Rolling Stone film critic Peter Travers has frequently been called out for his propensity to repeat pull quotes. One of his favorites is “sneaks up and floors you.” And it seems being called out for it hasn’t made him love the phrase any less, because there’s a TV spot for Foxcatcher (starring Channing Tatum as wrestler Mark Schultz and Steve Carell as Jon DuPont) currently running that includes Travers’ rave that it “just floors you.” First it was The Boy In The Striped Pajamas, then it was Away We Go and The Visitor, and now it’s Foxcatcher. What movie can’t floor Peter Travers anymore?
This reminds me of the later part of former UFC light heavyweight champion Chuck Liddell’s career, where it was clear the guy could still throw hands with the best of them, but that he’d lost his chin. Punches he would’ve walked through earlier in his career were putting him down, until even a check hook from Rich Franklin had him face first on the canvas. UFC president Dana White, Chuck’s friend and former manager, eventually stepped in and made Chuck promise to retire. I think this may be what has happened to Peter Travers. He can still pun and metaphor like a champ, but his chin just isn’t what it used to be. Movies that wouldn’t even have backed him up 10 years ago are putting him on his ass left and right. How many more times do we need to see Peter Travers flat on his back before someone steps in? Am I the only one concerned with the critic’s safety? I’m starting to worry.