I was thinking this weekend, what is it that makes a film a success? A big budget and A-List actors? Crazy special effects and three-dimensional graphics?
Surely it is a combination of things. But after hearing the enormous success of The Avengers in theaters this week, I was reminded of one ingredient that should never be left out: plot!
Yes, a good story can be a rare commodity these days, especially in action films. I mean, can anyone expect to leave a superhero movie saying, "Wow, that was an excellent plot"? Comments about an attractive protagonist or impressive graphics, sure. But in the days of Transformers movies, a solid storyline can seem impossible to imagine.
Which is why it's so it's refreshing to see Marvel Comics employing great minds to work on their latest movies. To write and direct The Avengers, Marvel commissioned Joss Whedon (known for great writing in such cult-followed shows as Firefly and Buffy the Vampire Slayer). And to direct their movie before that, Thor, Marvel called in Shakespearean actor and director Kenneth Branagh.
So I've learned two things: 1) A good plot doesn't just happen; it takes purpose and skilled design. And 2) The geniuses at Marvel Comics deserve a big hug!