5 Movie Plots That Rely On People Sucking at Important Jobs

#2. Inglourious Basterds -- The Nazis Don't Bother to Employ Security in a War Zone

The Weinstein Company

Inglourious Basterds is set in an alternate World War II that somehow manages to be more violent than the actual world-wide war. Long story short, the heroes come together to trap Hitler and every other top Nazi at a movie premiere while they burn down the theater. It's not an easy mission. The theater is in occupied Paris, which means the entire Nazi government is meeting in a city full of people who hate them. Security will be tight. Why, just look at all the guards stationed in the main hall ...

The Weinstein Company
"Um ... guten Tag?"

Er, maybe they're in the middle of changing shifts. Let's check out the first floor.

The Weinstein Company
Admittedly, that banner that would bring most parties to a screeching halt.

Seriously? Are all the guards in line at the concession stand? Even the main entrance doesn't have any security.

The Weinstein Company
"Am I at the right theater? Is this where literally all the Nazis are?"

There's more security at a regular movie theater -- you generally at least have a ticket-taker at the door and an usher by the theaters themselves. You're telling us the grand gathering of every single important Nazi in the world doesn't warrant the same security as the noon showing of That Awkward Moment? Hitler does have two guards in his private booth, but those are the only soldiers in the entire building. In reality, not only was there a whole elite military division whose responsibilities included serving as Hitler's bodyguards, but you'd think security would be stepped up for the rest of the Nazi bigwigs too, considering that they were an extremely militaristic invading force in the middle of fighting a friggin' world war. It's not like the Nazis were all gathering at some secretive meeting, either -- the premiere was a highly publicized propaganda stunt that was pretty much begging to be attacked by the resistance. No ruler, even in peace-time, would attend an event with security that lax. We know the Nazis might not have been the unstoppable evil force history often makes them out to be, but if they had one weakness, it was certainly not that they were too trusting.

The Weinstein Company
"False alarm, guys; he says he's just on his way to a baseball game."

#1. Elysium -- Whoever Programmed the "Lethal Encryption" Software Doesn't Understand What "Encryption" Means

TriStar Pictures

In Elysium, an evil businessman, played by William Fichtner, who is court-mandated to play all evil businessmen in every movie ever made (you'll remember him from the Batman entry of this same article, where he plays an evil mob banker with a shotgun), creates a program to reboot the titular orbital mega-city so that the character played by Jodie Foster and her very bad accent can become its president. Since possession of the program would allow anyone to basically rule the world, Evil Businessman does the shockingly responsible thing and protects the program with lethal encryption software before uploading it to his own brain.

TriStar Pictures
"We want a logo that's equal parts cutting-edge neuroscience and cartoonish trope."

He's soon killed by protagonist Max Da Costa, who forcibly transfers the program to his own mind, resulting in, you guessed it ... Max getting a bit of a headache for roughly 12 seconds? What? What happened to the lethality?

Ah, but then Max makes the mistake of showing the program to one of his buddies, and here we go, this transfer results in ... nothing bad happening to Max at all. See, this is what you get for going with the cheap HTC brainware.

TriStar Pictures
"'Made in Guam'? That can't bode well."

Eventually, after a bunch of explosions and katana-stabbings, Max makes it to Elysium and we find out that the "lethal" protection is lethal only if he actually uses the program. So that's what he does, heroically sacrificing himself to give Elysium's fancy medical technology to the people of Earth and bring an end to the least subtle commentary on healthcare we've seen outside of political cartoons.

TriStar Pictures
All the subtlety of a flying turd.

You've probably noticed the flaw here, in that for the encryption to be worth a damn it needs to fry a thief's brain when he tries to steal the data. If it's not lethal until they've already stolen and used it, then it's just a form of petty revenge. There's no protection there whatsoever -- that's like not assigning a password to your email account and giving herpes to everybody who accesses it. It would even still be useful if the encryption sizzled the cerebral cortices of would be mind-burglars when they tried to access the data -- say, the instant Max showed the program to his pal. Instead this is a security protocol that actually lets you see and even use the data it's supposedly protecting before taking its toll.

It's like shareware for evil dickheads.

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Related Reading: Some movie plot holes are destined to remain unanswered. Like, how do all these lady secret agents and soldiers have perfectly blow-dried hair? More movie plots than you might think are based in a healthy grounding of reality. Even the story of Indiana Jones. If you'd like a list of last year's most inexplicably redundant movie plots, Cracked can oblige.

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