Dear Warner Brothers,
You don’t know me but let’s just say I’ve been a fan of DC comics for a while. Whether it be The Flash, Birds of Prey, or Batman, I’ve always had a soft spot for the gritty and dark superheroes. That being said, I have also been a film critic for a while now and always find myself looking for the faults in any film regardless of my love for the subject material. I’ve even found flaws in both Captain America: Civil War and Deadpool, two of my favorite comic book films.
I get it. You’re trying to compete with the rest of the superhero franchises out there. Money is money and right now, the dough is in capes and superpowers. However, you can’t have your cake and eat it too. The difference between you and Marvel is fear. I’m not saying that Marvel has welcomed directors’ vision with open arms; Jon Favreau, Edgar Wright, and Joss Whedon have all complained about Marvel micromanaging them (with Wright even leaving his project), but their films have still been critically acclaimed and box office hits. And those successes come from something really simple: just taking their damn time.
It took Marvel four years to get to the first Avengers film. In that time they introduced us to the core of the team through their own individual films and got us to care about their backstories. While you just jumped in with the ensemble films, with the assumption that’s what we wanted because Marvel has already been there. Suicide Squad could have been a good film. In fact, with the talent you got to star and direct, it should have been a great film. With the big bomb of Batman V. Superman, I thought it was only Zack Snyder who was responsible for the outcome but, after seeing his improved director’s cut, I was starting to doubt that this was the case. Now, that seems to be the same issue with Suicide Squad. Instead of letting David Ayers make his vision, you had two competing cuts and then chose the one that a trailer company made instead. And with that came horrific pacing, editing and lack of character development.
When critics started (rightfully) bashing the film you had the actors and directors contribute to the hubbub saying that this was made for fans and not the critics. You even had Ayer step in and say Suicide Squad is for people who actually love movies. This statement is not only incorrect but an insult to the critics who have been trying to support you and your films. I have watched over 900 films in the past two years alone and, as a movie lover, I can tell you that that wasn’t a quality picture.
As a DC fan and critic, it was hard to give a bad grade to a film that I wasn’t a fan of, but whose fault is that? Stop trying to create an “us versus them” mentality between critics and fans. You decided to make a mediocre film for the sake of speed and relevance and ended up with a mess. That’s what happens when you give someone only six weeks to write a comic book film. But I’m sure you’ll make it up to us with the five hour director’s cut.
Warner Brothers, do what you have to do, but don’t become the EA of movie studios. Don’t put out an unfinished product, only to promise an additional 30 minutes in another package. Just leave the directors alone and let them make their goddamn movie. As a critic, I have to do my job, but you can definitely make it easier on us.
A Really Annoyed Film Critic