If you write down every single action a movie character performs as part of the central plot of a film, you could probably add "... for no fucking reason" at the end of like 90 percent of them. As we've shown you before, sometimes characters will make completely illogical decisions that just don't make a lot of sense for anyone but the screenwriter who's trying to figure out how to get to the next scene.
We understand why these absurd overreactions happen. We really do. But that doesn't mean we can't make fun of the most ridiculous ones, like ...
#5. Die Hard 2 -- John McClane Opens Fire on a Police Captain to Win an Argument
In Die Hard 2, terrorists are holding Dulles International Airport hostage, and it's John McClane's job to kill them with explosions. Late in the film we find out that some of the characters aren't who we thought they were, because the first Die Hard movie had a clever plot twist and now all the others have to pretend they do, too.
"How do we top Alan Rickman? Butts."
This time, the anti-terrorist military unit sent to stop the bad guys turns out to be made up of more bad guys -- the machine guns they had used to shoot each other were filled with blanks, to fool onlookers. McClane finds this out, storms into the airport police station and shows one of these incriminating guns to Captain Lorenzo (Dennis Franz) to secure his help.
And by "shows" we mean "fires the gun directly at him." In a room full of armed cops. On the day that terrorists took over the airport.
"Holy shit! Someone call the cops!"
Yep, that should have been the end of the Die Hard franchise, right there. Sure, the gun was filled with blanks, but the cops around McClane didn't know that -- all they saw was some crazy guy shooting at their boss. If a single one of those cops had done their job (that is, placed a bullet on McClane's face), then who would have stopped the next four or so terrorist attacks/heists against America and Russia? Argyle the limo driver?
Did all the cops fire blanks at him, too? Plot twist!
After ejecting from an exploding plane and surviving a crash on a flying snowmobile, being gunned down by your fellow cops would be a pretty damn anticlimactic way to die -- and for what? Five seconds later, McClane finally convinces Lorenzo by pulling out the blank cartridge and showing it to him. So ... why not just do that in the first place?
Or shoot at the ceiling? Or anywhere but at the police captain?
Being a cop himself, McClane should know how quickly police officers will open fire if they even think they see someone drawing a weapon -- it's part of their training. Hell, even his best bud, Sgt. Al Powell, mistakenly shot an innocent kid because he was holding a toy gun. Then again, Lorenzo was such a douchebag that maybe his own men were happy to watch McClane mow him down.
#4. Harry Potter 7 -- Hermione Wipes Her Parents' Memories to Avoid Making Up a Lie
At the beginning of Deathly Hallows: Part 1, Hermione Granger (Emma Watson) is about to go on a dangerous quest with Harry and Ron to, you know ... kill some hallows, we guess (a hallow is like a big owl, right?). Anyway, Hermione knows there's a possibility she might not be coming back (hallows are notoriously deathly) and that Voldemort's cronies could come after her parents, so before leaving, she uses her magic powers to protect them ...
... by erasing their freaking memories. She just points her wand at their brains and wipes them out.
"I think it might be time we tell the girl she's adop-"
Now, let's assume that the filmmakers meant to imply that Hermione was merely deleting all memory of her, even though she's clearly heard using the spell "Obliviate!", which as we all know completely erases your subject's memories. We can tell this was the intent because immediately afterwards, all photos of Hermione disappear from their frames.
Unfortunately, those candid shots from Spring Break '09 that ended up on Facebook are trickier to delete ...
Well, first of all, how exactly does this prevent her parents from being found by Voldemort? Thanks to the spell they won't be able to give up any information if they are tortured, but that doesn't really help them, does it? Also, they're probably going to be pretty confused when they realize they have a bunch of empty picture frames in their house, or every time they set foot in Hermione's room.
"Honey, I swear to you, I have no idea who that teen underwear belongs to!"
And even though the Grangers won't have any memories of Hermione, they're bound to have a bunch of other friends, family members and acquaintances who will notice she's missing. Also remaining will be her records, a bunch of databases used by the British government, etc. So, yeah, instead of having to worry about Voldemort, the Grangers' biggest adversaries may wind up being child protection services and the police, who will eventually question them about what they did with their daughter's body.
So what other options did Hermione have to protect her parents? Well, instead of simply deleting their memories, she could have put them on a kind of magical witness protection program. You know, planting false ones, giving them new identities and sending them off to live in, say, Australia ... which is what happens in the original novel, incidentally. In the movie, we just see Hermione exiting her house, so she has certainly not given her parents new identities in another country and is leaving them behind to be tormented by memory problems and confusion.
"I left a bunch of tattoos on their bodies as a guide. They'll be fine."
#3. Pretty Woman -- Edward's Lawyer is Angry About a Business Deal, Tries to Rape Vivian
Right before Seinfeld made him famous as George Costanza, Jason Alexander starred in Pretty Woman. Not in the title role, though: He was Philip Stuckey, the attorney for millionaire corporate raider Edward Lewis (Richard Gere). Edward has arranged a business deal to buy a fledgling company from a sweet old man, but spending a week with coke-addict hooker Vivian Ward (Julia Roberts) has given him a new outlook on life. He decides to cancel the deal and help the company out instead.
"I'm very glad that turning to prostitutes has brought us closer together."
Stuckey is understandably upset about this turn of events and goes to Edward's hotel suite to confront him. He finds Vivian there instead, and the two have a nice little chat while they wait for Edward.
Then, in one of the most awkward transitions of all time, Stuckey suddenly slaps Vivian and makes an attempt to rape her. Seriously, one moment he's fine, and the next, he's humping her on the floor.
