Two examples in The Hunt for Red October come to my mind. The most significant is probably that, with a range of 5,000 miles, the missiles of the Red October don't need to be launched close to the American coast at all, to hit American targets.
Actually the scenario the movie is built around, and which everyone is racing to prevent, is a decapitation strike
, short-range firing of SLBM's to take out centers with little to no warning before impact (so that the Americans wouldn't even know where to evacuate short of the impossible task of evacuating the entire eastern coast). We are told this in the film, and it is in fact an actual tactical use of SLBM's.
But, my favorite, that took me right out of the movie on first viewing, is that in the middle of its cat-and-mouse game with the Red October, when the two subs are shown running silently side by side, the Dallas surfaces to pick up Ryan from the helicopter, and yet we are supposed to believe that the Red October can't detect any of that.
This one, maybe, except I always had the impression that Dallas
hung back and pulled away to pick up Ryan. (Hence Captain Scott Glenn's annoyance, which wouldn't have made sense if the Dallas
had just surfaced right behind their target and dived again.)
Neither of these examples is at any rate relevant to my point, since neither of them is a problem that remotely affects the geographic framing of the action or constitutes "speed of drama" nonsense, which is what I was talking about. Moreover I don't require "fidelity to reality" so much as internal consistency:
what I'm talking about is a film choosing a set of rules, indicating what they are
and then playing by them
. Red October delivers the drama that it does by doing this. "Speed of drama" conventions rob a film of the opportunity to do this, and squander story possibilities in so doing.