I seem to find a number of articles on Looper that I am compelled to respond to. Sadly they don’t have a comment section and perhaps that’s why I bring it here. The article in question:
When I was in grade school, one of my favorite series of books was the “Choose Your Own Adventure” series. If you’re not familiar with them, the premise was quite simple. You’d read a few pages of the book, and you would be presented with options as to what happens next. Each choice had a cooresponding page number to turn to and proceed from there.
Unfortunately, movies don’t work the same way. We’ve all been guilty of it, especially with horror movies; yelling at the screen as if you have any control over the characters.
“Don’t go in there!”
“Run out of the house! Not upstairs!”
We get so enthralled in the story, it’s as though we have forgotten this is a movie The story is a work of fiction, has already taken place and been recorded and, in most cases, the questionable decision was necessary to move the story along.
This article however, goes to the extent of saying the entire movie could have been avoided had a better decision been made. Only 10 movies are mentioned, but let’s face it, most movies only exist because of a poor decision made by a main character. But let’s take a look at their list.
THE WIZARD OF OZ (1939)
A young girl gets smacked in the head during a tornado and finds herself in Oz, but, spoiler alert, the whole thing was a dream. Dorothy had every tornado warning that 1939 could offer, which mostly involved looking at the sky and seeing that a tornado was coming. Instead, she gets concussed and the audience is lied to for a hour.
First, if you’re going to make an article such as this, give an example of what the intelligent decision here should be. Dorothy could have hidden somewhere away from windows, or perhaps her family could have decided to not lock her out of the storm cellar. Have you ever thought about that? Aunt Em calls out Dorothy’s name twice, gets no response and decides, “screw it”, and locks her out of the cellar. Ultimately, had she not run away this whole thing could have been avoided.
THE LORD OF THE RINGS (2001-2003)
Why didn’t they just fly the One Ring to Mordor on their giant eagles?” is a question about which Middle Earth devotees will argue fiercely. Giving the Ring to an unassuming Hobbit was an interesting stealth strategy, and maybe the dark forces could control lightning and shoot down the giant birds… but there had to be a shortcut in there somewhere that didn’t involve short legs.
Unlike in World of Warcraft the eagles are NOT a form of transportation. Gandalf is not in control of them and even though Gwaihir did owe a debt to Gandalf, putting the lives of his fellow eagles in danger was not worth it. In fact, it isn’t until the destruction of the ring that the eagles would go anywhere near Mordor. Consider, with Sauron actively looking for the ring, you don’t think some eagles flying in his land might be noticed?
PEE-WEE’S BIG ADVENTURE (1985) – Skipping as I haven’t seen this in many years
AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON (2015) – Skipping as I still have not seen it (I know, shame on me)
JURASSIC WORLD (2015)
There are plot holes in Jurassic World that you could fit a dinosaur through… and that’s exactly what happens. Convinced that the Indominus rex has escaped its pen because it’s no longer giving off a heat signature, our dinosaur expert heroes stride into the pen, not thinking that this mystery mutant dinosaur is maybe just modulating its own body temperature. And that’s when all dino-hell breaks dino-loose.
When you consider the specifics of which species were used to create the Indominus were kept secret, the assumption of its ability to modulate its body temperature would have been a stretch and in turn make the characters too smart. However, it was known that there was a GPS tracker on it and had they first called Lowery to track it before storming in, that could have avoided a great deal of trouble. Besides, with the threat that the Indominus poses, wouldn’t it have been wise to set alarms to go off if its heat signature disappears? It’s also though it scaled the wall to escape. No on noticed?
E.T. is left behind when his spaceship takes off without him, like that kid at Six Flags who never made it back to the bus because he needed one more paper plate full of fried dough. Somehow, every other alien makes it back to the ship okay, and E.T. forgets that he can levitate over to the ship instead of having his stump-legs being tripped up by logs and stuff.
I haven’t seen this movie since the 80s and can’t say much, but I love the comparison to the kid getting more fried dough!
THE MATRIX (1999)
Neo is given a choice to take the blue pill and return to his normal, imaginary life, or take the red pill and learn the truth. Neo takes the red pill, choosing to fight a bunch of robots and ruin everyone’s comparatively peaceful existence in fantasyland, instead of allowing everyone to maintain a divine, machine-assisted mental unity with all of mankind. Don’t we get a vote?
I did wonder about this mostly with regards to the highway chase scene in Matrix Reloaded. It is quite possible that many of the disasters that have happened could be blamed on activities between the agents and humans, but this chase could be dangerously suspicious. Imagine driving down the street and you see someone jumping from one vehicle to the next. If that already is hard to believe, each jump in turn destroys the vehicle. To top it off you have these strange albino men with white hair that become translucent and move to another vehicle? Something isn’t right. As the programmer of the Matrix, I wouldn’t want that much attention. If the Matrix is indeed a program, just do a system restore and pretend that didn’t happen to those still plugged in. Lastly, even if Neo took the blue pill, who knows what may have transpired without him. Sure, the movie would not have existed (at least in that form), but stuff was still going down without Neo.
Spider-Man’s origin is a series of mistakes. Peter Parker is too busy ogling Mary Jane to notice a giant, bitey, genetically modified spider crawling on him. While a quick swat could have completely avoided the film, Parker also decides to be petty and let a criminal escape who then goes on to kill his uncle, setting his heroism into action just a little too late.
Okay, perhaps if Peter had noticed the spider on him and swatted it away, yes this whole story could have been avoided. I don’t know about you, I’ve received many a bite (whether spider or mosquito) because I didn’t notice anything on me until I felt the bite, or even never noticed until it started itching a couple days later.
Now, sure it was petty for Peter to let the criminal go, but if you give a teenager superpowers, what are you really expecting? Most superheros are who they are because of some tragedy that occurred. Bruce Wayne created Batman because of the death of his parents, Iron Man inspired by those who imprisoned him that had purchased his own weapons, etc…
THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS (1993)
Even though he successfully rules over an entire world of monsters, Jack Skellington engineers a kidnapping and a hostile takeover of another world because he’s feeling a little bored. Of course, he knows nothing about what he’s doing, ruins Christmas for millions of kids, and generally becomes hated by everyone but his adoring sycophants. But Santa saves the day by remembering he’s magic.
Providing no suggestions as to what Jack could have done to avoid the movie, this article has remained consistent to say the least. I think the only thing Jack could have done would have been to look at this from a standpoint of multiculturalism. He could have simply walked in, saw the bizarre activities of Christmas and moved on, respecting the differences and moving on. Instead he decided to embrace the holiday and attempt to “improve” it.
This is why you don’t buy pets as gifts, and why you don’t buy pets with three weird rules at all, and then give that pet to your dumb kid. Kids can’t even turn off the TV when they leave a room, so how can one be expected to not leave a glass of water right next to a pet that will basically pop out a litter if it gets wet? For an inventor, Billy’s dad sure is dumb.
I have to agree here. You give a child a pet that you can’t get wet, expose to sunlight or feed after midnight: you’re doomed. One question I’ve always wondered: You can’t feed a mogwai after midnight. At what point does this time period end? At any given moment it is always both before and after midnight. I am writing this at 3:54 pm. It is before midnight tonight, but after midnight from last night. Which do I follow?
Ultimately, there are many, many movies that may not have existed had the characters made a different decision. My question: how many movies have not been written because the hero made the smart choice?