As we all know, Cosplay has taken off in monumental and explosive ways these past few years. Rey and Deadpool were EVERYWHERE, owing much to the fact that those characters looked super-cool and were featured in blockbuster movies loved by fans and critics alike (The Force Awakens broke all sorts of records, whereas Deadpool became a cultural phenomenon). But sometimes, the movies suck but the cosplay still soars! That’s never been as evident as it was this year when some of the biggest marquee films got splattered by Rotten Tomato reviews, but they produced some of the best and most influential cosplay of the year…. Take a look at this week’s THE CON GUY show to see which cosplays we picked as “The Best Cosplays from the Worst Films.” And tell us which ones we missed.
Okay, let’s be honest: When it comes to bad films but great cosplay, one film stood head-and-shoulders above the rest in this category. Although it did have its fans (I thought it was okay…not great, but not terrible), most of the reviews and word-of-mouth disagreed with me. Which film? SUICIDE SQUAD, of course, the super-villain team-up that was supposed to save Warner Bros from the lackluster Batman V Superman debacle (sadly, we’ll get to that one in a second). The critical response to Suicide Squad was nothing short of dismal.
Rotten Tomatoes gave it a score of 26, due to reviews like these:
The New Yorker: “To say that the movie loses the plot would not be strictly accurate, for that would imply that there was a plot to lose.”
The Mary Sue: “Suicide Squad is … disorganized, colorful trash slathered in embossed fonts and spray paint … missed opportunities, whiffed almost-jokes, and half-baked ideas.”
The Atlantic: “It would be easy to keep enumerating the almost countless flaws of Suicide Squad: the senseless, lackadaisical killing; the desperate, maudlin attempts at emotional connection; the risibly silly climax, which rather resembles the ending of either Ghostbusters except that it’s played straight; the cliché-ridden soundtrack (“Fortunate Son,” “Sympathy for the Devil,” “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap,” “Bohemian Rhapsody,” and on and on). But if I have not yet convinced you of the movie’s astonishingly slipshod quality, I’m unlikely ever to do so.”
You get the picture. But even with a mountain of bad press, the film still managed to earn a pretty tidy sum at the box-office, raking in $325 million domestically, and over $745 million worldwide. That’s nothing to sneeze at.
Regardless, Suicide Squad’s characters rose above all the chatter to inspire some of the best and most-abundant cosplays of the year, including perhaps the one cosplay that we saw more than any other, HARLEY QUINN, the emotionally disturbed and mentally unbalanced love interest of Joker. She was EVERYWHERE, Queen of the Cons, swinging her bat or smashing with her oversized hammer. Fans and cosplayers just couldn’t get enough of Harley.
JARED LETO’S JOKER
A movie as big (and as divisive) at Suicide Squad produced not just one, but two of the year’s biggest cosplays. We couldn’t let poor Harley run around by herself, could we? Nope. Jared Leto’s Joker was there too, haunting her every step. The Joker cosplayers were very cool — cooler, in my opinion, than their onscreen namesake. Following in the steps of the iconic Heath Ledger Joker is no easy task, and Leto really was in a no-win situation. But even though his Joker was hampered by the Ledger comparisons, it stood out in the visual pizazz department. His tattoos, his Vegas-style costume, his rapper-worthy braces–he had it all going on.
BATMAN v SUPERMAN
Okay, Warner Bros, what’s up? We really, really, really wanted to love BvS. We loved how you stoked our fandom at the two previous Comic-Cons, causing a roar of excitement that shook the very foundations of Hall-H. So, what happened? Here’s what happened.
Rotten Tomatoes gave it a score of 27. Here are some excepts:
The Atlantic: “Batman v Superman is a tiresome, ill-tempered film, and one too lazy even to earn its dismal outlook.”
National Public Radio: “A ponderous, smothering, over-pixelated zeppelin crash of a movie scored by a choir that sounds like it’s being drowned in lava.”
Its domestic box-office landed at $330 million; and worldwide it took in $873 million. Hardly a lack of fan support.
The mechanical suit from Batman v Superman was amazing. Onscreen–and every time we saw it at the cons. Just amazing. Too bad it didn’t have Christian Bale inside it! But hey, Affleck did an okay job….as good as possible with a boring script.
Gal Gadot was—hands down—the best part of BvS. Her Wonder Woman actually made me want to keep watching—and I absolutely cannot wait for next year’s Wonder Woman movie. Too bad she got weighed down by a ponderous, unremarkable film.
Um, we’re carefully and reluctantly stepping into this pile of stinky controversy. What controversy? Early on, an online tidal wave of negativity nearly drowned director Paul Feig’s female reboot of the classic Ghostbusters, and nearly all of the complaints seemed to center on the gender of the main characters. Fans of the original decried the “feminist reimagining” of the film. Of course, not everyone objected to the girls; many (like us) just thought the trailer looked boring. And we really love these actresses. But c’mon, make a good trailer.
Ghostbusters earned an impressive 72 on Rotten Tomatoes but only managed an ok $128 million domestic box-office and $229 million worldwide. Compare that to the 1984 original’s take of $229 million domestic and $295 million worldwide (international box-office wasn’t as potent back then). That said, Ladies with Proton Packs made quite a showing this summer. We hesitate to call Ghostbusters a bad movie, but we can agree that it produced some great cosplay.
The movie was–quite simply–TERRIBLE. We’re not surprised by its 23 on Rotten Tomatoes, nor are we surprised by its paltry $28 million domestic box-office and $55 million worldwide. But what we are pleasantly surprised by are the Cons that featured those male model goofballs. GREAT cosplays (good job to the guys at Nerds Like Us for pulling off the best Zoolander 2 cosplay we saw all year).
GALLERY OF GREAT COSPLAY FROM “QUESTIONABLE” FILMS
The list goes on. And on. And on. Bad movies are coming at us fast and furious these days, some with crappy cosplay, but some are pretty downright awesome. Tell us which ones you saw.
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