Critic Faces Death Threats over Bad Dark Knight Rises Review

Hell hath no fury like a Batman fanboy scorned.

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Ron Phillips / Warner Brothers

Christian Bale as Bruce Wayne in The Dark Knight Rises.

Marshall Fine, a syndicated film critic and host of the blog Hollywood and Fine, published the first negative review of The Dark Knight Rises on Rotten Tomatoes, breaking the film’s 100 percent streak on the site’s “Tomatometer.” Batman fans reacted by threatening to kill him.

“At times, the action is so massive and thunderously clunky that I might as well have been watching one of the Transformer movies,” Fine wrote. He goes on to state definitively in the review, “The third Batman film in Nolan’s trilogy is also the weakest.” Fine’s review had garnered about 861 comments by 3:30 PM on Tuesday, the most of any reviews on The Dark Knight Rises Rotten Tomatoes review page so far.

(MORE: Is Hollywood Going to Kill Batman Next Week?)

Death threats ranged from the witty to the blunt, according to Indie Wire. On the cleverer end, some commenters quoted lines that Bane spoke to Batman in the trailer: Fine’s punishment “must be more severe.” And then there are the scary threats. One comment that has since been removed told Fine to “die in a fire.” Another commenter said he would like to beat Fine “with a thick rubber hose into a comma [sic].”

Several commenters also vowed to destroy Fine’s website and succeeded, in a way, for at least a few hours. A massive influx of traffic crashed the site’s server for a large chunk of the afternoon on Tuesday.

(LIST: Holy Bat Trivia! Top 10 Things You Didn’t Know About Batman)

But is anyone really surprised? Impassioned commenters tend to overreact in these types of situations. And The Dark Knight Rises not only has the traditional superhero movie following of comic book nerds and action movie buffs, it also retains an impassioned audience who fell in love with the second Batman film, The Dark Knight. That 2008 film has a lifetime gross of around $533 million, according to Box Office Mojo—the fourth highest in movie history. And though blockbusters and Oscars rarely go hand-in-hand, Heath Ledger won a posthumous Oscar for his brilliant turn as the Joker.

More negative reviews of final film in Nolan’s trilogy have been posted since the incident, and as of 3:30 on Tuesday, The Dark Knight Rises has an 86% on the Tomatometer. (The film’s predecessor, The Dark Knight, ranks at 94%.) Christy Lemire of the Associated Press, Andrew L. Urban of Urban Cinefile, and Christopher Tookey of the Daily Mail all panned the film. Some of these critics are already receiving a flurry of disgruntled comments.

Lesson learned: Don’t mess with Batman… fans.

UPDATE: Rotten Tomatoes has stopped accepting user comments for Dark Knight Rises reviews and is considering switching to a Facebook commenting system that would eliminate anonymous posts.

READ: TIME’s Review of The Dark Knight Rises: To the Depths, to the Heights

17 comments
Eilanzer
Eilanzer

This is just a bunch of children whining about the new toy...Just ignore and they will stop.

Jasper Apollonia
Jasper Apollonia

having somebody threaten to beat me into a comma would certainly give me pause next time i wanted to post a poor review (punctuation pun!)

BillYeats
BillYeats

Guess you can't call a spade "a spade" anymore. PeeWee Herman would be a better Batman than that dweeb Christian Bale.

Skipdallas
Skipdallas

Personally, I think critics are just a bunch of parasites on the body of the entertainment business. Not talented enough to participate themselves, and just literate enough to be snarky in the press. Besides, I make up my own mind on the merits of a book, film, or other work of art. My sensibilities rarely coincide with any opinion that a "critic" may put forward.  

Markos_Anderson
Markos_Anderson

The problem is that a douchebag like Marshall Fine gives loves Tyler Perry movies. Watch him give a 5 star review of 'Madea Gets an Enema.'

ChuckSacramento
ChuckSacramento

Once I heard this movie was being compared to politics I knew the radical trolls would  come out to demonize anyone who disagrees with them.  Its all over the news and politics related sites, now its infecting entertainment too.  Some people just can't handle differing views in society.

Greg_Holyman
Greg_Holyman

Sorry, for being mean... Criticism for a Time journalist must be more severe..

Greg_Holyman
Greg_Holyman

"And though blockbusters and Oscars rarely go hand-in-hand"...Sweet call, seeing as the the only two films that earned more money, (aside from the Avengers, which hasn't been through awards season yet...) garnered 23 nominations and 14 wins... Whoops!

Writing about things is hard...

sandiegoson
sandiegoson

At least it keeps the media from talking about that stinko "The Amazing SpiDisney-Man".

The next great super hero flick will be "Avengers vs Justice League".

irrenmann
irrenmann

But...the people responding haven't seen the film yet, right?

James Scott
James Scott

I was once threatened over a review of Eddie Murphy's "Harlem Nights,"  of all things.

Steve
Steve

Right, so clearly the answer is to threaten him with bodily harm.

Steve
Steve

 It's not political trolls my friend.  It is Batman fanboys, plain and simple.  They haven't even seen the thing.