The way fans are going after critics who so far don't like "The Dark Knight Rises," the third and final film in Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy, one would think this movie is about to flop.
Yet, as of Wednesday evening, it has already been "certified fresh" by Rotten Tomatoes with 83 percent of 125 critics surveyed so far liking it. In fact, only 17 so far have not liked it. So why the backlash?
"I think the fans are very passionate about these characters the way a lot of people are very passionate," Nolan recently told the Associated Press. "Batman's been around for over 70 years, and there's a reason for that. He has a huge appeal, so I think you know people certainly respond to the character."
Those critics not liking "Dark Knight Rises" so far include Michael Phillips of The Chicago Tribune, Christy Lemire of the AP, Nick Pinkerton of The Village Voice and Mick LaSalle of The San Francisco Chronicle.
LaSalle was probably one of the most harsh, saying that too much flashback was needed to illustrate this film, and character motivations shifted on a dime. Lemire credited the genius of Nolan, but said that once you do something extraordinary, fans begin to expect it every single time. And in her opinion, "Dark Knight Rises" simply wasn't extraordinary.
Right now, however, "Dark Knight Rises" is picking up reviews more akin to its 2005 outing, "Batman Begins" -- which scored 85 percent approval from more than 250 critics, to its 2008 "The Dark Knight" feature, which impressed 94 percent of the nearly 280 critics that checked it out.
Rotten Tomatoes has suspended reader comments to critics after a rash of heavily negative comments against reviewers they disagreed with -- but a handful of bad reviews likely won't matter in the long run. Even without the boost of 3-D premium ticket sales, "Dark Knight Rises" is expected to pound the box office with at least a $180 million opening, and could be the lone challenger this year to "The Avengers" for the movie theater crown.
"The Dark Knight Rises" was written by Jonathan Nolan and Christopher Nolan based on a story by Christopher Nolan and David S. Goyer (and on the Batman character by Bob Kane). It stars Christian Bale, Tom Hardy, Anne Hathaway, Gary Oldman, Morgan Freeman and Joseph Gordon-Levitt.
It opens everywhere Friday.
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