Hollywood has a way of making things that are stupid or terrible in real life look like they're awesome, like smoking, or fedoras, or Nicolas Cage. Well, this goes for most of the cool shit you see during action scenes, too -- turns out that if you tried to pull off some of the sweet-ass moves every movie hero does, even if you were a highly trained professional, you'd just end up making a clown of yourself. Or a corpse. Most likely a corpse.
So the next time you're trapped in a building with German terrorists, remember that you'd be better off not trying to do things like ...
6 Firing Two Guns at the Same Time
What Hollywood Has Told You:
Want the hero of your movie to look like a bad motherfucker? Give him a gun. Want him to look like a worse motherfucker? Give him two guns, and have him shoot both at the same time, preferably while jumping in the air.
Yup, just pop on your best cardigan, grab a couple guns and book your ticket to Badassville.
Obviously, we know that the whole "jumping in the air" part is probably a slight exaggeration on Hollywood's part, but the rest is simple arithmetic: If one gun can kill a lot of enemies, two guns should kill twice as many, right?
Why This Sucks:
Here's a quick challenge: Find us a photo of a police officer, soldier, or any other professional doing this on the job (and not just posing for a photo, either). You won't, because using two guns makes both of them useless.
"Count the number of guns motherfucker ..."
And don't try playing the "it'd be possible if you trained hard enough" card -- the problem is human biology. As you may have noticed, the binocular-like way in which our eyeballs work means we can't see independently with each one, a skill we'd need to aim two guns at the same time at completely different angles, all whilst dodging from cover-to-cover and experiencing massive amounts of recoil that causes the gun sights to bounce all over the place. Enjoy this clip of the certifiably insane hair-beasts over at Mythbusters trying to aim at two targets with two guns and hitting none:
This is the reason that you never see people who actually have to use guns in their day jobs go full John Woo on a group of gangsters during a shootout.
Golden Princess Film Production Limited
Only Chow Yun-Fat's severe astigmatism allows him to do this.
The boring truth is a controlled number of shots from a single gun held with two hands trumps the accuracy (and, therefore, number of bad guys killed) of any half-wit stupid enough to pull this bullshit in the field.
And don't even get us started on the task of reloading. There's a good reason why, in the classic lobby shootout from The Matrix, Neo throws away his guns after shooting them dry -- he'd look silly as shit if even tried to reload a weapon while holding another weapon in the other hand.
Also, it's best not to overload Keanu Reeves with too many tasks at once. Like, say, more than one.
5 Using a Flamethrower
What Hollywood Has Told You:
A flamethrower is a gun that literally throws fire, allowing you to turn the thing that kick-started mankind into the avatar of its destruction. How could that not be the most awesome weapon ever? Why else would Chuck Norris use one?
Frazer Harrison/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
Why would Chuck Norris glue sawdust to his face and call it a beard? Frankly, the man does a lot of things we don't understand.
They're also a primary weapon in every Aliens film and are prized weapons in most shooting games. And unlike the two-guns thing above, we know real soldiers did use these babies in World War II, Korea, and Vietnam, right?
Why This Sucks:
Yeah, they did. And they sucked. Out of 97 flamethrowers sent out in the Korean War, 65 were either destroyed by enemy fire or just dumped by the operators to save their lives. Seven more weren't even used because they never got an enemy within its effective range ... which kinda sucked, by the way.
Unless you're fighting bees, that is.
Then there's the problem with weight. The standard M2 Flamethrower, which is the one you've most likely seen in movies, weighs 70 pounds when full. Imagine going around in a war zone with very small man on a very fat child on your back. Even worse, operators had to stand completely in the open since, unlike almost every other gun ever made, the flamethrower requires one to stand up to fire and it has the unfortunate side effect of giving your position by making you look like Satan taking a leak.
"I am the ghost amidst the combat!"
But hey, being shot at continuously with a huge dead weight strapped to your back was totally worth being able to yell fire-related puns as you sprayed liquid death at everyone in your way ... as long as you don't mind having less than 10 seconds to do so. Because that's how long most flamethrowers would work for before running out of fuel.
Add gas prices to the mix, and it's getting to be that an honest, hardworking man can no longer immolate his enemies if he wants to.
The one upside is that, despite what videogames and Steven Spielberg have taught us, flamethrowers didn't explode when shot. Nope, they simply knocked the operator forward as the pressurized gas burst out. We'll let you decide which fate is more dignified.