In an effort to practice reviewing stuff before reviewing “Arthas: Rise of the Lich King”, I review other stuff to practice my trolling critiquing.
Many, many people like to throw words around like “illogical” and “preposterous” when discussing movies. It’s used as a sort of catch-all phrase for “stupid”.
Essentially, saying something is illogical conveys two meanings. Either the movie was inept and failed to follow it’s own internal logic, or whatever happened in the movie could not possibly happen in the real world.
The latter meaning is utterly ridiculous. This is fiction. Expecting it to play by the rules of the real world is… dare I say it… preposterous and illogical.
There’s a little something called the willing suspension of disbelief. It’s us, the audience, willing to put up with and enjoy things that probably aren’t entirely realistic.
Sure, maybe in real life a man wouldn’t fare so well if he jumped out of a car going 80mph, but when Bruce Willis does it’s perfectly reasonable.
What we, the audience, have an issue with is when things fail to be internally consistent.
Aside from a total lack of character progression/development, this is my biggest pet peeve with fiction.
I’m fine to accept literally any happenstance in fiction as long as it follows the rules it set up.
As a brief example, consider the manga Full Metal Alchemist. It’s established very early on that circles are needed to perform alchemy. Then, le plot twist!, Edward Elric can perform alchemy without needing to!
Except that he needs to clap his hands, thus forming a circle with his own body. Internally consistent.
Mustang is an alchemist who can create fire just by snapping his fingers. It’s magic! Except not, because his gloves are specially designed to produce a spark when friction is applied to them, and he has alchemical circles engraved on those same gloves.
And when he loses his gloves, he creates fire anyway by using a lighter and carving circles into his own flesh. Totally badass, and still internally consistent.
He cannot create fire, and he needs circles. These rules are never broken, and needless to say he isn’t all that useful when it rains.
This is good fiction. It sets up rules and follows them. Sure, it may follow rules that are different from the real world, but at least logic still has it’s place.
Now, something like the Eagle Eye movie, for instance, is an example of something that scoffs in the face of any law. Not only does it ignore real world rules, it fails to follow even its own laws.
This is all a roundabout way of saying “Holy crap, the remake of The Day the Earth Stood Still is terrible.”
I don’t mind if something makes up all new sciences, establishes it’s own rules for how physics works, or even throws around massive piles of phlebotinum to solve problems like using black holes as a teleportation system.
But if you’re going to try and follow real world science? For the love of all that is logical, do so.
Nothing is more annoying to me than watching real world science abused and spat upon.
Some things I can understand. Sound in space? Alright, I can accept that for cinematic reasons, though grudgingly. All ships in space floating right side up according to a flat horizon? Ludicrously stupid, but… fine, even that I can deal with.
After all, it’s impossible to say how many morons will complain that the ships are “upside down”.
News flash for everyone: this is space. A vacuum. There is no such thing as “right side up”.
And don’t give me that bullshit about the human mind being incapable of thinking in three dimensions. It takes about an hour for the human brain to fully adapt to 3-dimensional environments. (Though as with most things, the speed of this transition slows as one gets older.)
Where was I? Ahh, yes cliches and mediocre acting.
I have numerous complaints about TDtESS.
I could rag on the acting, but why? The actors are all fine, it’s just the characters they have to portray are all one dimensional. None of them are ever given a chance to act. Character development does not occur. Every character is nothing more than a stock, cliche cutout given a stock name.
Actually, that could be said for the vast majority of the movie.
I’ll put it this way: there is not one line in the entire movie that is not utterly predictable.
This is god awful writing, folks. I’ve seen better writing in hentai flash games.
I could rag on about the product placement, which was nearly as bad as Transformers, but why? Corporations have to make a buck somehow (then again, at least Transformers played their product placement for laughs).
Arguably this only adds tragic irony to the movie. The remake is little more than environmentalist propaganda trying to disguise itself as a sci-fi movie, adding a whole new level of sad comedy when one of it’s pivotal scene takes place at McDonald’s.
Moving on. Let’s talk about logic flaws.
First, all these people, scientist types, engineers, all experts in their field, are dragged out of their homes by secret agent types and whisked away to a central location, all in preparation for what can be tentatively said to be the apocalypse.
They are informed that an unidentified object is on a collision course with earth. With a humanity survival plan yanked straight out of Independence Day, they are dragged from their homes to give humanity a chance to survi-
Oh wait no, they’re all stuck on helicopters and sent to ground zero to await the sweet embrace of death. And for some reason all of them have hazmat suits on.
And when the object thingy lands, the people on the front lines are skilled mathematicians, surgeons, and our intrepid protagonist, a woman who teaches astrobiology at the local university.
I don’t know about you, but such a situation seems like the type of thing that unmanned robots were made for.
But I digress. Maybe all of them subconciously knew that it was a spaceship with a dude inside.
But all that is swiftly forgotten in a torrent of WHAT THE HELL MAKES THIS WOMAN SO GODDAMN SPECIAL?
She teaches biology at a college. Astrobiology, which is basically the study of single-celled organisms swimming in poison.
So the alien is on a crash cart, rushed to somewhere safe where the bullet (the alien getting shot being the first truly logical thing to happen so far) can be removed. We have a couple stellar nurses along, New York’s finest doctors, the best surgeon the USA has to offer on hand, and an astrobioligist.
The surgery is taking place, under the wraps of the highest intelligence security the US government has. Needless to say, this means that only high ranking FBI agents, the aforementioned super awesome surgeon, the Secretary of Defense… and a college professor who has no ties at all to the government except that of a taxpayer… are present.
Later still, when the decision is made to interrogate this strange being, who is it that is selected to administer the unexplained chemical thing? Is it a professional interrogator? A anesthesiologist? Hell, even one of those skilled nurses from before?
Oh hell no, why go with a professional when you have some woman who teaches at the local college on hand? Even a dentist is more qualified in such a situation.
It was difficult to continue watching the movie, but I stuck with it.
And, oh boy, did the ending ever pay off. I had no idea this was intended to be a comedy.
You see, at the end, when Klaatu decides not to extinguish the human race, he instead shuts down everything on the power grid. Actually, everything that uses electricity at all, even stuff running on batteries.
Actually, scratch that. He even shuts down wind-up watches.
I really don’t know he did that. Stuff connected to the power grid, I can understand. Even the battery things I can understand.
But disabling the laws of physics?
Holy crap, guys.
If he can do that, then why is it so important to save earth? If you possess the power to switch physics off and on, why not make your own damn planet? Or move an existing one to a more life-supporting position?
Anyway, so everything stops working, and it shows characters in dark offices… seeing the sunrise through the window as birds cheerfully chirp… the sound of engines and generators humming replaced with the pleasant sounds of a soft breeze and some crickets…
You can almost hear the billions of humans crying softly to themselves as they die of starvation.
This is supposed to be a happy ending, so I’m assuming a best case scenario here.
I mean, really, it’s basically the end of the world. Do you honestly think people are going to think “wow, we messed up” and live peacefully?
Earth is looking at many months of rampant violence, looting, and gang warfare. Eventually, everything will settle down and whichever gangs possess the most burly men with blunt instruments will rule the world.