Insisting

Note: The current article has been written more than 6 years ago!

I’ve just seen Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014) – IMDb:
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In the movie, everybody insists:

  • Captain America is a regular guy with big wishes. He insists, he gets superpowers.
  • He has a friend, the winter soldier. He insists. He gets superpowers.
  • Hydra has some problems. They insist. The solve the issue.
  • There’s a fight. At some point, somebody just insists. The good guys win by insisting, the bad guys win by insisting.

The movie is so incredibly stupid.

The Bond series used to do the same. Did James Bond like gadgets? Let him have the best gadgets. Did he have a car? Let him have the best car. Usually, the villain also had some gadgets, and some cars, but Bond was, generally better.

In Skyfall (2012), things changed. He doesn’t get get a big gun, but a small pistol. Old style, very simple, very small. He doesn’t get an advanced gadget. He gets a radio frequency emitter. A small radio, that is. That’s all he gets. You generally know that James Bond is going to use the gadget:

Setting up fantastic gadgets and intriguing devices is a cornerstone of the spy genre, and the James Bond franchise in particular.

When the buzz-saw watch is issued to James Bond by Q, it seems a bit fantastic, but still congruent with the world Bond inhabits: a world of super-villains, gorgeous female spies, deceptive appearances, and cool gadgets, cars, and weapons. So we have no problem accepting the existence of the watch.

And with that set-up accomplished, the amazing escape via buzz-saw watch goes from lame to fantastic. In fact, the audience feels a sense of genuine pleasure to see how the gadget reappears at the crucial moment the story.

If James Bond was issued a cool gadget and never used it, we’d feel cheated. As Anton Chekhov famously said, “If you say in the first chapter that there is a rifle hanging on the wall, in the second or third chapter it must absolutely go off.” (The Blockbuster Secret to Seducing Your Audience – Copyblogger)

So, you know that if there’s a gun, he will use it. If the gun can only be fired by him, he’s going to use this to his advantage. The radio transmitter? Still use it.

But, coming back to the subject, in Skyfall fewer gadgets were used. When problems appeared, they weren’t solved by insisting. The winner wasn’t the person with the bigger gun, the tougher force, the most forceful person. No, the winner was the person who used creative solutions when faced with hardships. Brain and intelligence was the differentiation. Surprise, innovation, difference.

Sometimes, emphasis is being put on being the powerful human. James Bond gets to run on the streets, he climbs the elevator, he resists falling. At times, he uses intelligence. It’s not the bigger weapon, the smarter weapon. It’s the guy.

Compare this with Captain America, where the one with the bigger gun always wins. In case this doesn’t seem to happen, you are wrong in your analysis – the bigger gun wasn’t the one which you expected (so, even if the ship with guns is big, Captain America has more resources than the other guys).

Note: Skills = bigger guns. If the Russian girl, Natasha, is good with martial arts, it’s just insisting. She fights better because she insists.

So booooring.

I previously wrote about this subject:

P.S. The average rating on IMDb for this movie is ridiculously high!:

Ratings: 8.1/10 from 174,579 users

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