Rotten Tomatoes is simply an aggregator. Although it is in the business of reporting movie news and interviewing celebrities about their movie projects, it technically has no critical opinions of its own. That doesn’t stop directors who have had to face the mathematical evidence that a majority of critics thought their movie sucked from railing against Rotten Tomatoes, though. The most recent to do so is luscious backside enthusiast Brett Ratner, who told an audience at the Sun Valley Film Festival that, while he respects Pauline Kael and all that intellectual shit, “The worst thing that we have in today’s movie culture is Rotten Tomatoes.”
Ratner is particularly bummed that that little green splat ruined the fun for Batman V. Superman: Dawn Of Justice, which was financed by his company RatPac Entertainment. “Now it’s about, ‘What’s your Rotten Tomatoes score?’,” he said. “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.”
He went on to say, ”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.” How Trumpian of him.
Had Ratner clicked through to any of the individual reviews compiled on Rotten Tomatoes, the effect would have been much the same, but whatever. A crowd of people telling you you suck is worse than one person telling you you suck, that’s fair. The ironic part is that while Ratner has received his fair share of abuse on Rotten Tomatoes in the past—his debut, Money Talks, scored a 16 percent on the site, and Rush Hour 3 18 percent—his last two feature directorial efforts, Hercules and Tower Heist, are both certified “fresh” on the site.