"The pretzels are making me horny!"
OK, so Stuckey blames Vivian for softening Edward's heart and ruining the deal, but how does forcefully pinning her to the carpet with his boner help? Exactly how big was this guy's commission? This is even more baffling when you consider that she just said that Edward would be back any minute -- and sure enough, only seconds after Stuckey starts pouncing on her, Edward shows up and punches Stuckey a few times before throwing him out.
"... OK, uh, see you Monday."
Stuckey knew that his boss would be returning to the suite at any moment, so how did he expect to get away with trying to rape his love interest? And while it was established in an earlier scene that Stuckey is lusting after Vivian, the dude is also married to the chick from Robin Hood: Men in Tights, so how sexually frustrated could he be?
"I'm not even wearing a chastity belt in this movie."
So in the end, Stuckey has pretty much thrown away his career for a quickie. It's like that Seinfeld episode where George abruptly quit his job because he was banned from the executive washroom, only more ridiculous. Stuckey probably ended up sitting at home, pondering his options and saying: "This could have been a huge mistake."
"I like sexual assault. I could do something in sexual assault."
#2. Beverly Hills Cop -- Victor Maitland Throws a Detective Through a Window Rather Than Just Lie to Him
Beverly Hills Cop is a relic of a bygone era when people actually looked forward to the release of an Eddie Murphy movie. He plays a Detroit cop awesomely named Axel Foley, who travels to Beverly Hills to find out who murdered his best friend, Mikey. Axel decides to sneak into the office of Mikey's former boss, a wealthy art dealer named Victor Maitland.
The mole on his forehead gives him away as the villain immediately.
Maitland is the man responsible for Mikey's murder, but he's smart enough to keep his cool and answer the detective's questions.
Oh, who are we kidding? He just has his goons carry Axel out of his office and throw his ass through the building's front window.
And this was before he did anything to deserve it, like Norbit.
Seconds after that, a police car arrives and arrests Axel on bullshit charges, so we are to understand that Maitland called them to get the detective out of his way. But, um, why? Axel had virtually no leads in the case at this point -- all he knew was that Mikey worked as a security guard at one of Maitland's warehouses. Hiring people isn't a crime, right? If Maitland had just taken a few minutes to, you know, cooperate and answer some questions, Axel might have moved on and spent the rest of the movie hanging out with Bronson Pinchot.
Hopefully making Pinchot pay for his murderous South American dictatorship.
Maitland had nothing to worry about: Since he sent his henchmen to Detroit to commit the murder, he had an airtight alibi and Axel didn't even suspect he was anything other than a stuffy art dealer. All he had to do was pretend to act shocked about Mikey's death, claim to know nothing about it and say: "Let me know if there's anything I can do to help." There was no reason to suspect he had anything to do with the murder ... until he tossed a police officer through a pane of glass and made himself top suspect.
Of course, this raises a major red flag and only compels Axel to investigate him further. He eventually discovers that Maitland is using his businesses to run a major cocaine-smuggling operation and brings him down. How the hell did he ever get to be in charge of a drug empire if he can't keep his cool better than that?
Wait, was this a scene from the film or just a candid shot from inside Eddie Murphy's trailer?
#1. The Goonies -- Troy Propels Mikey's Brother off a Ravine for the Hell of It
The Goonies is the movie that taught us that theft is alright, as long as you're not ugly. When his little brother Mikey sneaks off to go hunting for treasure, Brand (a young Josh Brolin) flat out steals a little girl's bicycle to go after him.
Brolin would be hunted by someone with the exact same hairdo 22 years later, in No Country For Old Men.
Karma strikes back, however, when Brand is riding the bike down a winding mountain road and crosses paths with his wealthy douchebag rival, Troy. Riding in Troy's car is also Brand's potential love interest, Andy, who invites him into the car. This seems to piss Troy off ...
... so he decides to murder Brand. Seriously. First he grabs Brand's arm and drags him and his bicycle alongside the car as he speeds off ...
"Your left hand is disturbingly strong."
And then proceeds to propel Brand down the edge of a ravine before driving away. Brand could have easily killed himself there, or at the very least ended up with the bike's seat planted firmly in his rectum.
Turns out Sloth was actually Brand after this accident disfigured him.
So, yeah, we're pretty sure that kid is a psychopath. It was a pretty standard trope in eighties movies for teenage jock characters to come off as obnoxious jerks, but Troy might have overdone it just a little, especially considering that Brand didn't even want to get in the car with them. He wasn't going to cock-block you, Troy. He was on his way to fight mobsters in a pirate ship or some shit.
Speaking of which, it's established that Troy's main goal in life is to score with Andy -- maybe it's just us, but making her a potential accessory to vehicular homicide doesn't sound like a very good strategy. Less so since Andy and her friend are clearly yelling at Troy to stop the entire time.
Judging by that hate and jacket, this is not the first time those words are heard in this car.
Let's say Brand was actually killed because of this stunt. Sure, Troy is a rich kid and Brand is just some lower-class Goonie, but there will still be two witnesses to testify that he deliberately drove Brand into the ravine, so it's likely he would face serious legal repercussions for his actions. If Troy's whole motivation for this was to get laid, he might get his wish fulfilled in prison.
Pictured: Troy's future cellmate. Everybody wins!
Robin Warder is the co-owner of a pop culture website called The Back Row.
For more unbelievable character decisions, check out 6 Famous Movie Wisemen Who Were Totally Full of Shit and The 5 Most Needlessly Evil Movie Villain Strategies.
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