In 1964, aspiring young inventor Frank Walker (Thomas Robinson) attends the New York World’s Fair in hopes of winning a prize in an inventors’ competition. He stakes his claim on his creation of a personal jetpack, a novel idea that, though fun and whimsical, doesn’t quite work. Even though he makes an impassioned case for the merits of his device, the head of the inventors’ contest, David Nix (Hugh Laurie), summarily dismisses the brainchild of the young Edison.
We’ve all heard about videos and other internet phenomena that have “gone viral.” They spread across the web like wildfire, getting into email boxes and social network walls everywhere, with an almost infectious efficiency. Beliefs can work like that, too, for better or worse, in the reality they help to shape, an impact seen in myriad ways in the new disaster drama, “Contagion.”