Characters Who Conveniently Forget Their Game-Changing Abilities
There's an art to writing movies. Much like sex, you have to build up slowly until the well-earned climax. If it's an action-adventure flick, the finale usually involves our hero, the odds nigh-insurmountably stacked against them, pulling out some last-ditch, Hail Mary ultimate supermove to save the day. Also much like sex, sometimes those filmmakers get too excited and forget the build-up phase, so that move winds up coming out of nowhere, leaving everybody confused and disappointed. For example ...
In Kill Bill, The Bride Has An Instant-Kill Move The Whole Time
In Kill Bill, Quentin Tarantino's epic two-part revenge fantasy, Uma Thurman plays The Bride, a former assassin whose mission is to systematically hunt down and murder each of her five former colleagues. She's also basically the most skilled martial artist in the world, and knows the secret of the "Five-Point Palm Exploding Heart Technique" -- a Mortal Kombat-style fatality that instantly kills an opponent when you slap them in the right spots a few times.
Despite this, the combined film drags out for over four hours, mostly due to the fact that The Bride refuses to use this finishing move on anyone but her final opponent, the eponymous Bill. This can probably be chalked up to honor or sportsmanship or, more likely, dramatic effect, but if she'd been more liberal with the Exploding Heart Technique instead of committing to engaging a group of assassins in melee combat, then Tarantino could have distilled his epic into a single movie. Hell, maybe a half episode of a TV show.
Like the Fox Force Five pilot.
Over the course of the story, The Bride is repeatedly stabbed, shot, and even buried alive. Just so that she could finally confront Bill and slap him to death in a few seconds, creating one of the most blue-balls-inducing climaxes in film history.
The Heroes Of Pacific Rim Had Access to a Superweapon (They Hardly Ever Used)
Pacific Rim is a movie about humanity's war against the Kaiju, a race of giant monsters. For some reason, our solution is to build an army of giant robots (Jaegers), to engage them in hand-to-hand combat, despite weapons being invented in, like, 10,000 BC. In the first fight scene, it's revealed that the Jaegers are equipped with some kind of plasma cannons, but they take too long to charge, so punching is the best they can do. In another scene, it's shown that the Jaegers have rockets attached to the backs of their elbows to maximize their punching power, rather than, y'know, firing those rockets at the enemy.
"Shit ... I was aiming for the dick."
A full hour and 30 minutes into the movie, the hero's Jaeger is so badly damaged that it resorts to using a cargo ship as a baseball bat, destroying half of Hong Kong in the process. Right when all hope seems lost, his copilot suddenly remembers that they also have a massive sword, which they immediately unsheathe and use to slice the Kaiju in half in one effortless strike.
For some reason, everyone simply forgot that they're carrying a one-hit-kill weapon, which is billed as a last resort even though it's clearly the most powerful thing in their entire arsenal by several orders of magnitude. So with this newfound knowledge, surely busting out the great equalizer is the first thing they do in every battle from now on, right? Nope. They go right back to punching monsters in the face. In the final battle, the Jaegers are outnumbered by three Kaiju, and after suffering critical damage, they suddenly remember the swords again and use them to instantly kill two of the monsters and cripple the third.
And ruin your underwear.
Look, we're not saying that fist fights with giant robots don't look cool, but in the real world, if tens of thousands of people died because you kept trying to punch monsters to death instead of using the game-ending supermove freely available to you, we're pretty sure you're going to wind up in front of some kind of international tribunal.
In Thor: The Dark World, Odin's Wife Dies For No Reason
Odin is essentially the king of the Marvel movieverse, and his wife Frigga has the unique ability to create a hologram of herself or anyone else anywhere in Asgard. She uses this power early in the film to speak with Loki, her sometimes-evil foster son, so that she can communicate with him without opening his cell door. (A wise move, because look at that face. You cannot trust that face.)
Resting betrayal face.
The next and last time she uses this ability is when the villain Malekith breaks into Asgard's throne room and tries to abduct Jane, only to find that she's one of Frigga's holograms.
"Help me, Odinson Kenobi. You're my only hope."
Enraged, Malekith then stabs Frigga to death. But wait, why didn't Frigga make herself a hologram as well? She must have known that Malekith was going to murder the hell out of her the moment he realized that he'd been tricked. Man, this power would have been an amazing tool in Thor's arsenal against the Dark Elves. But no, now she's dead. As a result, later in the film, Thor has to turn to Loki as the only other character capable of projecting holograms, but of course this plan backfires, because Loki is a goddamn villain and betrays everyone -- look at that face, guys. Jesus.
