Nitpicking Realism: When is it OK?

Ever find yourself annoyed with things that happen in a movie that you found to be “unrealistic”, or groan in frustration at someone who pointed out some obviously silly thing is in fact silly? Those are the conventions and consequences of nitpicking, which is basically a movie watching staple. But when is it OK, and when is it redundant? What is the line between legitimate criticism and a sad attempt to make yourself appear to be insightful? Here, I’ll briefly attempt to clear it up.

If you’re watching a dumb action movie and a dumb action movie thing happens, don’t feel the need to point it out every single time. I know that’s part of the fun of watching these films, but no one wants to hear “That’s so impossible!” every 5 minutes from some chump who just wants to sound like the smartest guy in the room. However, if a “dumb action movie” thing were to happen in a movie that actually took itself seriously (which you should be able to gather from its overall tone) then it is basically asking for someone to complain about it. To sum up, no one needs to point out that Arnold throwing a pipe through a guy’s chest in Commando can’t happen, but it is important that people call out Peeta from the first Hunger Games film utilizing floor camouflage for the dumb scene that it was.

This isn’t to say that it’s impossible for something in an action movie to be too stupid. Where it stops being a charming mindless romp and starts being well… this:

Quote of the Day:

“Why couldn’t you put the bunny back in the box?”

Cameron Poe, Con Air

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