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We have talked about realism with regard to firearms in movies before. Most of us still count shots, look for discrepancies, such as an empty 1911 “clicking” when empty or ridiculous effects of recoil and impact.

At times you can ignore these if you are just trying to enjoy a movie for the sake of entertainment, but other times they just stick in your head and frustrate you.

This happened to us this past weekend when we finally got to watch Kong: Skull Island.

After the military team lands on the island, after most of the unit has been decimated by Kong of course, my wife remarked: “Would any of those weapons have any effect on those creatures?”

Ignoring the smaller deer-sized and under type of animals I shook my head and said: “No”.

Of course I was thinking that they would need at least a 50 BMG.

Lo and behold, one of the soldiers, miles from the crash site mounts a Ma deuce on a Triceratops skull.

OK, what’s wrong with this scene?

Sure the Browning M2 50 caliber machinegun has been in service since 1921 and it is not out of place timeline wise. Yes, it’s the choice I would make for dispatching dinosaurs and giant monsters.

But how the hell did they get it there?

The gun weighs over 80 pounds and when transported by an Infantry Unit that is non-mechanized, it’s transported in three components: receiver, barrel and tripod. Not to mention ammunition.

We saw none of the soldiers transporting the gun this way.

It would have been more realistic to see the gun scavenged from a nearby crash site from a downed vehicle than to suspend disbelief and assume a single soldier hauled the M2 all through the movie.

Things like this can almost ruin an otherwise decent storyline.

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  1. …so you had a tough time suspending your disbelief…because of the weight of the gun they used on the dinosaurs and giant apes?

    • Ha it seems silly but I understand it…I remember watching a show about The Flash many…many…years ago and saying to my friend “This show is silly, the bad guy wouldn’t do that” and he remarked “Dude, it’s a show about a super hero, it’s not realistic”

      I replied that I would suspend disbelief and accept that some guy could move super quickly, but that doesn’t change human nature. That’s my feeling and I’m sticking to it…

      • “Bro, that’s obviously not the standard, Army regulation method for mounting a machine gun tripod on a dinosaur skull. They got that shit all wrong! All they had to do was hire one consultant who was a veteran of the Dino Wars. Jesus!”

    • Who would win in a fight between Mighty Mouse and Superman? Are you kidding me? Mighty Mouse is just a cartoon. Superman is a real guy!!

      From Stand by Me

      I’m sure when I was about 9, my friends and I had the same debate. Of course, we arrived at the same conclusion.

    • To be fair though, the weapon handling in that movie was surprisingly good, and when he did fire, it seemed to be a reasonable number of rounds before he had to reload. The repeated clicking was the only gun-related inaccuracy I noticed in that movie.

  2. It looks more like a .30 Caliber Browning to me from the blurry picture, but I could be wrong. The humping around comments not withstanding. This sort of seems like some non suspension of disbelief BS to me personally. I haven’t seen the movie personally so I can’t judge whether it’s worth the time or suspension of disbelief you are complaining about or not.

  3. Huh? That’s your line in the sand? Dumbest criticism of a much better than I anticipated movie ever! Way better than KING KONG with Jack Black…

    • God, I wanted him to kill Kong out of nowhere with some badass guitar solo, and *then* exclaim “Twas ROCK what killed the beast!”

      …but alas…

    • No, that was the origin of the word decimate and was used to select and kill every tenth man in cases like mutiny. However, it is now more often used to mean to cause great destruction or injury and death with no stated percentage mentioned or implied.

      • Because of ignorant people misusing the word. The idiots are winning. Eventually the dictionary will say that clips are magazines too. The British one already does.

        • Rather than argue with you about etymology I will refer you to this article from the Oxford Dictionary:

          I am a stickler for correct use of the English language too but to decimate does not only mean to destroy 10%. Sorry. Now one that gets me that has changed because of misuse is the pronunciation of the word forte, meaning strength which should be pronounced the same as the English word fort not like the musical term forté. However, it was misused so much by celebrities and newsreaders that wanted to sound sophisticated that for-tay is now an accepted secondary pronunciation and even some sources using the pronunciation for-tay as the primary pronunciation! For shame! So it goes. There are many grammarians that claim the word whom is doomed and that when in doubt simply use who on the theory that it is much better to be wrong about who than whom! I agree.

          One thing hasn’t changed and I see all the time in news articles and even novels and formal writing that should be edited by someone that knows what they are doing is mixing up the adverb and nounal phrase awhile and a while. I can’t count how many times I have seen this and I admit it is a pet peeve of mine since I had my knuckles beaten in the 4th grade so that I never forgot the difference. The thing is that it is easy to know if you know a very simple trick that even a 9 year old can remember (after a beating). There is no excuse for best selling authors and supposedly educated people not knowing the difference. And I do know well educated people that make the mistake constantly. Of course I say nothing because they would probably tell me to f off.

