5 Cool Movie Weapons (That'd Kill You Instantly, Oops)
Action movie props are designed to look cool and sell toys. That's why one of our favorite hobbies is to imagine just what the hell the in-universe inventors of this shit were thinking. For example, consider how ...
You Really Don't Want Guns Mounted All Over Your Arms
Let's start with the Hollywood action screenwriter's best friend: the gun. And what's better than a gun? A gun you don't even have to stuff into a waistband between uses, obviously. Deadshot from the Academy-Award-winning Suicide Squad and Tom Cruise from the twice-named Edge Of Tomorrow / Live. Die. Repeat. strapped some fully automatic shit right onto their forearms:
This is genius, because now they don't have to hold their guns! Their hands are free to ... wait. What would you be doing with your hands when you're aiming and firing a gun? Because whatever it is just got shot. How long until Deadshot uses that hand to stop himself from falling, hits the trigger mechanism, and blows three of his splayed fingers off?
It's also sort of a pain to hit your target when your gun is strapped to your wrist. Bullets are very tiny things that need to get carefully aimed with both hands, unless the shootout is taking place in an elevator. Try holding your wrist up and imagine lining up rear sights on your forearm with front sights on your wrist. Have you thrown your neck out yet? Also, we should have told you that all your enemies have regular guns, and they put 200 bullets in you while you were trying to bend your elbow the wrong way.
The only advantage wrist-guns have is that you could also carry an ax or another gun while you shoot. Unless you have to reload the wrist guns, in which case you'd have to put down all the other things you're holding and ... wait, why the hell is this your weapon again, Deadshot? Even the maniac on your team throwing around boomerangs makes more sense than you.
We should take a moment here to mock a related gadget from movies that supposedly take place in our universe. Desperado, Django Unchained, Taxi Driver, and others all featured protagonists who dispatched their enemies with the convenience and reliability of wrist-mounted guns that would then fly into their hands via a spring-loaded mechanism:
"Secret gun, motherfuckers!"
However, you might have noticed that you don't see this technology employed by the police, military, Secret Service, bodyguards, or even violent criminals in the real world. You may also have noticed that wrist-mounted guns are met with alarm or even mockery in formal social situations. There is a reason for this. Remember, the entire point of these is that you can trigger the mechanism without a lot of movement. Whether it works by hitting a button on your wrist, flexing your forearm, or pressing a remote switch with your toe, you will do it on accident while getting out of your car. So even if you managed to avoid a reputation as "the guy with a gun in his sleeve," people will probably notice the gun-shaped bulge or the way your natural movements keep accidentally spring-loading pistols into your hands. Ten minutes with a sleeve pistol and you are shooting your thumb, foot, or dick off.
"Can't shoot your dick off if your dick IS the gun. *BANG* OW, JESUS CHRIST MY BALLLLLS!!!"
Star Wars Fighters Don't Allow For Visibility
As movie props and children's toys, x-wings and TIE Fighters are ingenious designs. Distinct, simple shapes, each with their own personality and each something a child could draw with a crayon. But within the movies themselves, these crafts make no goddamned sense, starting with the fact that none of the pilots can see a goddamn thing.
Real fighter jets in our world have something called a canopy. It's the clear thing surrounding the cockpit when Maverick flips off the stupid Russians in Top Gun. If Maverick turns his head, he can see in almost every direction.
We figure you know how eyesight works, so we guess this part is just for 1976 George Lucas, who apparently did not. Star Wars fighters have the worst canopies possible. Say hello to this TIE fighter:
"Who said that!? Who the hell just said hello!?"
There is only one tiny hole in the front to look out of, and even if you could look out the side, there are two giant panels blocking your view. The pilot can't see anything besides what's exactly in front of him. There are a few narrow slits above the shoulders to see about 5 percent of what's going on behind, but that's it. And it's got no shields, because the TIE fighter is absolutely a space coffin.
"But this is advanced technology! The pilots don't need to look for adversaries with their primitive eyeballs!" Bullshit. You've seen the movies; it's not like the lack of windows was supplemented with some kind of advanced radar system. Pilots on both sides are always desperately whipping their heads around to catch a glimmer of enemy ships through the glass.
Snapped necks from whiplash is the number-one killer of Rebel pilots.
Darth Vader himself seemed completely surprised when Han Solo showed up behind him and shot him in the ass at the end of A New Hope (and he flew a TIE Advanced!). All of this is because George Lucas choreographed space battles to mimic WWII movies, which are from an era when dogfighting meant flying close enough to pepper the enemy with 50-caliber rounds until a wing fell off. But look at the visibility pilots had in the 1940s:
"Use your full range of vision, Luke."
That guy can see everything! Notice how the pilot is positioned so that he can even look down on both sides, since the enemy could be below him at any moment? Compare that to the Rebels' Y-Wing canopies, which not only lack that feature, but also block off what's above the ship, which is about half of all things that will ever be when you're in outer space.
"Gold Leader, I can't see if I'm above you or below you. What's your uh ... altitude? Space height? Gold Leader, I'm going to hold my breath and stick my head out the window."
The x-wing lets you see what's in front and above you, but there's no way to check your six, because someone put a blooping robot and gigantic engines in the way. A-Wings, B-Wings, Jedi Starfighters -- you can't see behind yourself in any of them. Try to imagine driving a U-Haul through space with no side mirrors, and also there are lasers everywhere trying to kill you. Good luck!
