I've found that a lot of the problems with these sorts of contemporary action movies stem from an apparent lack of questioning in the writing room. No-one seems to have asked why such and such is happening. And perhaps more importantly, no-one seems to have asked whether the same effect can be achieved by other 'better' means that don't undermine story or character. On the face of it, there's nothing wrong with most of the stuff that happens in this and the previous Trek, it's just that the actions preceding and leading to that moment or scene aren't efficiently thought out or drafted. For instance, there's nothing wrong with
, it's just the set up for that isn't done as well it could be. No-one appears to have sat down and thought about why all the bits are the way they are and how they fit together to arrive at X, and analysed the problems that arise from doing so.
Spock being in a volcano and the Enterprise having to rescue him
It's no wonder the story does things that feel arbitary, the construction of the story is arbitary.
Maybe this questioning does all occur and it simply gets dismissed and/or ignored...
Now that we're in the 20-teens and the PG-13 tentpole for this era is becoming well-defined, we're seeing that all these movies have the same basic structure and same basic flaws.
The ratio of action to humour to romance to spectacle to exposition is roughly the same. The $100M+ budgets are roughly the same which get spent on cast : FX : production in a certain formula. The returns of $500M-$1B are virtually guaranteed for the brand franchise instalments. Scriptwriting never seems to get a high priority, and so plot holes abound. But plot holes don't prevent box office, because you only notice them after you've spent your money.
The metaphor I reach for is the iphone and the changeable skin. The underlying movie is always the same, but the skin is different. Guy Pearce wants to be a war-profiteer in Iron Man 3. Marcus wants to be war profiteer in STID. Avengers and Dark Knight Rises ends the same way, with a bomb being carried off. Skyfall, STID, ST2009, TDKR and a million others have some villain that's been aggrieved in the past and now 'demands satisfaction'. The last 10 minutes will always involve a WWF punch-up.
Final Draft should have a PG-13 Tentpole template.
JJ Abrahms seems to have internalised 'the Hollywood PG-13 Tentpole Formula', His temperament is well suited to Star Wars. They'll be teenagers running, shoot'n, jump', fight'n against a background of sparks and 'splosions for 120 minutes. Everyone will breathe a sigh of relief that it's not as bad as the Prequels. There'll be predictable nods to the original series with repeated catch phrases, just like Star Trek did. The hard core nerds will whine about breaches of canon. At the end of the day, we'll have seen it all before.
I think someone on this forum nicknamed these types of films "McMovies", and that's an appropriate phrase.