We Built You Up, Paddington 2, Only to Tear You Down

Movie that knocked 'Citizen Kane' out of top spot on Rotten Tomatoes gets its first negative review
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 2, 2021 9:15 AM CDT
We Built You Up, Paddington 2 , Only to Tear You Down
This image shows the character Paddington, voiced by Ben Whishaw, in a scene from "Paddington 2."   (Warner Bros. Pictures via AP)

A bit of redemption this week for Citizen Kane and bad news for its most recent foe, at least according to Rotten Tomatoes. The 1941 classic had claimed the honor of best-reviewed film on the movie review site until April, when a lone bad review emerged, marring its 100% critics rating and leaving a surprise contender to knock it off its perch: children's movie Paddington 2, released in 2017. Now, both movies are stuck with a 99% rating after one critic took the opportunity right before Memorial Day weekend to offer his perspective on Paddington, and it wasn't a flattering one. "This is not my Paddington Bear, but a sinister, malevolent imposter who should be shot into space, or nuked from space at the first opportunity," Eddie Harrison wrote at Film Authority on May 28. "Over-confident, snide and sullen, this manky-looking bear bears little relation to the classic character, and viewers should be warned; this ain't yo mamma's Paddington bear, and it won't be yours either."

USA Today makes the observation that Harrison's review, the 246th one on Rotten Tomatoes for the Paddington sequel, comes nearly three and a half years after the movie was released. Harrison—who the Hollywood Reporter says "seemed to know precisely what he was doing"—defends his tardy excoriation, noting, "I reviewed Paddington 2 negatively for BBC radio on release in 2017, and on multiple occasions after that, and I stand by every word of my criticism." THR also notes that Harrison has long been featured on Rotten Tomatoes, and it doesn't appear as if he goes out of his way to post "contrarian" views. Citizen Kane can relate to a latecomer crank: It lost its own 100% standing after a negative review from eight decades was unearthed. So what movie has now taken the top spot on Rotten Tomatoes? Based on its own 100% rating and the 169 reviews it has listed, Toy Story 2 is now due a big congrats. (More Rotten Tomatoes stories.)

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