10 Bad Physics In Movies

Monday, March 7 by Flora Richards-Gustafson

The 10 bad physics in movies is perfect for the moviegoer who likes to watch the impossible come to life on the silver screen. Flashing bullets, flying objects, laser beams, sound, breaking glass and explosions do not have to adhere to physical laws when in the hands of Hollywood creators. Keep reading to learn what great feats were actually bad movie physics:

  1. "The Karate Kid". Starring Jackie Chan and Jaden Smith, this movie remake had bad physics when it comes to the fight scenes. In addition to only seeing minor scratches after major fights, the last dramatic kick in the film shows Smith’s character standing still, jumping upward, rotating his body, kicking the opponent’s face, doing a 360-degree flip and landing on one leg perfectly. Somehow, the Karate Kid was able to change his trajectory in the middle of the kick in order to do the flip and make a perfect landing.
  2. "Quantum of Solace". The 2008 James Bond movie frequently shows Bond dodging bullets in car-chase scenes. The bullets are not hurting Bond, so the viewer may think the car is bulletproof. Iif the car were bulletproof, it would be a lot heavier and would lack in performance.
  3. "Avatar". This science fiction movie has bad physics when it comes to the speed of light. There is no way a spaceship could cruise at a constant speed for six years and come to a sudden stop after arriving to its destination. Additionally, it would probably take closer to twenty years to reach Pandora from earth.
  4. "No Country for Old Men". Bad physics starts early when a man is able to keep a gun in the waistband of his pants as he runs and swims, without it falling out, and is then able to fatally shoot a dog travelling 50 feet per second. There is also no way Chigurh’s silencer would have worked well without using a reduced quantity of gunpowder. Assuming Chigurh did use a reduced amount of gunpowder, there is no way he could have blown the doors open with his weapon.
  5. "The Kingdom". Set in Saudi Arabia, the car bomb in the opening scene would have caused a crater in the ground and demolish the SUV. The movie’s bad physics shows the blast of the explosion placing pressure under the back of the SUV, instead of the front.
  6. "The Astronaut Farmer". The homemade rocket the character Farmer makes can cause movie watchers to wonder how this person could have been an aerospace engineer. In reality, Farmer’s spaceship should have experienced more damage on the outer shell after falling out of the sky. With all the fuel in the rocket, too, good physics dictates that the ship would have really exploded upon impact or shortly after.
  7. "An Inconvenient Truth". In Gore’s proposed outline regarding reducing CO2 emission rates to what they were in the 1970s does not make sense because emission rates were already beyond historic highs. Therefore, this solution may not be as effective as initially thought because coastal areas of the earth would already experience catastrophic rising of the seas.
  8. "The Da Vinci Code". It would take more than a sarcophagus and remains that are 2,000-years-old to prove Jesus had a wife and children. Even if Mary Magdalene’s DNA could be traced through all her female descendants, this is still not a way to prove she was married to Jesus Christ or she had his child. Good physics and theories known about DNA show that even if there was a DNA sample from Jesus, and he had children, each generation would contain only half as much of Jesus’ nuclear DNA than the generation before it.
  9. "10,000 BC". With the thickness of a wooly mammoth’s skin, muscles and bones, there is no way a person could throw a spear by hand into a wooly mammoth’s heart.
  10. "The Day the Earth Stood Still". Only in Hollywood would top scientists think bad movie physics works. It would be a suicide mission for scientists to examine the area of an asteroid strike before it happened, even if they could accurately predict where it would fall.
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