Monday, October 5, 2009

I'm No Expert, But...

Aside from being fascinating and instructive, all these blogs by industry insiders also give me a daily dose of writing humility.  This humility is liberating; a novice is allowed and expected to make mistakes.  It is in this spirit of humility that I wish to discuss a mistake I have observed and hope not make myself.  There is probably a technical name for this error, but as unlearned as I am, I'll have to make up my own.  I'll call it the Answer to a Stupid Question Doth Not Drama Make Error.

The example I have for you is actually dialog from a trailer for the movie, G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra (2009).

Guy 1:
"Standing in front of you are Delta-6 Accelerator Suits." 

Guy 2:
"What does it accelerate?"

Guy 1:


The question Guy 2 asks is patently idiotic.  What the hell else would an accelerator SUIT accelerate if not a person wearing it?  I mean, it is clearly a man-shaped suit.  We've already been told that this group of people is the best of the best.  Is Guy 2 supposed to be an imbecile hero?

No, Guy 2 is a device.  In this scene his function is to increase the mystique and awe surrounding the accelerator suits by making them appear so mysterious and awesome he can't figure out what they are even after being told.  He is made to ask so that drama can be contrived from the one-word answer punctuated with heavy bass and CGI pyro f/x.

What Guy 2 actually did was undermine the credibility of the entire movie at the exact moment I was deciding whether or not I wanted to see it.

Thus I humbly add the Answer to a Stupid Question Doth Not Drama Make Error to the list of things I humbly try not to do myself.

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