          Anyway, this a long way from gun talk.

        • Being a stickler, I don’t suppose you would approve of something like, “Dude, Ah just me a forte Glock!”

        • If that plate of nachos is from El Patio in Austin, that word is being used absolutely correctly.

        • “Most people also think “awesome” applies to a plate of nachos.”

          Well, to be fair, it usually does. 🙂

        • Languages evolve. That’s how you got every single word in your current vocabulary.

          Now deliberate mis-use of a word to try and redefine its meaning to push an agenda – that’s unethical and dishonest. But this is not one of those cases.

        • When English “evolves” to the point where “alot” is a word in Webster’s Dictionary, I’m leaving.

      • Just because many are incorrect doesn’t make it correct.

        Like when I hear “I graduated college…”. I always ask what the college majored in? What did you charge it in tuition?

        Yes, I’m a grammar nazi…

        But I’m still right.

        • Well it is not just the majority that say it but also the Oxford Dictionary. I am sorry but I believe the Oxford Dictionary long before I believe you! I know of no authority that says that decimate means only what you claim. Maybe you can point me to one.

          I suggest you read the link. You seems to fit the description of someone that has fallen for what the author calls a Etymological Fallacy.

          From the Oxford Dictionary:

          decimate (verb)

          1 Kill, destroy, or remove a large proportion of.

          ‘the inhabitants of the country had been decimated’

          1.1 Drastically reduce the strength or effectiveness of (something)

          ‘public transport has been decimated’

          2 historical Kill one in every ten of (a group of people, originally a mutinous Roman legion) as a punishment for the whole group.

          ‘the man who is to determine whether it be necessary to decimate a large body of mutineers’

          As you can see your definition that you claim to be the only correct one is relegated to historical. Oxford Dictionary is not the only one that says you’re wrong. From Merriam Webster:

          a : to reduce drastically especially in number

          cholera decimated the population

          Kamieniecki’s return comes at a crucial time for a pitching staff that has been decimated by injuries. — Jason Diamos

          b : to cause great destruction or harm to firebombs decimated the city an industry decimated by recession

          Of course despite indisputable evidence you will continue to say you are right and the world is wrong.

    • We must assume that Kong has a very slow metabolism that allowed him to survive on what resources were available.

  4. Well, if you watch the movie then you know it was garbage. The only constant and accurate thing was the eternal angry black man, Samuel L. Jackson.

  5. Our BC had the bright idea to have a M2 humped through the woods during a movement to contact at a JRTC rotation (Fort Chafee days): that infantry platoon of 82d paratroopers were so worn out moving that thing and the ammo they were battlefield ineffective for the first 2 days or so. And, of course, ended up never being fired and soon afterwards a truck picked it up.

    • An entire rifle platoon of paratroopers was rendered combat ineffective for two days from humping one machine gun? That’s… kinda pathetic. Sounds like they need to ramp up the PT.

      Or give it to the mortar platoon. 11Cs are used to carrying heavy things…

  6. My wife used to get ticked at me when we would watch military type movies that included Fighter and Bomber type aircraft (i.e. Top Gun, etc.) because I was an Aircraft Armament guy in the USAF. I was always nitpicking things, constantly pointing out things that were totally inaccurate about aircraft guns, missiles, bombs, Aircraft maneuvering, etc.

    She’d tell me…’s just a movie. A fantasy escape from everyday reality. You live the real thing every single day. Just shut up and enjoy the special effects. If we wanted entertainment to be like real life, we’d have no reason to even go to the movies. You’d just need to get up each morning and go to work. Ya know what? She was 100% right on!

    That was years ago and I haven’t nit picked movies since. I just enjoy the story and special effects now. Like she said…’s just a movie.

  7. “Things like this can almost ruin an otherwise decent storyline.”

    Preach it.

    Why in the Hell is the ‘Cloverfield’ creature in a ‘Kong’ movie?

    • Because then the Giant Monkey wouldn’t be able to swat them out of the air and make big explosions….Duh! ?

  8. I can stand errors in fiction much better than I can abide history periodicals and documentaries posting photos or film captioned “German Troops Invade Poland in 1939” and they’re carrying MG-42’s and StG 44’s. That’s awfully hard on my tooth enamel.

  9. I strongly recommend Our Hospitality, with Buster Keaton, 1923. Guns are realistically portrayed. They claim that the train is realistically portrayed. Movies in 1923 were silent, so there were no sound effects. The movie is a masterpiece. It is funny as hell, and hardly anybody writes about it, so the surprise gags are surprises.

  10. This article reminds me of;
    “It’s logistically impossible, you have one female for a large group of males; that suggests a species that lays eggs. She’d be in estrous 24/7 if she didn’t lay eggs!”
    “Papa Smurf has an f****g beard! They’re mammals! SMURFS DON’T LAY EGGS!”

