Weekender

DC’s squad of bad guys go up against even worse reviews

For once in his life, The Joker is not amused.

A petition started at change.org is calling for popular online film aggregator Rotten Tomatoes to shut down in the wake of a parade of unenthusiastic reviews for “Suicide Squad,” the Warner Bros. adaptation of the popular comic series spotlighting the rogues of the DC Universe.

“The aim of the petition is to deliver a message to the critics that there (are) a lot of people (who) disagree with their reviews,” Abdullah Coldwater, the petition’s originator, posted.

Oh, OK.

It’s as good a mission statement as any, I suppose, in so far as the equivalent of filling out a comment card at a hotel can be considered a mission statement.

As of this writing, “a lot of people” translates to 12,106 signatures, the disenfranchised folks who believe that film critics just don’t understand the average audience or what they are looking for in a movie.

And that’s a perfectly legitimate stance — but this isn’t that, not really.

Just to set the table for a moment — “Suicide Squad” is the third entry into what Warner Bros. intends to be an ongoing cinematic universe to rival the likes of Marvel.

So far, it’s been a bit of a bumpy ride. “Man of Steel” was released to a lukewarm reception in 2013. “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” came in for a very bumpy landing last March.

And now “Suicide Squad” is following in the family tradition.

If you consider the people who have an investment in this universe — and I’m talking about the fans, not the studio — then you can almost see your way clear to understanding why 12,106 card carrying Internet users would consider this petition to be a productive use of time.

This is blind loyalty at both its best and worst, an ignoble response to a noble impulse that in this case most definitely would have been better served by buying a ticket and a small popcorn.

These things are not released into a vacuum, after all, and whether Rotten Tomatoes is around to take dictation or not, the conversation will continue — and that’s good.

Art should spark a dialogue, which by definition requires more than one voice.

Frank Ready: 814-231-4620, @fjready

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