Tag Archive: Caper Story


ant-man-thor-poster-1In my review of Ant-Man, I mentioned how the movie couldn’t make up its mind as to whether it was a caper film or a superhero origin story. I laid out the reasons why those two types of stories are, if not incompatible, then at least problematic to mix together. I also mentioned I might do a post on how I might have adjusted the movie if, for some strange reason, they came asking for my advice.

So how would I have done the movie differently?

This is actually a more dangerous question than it might appear. I’m a prose editor. I’m a pretty good one. I’m also pretty good at analysis, developmental/structural rewriting, and closing plot holes. None of that means that I’m good at scriptwriting. Visual media is a very different ballgame. I know just enough about the differences to talk about them, and not enough to actually put them into practice. I’m a professional editor, but I’m an armchair amateur when it comes to script-doctoring. I know my limits and I’m not going to pretend that expertise in one form of fiction extends to another.

So, disclaimers aside, here’s my armchair amateur opinion about what I’d have done if I’d been asked to give a developmental edit (also called structural editing) on the film.

Spoiler Warning Continue reading

Ant-Man

Ant-Man_posterSadly, I haven’t had much time for blogging lately (at least about writing); but I can’t pass up a review of Ant-Man. Particularly since so many of you enjoy me writing about the Marvel franchise.

I went to see Ant-Man last night at the Alamo Drafthouse, because who can pass up the chance to watch superhero films while eating fried mozzarella and hot wings, washed down with an alcoholic root beer? All movie theaters should be restaurant theaters.

Anyway, it was a good experience. The service was prompt and good as always, and the movie was decent. Yes, decent; not incredible, not outstanding. Decent.

As I said before, I expected this movie to disappoint me by comparison to the others. On a scale of Marvel films, this is the third-worst, beating out Thor: The Dark World and Incredible Hulk, though Dark World had better visuals. That may sound disappointing, but remember what I said before: a bad Marvel movie is, so far, better than an average movie.

Spoiler Warning Continue reading

Sorry, Marvel. ALL heroes are super.

“Superpower” is a technical term used by some writers and editors, myself included. It’s awkward when used in superhero fiction, but generally speaking it’s a great term packed with a lot of information.

Your protagonist must have a superpower. Your secondary characters usually need them too. Your villain always has a superpower, but an antagonist doesn’t always need it. (Yes, there’s a difference between a villain and an antagonist. There’s also a difference between main characters, protagonists, heroes, and viewpoint characters, but that’s another blog post.) It’s advisable to have a kryptonite as well, but that’s not as important as long as you’ve practiced.

So what is this superpower thing? Flight? Super-strength? The ability to leap tall buildings faster than a speeding bullet while running alongside a train?

It can be, but it’s not necessarily supernatural. A character’s superpower is defined as anything they can do better than anyone else in the story. Similarly, a character’s kryptonite is that which forms an obstacle they cannot overcome. Continue reading

<span>%d</span> bloggers like this: