I may have read a few comics over years, but I’m no avid comic book reader. Yet, I really enjoy comic book films. Following the controversially mixed response to Suicide Squad, I’ve heard some pretty flawed excuses to why the critics and some of the audiences haven’t responded well to the film. There are two waves of conspiracy to it. I that think the first wave of conspiracy, to say that critics don’t rate them because they don’t read comics, is ironically a discredit to the quality of the movies that this argument is trying to defend; if you couldn’t understand the movie on its own without the context or engagement in the comics, then the film hasn’t done a very good in self-sustaining itself. In my personal opinion, almost all major releases of comic-book movie releases, no matter what degree of quality they are, have translated very well to the mass audiences who generally aren’t well-versed in comics on their own merits, myself case-and-point.
As for the critics, a general bias against comic-book movies simply isn’t there. Yes, there are many critics in the world and some may have this unfair bias (check out this arthouse critic that irritated me here: https://horscroft.wordpress.com/2016/05/22/my-counter-argument-to-captain-america-civil-war-how-i-was-bludgeoned-by-a-blockbuster/). However, as objective review-compiling site Rotten Tomatoes has shown, a lot of movies in the comic book genre have gained a majority of positive reviews, meaning that they are largely recognised by critics as a good product.
By the way, a brief attack on that stupid petition to shut down Rotten Tomatoes after a collected negative average for Suicide Squad reviews, to reemphasise, it is a completely objective review-compiling system. What the people signing this are essentially doing is campaigning against a calculator. A calculator cannot have an opinion; it is taking in data created by other people.
Anyway, the second wave of conspiracy suggests that critics are showing a bias in favour of movies made by Marvel Studios and against the rival comic company, DC’s, big-screen outings through Warner Brothers Pictures. Whereas all of Marvel-produced movies have all received a positive majority on Rotten Tomatoes, the past two DC movies, which have been an attempt to create a shared cinematic universe like Marvel’s, have received a negative majority. This has led to many conspiring that critics have either just chosen to have a shared agenda of preferring Marvel over DC, or that Marvel is a corrupt organisation of whom, through the influence of their daddy Disney have managed to pay off an overwhelming number of critics to damage the efforts of DC and, I’ve got to say, these ideas do seem to have a degree of truly reaking bullshit to them.
The pay-off theory can be debunked right away: why would a company not only waste so much of their funds on paying off this majority of critics, of whom must be in their several hundreds or maybe thousands, but also risk at least one of these hundreds or maybe thousands blowing the whistle on such a major scandal? What a ridiculous suggestion that a company so successful, both critically and financially, would risk all of that to ensure another company gets mediocre reviews. On top of that, the problems with Batman V Superman and Suicide Squad were also felt by a lot of the audiences, myself and a lot of my friends included (I am yet to see Suicide Squad but I am going in open to enjoy it, in spite of the reception, but I’ll get onto why that’s important). Were the audiences paid-off too? Of course not, they were quietly manipulated by the critics who were paid-off, in spite of the fact that, when seeing BvS, none of the group I went with actually read the criticism of the film’s problems and yet still recognised them. It’s as far-fetched as The Pixar Theory
The argument that, if not that, then all of these critics have just united against DC, faces the same problem. There are too many critics to organise such an agenda. You have to face the facts, just because these two movies have had mixed reviews (MIXED, not every critic even gave it a negative review), doesn’t mean this agenda exists. Prior to this, lots of DC movie adaptions received overwhelmingly positive reviews. I’m hearing “It’s only since the MCU became a thing that they have,” well The Dark Knight Rises came out the same year as The Avengers and that didn’t see a largely negative response occur against it. In fact, the critics appeared to regard it more highly than some of the audience. “It’s only since DC tried to compete with the MCU that they have” The critics don’t care about how these movies connect; they are just reviewing these films on their own merits. In BvS and Suicide Squad’s case, they recognised some flaws. If you disagree, that’s fair enough. I may have, like the critics, thought there were problems with BvS but I still enjoyed the movie overall and I won’t let their opinions effect mine when I see Suicide Squad, which I’m looking forward to seeing!
Professional criticism and those who just go to enjoy the movies won’t always see eye-to-eye and that’s fine. It’s just a disagreement; not a malicious agenda… Anyway, that’s too many minutes of my life gone, thanks for reading.