You CAN, in fact, tell a good story that has…HAPPY RELATIONSHIPS.
Once upon a time, there were two fictional characters who were born under an unlucky star. For the fates known as The Executive Studio and their very own Creator had decreed that their lives would be intertwined in the most horrific of fates: To be locked into a romantic subplot.
After many a travail, first struggling to come to terms with it, then finally confessing it, then surviving the Extragalactic War and the resulting Time Disjunction, then crossing the boundaries of mind, body, and spirit, then splitting up over The Hoagie Incident, they found their way back to each other and lived happily ever after.
…WHAT?! HAPPILY EVER AFTER?!
NO! THIS CANNOT BE! AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh-
Or, he’ll do that anime thing where he powers up spontaneously with his emotions.
He’s green. He’s mean. He’ll rupture your spleen. He’s powered by gamma rays, he’s got pecs for days. When he walks the earth will tremble, roadkill his enemies will resemble, everyone clench your buttcheeks and prepare for:
After all, Charming Orphan Annie singing her way to a family is more optimistic than Malnourished Orphan Annie decrying the wealth gap created by the capitalist system.
Last week, I expressed the heretical opinion that Logan is excellent but miserable, a one-view-only masterpiece that is bereft of hope. This week, I thought I’d elaborate a bit more on just what hope means.
That’s a tall order, of course, just like it’s hard to express something that’s so subjective, as well as being a fundamental word, like trying to describe “hot” or “soft” without using those words. But perhaps there’s a way to narrow it down. Perhaps by grasping to explain, I can clear up the picture and feelings behind it for others. Just what IS hope in stories?
I don’t feel hopeful that they’ll beat the odds and succeed; I feel resigned to their deaths, and think it’d be nice if they met it with dignity.
Logan does a lot right. Well-paced, good balance of action and emotion, very elegant conservation of information that is transmitted smoothly in a plot-relevant way, all of which are difficult to achieve in any film, let alone an action-fantasy. Does a lot for the comic book movie genre to bring more mature storylines to light, along with all the other ‘serious fan’ pontifications. Proves that good writing can transcend genres and categories, surpassing supposed restrictions with creative execution.
In fact, there’s only one thing it fails to do: Make me happy.