Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Suspended Disbelief

I love movies! I love movies because they aren't real life! At the very least they aren't MY life! My wife can't watch depressing movies because they make HER depressed. I can watch a depressing story that gives an insight into another way of life or another persons depressing story because I can be on the outside looking in. Movies allow us to experience other worlds. If the movie provides a reality we can believe in, we can be taken anywhere by the story. We can watch X-Men and believe that mutants exist! We can watch Superman and believe a man can fly, sorry couldn't help stealing the tagline! We can watch horror movies and believe that people are stupid enough to go outside because they heard a noise, even though there is a serial killer on the loose! We need to suspend our disbelief to appreciate the movie.

Even within the "reality" of a movie, some movies just push things a little too far. Sometimes that expect us to believe a little too much.

Are we really supposed to believe that we can survive a nuclear explosion in a refrigerator? Are we really supposed to believe that shooting ourselves in the head can get rid of our other personality but somehow not kill us? Are we really supposed to believe that a man can jump from the top of a building through a glass ceiling and land on an airbag as part of a game to help him get through his midlife crisis, without the possibility of jumping a little too far or maybe missing the airbag, ending up a big red stain on the concrete below? Are we really supposed to believe that the force can give you strength, but it can't help you to figure out that that hot chick is really your sister! Are we really supposed to believe that an alien race who has been leaving crop circles for years on our planet that turn out to be navigational aids for an invasion, didn't realize that that blue looking wet stuff could hurt them?

Don't get me wrong, I love movies that are way over the top. I love how in John Woo movies they never seem to run out of bullets. I love how the good guys in any movie can hit anything with any gun at any time, but the bad guys can't hit anything. I love how Indiana Jones never losses his hat. I love how good guys can get shot 20 times and still survive to kill all the bad guys. Hell, I even want to see Crank 2! But if Jason Statham suddenly sprouts wings and starts flying, even with the first movie's unrealistic reality, that would just be too unbelievable!