Following the long awaited theatrical release of the DC Extended Universe film Suicide Squad this past weekend, the David Ayer directed movie starring some of comic book history’s most notorious criminals went on to become the highest grossing August release in history. Earning a grand total of $135 million in ticket sales domestically, Ayer’s production nevertheless faced significant backlash from critics and fans alike who thought the film suffered from an overall lack of development.
Despite all of the criticism levied against Suicide Squad and its all-star cast of comic book characters, Ayer was quick to defend his production as being made for fans, by fans. Nevertheless, plenty of viewers have already begun wondering how a sequel might do the franchise better. Still, not everyone has been quite as quick to imagine a better movie than what already is.
In an exclusive review published by ComicMix, veteran comic book writer John Ostrander gave his own thoughtful appraisal of Ayer’s take on Suicide Squad. Having written his own line of comics in the same series, Ostrander’s insight into what goes into making a superhero narrative is optimistically applied in his own glowing review of the movie after attending the world premiere. Ostrander took particular attention to praise several members of the cast; including, Will Smith as Deadshot, Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn, and Jared Leto as the Joker, though he appeared most interested in the big screen iteration of his own original character, Amanda Waller (Viola Davis). On Davis’ performance, Ostrander stated:
“Chief for me were the performances, starting with Viola Davis as Amanda Waller. All the other characters in the Squad, both the comic and the movie, were created by others. In the comic especially I would re-define and expand on them but they were established characters. Amanda Waller was my creation and Viola Davis embodied her to perfection. I was happy when she was cast, I was delighted when I saw her in the trailers, and I was ecstatic when I saw her in the film. Davis has Amanda’s voice, her look, and her attitude. I was delighted at the after-party when I got a chance to see her face-to-face and tell her how much I enjoyed her performance.”
After waxing poetic for a number of paragraphs in which Ostrander appears to have found nothing inherently wrong with Ayer’s Suicide Squad, he did have some particularly pointed words of admonishment for the critical establishment who seemed so eager to defame the film in review. Speaking to the movie’s many detractors, Ostrander commented:
“I know some of the critics, both in print and online, do not like the movie. That’s okay; everyone has a right to their own opinion even when it’s wrong. My problem is that, at least with some of the media reviews, is that the critic is also tired of superhero and ‘tentpole’ films and, overtly or covertly, would like to see their end. Look, I get it – they have to see all the films out there and they must be tired of all the blockbusters. If every superhero film is not The Dark Knight, they’ll bitch. I think that’s going on here to a certain degree. Just as I came prepared to love the movie, they came prepared to hate it.”
Whether or not general audiences will ultimately agree with Ostrander is a part of the subjective experience, leaving each individual viewer’s opinion up to them to decide whether or not they personally like Suicide Squad. Either way, even Ostrander had to concede that the film’s “story is a little more generic ‘we have to save the world’ than I usually did,” though it would appear as though plenty of fans had a lot of fun anyway judging by how much money the movie has already generated at the box office.
Suicide Squad is in theaters now. Wonder Woman opens on June 2, 2017; Justice League on November 17, 2017; Aquaman on July 27, 2018; an untitled DC Film on October 5, 2018; Shazam on April 5, 2019; Justice League 2 on June 14, 2019; an untitled DC film on November 1, 2019; Cyborg on April 3, 2020; and Green Lantern Corps on July 24, 2020. The Flash and Batman solo movie are currently without release dates.