Everybody’s a critic these days. More specifically, everybody’s a movie critic, and all are self-appointed. As my good friend Chris has said time and time again, “nobody sets out to make a bad movie”. The people who write screenplays and direct major motion pictures are generally smart, and have teams behind them who brainstorm with them, edit and approve the final product. “Plot holes”, as they’re called, are instances in a movie in which something is left unexplained, questions are left without answers, or a logical progression of some sort is glossed over or omitted altogether. The purpose of a movie is to entertain, above all else.
How a person becomes a professional film critic is beyond me, but how the Internet has given rise to a landscape that breeds the unofficial ones is even more baffling. The people I am referring to, the ones who don’t make movies themselves, seem to be entirely too keen to pick apart everything they watch, pointing out every plot hole, every incongruity, and every little thing that they don’t think makes sense. The thing is, characters in movies are not supposed to act as people would in real life in a given situation. Art is supposed to imitate life, not create a facsimile of it. If everything in a movie made perfect sense, and was all wrapped up in a nice bow, where’s the fun in that? Characters are written to make irrational, emotionally-charged, and just plain bad decisions in order to create suspense, mystery, drama, and an opportunity for resolution. Otherwise, movies would be boring and we’d have no need for them. We could just walk out of our front doors and observe the people around us. If everyone knew how to do it better, like they say they do, film makers and screen writers would be a dime-a-dozen.
There is a comedy group on YouTube that I quite enjoy that go by the name Screen Junkies. They do all kinds of video series on movies, and arguably the most well-known of which is called Honest Trailers, in which they pick apart all the holes and inconsistencies in movies, and present a 3 or 4-minute trailer in their best “movie trailer voiceover guy” voice. This, for instance, is all in good fun, and they seem to like many of the films they review, responding to fan requests. For example, they created an Honest Trailer for The Dark Knight, and after a few minutes of reaching for things to nitpick on, you hear the line, “oh, who are we kidding? This movie’s fucking awesome!”. If your mind is geared toward such intense examination of film, especially to present your thoughts about it in a humorous manner, then so be it, but there’s no need to be miserable.
Perhaps my mind doesn’t work the way of the critic, at least not when it comes to the big screen. That’s not to say that I’ve liked every movie I’ve ever seen, or that I don’t avoid certain films, but that’s simply because they’re not up my alley. That certainly doesn’t make them bad. My taste in movies is pretty consistent, and I usually only go to the theaters to see movies that I know I’m going to love, or at least like. I watch movies to escape, to relax, and to just get lost for a couple hours. I don’t have the inclination to dissect a film to its core, to criticize the way it’s written, or to keep myself from enjoying it. People don’t seem to realize that suspension of disbelief is the order of the day when it comes to watching just about any movie, aside from maybe a historical documentary. During those two hours or so, you have nowhere else to be, no responsibilities, and nothing to worry about. Why don’t you relax and enjoy yourself, instead of sitting straight up in your seat, eyes locked and ready to nitpick? If that’s physically impossible for you, then go write, film and direct a movie yourself, and we’ll see how much sense yours makes. Good day.