5 Huge Movies That Stole Their Plot from Other Hit Films

Hollywood is notorious for remaking popular films in its never-ending quest for money. However, there are a finite number of stories that can possibly be told, and after a century of moviemaking, they're bound to start repeating themselves completely by accident. As we've previously discussed, this happens way more often than you'd think, in bizarrely unexpected ways.

#5. The Dark Knight Rises (2012) Is The World Is Not Enough (1999)

Warner Bros.

The 19th James Bond movie and the third Batman movie (or seventh, or ninth, depending on when you start counting) share more than the fact that they're both about handsome British actors grabbing people by the shoulders and shouting at them.

Sure, there's the obvious fact that both are about a suave, attractive action hero who owns an arsenal of expensive gadgets, likes to say his own name, and must overcome his physical limitations so that he can stop a terrorist kingpin from setting off a nuke in a major city, but that's lots of movies -- it's when you go scene by scene that you realize The Dark Knight Rises is The World Is Not Enough as told with rubber costumes.

Warner Bros., Eon Productions/MGM
Behind that mask, Bane is making the exact same face as the other three.

Both films open with a prologue that features a midair action sequence in which the villain's henchmen willingly sacrifice themselves to rescue their master.

Warner Bros., Eon Productions/MGM

Then we cut to a scene where the hero's elderly British caretaker moodily reminds the hero that he's getting too old for the hero business.

Warner Bros., Eon Productions/MGM
"I'm getting too old for this shite."

After that, there's a scene in a poorly lit doctor's office wherein a doctor points at some X-rays to inform the hero that his body is falling apart after years of leaping off buildings and punching supervillains into submission, which triggers a somber midlife identity crisis.

Warner Bros., Eon Productions/MGM
They both also sex the shit out of their physician.

The hero then meets a beautiful no-nonsense brunette businesswoman with a vaguely defined European accent. Nudity immediately commences.

Warner Bros., Eon Productions/MGM

But suddenly, another beautiful no-nonsense brunette woman appears. She doesn't serve any purpose to the story except to step in as the hero's replacement love interest after the other woman is disqualified from this position for reasons that will soon become clear.

Warner Bros., Eon Productions/MGM
The face of a man who just heard Denise Richards deliver dialogue.

Meanwhile, the villain from the opening action scene reappears -- a powerful, bald terrorist leader who talks funny and is impervious to pain. The hero is forced to once again don his hero shoes to deal with this destructive madman and pays a visit to his personal quartermaster, who describes to the audience all of the gadgets that will eventually be used in the film.

Warner Bros., Eon Productions/MGM
Luckily, The Dark Knight Rises was able to condense two old white men into Morgan Freeman.

The hero pursues the villain to his secret underground lair for a one-on-one showdown -- Batman races around the streets of Gotham in a rocket-powered motorcycle, and Bond races around the streets of London in a rocket-powered ... um, boat. Jesus, that movie is stupid.

Warner Bros., Eon Productions/MGM
How stupid? This stupid.

Anyway, the villain is able to exploit the hero's failing body in order to gain the upper hand, defeating the hero and stealing a nuclear bomb in the process.

Warner Bros., Eon Productions/MGM
"Don't you take that nuclear bomb! Don't you do it!"

Physically and morally crippled, the hero has to fight even harder to regain his strength and confront the bald terrorist again, only to discover that the bald terrorist is merely a hired goon working for the true villain -- the no-nonsense, vaguely European businesswoman he had sex with earlier! She subdues the hero and forces him to sit through a detailed monologue about how she plans to carry on her father's legacy, which somehow involves blanketing an entire city in a cloud of nuclear murder.

Warner Bros., Eon Productions/MGM
"But ... we made sex!"

The hero miraculously escapes, there is another chase scene in which the bad guys crash and die in their own getaway vehicle, and the bomb is detonated safely out of harm's way. In the confusion, the hero absconds with the emergency replacement girlfriend who was clumsily introduced in the film's second act and retreats to a secret vacation spot to be spied on by his elderly British caretaker.

Warner Bros., Eon Productions/MGM
Because callously faked death boning is the best kind of boning there is.

#4. I, Robot (2004) Is Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988)

20th Century Fox

Even though I, Robot is an action/sci-fi Will Smith explosion-fest and Who Framed Roger Rabbit is a comedy starring popular cartoon characters from the past century, both are more or less the same movie if you use the words "robot" and "toon" interchangeably. One stars a wisecracking street-smart detective who is caught up in a murder mystery that thrusts him unwillingly into a world of cartoon characters and contemporary brand recognition. The other is Who Framed Roger Rabbit.

20th Century Fox, Walt Disney
They also feature a weird emphasis on shoes.

Both movies center on a cynical detective who harbors a deep-seated prejudice against a local community of sentient special effects because he blames them for a past tragedy in his life.

20th Century Fox, Walt Disney
For Hoskins, his brother's death. For Smith, Wild Wild West.

When a lovable member of this community is suspected of murdering a human being, the hard-boiled, disillusioned detective initially believes the toon/robot is guilty, because that's how racism works. He begins his investigation by interviewing a slimy CEO in a scene that involves him drinking liquor from a tiny cup while wearing a period-appropriate hat.

