After reflecting on the movie Outbreak, I’ve decided that it is perhaps the most believable film that we have viewed in class thus far. I realize that there were some significant holes in the plot, especially with regards to timelines, but the basic premise of the movie seemed to be fairly accurate. I think it was a great example of how a strong, contagious virus could devastate our population on a global scale. Granted, in the movie the virus was relatively contained due to some extreme quarantining that served as a great example of Hollywood magic.
After deciding that Outbreak was number one on my list in terms of believability, I decided to rank the rest of the films that we have seen to date. So far, we have seen Absolute Zero, Children of Men, Day After Tomorrow, Sunshine, and The Happening. After Outbreak, I think that Day After Tomorrow was most plausible, followed by Children of Men. The rest of the movies all seemed to introduce some very unlikely scenarios, but I would have to say that Absolute Zero would be fourth on the list with Sunshine and The Happening being a distant fifth and sixth respectively.
I tried to find some sort of relationship between some sort of relationship between the top tier movies and what made them seem credible to me in opposition to the bottom tier of my list. At first, I thought that the quality of acting might be the deciding factor since Outbreak was star-studded with the likes of Morgan Freeman, Dustin Hoffman, Rene Russo, and Cuba Gooding Jr. That notion was dispelled when I considered that Sunshine, a movie on the bottom of my list, included Cillian Murphy and Chris Evans among its cast members. I then looked to the bottom of the list and considered that the director of the film may be the link that I was looking for, but I could find no consistency in that theory either. The thought that cinematography or special effects are the most important factors in a movie’s seeming credibility crossed my mind, but again, Sunshine, a film low on my list with extremely high production quality, was the exception to the rule.
In the end, I decided that there is no one thing that makes a movie seem especially believable or unbelievable. It is a combination of factors including plot, film direction, production quality, acting quality, dialogue, and many other things that appeal to a person on an individual basis. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if each class member came up with a completely unique list of rankings based on perceived believability of the movies.