They may not have seen the film yet, but they were tired of critics slating their beloved universe after not-so-nice reviews for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice earlier this year. On the aggregate site Rotten Tomatoes, both Batman v Superman and Suicide Squad share a weak 27% favourability rating among critics. So one fan went so far as to set up a petition to shut Rotten Tomatoes down because of the "unjust bad reviews". From Egypt, Abdullah Coldwater says the aim of his petition is to "deliver a message to the critics that there is a lot of people who disagree with their reviews", even though none of the fans had seen the movie yet. Neither had most critics.

Suicide Squad Poster

Suicide Squad's writer-director David Ayer responded to the kerfuffle by quoting the Mexican revolutionary Emiliano Zapata on Twitter: "I'd rather die on my feet than live on my knees." In a follow-up tweet, Ayer went on to explain: "Zapata quote is my way of saying I love the movie and believe in it. Made it for the fans. Best experience of my life."

That said, the early reviews from critics who have seen the movie were overwhelmingly negative, pointing out the thin characters and choppy story. The Hollywood Reporter called the film "a puzzlingly confused undertaking". The Guardian noted the movie's "preposterous, operatic silliness". Vanity Fair said that it was "ugly and boring". By contrast Empire gave the film four stars, saying that Ayer directs the film with "gritty-flashy aplomb".

Even before the film's release, experts were trying to figure out what happened. There are rumours of a rushed script, a too-tight production schedule, meddling from studio. executives and frantic reshoots. Meanwhile, the marketing machine has turned the film into one of the summer's must-see events, guaranteeing a massive opening-weekend box office. The larger question is whether it can help build momentum for the continuing adventures of the Justice League. And whatever happens, the entire film industry will take a very deep breath before green lighting the next $200 million tentpole blockbuster.

Of course, critics don't determine whether a film is a hit or not. Batman v Superman went on to earn nearly $900 million at the box office, and is currently a best-seller on DVD. Fans always have the final say.

Watch the trailer for Suicide Squad: