You might be in a man-made disaster movie if…

  • Your doom can be tied to one obnoxiously arrogant bureaucrat or business owner.
  • At least of your main protagonists has a rocky relationship that somehow ends up complicating everybody’s lives.
  • The key person sounding the alarm or capable of fixing things gets arrested or otherwise ostracized by those in power, often after being a hero.
  • When things really hit the fan and protagonists get trapped, they manage to do something completely predictable that miraculously works despite the laws of science being violated, such as driving on wheel rims across a lava flow.
  • A revolutionary way of harnessing energy or dealing with nature is being pioneered (and completely screwed up by) a company or project named after a Roman or Greek god.
  • Everything with the project goes exactly as expected, then almost instaneously becomes an irrecoverable situation.
  • No governmental agencies seem to be have evaluated the possibilities of things going wrong, despite the earth-disrupting power of the project.
  • Science beyond our current knowledge somehow is driven by computers that fail to a DOS prompt the second things go outside normal operating parameters.
  • There’s an implicit attempt to moralize about “playing God” in the outcome of failed experiments.