What Hollywood Gets Wrong When It Comes to Military Movies

hollywood military movies

There has always been blurred lines between civilian and military life. But if you are severing, served, or a spouse to a servicemember, you know that those lines are clearly defined.

Military customs and courtesies are extremely important within the ranks of the military, all the way down to ceremonies, hand gestures & the way that the uniform is worn.

On the other hand, there is Hollywood, which plays by a different set of rules. Hollywood’s fascination with the military dates back many years, which makes it more of a reason that things such as wearing eye protection when handling a weapon should be mastered by now.

Hollywood’s poetic license gives it the freedom to tell a good story rather than accurately depicting a certain scene in a movie or getting right how many service stripes go on a military formal uniform. In fact, within the movies budget, there may not be enough money for the studio to hire a military technical advisor.

That task may be left up to the wardrobe department, who may or may not have the knowledge of what the current military service uniform should look like. Depending on the military service branch and what time period the movie is being shot in, that task could end up being a daunting one. Simple research will correct most problems, but time constraints & budget may predict otherwise.

Most servicemembers & veterans alike get upset about the obvious things that they see on the movie screen, that Hollywood gets wrong about the military. Things like badges on the wrong side of the uniform, a crooked salute, or even a badly put together ribbon rack are things even the newest recruit could recognize after graduating basic combat training & advanced individual training, if you’re army.

Movies like “The Hurt Locker, “Lone Survivor,” and “American Sniper,” are all recent films that had a military technical advisor on set and yet most veterans would still pick apart what they could find wrong with uniforms, weapons, etc.

Military men and women have come to realize by now that Hollywood is in the business of entertainment. It’s more entertaining to see a guy like Jeremy Renner play an off the cuff explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) Sergeant First Class in the “Hurt Locker” than play that same character following all the rules.

Hollywood is also into creating visual appealing movies and breaking the rules of what is right has come to be its hallmark. Scenes from the movie “Sicario 2: Day of the Soldado” is a perfect example of when appealing visual effect takes precedence over what is correct.

The Humvee attack in the desert gave audiences a front row seat into what it would be like to be in a fire fight while riding in a Humvee. But in all actuality, no one was wearing their Advanced Combat Helmet (ACH) Kevlar, which is required when riding in a tactical vehicle.

Photo courtesy of Sony Pictures “Sicario 2: Day of the Soldado”

The door that Benicio Del Toro character kicks open to return fire wasn’t an up-amour door. In fact, none of the Humvees driven in that seen had up-amour doors on, something you may want to have when traveling through enemy territory.

Our service men and women can rest assure that Hollywood will continue to make movies and entertaining us all.

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