#3. Detective Riggs and the LAPD in Lethal Weapon
In the original Lethal Weapon, the LAPD partners up middle-aged conservative Sgt. Murtaugh (Danny Glover) with young loose cannon Martin Riggs (Mel Gibson). The result inaugurated a proud cinematic tradition of Glover claiming to be too old for shit and Gibson acting like a dangerous lunatic long before both of those things sadly became true. But for a while there, it was magical.
"Eh, needs more Joe Pesci." -- someone, at some point.
The whole thing starts when Riggs, a narcotics officer, has a disastrous case that ends with him goading a drug dealer to shoot him before taking the guy hostage and almost shooting the dealer himself. The LAPD addresses the situation by transferring Riggs to homicide, hoping that some of Murtaugh's common sense will rub off on him.
Why It Doesn't Make Sense:
We are so busy being amused by the hilariously incompatible Riggs and Murtaugh that we miss the much stranger relationship: Riggs and the Los Angeles Police Department. After all, Riggs' psychological problems aren't manifesting themselves as missed work days or arguments with co-workers around the office. He's escalating routine drug buys into shootouts, ranting about suicide and jumping off of rooftops. Guys, let this man find a new line of work.
Maybe like a teacher or something?
Instead, they transfer him to homicide, where his job will be to confront murderers. It's like assigning an alcoholic waiter to tend bar ... after he got drunk and pissed on a client. The chief of police thinks that Riggs is just faking it to draw a psycho pension, but that's irrelevant: The fact remains that Riggs is actively behaving like a nutjob and shouldn't be allowed anywhere near guns.
Also, for God's sake someone do something about that mullet.
The LAPD is reluctant to fire Riggs due to a combination of feeling bad about him losing his wife and being too cheap to pay his pension, but there's a huge leap between "let's keep him around" and "let's send him on our most dangerous cases." They could have easily assigned him to traffic detail or given him a desk job. Sure, he could have still jumped under a truck or stuck a pencil in his eye, but at least he wouldn't be hurting anyone else.
"There are at least 17 ways I could kill myself with printer toner."
And out of all the homicide detectives they could have partnered him with, Murtaugh was the absolute worst. He has no incentive to keep Riggs on the straight and narrow like the LAPD hopes -- they all know he's planning to retire soon, because he mentions it every five seconds. He gives so little of a shit that he actually hands Riggs a loaded gun at one point and yells at him to pull the trigger ... which is exactly what he does. If Riggs hadn't taken like 10 seconds to move that finger, Murtaugh would have had to buy a new suit.
#2. Max Shreck and the Penguin in Batman Returns
At the beginning of Batman Returns, the Penguin kidnaps Max Shreck, a ruthless business mogul played by Christopher Walken who is arguably more intimidating than any Batman villain in this movie. The Penguin, whose supervillain origin is that he was dumped in a sewer as a baby, attempts to blackmail Shreck by showing him a collection of incriminating items, including body parts of his murdered ex-partner.
He then spouted hand puns for the next 10 minutes to solidify his place in a Batman film.
Shreck pays the blackmail, but then turns the situation to his benefit by convincing the Penguin to run for mayor of Gotham City, serving as his personal adviser. This is part of Shreck's plan to have control over city hall and build a power plant. An evil power plant.
Why It Doesn't Make Sense:
There are a hundred reasons why the Penguin makes for a horrible political candidate, starting with his face.
He's better looking than Nixon, but not by much.
But there's also the fact that he still has enough dirt on Shreck to ruin him 27 times over. So ... why didn't Shreck just kill his ass? The guy had no problem throwing a secretary out the window because she looked in the wrong folder. He doesn't have to do it himself -- he could fork over some cash and hire every hit man in the city. It's not like there's any legal risk involved -- who the hell is going to miss the goddamned Penguin?
"Penguin ... Penguin ... can't remember him. He must not have been that distinctive."
But no, he decides that the proper way to deal with the Penguin is to make him rich and powerful, then sort of hope he'll be grateful enough to be Shreck's puppet even after he stops needing him.
And trying to get him elected is a huge pain in the ass; the only reason the Penguin looks like he might actually have a shot at becoming the mayor is that they pull a series of maudlin publicity stunts to make him look like a hero -- including kidnapping a baby and then "saving" it. But the question is ... why? If he wants a puppet mayor that bad, why go through the immense effort of making that disgusting, creepy little man seem like a civilized person when Shreck could much more easily fabricate another candidate who doesn't have a dangerous fixation with infants and Arctic birds? Why doesn't he ask another of the city's popular public figures?
OK, maybe not.
#1. The Nations of the World in Watchmen
At the end of Watchmen, it's revealed that Ozymandias, the most clever man in the world (except when it comes to passwords), has made it look like the nearly omnipotent Dr. Manhattan destroyed several major cities across the Earth, including Beijing, Moscow, Paris, Los Angeles and New York City. The point of all this is uniting the nations of the world against a blue-thong-wearing common enemy, thereby ending the Cold War.
"Or we could drop the Berlin Wall. Whichever."
When Dr. Manhattan finds out about this, he says, "Yes, that makes sense," and agrees to let Ozymandias get away with it. In fact, the only hero who has a problem with this logic is Rorschach, but he's a psychopath, and Dr. Manhattan kills him anyway.
Why It Doesn't Make Sense:
Apparently, Rorschach was the only one in the room who thought things through, because none of this makes sense.
For starters, Dr. Manhattan isn't some sort of alien entity: He's an American citizen working for the U.S. government whom the U.S. Army has used as a weapon of mass destruction in the past. He single-handedly won the Vietnam War.
But this is Alan Moore, so rape may have been involved at some point.
Even if the other countries bought the "He went rogue" idea, why would they forgive the U.S. for unleashing him in the first place? If anything, this would make things a million times more tense -- in Dr. Manhattan's absence, the "common enemy" that the rest of the world would rally together to take down would be the United States.
"World Agrees: U.S. Can Suck It."
Keep in mind that, in the comic, the fabricated attack was caused by an alien entity, and it was accompanied by some sort of psychic wave that pretty much convinced everyone of the story. And in the comic, only New York was attacked, so the other nations had no reason to be resentful -- only afraid that they could be next.
For the smartest man on the planet, much of Ozymandias' plan turned out to be completely pointless: He created a decades-long conspiracy to give everyone around Dr. Manhattan cancer and convince him to leave the planet when apparently he could have just walked up to him and said "This is what we're gonna do."
"Are you sure me wearing full pants all the time is an essential part of the plan?" "Yes, absolutely."
If you enjoyed seeing Dustin Koski's powers of comic listing here, just wait till you see what he's capable of doing at Toptenz! If you didn't, go see it anyway. If you want to send Mike work and/or money from Nigerian royalty, contact him here.
For more other Hollywood ideas that baffled us, check out The 6 Most Pointlessly Elaborate Movie Murder Plots and 7 Movies That Ignored World Changing Discoveries.
And stop by LinkSTORM to see which Cracked pairing has lead to the most hilarious innocent deaths in California.
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