We all love movies, and no matter what genre you’re into, there’s nothing quite like relaxing in front of a screen and immersing yourself in a good story for 90 to 120 minutes (or 240 if you’re into Bollywood flicks).
Of course, we all accept that directors have some degree of creative freedom to make the story more exciting, more engaging, and flowing smoothly. But, there are things that movies get wrong time and time again.
Here are some of the most prolific factual movie inaccuracies.
Car chases are a major part of many movies. They’re adrenaline-inducing, action-packed sequences that really speed up the story. You’ll often find them coupled with some fender benders, explosions, and even a shoot out.
Yet, there are so many things Hollywood gets wrong about while choreographing these automotive dances.
The first comes when there’s some low-speed chasing going on. When someone is trying to covertly tail someone, they very rarely take the sorts of precautions used in real life. Criminals and crime-fighters are often trained in spotting when they’re being followed. In fact, you can even do it yourself if you just pay attention to your mirrors during your journey. So the fact that the pursuer in movies is never rumbled is a big error.
If you’ve ever seen a shot of someone driving where the camera is on the dashboard or bonnet, looking at the driver and passenger, you’ll notice they’re turning the wheel a lot more than they would in real life. This is especially true in older movies, just go and watch any Bond film from the 1960s. Either they’re doing this for effect, or Hollywood’s roads are strewn with potholes.
When things heat up and the drivers are burning some rubber, things often don’t get much better. Cars are made to do things that break the laws of physics. Take Live Free or Die Hard, the fourth release in the Die Hard franchise as an example, while being chased by several bad guys, Bruce Willis launches his car up a ramp and takes out a helicopter, an impressive feat, but one that wouldn’t be possible in real life.
And speaking of helicopters, there’s just no need for them to be flying so low. A chopper would comfortably follow someone from a much higher altitude, out of the range of bullets and flying cars.
Modern casinos in Las Vegas are run by professional, often publicly traded companies, and no, they don’t belong to the mob. So if you’re caught up to no good at one of the tables or anywhere else on the casino floor, you won’t be dragged into a dark room and set upon by some hired muscle.
Films like Casino show very dramatic scenes of people being brutalised by power tools, heavy objects, and sharp implements. According to Dustin Boshers, the Operations Director of a Las Vegas casino, this was something that happened in decades gone by, but today, casinos use legal recourse to have people arrested and charged.
Have you ever noticed that taking a flight is much more stressful in real life than it is in the movies? Somehow, there’s never a queue at security and you can somehow get all the way to the gate without a ticket, just to say goodbye to the love of your life.
A Home Alone-style last-minute dash through an airport just isn’t possible, certainly not today at least. Firstly, running and pushing people out of the way is likely to get you in trouble with airport security, the police, or an angry passenger. In fact, filming that scene actually took several days to ensure that no one got hurt.
Secondly, you can’t run past the queues for check-in or security. You may be allowed to go to the front if you ask nicely and show the staff that your flight leaves soon, but there just won’t be the time to do it if you arrive at the airport with 20 minutes to spare. Often the walk to the gate will take that long!
These are just some of the most prolific inaccuracies often peddled by Hollywood, but for the most part, none of them are really doing any harm. They help to keep the story going and make it more exciting, so we can probably excuse these little white lies.