Run away! 6 things Hollywood thinks you can outrun
Posted by Matt at 07:26 on 03 Feb 2011
A falling skyscraper - Volcano (1997)
In a movie that sticks its fingers in its ears and sings 'la-la-la-la' to science and the very laws of nature, no scene is more laughable than this overplayed, slow-motion rescue of a toddler who is about to have a building dropped on him.
With the order given to demolish a series of skyscrapers, Tommy Lee Jones spies the youngster wandering around in the soon-to-be rubble. The button gets pressed and the giant structure starts to crumble, but lightning-fast Jones manages to run over and save the kid by pushing him to the floor, somehow doing so before the building hits the ground and completely decimates everything in a half-mile radius. Woo-hoo! Turns out that craggy old fella is faster than gravity.
Actual running speed: 65mph
When you are watching an evil alien invasion complete with zippy spaceships and hefty landmark destruction, you have to wonder why director Roland Emmerich would attempt to make you care about the fate of family dog Boomer. But he does. And I, for one, have never wanted a dog to die so much.
As a deathly fireball of destruction swarms through a freeway tunnel, Will Smith's totty Jasmine dives into a maintenance alcove for safety with her son and then shouts to dog Boomer to join them. The mutt then jumps up on the car, barks (roughly translated as: holy fuuuuuuuuck!) and somehow dives into the alcove just as the fireball shreds past, utterly failing to fill the space with flames or at least burn up all the oxygen in the air. Hey lady, here's an idea: instead of making sure your dog's alright, how about you save one of the other poor saps in the tunnel who's about to be engulfed in flames?
Actual running speed: 257mph
After everyone else has either been killed or 'got to the chopper', Arnie's Dutch goes mano-a-alieno with the dreadlocked Predator, going bare-chested before wrestling in some mud. I think I just made one of the most manly films ever released sound really gay.
After losing the fight, however, the defeated Predator sets off a bomb strapped to his wrist, which is supposed to be a powerful nuke. As the weird illegible timer is almost up, we cut to Arnie skipping through the forest, diving out of the way and thus surviving a nuclear blast. In Predator 2, Gary Busey explains that the wrist nuke has enough force to level 300 city blocks. This means that Dutch is actually Superman. Gay Superman.
Actual running speed: 980mph
There are so many terrible elements in this ill-advised sequel that it's a wonder the movie hasn't got a cult following and Bad Movie Clubs set up in its name. But, somewhere between the kid's awful acting and the migraine-inducing CGI that vomits on to the screen at the end, there's a race against time... and the sun.
With the kid Alex wearing an ancient bracelet that will kill him if he is touched by sunlight, Brendan Fraser runs him to safety at sunrise, just staying ahead of the dawning light with every step. Now, I'm no scientist, but doesn't this mean he is running faster than the earth's rotation? In theory, if he ran far enough, he could effectively time travel. Hey, I said I'm no scientist.
Actual running speed: 1040mph
If climate change ever got so bad it caused the world to spiral in to a fluctuating pattern of extreme weather conditions, you can bet that it would happen over a period of several years/decades/centuries. But that's not good enough for Roland Emmerich, the man who throws away a science textbook saying 'Ha! I re-write you!'. No, in Emmerich's world, the weather literally chases you down a corridor.
As Jake Gyllenhaal helps an injured buddy to safety, they quite literally have Jack Frost nipping at their toes. Run, Jake! You don't want your feet to get cold! Luckily for our endangered hero, they make it into a room and just close the door, keeping the frost at bay. This is the action movie equivalent of your Nan asking you to close the window because she can feel a draught.
Actual running speed: Faster than the weather.
Ah, M Night Shyamalanamanan, how could a list of dumb movie stuff not have you sitting at the top like a stupid fairy on a Christmas tree of foolishness? And in the league of all the utterly idiotic things you have ever done, The Happening stands out as the clear winner of all things retarded.
Marky Mark is a teacher (I know, right?) who is trying to escape the fate that is befalling everyone else in America: the plants and trees are killing mankind with some kind of invisible, evolutionary toxin. So far, so WTF, but all of this leads to a highlight in modern crap cinema: the sight of Mark Wahlberg, in a field, running away from the wind. As the blades of grass billow, indicating that the wind is chasing him, Wahlberg just runs around like a manchild who should be wearing a helmet at all times in case he falls over.
Actual running speed: The mind boggles. He is technically outrunning the air, which is all around him.