The Gotti movie starring John Travolta has struggled mightily to land in theaters at all. After some release date setbacks, the film’s distributors splashed out on a Cannes rollout and dropped a trailer that played like a greatest hits track of gangster movie cliches. Unfortunately for Gotti, the critics (including our own Vince Mancini, who called it “technically inept,” and Mike Ryan, who live-blogged it into oblivion) panned the film, which managed to land a 0% score at Rotten Tomatoes.
So, the marketing team of this hot mess (a Travolta passion project directed by Kevin Connelly of Entourage fame that, oddly, lays a Pitbull soundtrack against a 1980s backdrop) is trying to put out a virtual mob hit on these critics. Behold this smear ad, which reads in part, “Critics put out the hit.” And then, “Who would you trust more? Yourself or a troll behind a keyboard?”
“Audiences loved Gotti but critics don’t want you to see it,” the ad continues. “The question is why??? Trust the people and see it for yourself!”
Speaking of trolls behind keyboards, this tweet from the Wall Street Journal‘s Jared Diamond draws attention to the disproportionately large number of Gotti user reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, which might indicate that there’s a “bot” issue (not unlike the Russian bots of the 2016 election and beyond) at work.
It’s worth noting that one of the film’s distributors happens to be MoviePass. That’s the same service that’s willingly losing many millions of dollars every month on a bonkers business model, and it looks like they, along with Vertical Entertainment, stand to lose a bunch of cash here as well. Obviously, it sounds like they’re pretty steamed and going to the mattresses, so to speak. Yet when one takes on the internet, they’re likely to soon be swimming with the fishes. So many gangster catchphrases! No wonder Gotti happened.