6 Depressing Details Movies Completely Ignored
As people are always telling us in the comments, "Movies are supposed to be fun!" We're encouraged to sit back and just enjoy the pretty explosions rather than taking time to stop and smell the civilian corpses. But sometimes it feels like the protagonist really should stop and say a few prayers or something, because there are a lot of ignored corpses, guys.
Aquaman Creates Suicidal Fish
Aquaman remains one of the more watchable DCEU outings largely because of its willingness to embrace absurdity. It boasts a large-scale battle rivaling Lord of the Rings' Helms Deep, except with a shit-ton of crabs. Also, at one point a goddamned octopus plays the goddamned drums because art. It even features a villain whose head is clearly inspired by the indie dramedy Frank.
All this madness is in service of making Aquaman fun and cool despite him being ostensibly a dude who mostly just swims fast and talks to fish. And that's all well and good for most of the film, but there's one brief moment during the aforementioned massive battle where that commitment to insanity and explosiveness results in what is -- in retrospect -- a pretty horrifying sequence of events.
In an effort to turn the tide of battle, Aquaman uses his ability to control fish to summon them and... throw their soft, squishy bodies into the enemies' ships in a kamikaze suicidal effort?
It's hard to get a sense of what's going on (which is true for most of the film's action sequences), so allow me to explain. A bunch of normal squids, dolphins, guppies, and other marine creatures hurl themselves against mechanical underwater vehicles until they explode. Now, I don't claim to be an expert on marine life, but I have to assume the only way a dolphin blows up a war submarine is if it swims into the engine, and its mangled body causes catastrophic systems failure.
Even for larger animals like whales that appear to blast through ships relatively unharmed, the sheer amount of sea creatures onscreen ensure that every single time a laser or harpoon is fired, whales are getting hunks blown off alongside a couple hundred incinerated Nemos. By the beard of Poseidon, that's a lot of dead fish.
Suddenly that fight scene becomes a whole lot less epic battle and a lot more PETA emergency. Aquaman's whole thing is supposed to be caring about the ocean (sometimes at the expense of us land dwellers), but he sure seems willing to bend that rule whenever he's in a tight spot, ecological impact be damned.
Sonic Is Indirectly Responsible For At Least A Bus Full Of Dead People
In Sonic we learn that because of his ability to run, like, so fast, he will forever spend his days hunted by those who wish to harness his power to more quickly deliver Amazon packages or whatever. So Sonic's guardian (the tootsie pop owl, I think?) gives him a bag of rings that allow him to travel to any planet in the universe and stay one step ahead.
He initially picks Earth, and that works for awhile, but one day Sonic gets lonely and runs so fast he attracts the attention of the U.S. Government and Jim Carrey. Sonic, realizing he's been made, prepares to jump to another planet. But because this planet is made of mushrooms, Sonic decides against doing the responsible thing and leaving. Also, I guess there aren't any other, non-mushroomed planets worth escaping to in the entire universe?
But so, whatever, he remains on Earth and has a series of relatively tame, bloodless adventures while chased by Dr. Robotnik. That is, until he and his human friend arrive in San Francisco. By this point, Dr. Robotnik has synthesized one of Sonic's quills to be able move just as quickly as, say, an intergalactic hedgehog. What results is a chase scene through the streets of San Francisco, with Robotnik blowing up everything in sight including ... a bus full of civilians.
For most of this scene, if you squint hard enough, you can pretend the buildings obliterated by Robotnik are closed or out of business thanks to coronavirus, but this bus is in the middle of an intersection. Sure, it looks like it's stopped because Sonic and Robotnik move so quickly, but it's not and it's operating as normal. It's also the middle of the day, so you have to assume the bus was full of passengers who are now charred meat in the middle of the road. The movie just blows past the implications of this scene (because, "Wow look at Sonic's cool slide!") but, Jesus, that's like 60 people dead because Sonic chose to dick around in San Francisco instead of go to the mushroom planet. Those deaths are on his tiny, gloved hands.
Ready Player One: Wade Doesn't Love Pop Culture, He Loves That Old, Dead Man
Ready Player One imagines a world where no original pop culture has been created in decades, and the only thing anybody cares about is plugging into an online simulator to shoot each other and revel in cool nostalgia shit from the past. So... now, basically.
But one day, twist, the creator of the simulator world (called "The Oasis") dies and sets up an elaborate game for his would-be successor. Whoever finds a bunch of clues and Easter Eggs throughout the system will be deemed worthy of the virtual throne. And while there are many professional nerds hunting down the clues, they're no match for our hero Wade Watts and his unhealthy knowledge of classic video games and 80s movies.
Except ... pop culture isn't really Watts is an expert in, and that's not actually the secret to taking over the Oasis. Watts is actually an expert in the Oasis' creator, Halliday. Wade hasn't just seen The Shining -- he knows it's Halliday's "11th favorite horror film." In between Stephen King film binge sessions, Watts has spent countless hours pouring through Halliday's personal memories and learning weird, intimate shit like Halliday's favorite food which is a bit different than memorizing a few killer Robo Cop lines.
