A Toronto journalist considered walking out of "The Maze Runner," but star Will Poulter was not about to let him get away without a fight.
On Dork Shelf* on Thursday, film editor Andrew Parker published a withering review of the Young Adult novel adaptation, which he called "one of the worst films I have ever had the immense displeasure of ever sitting through." And Will Poulter, a 21-year-old English actor who stars in the film, was not happy.
The latest teen blockbuster revolves around a young man, Thomas (Dylan O'Brien), who is suddenly transported, with no memory of his past life, to a "Lord of the Flies"-type situation, where a dangerous maze is the only way to escape. (Poulter plays Thomas's arch enemy Gally.)
Watch the trailer:
Wrote Parker: "This might be the most clichéd film to attempt to cash in on the race for studios to land the next 'Harry Potter,' 'Hunger Games,' or 'Twilight' . . . Every character is stock and worthless, performed by actors who are largely too green and untested to deliver only the most perfunctory of line readings."
Parker also takes issue with the dialogue, the set, the technical design, the extreme violence, the gaping plot holes and inconsistencies and the tremendous lack of depth in this "kiddie equivalent of torture porn" which he claims makes Michael Bay look good. Oh, but he did praise "Love Actually" alum Thomas Brodie-Sangster (who plays a friend of Thomas') for his acting skills, so there's that.
About five hours after the review went up, Poulter himself tweeted Parker directly.
Since Thursday, 27 fans have commented on the review, the majority of them negatively.
"get out of your mom's basement, wipe off the cheeto dust from your fingers, and find a life please...it'll be for your own good," wrote bookreader.
"Was this a legitimate review or merely a bashing session?" asked Shannon Hutchins.
It wasn't long before some of Poulter's fans began to get angry with Parker on Twitter as well:
Of course, Parker wasn't without his own supporters:
Despite the tense back and forth, Parker clarified that his issue was not with Poulter and even praised the 21-year-old Brit's turn of phrase (at least the critic liked him for something):
Also, the line about finding a shelf that writes better than me was pretty great.— Andrew Parker (@AndrewJParker) September 19, 2014
Poulter then apologized for his fans and Parker gave him props:
@PoulterWill I understand. Like I said, I do NOT hold it against you. Huge respect for saying something, though.— Andrew Parker (@AndrewJParker) September 19, 2014
I respect anyone willing to passionately disagree with me, especially when they talk about their own work. Hence why I respect @PoulterWill.— Andrew Parker (@AndrewJParker) September 19, 2014
At least they didn't have to run a maze to duke it out.
*(Full disclosure: Yahoo Movies Canada contributor Will Perkins is the co-founder and editor-in-chief of Dork Shelf. He did not contribute to this story.)