Monday, January 14, 2008

A Film Too Far

A while ago Mark Steyn wrote a piece bemoaning Hollywood's understanding of morality and the demise of storytelling. Personally, I think it's a rather strange idea to expect Hollywood to understand much about morality, but Steyn's point was that in their headlong race to convince us of their politics Hollywood's movie creators had lost the ability to tell a story (and even there, in an age of post-modern foolishness, why single out Hollywood for blame?). The centerpiece of his argument was a film called 3:10 to Yuma, a recent second version of a Western first filmed in the 1950s. You can read his opinion here. Or, you can perhaps find a theater still showing the film and judge for yourself, tho I wouldn't recommend. Or you could take a very long flight on one of the airlines that offers the film as part of its on board entertainment, as I did a few days ago.

So I watched. What can I tell you? Steyn was too generous. The film is, quite simply, sheer idiocy. There is, admittedly, a sort of endearing quality to the murderer in the film - Hollywood has always been good at getting us to take the wrong side - but apart from that, there is no sense to the film, no coherence, no consistent theme. It's a Western where the murderers are the good guys except when they're not, the law enforcers are the bad guys except when they're not, the hero is a hero except when he's not. And the myriad zigzags serve no purpose that I managed to discern.

According to this, the film cost $50,000,000 to make. That's fifty million dollars.

1 comment:

Lydia McGrew said...

My intellectual exercise on a long flight (fortunately I haven't had to take many) is watching the movie without sound and trying to guess the plot. It's actually rather amusing--more fun than watching it with sound.