Proyas took to Facebook and fired off both barrels at film critics, calling them "less than worthless" and "deranged idiots". Why so serious? He thinks the film criticism industry is populated by a bunch of lemmings incapable of forming their own opinions. Ouch. Here we go...
"NOTHING CONFIRMS THE RAMPANT STUPIDITY OF MAN-KIND… Like reading reviews of my own movies. I usually try to avoid the experience – but this one takes the cake. Often, to my great amusement, a critic will mention my past films in glowing terms, when at the time those same films were savaged, as if to highlight the critic’s flawed belief of my descent into mediocrity. You see, my dear fellow FBookers, I have never gotten great reviews… on any movie I’ve made really, apart from those by reviewers who think for themselves and make up their own opinions. Sadly those type of reviewers are nearly all dead. I guess I have the knack of rubbing reviewers the wrong way – always have.
This time of course they have bigger axes to grind – they can rip into my movie while trying to make their mainly pale asses look so politically correct by screaming “white-wash!!!” like the deranged idiots they all are. They fail to understand, or chose to pretend to not understand what this movie is, so as to serve some bizarre consensus of opinion which has nothing to do with the movie at all. That’s ok, this modern age of texting has rendered them less than worthless, so they will probably go the way of the dinosaur or the newspaper shortly – don’t movie-goers text their friends with what they thought of a movie? Seems most critics spend their time trying to work out what most people will want to hear. How do you do that? Why these days it is so easy… just surf the net to read other reviews or what bloggers are saying – no matter how misguided an opinion of a movie might be before it actually comes out.
Lock a critic in a room with a movie no one has even seen and they will not know what to make of it. Because contrary to what a critic should probably be they have no personal taste or opinion, because they are basing their views on the status quo. None of them are brave enough to say “well I like it” if it goes against consensus. Therefore they are less than worthless. Now that anyone can post their opinion about anything from a movie to a pair of shoes to a hamburger, what value do they have – nothing.
Roger Ebert wasn’t bad. He was a true film lover at least, a failed film-maker, which gave him a great deal of insight. His passion for film was contagious and he shared this with his fans. He loved films and his contribution to cinema as a result was positive. Now we have a pack of diseased vultures pecking at the bones of a dying carcass. Trying to peck to the rhythm of the consensus. I applaud any film-goer who values their own opinion enough to not base it on what the pack-mentality say is good or bad."
Ok, so Proyas is basically lumping all critics in with his negative assessment, which is automatically wrong. In the comments he backed off on that by saying he's not mad at individual critics, and I'm assuming those would be the handful who gave the film a positive score. But he's also wrong in thinking that critics all want to think the same thing. That's stupid for a number of reasons, but I'll speak solely from my perspective as someone who has been doing this shit for a while now and has taken heat for his reviews (ya'll killed me for liking Pixels!) in the past. It's tough to make it in this business, and it's been my experience that critics are always looking for ways to differentiate themselves from the pack, not to run with them. With literally thousands of people out there reviewing movies it's necessary to be different, and while that doesn't mean lying about your opinions to go against the grain it DEFINITELY doesn't mean being like everyone else so you can fit in.
All that said, this smacks of sour grapes by Proyas, a director whose work I have a great affection for, as noted in my entirely negative review of his latest film. This definitely isn't the way to get critics to look at his next movie without pre-judgment, that's for sure. But he chose to go down throwing haymakers rather than just taking the loss, and I can respect that. Only a little.