As seasoned movie audiences, we've come to expect a certain trivialization of death in high-paced genres like action or superhero films, because no one wants to sit through a Bond movie where we keep cutting away to the broken-hearted widows of every nameless henchman 007 harpoons to death or monkey-flips into a gorge. That said, there's a difference between glossing over the deaths of faceless goons and completely yadda-yadda-ing the destruction of Alderaan just to get to the next big action sequence. And yet, the following films somehow do just that ...
#7. Ant-Man: The Heroes Bomb A Building Full Of Innocent People
Compared to the latest Marvel films, Ant-Man has a refreshingly simple plot about Scott Lang stealing a shrinking "Yellowjacket" suit from a villain that doesn't try to do a funny voice or suck the universe through some kind of giant energy anus.
They didn't even bother with all that complicated body hair.
Let's go over the heist:
Scott Lang's pal sneaks into the crowded Pym Technologies and lowers the water pressure so our tiny hero can swarm through the bathroom sink like some icky phantom. Lang then uses his ant army to fry the servers containing all of the bad guy's backup data before attempting to fly through a security grid and steal the Yellowjacket suit -- effectively eliminating the company's ability to re-create the invention. Sounds good, right? But just in case there are any unforeseen problems, Ant-Man also does this:
Earth's tiniest hero, but largest dickhead.
That's multiple timed C4 charges our ant-sized man plants in the building for no reason other than to give the film a ticking clock element and grandstanding explosion.
Fin Fang BOOM.
Sweet Craig T. Nelson, why was that part of the plan? So, despite the entire heist being designed to be a clandestine operation to secretly steal a suit and quietly destroy research data, they were also going to just implode the fucking building? Doesn't that make their sneaky efforts moot? But, more importantly: Didn't they just kill a bunch of innocent people?
Only a minute earlier, we're shown that the building is barely evacuated in time -- it's so sudden that we see Lang's thief pal dragging a security guard he knocked out earlier to safety just in the nick of time.
Also, maybe don't knock out innocent security guards?
How many other guards, injured civilians, and police officers are still left in that building? Also, the building isn't evacuated because of the bomb. Lang and company never actually tell anyone about the bomb. The building is evacuated because of a completely coincidental gunfight between the villain and heroes. That means the original plan created by the wisecracking good guys of this story was to apparently just let everyone die in a crushing vortex after their elaborate and apparently unnecessary heist. That's like spending 10 hours removing a tumor before throwing the screaming patient into a vat of lava to celebrate. So, basically, Ant-Man is a murderer -- which I guess makes him perfect for The Avengers.
#6. Interstellar: All The Animals Are Probably Extinct And Everyone On Earth Would've Shit Themselves To Death
Paramount Pictures/Warner Bros.
Interstellar is about one man's inexplicable decision to begin his interplanetary expedition on a world where time moves 200,000,000 percent faster than it does on Earth.
Paramount Pictures/Warner Bros.
Also, how hard is it to notice that you're landing on fucking Kamino?
But before dooming his family and friends to get old and die in the two hours he spends on Shitty Clockstoppers Planet, the film shows us his life on an Earth ravished by a generic scourge that's caused nearly all crops to vanish in the not-too-distant future. Meanwhile, the last crops on Earth are dissolving by the day -- resulting in the hero's family solemnly eating meals composed of nothing but corn, which is apparently the only crop that can grow in their particular region, if not one of the only remaining crops on the planet.
Paramount Pictures/Warner Bros.
"Who said you could drink the water? WE'RE A CORN JUICE FAMILY, DAMMIT!"
We never see them eat any meat. In fact, we hear one of the characters lament the fact that you can't eat hot dogs at a ball game anymore. So it's heavily implied that most of the animals (and probably the insects) are either extinct or well on their way to extinction. Whatever meager animal population remains definitely won't survive the trip when humanity relocates to a giant space station orbiting some distant world. But it's OK, because they've got corn.
Paramount Pictures/Warner Bros.
"At least we got to bring the corn with us."
While it's bad enough that no one in the film seems bummed that 99.99 percent of all species have been snuffed out forever (or that such an event would surely affect human life as well), the surprisingly horrific detail to this situation is that anyone who didn't make it to the space station in time was killed by a combination of body sores, insanity, and a cascade of explosive diarrhea. All thanks to that piss-colored corn.
You see -- a person not only couldn't survive on only corn but we've actually linked a hilariously terrible disease to doing so. Pellagra, caused by the severe lack of niacin and tryptophan, basically makes you a crazy poop vampire -- the side effects of which are blisters, a swollen tongue, hair loss, confusion, aggression, purgatorial shitting, and death in a matter of years. That means if the only crop left on Earth was corn, there's a very real chance that everyone who didn't make it to space wasted away one burning squirt at a time in a battle royale of gibberish. Have you pictured John Lithgow's character firehosing an agonizing stream of mud into his old-man pants while raving at Matthew McConaughey's abandoned children like a drunk Gollum? Because that's probably what happens to John Lithgow's character.
