Russell Crowe proved to be the master of the clapback when a social media user made a sarcastic remark about the actor's 2003 film, Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World.
The period film set in the Napoleonic Wars and directed by Peter Weir was adapted from the Aubrey–Maturin sea novels written by Patrick O'Brian.
Crowe starred as Captain Jack Aubrey along with Paul Bettany as Dr. Stephen Maturin, and the seafaring epic drama was praised by critics and moviegoers alike.
It was also nominated for ten Academy Awards—including Best Picture and Best Director.
But Twitter user and English singer-songwriter Robert Ian McNabb did not find the critically lauded film that grossed $212 million worldwide to be engaging and implied the movie was a snoozer.
"Lots of folk complaining about lack of sleep during the Pandemic. May I recommend 'Master And Commander' starring the usually captivating, attention-grabbing Russell Crowe."
"I've never made it past the ten minute mark. You're welcome. And thanks Russell."
Lots of folk complaining about lack of sleep during the Pandemic. May I recommend Master And Commander starring the… https://t.co/kbNr9hFuj9— Robert Ian McNabb (@Robert Ian McNabb)1610158224.0
In response, Crowe criticized McNabb—whom he assumed was from a younger generation of people with shorter attention spans.
The 56-year-old actor defended the film by saying:
"That's the problem with kids these days. No focus. Peter Weirs film is brilliant. An exacting, detail oriented, epic tale of fidelity to Empire & service, regardless of the cost."
"Incredible cinematography by Russell Boyd & a majestic soundtrack. Definitely an adults movie."
That’s the problem with kids these days. No focus. Peter Weirs film is brilliant. An exacting, detail oriented, e… https://t.co/AeH5W7WLtH— Russell Crowe (@Russell Crowe)1610861176.0
In a now-deleted tweet, the social media troll clarified his age as a rebuttal to Crowe's comment.
"I'm four years older than Russell."
But cinephiles praised Crowe's cult-classic film, including Peter Ramsey—who co-directed the successful animated Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.
"That guy's a f'king idiot, Russell. Peter Weir is a god, the movie's amazing and you're amazing in it. Thank you.'
Former professional wrestler The Iron Shiek also defended the film with an all caps remark.
@russellcrowe YOU SAID IT PERFECT RUSSELL BUBBA. THE KIDS DONT KNOW YOU TEACH THEM TO BE COME LEGENDS— The Iron Sheik (@The Iron Sheik)1610887691.0
Praise for the film continued.
@russellcrowe Master and Commander is a legit masterpiece— priscilla page (@priscilla page)1610863881.0
MASTER AND COMMANDER is Crowe’s best film and the biggest missed opportunity for an incredible franchise in all of… https://t.co/iFiZKkoMG3— Joanna Robinson 🇺🇸✌️🏳️🌈 (@Joanna Robinson 🇺🇸✌️🏳️🌈)1610910586.0
@russellcrowe I saw a review which summed it up perfectly. It's "the best film of its kind ever made." A classic.— Seth Andrews (@Seth Andrews)1610893998.0
I’ve said this a million times, but the fact that we have one MASTER AND COMMANDER and, like, sixty PIRATES OF THE… https://t.co/ZLremwCgCJ— Sonny Bunch (@Sonny Bunch)1610867121.0
@russellcrowe Watched it again the other day, for about the 10th time, to introduce it to my 12yr old son. It’s a… https://t.co/zOuSCj4Xa9— Mike Carlton (@Mike Carlton)1610871433.0
Others slammed McNabb for his unpopular opinion.
@empiresend @russellcrowe I guess if the movie was split into several 59 seconds TikTok clips you would have been a… https://t.co/Bv0sj5J64e— Obianuju Ekeocha (@Obianuju Ekeocha)1610890665.0
@empiresend @russellcrowe Fantastic, riveting movie. Maybe you’ve got less attention span than a phasmid.— Catherine (@Catherine)1610866445.0
@SQ6965 @empiresend @russellcrowe A generation raised on SpongeBob. I tried to warn people not to let their kids watch that crap.😒— Nova (@Nova)1610895502.0
@empiresend @russellcrowe I think it says more about you than the film. Master & commander is a great film, wished… https://t.co/QAcSM5gmmQ— Alex Gavigan (@Alex Gavigan)1610867266.0
@empiresend @russellcrowe Or they could just read your blog, which has the kind of short, declarative sentences 3rd… https://t.co/llH4Vfyod2— Angelo Parodi (@Angelo Parodi)1610888173.0
@empiresend @russellcrowe This movie gets better each time I watch it. More complex and mature themes have emerged… https://t.co/XsmnOQiwDe— Shelly C (@Shelly C)1610893790.0
@russellcrowe Twitter watching Russell Crowe wreck a dude calling Master and Commander "boring" https://t.co/ymi9rgLZ3k— Mmmmmm-kay Ultra (@Mmmmmm-kay Ultra)1610888751.0
Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World currently boasts an 85% approval rating – which is bumped up to 93% when only including the reviews from the most prestigious critics – and an 80% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes.
Devoted fans of Master and Commander have been campaigning for a sequel to the film, which was egged on by Crowe in a 2010 tweet.
He said at the time:
"If you want a Master and Commander sequel I suggest you e-mail Tom Rothman at Fox and let him know your thoughts."