All in all, Wade is less the coolest, raddest cinephile in the land and more the world's creepiest and most obsessive stalker. Even weirder and sadder, this is clearly what Halliday himself wanted. Halliday wanted his successor to know him, not just catch all of his dope-ass references. He's a sad, shitty (dead) man who ultimately hands his prized possession over to another sad, shitty (alive) man who cares was too much about this guy he'll never meet. The most egregious example of all this is the clue that ultimately breaks the game wide open. While watching Hallidays' memories -- again -- Watts suddenly realizes Halliday was in love with his best friend's wife. That... is a pretty twisted detail to hide in your video game, my dude. Almost as weird as being the loser that figured it out by watching a man's video journal 17,000 times.
Spider-Man 3: Spider Man Only Cares About The Nookie
Pretty early on in Spider-Man 3 -- like, before the dancing -- a crane goes apeshit and begins wrecking an office building. That alone would probably be enough to justify Peter Parker's involvement, but he's doubly interested because one of the people about to be obliterated by construction machinery is the super-hot Gwen Stacy. It doesn't help that he and Mary Jane have had some rough times.
So Spider-Man does what spiders do and catches Gwen before she becomes a strawberry blonde splat on the sidewalk. Parker then spends a few minutes shooting the shit with reporter Topher Grace before swinging away to his next great adventure.
And that's great and all, but it's not like Gwen worked in an office building alone. What about everybody that isn't so conventionally attractive? And more importantly, did anybody actually stop the rogue crane?
"Whew--saved the one person in danger from a construction disaster in the middle of Manhattan."
Parker straight-up leaves the site of this horrible accident-in-progress well before everybody involved is safe. Seriously, you can still hear screaming in the background and see emergency responders booking it all over the place while shit like debris and paper continue to fall from the sky. But, no, it's fine because the named character survived, and we got a halfway-decent action scene. No need to save a bunch of worthless randos or ensure this big-ass crane doesn't obliterate half a city block. Like troubadour of yore Fred Durst, Spider-Man only does it for the nookie.
Jerry Maguire: Dude With CTE Is Still Screwed, Right?
Jerry Maguire tells the story of a super-rich sports agent who decides his super-rich clients deserve more one-on-one attention. You know, because otherwise we'd have a bunch of sad millionaires moping around, I guess.
The client that inspires Jerry's change of heart and to write the "manifesto" that begins his hero's journey is an oft-concussed hockey player. Jerry visits this dude in the hospital where he's recovering from his fourth concussion. The hockey player pretty much immediately tells Jerry he needs to get back out there on the ice as soon as possible so he can activate a bonus in his contract. Jerry absolutely agrees because, yeah, more money is better than less money -- brain damage be damned!
But as Jerry is leaving, the player's kid runs out and tells Jerry his dad needs to stop playing for his health. Jerry, of course, brushes it off and tells the kid "Come on -- it'd take a tank to stop your dad. It would take all five Super Trooper VR Warriors, right?" (Oh, this movie came out in the '90s). The kid looks at Jerry and offers him a crisp "Fuck you."
Jerry -- struck in the heart -- writes his manifesto that night and as a result is fired the next day, losing all of his non-Cuba Gooding Jr. clients. That clearly includes the NHL player, who is presumably still stuck with the same sports agency that Jerry was a part of pre-epiphany.
That means he's going to keep playing, keep getting himself hurt, and likely acquire significant brain injury and damage. Jumping back into playing too quickly (and remember, this is the '90s before anybody was doing anything about concussions), could be majorly, majorly detrimental to that dude's health and ultimately his family (and kid) if nobody intervenes.
And that's it! We never hear from that dude again. As if to further drive his hopelessness home, Cuba Gooding himself gets a concussion scare at the end of the movie, getting knocked out cold after a touchdown catch. But, again, while that would immediately get you placed in the modern NFL's concussion protocol, mid-90s Cuba hops up and dances like a goddamned lunatic, because he just boosted his contract value alongside his likelihood of premature death from CTE.
So, yeah, best not to think about that hockey player with an even more significant injury history, way less pay, a less intentional sports agent, and almost no chance of avoiding significant brain damage. You had me at, holy hell, my brain is so fucked, Tom Cruise!
Chewbacca Ate A Bunch Of Rebels, Good Guys In Solo
A little while after Han is permanently named for the rest of his life by an off-hand comment from a bored recruitment officer, everybody's favorite space smuggler encounters his soon-to-be best friend, Chewbacca. Unfortunately, they don't meet under the best of circumstances.
Han attempts to get in with a group of criminals, but they're not having it, so they chuck him into a muddy cage pit to do battle with a wild beast (a la Return of the Jedi). But they're not just expecting Han to get his arms ripped off by the massive bear thing, they casually mention that the "Beast" has been starved and is hungry and that "this should be good." Chewbacca himself doesn't appear to contradict this statement given that he immediately lays into Han like he's a sentient cheeseburger.
Eventually Han and Chewie work things out and decide to not eat each other, but it seems super unlikely Han's the first person ever chucked in that pit. Chewbacca has almost certainly eaten people before, and most likely good guys. Chewie is in an Imperial cage, which means that he's likely been fed a steady diet of Rebel soldiers and princesses and anybody else the Empire wants to get rid of.
You might think this unexpected from a character we've often seen as a loveable furball, but consider Chewbacca's past. He's 190 years old in Solo, has fought in the Clone Wars, raised (and lost) a family, watched his entire race become enslaved, and then he became a slave. Also, remember, he was starved and thrown in a pit. At that point, what's devouring a few pounds of random man meat here or there? It's not like it'll make his life any more or less horrific.
Top image: Paramount Pictures