By widespread consensus from the critical and fanboy community alike, Zack Snyder’s Batman v Superman did not knock anyone’s socks off in Gotham, Metropolis, or even more geographically precise cities. Entertainment Weekly delightfully called it “another numbing smash-and-bash orgy of CGI mayhem,” while Inverse’s own superhero aficionado Eric Francisco said, “Even as a longtime DC fan, I didn’t enjoy Dawn of Justice. I should never have to look at my watch in a movie where The Flash time-travels to warn Bruce Wayne about Darkseid or, you know, where Superman fights Batman.”
The big question is, where does that leave DC’s next big smash-and-bash orgy, Suicide Squad? If it only needs to make more sense than Batman v Superman — a movie that needs an FAQ just to begin parsing it out — has the bar been lowered for Suicide Squad’s quality?
In some regards, yes. Suicide Squad has a sprawling cast of characters: The Joker, Harley Quinn, Deadshot, The Enchantress, Rick Flagg, Captain Boomerang, Katana, El Diablo, Killer Croc. And if non comic fans can’t keep track of who’s who, it won’t make much sense.
But aside from having too many nonsensical dream sequences, Batman v Superman’s most pervasive critique is unsurprising to anyone familiar with the Snyderian motto. Style over substance and certainly, under no circumstances, should there be any laughs.
In that regard, Suicide Squad director David Ayer has a leg up. The Fast and The Furious is arguably style over substance, but it also contains a surprising amount of heart. Some of that is thanks to its surprisingly heartfelt and sincere lead, Vin Diesel. But Ayer’s other well-known film, Fury, exemplifies the same spirit: It won’t win any awards; it’s not even particularly memorable, but neither does it insult its own audience or characters (looking at you, Sucker Punch).
So the bar has indeed been lowered in the sense that DC fans can breathe a sigh of relief so long as Suicide Squad is coherent and funny. But unless the film seriously pivots from its trailer, jam-packed with sensible exposition and a healthy sense of fun, it’s doubtful Batman v Superman will have much sway on Task Force X.