Mark Wahlberg blasts media for 'targeting' films like Lone Ranger

Contributed by
Jul 4, 2015, 2:09 PM EDT (Updated)

Another movie star just claimed the media is out to get summer blockbusters, and this one isn't even in The Lone Ranger.

Just a couple of days ago, we heard stars Johnny Depp and Armie Hammer blast American critics for the way they treated Lone Ranger, which is easily one of 2013's biggest flops so far. Hammer claimed critics had been "gunning for" the film ever since Disney temporarily put production on hold to work on the budget, while Depp thought critics had made up their minds as soon as they heard who would be making the film. The comments ignited quite a discussion online about the role critics have (or don't have) in determining a film's box-office success or failure. Can critics really tank a movie on purpose? Depp and Hammer certainly seem to think so, and now Mark Wahlberg has chimed in with his own thoughts on the matter.

Wahlberg is no stranger to critical beatings, having starred in films like The Happening and Max Payne, but like Depp, he's also had his share of acclaim, earning Golden Globe and Oscar nominations for films like The Departed and The Fighter. His latest flick, 2 Guns, was number one at the box-office last weekend and did OK critically, but that doesn't stop him from claiming that the media is out to get summer movies.

“First and foremost, the media is targeting all these movies,” Wahlberg said. “There’s intense scrutiny on us, way more than before.”

But Wahlberg wasn't just out to point fingers at the media. He also blamed the studios for simply spending too much money on empty effects.

“They are spending so much money to pull the wool over the audience’s eyes with these effects-driven movies,” he said. “It’s not like Jurassic Park, where you saw something groundbreaking and innovative and said ‘Holy … I gotta see that.' Every end-of-the-Earth movie kind of feels the same.”

That's an interesting claim coming from a guy who's making a fourth Transformers film with director Michael Bay, a filmmaker who has been repeatedly savaged by critics and even lampooned by fans for his reliance on special effects. Wahlberg sees the connection, but insists that Bay is different.

"Transformers is a different thing. What Michael's been able to do is elevate the material and take the human element to a whole other place," he said. "Having the father-daughter relationship [that Wahlberg’s character figures into] is so much more interesting."

Wahlberg also praised Bay for being a responsible filmmaker who does everything he can to avoid going over budget with his films. And speaking of budget responsibility, even Wahlberg thinks Lone Ranger failed there.

"They’re spending $250 million for two dudes on a horse?" he said. "Where’s the money going?"

So add another name to the list of movie stars who think that critics are gunning for summer movies and stunting their box-office performance on purpose. We'll see how Transformers 4's performance next summer affects Wahlberg's theory.

(Via LA Times)