You ever been watching a film, and all of a sudden it goes from an entertaining and well-founded study of the human experience to bonkers alternative-universe fantasy? No. Okay, well I still bet you must have seen them get things wrong: Like here:
Taking out a bullet will not render a gunshot wound safe. Six Underground; there is infection, tissue damage, splintered and shattered bone. Not to mention to air and saliva-contaminated alcohol they always use to sterilise (having of course taken a swig from to show how bad-ass they are) and the blunted tweezers that have not been cleaned, going into a wound would probably do more damage than the bullet; picking out white-hot razor-shards of shrapnel through muscle, leaving burns and infection behind.
Then everyone stops panicking once the bullet is out. This is tantamount to showing someone in labour and a person just reaching in with oil-stained arms and yanking baby out and leaving it there, connected by cord and squawking while cigars get lit!
In Stir Crazy, the part-time store detective and waiter who were both fired, decide to leave NYC and drive west. They have just been let go -severence-free- from part-time menial jobs, they live in one of the most expensive cities on earth and just up and go. They somehow have a van, fuel, hotels, food, medicine, and clothes money, they have left immediately so have no welfare coming in. They make a trip from one side of a continent to the other and have at least one massive auto-repair bill. Then they somehow get enough to make a living singing, in a bank of all places whilst going to bars, eating take-out, and hiring woodpecker outfits. This is just one of many examples. So many show it where a minimum-wage bod is sacked and then, although broke, sets up in an abandoned office, following a dream. Anyone who has ever done that will tell you it takes a lot of capital. Alternatively they somehow go travelling! Often a credit-card is lazily blamed, but it goes on months. That is not how credit cards work.
Over-aiming on the Sympathy
Making it so the majority of people cannot invest in a character because it is strung too high. Look at Friends with Benefits; great film, snappy dialogue, funny, heartwarming, and well-shot. My issue with it was Justin Timberlake's character is an art director at GQ! He is headhunted for a job in New York and put up in an amazing piece of Manhattan real estate that would probably be a six-figure rent. I am not saying it has to always be Joey's dad from Friends type everyman, as we like a little glitz and glam. Also it is fine in a rags to riches tale but this is supposed to be a take on modern relationships and we need to relate for that.
A cliche but needs addressing. That was one of the things that made The Social Network great. The scene in the club where they are leaning over and yelling to hear and gesticulating was very realistic. Now take Basic Instinct where you could hear someone unwrap a sweet! Human Traffic, where the director was going for "the authentic clubbing experience on film" but somehow had it where people could overhear each other and have calm and audible conversations in a rave club. Swing and a big miss Justin.
In fact, it is audibles everywhere, not just nightclubs. In 2013 Brit rom-com I Give it a Year, Simon Baker's Guy is in a busy London eatery at lunchtime with incredible noise from chatting customers, food prep, and the outside bustle of city life pouring in. He is still able to overhear from ten feet the specifics of a group of girls discussing him with their backs turned. If you have not seen it then you should, if only for the Charades scene.
Take Armageddon, where Bruce Willis is reading out the demands from his team to the General and the chief, they are in a massive atrium with high ceilings, they are a storey up, and Bruce is thirty yards away with his back to them! Yet Michael Clarke Duncan can still pick out "White Horse"
It is not a nightclub, nor a film, but 24 was the worst for this. Jack Bauer would hear a whisper in an open plan office from up a flight of stairs!
Car Theft from Valet
Just sneak around any upmarket restaurant and you will find a full and unattended unlocked lock-box full of keys. No one will see you and you will get a car. One of many examples was Face/Off
There are no supervisors, there is no CCTV, no one hears the "BLEEP-BLEEP" as you root round for your swag-conveyance.
So no. Just...no. Do not try it kids. I wonder how many jail cells are populated from would-be car liberators fooled by this most bizarre and over-basic trope?
The Obvious Choice!
Never do the cops stop the guy walking AWAY from the scene of the crime. Why?Everyone else is running wildly to get a look in and one dude is slipping away quiet and they are never stopped. You do not need to be from the pen of Arthur Conan-Doyle to figure it out. Take The People vs Larry Flynt where he is carrying a bag and nervously walking away from the building the know the shots come from. Yet he is allowed to pass. Even worse is Carlito's Way where he, "the legend," is seen walking out the back of the crime scene and he even grabs a passer-by and threatens him with a gun! Still they let him pass!
Car passengers are always telling the driver to: "Slow down or you'll get us killed." Just like Jason Bateman says to Adam Driver in This is Where I Leave You. Yet as we can always clearly see, they are driving at around 40mph. I know fairy actors (no matter what they claim) will not do their own stunts but it should look make an effort to look convincing.
GUNS GUNS GUNS!
Artistic licence aside, guns do NOT go off when you drop them. Let us look at the safety tests a teddy bear goes through, now imagine what a gun goes through. Look it up. It is insane. So that will never happen, we are talking to you Sopranos (I love you but I am sorry, you failed) and True Lies.
Of course we must mention the preposterous sound we are led to believe a silencer makes. Here is a unique example. In Goodfellas, Tommy shoots Stacks with a gun and silencer. A tiny thud sound? NO!. He then redeems himself with the slo-mo retelling where the sound it makes is exactly the sound a silencer creates. . However, using a fucking SHOWER CURTAIN as a silencer! For a SHOTGUN, a 1mm peice of fabric? Sorry No Country for Old Men. You were overrated AND stupid.
Finally the modern action movie fantasy of holding a pistol in either hand and firing at the target, or even in the rough area of the target. I am not going to delve into why that is such a daft Tom & Jerry style idea. Six Undergound or Bad Boys (wonder what they have in common hmmm?) Human eyesight just does not work that way! Plus the biffing together from the recoil you are more likely to shoot yourself!
So how is it that if a person is spying on another from a car from the other side of the street they NEVER see them? You can have a shrewd and calculating streetwise alpha like Kevin Spacey in Horrible Bosses. He figures the ruse, he foils the plot, and he kills at will, yet somehow he cannot see the person nine feet away in a car.
In movie world if the plot demands it, you can be having a foam party in your car whilst spying, and the subject will still stare into the distance and carry on with his dastardly deeds.
Its Just a Scribble
There are loads of examples of this but lets take one. In Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban the hero and his allies are not rule-followers. After all, they go on to eventually break the rules of time! They also knowingly sabotage government protocol and sidestep legally mandated criminal sentencing. This is a kid who has set his Aunt off as a balloon when she pissed him off! He has driven a flying car, used magic outside of his school on multiple occasions despite knowing it is a felony for him, and not to mention scores of other irreverent escapades. However, like many other antagonists in movies, for some inexplicable reason he allows himself to be stumped by a parent/guardians signature! FORGE IT FOR F**K'S SAKES!!