6 Deadly Injuries You Think You'd Survive (Thanks to Movies)

#5. Getting Thrown by an Explosion

What we see in the movies:

If you don't have an explosion throwing the main character toward a camera, you don't have an action movie. You legally can't call it that unless your screenplay contains the words "runs in slow motion from the fireball."

Like in Mission: Impossible, when Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) is thrown by an exploding helicopter onto the back of a speeding train. Or in Mission: Impossible III, when the same guy's body is propelled by a freaking exploding missile, launching him sideways against a car ... only for him to get up, continue running and singlehandedly take down the airplane that shot him.


Ethan Hunt has been traumatized by every single method of transportation.

According to the physics of the Mission Impossible universe, jumping from an explosion involves surfing the shock wave. Tom Cruise is literally getting a little push from the inferno behind him, conveniently allowing him to reach a safe place more quickly. This also happens in the Die Hard franchise whenever John McClane has to leave a place in a hurry. By the fourth movie, he doesn't even flinch when a helicopter explodes right in front of him.


Shit. Did I leave the front door unlocked?

So it's kind of like getting pushed by a really strong wind. Your hair might get a little messed up, but otherwise you get to take a ride on physics.

What would really happen:

Notice how the same force was strong enough to tear apart the metal car or helicopter or airplane? It's not complicated; the explosion shock wave that can turn titanium into tissue paper will turn your body into a heaping bowl of human pudding. High explosives, like the kind you find in missiles, are hitting you with a force of around 1.5 million pounds ... per square inch. Basically, imagine a battleship landing on you. In the explosion business, they call it total body disruption.

And of course we're not even talking about the shrapnel flying toward your body, each chunk moving at the speed of a bullet. Or the ball of fire behind Bruce Willis that was burning jet fuel at 500 degrees Fahrenheit.


Bruce Willis and explosions have a long history of friendly cooperation.

But maybe the hero was farther away from the blast than he looked, and maybe the explosion was just a gas tank instead of high explosives. In that case, you're only dealing with ruptured eardrums, burst lungs and bowel contusion/perforation. If you're not convinced that last one is a problem, go right ahead and do a search for that term in Google Images. Don't do it right after lunch, though.

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