Saturday, May 05, 2007

Suspension of Disbelief

Cinematical's review of Spider-Man 3 has a really great paragraph about suspension of disbelief as it pertains to good stories built on ridiculous foundations:

Some would argue that any movie with "Spider," "Man" and a hyphen connecting those two words in the title doesn't need rigorous or especially well-thought-out story logic – after all, this is a universe where exposure to radiation gives you superpowers, not leukemia; where blows to the head result in amnesia, not fatal cranial bleeding. But I'd argue just the opposite – if you want me to swallow a man swinging between Manhattan's concrete canyons on webs, lifting cars and leaping yards at a bound, you have to make the rest of the film as tightly and carefully as possible. I can suspend my disbelief up to a point, but it ultimately has to have something to hang from. One of my favorite things about Spider-Man 2 was almost subliminal – but you'll notice that whenever Alfred Molina's robot-armed Doctor Octopus picks something heavy up, he's got one robot-arm on the ground for leverage, because they may be super-strong robot arms, but they obey the laws of physics. And, that simply, you knew someone cared. A rock falling from the sky into Central Park coincidentally near our hero? That simply, you know the exact opposite.