Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Plots are so 20th century

In The LA Times Dennis Lim argues that traditional story telling has taken a back seat in recent blockbuster films, Miami Vice (written by Michael Mann based on the TV series created by Anthony Yerkovich) and Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest (written by Ted Elliott & Terry Rossio). The point of both films seems to be that narrative is beside the point.
In "Dead Man's Chest," which is not so much written as diagramed, plot points function simply as cogs in the lumbering machine. The ridiculous convolutions, which involve missing keys and magic compasses and Davy Jones' beating heart, serve only to catapult the movie from one exhausting, effects-heavy set piece to another.

Story is likewise reduced to pretext in "Miami Vice," which director Michael Mann shot on high-definition video (the same format that he and cinematographer Dion Beebe used for 2004's nocturnal Los Angeles thriller "Collateral"). At 134 minutes, the movie has barely more substance than an average episode of the TV series. The drug-running plot complications are a tangle of straight-faced clich├ęs.
PiratesMackenzie Crook in Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest

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