Science Mistakes in Popular Movies

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 movies, specifically science fiction movies, have to sacrifice scientific accuracy to create a more engaging and interesting story or just to save money, time, and effort. As some say, “Some movies offer good entertainment based on bad science” Today, we will see some examples of movies that really did not care much about the science in the movie.

  1. Jurassic Park

This movie has become a classic and a must-see for any sci-fi fans. The movies focus on a team of genetic scientists working to bring back extinct dinosaurs. That point specifically is what makes the movies so inaccurate. For scientists to recreate dinosaurs from preserved DNA, you would need a whole genome to replicate. We do not have in our possession even a little bit of dinosaur DNA today. Furthermore, although the movie mentions “Jurassic,” the dinosaurs present in the film are from the Cretaceous period. Finally, the movie mentions the park uses “Lysine Contingency,” an introduced genetic alteration that made the dinosaurs dependent on lysine supplements so they couldn’t survive anywhere but the park. However, lysine is present in all foods in the world.

  1. Rampage

The movie Rampage plays with the concept of CRISPR gene editing but makes lots of mistakes along the way. For example, CRISPR could hypothetically give creatures new features but have to start with one-cell embryos, not grown animals like in the movie. Also, if CRISPR could affect the genomes of enough cells to make a change by a miracle, the process would take way too many years to include in a Hollywood movie. Besides, by doing this, the resulting animal would get a lot of asymmetries. For example, that wolf monster in the movie could have ended up with only one wing. Another possibility would be that he had one wing coming out of his back, and another wing coming out of his nose. Finally, the idea of an antidote or on-off switch for gene edits may be possible. However, once again, it would be much more than 10 minutes like the movie presents.

  1. Skyfall

The science problem with Skyfall lies in the villain, who is an embittered former spy whose jaw was supposedly melted away by a hydrogen cyanide suicide pill. However, the hydrocyanic acid, from which the pill is derived, is less corrosive than lemon juice, making the villain’s injury have no sense. Frankly, if the pill were capable of causing such injury, it would have melted the capsule containing it long before. 

  1. The Dark Knight Rises

The third movie of Batman is one of the best superhero movies there are. However, that does not excuse it from having a vast scientific mistake. In The Dark Knight Rises, Batman flies a nuclear explosive away from Gotham to save the city, being the hero everyone expected him to be. However,t the weapon itself is an impossibility. Bane orders a scientist to turn a reactor into an atomic weapon, something scientists say is an impossible and ridiculous concept. 

  1. Lucy

As a bonus fact, we have the Lucy movie. In this movie, gangsters force a woman to smuggle drugs in her stomach. Then, when the bag carrying the drugs breaks, the drugs that enter her system somehow help Lucy access and use the 90 percent of her brain that, according to the movie, most people do not use. This access to more brainpower essentially makes her superhuman. The mistake is in that core premise of the film, the myth that humans only use 10 percent of their brains. In reality, people use every part of the brain, and most of the brain is active all the time.

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