Or, "How to ignore High School Science!"
Synopsis? Arnold is a Gov't agent in charge of witness relocation - "erasing" their previous existence and allowing them to start anew. A new what, I don't know... Finds out his boss played by James Caan is a bad guy. Beats up most of the government AND a Boeing 767! Finds and uses weapons that see thru walls and shoot aluminum bullets at the speed of light, but you can still see them flying thru the air and Arnold can still dodge them. Sher...
Well, a few errors were noticed along the way;
- NOTE: This comment isn't really science-based, just stupid... At the end of the opening sequence after Arnold foils an assassination attempt and sets the stage for the "erasure" of the informant's family, Arnold makes an anonymous phone call to the cops. This is before he's even done. A moment later there are sirens. Arnold is still standing in the front yard. He drives away from a burning house, squealing tires, right past the first two cop cars arriving at the scene. Wouldn't you think the cops would've stopped him and/or at least notified other officers to stop him? Hmmm?
- The "Rail Guns"... Well, there are real "Rail Guns" on the drawing board. Check out The Rail Gun Page, a straight forward introduction to the science behind it. Currently, the absolute best rail guns can produce a muzzle velocity of just under 5 km/s. Now, that sounds fast, donut? A muzzle velocity of 5000 m/s is still 0.00000067% the speed of light...1x10-7%. Now, say I'm a stickler for detail, but where was the scientific advancement that allowed rail guns to shoot aluminum projectiles at the SPEED OF LIGHT? Was I asleep? Well, yes, I probably was, but that doesn't save the producers of this flick! According to an online Muzzle Velocity Chart, a "22-250 Rem", no real clue what that means, 22 caliber Remington?, has the fastest muzzle velocity of all real guns listed at 3750 ft/sec, 1136 m/s, or 1.1 km/s. Hmmm. So this fancy rail gun can do an aluminum bullet 4 or 5 times faster? Cool, but I'm not impressed.
- And, how in the name of all that's sane can these guns have scopes that see through walls, entire buildings, cars, but can't see thru a refrigerator, AND magnify what they see? Huh? Well?? I want answers, damn it!
- Now, this speed of light motion thingee... Don't get me started! Instead of me ranting and raving and getting another case of vapors, go visit AstoNet's Speed of Light Travel Page. It's a very short read and the quickest and most concise real description I've found. Speed of light travel is IMPOSSIBLE. Therefore, faster than 'c' is IMPOSSIBLER! Sigh.... This is NOT one of those things that you can make the analogous argument about, "Well, our technology just isn't there yet!" or "That's what they used to say about traveling faster than sound or going to the moon!". These are laim analogies. In fact, they are actually invalid analogies. The speed of light is actually interwoven into the "fabric" of space itself! It is simply IMPOSSIBLE to travel at it! Get used to it!
- Here's a list of things my students and I have noticed about the Jumbo 767 scene; where Arnold discovers his buddy, James Caan, is a bad guy and he's going to be killed dead. Keep in mind, all the following take place inside a cruising Boeing!
- These Government agents all start shooting! Inside a plane! Now, I've heard recently that one bullet hole won't suck people out the plane like is popular "knowledge". However, after about 100 or so bullets, don't you think the plane would be riddles and crippled? Also, we, the common folk, are being protected by these US Government agents. I'd feel a little safer at night if they'd be able to shoot something other than airline seats... There are about 50 bullets flying through the air during this scene and no one got hit! Gosh! Sign me up! Catching bullets is the only reason I didn't continue active duty! Geez! Had I known it was this easy, I'd a signed up again!
- The "bad" guys hide behind the seats of the plane while Arnold shoots at them! You can even see Arnold's bullets entering and hitting the seats and, apparently, the only damage is fluffing the stuffing... These bullets just don't pass through an airline seat to get to the bad guys!
- Let's not even talk about how many bullets are in Arnold's gun... Do dee term "ridiculous" ring a bell?
