5 Movie Conflicts That Only Happened To Advance The Plot

Action heroes need to overcome obstacles before they kick all of the asses presented to them in chronological order. After all, their victories need to feel like they were earned, through much struggle and hardship. But sometimes screenwriters can't think of a good way to accomplish that, so they whip up some absurd personal or bureaucratic nonsense instead, like being refused service at the DMV because you're wearing a beer helmet. It's part of our religion, Janice. Look it up.

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5
The Rebellion in Rogue One Wants To Surrender To A Threat They Don't Think Exists

In Star Wars: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story About Star Wars, Jyn Erso, the Star Wars character who sounds most like an Asian car model, informs the Rebellion about the existence of the Death Star. A few members of the Rebel Council support her plan to steal the Death Star's schematics, but most either don't believe that the weapon exists, think it's all a trap, or decide that they should surrender to the Empire in the face of such overwhelming superiority instead. Eventually, the Council leans toward disbanding the Rebellion ... because of a weapon half of them don't believe is real. Wait ... what?

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Oh, and the reason some of them don't trust Jyn in the first place is because she's the daughter of the Death Star's designer ... which is also the exact same reason they sent her out to find information about the Death Star at the start.

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Ultimately, Jyn gives an inspiring speech on the nature of hope ... to which the Council responds with a series of fart noises. Remember, the Rebellion has already been fighting for years, and was formed entirely to wage a series of risky battles against a much more powerful foe; the only reason they were being doubtful here is because the movie needed a drama infusion, stat. Luckily, the Rebel Fleet eventually does show up and help out, right when things were looking their most grim. Sadly, we weren't shown the scene where the Rebellion's Death Star Truthers rounded up the rest of the council and made them watch YouTube videos until they all saw the light.

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4
The Guy In Charge Of Defense In Independence Day Objects To Defending Things

If everyone on Team Good Guy agrees that their daring plan to stop the villains is brilliant and flawless, that kills the suspense. So Independence Day gave us Secretary of Defence Albert Nimziki, whose sole purpose is doubting our heroes, even if there's absolutely no reason to do so.

When Jeff Goldblum first suggests his desperate plan to stop the overwhelmingly powerful aliens by giving their mothership a virus, Nimziki's response is "This is ridiculous" before calling it a "cockamamie plan" and complaining that they don't have the manpower or resources. He then offers absolutely no alternative suggestions, despite the fact that that is his entire job.

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Remember, they're coming up with this plan after:

A) They discovered the aliens intended to exterminate humanity.

B) Most of the military had already been wiped out, and ...

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C) Pretty much every other option, including the use of nuclear missiles, had failed.

So Nimziki's objections boil down to "Nuh uh, this will never work, let's just sit around and wait to die instead." He's the friend who shoots down every pizza topping after claiming he's "up for whatever." The plan, of course, works -- making Nimziki look both cowardly and stupid for ever doubting it. After all, what good is saving the world if it's not in somebody's face?

3
Die Hard 2's Captain Lorenzo Hates John McClane For Absolutely No Reason

Die Hard 2: Die Hard In An Airport features the beginning of John McClane's transition from relatable everyman to a cursed muscle lord doomed to encounter elaborate criminal activities wherever he roams. Early on in this extremely pre-9/11 film, McClane gets in a shootout at the baggage claim, and discovers that the man he just killed is a mercenary who was supposed to be dead already. He takes this suspicious information to airport police chief Captain Lorenzo, who immediately ... becomes a huge bureaucratic pain in the ass, solely because a more reasonable response would end the movie in about 15 minutes.

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Lorenzo complains about McClane breaking regulations, doesn't bother to properly investigate the crime scene, and accuses McClane of gunning down a luggage thief and blowing it out of proportion because his fame has gone to his head. All of which is completely unwarranted. And this is after McClane points out that the dead man was carrying an obscure, expensive gun designed to beat airport security which -- even if Lorenzo wasn't genre-savvy enough to realise that he was in a sequel by now -- should have clued him in that he was dealing with more than a desperate underwear thief.

