Warner Bros.’ Suicide Squad is shaping up to take the summer box office by storm, after a series of mouthwatering trailers and general buzz around director David Ayer’s supervillain team-up, not to mention an enticing, well-spun marketing campaign. And after Warner Bros. saw only modest success in the form of Zack Snyder’s Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, the collective of criminal, insane (and in the case of Harley Quinn, a mixture of the two) characters that make up Task Force X have a daunting task at hand to make the third entry in the DC Extended Universe a hit with hardcore fans and casual moviegoers alike.
With Dawn of Justice out of the way, it’s the paved way for Suicide Squad to take the top spot of the most talked-about movie to emerge this summer. Not only is the cast comprised of some high profile names – Margot Robbie (Harley Quinn), Will Smith (Deadshot), Cara Delevingne (Enchantress), Jai Courtney (Captain Boomerang), and Jared Leto (the Joker), to name a few – but a lot of people are either fans eagerly anticipating its release or morbidly curious cinema goers believing the success of Ayer’s dark comic book adaptation could hinge on its balance of seriousness and humor; as well as indicate whether DC ‘s cinematic future is going in the right direction.
Last month saw the first test screenings for the film, with those in attendance taking to social media to voice their reactions, which were hugely positive. Now, another batch of lucky viewers have managed to see Suicide Squad at the latest test screening in Sacramento, California whereby the opinions appears just as positive. And in case anyone’s sceptical, it wasn’t billed as a screening for DC fans at all – as Reddit user soyodu, who claims to have attended the screening, explains:
“Initially I thought it was Trek, IDR or Bourne, until the NDA said Warner Brothers on it. I will tell you there was NO standing ovation, but a decent amount of people clapped in the end. In fact, when they first told us we were going to see a screening of the movie, pretty much the whole theater cheered and screamed. At the end, probably only half clapped…which doesn’t mean the other half didn’t like it, but if this was like a Thursday night showing with fanboys, I have no doubt it would have been a much bigger applause.”
It’s probably a good thing that a bunch of unwitting and non-superhero fans watched the test screenings, because if it was an audience of die-hard DC fans, the view might have been a little biased to say the least. Soyodu also added that the version they saw wasn’t even the final cut (presumably the recent reshoots weren’t completely cut into what’s going into cinemas):
“This is an unfinished cut. There was lots that I really liked, good action, pacing (for the most part). But as I’ve said there were 2 characters who had a decent sized role in the plot/story that did not connect with me. I could care less about them. They tried for an emotional scene and yea…didn’t work. But yes, walking out, I’ve heard a few people raving about it, and a few just good/pretty good. The person I was sitting next to came with his family and he didn’t even know the movie after they announced it (older guy) and he said it was ok. I didn’t stick around to hear if anyone had anything bad to say.”
Another Redditor, Malachim, who claims to have seen it was also full of praise, but didn’t rate it as highly as Marvel’s Captain America: Civil War, but describes it as an “excellent movie. It tells a very straightforward story with an amazing cast”:
“You will like every single member of the Squad, with Harley (obviously) stealing the show. She’s a star and everyone will love her. This is the type of movie that demands a sequel. I’m sure critics will find ways to hate it (it’s basically a gritty action movie with comic book characters and a Hot Topic aesthetic, which honestly might turn critics off), but DC fans will like it. The BIG thing is that the movie literally saves DCEU Batman. This Batman is BTAS personified.”
The tweets were, as you’d imagine, fairly nondescript in terms of specifics the audience enjoyed, because anything more than a general thumbs up or thumbs down would no doubt be giving far too much away and ruin it for a majority who are yet to have seen it. Twitter was, however, in general agreement that Suicide Squad is an enjoyable summer movie.
Got to see #SuicideSquad yesterday during a pre-movie screening, absolutely great! I knew it would be good, but it turned out to be awesome!— Keke (@JunsusChin) June 3, 2016
Saw an early screening of Suicide Squad. It blew my mind. Best DC movie I've ever seen!— Scott C (@Jeffrey_Scott41) June 3, 2016
While no one can deem these shared reactions as biased – let’s face it, it wasn’t a packed out screening advertised to DC or Suicide Squad fans – as they didn’t even know what film they were seated to see until the distributor logo came up on the screen. That said, with such a warm and positive reception from the few who have seen it, anticipation levels for Suicide Squad appear to have risen significantly, especially after the mixed reactions to Dawn of Justice earlier this year.
Suicide Squad will arrive on August 5, 2016, followed by Wonder Woman on June 2, 2017; Justice League Part One on November 17, 2017; The Flash on March 16, 2018; Aquaman on July 27, 2018; an untitled DC Film on October 5, 2018; Shazam on April 5, 2019; Justice League Part Two 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.