The first film critic to give The Dark Knight Rises a negative review has received death threats from enraged fans of the superhero movie.
Earlier this week (July 16), US reviewer Marshall Fine declared the final instalment in Christopher Nolan‘s Batman trilogy “lumpish and tedious” and poured scorn on its Oscar chances. In doing so, he blemished the film’s perfect 100% approval rating on review aggregating website Rotten Tomatoes.
Fine’s write-up prompted a torrent of personal abuse from incensed fans of the Batman films. One user told Fine to “die in a fire”, while another expressed an intention to beat the critic “with a thick rubber hose into a coma.” Another simply wrote: “RIP Marshall Fine.”
The response was so overwhelming that Rotten Tomatoes was forced to suspend user comments on a review for the first time in its 13-year history. Matt Atchity, the site’s editor in chief, explained: “The job of policing the comments became more than my staff could handle for that film, so we stopped the comments altogether. It just got to be too much hate based on reactions to reviews of movies that people hadn’t even seen.”
In an interview with Indiewire, Fine likened the vitriolic response to a “tsunami”, but remained relatively calm, saying: “I guess to me it crosses a line if someone shows up on my front step. Otherwise everyone’s entitled to their opinion.”
Early critical response to The Dark Knight Rises has been overwhelmingly positive, with Empire declaring it “superhero filmmaking on an unprecedented scale”, and the movie still has an 87% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. It opens in the US and the UK tomorrow (July 20).