It’s no secret that critics and audiences don’t always see eye-to-eye on some movies, especially when those movies are of the summer blockbuster variety. One need look no further than the recently released Suicide Squad to see evidence of that – with fans flocking to the movie to the tune of over $300 million in ticket sales despite its Rotten Tomatoes score of 27%.
Director David Ayer has defended the movie and the creative choices he made with it, which is not something directors always do when their movie is perceived as a flop. The Squad themselves have stuck by it as well, with Margo Robbie expressing her hope for a Harley Quinn spinoff and Jay Hernandez pushing for Diablo to return in the sequel. Now actor Joel Kinnaman, who plays Task Force X leader Rick Flag in the movie, has added his support to the mix.
Speaking to Vulture, Kinnaman discussed the difference he saw between the critical reaction to the movie online and the reaction from general audiences. Unsurprisingly, he was not a fan of the negative reviews:
“I read a couple, but I didn’t enjoy reading them, so I stopped. They were not kind.
You always hope to get good reviews. It’s always nicer when people say nice things about you. But on a film like Suicide Squad, it really only has an ambition to entertain. There’s no big political aspirations about the film; it doesn’t take itself that seriously. The only way it takes itself seriously is portraying these characters in an honest way. I really think we did that, and I’m proud of my work and everyone else’s work in that film, too. So, on a film like this, that has those kinds of ambitions; it becomes even more important what the fans think. We made this film for the fans.”
Despite Suicide Squad‘s problems–and there are some–fans have found things to like about it as well. Kinnaman says that outside of critics, most of the reaction he has received about the movie has been positive.
“I can’t remember ever seeing a bigger disparity between reviewers’ and fans’ response to a film. It really was night and day. We’ve just been showered with love and appreciation for this, so it’s been pretty phenomenal. Sure, the film is not perfect. But the kind of vitriol that it got? [Laughs.] It sure as hell didn’t deserve that. I think it actually might’ve been good for the film. Now people don’t have too-high expectations for it. It reset that a little bit, and people went into the theaters and just got entertained by what they saw. So I was really happy with how that whole thing turned out.”
Granted, not many people are likely to approach an actor and tell him in person that they thought his movie was awful. That’s what Twitter and comment sections are for, and Kinnaman’s perception of reactions to Suicide Squad might be different if he saw what was being said in those venues. Still, his point about the audience vs. critic divide is a valid one, and that divide does seem to be particularly large with Suicide Squad. At the very least, the movie has done well enough that a sequel is likely. At the end of the day, the studio will be paying more attention to how much money the movie made than what its Rotten Tomatoes percentage is, and Suicide Squad is continuing to make plenty of money in its second weekend.
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, the Batman solo movie, and Man of Steel 2 are currently without release dates.