Are action films realistic

Hollywood action films: how realistic are scenes from "Spider-Man" or "James Bond"?

Spider-Man swings through the city on his spider's thread. (Photo: Allstar) A breathtaking scene: Spider-Man fights in a high-rise canyon with his adversary Venom, both of them cling to the wall. Suddenly the wall breaks out and the spider man falls into the depths. But the man in the red mask elegantly catches his fall with a spider's thread before continuing the fight with his opponent. But how realistic is this scenario? Can a spider thread withstand that? Heinz Oberhummer knows the answer. The astrophysicist has great fun checking spectacular film scenes for their feasibility and questioning them scientifically. In the case of Spidermans, the thread would have held. But not the hero's arm. It would have been torn off at this load.

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Is it life-threatening or physically on the safe side?
Can you fly a bus over a broken bridge like in "Speed"? (Photo: Allstar) Keanu Reeves also puts his life at risk in "Speed", where he chases his bus over his bridge, which ends in the abyss after almost 15 meters. Truly dangerous or is there a slight chance that the fast-paced driver and his vehicle will land on the other side? "Wouldn't work without a ramp," grins Heinz Oberhummer. Because "gravity would pull the bus down and even at 110 kilometers per hour the bus would thunder 1.23 meters below the road against a pillar." So tired of life after all.

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Several sciences put to the test
In "Paycheck", Ben Affleck finds information hidden in a stamp. (Image: Allstar) Scientist Oberhummer and his colleagues don't just focus on the action scenes. They also study other scientific areas such as optics. In "Paycheck", Ben Affleck finds a postage stamp which, viewed under a magnifying glass, contains the information of five entire newspaper pages in reduced form. With the help of a light microscope, he manages to make these visible again. Now the question arises: Can you hide five newspaper pages on a square millimeter and decipher them again with a light microscope? The answer is no. Even with a light microscope, you cannot enlarge five newspaper pages that have been reduced to a square millimeter so that you can read them. The performance of a light microscope is limited by its resolution. But even if almost every scientific analysis proves that the stunts or tricks shown in the films would not be feasible in reality, in the end only one thing counts: good entertainment for the viewer.

Further scientific results from Heinz Oberhummer and his colleagues can be found on the Internet at
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