Mythbusters – Dodge a Bullet Review

‘Adam and Jamie test if you can jump out of the way of a bullet, while Kari, Grant and Tory find out if hitting the water is just like hitting pavement after a fall.’

Adam and Jamie in 'Dodge a Bullet'

Trailer

Dodge a Bullet

An interesting concept. We’ve all seen the Hollywood martial arts movie cliche of dodging a bullet, all the while knowing that it’s not going to happen at close range; but the idea that it might be possible at extreme ranges has enough plausability to warrant investigation. I was happy that they brought in professional snipers for this myth to add the extra layer of accuracy. I’ve actually seen Dave Liwanag (the sniper that they brought in) on other documentary shows performing some pretty amazing shots, and this episode was no different.

This episode was a great example of the methodical myths that I really like. Sure, they aren’t as flashy as the big explosive myths or as fun as stuff like the spy cars, but there is something about a methodical series of data gathering experiments that I really enjoy. Seeing the boys overcome the various problems in the experiments and the short but detailed explanations of the things that they have to take into account are really fascinating, and one of the things that has made this show so long lived.

The opportunity to see Adam and Jamie really excited about their work is one of the things that draws you in to the show, and its well evidenced here. Adam in particular seemed to be channeling both Speed Racer and Vizzini here.

The myth played out in a very satisfying manner, even though the myth was busted relatively early. The final experiments were really fun (in a schadenfreude kind of way), if only for the opportunity to watch Jamie dodging, Matrix style.

Water vs Pavement

This is one of those old myths that you always hear about. Bread and butter for the Mythbusters. Since it’s so easy to test, I started the episode wondering how they were going to expand the myth out to fill half the episode. Especially since after a short montage of the build and explanations of the scientific concepts involved, they were ready to test. As with the other myth, this was a nice methodical series of experiments, but it seemed a little heavy on the exposition. We all know what the experiment is, we don’t need to have it explained repeatedly.

I think that this is symptomatic of the problem that Mythbusters has had for a while. The secondary myths have tended to depend too much on the personalities of Grant, Tory and Kari; and they aren’t really enough for me (although they might be for others).

What made this show popular was the fun science, presented by people who were a bit silly; but now it seems to be more about the silly people, and their detailed reactions to every experiment rather than the science itself. The overacted intro/outro’s to each myth were endearing at first, but began to wear thin pretty quick. But these are criticisms of the show in general, it’s no more apparent in this episode than any other for the past couple of seasons.

Overall, it was a reasonably interesting myth with some cool visuals; but I once again found myself losing interest part way through. This myth could have played out in half the time without all the hijinks with the presenting trio.

What I Liked – Good old fashioned methodical mythbusting. Matrix style slow-mo of Adam and Jamie

What I Didn’t Like – Spending more time with the presenters than the science

Rating – 3 out of 5 (Average)

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