Players: A.O. Scott, The New York Times' chief movie reviewer who wasn't quite a fan of The Avengers; Samuel L. Jackson, actor in The Avengers, who isn't quite a fan of A.O. Scott
The Opening Serve: Truth be told, A.O. Scott wasn't that mean to The Avengers. We've seen his previous work, skewering movies like The 300 and flat out giving up on Bucky Larson. But still, the takeaway--that The Avengers' action scenes don't zip and burn they he wanted them to, that Joss Whedon was maybe a bit too muted, and that some of the best parts of the movie are when the actors get to play off one another. (Scott even drops a Rat Pack reference.) He even favorably compares it to Rio Bravo. That said, Jackson took umbrage with the review and unleashed it via Twitter:
#Avengers fans,NY Times critic AO Scott needs a new job! Let's help him find one! One he can ACTUALLY do!— Samuel L. Jackson (@SamuelLJackson) May 3, 2012
Avengers Assemble! Or something ...
The Return Volley: Jackson didn't stop there, tweeting "That is My Opinion! @TheFilmNest & what's irrational about it? They aren't going to fire his jaundiced ass & You & I Know It!" To which Scott playfully countered:
In between Jackson's barbs and Scott's clever deflections, both did re-tweet and respond to their fans, possibly stoking the flames of friction even more. Scott did respond in an interview E!: "I don't think Mr. Jackson is actually trying to get me fired," Scott said. "Actors and filmmakers sometimes respond angrily to negative reviews—I can't say I blame them—and Twitter is a relatively new and very public forum for that. Rallying 'fans' against skeptical critics is a time-honored tactic, and I don't take it personally." Adding, "If I'm going to dish out criticism, I should be able to take it... As usual with Twitter, there was a mixture of silliness and insight that made for a fun afternoon."