Posted by: victanguera | December 5, 2012

Predictability

I just watched the newest Bond movie, Skyfall. I’ll say right up front that the movie disappointed me. I’d heard through various sources (twitter, I’m looking at you), that this was the best Bond movie yet. I heard it had a great plot even. That statement made it seem that previous Bond movies didn’t have a plot, that they were simply about blowing things up and kissing all the girls, which isn’t even close to true. So, I had expectations.

What I found instead was predictability. I’m not even going to rant about how wooden the acting was. But aaagh, Daniel Craig is such a bad actor. He has no emotion–like the Blue Steel of the Bond world. He has one face, one way of acting. He’s great at stone cold, but not much else. It made all his interactions with the female characters seem forced and unrealistic. Hey, I said I wouldn’t talk about the acting.

Okay, back to the predictability. From the moment that Ralph Fiennes was introduced, I knew what would happen at the end. Without going back and watching the movie again (please don’t make me), I’d have to say that it was because they gave his character too much weight right from the beginning. The scene between him and M almost shouted what the end conclusion of the movie would be. I won’t say more in order to prevent possible spoilers, but that scene and that followed could have been written so much differently.

Also, from the very beginning, I knew the bad guy would be a rogue 00 agent, maybe because as a Bond aficionado, I’ve watched Goldeneye. Talk about reusing a plot line. And not as well as the one from Goldeneye. I knew that they’d catch said agent, place him in a cell, he’d get out and cause trouble. And that the final scene would be as expected after the introduction of Ralph. So I wasn’t on the edge of my seat. Nothing made me jump because I didn’t expect it.

So here’s the thing. I don’t like predictable plots. Ones that I can tell from the introduction of a character what role they will play. Ones where the characters seem mere pawns in an author’s game. It makes the writer’s hand feel too obvious. I want the reader to make me cry, laugh, rant or… whatever emotion it is that they want to pull out of me. I don’t want to be able to figure out what is coming five minutes in to the movie or book. That’s just boring.

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Responses

  1. Sometimes predictability can be good. For example, when you’re reading a mystery novel, it’s good to know that the mystery will be solved. However, if you can tell from early on how it will be solved, that is a problem.

    I do hate the moment when a new character is introduced and you can tell immediately where that character will end up in the story.

    Predicability can work on rare situations. I liked Avatar, but the people who said that there isn’t a single surprise in the entire picture were right. But that’s a rare exception, at least for me.


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