Are There Any Good Plots Anymore?22/03/2010
It seems to me that movies have started demeaning our intelligence more than usual. Recent blockbusters like Sherlock Holmes or Avatar do not have the best or most original plot yet they make tons of money. It was even worse in the summer when we had movies like Transformers 2 and G.I. Joe.
Many times it seems that the plot must get sacrificed for some other element of a movie to succeed. The deductive logic that made Sherlock Holmes a household name was completely absent from the movie. It had instead replaced it with action scenes.
The only consolation was that the action scenes were pretty good. This made the movie okay but it definitely was not Sherlock Holmes. How you can disregard the most popular aspect of a world famous character for your movie I am not sure.
Sometimes it’s the little things that writers could easily change but don’t that are annoying. These little things add up to create a feeling that Hollywood isn’t even trying any more. A good example can be found in the movie Avatar. In this movie the humans arrive on the alien planet Pandora to find a ore that can help them solve their energy crisis.
This ore is called Unobtainium. Really? James Cameron couldn’t have taken 30 seconds and come up with a better name? I know it is a small thing and that it didn’t detract to much from his great Sci-fi epic but it still bugs me.
Then there was this summer, which spawned what has to be one of the worst movies of all time: Transformers 2. It was a way too long, was full of unlikable characters, had loads of crude and unnecessary humor, and had no discernable plot. It was basically an excuse for Micheal Bay to blow stuff up. Even blowing stuff up got old after a while though.
Is it really too hard to write a story for a big budget film? The audience is all ready to suspend their disbelief (no one walks into a action movie expecting an air tight and original script). All the director or the writer needs to do is have a story that could plausibly make sense and then not have the characters do anything that would be too out of place or ridiculous.
All the good movies from the past have never sacrificed storyline for the sake of action scenes. The director of Iron Man could have put in several lengthy sequences of iron man beating up bad guys but instead he restrained himself.
Christopher Nolan could have had Batman beating up hoodlums almost nonstop in The Dark Knight but instead focused on the characters and their goals. By doing this the audience was kept entertained for 2½ hours.
In a recent interview with Newsweek, directors Peter Jackson (Lord of the Rings) and James Cameron (Avatar) talked about the future of movies. In it Peter Jackson said the following:
“I think we’re going to enter a phase where there’s less interest in the CGI and there’s a demand for story again. I think we’ve dropped the ball a little bit on stories for the sake of the amazing toys that we’ve played with.”
It’s nice to know I’m not the only one who feels this way. Hopefully the rest of the movie world will realize this too.