Head-scratching sci-fi questions 0
More than The Dark Knight Rises, The Amazing Spider-Man or Madea's Witness Protection, there's one movie this summer I've been completely stoked to see: Prometheus. Ridley Scott revisiting the universe he created with the original Alien? Cutting edge digital effects? Noomi Rapace? Sold.
But after the mixed reviews started coming in, I held off seeing it right away. And now that I've finally taken in Prometheus, my brain is bursting with questions.
But Prometheus comes from a long line of sci-fi flicks that left us with major head-scratching questions. Here are five we still haven't worked out to this day. (Warning: if you're behind on your Netflixing, there may be spoilers ahead.)
How come it's so hard to detect Replicants? (Blade Runner, 1982)
Speaking of Ridley Scott, there's something I've never been able to figure out about his Blade Runner: if Replicants are able to withstand boiling water and liquid nitrogen with no pain or damage, couldn't Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford) just do a skin test to suss them out? Why did he have to go through this enormously complicated oral exam about tortoises and boiled dogs to figure out who wasn't human?
Why did the machines need humans for energy? (The Matrix, 1999)
Machines have become smart enough to imprison humanity in a hyper-real computer simulation, but they can't figure out nuclear fission? And if the machines can't use solar energy because the sun is blocked out, how are they creating food to keep their inefficient organic batteries alive? And why people, instead of animals that don't need a computer simulation to keep their brains entertained? Think too hard on this and you'll just go "whoa."
Why did they build the U.S.S. Enterprise on the ground? (Star Trek, 2009)
It doesn't get more nerdy than arguing details in a Star Trek movie, but even though I enjoyed J.J. Abrams' glossy re-interpretation of Trek, the scene where James Kirk (Chris Pine) stops his motorbike to look at the under-construction Enterprise makes no sense. Why would they build it on Earth instead of in a space dock? Can the Enterprise even lift off from a planet's surface? Most illogical, captain.
Was Eli blind? (The Book of Eli, 2010)
The enduring mystery of this movie is whether Eli (Denzel Washington) was blind all along. At no point in the film does he do anything that would unequivocally require sight. So was he blind from the start? And how come Mila Kunis's eyebrows are so perfectly plucked?
What's the deal with the space baby? (2001: A Space Odyssey, 1968)
Seriously, the last chunk of Stanley Kubrick's sci-fi opus is nigh-on indecipherable. Why is Dave so old all of a sudden? Why is there a massive fetus floating in space? I feel sorry for folks who saw the movie back in 1968 and couldn't immediately rush home, hop on Google and have people smarter than them explain it. (That's what I did, so I sort of get it now. Sort of.)