What Is 'Review Bombing'? Marvel's 'the Eternals' Becomes Latest Victim

Nov 1, 2021 7:08 AM
agency and controlmedia and audience influencereview bombingthe eternalsmarvel

"The Eternals" is the first Marvel movie to have an openly gay family. Marvel Studios

  • "The Eternals" has received negative reviews on IMDB despite it not being available to the public.
  • This tactic called review bombing has been used by fans who dislike aspects of a movie or TV show.
  • In a now-deleted tweet "Eternals" star Kumail Nanjiani said: "Looks like we're upsetting the right people."

Marvel's "The Eternals" has been review bombed because of the LGBTQ representation in the movie.

Review bombing is a term used for when a movie, TV show, or videogame is given negative reviews before its release, by fans who have not seen the final product, in order for it to have a worse average review on the internet. This phenomenon tends to occur with blockbuster movies that have a considerable amount of diversity such as "Star Wars The Last Jedi" and "Captain Marvel."

Yesterday, it was reported by The Direct that "The Eternals" had received this treatment on IMDB. Fans commented in reviews that have since been deleted that the movie was too "woke" and complained about the LGBTQ representation. "The Eternals" is not available to general audiences until 5th November.

One reviewer wrote (via The Direct): "Sucky. Totally unrecognizable from the comics. All it does is tick all the Hollywood Woke boxes. Which seems to be the goal. Not storytelling. But that's hardly surprising these days. Don't waste your money. It's not worth it."

"Eternals" star Kumail Nanjiani responded to The Direct's story in a now-deleted tweet: "Looks like we're upsetting the right people. Eternals opens November 5th."

IMDB has since deleted the false negative reviews, but did not respond to Insider's requests for comment.

"The Eternals" has the most diverse lineup of any Marvel movie so far. The movie features Marvel's first openly gay family, actors from several different ethnic backgrounds, and the first deaf superhero in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Recently, Marvel has been improving in its efforts towards representation after criticism of previous attempts such as their first openly gay character in "Avengers Endgame," which was a letdown to fans.

So far, "The Eternals" has received negative to mixed reviews from critics and Insider's Kirsten Acuna said that the movie is Marvel's "weakest film in years." But, she adds that the one thing the movie gets right is its LGBTQ representation, which is not shoehorned in, like in previous MCU stories such as "Loki."

Review bombing has occurred for several high-profile movies and tv shows in the last few years. In 2019, Rotten Tomato changed its policy, stopping pre-release user reviews after "Captain Marvel" was trolled by fans who did not like the movie's feminist message. "Black Panther" released a year before received a similar treatment due to its cast consisting of a majority of Black actors.

In January 2021, "Bridgerton" star Nicola Coughlan mocked fans who tried to review bomb the series because it had a Black lead. The series went on to become Netflix's most-watched show, before being overtaken by "Squid Game" in October.

The most recent example of review bombing before "The Eternals" was "The Suicide Squad," which the movie's director, James Gunn, responded to with indifference. He wrote on Twitter: "I'll live - stuff like this means nothing in the big picture. (And important to point out most the SnyderCut fans have been supportive, it's only a few who feel it's worthwhile spending their time doing stuff like this.)"

There were reports that fans of Zack Snyder's DC movies were deliberately reviewing the movie badly to make Warner Bros rehire Snyder to make more DC movies.