Monday, September 14, 2009

Syfy Original Movie "Lightning Strikes"

So I found myself watching Lightning Strikes on Syfy over the weekend. It's a Syfy original movie, so you know it's going to be bad. I don't want to go into too much detail, but there was just one stand-out-stupid incident that won't let me rest until I share my pain.

I suppose this could be considered a spoiler, but it's the first scene of the movie, so it's not spoiling much. A couple of people are driving down a road when the Lightning Storm of Evil breaks out. The lightning strikes are obviously targeted to threaten the car, but that's to be expected in a movie like this.

Then a prolonged lightning bolt strikes in front of the car, and as the car drives through it, the lightning cuts the car in half.

I kid you not: it cuts the car in half. But it's unnatural lightning, so that -- in itself -- wasn't what really bothered me.

For the rest of the movie, no one calls attention to the fact that lightning should not be able to do that to a car. When people say that a car is the safest place to be in a lightning storm, they aren't far off the mark. A car functions like a Faraday cage: the metal frame conducts electricity around anyone inside and grounds it through the tires. If you are in a car that gets struck by lightning, you may get blinded by the flash and deafened by the thunder, but you won't get electrocuted, and the car definitely won't get cut in half.

Would it have been all that hard for just one character, like one of the three storm-chasing scientists, to point out that this event was distinctly unnatural? Everyone acted like the only strange thing was that the lightning struck the car, not what happened to the car as a result.

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