I’ll be blatant. “Suicide Squad” was the worst film I’ve seen this year. From start to finish, the movie was dreck, and anyone who liked it has no taste in film… No, of course not really, but often fans react as if they’ve been personally attacked like this when critics give negative reviews to movies they enjoyed.
Take, for instance, the contention around the two most recent DC Extended Universe films: “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” and “Suicide Squad.” The former received a whopping 27% on the popular review site Rotten Tomatoes, while the latter scored a 26%. Backlash amongst fans was monumental. In early August, after the release of “Suicide Squad,” a petition was started on www.change.org to shut down Rotten Tomatoes entirely. Yes, because one film receiving negative reviews warrants shutting down an entire website.
Personally, I didn’t hate “Suicide Squad” (sorry for the click-bait style opening paragraph), but I find this radical response offensive as one who enjoys analyzing films.
Anger towards Rotten Tomatoes is undeserved and may stem from the fact that many don’t understand how the website works. “Suicide Squad” receiving a 26% does not mean that the quality of the film is equivalent to 26 out of 100. It simply means that only 26% of critics gave the film three or more stars. A movie could be given only three stars by each critic (indicating that it is about average) and receive a 100% certified rating. The rating is not a representation of the film itself, but a demonstration of how many critics enjoyed the film.
So what am I getting at? Online critics and reviews DO NOT MATTER. I constantly disagree with sites like Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic, but I don’t feel compelled to petition for them to be shut down. I take reviews with a grain of salt, see the film, and formulate my own opinion. Often social media and the instant gratification of online reviews damage the movie-going experience anyway.
Acclaimed films such as “2001: A Space Odyssey,” “Titanic,” “Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back,” and “Alien” initially opened to negative reviews, but with time, critics began to appreciate the films more deeply, and they became known as classics.
With online reviews uploaded instantaneously, movie scores stick now. In 20 years, no one will be taking a second look at the potentially misunderstood masterpieces and hidden gems of today if all they see is a 26% Rotten Tomato score.
Moral of the story: like what you like and don’t worry about what other people think; it’s a philosophy that is applicable to anything! Whether it be movies, books, TV or food, it doesn’t matter.
Love “Suicide Squad?” Great. Hate “Suicide Squad?” Great. To quote The Dude from “The Big Lebowski,” another classic that opened to negative reviews, “Yeah? Well, that’s just, like, your opinion, man.”