#5. Jurassic World: Claire And Owen Are Totally The Villains, Let Countless Tourists Die
In the original Jurassic Park, elderly dinosaur baron John Hammond realizes that his park is uncontrollable after the deaths of five people. And as the series continues, the villain is always a person who is unable to heed that obvious miscalculation -- Hammond's nephew goes on to have this lesson literally pounded into him by the bite force of a child T. rex in The Lost World -- because Americans like to see stupid people get what's coming to them. You know, like her:
Claire's first decision in Jurassic World is to have Owen enter the cage of a psychotic ultra-predator while she leaves to confirm if it actually escaped (it didn't). This, of course, causes the Indominus rex to get out and go full rampage -- to which Claire reacts by waiting as legally long as possible before evacuating rides. And so, while a roaring demon science beast rages its way across the island, guests continue to enjoy driving hamster balls and canoeing, completely oblivious to the fact that their lives are in serious jeopardy.
Also, can we just acknowledge that any of these fucking dinosaurs could kill you at any moment?
Keep in mind that these are rides that inexplicably require the public to control the vehicle on their own -- something that even the original park knew not to do 20 years ago. We even see a goddamn petting zoo, seemingly setting up the grim naivety everyone will face when sluggish tourists are later manhandled by a swarm of pteranodons swooping in like baby dragons.
But, please, by all means run out of the covered buildings for a better look.
And while we barely see it on-screen, there's an extremely good chance that these winged nightmares are not only racking up the kill count but going for the weakest and lightest prey. You know ... the children.
Oh, and I guess the human children too.
So, yeah ... there's no way this gift shop plaza isn't haunted by the innards of trampled youth. Between the sky-carnage and obvious accountability, one imagines that Claire must feel pretty goddamn regretful over what she-
Nope. She's just kissing Owen while the two tune out the screams of hubris-driven destruction around them. What I'm getting at here is that, in ANY other Jurassic Park film, Claire would have been the villain. She's mean to her nephews, she doesn't care about whether or not the animals are happy, she pushes for genetically modified super dinosaurs, and she delays closing down the park because it would ruin them financially. In any other Jurassic Park film, she would've been eaten by a dinosaur in the third act to a chorus of audience cheers. Oh, and Owen, a character who spends the movie training captive raptors to obey his commands? You bet your bottom dollar he would've been eaten by raptors before the credits rolled.
But instead of repercussions in even the legal sense, or at the very least some sign of remorse ... Claire's character arc ends with her romantically walking into the sunset with Mr. Raptorpants, unaware that she's surrounded by maimed and murdered people who are there (or, you know, not there) because of her.
I'm sure all the lawsuits will be handled by top men ...
#4. San Andreas: The Rock Steals A Helicopter And Abandons His Job As A Rescue Worker To Save One Person
In the greatest CGI earthquake since 2009's 2012, San Andreas follows The Rock, a hot-shot Los Angeles helicopter rescue pilot struggling to gain the respect of his kids under the shadow of the totally-not-going-to-die wealthy father figure currently throwing it in his ex-wife.
While his daughter is visiting San Francisco, California is hit by a series of category 9 plot devices that cause L.A. to crumble like a vindictive child's sandcastle. In the chaos, The Rock manages to use the LAFD rescue chopper to scoop his ex-wife from a toppling building and immediately contact their daughter, instructing her away from normal evacuation routes so that he might specially pick her up and reunite the family in a happy embrace. Because, according to Hollywood, the only thing that wins back the love for a shitty father is a population-wiping catastrophe.
It also helps if he stares off blankly at said catastrophe every once in a while.
After a few bumps along the way (including crashing the LAFD helicopter), Rock successfully makes it to San Francisco and saves the day! And when I say "saves the day," I mean "only saves his daughter," because our hero has spent the majority of these city-crumbling earthquakes hogging one of only six Los Angeles rescue choppers for the sole purpose of rescuing one person in a different city and absolutely no one else.
"But she's, like, really hot."
You read that right: The Los Angeles Fire Department has only six rescue helicopters, one of which has now been stolen and flown out of the rubble-ridden city to San Francisco, which is 400 miles away, so the "hero" can give his family special treatment.
You can bet he got a stern talking to from his boss the next day -- you know,
if his boss wasn't dead.
He literally just buzzes away like saving the general public from a disaster isn't the specific job he was hired to do. To put this in perspective -- after the Nepal earthquake, a single rescue team was able to save 30 people from an otherwise unreachable area. But instead of watching The Rock heroically perform a similar feat of admirable dedication to duty, we get to see the adventures of Los Angeles' least reliable rescue pilot instead. That's like if John McClane had just quietly sneaked his wife out of Nakatomi Plaza and called 9-1-1 from home.