Nothing loses me quicker than a movie that opens with an overly-choreographed sequence of bombast that tells me absolutely nothing about the characters involved. Even movies that I ultimately enjoy run the chance of briefly mitigating my enthusiasm when they ambush me with a walloping migraine rather than a quick and efficient dose of riveting character work or compelling storytelling. Some examples: Kingsman, The Avengers: Age of Ultron, the original Conan the Barbarian, and so on. I need something more. Not just the same ol’ preordained combination of punch-punch, kick-kick—a smattering of jabs and perfunctory quips punctuated by explosions one-two-three. In short: I have an allergic reaction to set pieces dictated by the camera’s divine placement.
When I can’t invest in the characters, settings, or rules of the game all that remains are low stakes, and when stakes are low: I simply don’t give a shit.
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