Blockbuster movies need action. We don't tend to spend $200 million worth of tickets on a film full of subtly delivered wry wit. We need characters to do outrageous stunts, to make drastic decisions and to scream things while flying slowly through the air.
As a result, people in movies often wind up making grossly illogical and often utterly insane choices purely to spice things up. These are the characters who probably should have taken a moment to think things over:
7Johnny Utah, Point Break
Point Break is about some bank robbing surfers led by Patrick Swayze and the crime-fighting team of Keanu Reeves and Gary Busey trying to bring them down.
The word "team" has many definitions.
The moment we said Point Break we're guessing you pictured one scene in your mind, and one scene only: the one where Patrick Swayze jumps out of an airplane with a parachute and Keanu Reeves, in the ultimate act of reckless badassery, jumps out after him with a gun. And no parachute. He hurls himself toward the ground and catches Swayze in midair, and the two have a shouting standoff as they reach terminal velocity.
To understand how bizarre and pointless this decision was, you have to rewind a bit. Keanu's character, FBI agent Johnny Utah, catches up with Bodhi (Patrick Swayze) at the airport, who's loading equipment and cash into a plane. A shootout occurs, and Bodhi takes Utah hostage and drags one of his friends along with him, despite the fact that the guy's been shot and is clearly dying. It winds up not even mattering, because Swayze kicks him out of the plane a few minutes later anyway.
"Curse you, Swayzeeeeeeee!"
Swayze jumps out after him, leaving Keanu by himself in the plane. Of course, Keanu has no choice but to jump out because the plane is going to crash-
-Oh, wait, no. That's not right. The plane and the pilot are perfectly fine. And get this -- we're pretty sure there were more parachutes on board if Keanu wanted one.
Yeah, that's the plan. Grab the gun and leave the chute.
Swayze's plan was for his entire gang to parachute out of the plane, and there were four members of the gang before the others were killed in the airport shootout. He put one chute on the wounded guy and took another for himself, leaving at the very least two more parachutes in the airplane that Keanu doesn't bother trying to locate before flinging himself out to what was almost certain death.
Roach, we hardly knew you.
Or, better yet, Keanu could've used his super policeman powers to force the pilot to land the damn plane -- after contacting local law enforcement below to be on the lookout for a couple of parachuting jackasses hovering around in the general vicinity.
Either option would've been way more reasonable than launching headfirst into the sky like Steven Segal in Executive Decision.
6Multiple Adults in the Karate Kid Series
If you aren't familiar with the original Karate Kid franchise, we'll take a moment of silence to mourn the childhood you never had.
The Karate Kid movies detail the coming-of-age underdog story of Daniel LaRusso. He finds meaning in life via the martial art of karate, taught to him by his apartment's handyman, Mr. Miyagi.
All our handyman ever did was sneak us vodka and scream about the kaiser.
In the first film, the bad guy is the evil karate dojo Cobra Kai, led by the star pupil (the Aryan Johnny Lawrence) and the owner of the dojo, John Kreese. Lawrence and the Cobra Kai gang harass and bully Daniel until they agree to settle their differences at a karate tournament.
That's how we settled every dispute back in the 80s.
Now, clearly the bullying and harassment is a bad thing, but that's entirely within the realm of what high school kids do. Granted, early in the film they seem intent on beating Daniel into a coma before Miyagi intervenes, but they're bullies, and they're young, and that kind of thing happens.
The baffling part is when Kreese, the adult owner of the dojo, decides to intervene. When Miyagi goes to him to ask that his students lay off Daniel (since he's the one adult in their lives who could assert that kind of influence), he laughs it off and says that if Daniel and Miyagi don't show up at the tournament, his gang is going to beat the shit out of both of them.
What kind of waiver did those parents sign, anyway?
So ... imagine you're a grown-up, probably with kids, and a war veteran (as is mentioned in the movie). You have saved up or borrowed to open a karate training center to teach children and teenagers the martial arts. Do you really put all of that on the line to take your students' side in their high school dispute with a 16-year-old kid? When teenagers fight, they get detention or a warning from the cops. When middle-aged men join the fray, things start to get weird.
You can see this demonstrated at the opening of Karate Kid II when, after losing the tournament, a crazed John Kreese freaking goes after them in the parking lot.
It doesn't go well.
He's not an isolated case, either; as the sequel continues, we find that, in fact, most adults in the Karate Kid universe are suffering from crippling impulse-control problems. We learn that Miyagi fled his home village decades earlier because his best friend, Sato, challenged him to a fight to the death. In a more normal world, all would be forgotten after a decades-long cooling off period. But this isn't a normal word. This is the 80s. When Miyagi returns, Sato -- now a wealthy businessman -- drops everything he's doing to resume the karate feud.
This franchise spawned a huge fad of parents enrolling their kids in karate lessons, but we're kind of surprised by that. The overwhelming lesson of the films is that karate turns you into a sociopath.
More of us would have stayed in karate if we'd gotten uniforms like that. White is like the lamest color.