Sci-fi/action movie tech that is worse than our current tech--and STUPID!

Note that I am not talking about old sci-fi that couldn’t anticipate future tech, although that can still be quite shortsighted and/or stupid (e.g., using a slide rule in a spaceship). I’m talking about sci-fi or sci-fi-ish action movie technology that is inferior to what we have right now or what could easily be imagined.

Some examples:

• I was watching one of the dumbest movies ever made last night, Aeon Flux, and this movie featured a trope that has to be in somewhere: retarded defenses that the characters need to breach. Aeon and her partner have to run through this deadly garden in order to get to this government building, and they are being shot at by these weird gourds with darts in them, and the normal-looking grass can turn into sharp spikes. And they make it through and just walk through these openings in the building. Huh? All of this could have been prevented with, you know, an electrified fence or something. And there is no one to go after them in the building (or outside, for that matter), since no one was alerted via motion detectors, cameras, etc.

• Relatedly, anything having to do with jumping through or around or dodging frickin’ LASERS. Motion detectors are a thing, as are cameras.

• Relatedly, the first Mission Impossible movie (penetrating a room with a computer) or Ocean’s Twelve (getting into a heavily guarded vault). Look, there are two ways to get into heavily guarded places:

  1. Inside job (look at how intel leaks actually have happened recently).
  2. Military assault.
  3. RIP, Opal.

The whole “do something clever and jump through frickin’ LASERS!” thing is sooo tired at this point. Yet virtually every action movie depends on this kind of thing. If it’s actually a military assault commensurate with the defenses, then fine (that usually involves other problems, but it’s not stupid on its face).

• Bombs are a thing! Drones are now a thing, too! If you want to kill someone, you don’t need a fancy robot or anything. Just send a small flying drone with a bomb after them and blow it up fairly close to them. Done.

• Relatedly, almost all of the military tech in the Star Wars movies is ridiculous. Example: in Revenge of the Sith, in the space battle at the beginning, there are robots that come and start gnawing on Anakin’s and Obi-Wan’s ship. Simply having these robots blow up would obliterate the ship. Done and done.

That’s what I have for now! What are your observations?

In the movie Gattaca, Ethan Hawk goes to ludicrous extremes to make sure no one can discover he’s and In-valid (:rolleyes: as I type that clumsy term) – cleaning up every trace of his DNA, fooling test, etc.

Since his identity is kept in a central database, it would have been far easier to either

  1. Hack the database.
  2. Bribe one of the people running the database to change his record (and you can bet, given the society set up, there would be an active black market in doing this).

The three shells.

Since no one knows how they actually work, how do you know it’s worse?

AT-AT’s. Okay, so we couldn’t make one. But why would we? “Let’s put our assault vehicles on tall spindly legs. No one will think to knock them over, trip them up, or chew up the terrain in front of them at all.”

Yep. And how are they better than an aerial vehicle for any purpose?

I’d say it has it’s place.
Not dependant on an atmosphere, or exotic drive system. Though on a low ‘G’ world rockets may be practical for aerial assault vehicles. But even so AT AT is a heavy hitter (or should be). On a low enough G world you can just bring the starship down, yet that has a expensive exotic drive system.

True. I think the Ewoks would have had a tougher time against M60 tanks from 1977 than they did against the AT-AT’s.

Today, militaries routinely engage each other well outside of visual range. I’m not a military guy, but I’d hazard a guess that coming eyeball to eyeball with your enemy is kind of a dumb idea in an era of cruise missiles and guided bombs.

In sci-fi movies, though? We’re going at it full broadsides a few thousand yards apart! And we’re sending our fighters right down to strafe the deck of the enemy star destroyers!

Yeah, I know, it looks cool on screen. And it’s a callback to all those WWII movies we’ve all seen a thousand times. Still kind of takes me out of the scene for a minute.

Another Star Wars jab: Han and Luke manually aiming the weapons in the Millennium Falcon. Manually! Like pom-pom guns in 1943!

Computer targeting and aiming – even if target acquisition is purely visual – would be vastly more accurate.

I love the movie, but, holy geez, that bit was stupid.

A lot of people pointed out how the future technology in Avatar allowed people to remotely control the clones they sent in to infiltrate the natives. But when it came time to launch an attack, the soldiers manned the vehicles. Why didn’t the soldiers stay safely back on the base and use the remote control technology? In keeping with the thread topic, this is something the United States military is increasingly doing.

The real problem with the computer-in-a-room bit in Mission: Impossible is that, if an authorized user actually passes the retinal scan and voice-print scan and punches in the right combo, then the floor’s pressure sensors switch off and the temperature sensors switch off and the anything-above-a-whisper sensors switch off, allowing him to use the computer. And whenever he leaves the room, all of that switches back on; until he returns, and it all switches right back off.

And so Tom Cruise, quiet as a whisper, uses the computer upon catching his drops of sweat while he’s marionetted above the floor. Okay. Fine. An authorized user is the guy who can work the on/off switch – and those three systems, which our hero can’t actually work the on/off switch for, can be eluded even if they’re switched on.

You know what the CIA could’ve done, with real-world tech? Well, just make it so the computer switches off when that authorized user isn’t in the room.

Yep. And have cameras aimed inside the room at all times though (if need be) not at the computer screen. The images could be altered in some way so that data could not be gleaned from reflective surfaces, etc.

Also, realistically speaking, does this guy need to be on this one OMG Sooo Top Secret! computer all day long? He could just be logging on or off as needed.

Star Wars lasers have much slower rate of fire and travel speed than bullets, I bet Jedis wouldn’t be able to block fire from an assault rifle much less send it back at the attacker.

In A New Hope (Star Wars original movie), the detention levels have security cameras.

They apparently do not exist anywhere else in the same universe.

No way of knowing. Ewoks never faced AT-ATs. The walkers used in RotJ were AT-STs.

I’ll let myself out.

Guns that miss. Really, all the other technology that could exist, FTL, transporters, invisibility, holograms indistinguishable from reality, robots indistinguishable from humans, nano-machines, unobtanium, and everything else anyone can imagine, but whether it’s bullets or energy beams of some kind the guns can still miss.

In the Star Trek reboot, Captain Pike gets captured and mind-probed by aliens who get access to the security defense codes for Earth, rendering Starfleet completely incapable of stopping him, because changing the password is not something they can do.

In Total Recall, Arnold Schwarzenegger sets off a bomb in the Martian customs area, which blows out all the external windows, and he manages to escape just before the security doors come down and seal off the room. When the guy chasing him demands that they open the doors which lead to the rest of the base, the security guard tells him they can’t, because “they’re all connected!” Sowaitaminute… the doors which lead to safety are on the same circuit as the doors protecting everyone from Mars’ deadly vacuum, and can’t be opened separately? What kind of stupid design flaw is that? Are they all going to be trapped in that room for the rest of their lives?

This isn’t necessarily “tech”, but the design aesthetic which has the Empire place important controls and information in bottomless shafts, on the top of towers, and on really thin walkways… well, it just has to stop. Please. Cause it looks stupid.