It’s some of the most engaging entertainment in the business. Sometimes, all you want to do is sit back, watch shit get blown sky-high, bullets let loose, and fighter jets scream across your screen. But just how realistic are combat scenes in films compared to real life?
Most productions that focus on the military employ consultants – usually ex-military specialists – for guidance on how things are really done. Though in all fairness, we don’t buy movie tickets for an everyday take on reality.
Former US Navy SEAL Jocko Willink caught up with GQ to break down the legitimacy of combat scenes in films.
Willink discusses the mechanics of a HALO jump pictured in Navy SEAL (1990) and talks through the one occasion in his career when his parachute actually failed to open.
The man also served with Chris Kyle, a fellow Frogman that was the subject of Clint Eastwood’s American Sniper (2014). Naturally, he shared his thoughts on the Academy Award-nominated film.
Interestingly, when critiquing a scene from Lone Survivor (2013), Willink talks explains the ‘Rules of Engagement’ which binds soldiers in terms of their operational limitations. When their own troops are under threat – the big conundrum that Mark Wahlberg and co. are confronted with during the film – the flexibility of said rules come into question.
From Captain Philips to Zero Dark Thirty and Act of Valor, check out the video above to understand how close some of cinema’s most iconic combat scenes are to being legitimate.