Earlier this week, we reported on a somewhat surprising milestone for the recently released kids’ film Paddington 2, when the Paul King-directed crowdpleaser became one of only four current films to claim a 100 percent certified “fresh” rating on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes. It crossed another, even bigger one today, though, when it scored its 164th (and then 165th) positive reviews, pushing it past the previous record held by Toy Story 2, and making it the most agreed-upon perfect-scored film in the site’s history.
Which raises the obvious question: Why Paddington 2? Our own Ignatiy Vishnevetsky was one of the 165 people praising it, after all—highlighting its bright visuals and appeal to adults as well as kids—but he still only gave its considerable charms a B. If nothing else, it underlines the idea that Rotten Tomatoes is a pretty good barometer for identifying pleasant—maybe even good—films, but less useful as the end-all-be-all metric for Hollywood success that so many industry insiders seem to view it as. (The film’s box-office receipts have been perfectly respectable, but not absolute blockbusters, after all.)
And, of course, this new record might only be temporary. Greta Gerwig’s Lady Bird—which has 50 more positive reviews than good old Paddington—was well on its way to claiming the throne for itself, when a single C+ assessment brought it down to a measly 99 percent fresh. (A.k.a.: Garbage.) The same thing could happen to our fun little bruin, too, even if director Gray seems happy to ride this wave of popular sentiment for as long as he can:
The Paddington films are a real labour of love. So many people pour their hearts and souls into them for months or even years, hand-crafting every last frame, and we are all incredibly grateful for the overwhelmingly positive response we’ve had so far. We hope it inspires people to go to the cinema to see for themselves if a talking animal film really can be any good, and whether Hugh Grant really can look devilishly handsome even while dressed as a nun. (Clue: yes.)