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There are some halfway-decent actors doing a good job with interesting characters in “Force of Nature” (2020). Emile Hirsch is a cop with PTSD, Mel Gibson is a salty, retired NYPD cop who knows Hirsch’s backstory, and Kate Bosworth is Gibson’s slightly-less-salty doctor daughter. Unfortunately, the plot is moronically half-baked (crime gang going after Nazi plunder during a Puerto Rican hurricane, with narration from some idiot weatherman or DJ or something). Ultimately, it becomes a trying-to-escape-the-bad-guys story. I wish someone would have helped Bosworth, Gibson and Hirsch’s characters escape to a different movie so I could have watched that instead.

For anybody who subscribed to the site and made a comment recently, sorry about the approval process. I’m supposed to get an email when there’s a pending comment, but WordPress isn’t sending me notification(s) for some reason. Thus, I didn’t know I had pending comments. I approved a bunch tonight and just want to say that I appreciate that y’all took the time to share your opinion. In the future, I will keep a closer eye on my dashboard. I don’t make money off this blog but I am a professional writer and this is an exercise I take seriously.

Editor’s note: This is part of a series of posts that highlight storytelling techniques repeatedly recycled in film. I’ll post a link to these within some of my reviews in order to save words and keep from driving myself crazy writing the same thing over and over.

Two people (sometimes more, usually two) with very different personalities must travel a long distance. Hijinks ensue, putting the two at odds and exposing the true character in each. Travel trouble typically builds to a boiling point, which may or may not be the climax. There is an epiphany, a reconciliation and one (or both) learn a little something about themselves (aww). If we haven’t had a climax yet, we start steaming toward it. If post-climax, there’s often a twist in the denouement (ouch!). The less sappy, the better the film, but this plot structure typically leans toward the sappy.