Jun 22, 2013

Who'd you want to see sucked from a plane?

'Let it not be said that the muscular market-forces of Hollywood Darwinism do not result in a dazzling amount of consumer choice. Each weekend, million of dollars are spent, scripts written and rewritten, assistants fired and expressos downed in order to make sure that the average moviegoer, approaching the multiplex at the weekend, can count him or herself spoilt for choice. This year, for example, the studio have devoted all the ingenuity, creative energies and money at their disposal to answering a single question:  do audiences want to see Robert Doweny Jr. getting sucked from a plane, Will Smith being sucked from a plane, or Brad Pitt being sucked from a plane? 
 It’s the question of the summer. Next week sees the release of the much-anticipated zombie-pocalypse thriller, World War Z, in which Brad Pitt’s flight is rudely interrupted by a) a horde of ravenous zombies and b) a hole in the plane’s fuselage, flushing passengers and their luggage out into icy air.  What terrible luck! And just two weeks after that nice Will Smith was sucked from his son through a hole in the fuselage of his spacecraft in After Earth. And that terrifying sight followed hot on the heels of Iron Man 3, which featured one of Iron Man’s fancier rescues, as he scooped up 13 passengers sucked through a hole in the fuselage of their jet, as it made its way across the Pacific. Hollywood has evidently decided: people are really, really scared of being sucked from a plane. Not since last year’s rash of implosions in The Avengers, The Dark Knight Rises and 2009’s Star Trek prompted Slate’s Forrest Whickham to conclude that implosions were the new explosions has a special-effects fad ripped through summer’s blockbuster with such unifying gusto. Getting sucked from a plan is this year’s morphing, 2013’s answer to shakicam, or bullet-time, or those hydra-headed, metallic worm-creatures that made such a nuisance of themselves a few summers back.' — from my Guardian column

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