Oh, no, I’m not done with this thing yet. After 2.5 freakin’ hours of this mess, there’s a lot to untangle. So my third criterion in analyzing a storytelling failure is the setting. I will admit in some movies the setting is largely irrelevant. Clueless was an adaptation of Emma set in 1990’s Los Angeles and that was just fine. However, the comic book mythos the filmmakers were trying (and failing) to capture, the setting is very important.
So I was wondering what I could rant about for my next blog entry when I was subjected to numerous viewings of the latest Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice trailers. This actually sparked two subjects in my mind, but since I was recently thinking about what makes a good villain, I realized I forgot (or need to expound on) one criterion – credible threat.
Actually, this criterion is broader than just the superhero genre. If the obstacle or antagonist standing between the protagonist and his/her goals is not credible, then the drama falls flat. I say “obstacle” because in some stories is no antagonist or the nature of the antagonist isn’t as clear as a villain as such but the principle still applies. A couple of those examples: