The 5 Worst Science Mistakes In Films

By Steve West | 9 years ago

In the realm of films there are often times when you have to just accept that the ridiculous is possible. Mostly that’s a position any normal person is willing to take on as they decide to watch a fictional story. But sometimes there are such clear violations of common sense scientific knowledge that we have to throw our hands up in frustration and ask what the hell were they thinking?

Below are some of the worst violations of scientific knowledge on film. Many are just one example among many, and the list goes on further from here. We’ve gathered specific examples in our mini-list, but let’s remember that computers do not say ACCESS GRANTED and then allow you to control the entire Isla Nublar. Also, can anyone explain why Hoth has no other climate except “balls numbing cold?”

Superman Kills Everyone
In Superman Lois Lane is killed during an Earthquake, and Supes is powerless to stop it. In his grief the Man of Steel not only defies all known laws of time and space, but also kills every living thing on the planet. Or that’s what would really happen if Superman flew around the Earth so often and fast that he stopped the planet’s spin and reversed it. Unless everyone gathered at the poles, we’d be flung off the planet at various speeds. At the equator you’re moving at 1000 mph through space, and if the planet stopped spinning you would be flung violently away. Way to go Superdouche, you’ve killed the world just to save the perpetually in trouble Lois Lane.

Got An Image, Yo I’ll Enhance It
Despite what Tony Scott wants you to believe, Jack Black cannot use any known cameras or satellites to rotate around Will Smith to find an item in a bag. That type of image enhancement is patently ridiculous. This phenomenon is prevalent in lots of films, especially spy thrillers. Most often it’s found with pixilated image enhancement, see Liam Neeson using a photo kiosk in Taken for a recent hilarious example. But that 3D camera in Enemy of the State is by far the most egregious incident of impossible image enhancement in film. A pixel is a pixel, and no amount of button pushing will change the data you started with; especially grocery store kiosks running Printshop.

Remember That It’s In Your DNA
Alien Resurrection may be the lowest point in Joss Whedon’s writing career, and I’m just going to forget that anything he wrote could lead to a cloned character having the memories of the person it was cloned from. Even if we go along with the memory transference thing for the sake of “suspended disbelief,” there’s still the fact that the real Ripley was burned up. Some loss of info had to occur. Our experiential being is not written into our DNA. You’re the way you are because of your DNA, but what happens to you is a separate thing. And your clone, despite having your DNA, could become a totally different person. The Ripley clone is just one of many problems with the 4th Alien film, but it has us scratching our heads and wondering WTF.

Caution: Slow Moving Light
If you were standing at the Rebel base on Hoth and a Walker fired a laser cannon at you, do you know what you would see? Nothing, there’d just suddenly be a hole in your chest. That’s because lasers travel at the speed of light. TIE Fighters and X-Wings battling in space would look like a bunch of space ships traveling in straight lines until they collide with each other or some other object, and occasionally one would explode seemingly out of nowhere. Laser cannons in the Star Wars films fire the slowest known beams of light in any universe. I’ll excuse the blasters that characters like Han Solo carry around like a handgun, as they aren’t necessarily firing lasers. But I have a wary eye on them as well.

The Water Will Rise Only So Much
Let’s forget that Kevin Costner gains the power of gills at an exponential evolutionary rate, the true offense of Waterworld is the planet being covered in water. There’s almost no land in the film because all of the polar ice caps have melted, raising the sea level several hundred meters. The truth is that if this did happen the sea would only rise around 200 meters. Yes, causing much havoc and losing a large amount of land the world over. But we wouldn’t have to run around treating dirt like a precious commodity; there’d be plenty to go around.

BONUS: No Wonder People Have No Clue What Evolution Actually Is
Waterworld is not getting away with the gill evolution thing. In the film we’re supposed to believe that “The Mariner” has evolved gills to adapt to the new climate. This mutation occurred within 500 years, and to only one person. But the issue is that mutations occur based on what’s currently happening. The environment doesn’t dictate the mutation, the need of the creature does. There’s no reason for Costner to gain gills, because humans are perfectly capable of survival on the water’s surface. Evolutionary mutations don’t occur to give one particular critter a superpower or advantage. There is no elitism in evolution. Every living thing on the planet is equally evolved, just in different ways. No one is evolutionarily superior.

Join in on the discussion with the comments section below, and tell us what you find to be the worst science violation in movies. They may be fictional stories, but I still wonder how an invisible force field can stop a laser. It’s invisible; the light will pass right through!

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