- Arnold jumps in the air through THREE separate scenes! Details? Arnold jumps, apparently toward a door, after throwing a knife at James Caan. Scene change: Three agents shoot at him. Scene change: Arnold is still flying through the air. Scene change: Arnold is about 4 feet off the floor, grabs the handle to the door of this Boeing, door blows open, he sits of floor right in front of doorway. Hmmm.... Wouldn't he have gone out with the door? Yep.
- Arnold rips out a seat and throws it outside the door. It hits the engine and the engine explodes in flames. According to an FAA buddy, that wouldn't happen. The "engines" are nothing more than large fans. That's how a JET works. Where's the explosion coming from? Future note: Arnold throws his gun on the floor so he can use both hands to rip out the seat. Keep this in mind for later...
- Arnold throws out, or rather drops, a parachute. The parachute follows a different path than the seat did a moment before. The parachute knew it had to drop UNDER the engine...
- Arnold, being shot at, slips a little and falls out of the door. No biggee. He's Arnold, after all. He follows the same path as the parachute - under the flaming engine. He looks for and sees the falling parachute. Hmmm... The parachute fell 13 seconds before Arnold did. The Boeing is probably moving at 700 MPH, regular cruising speed, at, say, 30,000 feet. BOTH these numbers are suppositions and/or assumption on my part, but it's my site, so I'm allowed... Now, a little quick math shows:
- The parachute is now 4000 meters behind him! That's using a plane speed of 311 m/s.
- The parachute is 700 m below him. Assuming, of course, regulation terminal velocity and such.
- So, the parachute is more than 4 km behind and below him!
- What does Arnold do? Look down, go into a dive, an catch up with with the suddenly smoking parachute WITH HIS EYES OPEN THE WHOLE TIME! Now, my Chocolate Labs LOVE to stick their heads out the car window for some reason. However, YOU try it! Go ahead, I'll wait... Can't, can you! By the time Arnold catches the parachute, he's traveling at terminal velocity, 160 MPH - ish. His eyes sockets would have been so full of air he'd have looked like Cookie Monster!
- Now, if you have slo-mo and/or a good pause feature, take a look at the guy who catches up to the parachute. This guy is uglier than Arnold!
- He catches and puts on the 'chute. Breathes a sigh of serious relief. (I would have checked my drawers...) All of a sudden, what does he see? The Plane! The Plane! My apologies to Ricardo...
Anyway, my own students measure his fall at 19 seconds! That would allow him to, assuming a whole lot of things here, travel vertically a distance of one kilometer or so. Now, why is the plane still at his level? The plane apparently followed him down and STOPPED moving horizontally!
Now, in this next segment, I need another set of outline thingees...
- Caan tells the pilot to hit Arnold with the plane. The plane makes a hard left turn, even though it's right engine is the one that's out! Without a right engine, you cannot get the thrust needed for a hard bank left turn. Think of how a tank moves...
- Arnold, seeing that the plane is now going to mow him over, starts shooting at it. Remember what he did with his gun while on the plane?
- He shoots the windshield of the plane. The windshield shatters and disappears. At 30,000 feet, the pilot just flinches and pulls up on the wheel. He's a real man! He would have lost all air, breath, sense of direction, you name it...
- Arnold's 'chute gets hit and tangled up by the plane. He falls! Oh, NO! Not to worry. It ain't Arnold. It's that ugly guy again... Now, not only is he NOT ripped apart by the turbulence of brushing against a large metal object moving at a few hundred MPH, but he still has his own eyeballs inside hie skull to see where he is! By the camera view, he is only a few HUNDRED feet above the ground!
- Well, about that "few HUNDRED feet above the ground". It takes him 22 more seconds to fall that last few hundred feet. Now, my students have calculated that Arnold either:
- falls with an acceleration due to gravity of 1.9 m/s2 or
- hits the car roof at 160MPH. One or the other. Hardly both.
- Aside - One of the greatest one-liners is in this movie. Right after Arnold lands on a car in a junk yard after falling from a Boeing 767 for 49 seconds, stopping virtually instantaneously while moving at 160 MPH, he asks a little girl, "Where is this?" She replies, "Earth. Welcome."