Best action movie mistakes of 2008
Factual error: Trevor - a Professor of Geology - boasts about having an article published in Scientific American, and that is not something any scientist would do. Scientific American is looked upon with slight disdain by the scientific community, considered to be a populist crowd pleaser. It is not even peer reviewed. Considering that he has just turned the geological and archaeological worlds on their heads he would have been better off publishing in Journal of Geological Research or Geology, both prestigious professional journals.
Factual error: Basic physics - Hancock throws Michel from a dead stop to above cloud level in about eleven seconds. The clouds are bog standard cumulus which form at around 7,000 metres in temperate zones. This means that Michel accelerates to about 700 metres per second instantly, from a dead stop. Obviously he cannot accelerate during his ascent, so his starting speed has to be at least that. (In fact he would have to start his ascent much, much faster than 700 metres per second as he would be constantly decelerating due to gravity and air resistance, but it will do as a start point.) Michel accelerates from 0 to 2,520 kilometres per hour - twice the speed of sound - in zero seconds. He would be accelerating at around 5000 Gs, turning him into a very long streak of fine, pink mist.
Revealing mistake: In the beginning, during the riot outbreak, there is a scene with a soldier being pulled down from climbing a fence. In the next shot as the crowd is pushing forward, you can see a concrete road block tip over. If you look closely at the bottom of the block, you can see that it's not a real concrete block, but a prop made of wood planks and grey painted rubber.
Revealing mistake: In the final shootout scene, when Rambo takes over the truck mounted machine gun, he shoots the driver, whose blood splatters a lot over the metal guards on the gun. If the blood splattered that much on the guards, it should be all over the interior of the truck which is revealed to only have blood on the floor - none all over the dash or doors.
Factual error: The aircraft used to fly to Shangri-La is a Bristol Beaufighter, a single seat long range fighter bomber. It was not a transport aircraft and could not carry passengers. Some variants of the Beaufighter were two seaters but none at all could be used as small airliners as they do here. It is not possible to simply reconfigure the aircraft as shown here - the centre of gravity, balance and trim would all be thrown out. The resulting jury-built aircraft would be uncontrollable in flight.
Factual error: During the scene where everyone runs outside, the Statue of Liberty head crashes into the street. The head is scaled too small and its size can be compared to the people taking pictures. In real life the statue head is large enough for people to walk into (17' from chin to cranium).
Continuity mistake: In the scene where David jumps to a glacier and is hit head-on with a pick-up by Griffin, they then jump into the middle of a guerilla war. The pick-up crashes and a driver is seen at the wheel beside Griffin. The shot changes to wider and when Griffin is seen exiting the car, the driver has disappeared.