6 Huge Problems In Movies They Could've Solved Way Easier
A good film can do so much. It can move us, inspire us, or show us how many punches it takes to kill a robot. But it can also frustrate the hell out of us. Movies work so hard to create these alternate realities for us to escape into and then shatter it all by having every character ignore the most obvious solutions to their problems. Like ...
Interstellar: What Was Your Plan Again, Future Humans?
For a movie ostensibly about saving humanity by leaping into a black hole to send physics calculations back in time through your daughter's bookcase, Interstellar's science mostly holds up. And this was no accident; director Christopher Nolan enlisted the help of cosmologist Kip Thorne to be the on-set black hole expert. This was unusual, since most movies base their science off half-remembered fifth-grade quizzes and dreams they had about sharks.
"Hang on, guys, we gotta stop production. Poindexter has another problem with the script."
So while the science of the film may be spot-on, the actual logic is a bit lacking. The climax sees the two remaining astronauts -- head pilot Coop and chief biologist Amelia "Love Transcends Space, Time, and Logic" Brand -- slipping toward a black hole. To avoid being crushed into space cat food, they hatch a dangerous plan: They turn the black hole into a gravitational slingshot. Unfortunately, it requires Coop to sacrifice himself, and he sadly sinks into it like a sad horse giving up in a Swamp of Sadness.
During the acid-trip descent, Coop records the important data one can only gather while floating around inside of a black hole. That's not the weird part, though. The weird part is that he ends up inside a tesseract, which is sort of a three-dimensional representation of four-dimensional time and space, and it looks sort of looks like a massive kaleidoscope of book shelves, which sort of looks like the floor of a New Mexico bathroom.
"My god! It's full of ... uh, something!"
It's already arguably ridiculous, but it gets stranger. The tesseract was created by humans in the future who've learned to manipulate time. They know Coop saved humanity by shoving books off his daughter's bookshelf and manipulating the hands on her old watch to play Morse code, so they built him a way to do that. It seems they couldn't build him a chalkboard or a fax machine, because the time in Interstellar is a closed loop -- which we think means it all happens concurrently and the tesseract was always there. So bad news if you were hoping for a movie in which he shoved the wrong book and historically rewrote his daughter to be a Hitler dinosaur.
Oh shit, that would have been a fun Act III.
We should have said this way earlier, but spoiler alert: Coop succeeds and his daughter uses those calculations to build a big-ass space colony and escape a shitty, dusty Earth. All it took was incredible luck and who knows how much time of Matthew McConaughey adjusting a watch!
So let's move past how incredibly inefficient dusty watch code is, and how Coop definitely would have gone mad before finishing. Why the shit didn't these future humans, who can build a time-traveling tesseract, not just hop in there and perform the calculations themselves? It seems like that adding "book poking robot" to a machine that spans the infinite timelines of dusty bookshelves wouldn't have been an impossible task for their development team.
"Hey Coop, how are you going to represent exponents with Morse code? And Greek letters? And math signs? And calculus symbols?"
Why even build humanity's only hope into a random-ass black hole and count on Matthew McConaughey to fall into it and volunteer for the most boring job in the universe? Those dick future people could have easily sent the message themselves, and to a time long before everyone on Earth was starving to death and choking on toxic ash. We don't know all the details about gravimetric chrono science, but we do know if you can build a time machine in the center of a black hole, you can probably send some spaceship plans back to Earth before everything sucked. And you can form a scheme that doesn't involve subjecting an astronaut to Data Entry Space Hell.
And why build humanity's only hope in a random-ass black hole somewhere sitting and waiting for Mcconaughey to alright-alright-alright his way into it? If it's a gravity thing, surely they could build one in a black hole they themselves have direct access to. And if you have the benefit of traveling through time and communicating in any capacity, why wait until Earth is literally on fire? Murph and Dr. Brand could have built the colony ship way earlier. While you're at it, send back a few futuristic cornbread recipes so they don't always have to eat corn straight off the cob.
Jaws -- Why Not Call The Newspaper?
Jaws is about a group of delicious swimmers who kept going into the water where a man-eating shark lives. In order for this film to work, it requires the mayor to be the most incompetent piece of shit the coast has ever known. The man is determined to keep the beach open for the sweet tourism money, and his denial of shark danger ends up being more of an obstacle to the heroes than the shark itself.