"R2, turn your head around. Is anyone behind us? 'Bloop?' Hold on, let me turn on the bloop translator. Loading. Loading. Yes? Someone's there!? Shit!"
The Falcon's Wingsuit Is An Elaborate Suicide Mechanism
OK guys, we feel like you might have overcorrected with this one. Falcon definitely doesn't have to worry about a cockpit getting in his way. Or a hull, or a helmet, or sleeves. His suit is nothing but wings on a largely exposed human body, which did not evolve for flight. What we're saying is that his super-cool getup is a death trap.
"It's a what now?"
Forget about using this in an actual fight, never mind that his bare skin isn't protected from bullets, shrapnel, debris, fire, accidental collisions, or even birds. (You've seen what bird impacts do to planes, right?)
We don't even have to go there. Merely imagine that Falcon only needs his jet-powered wings to deliver packages or something. It's still a tragic yet hilarious headline waiting to happen. OK, so he didn't want the full-on Iron Man suit experience, fine. But there's no breathing apparatus either. So right off the bat, he has a ceiling on how fast and how far he can fly. Oh, and remember in Iron Man, when Tony's suit started getting ice on it at a certain altitude? It was a whole plot point that helped him defeat the bad guy? Now imagine that in short sleeves, and hatless.
See, at 30,000 feet (airliner height) the temperature is about 50 degrees below zero. Even with a mild breeze, Falcon would get severe frostbite within minutes. Accelerate through that cold at 500 mph, and we're not sure what would happen, because medical science has likely never subjected a human being to such conditions. We're going to say that as far as your skin is concerned, at that point the air might as well be fire.
Speaking of which, the frigid air blasting his body is really only a problem in the front. In the back, there's the whole matter of trying to keep the exhaust from those four little jets from burning his ass off, particularly when he's taking a curved path upward and his legs naturally bend up behind him:
JUST MAKE HIM A SUIT, TONY.
Star Trek Officers Routinely Go Into Combat In Flimsy Uniforms
Alright, this is only getting worse. The original Star Trek sent its crew into the almost-always-hostile unknown with amazing communication and teleportation systems. They were given tricorders that could analyze unknown materials and assess injuries, and their guns could instantly stun or murder any threat. As for protection, the crew was given a highly visible poly-cotton blend that shredded the moment it came into contact with absolutely anything.
"It's the way the space ladies like it."
Not only did their uniforms make stealth impossible, but they also seemed barely able to deal with a light breeze. The budget on the show was so small that the flimsy costumes were made in a sweatshop, though they might not have needed as many if they hadn't been ripped apart by knives and phasers in every episode. Crew members would often get killed by literally the first weapon every intelligent species invents.
"Aaargh! This planet's lifeforms have lightly tossed sharpened sticks! Our worst nightmare!!!"
"And knives!!! They have little knives!"
"And flowers! This planet has fucking flowers!!!"
The Enterprise lost at least one crew member every five minutes. Armored space suits should have been the Federation's top priority, right after hull integrity and space STD antibiotics. Strangely enough, the original show's creator, Gene Roddenberry, served on a bomber crew during WWII, and even in his mundane Earth voyages, the crew wore flak jackets. If you're a crew of explorers dying constantly from stabbings and pokings, you would absolutely wear 50 pounds of the best space steel you could find. Why leave your fate in the hands of thin, non-union turtlenecks?
Avatar Mech Suits Invite Enemies To Kill Them
Avatar, the highest-grossing film of all time which nobody remembers a thing about, had an overwhelming amount of awesome technology. They had holograms, interstellar travel, giant attack helicopters, and the ability to clone and remotely operate sexy cat-smurf monsters. Then there's this thing, modern sci-fi's answer to the Star Trek away team problem above:
That's a mech suit that's supposed to be good at unloading unobtanium trucks and doing infantry fire support. It's got a sealed cockpit to protect from Pandora's toxic atmosphere. There's a cool biofeedback control system which allows the pilot to use the machine's hands as if they were their own. Overall, it's a pretty practical machine for space imperialism. Except there's one obvious design flaw.
"Wait, did you say design fl- FUCK!!!"
The super deadly robo-suit houses its pilot in very, very breakable glass. It isn't even as bulletproof as glass we have here on Earth today. If you'd like, you can watch a video of some brave soul squatting behind a bulletproof earthling windshield while it gets shot with an AK-47 at close range. But in Avatar, the main villain gets killed when the lady cat-smurf monster carves through his cockpit with an ax and an arrow. Humans have known how to prevent ax and arrow deaths since the Bronze Age. The villain traveled light years to die from something children play with at summer camp.
Every other giant mech franchise has armored cockpits. Gundam, Robotech, Voltron ... all of them know they need to protect the pilot(s) inside their machines. James Cameron, a man obsessed with high-pressure deep sea exploration, thought, "Why not a fragile little glass cockpit?" The man invented diving equipment to shoot The Abyss. He thinks of everything. Except this massive, massive design flaw so dumb that even the goddamn Power Rangers figured it out.
"We might not be as nimble, but at least our weakness isn't ANY STABBING WEAPON."
You can dodge these futuristic problems with this literal Robot Mop. It's like a Roomba for your kitchen except it cleans your floors instead of killing you.
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Nightmarish villains with superhuman enhancements. An all-seeing social network that tracks your every move. A young woman from the trailer park and her very smelly cat. Futuristic Violence and Fancy Suits, a new novel about futuristic shit, by David Wong.