Like school, work, and pretty much every relationship you’re ever going to have, movies can be pretty goddamn confusing. And while you may chalk up these baffling moments to lazy filmmaking or some kind of gas leak in the theater, sometimes they have actual explanations — and all you have to do is sift through multiple screenplay drafts, dull novelizations, and dozens of hours of bonus materials to find out what they are!
Or, alternatively, you could let us do all the work and just read this article. Your call, dude.
#6. Jurassic World — Why Is Claire Covered In Shit All Of A Sudden?
The Baffling Moment:
Jurassic World‘s heroes are Owen and Claire, an inept raptor trainer and a cold-hearted businesswoman, respectively, who abandon the heavy moral and philosophical debate of the first Jurassic Park for the sexual innuendo and gender politics of a late-’70s sitcom. Mid-movie, they take off after the genetically engineered indominus rex, which is presumably Latin for “I seriously can’t believe they ran out of scary dinosaurs already.” When they first enter the jungle, Claire looks like she stepped right out of an H&M catalog:
Reminder: This woman shares DNA with Ron and Clint Howard.
But when we see them next, she’s suddenly covered in shit, like a Dickensian street urchin.
“Did a pterodactyl with diarrhea just fly by?”
This isn’t the next day or something; this is seven minutes later. So what the hell happened? Sure, wearing high heels in the jungle is probably causing her to face-plant every few seconds, but it turns out there’s another reason …
The short answer is, they cut a scene. The longer answer is, they cut an insane, disgusting, tone-deaf callback to the original movie. In this deleted scene, Owen says they should mask their scent with dinosaur feces — specifically her scent, because she’s a woman and therefore heavily perfumed. Did we mention this movie was made in 2015?
“I’m already a huge piece of shit, you see.”
Claire then proceeds to slather dinosaur droppings all over herself in front of Owen. Most insanely, the scene is played as flirtatiously erotic … which, outside of the darkest corners of the internet, is rare for poop-based scenes.
The universal “taking a mental picture for later use” face.
And sure, there was also a big pile of dinosaur shit in the original Jurassic Park, but at least Laura Dern never provocatively rubbed it on herself while Jeff Goldblum leered at her like some creep about to ruin his leather pants.
#5. Spectre — How Does A Ring Magically Reveal The Master Plot Of Every Bond Movie?
The Baffling Moment:
A lot of people ragged on the latest James Bond flick, Spectre, when it came out last year, despite the fact that it features Bond staples such as awesome car chases, beautiful women, and a brassy theme song seemingly about Bond’s secret penchant for tentacle porn.
“When you’ve had my sex life, you need something … different.”
One especially confusing scene: Bond gives Q (MI6’s resident nerd) a super-secret ring from the titular evil organization, Spectre. Q then analyzes the ring using his laptop on a mountaintop gondola, because internet cafes aren’t cool-looking enough for this franchise.
Correction: Q uses a laptop he borrowed from his 16-year-old nephew.
Amazingly, this one ring from a random enemy agent leads Q to discover that every villain from the Daniel Craig era was working for Spectre — think of them as the general manager to every Bond villain from the past 10 years’ Arby’s employee.
But putting the filmmakers’ desperation to shoehorn Spectre into old movies’ plots aside, just how in the hell did Q come to this conclusion? Since this is the only popular British film series that doesn’t involve magic, how did a ring suddenly save the day?
If you look closely, you can see that Q’s computer is pulling up toxicology reports from autopsies while simultaneously scrolling through the periodic table of elements. Which is a thing Sony computers do, apparently.
In a deleted scene, Bond looks at the camera and says, “Sony computers make me rock hard.”
You can just barely make out that the toxicology report from their autopsies all contained the super-rare substance that the ring is made of, confirming they were all members of Spectre.
“It says here Le Chiffre was freelancing for Cobra, Hydra, and BP.”
Director Sam Mendes clarified this point, but in a testament to just how confusing this scene truly is, even he fucks up the details, calling the rare substance “Ridium” — even though you can plainly see (if you have access to a magnifying glass) that it’s actually called “Reidite.”
