We all love movies. The plot, the characters, the sound, and the visuals all make a movie a great form of entertainment for hours. However, some films, specifically science fiction, must sacrifice scientific accuracy to create a more engaging and exciting story or save money, time, and effort. As some say, “Some movies offer good entertainment based on bad science” Today, we will see some more examples of movies that did not care much about the science in the film.
- Star Wars.
We all remember and love the epic space battles in the Star Wars franchise. The concept of the death star from star wars has become a symbol of pop culture. The epic scene where it explodes, however, does not follow some basic science principles. First, the mere idea that the death star would explode is wrong since to make something explode, you need oxygen, and space is a vacuum with no oxygen. In the same way, you would not hear any sound from the explosion or the laser guns in star wars since sound needs a medium, air, to travel and reach your ears. Therefore once again, since space is a vacuum, there is no sound in space.
- San Andreas
We all love a good Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson movie. However, this does not save the film from having some scientific mistakes. One of the film’s most notable and annoying mistakes is that an earthquake with an inland epicenter causes a tsunami on the same coast; the tsunami moves towards the earthquake. This is highly wrong since Tsunamis always move away from the earthquake epicenter. If the earthquake presented in the movie had triggered a tsunami, it should have been across the Pacific and not in California. Another significant error in the film is that “The Fault of San Andres” is mainly under the land. Therefore, it would be improbable for a tsunami to have occurred because the earthquake would not have been able to displace enough water.
- The day after tomorrow
I remember watching this movie with my parents for the first time. I was terrified about absolutely everything that was going on. This movie features some correct science explanations at the beginning. We get a little geography lesson on thermohaline circulation (THC), a mechanism that distributes temperatures across the globe. If the THC is shut off, the temperature of North America and much of Europe will decrease exponentially. Now, here comes the failure the movie does. According to the film, the THC shutdown would cause an ice age in the northern hemisphere. This is incredibly unlikely, as the climate of North America and Northern Europe would only fall to an annual low of around -27 degrees celsius, something that happens regularly in Some places in Canada.
Another thing this film gets wrong is how fast climate change happens after the incident. In the movie, the scientists in charge say at some point, the temperature drops by 10 degrees per second. Such a fast and abrupt drop is entirely impossible according to scientists.