Monkey Wrench vs Immediate Patch Up

Yesterday was not a very good day. So to get my mind off it, I was productive in other ways. Namely, I went and put my phone in for repairs, and saw two movies: Smurfs 2 and We're the Millers. I'd like to talk about Millers, and whilst I will try not to spoil, I won't guarantee that I won't. So continue on at your own risk.

In a nutshell: A drug dealer recruits a stripper, a virgin and a runaway to be his family to facilitate drug smuggling. Ostensibly, it's comedy/crime. I will say that the comedy is right on; it's perfect for a night of laughter.

I was, however, disappointed with the story. Siri Paulson said of The Search of Spock:

All the way through, I got the sense that the universe (in the form of Nimoy) was on our heroes' side…

…but the story thinks Kirk is right. This happens again and again. Of course, at the end he does turn out to be right, as a hero should…but you don't want to know that until the end.

Paraphrasing from one of Siri's comments to that post: of course we expect that the Millers will succeed in their quest. There's not much of a movie otherwise. But we have to expect that they won't—which means a concerted effort by the movie plot to screw things up without immediately making it all better.

As an aside: Twilight's Breaking Dawn has what is one of the worst resolutions to the climatic build up it spent half a book creating. They gear up for what could be a war, an epic fight… and it ends in "Oh. We were misinformed. Never mind". AT LEAST THE MOVIE BLINDSIDED THE AUDIENCE WITH AN EPIC FIGHT SCENE THAT TURNED OUT TO BE ALICE EXPERIENCING A VISION OF THE FUTURE SHOULD ARO HAVE DECIDED TO MAKE A BIG DEAL OF IT!

The same can be said of Millers: the story wants them to succeed too much. Whilst I applaud the way that things are going well, they're going well—oh hai there monkey wrench! (it's brilliant, and I would like to emulate it in my writing!), there is no situation in the movie that they do not get out of with consummate ease. It's made worse by the fact that Millers is what I would call a 'regular folks' movie.

To me, it seems to be about four regular people who have been caught up in a little mess, thereby implying a certain level of reality… which is destroyed by how they get out of the messes the monkey wrench created.

If the Millers was reality as opposed to a movie, the movie would have been over within the first half hour or so (although being in a cinema, I couldn't check the time). That's how quickly the movie acts in their favour.


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