Credit: David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images for Warner Bros.

In Suicide Squad, a group of villains band together to save the world, but now the actors who brought the DC Comics characters to the big screen are facing a challenge of their own: negative reviews.

David Ayer’s new superhero film opens Friday, and so far, the critical response has been mixed at best, with Rotten Tomatoes reporting a 30 percent positive rating. The bad buzz hasn’t gone unnoticed by the director and the stars of the film, who seem to be pinning their hopes on fans having a different opinion.

“The critics have been absolutely horrific; they’re really, really horrible,” Cara Delevingne, who plays Enchantress, told Reuters. “You know, I just don’t think they like superhero movies.” She added that “the movie isn’t perfect,” but it’s for the fans.

Will Smith, who stars as Deadshot, seemed less worried, telling Reuters, “I think people had expectations that may have been different, but I’m excited for the fans to get to vote.”

And Joel Kinnaman echoed the sentiment. “You know, of course you want critical acclaim, of course, but what matters is what the fans think,” he told Digital Spy. “We’re really proud of this film, we loved making it, everybody on the film has become really close friends, and this is like a work of love, and I hope the fans like it.”

But costar Jay Hernandez, who plays as El Diablo, was less diplomatic. “Yeah I am bothered about it; I think it sucks. Obviously we worked hard and tried to give the fans what they wanted,” he told Digital Spy. “It’s weird that some of the criticism I heard was that it was ‘too much like a comic book,’ in terms of you have these characters being objectified like Harley Quinn. There are just certain elements that are just part of being a comic book.”

Hernandez also added, “If you’re trying to portray that on a film, you have to stay true to that, because if you don’t, the fans of the comics are going to be offended.”

Ayer was the first to weigh in on the reviews of the film, which he wrote and directed. On Tuesday, he quoted the Mexican revolutionary Emiliano Zapata, by tweeting, “Prefiero morir de pie que vivir de rodillas,” which roughly translates to “I’d rather die on my feet than live on my knees.” He followed up later by saying the quote was his “way of saying I love the movie and believe in it. Made it for the fans. Best experience of my life.”

Suicide Squad is projected to make more than $115 million at the box office this weekend.

Suicide Squad
  • Movie
  • 130 minutes