‘Suicide Squad’ Writer John Ostrander Thinks Critics ‘Came Prepared To Hate’ The DC Movie

Senior Writer
08.08.16 16 Comments

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Even as Suicide Squad broke the August box office record with its $135 million opening weekend, people cannot stop talking about the negative reviews, as if calling it the “Most disappointing film of all-time” will actually stop Warner Bros. from greenlighting a sequel and a Harley Quinn standalone spin-off. In fact, Jared Leto is probably doing something so Method at this moment to get his Joker movie rolling.

As director David Ayer and Cara Delevingne, who plays Enchantress, have already explained, this is a movie made for the fans, which may or may not be a good thing, and they’re to put an end to what seems like a competition to come up with the meanest headline. Now joining them in defense of Ayer’s effort is Suicide Squad creator John Ostrander, who penned an admittedly-biased review for ComicMix.

Regarding the Suicide Squad movie, well, I’m biased. I’m prejudiced. I have a vested interest in its success. I want it to succeed. However, if I didn’t like it, I’d be more likely just to keep my trap shut.

My trap is open.

I really liked the film. Not perfect by a long shot, but a really good time in the movie theater. And for me a lot of it was just amazing. The look, the detail, the feel of the film is not something I’ve seen in superhero movies before.

Ostrander specifically singles out Viola Davis for her performance as Amanda Waller, because that is the one character he actually created, and he writes that he was “ecstatic” to see her. Margot Robbie, he adds, plays Harley Quinn so well that “she steals just about every scene she’s in.” Will Smith and Jared Leto made their respective characters their own, and Ostrander invokes Christopher Walken wanting “more cowbell” in regard to Jai Courtney’s Boomerang.

His review isn’t all popped champagne and praise, as he admits to being disappointed with the “we have to save the world” plot, but Ostrander likes the movie enough. As for the negative critics, he thinks it’s simply a case of preconceived reviews.

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.

As our own Mike Ryan pointed out, the mention of The Dark Knight isn’t exactly true. Captain America: Civil War has a 90 percent fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes. But Ostrander’s point is bigger than Christopher Nolan’s shadow.

Again, Ostrander admits his bias, not only for creative reasons but also because he stands to be one of those people shouting, “Cha-ching!” if Suicide Squad is a box office success. So far, by his definition of success, Warner Bros. will have no choice but to make a sequel, so the critics he is vaguely calling out should have plenty of time to prepare new material.

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