5 Really Awesome Movies Hidden Inside Really Crappy Movies

It's frustrating when we see a terrible movie that could have been great -- if only they had the same brilliant insight that we thought of, after leaving the theater. It's l'esprit de l'escalier but for, like, Bio-Dome or something. Some utterly forgettable movies could have been downright amazing, with just a few small tweaks. Like...

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5
X-Men Origins: Wolverine Had A Whole Killer TV Series In Its Opening Credits

It's a shame that X-Men Origins: Wolverine is one of the worst superhero films ever made, because it also contains one of the best superhero films never made: right there during the opening credits.

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The better film they teased us with:

In the first couple minutes of Origins, we're treated to a montage of Wolverine and Sabretooth fighting alongside one another through a series of battles plucked straight out of your 10th grade history class. They survive an infantry charge during the American Civil War, a nighttime raid on German trenches during WWI, Omaha Beach during the D-Day invasion, and even their own execution during the Vietnam War.

5 Really Awesome Movies Hidden Inside Really Crappy MoviesFox
No, this doesn't line up with the other X-Men films, but then again, nothing does.

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Screw a two-hour movie -- that's an amazing TV series. Wolverine and Sabretooth, surly, stubbled, almost literally grizzly immortal soldiers bantering their way through every war in history -- and also claw-mauling Nazis. Plus, for long-term drama: Comic book readers know these literal brothers in arms eventually become bitter enemies -- imagine experiencing that heartbreak firsthand, after binge-watching several seasons of manly super-bonding. Instead, we got the worst possible version of Deadpool: One literally without a mouth. Whose brilliant idea was that? And how fucking fired are they? We hope it's "a lot."

5 Really Awesome Movies Hidden Inside Really Crappy MoviesFox
"I have no mouth, and I must scream at the fourth wall."

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4
The Fourth Indiana Jones Had Plenty Of Killer Story Ideas To Choose From

It's easy to see where the fourth installment of Indiana Jones went wrong: George Lucas.

5 Really Awesome Movies Hidden Inside Really Crappy MoviesRaymond Twist
If only there were a fourth installment warning sign...

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Oh, it also didn't help that the film followed the template of the second-worst installment of the franchise, Temple of Doom, and strayed from Indiana Jones classic strong points: findin' Christian relics and punchin' Nazis.

The better film they teased us with:

Crystal Skull does confirm something we always thought about Indiana Jones: Dropping him into WWII would be badass. The fourth installment plays all coy with us, dropping hints about the awesome stories we missed:

INDY: What exactly am I being accused of, besides surviving a nuclear blast?

FBI 2: Nothing yet. But frankly your association with George McHale makes all your activities suspicious, including those during the war.

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GENERAL BOB ROSS: Are you nuts? Do you have any idea how many medals this son of a bitch won?

FBI 2: A great many, I'm sure.

5 Really Awesome Movies Hidden Inside Really Crappy MoviesParamount Pictures
"And I'm not talking about the last three movies, unless they give medals for breaking shit."

Why tease us with that?! There's so much source material there for killer Indy stories. It's not like it's difficult to speculate how he might have earned those medals. Perhaps it was when he beat the Nazis to Atlantis...

5 Really Awesome Movies Hidden Inside Really Crappy MoviesLucasArts
You don't know the Indy theme till you've heard it in 8 bits.

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...Or when he found an ancient weapon more powerful than the atom bomb.

5 Really Awesome Movies Hidden Inside Really Crappy MoviesLucasArts
"You mean a hydrogen bomb?"
"No."

Or maybe he earned one when the Nazis tried to raise the dead with the Philosopher's Stone. If they'd just explored the stories they already had in the Indiana Jones universe, we could've seen Indiana Jones fighting Nazi zombies.

5 Really Awesome Movies Hidden Inside Really Crappy MoviesDark Horse Comics
We could have seen him swing a chainsaw whip.

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Any one of Indy's World War II adventures could have made a great film, but instead we watched our precious role model play second fiddle to Shia LaBeouf and his inexplicable monkey army.

3
Hancock Could Have Been About A Superpowered Interracial Couple Kicking Ass Through History

Hancock finally asked the question we've wondered forever: "What if a superhero was just drunk all the time, like us?" It seemed like the perfect premise, and it was -- for the first half hour or so of the film. Then it was blah blah something about love and amnesia or whatever. We don't remember. We were pretty drunk at the time.

5 Really Awesome Movies Hidden Inside Really Crappy MoviesColumbia Pictures
Note: This was the second most anticipated superhero film of 2008, not Iron Man.

