Recently, I committed a sin. Not just any sin, but one that will send me to the circle of Hell so awful Dante couldn’t even write about it. What did I do that was so bad? I defended critics.
Recently, the new Rambo film turned out to only have a 31% on Rotten Tomatoes from critics compared to an 84% from general audience. This proves that critics are bullying this film by only 31% of them liking it — it seems no one knows how Rotten Tomatoes got those percentages.
While we’re at it, here are some other films that critics were just unfair to because of them being out of touch:
- Jaws: The Revenge
- Mac And Me
- Highlander 2
- Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever
- Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2
- Bucky Larson: Born To Be A Star
- A Thousand Words
- The Ridiculous 6
How dare critics hate these classics.
Anyway, this led to me being informed that critics are simply “out of touch,” once again. There’s this implication that it didn’t use to be like this, which I can confirm. Take this 1939 review of The Wizard Of Oz from The New Yorker.
Displays no trace of imagination, good tastes, or integrity. I say it’s a stinkeroo.
Wait, never mind. They always had different tastes.
What I find funny is that many of these people still consider the best critics ever to be Roger Ebert. You mean the Roger Ebert who like The Phantom Menace, The Cell, The Golden Compass, and Minority Report (even calling it one of the best films of 2002) while hating ET, The Waterboy (which, while not great, he called one of his “most hated,” movies), Tommy Boy (which hits me personally because that’s one of my favorite comedies), and Friday the 13th?
This is not me hating on Roger Ebert, he was a very smart man who just didn’t have the same opinions as most people every now and then. However, here’s something to think about: His favorite movie was Citizen Kane, does that strike you as a man who would like Suicide Squad or Rambo?
What I find funny is that most people who show me articles from critics being “out of touch,” tend to come from The New Yorker. When has The New Yorker ever been in touch? They’re up there with Forbes and The Wall Street Journal as America’s top rich people publication. Plus, no one who works there has an anus.
While this debate has gone on forever, the most recent example of people talking about “out of touch,” got big a couple of years ago with Suicide Squad. This peaked with a change.org petition for “the audience,” called “Don’t listen to film criticism.”
It read the following:
There’s A Disconnect Between Critics And Audiences
You may enjoy a movie regardless what the critics say about it
we must get the people to know that the criticism not the measure of the quality of movies, it’s just the opinions of the critics
sign the petition
Don’t these arguments sound familiar?
One thing I should note is that many of the people angry at critics seem to be the makers of garbage films. Kirk Cameron was quite angry at Rotten Tomatoes for not giving Saving Christmas negative reviews.
Here’s a question: Why do professionals disagree with the general audience? The answer is in the question, it’s because one group is professionals and the other is not. This means critics are more likely to notice cliches than the general audience, or are more likely to enjoy art based films.
If you don’t like critics, that’s fine. However, it should be noted there’s no film everyone but critics like. It’s possible that sometimes people just have unpopular opinions, and that doesn’t magically change just because they write for a newspaper.