6 Terrible Plans in Movies That Just Sort of Work Out

We suspect that the real reason we aren't privy to movie character plans out front is because, most of the time, they'd sound pretty stupid if you said them out loud.
6 Terrible Plans in Movies That Just Sort of Work Out

We rarely see movie characters spell out their plans before enacting them, because that would be no fun -- usually they'll just wink, say, "Trust me, I have a plan," and then the movie will reveal the plan through a series of surprising plot twists. However, we suspect that the real reason they don't tell us the plans out front is because, most of the time, they'd sound pretty stupid if you said them out loud.

For instance ...

Return of the Jedi -- Luke Puts Together the Worst Escape Plan Imaginable

6 Terrible Plans in Movies That Just Sort of Work Out

Return of the Jedi opens with one of the most famous rescue missions ever filmed, as Luke Skywalker and his friends go save a frozen Han Solo from Jabba the Hutt's palace. It's so exciting, you forget how impossibly stupid the plan is.

The first part of Luke's plan (apparently) consists of getting each and every one of his friends captured by Jabba, one by one. First he sends R2-D2 and C-3PO into the palace with a message of negotiation and a peace offering. They are immediately put into servitude -- 3PO assigned as a translator, and R2 put on Jabba's barge.

6 Terrible Plans in Movies That Just Sort of Work Out

"We need an extra urinal for long sand-fishing trips."

Next come Leia and Chewbacca: Leia is disguised as a bounty hunter, negotiating a reward for Chewie, who is taken away by Jabba's men. She then manages to unfreeze Han before she's caught and put in a golden bikini.

6 Terrible Plans in Movies That Just Sort of Work Out

"Yes, exactly as I planned." -- Leia's brother

Cue Luke, who walks in unarmed to drive a hard bargain for the prisoners. Naturally, he ends up fighting a hideous monster and being captured too. For a moment, it looks as though Luke's luck has run out as he, Han and Chewie are brought out into the desert to be executed by slow digestion. As Han laments, Luke tells him to stick close to him, assuring him that he's "taken care of everything."

6 Terrible Plans in Movies That Just Sort of Work Out

"Grrrraaaaaawww." "Jesus Christ, Chewie! Shut up about the fucking medal."

And then, we all know what follows: Luke gets his lightsaber from R2 (smuggled all along!) and Han accidentally bitch-kills Boba Fett as golden bikini-clad Leia strangles both Jabba and an entire generation's hopes of ever having a normal sex life.

Why It Was a Stupid Plan:

There's an old saying that goes, "Any plan where you end up completely unarmed and over a monster pit is a bad plan." But it's not like Luke and the others had a choice, right? The only way to get into Jabba's palace is as a prisoner. Except that while the gang is coming and going, we see one dude just standing there in the background, looking inconspicuous ...

6 Terrible Plans in Movies That Just Sort of Work Out

The background check for this job consisted of the "pinky-swear you're not a sleeper agent" test.

Lando F. Calrissian! Lando doesn't come in with a prisoner. He doesn't have to fight a monster, or put on a golden bikini (unfortunately) -- he just puts on a mask and stands in the crowd of aliens that hang out at Jabba's. Why couldn't the others sneak in the way Lando did, get Han and sneak out? Or, alternatively, just go straight to fighting Jabba's guys, which is what they ended up doing in the other plan anyway. Except, this way, they would have their weapons and wouldn't be wearing shackles.

The Matrix -- Morpheus Reveals Everything to Neo On a Tapped Phone Call

6 Terrible Plans in Movies That Just Sort of Work Out

In The Matrix, Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne) believes that Neo (Keanu Reeves) is a Second Life Jesus who will free humanity from the virtual-reality tyranny of the machines. Unfortunately, Neo is captured by government agents (actually, evil computer programs) who push some sort of robot-shrimp into his stomach.

6 Terrible Plans in Movies That Just Sort of Work Out

Not the worst orifice they could have chosen.

