Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Problems With The Core

I watched a movie call The Core the other day. The basic theme was that to be a leader you first have to fail. Then throughout the rest of the movie they certainly failed. A team traveled to the center of the Earth to restart the rotation using nuclear bombs. They manage to do that, but not without losing everyone on the team except for two. Overall, the movie seemed to be fairly well written and it had some nice visual effects.

But no matter how well a story is written it is hard to get over killing off so many of the main characters. I think the problem is that we reach a point where death doesn’t mean anything anymore. The first death means something, but you can only include selfless sacrifice in a story so many times. As viewers or readers, we get attached to the characters and when you kill off too many we begin to steel ourselves against being hurt by the next death.

There’s a very good reason why we introduce redshirts into our stories. We can kill off a redshirt and the reader gets the point that the villain is a bad dude, that anyone could die, but it doesn’t hurt quite as bad. When a team accomplishes their mission and the only people who died are the redshirts and maybe one primary team member then we feel much better about celebrating the victory.

I say all of this, but it is really a personal preference. As I said, the story was well written, but it went too far for me. Others may like it, but not me.