5 Aug – As the new DC Comics and Warner Bros movie, "Suicide Squad" hits most screens worldwide this week, it has also been hit with a lot of unwanted and probably unjustified flak.
Firstly, the movie's less than favourable critic reviews had angered DC fans who claimed that the reason why DC movies always gets the shorter end of the stick is because their biggest competitor, Marvel, "pays for the good reviews of their films". This unfounded claim obviously has not been proven true.
This all started as a case of when life (somewhat) imitates art when the controversy of the critic reviews versus the fans played out like this year's "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice".
Although favoured by many fans who claim that the Zack Synder led movie stayed true to the comics, many movie critics had bashed the film for what they say has a weak storyline that takes itself too seriously, a stoic Superman played by Henry Cavill, overall lack of character development and depth, and more prominently, the annoying villain of the film, Lex Luthor, played by Jesse Eisenberg.
As for "Suicide Squad", among the general critic consensus is that the plot lacked proper merit to justify some of the character's actions, choppy editing made it hard to keep track of the story, and the lack of utilisation of Jared Leto's Joker in the film.
Of course hell hath no fury like a DC fan scorned, leading over 18,000 of them to sign an online petition on popular petition site, Change.org, to shut down the well-known critic review aggregator site, Rotten Tomatoes, which to date shows the movie has dropped from a 35% (on its release on 4 August) to its current 27% Rotten rating.
The creator of the petition known as Abdullah Coldwater, has since explained his motive of the petition.
"The aim of the petition is to deliver a message to the critics that there is a lot of people who disagree with their reviews. A lot of people, the supporters and the opponents of the petition act like we are already going right now to shut down the site. No, it's just a way to express our anger."
Secondly, it seems that "Suicide Squad" will not be released in China at all. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the film has still not received a release date in China.
China Film Group, the film gatekeeper body which handles the import of all foreign films into the country has apparently still not slated the movie into their calendar, which should have actually been done two months in advance, as per all the other Hollywood films.
"They think this is not a good film to release in China," said an unnamed Chinese executive source.
Considering that the David Ayer film is one about supervillains, it is possible that the censorship body in China is concerned about how the film is glorifying bad values, especially since one of their many strict guidelines state that they do not support films "propagating passive or negative outlook on life, worldview and value system".
Back in February, 20th Century Fox's anti-hero Marvel film, "Deadpool" had not been allowed for release in China due to its graphic violence and language.
If no release date for "Suicide Squad" in China is confirmed soon, this would particularly be a big blow to Warner Bros as the territory is after all the biggest box office market after North America. Their "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice" grossed USD95.7 million in China alone for its total worldwide gross of USD872.7 million.
Thirdly, there was this 'tiny' issue in Malaysia where a poster of "Suicide Squad" at the popular LRT train stop, KLCC, featured Margot Robbie's Harley Quinn character in bermuda shorts rather than her hotpants which is seen on the original poster and in the film. It is believed that the poster was digitally edited to be more conservative.
However, seems like not all hope is lost as a sequel to the film has already been greenlighted with Ayer returning to direct the film in 2017.
He also didn't dismiss the possibility of making the film R-rated just like the comic book films, "Deadpool", "Watchmen" and the upcoming "Wolverine" sequel.