Negative Dark Knight Rises Review Enrages Fanboys, Prompts Rotten Tomatoes To Debate Changing Comment System

    July 18, 2012
    Josh Wolford

On Monday, Hollywood & Fine critic Marshall Fine posted the first negative review of The Dark Knight Rises on Rotten Tomatoes. His grade of “rotten” broke the 100% certified fresh grade that many film lovers wish to see, but rarely ever get.

Oh, poor Marshall Fine. Although he no doubt knew the wrath he would receive at the hands of fanboys, I’m not sure that he actually realized that some unhappy Batman fans would take up the “It’s simple, we kill the honest critic” plan.

Within hours, his review had received hundreds of comments on Rotten Tomatoes. And some of them went a bit over the line. Ok, a lot over the line – as some included death threats.

Here are some snippets from his review that so upset the Nolan army:

There is very little about “The Dark Knight Rises” that will make you tense, hold you in suspense or cause your adrenaline to squirt. At times, the action is so massive and thunderously clunky that I might as well have been watching one of the “Transformers” movies.

Part of the problem is the storytelling in the script by Nolan, his brother Jonathan and David Goyer. As in “The Dark Knight,” that urge to operate on a grand scale results only in a grandiosity that, ultimately, becomes a bit silly, even nonsensical.

There’s already Internet and even wire-service chatter about “The Dark Knight Rises” as the first comic-book movie to be a true Oscar contender. This comes in the wake of the ridiculous outcry when “The Dark Knight” was snubbed for the major awards (with the exception of Ledger) in 2008.

Premature? Hell, I’d say that anyone forecasting serious Oscar love for this lumpish, tedious film has been smoking too much of that potent, prescription California weed. “The Dark Knight Rises” rarely gets off the ground. It’s certainly not Oscar material.

Not exactly a glowing review, to say the least. The flood of questionable comments prompted a letter from Rotten Tomatoes’ editor in Chief Matt Atchity titled “The Dark Knight Rises – This is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things.”

“If a critic often goes against the majority, but has well-reasoned arguments, it’s unlikely we’re going to ban them, at least not just for having a different opinion. We’re not looking for groupthink here,” he said. “We’ll ban you for threats and hate speech — we’re trying to have fun here, so don’t be a dick. And don’t try and argue about your right to free speech — this is a business, and we have the right to refuse service to anyone we feel like.”

Atchity also said that due to this latest outburst, Rotten Tomatoes may be moving to Facebook-connected commenting system, which will force commenters to log in and therefore lose any sense of anonymity.

Fine’s “rottten” review was the first, but as of now not the only negative review for the film. Critics like Michael Phillips of the Chicago Tribune have weighed in with their not-so-flattering words about the film. His review has had comments disabled.


Josh Wolford
Josh Wolford is a writer for WebProNews. He likes beer, Japanese food, and movies that make him feel weird afterward. Mostly beer. Follow him on Twitter: @joshgwolf Instagram: @joshgwolf Google+: Joshua Wolford StumbleUpon: joshgwolf