#2. Toad - X-Men
At the end of the first X-Men film, Toad was part of Magneto's welcoming committee for the good guys when they arrived at the Statue of Liberty for the climax. While Toad's not as hot as the other member, Mystique, it's still telling of how capable a fighter he is when he's about to pit his tongue-lashing, wall-sticking, goop-spitting abilities against mutants with vastly superior powers.
Additional powers: Loving the Sex Pistols.
And laugh all you want, but he totally does it. While Mystique is busy fighting Wolverine, Toad is left to handle Cyclops, Jean Grey and Storm by himself, and he incapacitates all three. Wait -- why isn't this guy in charge?
In typical bad-guy fashion, he takes a moment to admire his work, and sure enough Storm comes flying back into the picture, lightning a-blazing, sending Toad to his demise.
Why it's baffling:
The first thing that happens is Storm blows him out of a window. But he survives that, as you'd suspect. Half the people reading this have been thrown out of a window at some point. It's part of growing up.
But then, instead of letting himself continue onto the water (that's all of 20 yards behind him), he spits his tongue out and grabs on to the railing for dear life, as if the Atlantic Ocean is full of acid instead of the stuff toads live in.
OK, maybe we can chalk that one up to a "never quit" attitude. He's the bad guy and his objective is to defeat the good guy, which clearly hasn't happened yet, given the predicament he found himself in.
But then we start to get into witch-king territory as he proceeds to sit there, dangling by his stupid tongue, while his attacker slowly floats out of the window to say a sassy catchphrase. At least the Nazgul had the excuse of being wounded and immobilized. Toad? All he has to do is fall.
It's not like he doesn't know what's coming. He's just been blown out of the building by a woman who controls the weather. She literally could shoot thunderbolts out of her ass if she wanted to. Hell, there's lightning shooting out of her ass while she's standing there, in case he's forgotten. What did he expect was going to happen after she was finished delivering that line? That she'd arrest him?
Glowing eyes aren't a badge.
We have, for the first time on the list, somebody who would have done better if he'd been unconscious. If he'd been knocked out cold from the trip through the window, he'd have fallen into the water and presumably lived.
Really, the only thing worse would be if he had actively sought out his own death, for no reason. Which brings us to ...
#1. Granny Ruth - Dante's Peak
Dr. Harry Dalton (played by Pierce Brosnan) is a volcanologist -- yes, that is a real profession -- hot on the trail of some suspicious volcanic activity in the town of Dante's Peak. Along the way, he meets the mayor of the town, Rachel Wando, and her family: son Graham, daughter Lauren and ex-mother-in-law Granny Ruth.
Dalton's suspicions are proven correct when the nearby mountain range erupts and puts the town in danger, causing the group to have to make a frantic escape in hopes of exciting the audience.
At one point Dalton, Wando and her family end up in a lake that has turned acidic due to the volcano somehow, and the water is rapidly eating through their boat as they try to make it to the shore. This is where Granny Ruth decides to get heroic.
Ruth, fearing that the lake will claim her family, jumps from the boat and pulls them the rest of the way. Shortly after making it to safety, she dies from presumably having huge chunks of her flesh melted off.
Why it's baffling:
When she plunges in to make her heroic sacrifice, they are literally less than five feet from the dock. Seriously, here's the clip:
It's right there! They can practically grab it!
"Seriously, there's wind. We'll be all right."
We might understand if she had done this when the group was, say, 20 feet away. Back then, things looked grim when they weren't moving fast enough and they realized the metal boat wouldn't hold. But then they discovered they could safely paddle themselves after wrapping their arms. Problem solved, right?
Apparently not for Granny Ruth. Deciding that the final three feet of the homestretch was just too much to cover, she leaps into the lake -- failing to do the math that would let her realize that elderly human flesh is actually not as durable as a metal boat hull -- and drags the boat the rest of the way.
"Seriously this is ... this is just grossly unnecessary."
It took all of three seconds for her to do it. The family probably could've done it in two if they didn't have to stop paddling to holler at the insanity that was transpiring in front of their very eyes.
Then, in what has to be the most simultaneously mind-boggling and gruesome sight you'll see outside of the Saw series, instead of jumping up on the dock she continues walking in the acid water, past the dock and to the shore.
"OK, well, good plan, Granny Martyr."
So let's just recap here, because we're having trouble wrapping our minds around it. We started out with a witch for whom water is acid, but who treats it like water. Then we have a mutant toad for whom water is harmless, but who treats it like acid. And finally we have a literal lake of acid water that an elderly woman plunges into for absolutely no reason at all.
What the hell?
"Your will is up-to-date, right?"
Be sure to check out Fitzgerald's friend Thad over at CallMeThad.
For more movie magic that leaves us scratching our heads, check out 6 Baffling Mistakes Every Movie Criminal Makes. Or learn about some baffling deaths from the real world, in 6 People Who Died In Order To Prove A (Retarded) Point.
And stop by Linkstorm to learn the proper way to deal with an acidic lake. (Hint: Don't jump in it.)
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