Back to IndieWire

‘Suicide Squad’ Critical Roundup: Reviewers Disappointed With The ‘All Flash, No Fun’ Supervillain Action Flick

The film doesn't live up to its hype.

Suicide Squad

“Suicide Squad”

Warner Bros.

The highly-anticipated and amped-up action flick “Suicide Squad” will be arriving in theaters this Friday, August 5. The Warner Bros. and DC Comics film follows a team of dangerous, incarcerated supervillains who are recruited for a top-secret mission. Starring Will Smith, Jared Leto, Margot Robbie and a slew of other talented actors, the first reviews are really in and it’s not looking too good for the David Ayer-directed flick. 

IndieWire’s David Ehrlich gave the film a D+, writing in his review that “these heroes may be bad, but their movie is even worse.” He states, “‘Suicide Squad’ never has the courage of its convictions — it doesn’t own anything. At best, Ayer rents some pre-existing pop iconography and charges us $15 to watch him take it around the block for a spin. Forget the ‘Worst. Heroes. Ever.’ These guys don’t even know how to be bad.”

READ MORE: ‘Suicide Squad’ Review: These Heroes May Be Bad, But Their Movie Is Even Worse

He’s not the only one thinking the same thing. Variety’s Peter Debruge wrote, “The Joker and Harley Quinn steal the show in this DC Comics-style riff on ‘The Dirty Dozen,’ which shares the same bleak view of superheroes as ‘Batman v Superman.’” Adding, “On paper, this could have been the antidote to an increasingly codified strain of comic-book movies, but in the end, it’s just another high-attitude version of the same.”

“All flash, no fun,” is what Todd McCarthy of The Hollywood Reporter commented in his critique. He added that the film is “a puzzlingly confused undertaking that never becomes as cool as it thinks it is, ‘Suicide Squad’ assembles an all-star team of supervillains and then doesn’t know what to do with them.”

READ MORE: Quentin Tarantino’s ‘Suicide Squad’ Viral Video is the Ultimate Dream Hero Mashup — Watch

Alonso Duralde of The Wrap also called it an “overstuffed spectacle,” though he did say that Robbie and Viola Davis stand out. “‘Suicide Squad’ plays like a TV pilot that puts forth the sketchy outlines of several characters, with the promise that the series will fill them in later,” he wrote. “If the idea was to have future DC movies do that instead, then those films have their work cut out for them.”

Vanity Fair’s Richard Lawson stated that David Ayer’s film is worse than “Fantastic Four”: “‘Suicide Squad’ is so uninspired, so dim and unthoughtful, that its one true arresting act of destruction is to deliver what could be a fatal blow to non-Marvel superhero movies. (Unless it does very well at the box office—which, what the hell, it probably will.) If you can believe it, ‘Suicide Squad’ is even worse than ‘Fantastic Four.’ At least that mess of a movie had some shimmer of an idea to it. ‘Suicide Squad,’ trying so lamely to be clever and edgy with all its mortifying music cues and clunky jokes, was only good as a compelling two-and-a-half-minute trailer. As a movie, it really does itself in.”

READ MORE: ‘Suicide Squad’ International Trailer Plays Up Craziness, Gun-Toting Panda Included — Watch

On the more “positive side” is Entertainment Weekly’s Chris Nashawaty giving the spectacle a B- grade. He felt that the stakes should have been higher and the film’s mission is a bust. “As someone who isn’t fluent in ‘Suicide Squad’ lore, I can’t imagine there wasn’t a better villain in its back ­catalog,” he noted. “Still, it’s nothing compared with how wasted Leto’s scene-stealing Joker is. With his toxic-green hair, shiny metal teeth, and demented rictus grin, he’s the most dangerous live wire in the film. But he’s stranded in the periphery. For DC, which blew it with ‘Batman v Superman’ last spring, ‘Suicide Squad’ is a small step forward. But it could have been a giant leap.”

USA Today’s Brian Truitt thought that because of the size of the cast some of the more interesting characters were shorted. Though, the film does “makes a bunch of obscure outsiders just as engaging and fun to watch as that well-known Dark Knight.” He also added that “’Suicide Squad’ is an excellently quirky, proudly raised middle finger to the staid superhero-movie establishment.”

Will you go watch it?

Stay on top of the latest breaking film and TV news! Sign up for our Email Newsletters here.

This Article is related to: News and tagged , , , , ,