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Joy Ride: Critic’s ‘embarrassing’ review ironically backfires

One critic’s harshly-worded review of Adele Lim’s directorial debut has ironically backfired.

Lim’s raunchy new comedy Joy Ride stars an all-Asian lead cast of Oscar-nominee Stephanie Hsu, Ashley Park (Emily in Paris), Sherry Cola and Sabrina Wu, as four friends who embark on an epic, no-holds-barred trip throughout Asia. Although, what’s intended to be a journey of self-discovery, soon becomes an adventure of wild debauchery.

On Tuesday (4 July), the day before the film’s release in US cinemas, a movie critic and podcast host named Jackson Murphy panned the film on Twitter, saying it “objectifies men, targets white people”.

“#JoyRide is embarrassing. Incredibly unpleasant. Like most modern adult ‘comedies’ it's raunchy simply to be raunchy, forgetting there has to be humour attached, and there's none of that,” he wrote. “Objectifies men, targets white people. All shock value, ‘look at me’ attitude.”

However, instead of acting as a deterrent, many people replied to Murphy’s take, saying he had spurred them to go and see the film.

“I wasn’t really thinking about seeing this but since reading this review I think I will now. Thank you,” one person responded.

A second thanked Murphy for his review, similarly saying it “solidified my decision to buy tickets”!

“This is the best PR for this movie I’ve seen so far! Can’t wait to watch it!” a third praised.

Using Murphy’s own words against him, another argued that his tweet was “embarrassing” and “incredibly unpleasant”.

“Like most adult ‘critics’, it’s contrarian and hateful simply to be contrarian and hateful, forgetting that the word critic comes from critique and not criticise but there’s none of that. Your tweet targets good film critique,” they added.

Even director Lim humorously reacted to the post, saying: “Imma need ‘Objectifies men, targets white people’ on a tshirt [prayer hands and laugh emoji.”

The Malaysian film producer is best known for co-screenwriting 2018’s Crazy Rich Asians and Disney’s 2021 Raya and the Last Dragon.

Joy Ride is out in US cinemas now. It will release in UK cinemas on 4 August.