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Instead, Lorenzo has McClane thrown out of his office. Then, even after the full scope of the attack on the airport is revealed when the bad guys crash a plane, killing hundreds, Lorenzo threatens to throw McClane in jail. He eventually does try to arrest John, before finally accepting that his whole purpose in life is to be a designated naysayer, and comes around. In the end, Lorenzo apologises to McClane by tearing up a parking ticket he got at the start of the movie. It's unclear how he deals with the psychic weight of the hundreds of deceased souls that died horrifically because he "just plain didn't like the dude's face."

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2
The Argument Over Detonating The Nuke In Armageddon Is Pointless Drama

In Armageddon, a team of oil drillers are recruited to blow up an asteroid that threatens to annihilate all life on Earth, because Michael Bay went to film school in a burning dumpster. The plan is to drill 800 feet into the asteroid and then detonate a nuke inside it, because a direct hit on the surface of the improbably tough rock would be ineffective. But then, of course, there's a plot twist, wherein the government decides to remotely detonate the nuke on the surface ...

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Soldiers forcibly occupy mission control down on Earth, while up in space, William Fichtner gets his space-gun out to space-seize the space-nuke.

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"The president's advisors feel that the drilling isn't working," General Keith David tells a lead scientist inexplicably played by Billy Bob Thornton, even though Thornton points out that "they haven't drilled the damn hole yet."

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Every intelligent (relatively speaking) person in the movie has made it explicitly clear at this point that detonating the nuke on the surface will do approximately fuck all to the asteroid, yet the government's argument is "Our plan might not work, so we're going to switch to a plan that definitely won't work," because apparently this 150-minute movie about blowing up a big rock needed to be padded out.

And this comes before the drilling team faces their more serious obstacles, like one of their drills breaking down. This scene might make sense if it came when the heroes were really struggling -- a last-minute act of desperation -- but as it is, it feels like the president is secretly siding with the asteroid, a foreign force that clearly doesn't care at all for our well-being. Colluding with it, even.

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1
Just Offer Peter Parker A Wrestling Contract

Early in 2002's Spider-Man, which was the Spider-Man before the Spider-Man, Peter wanted to impress Mary Jane by buying a car, because he thinks he lives in 1950s rural Nebraska and not modern-day New York City. Luckily, he finds a newspaper ad promising the exact amount of money he needs. Movie magic! The catch: He has to survive three minutes in the ring with a pro wrestler at a sketchy cage match. Lord knows we've all been there.

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Parker not only survives the match but also wins it. It looks like he just made an easy 3,000 bucks, but the sleazy promotor only gives him a hundred, arguing that Parker didn't earn the money because the fight only lasted two minutes. The promoter is then immediately robbed, and Parker lets the thief escape in retaliation. But that same thief soon kills Uncle Ben, Spider-Man 3 is eventually made, and all of life is revealed to be a cruel puzzle with no solution.

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But let's back up. Why did the promotor stiff Parker in the first place? Yeah, he only lasted two minutes (heh), but he just beat up a professional wrestler with inhuman strength, acrobatics, and freaking web slingers. The crowd went from cheering for his grisly death to loving him within moments. Fans would pay damn good money to see more of a mysterious masked man who can walk up walls, jump unnatural heights, and kick serious ass. That's why we keep making Spider-Man movies, at any rate. Why on Earth wouldn't the manager sign him up on the spot, and make Parker the guy who annihilates mooks answering the newspaper ad?

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But no, Uncle Ben Must Die, so the promotor prioritizes being a jerk to Parker over doing his job and getting rich. Maybe when the Spider-Man franchise is inevitably rebooted again in a few years this plot point can be addressed.

Molly is an avid reader and writer with all sorts of millennial dreams. Is also willing to write for food. Joel B. Kirk is a San Francisco Bay Area resident. He plans to produce and act in his own films for the masses, as well as write for television someday.

For more things that make no sense in films, check out 7 Movies That Made You Ignore That Their Plots Make No Sense and 5 Dumb Things Movie Characters Do Only to Advance the Plot.

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