He went on to say, “You can’t tell that unless you freeze-frame on those graphics, but it does make sense.” So there you have it. If the projectionists at your local movie theater didn’t pause the screen and let you read that part, they really dropped the ball.
#4. Terminator Genisys — How Does The Timeline Become So Messed Up?
The Baffling Moment:
Those who always wanted a Terminator movie where the T-800 was a cantankerous senior citizen must have made some kind of human sacrifice to the ancient gods, because how else do you explain Terminator Genisys? The film begins with what seems to be a straightforward depiction of the events leading up to The Terminator, with Kyle Reese being sent back in time by John Connor plus 20 or so people who don’t seem to be doing much.
Gawking at strangers’ penises is the only fun to be had post-Judgment Day.
Just before he disappears, Reese witnesses John being grabbed by a random stranger, played by the guy from Doctor Who:
Who is apparently typecast as an immortal, shape-shifting time-traveler.
When Reese arrives in 1984, everything’s different — Sarah Connor has a Terminator sidekick, and Skynet’s master plan will turn out to be some kind of phone app.
“And it’s me, your old pal Robert Patrick!”
So what the hell happened? At the end of the movie, Skynet begins to take shape as a humanoid hologram who resembles the Doctor Who guy … and that’s all the explanation we get. We never find out how or why the past changed, and since the planned sequel to this sequel/prequel/remake was effectively terminated, we probably never will.
Actually, the film’s screenwriters answered this important question in the most appropriate place a writer can communicate essential plot details. No, not in the actual movie. In an interview. According to them, the humanoid version of Skynet is from another timeline and is traveling between parallel universes like an evil Jerry O’Connell. This alternate Skynet has seen these events unfold over and over, so it messes with our timeline to try to create a future where the robots finally win for good.
This may seem like gasoline on the already raging fire of convoluted wackiness that is the Terminator franchise — but think of how many problems this would solve. Not only would it explain where this mysterious villain came from, it would also help unite all the various Terminator properties, since they all exist in distinct parallel universes.
Such as the questionably canonical Axl Rose universe.
Insanely, this is never addressed in the movie but is supposedly referenced when Skynet-Man states: “I came a very long way to stop you” … which didn’t really come across because it could just as easily mean he bussed himself in from the suburbs that day.
#3. Avengers: Age Of Ultron — What’s The Deal With Thor’s Magic Hot Tub?
The Baffling Moment:
Joss Whedon’s first cut of Avengers: Age Of Ultron was reportedly three hours and 15 minutes — obviously it had to be cut down, mostly so movie theaters could fit in more screenings and their staff wouldn’t be constantly cleaning puddles of nerd urine out of the seats. While its eventual two-plus-hour running time is still pretty damn long, some moments feel confusingly glossed over. One involves Thor ditching the other Avengers and recruiting Stellan Skarsgard to watch him while he bathes in some kind of magic cave pond.
“Mid- Midgard knows about shrinkage, right?”
Thor’s body becomes electrified and he begins having psychic visions of either the Infinity Stones or a blue glowy kidney stone he’s going to have to deal with at some point.
“Did a toaster fall into the pond off-camera?”
When he returns, Thor knows exactly how to defeat the baddie, Ultron — but who gave him this info? And why did he need Skarsgard there with him, especially since having an older Swedish guy just hanging around while you hot tub is usually a mood-killer?
Originally the scene was much longer, and the idea was that Thor would communicate with The Norns, the fates of Norse mythology who would speak through Thor — probably because having Chris Hemsworth hop in a filthy pond was cheaper than hiring more union actors. That’s why Thor needed a wingman, so someone could speak to The Norns on Thor’s behalf and ask them what the hell was going on.
Thor’s pecs have appeared in more movies than Wonder Woman and Green Lantern combined.
While the scene is kind of awkward and would have helped push the movie to an almost unbearable length, it does provide much more detail on the Infinity Stones and ultimately makes Thor’s decision to take off for clandestine bathing sessions seem more like an integral part of the story and less like a mid-life crisis.
#2. Tomorrowland — Why The Hell Is It Called Tomorrowland?