"We already paid to clean the hobos and medical waste off the beach! That should just be for nothing?!"
The movie is obviously 130 minutes of masterpiece, but couldn't it have been solved in about 10 if they thought to call a reporter? You don't need to convince anyone to close an entire beach. People will stay out of the water if the newspaper's top story is "SHARK EATS LOCAL FLESH" followed by "LUNATIC MAYOR THINKS FEEDING SWIMMERS TO SHARKS SOMEHOW GENERATES MONEY."
Even assuming the mayor had enough control over the local paper to suppress the story, a shark murder cover-up is probably interesting enough to make the regional TV news, and maybe the national wire services as well. What reporter is going to turn their nose up at the sordid tale of a serial killer shark and it scandalous cover-up by corrupt politicians? If Sheriff Brody is afraid he'd lose his job over it, fine, have Richard Dreyfuss make the call.
Christ, do something, Hooper.
Hell, even if every reporter in the world refused to believe this wild story of a three-ton predator eating human meat, how hard is it to simply tell people? Get out there and yell at everyone about how shark crime is rampant and it's not safe in the water. Bring a Frisbee and a picnic lunch and make a day out of it.
The Avengers -- Why Not Ask For A Nuke?
There are some problems with solutions so easy you may overlook them. Say a group of aliens are invading through a hole in the sky. What do you do? Most of us would say: "Find three superheroes and two humans with medieval weapons! And a nimble woman! Knock each of the aliens out as quickly as possible over the course of many years!"
"We also need a flying aircraft carrier, even though New York City is right by the ocean!"
As you may already know, this is exactly the Avengers' plan before Iron Man thinks to carry a bomb through the sky hole and destroy the aliens, including somehow all the ones who already came through and were nowhere near the bomb. But ... couldn't they have shot a bomb at the hole in the first place? Forget the arrows, the shield-bonking, the carrying a bomb through by hand -- just put a bomb on a missile and shoot it. That would have worked, right?
"But that's what they do!" you say. Well, no. They luck into that obvious solution against their will. The only reason they have a bomb to use is that Nick Fury's bosses decide to launch it at New York, apparently with the intent of scaring off the invaders by demonstrating to them how much better humans are at destroying cities. Tony Stark has to intercept it and improvise, barely sparing the city in the process. But ... why was there even a conflict here? Why weren't the Avengers calling Fury and saying, "Hey, the sky is shitting aliens, can you launch a cruise missile or two up there? The wormhole is pretty easy to see, but even if you miss, Tony can grab the bomb and help steer it up. Thanks, the rest of us are going to go get lunch."
"A nuclear bomb? On a missile? Like some kind of nuclear ... missile? Get your head out of your ass, Nick."
"But that would have put the whole city at risk if something went wrong!" And unleashing the Hulk didn't? At least a nuke has a fail-safe built in, right?
Back To The Future Part II -- Why Not Talk to Marty in 2015?
At the end of the first Back To The Future film, Doc Brown suddenly appears and desperately explains how he needs Marty and Jennifer's help to save their future children. But ... did he really? Marty endangered the entire space-time continuum on his last trip through time, and even got to watch his own hand as it ceased to ever be. His girlfriend has all the skills of a mediocre high school student with no idea what is going on or how anything is anything. Why exactly do you need them, Doc?
"To carry out this needlessly elaborate plan involving a body double instead of threatening to beat the shit out of Marty Jr. if he goes with Biff!"
Sure enough, the moment they get to the future, everything goes off the rails. Young Marty and Jennifer immediately get into bumbling antics wherein they barely avoid running into their future selves. This causes all kinds of problems that are fun to watch, but it's magnificently unnecessary. It's 2015. Marty has known about Doc and his time machine for 30 years. Doc could have casually approached him and said, "Hey, your son is about to get into some trouble, here's what you need to do. TRUST ME." If there was any pushback, he could remind Marty of the time he was almost trapped in 1955, or the time he was almost erased from goddamn history. Just ... just take his word for it, Marty.
"I've come to tell you to stop being an asshole, Marty! OK, the end, I guess!"
Instead of accidentally creating a ridiculous dystopia in which everyone agrees to put an amoral, idiot billionaire in charge, Doc could have had a 40-second conversation with a receptive old friend who had no reason to doubt him. In fact, he didn't even have to make the trip. He could have written him a letter and mailed it to him in 30 years. Seriously, why does this middle-aged, unbalanced nuclear arms dealer with high school friends keep doing such complicated and peculiar things?
