I recently wrote a wall post on FB (Our Social Media Overlord). It goes as follows:
“Critics are writing bad reviews for the movie #suicidesquad. Don’t listen to the critics. Either they are out to harm the DC Universe (unlikely), or they have lost sight of the point of movies.
If the point of the movie was to be a fun distraction, then #suicidesquad was successful. If the point was to continue to lay the ground work for a 15 movie franchise, then #suicidesquad met its goal.
No regular Joe is headed to see this movie with the expectation of watching the next Oscar contender. Nor are fans seeking to be enlightened or learned. We’re just watching a $12 movie. We’re not buying a car, choosing life insurance or investing in our child’s education. It’s a …movie”.
I want to add something to that rant. I have been considering why the critics blasted Suicide Squad so hard and relentlessly. I have come up with three possible reasons.
Reason #1: Marvel Universe
Suicide Squad Trailered and Synopsis’d itself as an Avengers meets Deadpool. It was neither. And it appears to be deliberately neither. It neither has the God-like superhero’s of Avengers, nor does it have the dark, sardonic gore of Deadpool. I can see why a critic, expecting to see world-tearing, blood curdling action would be disappointed. I do not discount the feeling of betrayal. The reality is that if you read the DC comic books, you would know that these characters were fallible and imperfect. You would also now that they were compassionate and victims of the world and circumstance the were born into. They are humans with gifts. They are not Otherworldly, Geniuses, or failed experiments. They are not psychopaths or lunatics.
Reason #2: Misogyny
I have a daughter. I spend a considerable amount of time protecting her from villains, perverts and the destructive nature of media. But aside from putting her in a box, she will be exposed to some pretty mind bending stuff. Namely, the media’s obsession with sexualizing, fetishizing and objectifying women. One of the characters in Suicide Squad, whose name rhymes with NarlyShinn, was Wholesale all of those -izes. If you are progressive, or just an individual who gives half a squirrel nut about all human persons, you can see how this movie reinforces women as objects to be owned and traded like cigarettes on the yard.
Reason #3: MPAA Ratings
Suicide Squad is rated PG-13. It is not NC-17, or Rated R. That means, you are not going to get adult themed visuals, language or situations. Which is a good thing, and the reason why the movie has such mass appeal. It is an Anti-hero movie that teaches kids to be compassionate, and that people who have made mistakes can do good and wonderful things. I just wonder if critics looked at the MPAA Rating, read the synopsis without presumption and/or reviewed the trailer from the perspective of an audience member’s 12 year old child.