20th Century Fox, Walt Disney
"Keep 'em coming. I've got to pretend to be happy Shia LaBeouf survives the last act."

Then, at the insistence of an alluring female sidekick, the detective begrudgingly accepts that the toon/robot is innocent and agrees to solve the mystery. He learns that the victim left behind a note no one can understand (a cryptic dream hidden in the memory of a robot, and a mysterious "blank" piece of paper) that, we find out later, holds the key to a convoluted scheme:

20th Century Fox, Walt Disney

The detective then quickly finds himself in a high-speed chase behind the wheel of a car that drives itself, a feature he considers extremely annoying rather than life-changing and incredible. The pursuit takes him directly into the heart of the community he so despises -- in Roger Rabbit, it's Toontown, whereas in I, Robot, it's future Detroit (where there is an astonishing lack of RoboCop).

20th Century Fox, Walt Disney
You can tell it's an alternate future because citizens have jobs.

Here, the detective finally cracks the case -- the real killer is a bombastically evil toon/robot who has been masquerading as a paragon of the human justice system in order to enact some diabolical scheme.

20th Century Fox, Walt Disney
They shot Christopher Lloyd in the face with a cannon loaded with cocaine to achieve the eye effect.

After defeating waves of henchmen, the hero dispatches the villain by exposing it to a magical substance that exists solely for the purpose of the villain's destruction, in an ending that curiously validates and reinforces the detective's bigotry -- the reviled community of metahumans was responsible for both his personal anguish and the murder at the center of the story all along. It just wasn't the specific lovable metahuman who was initially accused of the crime. So the moral of the story is, if you're harboring a deep sense of mistrust and resentment for an entire community, chances are your suspicions are absolutely correct.

#3. Thor (2011) Is The Prince of Egypt (1998)

Marvel Studios

In a pop adaptation of a famous mythological story, the relationship between two princes becomes strained when their kingly father pits them against each other for his attention. After a monumental cock-up, the favored brother goes into exile among an alien culture, where he falls in love with a beautiful woman. Because fate is as cruel as it is predictable, he is eventually forced to protect his adopted people from the wrath of his heartbroken, embittered brother.

Clearly, that's the plot of Thor, but you might be surprised to learn that it is also the exact same story told in 1998's The Prince of Egypt (and, to a lesser degree, the Bible).

Marvel Studios, DreamWorks Animation
"If only there were some closer religious text we could have based Thor on ..."

Both movies begin with a cataclysmic race war and quickly shift focus to two young, mischievous princes who enjoy recklessly goofing off in ways that cause violent, expensive damage to their father's kingdom. Nevertheless, one brother is clearly the king's favorite, and his jealous, more level-headed sibling constantly shoulders the blame for his brother's bullshit.

Marvel Studios, DreamWorks Animation
This doesn't even factor in the fabulous hair envy.

The two princes grow up, at which point one of the brothers discovers that he's actually adopted -- he was born to his father's cultural enemies, and the royal family took pity on him as a baby and raised him as their own, because for some reason no one foresaw that becoming a problem later on.

Marvel Studios, DreamWorks Animation
Pictured: Becoming a problem later on.

The hero (the favored brother) makes a hubris-laden mistake that gets him exiled from the kingdom. Outside the gates of his homeland, he meets a beautiful woman and a kindly old man. Through a series of fish-out-of-water hijinks, he learns to stop thinking like an inverted asshole and understand the plight of the common people.

Marvel Studios, DreamWorks Animation
"This whole time I've been figuratively fucking others, when I could have been literally fucking you. Thank you."

Along the way, the hero takes possession of a blunt object that can do fucking magic.

Marvel Studios, DreamWorks Animation
The hammer, Mjolnir, and the staff, Chuck.

When he returns home, he learns that his father is dead/comatose, and in his absence, his less-favored brother has risen to the throne. Also, his brother has become a total shithead, driven by an irrational desire to prove his worth to a father who is no longer in any position to care.

Marvel Studios, DreamWorks Animation
"How is your headdress so white with that much crap is between your ears?"

The hero tries to reconcile with his brother, but only on the condition that his brother not murder all of his newfound friends. Unfortunately, his brother tells him to go jog down the fucking street with that nonsense, and a kingdom-demolishing battle of wills ensues.

Marvel Studios, DreamWorks Animation
And as usual with Viking/Middle Eastern fisticuffs, the dude with the beard prevails.

The hero is finally able to deliver a spirit-crushing haymaker that shatters his brother's resolve, and he gives up. Granted, in Thor it involves a shame speech from their newly awakened father, whereas in The Prince of Egypt it involves the wholesale murder of thousands of children. But the end result is the same -- the hero is free to protect his people, and his brother is forever a dick.

Recommended For Your Pleasure

To turn on reply notifications, click here


The Cracked Podcast

Choosing to "Like" Cracked has no side effects, so what's the worst that could happen?

The Weekly Hit List

Sit back... Relax... We'll do all the work.
Get a weekly update on the best at Cracked. Subscribe now!