Once again, your stalwart author makes the necessary sacrifices so you don’t have to.
This time around, I had the misfortune of watching an extremely bad large-budget movie from the semi-recent past. It was painfully obvious that a larger percentage of the budget should have been diverted to hiring quality writers, rather than on everything else. A pipe dream, I know.
But trust me. It was bad.
What made it so bad, you may ask?
Oh, where to begin.
My biggest problem was that too much of the story felt glossed over, with vital elements explained in a very lazy and haphazard way, if they were even explained at all. It felt like they were trying to force events to match how they wanted the story to play out, rather than deftly setting things up.
Reasons why something would happen, or were supposed to have happened, seemed to have simply been thrown against the wall, and whatever stuck, that’s what they went with. Did it matter if it fit within the context of the story?
Once again, there were too many questions raised that were never sufficiently answered. When this happens, it simply takes away from the movie-watching experience. The only reason I knew the film had to have been around the midpoint area was because of its running time, and NOT because of what had transpired over the course of the story.
I could say I had a vague inkling of what was supposedly going on, but was just never sure, since the story was being told in a very sloppy and unorganized way. It irked me to no end to be see such terrible writing so prominently displayed. And apparently I wasn’t alone in my opinions. The film was a major flop at the box office.
So what silver linings can we extract from this pitch-black cumulonimbus that stole away just under two hours of my life?
-Write a story that’s easy to understand. Keep it simple. This doesn’t mean dumb it down. Keep us informed, unless withholding that information is absolutely necessary.
-Let the story play out organically. Don’t try to force it because that’s what you want to happen. It’s easy to tell when that happens, and it ain’t pretty. If you didn’t put in the effort to figure it out, why should we?
-Have things happen for a reason. “Because it looks cool” is not one of them. Would it drastically change things if it didn’t?
-Set up, pay off. If something happens, we want to see what happens as a result. Don’t leave us hanging. And counter to that, don’t suddenly spring something on us out of thin air. It reeks of desperation. Audiences don’t like that, either.
One of the things I always strive for in my scripts, be they big or small budget, is to respect the intelligence of the intended audience. That is one lesson I believe the writers of this abomination should have kept in mind.