What fans really think of Jared Leto's Joker

Critics have overwhelmingly rejected just about everything in Suicide Squad, but audiences drowned out those negative reviews by showing up en masse anyway, proving once again that franchise tentpoles do not necessarily live and die by their critical reception. That doesn't mean, however, that moviegoers loved everything they saw. As Jared Leto puts in his bid to appear in Ben Affleck's standalone Batman flick, let's take a look at what fans thought of his performance as the Caped Crusader's maniacal nemesis. 

First, the bad news

The history of Leto's ascension to the clown-faced throne was storied (and kinda gross). The Oscar-winner is a well-known Method actor, so when it came to prepping for the role, he isolated himself from the rest of the cast and surfaced only to send his co-stars bizarre gifts—when it comes to rats, bullets, and dead hogs, he's apparently very generous. His behind-the-scenes behavior generated a lot of hype around his seemingly zany performance, making it a point of major curiosity—especially since Leto is known to be very selective about his acting gigs.

However, a lot of people were pretty underwhelmed by his performance, and one consistent complaint has been that Leto's portrayal was too over the top. The Joker is classically a wild card, but after Jack Nicholson's work in the role in Tim Burton's 1989 Batman, and the measured and quietly sinister take on the character that Heath Ledger offered in The Dark Knight, Leto's work was almost exasperating for those that didn't favor it.

But there was also the matter of his slim screen time

Another common complaint, even from those who didn't love Leto's part in the movie, is that he didn't get enough face time in the flick. Leto has said that many of his scenes were left on the editing room floor, which is very apparent based on the fact that he has very little screen time, despite being such a central part of the film's promotional campaign. Some felt they saw more of him in his music video appearance than the movie itself, which was a disappointment (although not exactly his fault).

Now for the good news

Not everyone disliked what Leto did with the Joker. A good number of fans really enjoyed his unique energy in the role and were glad to see a more crazed take on the character. A common thread among those who liked what Leto did is that he introduced an element of eroticism into the role, which was a good thing, considering the early development of his romantic relationship with Harley Quinn. For some filmgoers, Leto remains a handsome man, and no amount of foil tooth trimmings or veiny makeup design can take that away.

Plus, he was pretty creepy

Another notch in the plus column for Leto as Joker is the fact that he was, at times, pretty chilling to watch. Considering he wasn't given the plot job of main villain (Cara Delevingne's Enchantress was instead the movie's big bad du jour), some found that he did a solid enough job of freaking everyone out and made good use of his disappointingly limited screen time.

Overall, it's a mixed bag

Leto hasn't yet reached icon status as the Joker in Suicide Squad thanks to his brief screen time and the mixed fan reactions to his work in the role, but it wasn't exactly a total wash, either. Given a little more time and material, Leto could still go down as one of fans' favorite Jokers in cinematic history, but this movie didn't do that for him…so maybe a turn as the resident supervillain in Affleck's standalone feature is in order after all.