However, the Agents don't give a shit about Neo, they just want to use him to get to Morpheus -- so they release him with a literal bug inside of him, hoping he'll lead them to the bigger fish. At this point, Morpheus calls Neo and just lays it all out for him: He tells Neo that he is "The One" and gives him a location to meet. Morpheus' pals pick up Neo, remove that weird shrimp bug and it's all red pills and slo-mo kung fu from there.

Why It Was a Stupid Plan:

When Morphy calls Neo on the phone, the first thing he says is: "This line is tapped so I must be brief. They got to you first but they underestimated how important you are. If they knew what I know, you would probably be dead ..."

Guess what, dude? They now know what you know, because you just fucking told them.

6 Terrible Plans in Movies That Just Sort of Work Out

"... uhhh, would probably be Deb, I mean. Is this Deb? Wrong number. Sorry."

Let's get this straight: The line is tapped and the enemy can hear everything you say, and you choose to say exactly what it is you think they specifically shouldn't know, giving them a specific course of action they should follow in order to stop you (that is, kill Neo), followed by an address where they can conveniently stop you? Yeah, nice plan, asshole.

According to Morpheus, the one thing working to their advantage is that the agents don't know how important Neo is (apparently, they didn't see the trailers and figured Carrie Anne-Moss was the protagonist). Well, after Morpheus'`1 phone call, they do, so that by the time Neo calmly arrives at the meeting point, he is ass-deep in agents. He still has the tracking bug inside of him -- not that the agents need it because, again, Morpheus fucking tells them where Neo is going to go next. How is this guy the leader?

6 Terrible Plans in Movies That Just Sort of Work Out

"We prefer to govern ourselves by Authoritarian Oakley-ocracy."

So, what options did Morpheus have? Well, what about contacting Neo in one of those super-secret hacker chat rooms that it took even the agents minutes to crack? And if that's not possible ... he has legs, doesn't he? Wouldn't it probably better to just go get your deity -- at least, compared to calling him on a tapped phone and spilling your guts?

Captain America: The First Avenger -- Captain America Sucks at Invading Bases

6 Terrible Plans in Movies That Just Sort of Work Out

In what is the final push of his solo film, Captain America must find a way into the one remaining enemy base where Nazi supervillain Red Skull, is planning to nuke the world with his super-weapons. The base is heavily guarded and, in the true spirit of villainy, deep in the Alps.

As the team laments that they can't just "knock on the front door," Cap gets a heroic idea, followed by the quip, "That's exactly what we're gonna do." Cut to the star-spangled Avenger tearing right at the base in his sweet killcycle, shield-killing bitches like he's playing Call Of Duty drunk.

6 Terrible Plans in Movies That Just Sort of Work Out

"I'm in a hurry. You'll have to teabag yourself."

He blows up tanks, knocks down walls, and generally acts unpleasant. In the end, however, Cap ends up getting captured by the enemy (because he's still one guy against 200) and brought into Red Skull's sinister office of terror. After a brief villain monologue, Red Skull prepares for an execution ... but then Cap reveals it's all part of his plan, and this happens:

6 Terrible Plans in Movies That Just Sort of Work Out

"You said the windows would be open!"

Cap's sidekicks come zip-lining through the windows and save him! The plan worked! Captain America, you magnificent bastard!

Why It Was a Stupid Plan:

Wait, what fucking plan? If Cap's friends were able to zip-line into the base from the mountains ... why didn't they all just cut straight to that part? What was the point of the Cap's solo frontal assault in the first place, other than wasting a perfectly good motorcycle?

6 Terrible Plans in Movies That Just Sort of Work Out

"I'm Captain America, not Captain Canada. My plans don't have to make sense!"

Cap acts like getting caught and taken to that specific room was all part of his plan, but that makes exactly zero sense. How did he know they wouldn't just put a bullet in his head as soon as they restrained him? His friends would have crashed into Red Skull's office to find the guy painting a swastika on top of his new indestructible shield.

6 Terrible Plans in Movies That Just Sort of Work Out

"Those windows aren't bulletproof, right? Just curious."

