I watched AvP2 yesterday. That's a movie whose plot is the title. Not unlike Capcom vs. Street Fighter, or Sonic & Knuckles. I wanted to get some writing done, but after the first Lord of the Rings-esque epic shot of a hunter and his twelve-year-old (Buddy) a-hunting in the woods, I couldn't pull away.

This is how the movie was made, as near as I can tell. First, the writers, to research the small American town in which the movie takes place, went and interviewed real Americans to get a feel for how normal folk in such towns live their everyday lives. Being a Hollywood production, the AvP2 writers settled for their affluent Californian neighbors' opinions, who perhaps saw The Great Outdoors once when they were seven.

Next--well nevermind. You know. Even if you didn't see it, you know. But here's one mistake I noticed immediately: the writers, director, etc. thought it was necessary to build the plot up like a normal movie. 1) Introduce the reason for the Aliens and Predator to meet, 2) Introduce human cast, 3) Converge the disparate plotlines, and 4) Rumble. But that's how a normal movie works. Normal movies work like that because you go in not quite knowing where things'll end up, so you've got to make introductions, build plots, and all that. Not with AvP. You know what you're getting going in: you're getting Alien(s) versus Predator(s). I submit that this movie would not have only been better, but salvageable, should the director have chosen to start the movie in the middle of a/the major battle. Then we could have gotten the whole AvP theme out of the way, leaving 60 or so more minutes to develop more interesting themes. Instead, they worked their way up to the fight, which shows a great disinterest and disrespect in and of the audiences' intelligence, money, time, and desire for a good ol' time at the movies.

This, I think, is important, because it's a Hollywood trend just like it's a daytime TV trend and a mainstream comics--maybe mainstream entertainment--trend. If entertainment executives are letting their creative staff get away with this kind of shit--if they've let entertainment turn into an industry for the sake of profit rather than entertainment (which of course they've done), then entertainment's turned into nothing more than junk food. Immediately appealing to the basest of senses but ultimately unhealthy.

If I were, say, running for president, I'd run on the platform that should any megabudget production such as this produce such an absence of intellectual, technological, or philosophical advance in the human species as a whole--if the movie leaves the viewer walking away with nothing of substance whatsoever--then the studio funding the production has to reproduce the budget and donate it to a charity of their choice. There's room and time for shit to be made on the Internet, but movie and publishing industries are too costly and too consuming to be throwing away resources like this, especially when there are so many artists in this day and age who want to produce legitimate, worthwhile stories. Stories which, handled correctly, could easily include Aliens fighting Predators. Look at what Moore did for superheroes, or Tolkien did for fairy stories, or Chandler did for detective noir. Genre isn't born bad, it's just written that way, and we're wasting our potential putting up with the majority of shit produced these days. I just imagine the places we'd be if the entertainment and publishing industries held themselves to the same standards as theoretical physicists or some other impressive-sounding academic industry (excluding Academia, whose system of chronic publishing for tenure I think inspires panic and wanton paper-writing from otherwise very intelligent minds).

Anyways, the movie was shit.

1 comment:

Tia said...

Ben loves these flicks, and I sit through them because, you know, he's my boyfriend or whatever (he, in turn, has to sit through stuff he hates, like The Fountain, for example, which he hasn't ceased bitching about yet).

I was lucky enough to have seen it at a drive-in, where I consumed enough alcoholic beverages to make it a pleasant experience. I'm sorry you saw it sober.