Besides being the summer of flaccid box office results (not to gloat, but we kind of told you so), 2014 has also seen another bizarre trend emerge in the floundering forest of big-budget blockbustery: shitting all over science. Five of the year's biggest films depend entirely on the conceit that scientists are lazy, stupid morons, and that the pursuit of scientific discovery is a ridiculous waste of time that could be spent on punching and explosions.
#5. Everything About Dawn of the Planet of the Apes Happens Because of One Lab Full of Terrible Scientists
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes shows us a world where apes have risen to power after humanity was decimated by a horrific virus, two events that can be directly traced back to a single lab full of terrible scientists in the first film. More specifically, a single terrible scientist: Frownbeard McMustardStain.
20th Century Fox
"That's Dr. Frownbeard McMustardStain."
Franklin (the obviously inferior name the filmmakers decided to go with for some insane reason), a lab technician/monkey expert, winds up becoming patient zero to the destruction of mankind when no one bothers to follow standard quarantine procedure after he is obviously contaminated during an experiment.
20th Century Fox
"Wait, I'm supposed to leave the mask on?"
To give you an even clearer picture of the negligence at work here, this is the same lab full of Ph.D.s that failed to notice one of their ape subjects was pregnant until the instant it spat out a baby. Franklin literally starts sneezing blood in the fucking office, and yet is somehow able to keep it to himself after he inexplicably decides to hide it despite knowing full well he is infected with a highly contagious blood-erupting pathogen. When he finally does decide to alert James Franco (it is standard procedure to notify James Franco in the event of any emergency), Franklin goes to the man's house and ends up sneezing on another human being, because the title of the movie clearly isn't Rise of the Planet of the People Who Use Cellphones Instead of Shambling Their Infectious Asses Through Population Centers.
#4. Edge of Tomorrow Can Accept Psychic Aliens but Not Time Travel
Edge of Tomorrow is Groundhog Day if a bunch of murderous aliens had been standing between Bill Murray and Andie MacDowell's vagina. Tom Cruise plays a soldier in a world where the invading alien forces have managed to steamroll through Earth's defenses due to an uncanny ability to "anticipate" exactly what we're going to do. Then one soldier (Emily Blunt) manages to kill a hundred of these psychic starbeasts, an impossible feat that everyone apparently chalks up to the fact that she has excellent bone structure.
"Dozens have died by my chin alone."
Tom Cruise suddenly starts reliving the same day over and over again and learns that this was the same reason Emily Blunt was able to crack all those extraterrestrial skull domes -- she gained the same ability, which is contained within the aliens' blood. She explains that she never told anyone about it, because every time she tried, they either didn't believe her and sent her to the psych ward or did believe her and had her "dissected." That's right -- even in the alternate timelines where her superiors actually believed her fantastical time-travel gibberish, their scientific solution was to cut her into pieces like a packaged hot dog for a bowl of Beanie Weenies.
"Why do you think all our suits have can openers?"
The only person we meet who believes her is a renowned doctor who used her discovery to build a device that could potentially stop the aliens and was immediately demoted to a mechanic for his trouble. So in other words, when a war hero and a famous genius came to the leaders of the free world and simultaneously explained why the aliens could predict our every move and offered a solution to defeat them, the government's verdict was to completely bury them. After all, who has time for such outlandish lip-wiggling when giant psychic squids from beyond the stars have come to destroy the Earth?
#3. Oscorp Is the Worst Science Company Ever
Literally every problem in the new Amazing Spider-Man films can be traced back to a fundamental failure in Oscorp's basic lab safety and security awareness protocols. In the first film, Peter Parker is able to walk right into a super-secret spider experimentation room, because for some reason a billion-dollar company thought a coded lock was all the security that room needed.
"What, do you expect us to put a guard at every stronghold of dangerous technology we have in this building?"
In the second film, we meet Max, an obsessive electrical engineer who is sent by his toolbox of a boss to fix some vaguely defined electrical problem that, for some reason, is located on a circus-performer set of walkways high above a giant open-air vat of electric fucking eels.
Max is the only person left in the building at this point -- the rest of the staff has clocked out for the weekend, even the technician whom Max calls and literally begs to shut off the power to the section he is working on so he can fix the problem without exploding. Max points out how insanely dangerous this activity is, and the technician basically tells him to roll his safety manual into a tight coil and bury it deep within his own anus. Of course, Max gets electrocuted and falls directly into the vat of eels, which continue to electrocute him until he crosses the delicate boundary between "being turned into a supervillain" and "being turned into a dead body and an accident report."
And the movie crosses the delicate boundary between "Meh" and "Are you fucking kidding me with this shit?"
At the end of the movie, the Green Goblin just sort of climbs into a suit and rockets out of Oscorp to go murder Gwen Stacy, because for reasons that cannot possibly have made any sense either in written form or when spoken aloud to a room full of professional filmmakers, tripping the alarm in Oscorp's top-secret basement weapons facility immediately opens every single vault in the facility. If you go to the mall in the middle of the night and break a window, the alarm isn't programmed to pull the shutters up on all of the stores. J.C. Penney has better security than Oscorp does, and Oscorp is supposed to be run by the top scientific minds in the entire world.