This isn’t strictly news, per se, but it’s food for movie lovers’ thoughts, and it gives a little equal time to one of their frequent punching bags: LA Weekly‘s Scott Foundas has written a lengthy piece in defense of — are you sitting down? — Brett Ratner.
In “Brett Ratner, Popcorn King,” which ran last Wednesday, Foundas presents a carefully assembled, seven-page defense of Ratner’s directing talent. After acknowledging that he’s pretty much alone in his opinion, the writer lays it all out:
What I am proposing is simply that Ratner excels at a kind of highly enjoyable, wholly unpretentious entertainment that isn’t nearly as easy to manufacture as it seems; that he is a singular personality; and that, unlike many Hollywood flavors-of-the-month, he is most definitely here to stay. In fact, he’s just getting started.
For many, the phrase “Brett Ratner is just getting started” is enough to provoke a cold sweat, and sure enough, some of Foundas’ colleagues have already expressed disbelief. In a post titled “Somebody Actually Likes This Uber-Hack?,” Nikki Finke suggests her fellow LA Weekly writer needs “a vacation, or…better drugs”; meanwhile, Jeffrey Wells of Hollywood Elsewhere — after pointing out that “if you’re not willing to say the unpopular thing now and then, you’re not worth very much as writer” — goes on to debunk what he calls Foundas’ “notion” in persuasive detail.
Wells is right — you’ve got to admire the chutzpah it took for Foundas to write this article. Whether it will inspire a critical reevaluation of Ratner’s films, however, is another story. Meanwhile, the director’s latest project, Rush Hour 3, opens this Friday — and is currently sitting at a lonely pre-release 17 percent on the Tomatometer.