A zero percent on Rotten Tomatoes is not something anyone in the film business wants to wake up to. According to the movie-review aggregator, not a single critic has come to the defense of John Tavolta’s most recent effort. Although similar aggregator Metacritic does list a sole technically-positive review for Gotti, by way of Richard Roeper of the Chicago Sun Times, even that review can’t resist hurling a few insults at the film. Roeper praises the acting, but ultimately reduces this biopic to a “B-movie.”
But if that sounds bad, things only get worse from here. According to the New York Post, “Gotti is the worst mob movie of all time.”
If audiences are stunned by Travolta’s most recent critical failure, perhaps they shouldn’t be, as John Travolta has kind of made a habit out of appearing in dreck, at least by movie-critic standards.
Travolta’s first critical failure occurred all the way back in 1983, with the Saturday Night Fever sequel, Stayin Alive. Turns out the role of Tony Manero wasn’t exactly lightning in a bottle and reprising it was perhaps a terrible idea. To this day, the film stands at an abysmal zero percent on Rotten Tomatoes.
John Travolta’s next negatively reviewed role came at the hands of a different role reprisal, as the actor came back for a third time to play James Ubriacco in Look Who’s Talking Now. Look Who’s Talking Now was the final entry in a trilogy decidedly less culturally significant than other famous trilogies like Back To The Future, Evil Dead, or, technically speaking, perhaps even Big Mama’s House, if critical reviews hold any weight with film legacy.
Two years ago, John Travolta scored another zero percent with Life On The Line, followed by Gotti being his most recent unforgivable offering to critics.
Zeroes aside, four of the last six John Travolta movies with a score have scored below 10 percent, and 15 out of the last 30 Travolta movies have scored 30 percent or lower on Rotten Tomatoes.
In 1994, after a run of heavily-panned films, Quentin Tarantino resurrected the Battlefield Earth actor in what was largely considered a revival of his career. Indeed Travolta was heavily praised for his role as Vinnie in Pulp Fiction and moved forward to make other critical hits like Get Shorty, Face Off, The Thin Red Line, and Primary Colors.
But the vacation was short-lived. By 1999, John Travolta hit a six-year-stretch of critical disappointments, a streak not broken until 2005. Since then, it’s been more miss than hit with Travolta, according to critics.
Although John Travolta isn’t listed as a cast member in the upcoming Quentin Tarantino movie, Once Upon A Time In Hollywood, one might wonder if there’s still time to cast the actor, to see if another resurrection might be the one that sticks.