When it comes to science fiction, a certain amount of suspension of disbelief comes with the territory. But when it comes to a truly great sci-fi flick, audiences seem willing to throw all common sense right out the window. Because at the end of the day watching a T-Rex eat someone's face or Darth Vader duel with a lightsaber is just too cool to care about something as un-fun as logic.
Yet, take a slightly closer look and you will likely see just how incoherent some of our favorite films actually are. Whether it is a gaping plot hole or some truly heinous science, it doesn't take much to bring everything crashing to the ground. Sometimes they make so little sense that our suspension of disbelief becomes impossible to maintain and we're jarred out of some truly great movies when we start to think about them too much.
Will knowing any of this ruin these films for us? No, But there is a very good chance this information will make them seem even more ridiculous then they already are.
Here are the 15 Greatest Sci-Fi Movies That Make No Sense.
15 Jurassic Park
Creating an island full of dinosaurs by extracting their DNA from a mosquito frozen in a chunk of honey seems legit. But a Tyrannosaurus Rex suddenly appearing inside the lobby of a visitor center? That's just too unrealistic to bear.
Here's how Jurassic Park should have ended: Sam Neil, Lex, and Timmy get eaten by a pack of bloodthirsty Velociraptors. And then eaten a second time when Big T busts through the walls and devours everything in sight. Makes a whole heck of a lot more sense than a T-Rex sneaking into the building unnoticed and then heroically saving the day.
Admittedly, sticking needles into a 66-million-year old dead insect won't give you unpreserved dino blood. And even if it did, the Raptors would be the size of turkeys and Triceratops wouldn't produce his body mass in poop. Also, there'd be no Brachiosaur sneezing.
14 Terminator 2: Judgment Day
Let's be honest, the first Terminator wasn't exactly a model of believability, but watching Arnold Schwarzenegger try to talk like a human and blow things up is just too cool for us to care.
Then Terminator 2: Judgment Day rolled around and our brains started to hurt. The creator of Skynet develops terminators by using pieces of terminator left over after the first Terminator went back in time during the first film to kill John Connor's mom.
But, and we hope you're keeping up here, the only reason either John Connor or the terminators exist is because the Terminator went back in time and the only reason the Terminator went back in time is because -- wait! Did that cop's arm just turn into a knife?
Wait, what were we talking about again?
Arrival is a beautiful film that says a lot of beautifully depressing things about how sucky it is to be a human. The concept that language can be used as a pseudo-crystal ball to ride a mental DeLorean through time is worthy of a slow clap. Sadly, the whole concept of backwards retrocausation makes no sense.
Amy Adams learns the Heptapod language by looking into the future to a time when she had learned the Heptapod language. As a result she is able to have a conversation with a guy who provides her with the vital information she needs to call him 18 months prior in order to cause the event that allows her to have a conversation with him 18 months in the future.
In case you were wondering, that's what if feels like to get punched in the brain.
There are a lot of baffling rules that go along with being a mogwai. They can't get wet, look at the sun, or be exposed to bright light. Most peculiar of all, you can't feed them after midnight.
The result is either a dead mogwai, back-spawning multiple mogwais, or turning into a gremlin and then poorly singing Christmas carols.
If it is past midnight in New York and a mogwai gets some In 'N' Out in California, does it turn into a gremlin? What happens if they hop on an international flight that crosses time zones? Either mogwais have one heck of an internal clock, or someone did not think this whole gremlin thing through. Then again, Gizmo is super adorable so who cares about cohesion?
Dune was a book from the '60s that was made into a movie during the '80s by a guy who knew nothing about the source material, had no particular interest in science fiction, and is known for making the most obscure films possible. What could go wrong?
First off, why does everyone wear black? It's the absolute worse color choice for taking over desert planets. Secondly, is Paul Atreides a god or just a very talented weatherman? It's hard to tell - which is mind-boggling considering all the voiceover whispering going on.
It's probably better not to ask too many questions and just sit back and enjoy Captain Picard playing a comically oversized guitar to a room full of old white men.
10 Star Trek: First Contact
Why would the Borg, a homogeneous network of alien cyborgs linked through a singular hive collective, need a queen? Doesn't the whole "one drone to rule them all" concept go against their entire core belief system?
Quite simply, the Borg Queen should not exist. Yet there she was in Star Trek: First Contact, desperately trying to have a three way with Picard and Data while commanding a drone army to kill James Cromwell. This is just a contradiction on so many levels.
Trying to explain Queen B's presence is futile. Ironically she tries to reason away her own existence with the odd statement, "I bring order to chaos." Is it possible Star Trek doesn't know what it's talking about? We shudder to think.
"This Nicolas Cage movie makes a lot of sense," is something no one said, ever. But isn't that just what makes his movies so great?
The premise to Face/Off is brilliantly simple: John Travolta and Nicolas Cage swap faces for absurd reasons, and the jokes pretty much write themselves. However, we have to admit that it's kind of strange no one notices tje swap, especially considering Castor Troy and Sean Archer have two completely different body types.
You would think Archer's wife would have realized something was amiss while having relations with a man who had the face of her husband but the body of Nic Cage. We're probably just underestimating the power of Nic Cage again.
Granted, when Michael Bay sets out to make a movie, "making sense" is not a high priority. Franky, there are just too many explosions to be had. Still, it feels like a lot of time, energy, money, and Liv Tyler tears could have been spared if just a little common sense was applied to Armageddon.
