Practice English Speaking&Listening with: Explosives Expert Rates Unrealistic Movie Explosions

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Rodger: My name's Rodger Cornell.

I'm an explosives engineer.

Will Ferrell: Oh my god, how do they walk away

in movies without flinching when it explodes behind them?

There's no way!

Rodger: Okay so as soon as this clip starts

there are a couple of really pressing issues

that you should be focusing on.

The first is if you have grenades

and other weapons, you shouldn't be carrying them

around inside a guitar case.

On top of that, as soon as he pulls the grenades out

you'll notice that he pulls out not one

but two of those pins with his teeth.

I've tried it a few times, and you really have

to put all of your strength to get that thing dislodged.

So pulling any kind of grenade pin out with your mouth

unless it's been tampered with beforehand

is just completely unrealistic.

Antonio Banderas: Jesus Christ.

Rodger: The most common misconceptions I'm aware of.

One is that any explosive device

when it goes off will throw a human being

into the air. The detonation itself

and the pressure wave, they're gonna do plenty

of damage to the human body.

Propelling you into the air isn't gonna

be one of the things that you experience.

So being thrown is not really a thing.

You also see that just from those two grenades,

you have this gigantic fireball.

Grenades, especially a military grenade, is gonna

be composed of what's called secondary explosives

and these secondary explosives go

through detonation processes.

A detonation process is extremely rapid

and it's certainly not gonna

be this prolonged explosion that you see here.

When you see a gigantic fireball

and you see just flames everywhere

and you can usually assume

that they're exaggerating quite a bit.

I mean it's not that surprising.

It's a Quentin Tarantino movie,

so I really wouldn't expect anything less.

The only explosive device that you see

in that clip is what seems to be one pack of dynamite.

Dynamite's used specifically for blasting operations

so even though it's made for situations like this

if you have just one bundle in the corner

of a house, you will never get any kind of an explosion

on this order, you might have a chunk of the house missing

right where that explosive charge was

but that's about it, the house would probably

still be standing, unless there were a lot

of other charges placed about the house

that we're unaware of.

Certainly not every piece

of the building would be in flames.

Samuel Jackson: Son of a--

It looks like he's in a dummy town.

Once he hears sirens, he realizes

that he's about to be in the middle of a nuclear test.

Harrison Ford: That can't be good.

Rodger: The refrigerator's lead lined

and the reason this is important is

that the lead can actually block certain types

of radiation. So that's the premise

is that all the lead in this fridge is gonna

block the radiation and somehow protect Indiana Jones.

Some of the things that are depicting are somewhat accurate.

I mean, a nuclear detonation or a nuclear event

would produce all kinds of light.

And it's amazingly destructive.

So they're showing the force of it correctly

just not how it's gonna impact the fridge

which is the main issue with the scene.

Sure, the lead lining is gonna protect a little bit

from some of the radiation, although it's not nearly enough

to prevent all of the radiation

from affecting you, there's no way you can survive

an impact like that.

The fact that he gets out immediately

and he'll actually walk up to look

at the aftermath of the mushroom cloud

from the nuclear event, there's a ton of nuclear fallout

when you have these events, and you want

to be as far away from this as possible

because the radiation that it produces

it sticks around for quite a while.

And the fact that he lives on in the movie

and doesn't die in a couple hours

from radiation sickness is just completely ridiculous.

Right off the bat

it's Michael Bay, it's a Transformers movie

you have Deceptacons running around.

So how real can you expect it to be?

When you see the fighter jets in action

you'll notice these bursts of light coming off the bottom.

If I had to guess what that was,

that would probably be flares.

And a lot of times they're used so the planes

can avoid heat seeking missiles.

They're a source of heat that can distract the missile

from continuing to fly towards the jet.

Now whether or not the Deceptacons

use heat-seeking missiles I have no idea.

Traffic Controller: Q1 snipe 090.

You are approved to drop your 2000-class JDAMs.

Rodger: So during this initial explosion,

what I'm assuming they're doing is essentially

marking their target.

If you're gonna drop ammunition

that don't have any kind of propulsion

or guidance, you want to be very, very sure

where you're gonna drop those bombs.

You see Shia LaBeouf get just almost catapulted

into the air, it almost actually looks like he's

stepping on like a trampoline.

I can't see any reason why he would

be tumbling in the air like that.

The pressure wave that's radiating

is moving outward, away from the explosion

so if you were to be thrown at all

you might be thrown backwards and fall to the ground

but setting that all aside,

there's at least realistic situations.

Some of the things that the aircraft did

that progression from marking your target

and then dropping the energetic load on top of it

my guess is that he was probably consulted

as to how the Department of Defense would actually

go through their procedures.

He takes essentially his claws

and he strikes them against the rocks

to create a spark to initiate the flame.

If I'm remembering correctly, it's Adamantium

what his claws are made of, which is completely fictitious.

