For a moment, the film was rated 100 percent fresh on the box office site Rotten Tomatoes. But despite what fans may have hoped, a less than glowing critique of the superhero film was inevitable.
The first negative review was written by Amy Nicholson of BoxOfficeMagazine.com, who, as Melissa Silverstein at IndieWire’s Women and Hollywood blog reports, has been subjected to a nasty — and at times misogynistic — backlash.
Nicholson, who gave the film three out of five stars, wrote:
“The Avengers “almost works. It's funny and it's physical, but even at two and a half hours, it plays like it's on fast-forward. Forget character development — there's not even character explanation. ...
If such a thing can be said about a $220 million dollar blockbuster, “The Avengers” needs more ambition. Sure, it's fine for most films to host their battle royale in downtown Manhattan, but the superfriends deserve more. Prehistoric metal monsters smashing up skyscrapers? We’ve seen that before.
There are currently hundreds of comments under Nicholson’s review on Rotten Tomatoes. As Silverstein points out, some of the comments are sexist. Nicholson is called the B-word a few times. Here are two other gems: “The 1st person to complain is a woman, go [expletive] figure,” and “dont be mad people, its a woman.. she’s born boring.”
If these commenters think Nicholson wrote a bad review, that’s one thing. Disagree away! She did get a lot of flak for calling Nick Fury (played by Samuel L. Jackson) Nick Frost in her review, a small mistake but one I can see fans being upset about.
But when a reviewer’s gender is brought into the equation as an insult, a line has been crossed.
Matt Singer at Critic Wire also makes the excellent point that superheroes are usually the bullied ones and/or the ones against bullying.
“The Avengers” has already received its second negative review, written by Sam Bathe at Fan the Fire magazine. He wrote in part, “The Avengers isn’t terrible and fanboys will (at least tell you they) love it, but it’s all just so generic by now, just like just another whizz-bang Marvel superhero movie, it’s hard not to feel disappointed.”
He has also been called nasty names on Rotten Tomatoes. But Bathe seems to be reveling in the hatred. He tweeted, “Three hatemail comments already. Excellent,” and later, “Our little social experiment has proved to be a wild success. Now to stop being the Daily Mail and get back to normal service.”
Bathe claimed on Twitter, however, that he “genuinely didn’t like” the film.
In case you were wondering, no, “The Avengers” isn’t out in the U.S. yet. It hits theaters May 4.