And it's not as though he was causing a diversion, because the dudes zip-lined in only after he was caught. All those tanks and stuff he blew up on the front entrance make no difference. It's one thing when you are miraculously rescued, and it's another thing when being miraculously rescued is part of the plan. Apparently, Thor isn't the only god on Captain America's side.

Children of Men -- The Activists Shoot Up a Car With Their Last Hope Inside

6 Terrible Plans in Movies That Just Sort of Work Out

In 2027, women can no longer have children, England is a militarized police state and humanity is royally fucked. Theo Faron (Clive Owen), who doesn't give much of a fuck about any of that, is hired by a group of freedom fighters led by his ex-wife Julian (Julianne Moore) to smuggle a refugee named Kee, who is the first woman to get pregnant in 10 years. The plan is to get Kee to some scientists so they can do tests on her and, hopefully, figure out how to get some damn babies born again.

As Theo, Kee, Julian and her second-in-command, Luke, drive to the group's hideout, a surprise gang of hooligans bombards them with Molotov cocktails and shoots Julian through the windshield, killing her.

6 Terrible Plans in Movies That Just Sort of Work Out

Thus depriving the group of their leader and the movie of 85 percent of its star power.

The others manage to get to the hideout, but Theo then finds out that Julian's assassination has actually been orchestrated by Luke, who wants to use Kee for less-than-noble purposes (it's been a tough decade for dudes with pregnant lady fetishes). So Luke has planned the entire attack, and unless Theo starts giving a fuck and does something, they're gonna use Kee to start a bloody revolution.

Why It Was a Stupid Plan:

Did we mention that Luke himself was in the car when it was attacked? Because he totally was. And so was Kee, the same person he desperately needs to be alive. This wasn't a surgical assassination, by the way: They throw a Molotov bomb into the car's windshield and shoot wildly at it from a moving bike, while wearing helmets. Again, this is while Luke is sitting right there, and Kee is right behind him.

6 Terrible Plans in Movies That Just Sort of Work Out

6 Terrible Plans in Movies That Just Sort of Work Out

"Make sure you don't hit me. I'll be the one shitting my pants and screaming."

Go back and watch the attack -- as an act of random violence it's completely believable, but as a planned hit, it becomes a damned clown show. If the 9-month pregnant Kee is accidentally hit or just has a miscarriage from all the excitement, that's it for Luke's plan.

In a later scene, the very same guy who shoots Julian wants to take out Theo while he's escaping in a car, but is told to stand down because he might hurt Kee. Pretty convenient, since "shooting at the car Kee is in" hadn't been an issue earlier.

6 Terrible Plans in Movies That Just Sort of Work Out

"No, don't shoot! Get on your motorcycle first, and then shoot!"

And here's the kicker: At the hideout, Theo also overhears that they had been planning to quietly kill him the next day. If that was a possibility, why not do the same thing with Julian? Hell, kill them both at the same time and tell everyone they reconciled and moved to Paris. Anything would have been better than the plan they went with.

The Lost World: Jurassic Park -- John Hammond Sends a Lunatic to Mess Everything Up for No Reason

6 Terrible Plans in Movies That Just Sort of Work Out

Ingen, the company that cloned the dinosaurs in the first Jurassic Park movie, wants to open a new park in the middle of San Diego (because the first one went so well). Luckily for them, there happens to be a second super-secret island filled with dinosaurs that nobody mentioned in the first film, so they'll just go there and grab a few.

John Hammond, the Santa-looking former owner of Ingen, opposes this idea and hires Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum) and three others to obtain a "complete photo record" of the dinosaurs in order to rally enough support to stop the new park from happening. The guys from Ingen show up on the island shortly after Malcolm's group, and start caging animals to transport them, but Hammond had prepared for this eventuality with a secret back-up plan -- namely, this guy:

6 Terrible Plans in Movies That Just Sort of Work Out

Wes Mantooth?

Nick Van Owen (Vince Vaughn), acting on Hammond's orders, releases a bunch of dinosaurs from their cages and chaos ensues. Long story short, this ends with a T. Rex wreaking havoc in the middle of San Diego and squashing Ingen's chances to ever open a park there (oh, and several people). Mission accomplished!

