2-star Legend reviewer on the "marketing gold" of bad write-ups


The Guardian's 2-star outlier review of Legend was cleverly misrepresented on the movie poster. Author Benjamin Lee writes on how bad reviews like his can be turned into marketing gold.

There's something maddeningly brilliant about this promotional sleight of hand. Technically, there's nothing dishonest about the use of my rating. I gave it two stars and there are just two stars on display. I've been trolled and I'm totally alright with it. The word "chutzpah" has been used a lot on Twitter. … but … In 2000, Sony executives decided it would be smart idea to invent a critic who would miraculously always love all of their movies. David Manning, aka thin air, thought that Hollow Man was "One helluva scary ride!" while Rob Schneider's critically loathed comedy The Animal was "Another winner!". It resulted in a payout to those who had seen the films in question. Around the same time, it was revealed that Sony had also used employees to pose as moviegoers in a TV spot for Mel Gibson's The Patriot. One of them described the violent drama with implied rape threats as "a perfect date movie".

The tl;dr: the chutzpah in this particular example was brilliant, but don't let Hollywood normalize its manipulations of the press and its audience.