Everyone knows that Hollywood bends the rules of reality to bring stories to the big screen. Even movies based on true events fudge things up a bit. It’s called artistic license, and many viewers accept it as part of the film industry. The problem is when the “truths” movies present are so prevalent, they become accepted as actual fact. People have a misconstrued vision of how society operates because of movies, and they may be surprised to learn how much films get wrong. Here are 10 movie myths you probably still believe.
Laser Blasts Are Visible
A staple of any sci-fi film, laser guns are the go-to weapons for the characters. They look cool and don’t require ammunition reloads, but there’s one issue. The laser blasts are visible. If laser guns were every created in the real-world, people wouldn’t be able to see the blasts. Beams need something to reflect on to be seen. In addition, invisible laser blasts would be more powerful, since visible beams scatter photons, making it less potent. This would certainly make all the fun Star Wars dogfights a little less exciting. Thankfully, it’s simply science fiction.
Cops Have to Read Miranda Rights
If you’ve seen any cop TV show or film, chances are you’re familiar with the Miranda rights. Beginning with the famous line “You have the right to remain silent,” police officers say this upon arresting a suspect before bringing them in. If they forget to read the rights – as shown in 21 Jump Street – the criminal can go free on a technicality. But that’s not how it works. The Miranda rights are only for people about to be interrogated by authorities and are not required when someone gets arrested. This way, perpetrators can’t claim the officer didn’t read the rights and exploit a loophole. They’re still in police custody.
The Insanity Defense Works
Frequently, when a character commits a murder in a movie, their lawyer will attempt to prove insanity so the alleged criminal gets off free. As long as one of your multiple personalities did it, it’s OK, right? Wrong. The insanity defense is rarely used, only in less than one percent of all cases. Even then, it’s successful less than 25 percent of the time. There are also states that don’t even allow that defense to be heard. Considering a criminal can prove insanity, they’re not “free” per say. They have to stay at a mental institution until the doctors deem them fit to return to society. That could be twice as long as a jail sentence.
Hacking is Only Done By Criminals
There’s no denying that hacking is illegal and can lead to serious consequences. Just ask Sony. Still, it isn’t something that’s exclusively done by criminals looking for a way to get ahead. Hacking is actually a legitimate career, and professional ones are usually hired by companies to look into their systems for weak spots. These are typically normal, everyday people just trying to make a living and have no malicious intent when they hack into servers. Finding vulnerabilities can lead to a substantial payday, so this really doesn’t sound so bad after all.
T-Rex Can’t See Things That Don’t Move
When the t-rex breaks out of its Jurassic Park paddock, Alan Grant tells Lex that the dinosaur can’t see them if they don’t move. Sure enough, the t-rex is right in front of his prey but doesn’t know it. Studies have shown that Grant and the kids would have been a tasty meal for a real-world t-rex, whose eyesight rivaled that of a hawk or eagle. In the novel, this trait was explained by the amphibian DNA used to fill in the genetic gaps impacted the eyes, but the film makes no mention of it. It’s a plot hole that bothered scientists, but general audiences didn’t seem to care.
Instant Communication Is Possible Across Great Distances
Sci-fi movies love to show people communicating with each other, even when they’re on completely different planets. Their messages get across instantly, and there’s typically no delay. They have a conversation as if they were in the same room. If someone tried this in the real world, they’d be disappointed. The average time lag for a message from Earth to Mars can be almost 21 minutes, with another 21 added for a reply. That certainly paints Mark Watney’s plight in a new light. Thankfully, his communications system in The Martian seemed to be more advanced.