As Ben Affleck famously pointed out on the Armageddon DVD commentary, why not just train astronauts to drill on the asteroid? It seems like that would have been a lot easier, safer, and efficient then what actually went down.
We know Bruce Willis tries to explain that drilling a hole into a rock is too complex a matter for anyone but Owen Wilson to learn, but seriously, is it harder than learning how to navigate space while strapped to a jet engine?
Most of the time we are willing to forgive our movies for being more fiction than science. But when those movies try to throw two and half hours of science mumbo jumbo in our faces, it'd better stick. Or you could go the Interstellar route and have Matthew McConaughey move a book from the future.
Filled with scribbling equations on chalkboards, looking at equations on chalkboards, and Matt Damon, you might think Interstellar would make more sense. Yet, somehow this movie about science forgot to bring the science. Or maybe it brought so much science that it rendered all of its science incomprehensible.
Unless you actually believe the secret to the universe can be revealed via McConaughey strumming a stopwatch, that is.
6 Back to the Future (All of Them)
The Back to the Future franchise never tried to be anything but awesome. Which is to say it had no need for sense, logic, or science - just a really cool car-turned-time machine that ran like a dream on a flux capacitor and makeshift Mr. Coffee.
It does seem odd Marty's parents wouldn't recognize their son's striking resemblance to that guy who got them together and kickstarted Chuck Berry's career in Back to the Future. And that Old Biff somehow knew how to perfectly operate the DeLorean in Back to the Future II.
It's also strange that Marty and Doc would spend so much time trying to get a steam engine to push their car fast enough in Back to the Future III - especially considering there was another perfectly good DeLorean in 1885 parked in a mine shaft nearby, presumedly with enough gas to reach 88 MPH at least once.
5 The Fifth Element
We'll buy that humanity still listens to the radio 250 years into the future - Ruby Rhod is that good. The same goes for Zorg and his terrible plan to get rich by helping destroy all life.
What we can't understand how that blue alien singer was going to get the stones out of herself in The Fifth Element. Did she always figure on getting murdered and someone tearing into her with a knife? Granted, we don't know Diva Plava Laguna's physiology all that well. There's a chance she planned on pooping them out, but that just seems crazy.
Then there's the ending. Leeloo saves the world by vomiting an epic spotlight into the evil spaceball plummeting towards Earth, turning it into a stone-like moon. Only problem is we already have a moon. Adding another to the mix would certainly doom the planet, negate the film, and really put a damper on her and Bruce Willis' romantic celebration.
In Moon, Sam Rockwell is hired to live alone on the Moon and mine helium for childrens' party balloons, or something. All with the help of his supercomputer friend GERTY. The crazy twist comes when Sam realizes his employer keeps murdering him and replacing him with clones so they don't need to go through the hassle of trying to hire someone new.
Though we should clarify, Sam doesn't actually mine the helium - an autonomous robot does that. He merely transports the goods from one side of the ship to another and sends them back to Earth. Which begs the question, why couldn't machines just do all the work? Even Sam admits GERTY can do everything he can do better.
You could say he's kind of like that guy from Office Space with "people skills" but no real purpose. Only Sam doesn't even deal with people so he's even more useless.
3 Ex Machina
Ex Machina is a fun movie about Poe Dameron creating a bunch of robots and inviting General Hux over to test them. Eventually we learn that that the reclusive billionaire Nathan (Oscar Isaac) has been systematically deactivating his failed experiments by beating them to death with steel bars.
Wouldn't it have been a lot easier - and safer - if he had just installed them all with an off-switch? You'd think a tech genius playing god building near-human AI slaves would have thought of that? Perhaps he was just too busy dancing. Oh wait, that's why he's always weightlifting. We get it. Too bad your robots didn't get the message and decided to stab you to death instead.
Bet you wish you had installed a voice activated failsafe command now, don't you?
2 The Abyss
There really isn't anything bad we can say about The Abyss. It got everything right. Except one tiny thing - everyone should have died in the end.
The film goes out of its way in the beginning to explain that the scientists' pressurized station is so deep underwater that it can cause serious injury unless otherwise properly decompressed. Then at the end, when the giant alien ship zooms the station to the surface with no stops along the way, everyone amazingly comes away bends free.
Lindsey: We should be dead. We didn't decompress.
Alan: They musta done something to us.
Lindsey: [smiling] Yeah. Yeah, I think you could say that.
What?! That's not an explanation. That's a cop-out to give this film an excuse to have a happy ending.
1 Star Wars (All of Them)
Why did Obi Wan think the best way to hide Luke Skywalker was by not changing his name and raising him on the same planet his father grew up on? Why, in a galaxy filled with hovercrafts, do Stormtroopers ride giant iguanas? How did Han make the Kessel Run in under 12 parsecs when a parsec is a measurement of distance?
Why didn't Obi Wan recognize R2-D2 in A New Hope? Wouldn't it have been more humane for Obi Wan to kill Anakin instead of chopping off his legs, stealing his lightsaber, and leaving him to burn to death? Could AT-AT Walkers be any slower? Midi-chlorians?!
What possessed R2 to suddenly wake in The Force Awakens? How did Rey, despite growing up on a desert planet, know how to swim in The Last Jedi?
We rest our case.
Do you know of any other great sci-fi films that make absolutely no sense? Let us know in the comments.