Maybe it was because I had spent a whole day in an intense seminar. And because of it, my brain felt like it had been danced a couple of hundred laps in a blender. Or maybe I have come to expect more from a film than just special effects; a loud soundtrack and over-the-top fight sequences. Or maybe Marvel Comic’s plots that try to be taken seriously just don’t do it for me.
But the truth is I was bored while watching ‘The Dark Knight Rises’.
About half way through I wanted them to cut to the chase. I’d had enough and the plot seemed ready for it. But the film dragged on with lengthy self-righteous speeches by a villain with a tea strainer strapped to his face. Gotham City is yours. Together we will fight off the tyranny of your oppressors etc. etc. He sounded like the writers had stolen the sound track from Apple’s famous ‘1984’ television commercial. (Hit YouTube if you are looking puzzled at this point.)
I must say I have sat through two hour 45 minute films before and been captivated. No fidgets. No shuffling from cheek to cheek. ‘Gandhi’ comes to mind. ‘Cry Freedom’ was another. (Not that I’m comparing those films to a comic remake, you understand ) But Batman took way too long to get started ponderous recaps of old movies and confusing action sequences linked with drawn out dialogue. Too many people alone with their thoughts gazing into the middle distance.
The film was packed with plenty of action sequences and special effects. There was some love interest with Anne Hathaway looking cute with ears but there was little to like about her. Her lesbian girl friend’s disappearance added just one to a list of many ‘what was that all about?’ moments. And there were plot twists a plenty sorry, what was with the imprisoned chiropractor played by Tom Conti, who appeared towards the end? I shouldn’t have been bored but the film with its budget of a size that would have saved Greece, failed to engage me. My boredom grew from a feeling that the whole two and 3/4 hours lacked involvement.
And that drove my thoughts back to the seminar I had just attended ‘Amplifying and Maximising Marketing and PR Campaigns Using Social Media’. The main message : valuable engaging content, not just noise. That is the key to success.
So maybe if the producers of the movie had spent a little more on getting the plot right and less on a deafening sound track maybe if they’d thought less about designing some mean looking vehicles and more on character development and less time on racking up a high body count and more about creating a plausible virtual world, then I’d be singing the film’s praises rather than saying cut an hour and you’ve a passible flick.
Good relationship with your audience is rule number one in Social Media and in a movie theatre. Put your time and effort into creating and maintaining compelling connection and you’ll be guaranteed success.