Mission Implausible: How Far Do Action Movies Stretch Logic To Serve Their Drama

Have you ever wondered if it’s actually possible to survive a nuclear explosion by hiding in a fridge, or to make the jump from a crane into a burning skyscraper? Mission Implausible breaks down some of the most far-fetched scenes from iconic action films, looking at which are feasible and which Die Hard.

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Okay, so the movies are far-fetched at times. We know that. We accept it. It is, after all, part of the fun. So when, for example, Indiana Jones hides in a fridge to survive a nuclear bomb blast, we don’t question if it’s feasible or not. When Quentin Tarantino’s Bride awakes from her four-year coma we similarly forgive the story’s acceptance of her abilities to hack countless bad guys and gals to pieces despite medical science telling us she wouldn’t be able to walk let alone wield a sword with the grace of a samurai warrior.

Unsurprisingly, during research by Betway for Mission Implausible, it also found John Woo’s action classic Face/Off to be lacking in the logic department. Dr Kirk Kremer, a plastic surgeon, found a number of holes in the logistics of transplanting someone’s face onto another, not least the amount of additional post-surgery work and rehabilitation required for the patient.

More recently, Mission Impossible: Fallout was viewed by helicopter pilot Rob Hields who concluded that, during the scene in which Ethan Hunt and August Walker’s helicopters crash and become wedged on the cliff face, both characters would have died not once, but several times during different moments of the action scene. However, Hields concedes the sequence is epic and clever, showcasing the film’s huge budget.

Why are we happy to accept cinema’s lack of logic? For starters, within a particular framing, logic takes on a broader scope: a cinematic hero like Ethan Hunt would survive a helicopter crash because he is a “movie hero” just as he can take countless punches and still continue the fight when a normal man would be unconscious.

And as we willingly seek escapism we’re more likely to immerse ourselves in the endless possibilities of make-believe without questioning its authenticity. Imagine if Indiana Jones, for instance, did get crushed by that huge boulder at the beginning of Raiders of the Lost Ark, we’d have no adventure with everyone’s favourite professor of archaeology!

Check out Mission Implausible below for expert opinion on some of action cinema’s most groundbreaking set pieces…

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