In Alex Garland’s film, Civil War (2024), during the final battle scene at one point a soldier throws a glowing green thing in the corridor of the White House. This wasn’t a grenade or a flash-bang, but it was just like a green glow stick that did nothing but glow.

What was that glowing green thing that soldiers threw in the corridor of the White House in the final battle scene of “Civil War?”

What was its purpose? Was it like something that is glowing and thrown to test whether opposing forces will shoot at it? Kinda like hanging a shirt on a stick and waving it out a door to see if opposing forces can see it and shoot at it.


2 Answers 2


There's a sudden lull in the action. The opposing forces have stopped shooting and may either be regrouping, reloading, retreating or preparing to use a heavier weapon. One of the soldiers mouths something to the other ("decoy"?) and then yells a bunch of nonsense...

"...taking fire, move, guy on the right"

...while throwing a (highly visible) glow stick into the corridor to see if he can trick the enemy into revealing their location or responding in some fashion.

When they don't immediately respond, he shouts "move it!" to his troops and they respond by rushing the corridor.

  • 4
    Many soldiers prefer the term "chemlight" to "glowstick". Apr 20 at 19:02

The purpose is to get the opposition's position or movement to plan things accordingly. These tricks are often used in battle to get the exact position and movement of the opposition army.

Any obvious stuff draws the immediate attention of the opposition. While they think it's a target and try to neutralize it, they reveal their position and that's enough for the opposition army to plan their moves.

A similar kind of tactic is shown in the movie Enemy at the Gates (2001). In the film, the hero uses a trick with a shoe to pinpoint the location of the German sniper. He cleverly raises his rifle with a helmet on top of it to attract the German sniper's attention, then switches it with a shoe, allowing the German sniper to aim at the helmet while the hero shoots him.


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