11 Iconic Movie Scenes That Looked Realistic but Now Seem Absurd
There are many videos online where experts in different areas break down the scenes from movies and talk about how realistic they are. Some episodes are unique and others can be seen in many different movies, for example, when pilots talk on the radio during turbulence or when someone starts a fire with friction.
We at Bright Side had a chance to have a different look at the famous scenes from famous movies where logic was sacrificed for the sake of spectacle.
Tom Hanks would’ve had to try harder in Cast Away.
What happened in the film: The character that doesn’t have experience or the right tools tries to make a fire to survive on the deserted island. He uses friction. It takes him less than a minute.
How it really works: Yes, it is possible to start a fire the way Tom Hanks’ character did, but according to experienced traveler Bear Grylls, it will take way more time. It’s not about editing, in the film this scene literally takes 30 seconds. Bear would have to spend up to 12 hours to start a fire in real life.
The boy from Free Willy should learn more about orcas.
What happened in the film: A boy saves an orca by rescuing it from prison and letting it go. Everyone is happy that Willy has a new home, and that it is bigger than before.
How it really works: When you see the orca in the film, pay attention to its fin. The ones that were grown in captivity have a deformed fin. This happens because of stress, exhaustion, or problems with their psyche. In the wild, this body part is important not only for living a normal life, but also for survival.
If an animal with a deformed fin returns to the ocean, it will not be able to survive. It would be torture for the animal.
The ending in Titanic should be way darker.
What happened in the film: After the Titanic sinks, the characters are in freezing water. One dies of hypothermia and one survives by lying on the door.
How it really works: There’s no point discussing the fact that both of them could fit on the door, because everyone was supposed to die. The temperature was so low that hypothermia set in very fast. In this condition, the blood doesn’t circulate as fast as usual and the body starts paying more attention to its vital organs. The limbs stop moving. And there was no way Rose could have reached the whistle and actually made a sound.
The incredibly talkative pilot in Flight violates the code.
What happened in the film: During turbulence, the pilot starts talking to a dispatcher about the difficulties he’s having.
How it really works: Turbulence is a very regular thing in aviation. There are 4 categories of turbulence: light, moderate, strong, and extreme. Everyone that has flown in a plane has experienced light turbulence. Moderate turbulence is a little more serious, like when things on the plane start moving. And in strong turbulence, you should hope your pilot is an experienced professional. Not a single pilot will waste time talking to a dispatcher during this type of turbulence. The most important task is to continue the flight and keep calm. Only when the hardest part is over, should you inform the dispatcher about the problem.
The elephant from Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls was never understood.
What happened in the film: An elephant attacks a person with its front feet up high.
How it really works: This position is not typical aggressive behavior for an elephant. When an elephant is on its back paws, the stomach is vulnerable. If an elephant is aggressive, it will keep its head down and rush toward a person. What we see on the screen looks more like a circus show.
There’s one more mistake in another scene. The film is set in Africa. On the wall, there is the head of an African elephant. But when the wall crumbles and a real animal runs in, it’s an Indian elephant. The differences are quite obvious: Indian elephants have small ears, no tusks, and the shape of their head is completely different. But Indian elephants are easier to train, which is probably why it was chosen for the film.
In Whiplash, the character was a bit too strong.
What happened in the film: The main character is running late for a concert. He starts driving in a very erratic way, talking on the phone, yelling, and he doesn’t notice a truck. The car turns over, the guy gets a few injuries, gets up quickly, and continues to the concert.
How it really works: From a medical standpoint, after this kind of accident, you shouldn’t move and you should wait for an ambulance. If there is any danger that the car will catch on fire, you can crawl away a little. So, there’s no way he could just get up and run. He might have internal bleeding, a neck injury, or something else.
Matt Damon in The Martian should have come back home along with the others.
What happened in the film: Matt Damon’s character is hit by a part of the antenna and pushed away. This is the main starting point of the film.
How it really works: On Mars, there are many storms and sometimes they spread around huge territories. But don’t forget that the atmosphere of the planet is extremely thin. In order to understand how thin it is, you would have to climb about 18 miles straight up. For example, the top of Everest is just above 5 miles and everyone who goes there needs additional oxygen. In these conditions, a storm would be very hard to notice, so there’s very little chance the character would be hit.
Also, for some reason, in the film, the gravity on Mars seems to be exactly like it is on Earth, but in fact, it’s only 38% of the Earth’s gravity. This character wouldn’t be able to move normally and everything would look different.
The scene with the tarantula in Jungle 2 Jungle was funny, but not very realistic.
What happened in the film: A spider decides to teach the character a lesson and starts chasing him.
How it really works: Even though there are many stories where people have claimed that they were chased by a spider, it’s not very likely these stories are true. They don’t chase people and they want nothing to do with us. They just want to hide. Usually, they are calm but if they have to fight, they may bite the thing that is threatening them.
In Argo, suspense won over logic.
What happened in the film: The military, driving cars, go on the runway and try to catch the plane. They almost succeed but at the very last moment, the plane leaves the ground.
How it really works: You definitely shouldn’t drive right behind a plane engine. It’s incredibly hot there and the wind is blowing at around 100 mph. Besides, you can’t really catch a plane using a regular car. Planes take off at about 185 mph. Not even the coolest guys in the world can catch a plane or even dream of stopping it.
In Ad Astra, the sound effects were a little over the top.
What happened in the film: Good guys and bad guys chase each other on the Moon surface. There are explosions, gunshots, and other action scene attributes.
How it really works: When you watch this scene, you start to think — where is all the sound coming from? The Moon has no atmosphere, so you can’t hear anything but what happens inside your spacesuit. But if the scene didn’t have any sound, it wouldn’t look as epic.
The head of the Cullen family from Twilight is not a very good doctor.
What happened in the film: The driver of a van loses control and drives right onto the main character. But then the hero appears and saves her at the last moment. The girl goes to the hospital where she gets a medical check. The doctor asks how she feels and flashes light into her eyes in order to make sure she doesn’t have PTSD.
How it really works: In this case, there is absolutely no point in checking the pupil’s reaction to light if Cullen wanted to make sure Bella doesn’t have PTSD. This disorder is not something you can diagnose right after the traumatic episode. It appears later. Also, Cullen was quite lazy as a doctor: the way he checks the patient makes the whole process almost completely useless.
Have you ever noticed mistakes like these in movies? What is the most absurd thing you’ve seen?