Sunday, March 07, 2004

Hollywood Endings

As I am living just this side of broke at the moment when I want to indulge myself I have to do it cheaply. So last night's dinner and a movie consisted of woefully-unhealthy McDonalds and the Dollar Theater. Much to my surprise on Friday and Saturday evenings it becomes the Two Dollar Theater (while I'll refrain from making any comments about Two Dollar Anythings you may infer what you wish) and saw Ben Affleck and Uma Thurman in Paycheck.

As I have an affinity for action movies with explosions and gratuitous violence I'll have to say I liked it. Something has been lurking in the back of my mind though, rather like a small piece of rock stuck in your shoe?agitating and annoying. After all the bullets dodged, felonies committed, needless deaths, and unnecessary chase scenes the resolution was tidy, neat, predictable and, well, totally unrealistic.

Life is, pardon my homage to teenagers as I roll my eyes, sooooooooo not like that and I guess a part of me feels cheated. Life is messy, complicated, unfair, and sometimes the results of our actions can be disastrous. I don't understand it and am constantly confounded by the strange twists and turns my path takes.

I wanted a big plot twist or some sort of irony but it never appeared. I think it would have made the movie better if Affleck had really turned out to be the bad guy--but he didn't. Also, you really have to suspend reality if you want to enjoy this type of movie because if you follow things to their logical and consistent conclusion you will know it could never end up the way it does. Maybe that doesn't bother anyone else but it does bother me. I keep thinking about the damage to the FBI offices, downed police officers, destroyed police cars, and all other manner of collateral damage. Who pays for that? Are the insurance companies responsible and wouldn't the law seek someone's pound of flesh in return for everything? I know our hero was "wronged" but what about all the other people who were "wronged" is there no recompense for them?

I know, I know, like I said earlier you have to suspend reality to enjoy the movie. I just find it interesting how we will do the very same thing in real life--suspend reality--and expect a Hollywood-happy ending in our own lives. It's almost as if we think of it as our Hollywood-given right.


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