Ratner’s in no rush to check out film scores on Rotten Tomatoes.
[dropcap size=small]T[/dropcap]he Sun Valley Film Festival took place this month, and one attendee had a lot to say about both his future projects and the American aggregator film and TV website, Rotten Tomatoes.
Director and producer Brett Ratner – who’s produced several big titles including The Revenant and Horrible Bosses, as well as directing the Rush Hour trilogy – first revealed (via EW) that Rush Hour 4 is still on the table:
“I think it will happen; we’re talking to writers…We could call it Grumpy Old Rush Hour.”
The first Rush Hour movie hit the big screens back in 1998. Starring Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker as two officers of the law from different parts of the world, the action-packed comedy was a big hit thanks to the comedic pairing of the two actors. Since then, audiences were treated to two more rounds with Rush Hour 2 in 2001, and Rush Hour 3 in 2007.
Ratner then got on to the topic of the “destructive nature” of movie review sites and how they’re affecting the film industry overall. The director and producer targeted Rotten Tomatoes in particular, and expressed his belief that it’s the “worst thing” about “today’s movie culture”:
“The worst thing that we have in today’s movie culture is Rotten Tomatoes…I think it’s the destruction of our business. I have such respect and admiration for film criticism. When I was growing up film criticism was a real art. And there was intellect that went into that. And you would read Pauline’s Kael’s reviews, or some others, and that doesn’t exist anymore. Now it’s about a number. A compounded number of how many positives vs. negatives. Now it’s about, ‘What’s your Rotten Tomatoes score?’ And that’s sad, because the Rotten Tomatoes score was so low on Batman v Superman I think it put a cloud over a movie that was incredibly successful.”
It’s not so surprising that Ratner would bring up Zack Snyder’s Batman v Superman when it comes to this topic. Even if all the brilliant sad Batfleck memes were something we could all enjoy, the very low score of the movie did put a lot of people off investing in a cinema ticket.
Ratner argues that the harm comes into play because the film is just reduced down to a – sometimes inaccurate – number or percentage, which takes something away from legitimate movie reviews. Potential cinema-goers are then put off the movie completely as a result without giving it a second thought:
“People don’t realize what goes into making a movie like that…“It’s mind-blowing. It’s just insane, it’s hurting the business, it’s getting people to not see a movie. In Middle America it’s, ‘Oh, it’s a low Rotten Tomatoes score so I’m not going to go see it because it must suck.’ But that number is an aggregate and one that nobody can figure out exactly what it means, and it’s not always correct. I’ve seen some great movies with really abysmal Rotten Tomatoes scores. What’s sad is film criticism has disappeared. It’s really sad.”
In some cases, salty folks can band together to bring down a film’s rating if they’re unhappy about what it’s doing to a particular franchise (for example), but by and large, a poor film will still result in poor reviews.
It might not always be the fairest scoring system, but if people want to put their trust in those scores they can; it all boils down to individual choice.
Rotten Tomatoes vice president Jeff Voris replied on behalf of the site (via EW) with the statement that they believe RT is just a “starting point”, and they agree that “film criticism is valuable and important”:
“At Rotten Tomatoes, we completely agree that film criticism is valuable and important, and we’re making it easier than it has ever been for fans to access potentially hundreds of professional reviews for a given film or TV show in one place…“The Tomatometer score, which is the percentage of positive reviews published by professional critics, has become a useful decision-making tool for fans, but we believe it’s just a starting point for them to begin discussing, debating and sharing their own opinions.”
It’s certainly an interesting topic for debate, with no cut and dry answer.
What do you think about sites like Rotten Tomatoes and their effect on the film industry? Leave your thoughts with us in the comments below!
Be sure to check back with us for more on Rush Hour 4 as news develops!