Big Budget Spectacle Films Should Be More Than Just Eye Candy
As movie fans, we deserve more than just big budget special effects in big tentpole spectacle films, and studios should be spending their money wisely on the projects and talent they choose to invest in.
Independence Day: Resurgence was released this last weekend, and it was such a huge disappointment. I was excited about that movie and I thought it would at least offer some form of entertainment, but instead, I just couldn't wait for the movie to end. You can read my review for it here if you haven't already.
I got a lot of comments and have had a lot of conversations with people about how they don't go to see "these kinds of movies for the story and characters," and to that I say: bullshit.
We see a lot of great big budget spectacle films that have great stories, great scripts, and great characters. Marvel is a perfect example of a studio giving audiences movies that have all of those things, and on top of that they also manage to give us plenty of the eye candy that we love. If Marvel ended up making a movie as bad as Independence Day: Resurgence, the fans would go ape shit and tear it apart. They wouldn't say, "I don't see these movies for the story or characters" because that's exactly why we go to see those movies! We freakin' care about those things! So why should we lower our standards for other films? We shouldn't!
We should expect the same top-notch quality of filmmaking and storytelling from every film we see! It all starts with the studios. They should be investing their money in the right talent who have the ability to tell great stories, because no matter how pretty a movie looks, it's pointless if there isn't a solid cohesive story behind it. Zack Snyder's Sucker Punch and Batman v Superman are two other examples I'm going to throw into the pot as examples. Those films were visually spectacular! But they had such mediocre stories and scripts.
There is really no reason that all of these big budget films shouldn't be AMAZING. The studios are spending between $120 and $250 million or more on tentpole films these days. With that kind of money, they actually have the power to hire the best and most talented people for the job. Of course, there are a lot of behind the scenes politics that happen when making movies which tends to lead to mediocre talent being hired, which is why we keep getting these disappointing films. It's the Hollywood game that gets in the way of making a constant stream of great movies. (That and accountants.)
Here's the thing: every film that goes into development has the potential to be great! Every single one of them. Independence Day: Resurgence could have been an absolutely amazing film! The studio just invested in the wrong pitch and the wrong talent to make it. Do you understand what I'm trying to say?
We should never have to say, "I don't see these kinds of movies for the story." If that's your thing, then that's your thing, but just remember, "those kinds of movies" could have and should have been all-around GREAT films, not something we and the studios should just settle for.
Solid story, script, characters, and talent are what make these big films so memorable. Not the special effects. The special effects will eventually look dated, but 20 to 50 years from now, people will only remember and talk about the films that had great stories, scripts, characters, and talent. Everything else will fade into obscurity.