"Truly desperate" doesn't even begin to cover it.
The Evil Dinosaur in Jurassic World Forgot About Its Greatest Ability
In Jurassic World, humanity again decides to screw with the genetic code to create a bigger, smarter, hungrier dinosaur who will totally respect the boundaries, we promise. The "Indominus Rex" is the big baddie of the film -- a T-Rex/raptor crossbreed that escapes containment due to its ability to turn fucking invisible.
Pictured here ... We think ...
Maybe not in the Susan Storm sense, but the I-Rex can change color to blend into its surroundings like a chameleon, as well as hide its heat signature from radar. It uses this ability to escape from its pen, and later to murder an entire team of mercenaries.
And then ... it up and forgets.
Although the movie goes to great lengths to tell us that this dinosaur is smarter than anything the scientists have ever created before, and also that it has goddamn superpowers, we never see it using any of these abilities ever again. After the first big-budget action sequence, it spends the rest of the movie acting like a regular T-Rex, randomly chomping on people until it's ultimately outsmarted by a 30-foot prehistoric alligator.
Sure, "smart" is a relative term here -- we're not saying the I-Rex should have built a helicopter and rained death from above, no matter how awesome that would have been -- but the cloaking was a fundamental, instinctual ability. Chameleons don't "forget" to change color in high-stress situations. It's the first thing they do. Just like the first thing screenwriters do is make up some bullshit for a cool scene and then never use it again.
Groot In Guardians Of The Galaxy Dramatically Underuses His Powers
Guardians Of The Galaxy achieved amazing success despite what sounds like a series of terrible decisions. It was based on a comic book nobody had ever heard of. They cast an actor from a comedy TV series as the main hero, then a wrestler, a talking rodent, and finally an A-list action hero ... as the voice of the cartoon comedy relief who only says five words over the course of the entire film. That last was Groot, the eight-foot-tall grass type Pokemon. Groot is the only Guardian who has superpowers; he simply never bothers to use them unless it's to sprout flowers to hit on some alien strange.
Don't worry. Groot has the mental capacity of a five-year-old, so it's fine.
The extent of his powers is never exactly defined, but we know that he can instantly sprout vines to entangle his enemies and extend his limbs to an apparently limitless length ...
Suffice to say, he's big in Japan.
Wouldn't Groot's superpowers be useful when they're all trying to break out of space prison? Or when they actually meet the main villain, the blue guy who wants to take over the universe, instead of leaving it up to Drax to try to beat him in hand-to-hand combat? Near the end, when they're all trying to fight off wave after wave of henchmen, Groot stands around doing nothing ...
"I am moot."
... until the last minute, when he suddenly decides to do something and instantly kills, like, 12 goons.
The movie could have easily explained why Groot so rarely uses his powers with a throwaway line about how doing tree stuff exhausts him, or that he needs to eat human flesh to replenish his power. Instead, he's the plot device who wakes up every time the movie needs to move on from a fight scene.
The Villains Of The Hobbit Movies Had Access To Super Monsters They Never Used
During the final battle of the third movie in The Hobbit series, the suitably-named Battle Of The Five Armies, four armies with their own separate interests converge on Thorin, the insane dwarf mountain king. But while dwarf leader Billy Connolly drops a bunch of comedy quips on Gandalf's opposing army, the villainous orcs arrive on the backs of a swarm of gigantic worms that they apparently abducted from the Dune franchise.
This is the first and only time that the "were-worms" have appeared in the entire Hobbit / Lord Of The Rings saga, and the Orcs use them to dig a tunnel under a hill. And nothing else. These Orcs obviously have total command over the Were-Worms, so why do they stop at using them for civic infrastructure purposes instead of commanding them to swallow thousands of enemy soldiers? It shouldn't have been called "The Battle of the Five Armies" -- it should've been "The Great Were-Worm Buffet." But then, that would have shaved some unnecessary time off of the series, and that clearly wasn't the filmmakers' priority at all.
"We needed to balance out the heroes being too stupid to use the eagles."
Deep inside us all behind our political leanings, our moral codes and our private biases, there is a cause so colossally stupid, we surprise ourselves with how much we care. Whether it's toilet paper position, fedoras on men or Oxford commas, we each harbor a preference so powerful we can't help but proselytize to the world. In this episode of the Cracked podcast, guest host Soren Bowie is joined by Cody Johnston, Michael Swaim and special guests to discuss the most trivial things we will argue about until the day we die. Get your tickets here!
For more people who dropped the ball, check out 6 Magical Movie Items They Wasted On Bullshit and 5 Famous Movie Characters Who Wasted Awesome Superpowers.
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