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DC Comics and Warner Bros have been building the DC Extended Universe over the last several years, and while these movies have done well for themselves financially, they haven't won over a lot of the movie critics. Man of Steel got away with mixed reviews in 2013, but this year's releases, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad, have received mostly negative reception from critics. Obviously taste is subjective among regular movie goers and those who are paid to review movies, but if you ask Suicide Squad writer John Ostrander, he believes that some of the hate is due to unfair comparisons with 2008's The Dark Knight.
Ostrander, who was responsible for relaunching the Suicide Squad back in 1987 into their modern iteration, recently wrote a column for ComicMix where he talked about what he liked and disliked about the team's new movie, and something he noted was how some critics seem to have inherent biases against any superhero movie that isn't Christopher Nolan's second Batman entry. He explained:
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.
Since its enormous success nearly a decade ago, including surpassing $1 billion and winning two Academy Awards, The Dark Knight has become the gold standard to which almost every superhero movie seems to be compared. While few will argue about the movie's greatness, that's not a wise move. For one thing, The Dark Knight felt more like a crime movie, and eschewed the more fantastical elements of the Caped Crusader's world in favor of telling a story more grounded in reality, just like its predecessor and successor. Just like movies in other genres, superhero movies need to be judged on their own merits, not by how closely they resembled a previous project. If you happen to be someone who doesn't care for superhero movies at all, if possible, maybe leave reviewing of them to someone more open-minded.
That probably won't change many minds when it comes to Suicide Squad, but the movie has managed to gain fans among both comic book readers and even a few critics, and money-wise, it's off to a good start following its first domestic weekend. As for the DCEU's future, we'll just have to wait and see whether these new movies, as well as creative shakeups in the leadership department, will improve overall reception for the franchise or keep it dredged in critical turmoil.
You can check out Suicide Squad for yourself now in theaters, and if you've already seen the movie, let us know what you thought about it here.