Summer Blockbusters Lack a Sense of Wonderment

Posted on August 25, 2015

Summer Blockbusters Lack a Sense of Wonderment

As the summer blockbuster season winds down (or what many studios had hoped would be a ‘summer blockbuster season’ as Tomorrowland certainly didn’t break the bank-in a good way), I noticed this quote from the review of Jurassic World written by AP’s Jake Coyle entitled “Jurassic World Bites Into the Modern Blockbuster”:

“Jurassic World,” the latest incarnation of the franchise, is lacking the deft sense of wonderment, wit and suspense that guided the original.

Exactly! For a while now I’ve been talking about the fact that many of our mainstream studio movies have been relying on CGI effects and digital hijinks just a little too much – so much that storylines are often nonexistent.

It’s no wonder that the movie-going public over 40-45 stays away from the local multiplex along with everyone else (of any age) that is looking for a story and some meaning within their movies.

Where is the Wonderment?

Not only are storylines not happening, as a result, neither is the wonderment, wit and suspense.

Personally, it is wonderful to see a critic using the word “wonderment” as I have been dedicated to teaching my students and clients how to introduce this element into their material. See my earlier post: Make Your Audience Think. Create Moments of Wonderment.

Wit and suspense are necessary elements also, sure, but wonderment is definitely lacking in many (if not most) of today’s movies. See Why Wonderment in Writing Matters published on this blog previously.

So, how can you be sure you have wonderment in your latest project?

One of the simplest ways is to ask yourself if you are providing something within your work that your audience cannot get anywhere else. In other words, it is the act of experiencing your work (via reading, listening, watching) that provides wonderment and in my opinion any piece of work that does not have this experience needs some more rewriting/reworking. So as you continue with your writing, ask if the material will make a difference in anyone’s life – this is the base of what wonderment is.

Oh, and that Jurassic World movie will do fine at the box office, but I know we can do better than this and we MUST do better than this and begin writing scripts and stories that have just that – a story, rather than just the special effects.

For more information about how to get wonderment into your work check out The Writer’s Advantage.

…and let’s face it, the only real reason to see this movie is to watch Chris Pratt, right?


Writing TV Scripts that Get Noticed

1 Comment

  1. Wonderment yes! Your closing statement about writers having a platform to change people’s thoughts is so right on. Yes indeed, assisting readers to become more human is both noble and daunting. It’s daunting because of the layers and layers of obstacles we writers contend with, the primary one being lack of visibility. As you noted by Joni Mitchell’s deft quip, “Art isn’t art of only fourteen people know about it.” Yet there are a quagmire of annoying secondary obstacles from software problems to social media trials and tribulations to my own naiveté and incompetence as an online marketer, and more.

    Your link to Why Wonderment in Writing Matters really rattled me. That’s because I woke up this morning ready to give up (after so many similar mornings), ready to be done with the flood of difficulties and disappointments I’ve been facing. I had to snort at the subhead “Think about adding wonderment too your material” because it’s all I think about (well, almost all). Creating wonderment is why I sacrifice so much to write and to blog and to publish. Wonderment is not in addition to what I write, it is the very basis of what I write. Then came your flurry of admonitions to keep writing forward. “You must continue onward … certain writers did not stop, did not give up, did not abandon their work. . . “

    I had to take several deep breaths and shut down my pity party. I will go rest, accept what is, pray and meditate a while, and return to my keyboard and computer screen another day. Thanks, Laurie.