5 Movie Plots That Rely On People Sucking at Important Jobs

Action movies are usually populated by busty damsels in distress, hard-jawed men who will do anything to get their families back, and ingenious, possibly British-accented villains whose intellect is rivaled only by their sadism. At their best, these movies are about extraordinary situations that require extraordinary men. But sometimes we can't help but notice that the entire plot kicked into gear only because the authority figures in these universes sucked at their jobs to an absurd degree. Consider ...

#5. The Dark Knight -- Nobody Objects to a Bus Crashing Out of a Bank

Warner Bros. Pictures

The Dark Knight begins with an elaborate bank robbery planned by the Joker. He accounts for every meticulous detail, and even tricks his fellow criminals into killing each other off, leaving him alone with the take. By the time the police arrive, he's driving away in a school bus, whose exit he times perfectly so that it blends in with a line of other identical buses driving their route. He escapes by hiding in plain sight, and nobody is the wiser. Except, you know, for the dozens of people who watch him slam a school bus into and then right back out of the bank.

Warner Bros. Pictures
"Must be one of those bank/bus parking lot combo joints I keep hearing about."

See, he doesn't just pull up around back and park -- he drives right through the goddamn wall. So that means the other bus drivers (and everyone else on the street: all those pedestrians and cars you see above), watch a school bus crash through a building, then pull out and flee the scene of what is clearly a robbery ... and then they all just shrug and move on with their lives.

Maybe the other drivers are members of his team? Nope -- you can clearly hear the voices of kids in the other buses, so either the other drivers aren't with him, or this is the most hardcore school district around.

Warner Bros. Pictures
It's a town where kids tend to grow up tough.

The Joker should have easily been caught at this point. The bus driver behind or ahead of him probably would have called 911 after seeing a bus go through a building. Some of the pedestrians would have called too, or just ran up to the incoming police and told them their guy was getting away. Hell, even if we accept that everyone on the street is totally oblivious, you'd think the many witnesses left inside the bank would have something to say about how the Joker made his getaway.

Warner Bros. Pictures
"Why ... so ... obviousssSSS?"

There's a reason the scene ends as the Joker drives off: Because if it kept going, you'd see the police immediately turn around and catch him. Even the incompetent Gotham City police wouldn't have any trouble boxing in a slow, unwieldy school bus, especially since it looks like the roads are busy. And it's not like he was blending in with the other buses, because his was the only one with no kids, plenty of dents, and trailing a comically huge amount of bank-dust.

#4. Kick-Ass -- The Police Forget That Computers Are a Thing


In Kick-Ass, an average high school student gets bored of his mundane life and decides to become a vigilante superhero. He dresses up in a green spandex suit, grabs a couple batons, runs around town, and promptly gets his ass kicked by pretty much every thug he meets. Finally, a realistic superhero movie! Despite his general ineptitude, Kick-Ass becomes a YouTube celebrity, although that's not saying much considering videos of deer farting account for millions of YouTube views.

We're not gonna promise you something like that and fail to deliver.

Then some competent vigilantes, Big Daddy and Hit-Girl, kill crime-lord Frank D'Amico's henchmen. Somehow under the impression that an inept teenager is responsible for undermining his drug empire, D'Amico orders Kick-Ass killed. When this leads to a Kick-Ass impersonator getting knocked off, the police decide that hey, maybe they should do something about this whole vigilante violence campaign thing. They appeal to the public for help in identifying Kick-Ass, but come up empty.

Their first mistake was assuming that anyone who had ever seen the Internet would also be a newspaper buyer.

That's understandable -- it would be hard to identify a dude in a mask based only on shaky cell phone camera footage. If only there was something else for the authorities to go on, like the incredibly popular, frequently updated MySpace page that he sets up so people can ask him for help. Because that's totally a thing he did.

The police catch criminals using social media all the time. With the cooperation of MySpace and Kick-Ass' ISP, it would be easy to track him down -- that's why Superman doesn't keep a Facebook page. The only possible explanation is that Kick-Ass is using some fancy computer wizardry to protect himself, but Big Daddy manages to trace him to his house almost instantly, and that dude looks like a short-bus Batman.

Albeit a hell of a lot more reasonably equipped.

Then again, maybe the police, like everybody else, just forgot MySpace was still a thing in 2010.

#3. Goldfinger -- The U.S. Army Fools Goldfinger, Then Lets Him Execute His Plan Anyway

United Artists

The plot of Goldfinger revolves around megalomaniacal industrialist/groin-laser enthusiast Auric Goldfinger's plan to attack Fort Knox with nerve gas, then use a dirty bomb to make its gold reserves useless. Thankfully, James Bond is able to sex Goldfinger's henchwoman Pussy Galore (the Bond series was never about subtlety) into betraying her boss. The pair team up with the U.S. Army and enact a plan wherein Galore sprays a harmless chemical over Fort Knox instead of nerve gas, and all the soldiers just pretend they got hit like a grown-up flashmob game of cops and robbers.

It works perfectly -- they lure out Goldfinger's bomb, his goons, and the man himself. The soldiers wait patiently, feigning incapacitation, as the bad guys enter the base, enter the vault, and prepare their bomb. Only then does the Army -- represented by, like, eight dudes -- spring into action to stop him. They are, however, thwarted by Goldfinger's ingenious tactic of closing the door.

United Artists
"Door" might be underselling it a bit.

So hey, here's an idea: Maybe the Army could have had, like, all the guys waiting for Goldfinger in the vault. Did they forget that they didn't actually get gassed? If you watch the clip above you see at least a couple hundred soldiers in on the operation, and there are presumably many more on base. They could have ambushed and overwhelmed Goldfinger at any point. Why wait until the last possible moment? Was it an entire platoon of method actors?

And while we're at it, the Army probably should have told their soldiers what Goldfinger -- and remember, the entire reason this operation exists is to apprehend him -- looks like, seeing as he manages to escape their clutches by donning an Army uniform and pointing them in the wrong direction, a move taken right out of The Snidely Whiplash Manual for Supervillainy. Keep in mind that Goldfinger isn't your standard shadowy Bond antagonist; he's a well-known public figure. Even if they couldn't get a picture of him down to Fort Knox in time to brief the soldiers, all they had to do was tell the men to be on the lookout for an obese balding man with a thick German accent, which isn't typically what you consider to be U.S. Army material.

United Artists
Goldfinger, seen here trying to fight off a heart attack brought on by all this physical activity.

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