The Tech Herald

NASA slams 2012 as 'most unrealistic' sci-fi movie ever

by Steven Mostyn - Jan 3 2011, 15:02

...but still you went to see it! Image: Michael Francis McCarthy/Flickr.

When it comes to the likes of Star Trek and Star Wars, we’ve always been willing to look the other way where bad science is concerned. However, some sci-fi creations aren’t able to mask their inaccuracies with pure entertainment value—and should perhaps be lambasted accordingly.

Bearing that in mind, we here at The Tech Herald are delighted to inform you that a panel of NASA experts have slapped disaster epic 2012 with the highly dubious honour of being the most scientifically unrealistic film ever made.

According to Donald Yeomans, head of NASA’s Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous mission, Roland Emmerich’s 2012 is an “exceptional and extraordinary” example of bad science in Hollywood, which “took advantage of public worries about the so-called end of the world” scenario supposedly predicted by the Mayan calendar.

“The agency is getting so many questions from people terrified that the world is going to end in 2012 that we have had to put up a special website to challenge the myths,” he told The Times. “We’ve never had to do this before.”

2012 pulled in more than $800 million USD in box office and sell-through sales. Its far-fetched story claimed that neutrino particles brought to Earth via solar flares would massively increase the planet’s core, leading to rapid global destruction via earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and tsunamis.

Other major blockbusters criticised by NASA for stretching the boundaries of believability beyond breaking point include the likes of Volcano, Armageddon, Chain Reaction and The 6th Day.

Focusing in on movies that do offer narrative built around strong science, NASA recommended the likes of Blade Runner, Contact, Jurassic Park and Gattaca.

Correction: Our apologies to the Science & Entertainment Exchange, which we incorrectly paired with NASA in forming the list of 'bad science' movies.

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