their DC movies are filmmaker-driven, but ‘Suicide Squad’ feels like the casualty of death by a zillion notes, many of which were “Make it more like a Marvel movie.”
Variety – Peter DeBruge
“For reasons beyond Ayer’s control, he’s beholden to the corporate vision of other recent DC adaptations, most notably Zack Snyder’s sleek-surfaced and oppressively self-serious riffs on the Superman legend. While it would have been amazing to see the director (fresh off WWII-set suicide-mission movie “Fury”) push his own nothing-to-lose anarchic boundaries, he’s ultimately forced to conform to Snyder’s style, to the extent that Suicide Squad ends up feeling more like the exec producer’s gonzo effects-saturated Sucker Punch.”
IGN Movies – Joshua Yehl
“It goes for subversive, funny and stylish, and it succeeds wildly during the first act. But then… It plods on, checking off boxes on a list of cliched moments and meaningless plot points, making you wonder where all the razzle-dazzle went.”