(Now that the Holidays are over and the book tour for VIENNA is wrapped up, I’m taking the time to goof off a bit. Read on!)
No other movie so effectively killed off plot as did Batman Begins. A huge hit both publically and critically (honestly, who doesn’t want two hours of Christian Bale doing his impression of a dying frog with laryngitis?) the movie was the final blow to coherent story telling.
Consider the case of the microwave-emitting-boiling-water contraption that zaps hundreds of people without hurting them. Because, you know, People Water has a different chemical composition that Real Water. (It’s slimy and icky and full of microscopic-thingies.) Of course, fan boys explain this away by suggesting the beams could be focused, or some such nonsense that was never mentioned in the movie. But it’s hopeless, because it’s not the real issue.
The real issue is that we have a toxin that has (over several weeks) been bled into the Gotham water supply. This toxin is released by boiling water. So apparently, over the last several weeks, no one in the entire city of millions of people ever boiled water for dinner. ‘Cause we all gave up pasta due to that gluten thing.
This is what is offered as the big evil plan, and it’s dumber than trying start a fire with spit. And you know what? It makes the entire movie dumb. Yes, Christian Bale whispering threats into people’s ears is uber-dreamy. And yes some of the background is fun (if over-long), but the plot—the bones of the movie—is a wretched, stinking heap of festering stupid.
I am far from the first to point this out, but the flood gates have been opened, and there is no going back.
Remember Matt Damon on Mars? I genuinely like Matt Damon. Loved him in True Grit. Loved him in Ocean’s Eleven. Truth is, I liked him in The Martian as well. What I didn’t like was his neurotic spaceship. You know the one that tips over if the wind blows really hard? (Apparently the spaceship was designed by the same geniuses that gave us the AMC Pacer.)
But what’s really unforgivable is that there is a second ship of the exact same design on the exact same windy planet that somehow is expected to remain standing for five years. How does this work? What’s the thinking here? Sorry Matt, you were sent to Mars by sand-munching morons. You should have died.
And while the Force might be awake, common sense dozes on. If you have a weapon that eats stars, you don’t need to add a gun that destroys planets. (Especially a gun that allows the enemy to blow the place up, because that never happens, right?) Come on, how long would life last on Earth if something ate the sun? (The answer is eight minutes. And yes, that is the real answer.) Having a gun on such a machine is beyond pointless. It’s crappy plotting. Stop trying to rationalize it, and start demanding that moviemakers actually do some writing beyond Insert explosion here.
I know, I know. I’m over-thinking it. Loosen up. Just go with it.
No. I refuse. When plots are stupid, your characters have to be equally stupid not to see through them. I will not cheer for stupid heroes. No matter how throaty their whispers.