I have no ideas what the properties of

that material would be, but there are a lot of metals

out there that don't spark.

There are other ways to initiate fuel.

That seems like a pretty silly one

that probably wouldn't work out.

That's a very rocky surface.

Even if you got it to start burning

it would probably die out

before it ever reached the helicopter.

I would never expect this to explode.

You have a helicopter that's crashed

and that's already leaking fuel.

So when the fuel tank ruptures

there's no pressure vessel that can heat up

that can allow pressure to build

where you'd actually get some sort of an explosion.

But if you had an explosion on that scale

you'd have pieces of that helicopter being thrown

in every direction, not to mention the pressure wave

that's produced, so he would definitely

hit the ground at some point.

He regenerates, so I guess you could walk away from this.

He'd be fine.

You see some grenade being launched at Hancock.

And he somehow deflects it into a car.

If we just accept the fact that he can't be hurt

and that he can just deflect bullets

and that's fine, there's still really big issues

with this scene. The effect of the grenade

is unrealistic, the way it initiates is incorrect

using the police car as a way

of stopping bullets is just ill advised.

Cars don't stop bullets.

Cars can deflect bullets.

Cars have a lot of weak points,

so you wouldn't want to ever use it as a shield.

I would expect the doors to have bullet-proof inserts

but that's about it.

The roof of the car and the floor of the car

are probably pretty thin, those are gonna

be the most vulnerable parts of that vehicle.

The way he's holding it is probably the least safe way

that he could be using that car for protection.

Will Smith: Good job!

To create an explosion that massive

you would need more explosive material

than you could carry with you

and you would need to plant it everywhere.

It would take just unlimited financial resources

a huge amount of time to place the charges

where you need to put them.

They try to add in some cool sound effects.

It's not gonna sound anything like that.

The actual audio event is very rapid

very loud, and it's more of a crack.

They try to show the shock actually moving outward

essentially past Denzel, you can see the grass

start to move forward, and then retract back.

There, you see that little.

That was a shock wave moving past,

so seeing that sort of motion within the grass

in that scene could actually be realistic.

If you're that close where you can see the shock

around you, it's gonna at least hurt

because you have this sudden change in pressure.

It's gonna feel like someone's at the very least

just punching you as hard as they can.

You're not just gonna keep walking.

All sorts of metal being thrown.

There's fragmentation everywhere.

This is one of my favorite movies

so I really hate

laying into it like I'm about to.

So he essentially rigged this hospital

with explosives, he's setting them off wirelessly

and then he's just watching as the demolition unfolds.

You could have explosions going off at different times

and different locations

so that's actually not unreasonable.

What is unreasonable is to pull that off would

be expensive, and you'd also need to somehow

go through a hospital and place all these charges

without anybody noticing, I'm not entirely sure

that he would have the resources

the time, and be able to disguise everything

to actually pull something like this off.

Especially given what the Joker's wearing.

Heath Ledger: Hi.

There's no way he would go through this entire process

without being seen by somebody.

Jonah Hill: It's gonna explode!

Channing Tatum: Oh my god, roll up the windows!

Jonah: What the f*** is that? Channing: Roll it up!

Channing: I don't care just do it!

- The funny thing is, this scene is one

of the most realistic scenes we're probably gonna see.

There is one resounding issue with this scene though.

All those pressurized tanks, the fact

that all these things are ruptured

and just sitting there.

Jonah: What happened?

Channing: I don't know. It just didn't explode.

Jonah: That's weird.

That would never happen.

Jonah: I really thought that one was gonna explode.

This I think is actually the most accurate scene

so you have a fuel tank that was just riddled

with bullet holes, so it has no way

of accelerating the reaction.

Channing: That's what exploded?

I don't know why chickens would explode.

Their fecal matter could probably combust

the wooden cages could light on fire

but why you'd get an explosion, I have no idea.

I think the scene's kind of intending

to be a bit ridiculous, and it definitely is.

Will: What accounting firm is closed at 11 AM on a Tuesday?

Mark Wahlberg: Oh this is a s***hole.

The flame's unrealistic, but the way they're pushed back

is actually somewhat believable.

So the fact that they aren't cut up

and that they're not bleeding profusely.

The fragmentation in that situation

would be much more deadly.

Will: I can't hear!

I can't hear!

The way he's complaining is unrealistic

but the fact that he's complaining

about his ears is actually realistic.

When you have blast over pressure

there are certain parts of the human body

that are susceptible, are very susceptible

to shifts in pressure.

Your ear drums are one, and your lungs are another.

In extreme cases, if the pressure was strong enough

you could rupture your lungs, and if that happens

or if anything near that happens

he's not gonna be talking.

He's just gonna be laying there gasping

for whatever breath he can pull in

so he seems to be in much better shape

than I would imagine him to be.

If you got hit with a pressure wave

you'd probably be concussed as well.

Will: I need an MRI!

So an MRI might not be a bad idea.

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