August 22, 2018

If Movies Had HR Departments

Much of the films we watch today rely on some sort of suspension of belief. It could be believing that someone could actually be bitten by a radioactive spider and have anything happen to them other than a really bad day. Maybe it’s that Jack really couldn’t fit on the raft at the end of Titanic, despite it looking like Rose was just being a bit of a raft hog.

In any case, some of these films play out the way they do because, well, they wouldn’t be very interesting otherwise. Peter Parker would just be some kid. Maybe Titanic would have still been a great (if a little more uplifting) tale of one of history’s biggest transport disasters. Who knows?

But as HR obsessives, we can’t help watching the classics a little differently. And the more we learn about HR, teach it to our student professionals and share our thoughts with our community, the more we find our everyday thinking coloured by what we know. We’ll be watching Goodfellas and start wondering “Why are they always yelling!? Maybe they ought to try coaching each other.” or “Why doesn’t Tony Montana have better soft skills?”

And that’s really how we got to our most recent project: we wanted to visualise how a few blockbusters would have played out if they had paid attention to employment law, management theory and the various rules and regulations relating to Human Resources.

With the help of world-class illustrator Wren McDonald, we did just that. Take a look at our illustrations below:
dark night comic strip

The Dark Knight

Commissioner Gordon is clearly feeling the strain in The Dark Knight. After all, there’s plenty going on in Gotham and everyone seems to rely pretty heavily on just two people: Gordon and Batman.

We’re fairly sure Gordon isn’t sticking to his contracted hours here, which is why we imagine that Gotham Police Department’s HR team might be inclined to step in and force the guy to take a rest.

Trouble is, it would also probably result in the city’s villains running amok…

james bond comic strip

James Bond

In Goldeneye (arguably one of the best Bond films), M reveals to James that she found him to be “a sexist, misogynist dinosaur. A relic of the Cold War,” – and rightly so.

It’s not hard to see how the HR department would find fault with Bond’s conduct. Where he’s not destroying company property and racking up hugely unnecessary expenses, he’s acting wholly inappropriately to nearly everyone he meets – particularly with women.

Despite this moment of self-awareness in Goldeneye, it appears that the character didn’t get the memo, and continues to display some pretty loathsome behaviour.

Letting him go might temporarily give his opponents the edge, but we imagine he’d probably be replaced with someone more… respectable.

star wars comic strip

Star Wars

That’s right, we’re going to say it. Darth Vader is a terrible leader and an even more terrible boss.

How can you feel inspired and motivated if you’re in constant fear of being force-strangled by an irritable chap in a cloak?

Darth’s been through a lot, but he really ought to think about getting the most out of his staff – and strangling them is definitely not a good method.

If (space) HR had gotten involved, it would more than likely end in his dismissal as Supreme Commander – and probably end with him speaking to the (space) police.

Who knows how this might have helped the rebellion?

wolf of wall street comic strip

The Wolf of Wall Street

This one is obvious. Jordan Belfort was clearly having the time of his life, but it was hugely unprofessional to be acting as he did in the workplace and as a senior figure.

Sooner or later, all this revelry would catch up with him unless he and his cohort sorted themselves out (even then, it’s likely they’d have some fallout coming their way, courtesy of personnel).

We suppose it doesn’t make for a particularly exciting story, but a stockbroking firm that’s free of sex, drugs, and rock and roll would likely be a much safer space to work in.

jurassic park comic strip

Jurassic Park

We shouldn’t have to remind everyone, but gross negligence is always bad. And, for years, we’ve watched Jurassic Park and felt that John Hammond and John Arnold are guilty of this.

They’re boasting about how the most technologically advanced theme park ever conceived – one that’s packed with dinosaurs – can be controlled from a single room by a skeleton crew. Not only that, but the rest of the park’s staff have been sent home in full on a boat – in a storm!

Can you imagine if Disneyland tried to run their park with just two people? It would be bedlam. The reason it runs so well is down to its dedicated staff.

And so we reason that if HR had stepped in and called Hammond and Arnold out for having completely disregarded staff quotas, health and safety contracts and a litany of other issues, the park would probably have run quite smoothly.

harry potter comic strip

Harry Potter

Hogwarts is exciting and learning spells is probably fantastic, but what about key skills?

Hogwarts may be one of the best schools for witchcraft and wizardry, but it would probably rank poorly with the non-muggle version of OFSTED. The teachers here seem to be neglecting their duties to develop academically well-rounded children. We’ve got a feeling that HR and management would have to step in and monitor performance after receiving such poor rankings.

We suppose it wouldn’t make for such fun storytelling if half of the books and films were dedicated to long division, iambic pentameters and the like, but it certainly would make for better prospects after leaving Hogwarts.

indiana jones comic strip

Indiana Jones

It seems like Dr. Henry Walton Jones Jr. (Indiana Jones to you) – a tenured professor of archaeology – spends less time at school than his students.

Saving ancient artefacts from falling into the wrong hands is all well and good, but when it involves abandoning lessons, neglecting students, and sneaking off to far away lands, we think you probably ought to take a look at yourself.

Not only that, but Indy must have one unhealthy looking Bradford Factor score. If he doesn’t buck his ideas up, he’ll be having to fund his trips some other way…

Which films do you think would have taken a different turn had there been a dedicated HR professional in the cast? Let us know on Twitter over at @DPGplc