First let me be up front about my prejudices. The current Star Trek movie is unquestionably the best of the group. Wrath of Kahn used to be my favorite. The rest range from breathtakingly poor to solidly mediocre (see RottenTomatos for their ratings of the ST films sans the current one). This is not just a great Star Trek movie, it’s just flat out great SciFi.
But a complaint. A biological complaint. Actually, this complaint could be lodged against any number of motion pictures. It annoys and frustrates me every time I see it. I don’t know how this started. I don’t know why it became standard fare on the big screen. Maybe some film historian could track it down and find its sources, but, holy cow, it drives me crazy. So this is a call out to every filmmaker out there. Stop the nonsense. Please.
What is it? What could drive me to the edge of sanity? First, remember, there are generally lots of biological sins in film. On the whole, however, I am quite forgiving. I extend grace as a rule. I smile and nod at the most egregious biological naiveties. Indeed, in most films I could almost be considered a saint. I am kind. But on this I draw the line. I can’t go there. Like Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof, “If I bend that far, I will break.”
If you haven’t seen the movie, stop reading. If you want to preserve its sense of perfection, quit reading. But I’m about to ruin many movies so you may want to stop reading anyway.
Here it is: Predators don’t scream at their prey. They just don’t. Predation is a chancy occupation. Its success rates are low. For every prey you manage to grab around 75-95% get away. You’ve got to be stunningly quick on the grab. Predtors have evolved all kinds of mechanisms for holding onto those elusive quarry: claws, teeth designed for holding on, sharp beaks, etc. Predation is not something that allows you to stop and scream at your prey in order to give it a good scare before you make the grab. You grab quickly and hold on for dear life. You cause its death swiftly so it quits struggling. Bottom line: you seize and kill as rapidly as possible. You never, ever, ever pause to scream at it. Never.
Please Hollywood. Stop the nonsense.