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6 Most Ridiculous Tornadoes in Sci-fi Movies

Day After Tomorrow, Source: 20th Century Fox
Tornadoes are one of the most powerful forces in nature, so they show up in movies and TV shows a lot. Tornadoes are incredibly destructive, can appear without warning, cause billions of dollars in damage, and kill anyone unfortunate enough to get near one. But usually, movies and TV shows get them all wrong. Let's tackle six tornadoes in sci-fi movies, and how they get it wrong.

6. Thor (2011)

In the first Thor movie, the Norse god regains his hammer Mjolnir, and uses it to battle the Destroyer with a tornado. Now let's acknowledge that Mjolnir gives Thor magical power over the elements, so this is not a normal tornado. However, we do have to point out that the tornado lifts the Destroyer (a metal robot) off the ground and into the air, while nothing else (like cars or people) around him are affected. And the town itself seems completely unharmed, despite a massive tornado centered right on top of it.

5. Man of Steel (2013)

[WARNING - If you haven't seen this movie yet, skip this section!]
In Man of Steel, Clark Kent's father Jonathan Kent sacrifices himself to save a dog. Uh, yeah. We'll set that aside. But more ridiculous than that is the fact that the tornado doesn't pick up Jonathan until it's right on top of him. Even though it's literally picking up cars all around him. Plus, the tornado is really only the center of a massive whirlwind that would pick up everything around it before it even got close to Jonathan. Also scientists say hiding under an overpass to escape a tornado is a bad idea. The overpass would have formed a wind tunnel and hurt them from the debris and winds, and the overpass could have collapsed from the tornado. They should have laid down flat in a ditch by the side of the road.

4. X2: X-Men United (2003)

When the X-Men are chased by a squadron of fighter jets, Storm uses her mutant power over the elements to create multiple tornadoes. The tornadoes crush and smash the fighter jets, saving the X-Men. Of course, what isn't acknowledged is the fact that Storm just destroyed everything and everyone on the ground where the tornadoes formed. Plus, while the tornadoes smashed the fighter jets apart, the X-Men's Blackbird didn't even get blown off-course. Then again, you could argue, she's a mutant. Maybe she can do that kind of thing. Except in the first movie, Storm insisted she didn't have enough control over her wind powers to reliably blow Wolverine to the top of the Statue of Liberty. So...yeah.

3. The Day After Tomorrow (2004)

All right, since we're talking about a movie where global warming plunges the world into a new ice age, you might think we're nitpicking by focusing on the tornado. And we are. In one scene, tornadoes ravage Los Angeles. This actually isn't that unrealistic. Tornadoes have struck in Los Angeles before. The unrealistic part is when two tornadoes merge into an even bigger tornado, something that has never been recorded before. Most times when two tornadoes seem to merge, it's more that one is moving behind the other or one is forming while the other dies out. Even if two tornadoes did combine, one would just absorb the other, not form a bigger tornado. Also, those helicopters fly around unharmed while the tornadoes tear apart everything around them.

2. Twister (1996)

Although I'm sure the creators would argue this isn't a sci-fi movie, it really is when you acknowledge that the movie's portrayal of tornadoes borders on magical. For example, there's the infamous "cow scene" where the heroes see a cow flying through the air, blown by the winds. That actually isn't that inaccurate, since tornadoes routinely carry off animals and even people. What's ridiculous is the fact that the winds, strong enough to carry a cow, have no effect on the car the heroes are driving in. In Twister, tornadoes are shown as wildly erratic, picking up houses and cars and animals while simultaneously leaving other houses and cars and animals unharmed. And despite all the times the heroes come in contact with tornadoes, they walk away without a scratch.

1. Sharknado (2013)

Do we really even need to say why this tornado is ridiculous? It's a tornado filled with live sharks. Okay, well, besides the fact that sharks can't survive more than a couple of minutes out of the water, lets go with the fact that tornadoes only last for ten minutes on average, an hour at the longest. In this movie, the single tornado travels across the ocean into Los Angeles for hours without even losing strength. Also, the waterspout would lose strength as it passed over the ground. But let's face it, we love it, anyway.

Which is your favorite tornado? Do you love these tornadoes?

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7 Most Ridiculous Psychic Nosebleeds in Movies and TV

UPDATE: Fixed typos, added links

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  1. The Man of Steel one was completely idiotic. People from Kansas should know how to handle a tornado with how frequently they happen there. And the old normal human going back for the dog when his superpowered adopted kid could have easily done it? All kinds of stupid there.

  2. Nice list guys, as usual. I agree MoS twister was insane. I also love Screen Junkies honest trailer on MoS. They hit the nail on the head.

  3. No way Sharknado couldn't be number one!
    Looking forward to Thursday and RiffTrax Live: Sharknado 2.


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