During lunch today I watched the third episode of the TV series Revolution . I haven’t watched the first two apart from the lengthy trailer they gave out months ago. I’m a fan of J.J Abrams work , particularly the sci-fi series Fringe so I was curious as to how this would turn out.
The story is set 15 years into the future of a world where anything requiring electricity to work has failed (including batteries). However, this isn’t a critique of the series. I want to write about some specific scenes I saw in the episode.
In this particular episode the heroes are holed up in a building and they are besieged by a rebel army. In the words of the lead, Miles (Twilight‘s Billy Burke) the militia is ‘well trained and menacing’. They have a single high powered rifle with them and the ‘best shot’ among the group goes to the roof and manages to kill a shitload of the soldiers outside.
This is not unique to this particular series or episode. This is about how TV and movies treat military action sequences. I don’t know whether its for the convenience of filming or they just don’t bother to study basic strategy but its very, very ridiculously wrong.
I’ve done military training for eight months at the start of my military career. While at the beginning I was among the least fit people there , I did excel at the academic part. We had three subjects; Field craft, First Aid and Weapons. I can remember most of what I learned from the relentless and repetitive drills we had to endure and the constant fear of punishment if we failed.
1- When a bunch of soldiers are charging towards an enemy building and one of them gets shot by a sniper, the others don’t keep running ahead. They either drop immediately to the ground to make themselves a smaller target or they do a simple side roll or front roll and take cover. In a scene in Revolution four soldiers are picked off one by one by the sniper while they run towards the building.
2- Soldiers don’t move while clumped together. Maybe on T.V its necessary to do this to get the actors in the screen. Soldiers keep a distance between one another so that even if one steps on a landmine, trips a wire or faces a grenade explosion, there are fewer casualties. Usually the fastest way for a platoon to advance is single file. If an area is being searched, the advance is usually horizontal or arrow head formation.
3. In the episode, the leader of the rebel militia decides the best way to get rid of the sniper is to make the soldiers run back and forth making themselves targets so that the sniper runs out of ammo. This is a really really bad strategy. First of all soldiers kept getting killed one by one. You have to think about the mentality of these soldiers. Were they brainwashed? Or some sort of suicidal terrorist type? After seeing so many die, wouldn’t the rest of the soldiers object to having to become targets?
The best way to deal with a sniper would be, as soon as he reveals his location, to bomb the hell out of that area. If heavy artillery is available just shoot out the floor from under him.
I guess the overall plot line is more important than accuracy. Information is so easily available nowadays and we’re a much smarter audience. Why not make the extra effort to make the action a little more believable?