5 Recent Blockbusters That Prove Movies Hate Science
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.
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.
"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.
"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.
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?
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.
Godzilla's Scientists Don't Care About Scientific Discovery
The latest Godzilla is two hours of whispered conversation building up to 15 minutes of giant monster backyard wrestling. The movie starts with the discovery of one hulking ancient insect beast, called a MUTO, because action figures need short, uncomplicated names. Godzilla resurfaces after a decades-long slumber to slay the monster, but before he can, a second larger, more MUTOier monster escapes from a stronghold of radioactive garbage in Yucca Mountain. It goes 60 miles in the wrong direction to destroy recognizable buildings in Vegas before doubling back to meet its partner in San Francisco.
"We just thought it would be a great place to raise kids."
Why did the government have a completely intact atomic monster sitting in a fucking locker in the middle of the Nevada desert? That supposedly dead behemoth was discovered in the movie's prologue by world-renowned monster scientist Ken Watanabe, but rather than permit him or his colleague to study it, they scooped it up in an oversized garbage bag and stuffed it in a mountain, apparently to let it appreciate in value for several years before selling it on eBay. Get out of here, science -- this monster's going in our military toy box.
"Don't shoot! We promised it was mint. Do you want to fuck up our seller rating?"
But don't let that fool you -- the scientists in Godzilla hate science just as much as the military. Ken Watanabe comes to the impossible, completely unsupported conclusion that Godzilla has erupted from the bottom of the Pacific to restore the karmic "balance of nature" by killing the two MUTOs before they lay a bunch of eggs and take over the world. He just pulls this out of his ass -- the only data anyone has ever collected on Godzilla is a series of grainy videotapes documenting a handful of unsuccessful attempts to kill him with atomic bombs in the Bikini Atoll tests. Ken watched four seconds of yellow videotape of Godzilla's back and decided Godzilla was planet Earth's Hulk Hogan, and that it was useless for our mortal science and military to try to intervene.
Transformers Is a World With No Scientists
Poking holes in a Transformers movie is like leaving a negative product review for anal beads -- we all know exactly what it was made for, and pointing out how superior you are to it doesn't disguise the fact that you paid for the experience. Both things are also coated in a firm layer of shit.
Anyway, every Transformers film hits the exact same beats: Evil robots suddenly appear on Earth, take credit for a major monument or historical event (the Hoover Dam, the Pyramids, the moon landing, and the extinction of dinosaurs), ineffective humans mistakenly blame the Autobots, and the Autobots save the day with a sobering dose of big swords and racism.
To be fair, one movie also involved giant robot testicles.
However, according to the prologue of the first film, the human race has been aware of the existence of Transformers since the 1930s -- they reverse engineered Megatron to produce most of our modern technology. Shouldn't all that time and energy have been spent finding a way to prepare the Earth for defense against giant shape-shifting robots from space? We have satellites that can zoom in on Osama bin Laden's backyard, and we somehow fail to notice three-story Hercules droids descending from the heavens? Megatron and Starscream spend the beginning of the third movie hiding out in the desert (Megatron is wearing a cape to shield himself from the hot sand, for some reason). At this point, those two are responsible for destroying two major cities and killing countless civilians, and they are giant glinting buildings with legs. We really have no way of locating them? Besides a few detector sentries and a single large gun we see in the second film, we've apparently gone the Godzilla route and decided that our alien robot deterrent will just be other alien robots.
Seriously, how do these things keep showing up on our planet without us realizing it? Are there no more astronomers left in this universe? Even if we hadn't had anything in the oven since discovering Megatron back in the 1930s, there are now four films in this series. They should have every available scientific mind working on a way to tell which sports car can transform into a hulking angry spacebot and which sports car is just a sports car. And yet in movie three, a steel-shredding mechanized death worm the size of 11 city blocks manages to catch us completely off-guard and eat the city of Chicago.
While asshole New Yorkers argued that their city would have tasted better.
Surely sneaking a titanic razor penis to Earth would be a notable astronomical event. It's almost as if every scientist on the planet got together and decided they wanted to see giant robots punch each other more than they wanted to keep people safe from an embarrassing series of horrific catastrophes.