It seems that some movies these days are too content to be mediocre. Too many times I leave the theatre thinking “I could have done better than that.” And that’s sad, because I supposedly know nothing of filmmaking, really. But what I do know is a good story; plotlines, surprising reveals, dialogue, character development, subtlety. Ah, subtlety. The Da Vinci Code rammed subtlety down my throat. But I digress. In light of my disappointment with today’s modern cinema, I have come up with three very plausible theories to explain Hollywood’s shortcomings:
Theory 1: You’re An Idiot.
This may be the bolder of the theories, but I think it’s worth putting out there first. With plots so kludgy, dialogue so trite, and characters so non-dimensional, I can only assume that Hollywood takes the general public for fools. Now, given my opinion of the general public as I navigate the idiotic Nascar race that is my daily commute to work, I might tend to agree with Hollywood. People can be pretty stupid. But come on; too many movies have plot holes so big you could drive Costa Rica through them. Characters so cardboard they make Al Gore look like Richard Simmons. Dialogue so cheesy I’m embarrassed to be in a room with other people. Come on, Hollywood. Give us Joe Punchclocks some credit. We’re smarter than you think. We can handle whatever clever, high-brow content you throw at us. No need to spell it out, dumb it down, and hope we won’t notice your pandering.
Theory 2: Trailers Rule.
Just hear me out. Hollywood makes great trailers. Heck, even I’m tempted to go see Tokyo Drift (though I can assure you my better judgment will prevail). All those sliding cars and explosive crashes are just pure gold. These trailers are so good—so compelling and boiled down to a ticket-selling science—that I seriously propose that Hollywood storyboards the trailer first, then fills in the rest of the movie. We all know that the best scenes are in the trailers. And we’ve all gone to movies where we come out thinking, “Man, all the good stuff was in the trailer.” Just think about it—it makes sense.
Theory 3: The One-Trick Pony.
Who cares if a movie is kind of cobbled together and shoved out for public consumption as long as it has that one gimmick to bank on? With every preacher on the planet denouncing The Da Vinci Code, how could it not make money? The Fantastic Four had Jessica Alba in a bodysuit. How could it not make money? There are so many movies that bet the farm on a gimmick. It’s completely plausible to propose that Hollywood doesn’t let trivial things like “character development” and “being interesting” clutter their minds when they know that controversy-driven hype or legions of loyal comic book fans are going to ensure the success of the movie anyways. All you need is one trick to propel a mediocre movie to (relative) success.
So there you have it. Enjoy the summer blockbuster season by not cutting Hollywood any slack. They’ll thank us later.