Bad Reviews Are the Best

I love reading scathing reviews. They’re often clever and definitely the most fun to read.

So far, this summer is providing a steady stream of bad blockbusters ripe for critical wit. First there was Poseidon and the multiple ways that critics could riff on the waterlogged/drowning theme when talking about how bad the film turned out to be. (Currently a weak 29% rating on the critics Tomatometer.)

Now, we have the Da Vinci Code, with all the indication of another critical bomb. Here’s a gem from the Chicago Tribune’s new lead film critic Michael Phillips, who replaces Michael “I Give Everything 3 Stars” Wilmington:


Worst, “The Da Vinci Code” goes in for a flash flood’s worth of
flashbacks, whether to illustrate the brutality of various Christian
wars, or to show Langdon falling down a well as a child, or Sophie and
her mysterious grandfather. It’s like a flashback fire sale. And early
on, when one character turns to another and says, “You’re in grave
danger,” you think, well, everyone’s in grave danger-of being burned
alive by Hans Zimmer’s overheated score.

Flashback fire sale…I love it.

The most anticipated movie of the year is clocking in at a dismal 20% Tomatometer rating. Fine by me. I have as much interest in seeing this movie as I do in reading the book. Which is to say none.

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7 thoughts on “Bad Reviews Are the Best

  1. Not only is it bad fiction–it’s poorly written bad fiction. But I love the religious controversy and opinions from people who never bother to check it out.

  2. Very bad fiction! I laughed out loud at the big revelation about the mysterious grandfather. It took ’em like, hundreds of pages to build up to this horrible thing he did, that Sophie witnessed as a college student. It turned out to be – sex! EEEEEK no not that!

  3. Sorry I gave away such an earth-shattering plot point. But you said you didn’t want to read it anyway.
    Here’s my impression of the Da Vinci Code:
    p. 34
    Robert: Let’s hijack a truck!
    p. 75
    Sophie: Someone is following us!
    p. 120
    Robert: Oh no! Now they’re shooting at us!
    In between? Flashback fire-sale. Heh.

  4. I wish I had Pam’s condensed version before I wasted my time reading the book. Excelleny synopsis of the book.

  5. For a superb bad review of this movie, read Anthony Lane’s piece in the current New Yorker. For an unintentionally hilarious review, read Julia Keller’s piece in the Chicago Tribune. They’ll both make you laugh and cry, for completely different reasons.

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