We live in the time of clickbait, seriously. So many sites, blogs and pages to read and watch all across the internet and they're all being run by people who are fighting for our attention at every turn, and just like with that old news adage "if it bleeds, it leads," controversy and argument is what gets the clicks and the web traffic these days, no question.
That reality alone should give anyone pause when they see things like this posted on the internet:
That headline was prompted by about twelve hours of what might have been absolute chaos on social media following the end of the review embargo for the DC Extended Universe's latest film, Suicide Squad, which opens nationwide in theaters this Friday. After critics absolutely skewered Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice back in March, proclaiming the film a disaster despite an $872.2 million global box office haul, a lot of DC fans were more than worried about how those same critics would react to Suicide Squad, hoping not to have another repeat of the same critical drubbing that BvS got.
So much for that idea:
Those were some of the nicer ones. Wow. I mean, really? For the second time in one year and third time overall in three years, the DCEU is absolutely decimated by critics days before the next movie is even set to be released. There's nothing nice about these reviews either, they hold nothing back in regards to insults and flat out disrespect for the tone, editing and writing of the movie. It almost feels like they were kinder to BvS in comparison.
Needless to say, DC fans didn't take it very well at all. Many of them have already seen the film at early showings and had been singing its praises for the last few days until the latest nuclear gut punch from the people that seem to flat out hate everything DC does on the big screen anymore.
Of course, these bad reviews came from the aggregator site Rotten Tomatoes, which once again used it's lethargic pass/fail system to give Suicide Squad this painfully unsurprising score:
It's rated lower than Sharknado. Seriously, that movie is "Certified Fresh" at 73%. This one isn't even out yet and it might barely beat out BvS's egregious 27% score when it's all said and done.
So the DC fans, angry, hurt, frustrated and surely being laughed at and taunted by Marvel fanboys, appeared to lash out publicly in a show of......force:
I was sent this link directly when it first appeared. I didn't sign it and I'm not going to, because I know nothing is going to happen to Rotten Tomatoes. I've blasted that site in the past for it's garbage mechanic of appraising movie reviews and I even found a few for Suicide Squad that were considered mixed reviews on their own, but counted rotten on the site, so it's still a very bad method of gauging critical attention for a movie. That being said, as many of the laughing trolls on Twitter and Facebook have pointed out, the site is owned by Warner Bros. and also isn't directly responsible for the scathing reviews it collects, it's just responsible for the lying Tomatometer score it assigns a movie.
The thing is, as much as critics, bloggers, Marvel fans and the general public might be laughing and ridiculing these frustrated fans, you can't help but see their point......unless you don't want to. I mean, say you're a DC fan and you've been excited for your own shared universe on the big screen since Day 1 and you actually like or love all three of the movies in it, assuming you have seen Suicide Squad already. Then you go to Rotten Tomatoes and you find this:
Meanwhile, your friends that can't stop talking about how brilliant Captain America: Civil War was, get to look at this on the same site:
Not one rotten score in eight years. Not even Iron Man 2, or Iron Man 3 or either of the Thor movies. Come on, even if you drink the Disney/Marvel Kool-Aid by the gallon, you've got to see how this LOOKS biased, even if it isn't, especially since most of the scathing critics seem to always find a way to call Marvel the superior franchise. A lot of people don't though, and are content to tell DC fans that their franchise simply sucks and is trying too hard to "catch-up" to Marvel, whatever that means, and that they should just give up and let Marvel take the crown of Greatest Shared Comic Book Movie Universe of All-Time."
That's simply not going to happen, folks. Here's the biggest reason why:
Yep. Despite the critics hating every second of the DCEU and dooming it into rotten purgatory, the franchise has still made a billion and a half dollars at the box office, and with pre-sales for Suicide Squad setting an August record, there's a great chance the DCEU reaches $2 billion in box office sales in just its first three movies.
That is exactly why any reports or assumptions of the DCEU's demise are nothing more than exaggerated and in some cases hopeful clickbait fodder. Similar to Transformers or Resident Evil, if the franchise keeps making money then they will continue to make movies. It's really that simple.
So what about the critics, then? After taking apart the first three of the DCEU movies, will they ever actually like a DCEU film? No, I don't think they will at this point. Maybe Wonder Woman, but I'm sure they'll find something wrong with that one too, and they'll flat out loathe Justice League, there's no question about that.
What? You can't give me a reason to believe that the critics will ever positively rate a DCEU movie. It might happen, but once you trash three in a row, we pretty much know how this goes now. No one will be surprised if Wonder Woman is destroyed by critics next year, for whatever reason they find for it. The cat is out of the proverbial bag now.
Honestly, the only reason any DC fan cares about these critics is because of their ability to affect the box office of a movie. I've admitted that if WB had not messed with Zack Snyder's original cut of BvS and released it as the only version, the movie would have made a billion dollars because the critics wouldn't have slammed it as hard. The thing is, that's still on the critics to decide how much they want to slam it or not, and that action will affect thousands into millions of people who decide if they are going to see a movie or not, and box office sales determine if more movies get made.
So if Suicide Squad, which has already set an August presell record and will have absolutely no other comic book movie or major blockbuster movie competition for almost all of its theatrical run, makes money and pushes the DCEU over the $2 billion mark in box office sales, then none of those critics' snarky words mean anything, because the people will have spoken with their dollars and the show will go on.
Here's hoping that's what happens. It's better for all of us.