Friday, March 20, 2015

Not all plot peeves are created equal

You know when you make yourself a pot of one of your favorite oolongs, but then you buy a new oolong and you want to try it, too, except then you can't remember which set of leaves is which when it comes time to resteep them, and they're similar-looking oolongs, so you can't really tell which is which just by looking? Only you want to write a review of the new one.

"How on earth will we get across the river?"
"I know! Let's dive in, wrestle a pair of
alligators, and get them to swim us across!"
"But what about the bridge?"
Obviously the solution is to just brew one and taste it, and if it's the wrong one, brew the other. It's oolong; you're good for 5-6 steepings (or more). See, some problems are more easily solved than others.

It always bothers me when a story plot (be it movie, book, or TV show) has a really obvious solution that nobody thinks to try. Or, worse, only one character thinks up. An obvious solution should either be the first thing someone tries, or the first thing that is dismissed as a possibility (for reasons, not just because logic isn't cool or something). 

Like in Frozen (a movie I really love by the way), why didn't they ask the trolls for clarification instead of subjecting a daughter to lifelong trauma? Or in Terminator, why not send more than one terminator?

It's a pet peeve, but not as bad as the "Stay here"/"No I'm going to go run into danger" and "There was a gunshot in the forest"/"I'm going to go investigate without backup" silliness. I like a movie less when the supposed-to-be-smart heroes do incredibly dumb stuff.

The strange thing is, unlike the others, blatantly ignoring an obvious solution doesn't always ruin the movie. I'm willing to suspend disbelief a little longer if the solution used instead is entertaining enough, and sometimes I'll even still call the movie "good" at the end. Because it's not about the solution; it's about the journey to get there, and the characters who are going. As long as I can buy into those two, I'm willing to ignore a plot hole or two.

What are some of your plot pet peeves? And is there any movie that you love anyway, despite having those peeves?

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