For my second term paper I am exploring the law of action and reaction within cinema. In Newton's third law of motion it is sated "For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction." I intend to demonstrate how this law is utilized in such scenes as a bullet propelling a children's carousel, a kung fu move with minimal force causing maximum damage, and a runaway bus crashing into a would be hero.
Shoot 'em Up
In Shoot 'em Up they have a gun fight which takes place on a children's playground. During the gun fight a baby is placed on a carousel to be out of the way of the fight. When a bad guy tries to approach and take the baby the protagonist shoots the bars of the carousel spinning it so that the bad guy cannot get to the child. Within the laws of action and reaction the speed of the bullet is nowhere near the power it would need to spin such a big structure especially at such a fast pace.
Kung Fu Panda
In the film a move called the "Wuxi Finger Hold" is brought up as the most powerful move. It is performed by the attacker holding an opponents finger using the index finger and thumb while the pinky is straight. To execute the move you flex your pinky. This small action then causes a gigantic destructive reaction. In the law of action and reaction, this isn't plausible.
In the television show Smallville a teenage Clark Kent stops an out of control bus from crashing into a sleeping homeless person. He stops the bus by stepping in front of it and using his shoulder and body as a shield. The front of the bus crumples around his body as he absorbs the impact, not moving from his spot. The law of action and reaction would denote that the force of the bus could not just be absorbed into his body.
Each of these scenarios demonstrates Hollywood's ability to manipulate the laws of physics in order to create a grande effect to catch the audiences attention. As demonstrated in these examples, bending the laws of physics must be done with care, and perhaps even other laws must be created to be put in their place to allow them to function.