Friday, July 19, 2013

Pacific Rim vs Independence Day, deconstructing plot

 So, this week I saw Pacific Rim and was somewhat disappointed and underwhelmed. It was an okay movie, and, as a writer friend explained that his writing friend said, the more you like the idea of robots and monsters punching each other, the more you'll like this movie! I'm more of a character person, and wasn't that big of a fan of 2 hours of robots and monsters meets WWE (and I love WWE, or at least the old WWF). 

Pacific Rim failed on several levels and one of these was the seeming abandonment of the Hollywood Formula, as explained by Lou Anders on a 2011 episode of the Writing Excuses podcast. I hope to get some fellow Writing Excuses fans to deconstruct Pacific Rim once they've seen it, but several points that Lou elaborates on, seemed to be missing from the film. One other thing I noted was how heavily the movie borrowed from the 1996 blockbuster Independence Day. 

Now, ID4 is not the greatest movie in the world, but I have always thought it was a fun movie, with fun characters, and a show stealing performance from Judd Hirsh. So tonight, since I'm laid up with a sinus infection and have nothing else I can do, I plan on watching Independence Day to "deconstruct" the plot to see if I can find the Hollywood formula, and how it followed it (and succeeded) compared to how Pacific Rim didn't follow it, and thus failed. Plus, Jeff Goldblum is one of my all time favorite actors. So what's not to love about this movie? :)

Okay, a number of things. But I think it will be a good exercise in trying to find what works, as part of a story's structure, and what doesn't. Not sure I'll succeed, but it should be fun, nonetheless. I'll post a follow up just for fun. 

That's all for now....


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