Hellboy II -- Why Didn't They Get Rid of the Evil MacGuffin?
In the majestic story of Hellboy II: The Golden Army, there was once a swarm of indestructible magic robots (the titular Golden Army) created by an ancient elf king. After nearly annihilating the humans, a truce was declared and the magic crown used to control the Golden Army was broken into three pieces. So far, this is all standard robot army stuff, right? Well, two of the pieces were given to the elves, and the other was given to the humans. And now the elf king's evil son wants to put the crown back together to use the Golden Army to destroy humanity. You, of course, see where this is going. The people in the movie weren't as quick as you.
The evil prince murders his father to get one piece of the crown. He then gets another piece by murdering everyone at an auction. His twin sister, now starting to figure out his plan, takes the third piece and runs away. This is a very temporary solution, though, because she and her brother share a psychic bond and he can easily follow her.
This leads to an insane series of events, including tooth fairies getting tracked to a troll black market, a love story between the elf princess and a fish man, a meeting with the Angel of Death, and a hostage standoff. Hellboy is forced to give the evil prince the final piece of the crown in exchange for the princess, and the invincible army wakes up. Luckily, by some kind of technicality, Hellboy is able to challenge the prince to a fist fight to solve everything, and he wins! Unfortunately, the princess stabs herself to stop her brother and save Hellboy, and she and her brother die. We should mention there is a lot being left out -- Hellboy II's plot absolutely does not fuck around. But was ... any of it necessary?
Guillermo del Toro doesn't even know the meaning of the word "concise."
When it got put back together, the magic crown does one thing: turn on an army of unstoppable killer robots. Was there any good reason for the princess to keep it? Is there any kind of humanitarian reason you'd need a bunch of unkillable murderbots? Why not destroy her part of the crown immediately? Smash it, melt it, un-magic it ... we don't know all the rules on mystical elf relics, but shouldn't she? She's an ancient fairy creature. For her, a wizard crown is barely more interesting than a regular hat. She probably thinks about wizard crowns the way we think about electric toothbrushes or heated toilet seats. Imagine how quickly you could destroy a heated toilet seat. That's how long this movie could have been.
Terminator -- Why does Time-Hunted Sarah Connor Keep Going By "Sarah Connor?"
We've found it necessary before to mention how this time-traveling murder robot franchise makes no goddamn sense. But, moving past the time paradoxes, the alternate timelines, and the obnoxious kids going impossibly unsmacked, there's one solution that could have ended all of humanity's future robot issues before they even began.
Sarah Connor merely needed to change her stupid name. All Skynet knows is that a woman named Sarah Connor will one day poop out humanity's savior. We know from the first movie that the stupid robots didn't even know which Sarah Connor will do the pooping. When the original T-800 went back in time, he literally went through the phone book killing Sarah Connors like he was checking which Domino's delivered to his address.
The One True Sarah Connor saw this happening on the news, had her suspicions confirmed by Kyle Reese, and immediately leapt onto Kyle's futuristic penis. That's understandable for a woman meeting Michael Biehn in his prime, but it didn't really solve anything. Why didn't she A) leave Los Angeles and B) change her and her son's name? Maybe it's only a temporary solution, but at the very least she could call herself AAA Locksmithing and her son Red Lobster and buy them an extra few years of planning.
"Oh man, that's way better than going by 'Con Jonnor.'"
Despite it being something no Terminator movie writer ever did, let's think this through. Say she keeps hiding and changes their names again to Squanto and Templeton Dickbasket. The robots would spend years killing random Sarah Connors, AAA Locksmithings, and Red Lobsters hoping to get the right people. That would eventually lead to a future in which Skynet sends robots to hunt down Templeton Dickbasket, this time with the ability to search via the internet. Fine. So then he becomes "Daenerys Targaryen" or "Hot Incest Creampie." At this point, John Connor's identity is buried in so deep that the robots will have to kill through all of humanity and all of its restaurants, fiction, and pornography to find him.
Basically, they'd be leaving one war against all of mankind to start a new war against all of mankind back when there was way more mankind. All the while their greatest enemy gets to walk around with a series of awesome names. Checkmate, stupid robots.
Plus, "Ace Dongslayer" will look so cool on a memorial statue.
Follow us on Facebook, and we'll follow you everywhere.