‘Suicide Squad’ Director Reacts to Bad Reviews

David Ayer stands by his work, even if the majority of critics aren’t applauding it

David Ayer
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“Suicide Squad” director David Ayer isn’t letting the bad reviews for his new DC Comics movie get him down.

The action film about a roster of veteran bad guys (and girls) teaming up to fight for good accumulated mostly negative reviews on Tuesday, with a disappointing 33 percent approval rating from 82 critics counted on Rotten Tomatoes, and only 27 of those reviews being declared “fresh.”

The filmmaker whose previous credits include “End of Watch” and “Fury” posted a cryptic message to his followers on Twitter.

Translated, the Spanish quote means, “I’d prefer to die standing, than to live always on my knees.” A few hours later, he clarified why he quoted the Mexican revolutionary.

“Suicide Squad” stars Jared Leto as The Joker, Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn and Will Smith as assassin Deadshot, to name just a few of the big names in Warner Bros.’ ensemble DC Comics adaptation, which also features Ben Affleck as Batman.

The critics consensus sums up the reviews as follows: “‘Suicide Squad’ boasts a talented cast and a little more humor than previous DCEU efforts, but they aren’t enough to save the disappointing end result from a muddled plot, thinly written characters, and choppy directing.”

Marvel’s “Doctor Strange” director Scott Derrickson took to Twitter shortly after the “Suicide Squad” review embargo was lifted on Tuesday to voice concern over the increasing reliance on Rotten Tomatoes percentages instead of individual reviews.


TheWrap’s critic Alonso Duralde was among those less than impressed with “Suicide Squad.”

“Writer-director David Ayer tries hard to make this dirty not-quite-dozen into an engaging band of misfits, but the results feel undercooked and overstuffed, with 10 pounds of supervillain backstory being crammed into a five-pound bag,” Duralde wrote in his review, adding, “No doubt, like ‘BvS’ before it, ‘Suicide Squad’ will eventually have a much-longer Blu-ray cut that fills in this movie’s many blanks, and that longer edit will feel somehow shorter because the lack of characterization and motive in the theatrical version means that the film commits the deadliest of superhero movie sins: It’s boring.”

Duralde did, however, heap praise on Robbie’s turn as deranged Joker sidekick Harley Quinn, as well as standout Viola Davis for her performance as Amanda Waller, the head of a secret government agency that is responsible for organizing the squad of supervillains.

Bad reviews aside, Ayer can still look forward to this weekend, as “Suicide Squad” is on track to rake in as much as $140 million in just three days.

That gross would easily break the all-time opening record for August, currently held by another band of merry misfits, “Guardians of the Galaxy,” which opened to $94.3 million in 2014.