Movie fans question the possibility of the jump stunt featured on the poster for Dwayne Johnson's upcoming film, Skyscraper. For as long as movies have been discussed on the Internet, movie fans have nitpicked about the realism and verisimilitude of certain movie plots, stunts and other developments. At the time, fans argued about the realism of the movie Speed, especially debating the question of whether the bus could have made the jump over that highway overpass. More recently, physicist Neil deGrasse Tyson has emerged as the go-to authority for pointing out holes in the physics of sci-fi and action movies, which has earned him a reputation as a killjoy in some circles.
The Super Bowl on Sunday saw the launch of the promotion for Skyscraper, an action movie starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, which is scheduled for release this July. The film, directed by Rawson M. Thurber, stars Johnson as a former hostage negotiator with a prosthetic leg who finds himself in a Die Hard-like situation in a burning skyscraper. The first trailer for Skyscraper, as well as its poster, is setting off some criticism from those who take their movie physics seriously.
RELATED: Dwayne Johnson’s Skyscraper Teaser
A Facebook page called The Mother of All Nerds has posted a series of photos noting the physical impossibility of one of the stunts in Skyscraper - specifically, the one in which Johnson appears to jump from a construction platform into the open window of a tall building that's quite far away. With the caption, “Science up, bro,” the site shares various tweets pointing out the lack of realism in The Rock’s trajectory, as well as a couple of the site’s own:
I’ve mocked up some parabolas for The Rock’s SKYSCRAPER jump. Red is assuming he jumped up a bit first; green assuming he ran forward and somehow didn’t lose momentum; yellow for a sort of squat-thrust thing.— James Smythe (@jpsmythe) February 2, 2018
Whichever you choose, rest in peace The Rock, as you are dead now. pic.twitter.com/cAytzrWMRW
So I did some science.— ✨New Year New Christian✨ (@ChristianBedwel) February 3, 2018
Assuming that there is no "jump-off" (which seems to be optimal here)
We can determine that the Rock would need to leave the platform at 12.7 meters per second (appr. 28.4 mph)
For comparison, Usain Bolt's fastest recorded speed is 27.4 mph. pic.twitter.com/GruWcbtEAN
Non-engineers tend to neglect wind effects, I put a blue line that clearly shows the updraft from the fire below which carries the Rock to safety. pic.twitter.com/3hiemMqDRq— Galen Kehler (@GalenKehler) February 3, 2018
Perhaps these Internet users are correct on the physics of the stunt, but when it comes to action-adventure cinema, some degree of suspension of disbelief is always advisable. How many action films have had characters running away from fireballs, or walking away easily from gunshot wounds or plane crashes? And besides, Johnson has now starred in several movies in the Fast and Furious series, a franchise in which the laws of physics have long been nothing but a mere suggestion. There's also something kind of unfair about putting so much effort to drag a film that no one will even see for five more months.
Then again, it’s hard to see Johnson jumping off a building without thinking of the famous “aim for the bushes” scene in the comedy The Other Guys. Of course, the jump in Skyscraper will likely go better for his character than it did in that film.
Source: The Mother of All Nerds
- Skyscraper (2018) release date: Jul 13, 2018