  11. A .50 BMG would only make this giant ape more angry. He’s 100 ft tall in this rendition of King Kong. This ape would require some type of autocannon to kill. 105 mm anybody?

    • Poachers kill elephants with .22 caliber weapons, full auto .50 BMG fire would easily kill Kong. At least it would if not for this genre’s peculiar theory that once an animal grows to more than 50ft it’s flesh is replaced with ceramic armor.

  12. They also produced an M9 Flamethrower out of nowhere in that sequence too. And Jackson’s M14 had a on and off again relationship with a scope.

    As for the Ma Duce, they probably would have been better off if they had found some M72s in the CH-53 crash.

  13. What was the movie – Predator – where the guy was lugging a real live minigun – electric, for gosh sakes – through the tropical jungle? He had plenty of ammo, too!

  14. Meh. I will give them a pass for simply including an M2 in the movie.

    What triggered me was the scene in Ant Man where the ants held back the hammer on a Glock! A Glock! And actually show a cocked spur hammer on the back of a Glock pistol that only moments before had no hammer at all. Would it really have been that hard for the prop department to provide a 1911 for that scene?! Just thinking about it makes me want a drink.

  15. Another nit:
    Anyone notice their ship only had 4-5 helos on deck, and no way to get any that might have been stored below deck on to the deck?
    How many helos were taken to the island?

    I don’t think the producers and director intended that movie to be a comedy, but…

  16. The movie Anzio with Robert Mitchum. The US infantry carry…British Enfield MKII bolt action rifles. I swear when I saw that I lost consciousness for a few minutes.

  17. Everyone’s about to be in a gunfight, supposedly they’re highly experienced with firearms and all of them have to rack the slide (or shotgun) when it should already be ready (for effect). How many semi autos have you seen go “bang” when the slide is clearly locked back? I just watched the end of “Manhunter” and the bad guy has a pump shotgun that would hold MAYBE six rounds – he fires at least fifteen. At least in most newer movies they try a little harder and show reloads (John Wick…).

  18. I loved “Stargate SG1” when the characters would run with a 50 round weapon spraying 200 plus bullets without reloading.

    Really LOVED Amanda Tapping.

  19. There is nothing wrong with the picture because it is just a science fiction fantasy. What do you expect, reality? Arguing fine points of weapons, equipment and science, not to mention acting and dialogue is utterly nonsense for this type of movie. Accept the movie for what it is, another freak monster feature in IMAX, 3D etc. If it disjoints you so much, just don’t pay to watch it. Most of you guys need a real life. Just get a real weapon and go and spend more time at the range practicing for real life instead of speculating about science FICTION situations.

  20. I know this is years late but you ‘suspension of disbelief’ people are fucking idiots with no understanding of film critique, you are the reason lazy writers still have jobs in Hollywood
    Suspension of disbelief is ‘giant monkey”
    Suspension of disbelief is piolets panicking and not pulling up out of reach.
    One man carrying a package thats about 70kg and 1.6m long through a jungle including MULTIPLE panning shots where we see the whole squad and it nor the flamethrower ever being seen. Combined with that gun and flamethrower not damaging an animal with flesh so thin you can see a camera flash through it, that can be cut by a man with a sword, and killed by an uncontained gas explosion.
    THAT is lazy inconsistent and just plain bad writing. It’s written to be convenient, the rules change whenever the writer wants to do something cool
    If they had shown the gun in any other scene even someone carrying a large box
    Or the gas fire had not killed it
    Or the sword had not cut it
    It would not be a problem, it could be fireproof and bulletproof even with the thin flesh
    But no they choose to take the laziest way they could to stick a big gun in the movie and make the sword look cool and the photographer badass by killing it with a lighter.
    In doing so they broke the rules set by their own movie, thats the rules we have to follow.
    Unless you are suggesting flamethrower in this universe burn colder than an uncontained gas fire, and don’t stick and keep burning to what they touch
    And guns have less ability to cause damage than a fucking sword.
    Stop defending crap. Just because you enjoyed it does not make it a good movie
    It’s fun to watch sure 100% it”s loud and theres action
    But it breaks it’s own rules and thus as a writing work is lazy inconsistent and just plain bad.
    If a movie is set in what is basically our reality with a couple of changes like suspension of disbelief for the square cubed law (no worries there we all love giant monsters) we expect it to follow our rules unless it is shown to be otherwise by word or action.
    Even ignoring that it just appeared out of nowhere as shit continuity, the bad writers’ crutch
    The writers made it clear this animals flesh is weak enough to be cut by a blade and burned by natural gas
    50 cals hit harder, flametherower burn hotter so they will damage it end of story, if they don’t it is bad writing. So people have a fair point to call it out. Hollywood is meant to be talented, they need to show that in their writing.
    Then again apparently the masses just chalk shit lazy writing up to suspension of disbelief so idiots will pay to watch crap and writing standards will continue to drop.


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