6 Pieces of Sci-Fi Technology That Make No Sense

#3. J.A.R.V.I.S.


In the Iron Man comics and movies and cartoons and dioramas and dubstep remixes, Jarvis, who I'll just type without the caps and periods from now on, is the AI that helps Tony Stark in his day-to-day business. He's named Jarvis and talks with an English accent because he's basically the butler without a body. That severely limits his practical usefulness, although you'll see that, in the films, he does have an abundance of info at hand that helps Tony when he needs it. All things being equal, Jarvis is a pretty useful guy and a good friend. And therein lies some weirdness.

Jarvis expresses concern for Tony's well being. Not only does he warn him about danger, he also offers to make a call to Gwyneth Paltrow, something no one should ever willingly do, when it seems clear that Tony is about to selflessly die for mankind at the end of The Avengers. A machine offered Tony the chance to say his final farewell, to try to tie up loose ends. Jarvis has empathy, Jarvis can feel. Jarvis is alive.

Thomas Northcut/Photodisc/Getty Images

He's like this guy, only not as close to death.

Why does anyone give a shit about Tony Stark's shiny blue battery packs when he seems to have created life? Couldn't Jarvis shut down pretty much any villain or criminal in the world any time he wanted to?

Obnoxious Tony Stark, who has issues maintaining any kind of relationship and spends his life playing at shiny metal god-man, just went out and made himself the perfect friend -- a partner, a confidante, and a conscience, all with the voice of the albino from The Da Vinci Code. This seems much more monumental than any of Stark's other achievements, especially since Jarvis is also capable of operating the Iron Man suits autonomously. He's basically the bastard offspring of Alfred and Skynet. And since Tony displayed how easily (in front of an audience no less) he can hack into a secured website on his own, you have to assume Jarvis could do the same thing and spread his program across the globe, controlling all machines all the time if he wanted to. All of them with that same sense of British decorum and politeness.

#2. I Come in Peace's Flying CD


Originally titled Dark Angel because fuck yeah, so cool man! I Come in Peace is about Dolph Lundgren and an alien drug dealer played by a half albino who never mastered English. It's precisely as great as I have described it. Need some icing on your Lundgren cake? The alien drug dealer gets his drugs from human brains and his weapon of choice is a CD. What CD? God, I hope it was the Eagles' greatest hits, or maybe Culture Club, but no one's really identified it yet. Point is, this movie came out right around the time CD players were owned only by oil barons and billionaire arms dealers. The rest of us didn't know what either letter in "CD" stood for and were still winding our tapes with pencils when they got all gobbled up by a shitty tape player from Woolworth's. How'd that memory lane bomb feel? Atomic?

We can assume the producers of the movie were blown away by how it looks like a disc but was all metallic and awesome so they decided to include the CD as a weapon. Imagine if it was made of razors, man! It could like fly and be like a ninja star only round like a Frisbee! Then the production team continued jizzing over the idea through a series of animal grunts and honks.

Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images

"Holy balls, it flies and it's shiny! Look at it!"

When the alien uses the disc to kill in the movie, we're treated to the disc kill-cam view, which is great because it's like we're sitting right there on top of the CD as it flies from victim to victim, cutting throats and bouncing off walls before cutting more throats. How does it know to go for human necks anyway? What keeps propelling it after it hits the first neck? Shouldn't it just embed itself in the soft, meaty hide of a victim rather than ricochet off like the dude was made of steel?

There's always the possibility that the view we're treated to is the view of a tiny pilot, but that's never really addressed in the film and you can never see a kind of Jetsons-like bubble cockpit in any of the few scenes where we almost get a look at the CD when it's pinballing through white men in white suits who also sell drugs. Everyone in this movie sells drugs, by the way. In fact, maybe there was a social message there, since CDs were so rare at the time that you probably had to be a drug dealer to own them anyway. Not saying it's a good message or one that even makes sense -- this is a Dolph Lundgren movie, after all -- but they could have been going for some kind of social awareness there.

Seems like more effort should have been put into getting a hold of this weapon, though, as a CD that has enough awareness of itself and its surroundings to keep looking for jugular veins could be useful technology to have. It also seems like, if the alien were serious about his job, he'd have two of them. Or 10.

#1. Predator's Nuclear Wristband

Amercent Films

Every movie featuring a Predator ends with something getting blown up in a nuclear way, or at least an attempt at it. The only way you can end one of these movies is by attempting to render the entire area the film took place in uninhabitable in an effort to try to prevent sequels, but it never works. The first film was awesome, and we should all watch it religiously. Alien vs. Predator: Requiem was so bad that it's replaced waterboarding as a method of extracting information in unofficial prisons throughout the Middle East. "No no! The Alien has dreadlocks! Make it stop!" But it never stops.

Predators are alien hunters who must be so goddamn bored with their lives. They travel across galaxies to kill a couple of things in a jungle and bring the skulls home because their home world never invented Pong or something. Then later we find out they hunt the aliens from the Alien franchise, but they still do that shit on Earth, despite neither one being indigenous. They bring along a small arsenal of fun weapons like plasma cannons and spears and razor nets, and also a really snazzy wristband that will blow shit up.

NA/AbleStock.com/Getty Images

From the Michael Bay wristwatch collection.

Every Predator has a small nuclear weapon on his arm. Small in the sense that it fits on his arm, but big enough to destroy a hell of a lot of stuff. In our world, we expect spies to have maybe a cyanide capsule, just in case shit goes awry. Predators don't do poison, though, that's a puss wank of a way out of your problems. Best to destroy a solid acre of land to teach anyone around you a lesson at the same time.

I'm no nuclear technician, but isn't this more dangerous than it should be? Wouldn't a nice little seppuku dagger be more effective? The same control panel that arms the bomb also controls the shoulder gun and the invisibility function, and water shorted it out. It malfunctions in water! Danny Glover sliced one right off. There's no real consideration for safety programmed into these things at all, and if you think there is, I invite you to consider the end of Alien vs. Predator, in which a Predator, infected with an alien embryo, is brought aboard the Predator ship and left on the coffee table by the window. They already demonstrated that Predators have the ability to see an embryo growing inside another life form, so these guys either forgot to check their friend who just spent a day fighting aliens to see if he was infected or they didn't care because they were all high on bath salts. Point is, you can't trust their judgment, these aren't smart extra-terrestrials. They're angry, sure, but not smart. And they all carry nuclear wristwatches.

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