Why It Was a Stupid Plan:

Wait a minute! Why was it necessary to release the dinosaurs and get half the people on the island killed? Hammond already had what he wanted: we see Malcolm's team taking pictures of the dinosaurs as soon as they get there. That's all they need to prove that the dinosaurs exist, causing a media panic and forcing Ingen to scrap their plans.


6 Terrible Plans in Movies That Just Sort of Work Out

"Freeing angry dinosaurs in a crowded camp isn't murder because we don't call it that!"

Also, did Hammond have to hire a complete lunatic to carry out his plan B? Nick literally causes almost every problem in the film: he lets out the dinosaurs, which destroy Ingen's communications. He brings a hurt baby T. Rex to the trailer, resulting in the parents' attack and the destruction of any remaining haven (plus the death of his pal Eddie). Then, later, after they are stuck on the island and dying, he actually removes the bullets from the badass hunter dude's gun to make sure he doesn't kill the T. Rex.

6 Terrible Plans in Movies That Just Sort of Work Out

"Sorry. We need it for the sequels."

This results in even more death and leads to the T. Rex getting to the mainland. Hammond did background checks on all members of the team, so he had to know that Nick was a nutjob before he decided to turn him into his "backup plan."

You know what would have been a much simpler plan? If the former owner of Ingen came out publicly about the existence of dinosaurs. Instead, he sends a complete psycho to the island on what can only be described as a terrorist mission.

Jaws -- Brody, Hooper and Quint Totally Had A Better Boat

6 Terrible Plans in Movies That Just Sort of Work Out

The good people of Amity Island are being eaten alive by a 30-foot shark and it's up to alcoholic police chief Brody to save the day, along with alcoholic boat captain Quint and alcoholic shark scientist, Hooper.

After numerous deaths, the Mayor finally closes the beaches and pays Quint to go on his shitty little boat to catch the shark. Then, they drink alcohol, sink the boat, and fucking blow up the shark. All without losing a single man! Except Quint.

6 Terrible Plans in Movies That Just Sort of Work Out

"We finally got rid of that fucker. And the shark, too."

Despite it all going to hell, this was the only way it could be done. All they had was that rickety tub, the Orca, and her makeshift barrel tracking system and fishing line. It's not as though they have millions of dollars and some high tech-boat at their fingertips.

Why It Was a Stupid Plan:

Oh, wait. Yes, they do.

6 Terrible Plans in Movies That Just Sort of Work Out

6 Terrible Plans in Movies That Just Sort of Work Out

"All aboard the S.S. Chekov!"

When the time comes to hunt the shark, everyone seems to forget that Hooper is stupidly rich. When he and Brody go out earlier to look for the shark, they take Hooper's giant rich-guy boat and he explains that he can afford it because he is independently wealthy. He's like Donald Trump meets Jacques Cousteau.


"Yeah, I don't even know what half this stuff does. I just like to spend money."

See that? That's an underwater camera system, which might have come in handy while trying to find a huge creature that moves underwater. He even has something he calls a "fish finder," which we're assuming can find fish. But, no. For some reason, pumping barrels into the shark is a better idea.


We don't know what this is, but we know they sure as fuck didn't have it in the other boat.

Why exactly did they go with Quint's boat again? Hell, why did they go with Quint at all? Nobody liked him, and it's not as though time was an issue anymore once the beaches were closed. Hooper, who is clearly passionate about the situation, could have gotten a whole team there.

At that point they wouldn't even have to kill the shark, which seems like a plus when you're a shark enthusiast who specifically studies Great Whites, a species that we still know very little about. What kind of rich shark lover goes all "Ahab" like that in the first place?

Find more from David on Twitter and Film School Rejects

For more things that don't quite add up in movies, check out The 7 Most Ridiculous Movie Character Overreactions and 7 Classic Star Wars Characters Who Totally Dropped the Ball.

If you're pressed for time and just looking for a quick fix, then check out 'Die Another Day' Was All in Bond's Head: Conspiracy Theory

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