The Baffling Moment:
If not, why else would they make his romantic interest a small robot child?
There have been a lot of Disneyland-based movies over the years, but while The Haunted Mansion features an actual haunted mansion, and The Country Bears fulfills its promise of starring animatronic bear-like creatures that will haunt your nightmares until the day you die, Tomorrowland doesn’t really have a Tomorrowland. The futuristic city they call Tomorrowland turns out to be not the future but an artificially created parallel dimension where all of our brightest minds have migrated to — so fuck all of us dummies here on Earth, basically.
Especially fashion designers, apparently.
But why “Tomorrowland”? Wouldn’t “ElitistAssholeParallelUniverseLand” be more accurate? And even more confusingly, what about the Tomorrowland that’s at Disneyland? We know there’s a Disneyland in the world of this movie, because the opening scene literally takes place inside the It’s A Small World ride. Say what you will about the Pirates Of The Caribbean movie, but at least it had the decency not to begin with Jack Sparrow lining up for Space Mountain.
Only because he’s been banned for peeing outside the car, but still.
Originally the parallel universe was going to have a direct link to Disneyland, with the Tomorrowland where you threw up as a child serving as a cover for the real Tomorrowland “in case anyone came snooping around.” Not only that, but Walt Disney himself was going to be more of an intrinsic part of the story and be revealed as part of Plus Ultra, the secret society that created Tomorrowland, whose members also included Jules Verne and Thomas Edison.
Of course, having Walt Disney be one of the heroes of a Disney movie isn’t just a little self-aggrandizing; it’s distracting. So Walt’s connection ended up on the cutting room floor. Plus, after years of unfounded rumors that Disney was a secret Nazi, having a movie suggest that he was the founder of an underground society that accepts only people they deem to be the purest probably didn’t sit well with the higher-ups.
#1. The Force Awakens — A Lot Is Cleared Up In The Novelization
The Baffling Moment:
Film novelizations can be a lot of fun, providing details not seen in the movie, such as the fact that E.T. was secretly a pervy old peeping tom. And since Star Wars is a juggernaut of useless crap first and a cinematic space adventure second, we naturally received a novelization for The Force Awakens … and it actually clears up some big questions.
For instance: When former stormtrooper Finn meets our new hero, Rey, he mentions that the First Order is after a map that leads to Luke Skywalker. Rey excitedly responds that she thought Luke Skywalker “was a myth.”
“To be honest, I thought black people were a myth too until 10 minutes ago.”
Think about how crazy this is for a moment: Luke Skywalker was the catalyst in one of the biggest events in the galaxy, which happened only 30 years ago. That would be like if you grew up thinking that The Beatles didn’t exist.
The same scene plays out in the novel, but this time we get to hear Finn’s inner-monologue as he reacts to what she’s saying:
“I got my name yesterday, and even I know this shit.”
Basically, Finn thinks she’s a fucking idiot — of course Luke Skywalker’s famous; he blew up the damn Death Star! The problem is that this desert planet is a hive of space rednecks and space ignorance, and this poor girl has no space education whatsoever.
The book also explains how Poe survives crashing a TIE fighter, somehow leaving only his jacket behind. The book explains that his jacket was caught, and he had to remove it, then stumbled away in a concussed haze. So there goes all of your “Poe is a ghost that only Finn can see” fan theories.
Though he might as well be, since they only have eyes for each other.
The ending also makes way more sense in the book: Instead of R2-D2 magically springing to life because the movie needed an ending, Rey mentions that the missing part of the map is in the Imperial Archives, and that’s what triggers R2.
It seems R2 downloaded the entire Imperial Archives, probably from back in the first movie when he got his computer interface arm all up in the Death Star’s business. That map, combined with BB-8’s, is what leads them to Luke’s island of mopiness. Sadly, the book never offers any huge revelations, like that Rey’s parents are Lobot and Bea Arthur’s Holiday Special character.
For more pop culture explanations we actually do have, check out 6 Deleted Scenes That Totally Change Classic Movies and 7 Famous Movie Flaws That Were Explained in Deleted Scenes.