So I was internet famous for about twelve hours on Friday, when my mildly appreciative review of Getaway turned out to be the only thing keeping Courtney Solomon’s high-concept car-chase thriller from achieving a perfect “0% fresh” score on Rotten Tomatoes.
This is not a big deal. Except that it is, I guess, to those who really like rooting for meaningless things like total critical consensus — and who become irrationally angry at the notion of a conflicting opinion. So pissy comments were posted on my review, and on the FilmDrunk piece that managed to quote my entire review while still getting my name wrong, and I even got this delightful e-mail from an anonymous correspondent:
So you’re going to be the one asshole that gives “The Getaway” a positive review? I guess everybody else is wrong. If your opinion is so far from the norm, why are you even a film critic? we could just ask any schlub off the street what they think.
The best part? This all happened on Friday afternoon, before any of these commenters could have seen the film. The reaction has nothing to do with the actual qualities of Getaway; it wasn’t even about my opinion challenging their opinion. They just wanted to see that 100% rotten score go on the board. I assume the exact same thing would have happened had I written the one negative review of a picture everyone else liked.
I’ve never been a fan of sites like Rotten Tomatoes, which reduce complex and subjective opinions to a pull-quote and a binary rating; a movie is fresh or rotten, you love it or you hate it. Josh Dickey understood the essential problem in his Reuters piece … and yes, it’s ridiculous that this kerfuffle made it to Reuters in the first place.
Anyway, the storm passed quickly enough, once Lawrence Toppman’s similarly hey-it’s-not-bad review went up on the Charlotte Observer and I was no longer Getaway‘s sole defender. And the controversy, such as it was, did not drive audiences to the megaplex to see what all the fuss was about; Getaway opened in ninth place for the weekend, earning just $4.49 million while the One Direction concert movie, This is Us, took the top spot with $15.8 million.
So none of this really mattered. But then, of course it didn’t. It’s the internet.