By Jeremy Say
The negative critical reaction to Suicide Squad has created quite a stir amongst DCEU fans, many of whom hoped that the supervillain blockbuster would turn the sour taste left by BvS into a candy-coated Pop Rock. Unfortunately, burned by all the negative reviews, fans have set up a petition to take down Rotten Tomatoes, which thousands of people flocked to like 18,000 moths to a flame. It seems to be everywhere as the media and every person with a Twitter account talked about the petition (yes, I jumped on the bandwagon and I’m trying to cash in, the irony).
Just to note that while the petition was said to not be serious and was only meant to raise awareness that people disagree with critics, I believe it falls on deaf ears. To quote from the main page of the petition by Abdullah Coldwater, “We need this site to be shut down because It’s Critics always give The DC Extended Universe movies unjust Bad Reviews”. Firstly, this is not how these sites work. They are nothing more than a site which aggregates reviews. They don’t write or employ critics, they collect and aggregate online reviews from certified members of writing guilds or film critic associations. Now if we talked about the system or the formula that Rotten Tomatoes uses for their fresh rating, then that is a whole different ball game.
Critics are paid for the most part to be polarizing. No one truthfully wants to see a mediocre review, they either want vitriol and disgust or praises and worship. This is how critics gain views in a vast sea that is the Internet. Not to mention many critics have specific things they favor and have their own personality, because they’re only human. They might in some cases not even be a fan of the movie they are watching. Such as not being a comic book fans for example, reviewing a comic movie adaptation. This shouldn’t detract as being “unjust” from the review just like a comic book fan could be considered biased.
Reviews are nothing more than opinions, which everyone is entitled to. We shouldn’t take them so seriously as the end all be all. At the end of the day you alone choose to go watch a movie or not. You choose who you want to listen to. Reviews, in a way, are meant for those people who are on the fence, who are unsure if they should watch it. I as an example watch Adam Sandler movies when others tell me not to. Because we all know they aren’t “High” class or award winning unless you count Razzies, but I love them anyways despite the negative reviews. It is my personal choice to go watch Adam Sandler, let the others be damned. While I would never want to watch Titanic again for the umpteeth time (that ship long has sunk and only watched it twice) or Love & Friendship regardless of the 99% fresh on Rotten tomatoes, it’s just not my bailiwick.
Lastly, for all the audience reviews, PLEASE I beg of you to stop rating 1/5 or 5/5. This doesn’t help the consumers at the end of the day. This is true not just for movies, but anything that can be reviewed. Die-hard haters will put a 1 for anything be it mild hate or great disdain. There is no differential to level of hate, it’s just to drop the overall score to what they believe it should be or to destroy reputations. Then, to defend the movie/restaurant/etc, the fans would counter with full stars to bring the scores up to what they believe it should be. The people in the middle who are on the fence, are boggled by who they should listen to, since there ever only seems to be two polarizing sides and nothing in between.
I believe there should be a class in schools for kids concerning technology, the Internet and public reviews. We live in a media rich informational age where responses are instant as is the emotional thinking required to process the information we are constantly bombarded by. While it is alright to be polarizing, if you truly believe in it please rate the thing in question in your own vacuum. Don’t try to fiddle with the overall statistics, put down what you truly think the score should be for only yourself. If all your ratings are 1’s and 5’s there is something wrong with your system. It is no longer a scale, but Boolean logic: yes or no, hate or like.
If people could truly rate things properly accordingly to only themselves, hopefully aggregate reviews would then reflect the population’s views and not the butthurt one sided arguments, my way or the highway, style of fandom versus critics environment that the Internet has become (looking at you Reddit). Until then I’m taking any review with not a pinch, but a massive salt shaker and only trust people with similar tastes in things as myself.
Till next week, enjoy the movies and steer clear of the reviews for now if you want to watch Suicide Squad. That includes our own, which I will shameless plug for you to read AFTER you watch it, unless you’re one of THOSE people. Here is the link to the review: http://thelevel.my/en/category/entertainment/2016/08/05/movie-review-suicide-squad-vs-every-critic/