Prompted by the DVD release of Jumper last week, I wrote this gallery about some of sci-fi’s greatest misfires. And there have been some… complaints, to put it mildly. “How dare I put Jurassic Park or Blade Runner or [unbelievably] Event Horizon on a list like that? They’re classics. Untouchably awesome.”
Now, I’m not going to explain myself. I stand by the list 100%. What I am going to do is clarify what I mean by a misfire. To me, that term means that there was a kernel of an idea there that was fantastic, original, and noteworthy — but it wasn’t exploited to its fullest potential. Yes, the CG in Jurassic Park was beautiful, and yes, there were some scenes of both true majesty and genuine horror. But too much of that movie was about people gazing longingly at dinosaurs and not about actually doing anything with those dinosaurs. Not until the last 20 minutes, where JP threatened to turn into Aliens, before chickening out and airlifting everyone to safety — everyone we cared about, anyway.
Blade Runner’s the same way: stunning to look at, incredibly influential, full of heady ideas, but dramatically inert. There was so much more one could’ve done with that world, with those characters.
Both of those films deserve a place in movie history. Just as both of those films could’ve been a lot better.