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The better film they teased us with:

In an action-packed "characters calmly talking in a living room" scene, we learn Hancock and another character, Charlize Theron's Mary, have known each other for centuries, because thousands of years ago, immortal supermen roamed the earth. It's just that when they paired off with each other, they lost their powers and died, because marriage... sucks? Or maybe incest is bad. We don't know; metaphors are hard. Anyway, Hancock and Mary were one such item 80 years ago, but when John was attacked in an alleyway, his romantic powerlessness meant he couldn't defend himself, and came down with a cartoonish case of bonk-on-the-head amnesia.

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So to recap: Will Smith and Charlize Theron are literally made for each other, but their being together causes them to lose their powers and become mortal. Explaining all that was the bulk of the movie. It could have been accomplished in like, 10 minutes of good storytelling, or 30 seconds of lazy text-scroll. Instead, why not show us the consequences of a high-stakes, super-powered interracial relationship that spans all of modern history?

5 Really Awesome Movies Hidden Inside Really Crappy MoviesColumbia Pictures
"They attacked us in an alley in Miami in 1931. Instead of showing that, let me refer to it, as we sit in a room."

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Comic book superhero lovers bashing up ancient Egypt, ripping apart Victorian London -- even just setting Hancock during the American Civil War would have been killer: Two people who love one another are ripped apart by race and politics, and oh yeah, they throw cannons and shit. The only boring way to tell that story is to set it in modern day LA, and make the whole thing about how they might know each other. At the very least, it would have made a more interesting film than Hancock and Jason Bateman discussing PR for an hour.

5 Really Awesome Movies Hidden Inside Really Crappy MoviesColumbia Pictures
"We starred in a huge mistake."

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2
Independence Day 2 Should Have Been About A Guerilla War In Africa

Independence Day: Resurgence suffers from an acute case of sequelitis. It dutifully plods through all the same beats as the original, without any of the surprise or excitement. The same aliens show up, but this time in a really big spaceship. There is a really big alien. And a really big Will Smith-shaped hole.

5 Really Awesome Movies Hidden Inside Really Crappy Movies20th Century Fox
As we've established, Smith only stars in original, quality films.

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The better film they teased us with:

Dikembe Umbutu's Congolese, machete-wielding, alien-chopping badass was, by far, the best idea in the film. As the movie trudged along, half-heartedly aping the '90s version of itself, we learned through dialogue that Umbutu spent the last two decades battling the aliens from ID4 in hand-to-hand combat, learning everything he could about them, and losing everyone he loved in the process. Umbutu and his countrymen eventually won precisely the kind of war we envisioned here on Cracked six years ago -- all while the rest of the world was just holding hands and patting themselves on the back.

5 Really Awesome Movies Hidden Inside Really Crappy Movies20th Century Fox
Plus, his actor was named for a pornographic operating system.

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Umbutu's story would have been new, exciting, world-building and, most importantly, it would have featured lots and lots of aliens getting machete-chopped into invader-ceviche.

1
Batman v Superman Teased Batman's Juiciest Storyline

Batman v Superman currently has 28 percent on Rotten Tomatoes because it wanted to have its cake and eat it, too. How do you get two good guys to fight? The movie's answer was: don't. Instead, have them tussle for a second over a miscommunication that destroys a few abandoned buildings. No wonder the audience left feeling ripped off. That's like going to see Freddy Vs. Jason and watching them play checkers for an hour and a half.

5 Really Awesome Movies Hidden Inside Really Crappy MoviesWarner Bros. Pictures
"The title actually stands for 'Batman Views Superman.'"

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The better film they teased us with:

That's a shame, because Batman v Superman had the real answer all along: Just feature a Batman that breaks the one rule he actually obeys -- no killing. But how on earth did he get to that point? The film even sets that up!

5 Really Awesome Movies Hidden Inside Really Crappy MoviesWarner Bros. Pictures
It's in that scene showing Alfred doesn't do laundry.

That right there is an old Robin suit in Batman's collection. It's been vandalized by the Joker, in a mocking reference to some past tragedy. It's easy to guess what that is: Years ago, Joker killed Robin, and that sent Batman over the edge. Now Batman will do anything in his pursuit for justice, including murder. That, sadly, turns Superman against his old friend and ally. Now we have a movie -- with character development, self sacrifice, and no bullshit "Martha" moment to defuse the whole thing.

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We're not speculating on this one. Here's the director, Zack Snyder, saying, "In my mind, it was that Robin had died 10 years earlier during some run-in with a young Joker ... There had been loss and there had been sacrifice ... a dead Robin was helping us understand that he's been on quite a little journey."

Yes, it is. A hero, on a journey. Can you imagine that? So can we! Fucking show us.

Jacopo is the author of two novels you should be reading. Please get them here!

For more films that teased us way too much, check out 5 Famously Terrible Movies That Were Almost Great and 6 More Famously Terrible Movies That Were Almost Awesome.

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