Pretty much any big organization in a movie is somehow all-powerful while also secretly being run worse than your local Chipotle. Despite access to incredible resources and manpower, most big movie organizations approach every problem in the least efficient way possible. Need to kill a guy? Send a drunk teenager armed with a slowly asphyxiating shark. Need to quietly infiltrate the government? Send a peg-legged woman with a Rage Against the Machine face tattoo. For example ...
If there's one thing we know about King Kong, it's that he hates aircraft. Virtually every movie depiction of Mr. Kong includes a scene wherein he smacks a flying machine right out of the sky. His most recent adventure, Kong: Skull Island, found all sorts of ways for the super-sized simian to battle helicopters, despite being set about a thousand miles from the nearest airport.
Kong wrecks helicopters so thoroughly that Samuel L. Jackson's character is inspired to go on the warpath for twisted vengeance. But wouldn't it have been easier to pull back on those joysticks a bit? Kong is huge, but the damn monkey can't actually fly. Yet for some ridiculous reason, these battle-tested veterans decide to maneuver their helicopters like X-Wings flying through the Death Star trench. They fly so close to Kong that they could chuck rocks if they run out of ammo.
Seriously, what is their strategy, beyond creating cool visuals? Are they worried they won't be able to line up a shot? Because Kong is 104 feet tall and their guns have an effective firing range of up to 1,200 yards when trying to hit a human. They don't have to get within swatting distance to do some damage. Any King Kong movie should realistically end with Kong dying in a hail of gunfire from offscreen vehicles. And it's even worse in movies with modern technology. In Pacific Rim and Cloverfield, the Air Force attacks land-bound aliens with modern fighter jets by flying between the monsters' goddamn legs.
That's about a step away from the Air Force strapping an F-14 onto the back of a pickup truck and driving at them. In modern dogfights, the weaponry has such long range that planes typically never even see each other. Yet when a monster the size of the Golden Gate Bridge appears, the Air Force's highest priority is to get an aerial view of the thing's taint.
In I Am Legend, Will Smith's Robert Neville survives because the virus-mutated feral people living in New York City are unable to expose themselves to direct sunlight. So during the day, Neville is free to walk around outside. The monsters seem stupid and cruel, but they're smart enough to realize that the sun boils their skin.
But then we learn that the mutants are intelligent, because they use a lure and a snare trap to catch and knock out Neville. The mutants can't grab him right away because it's still daytime, but as the sun goes down, a mutant and his infected dogs approach while using shadows for cover.
So ... why don't they simply wear some damn hoodies? We know this is a usable workaround, because earlier Neville does exactly that. He needed a mutant to study, so he went out in broad daylight, threw a blanket over one's head, and pulled it into the sunlight unharmed. We see it's only direct sunlight that causes damage, not general exposure to the outdoors. A big, sturdy parasol would open up the entire city for these guys. And even if they couldn't figure any of that out, why not throw something at Neville? He's literally just hanging there. They're smart enough to manipulate him with a mannequin and rig a complex trap using a pulley system and cars, but they never considered the possibility of chucking spears or a few big rocks as he hung there unconscious for hours?
Warner Bros. Pictures
You're a hip young InGen executive looking for a way to capitalize on your company's ability to build dinosaurs. You've heard the horror stories about the original Jurassic Park, but you're also reasonably sure that a zoo populated with live dinosaurs would generate enough money to create a life-sized Cocainosaurus. You're not dumb, so you take countless safety precautions to ensure there won't be another disaster. You hire tons of staff, beef up security with cutting-edge technology, and build enormous gates in all of the dino enclosures so that the dinosaurs won't even have to duck when they step through to maul everybody.
This was not a regular zoo animal. The Indominous Rex was raised in captivity inside of his corral. There was never a reason for it to leave. If it ever needed medical treatment or something, just sedate it and treat it where it's safely secured. Everyone on the island is surprised when the dinosaur escapes, but that's like being shocked when your dog bolts out the doggy door. It's ridiculous that at no point an engineer said, "Maybe this door should be human-sized, since only humans will ever use it. R-right, guys?"
Say you want to murder someone as part of a conspiracy to suppress knowledge of the nasty side effects of a drug. Again. This happens to you with surprising frequency, doesn't it? Anyway, this time you need it to be completely untraceable, like when you ran someone off the road. You know your target's happily married and reasonably fit, so how about sending a one-armed dude to enter the victim's house while his wife is home? Fucking nailed it.
Virtually every facet of the plan to kill Dr. Richard Kimble in The Fugitive is moronic. First, the assassin they send, Sykes, objectively sucks. Which makes sense, because he only has one goddamn arm. Sykes can only baaarely murder Dr. Kimble's wife after a protracted struggle.
Warner Bros. Pictures
It was quick thinking to frame Kimble for his wife's murder, but why was Sykes surprised she was there in the first place? The whole plan seemed based on the belief that Kimble's wife wouldn't be in, despite her being a normal human who likely returns home at the end of most days. And yet Sykes is shocked to find Mrs. Kimble in her own house at, like, 10 p.m.
There are dozens of better plans. If you're such a powerful pharmaceutical company that makes such dangerous drugs, why not poison Kimble? Or why not stab him in a Taco Bell bathroom and make it look like a classic case of Doritos Locos madness? Whatever you do, don't let yourself into his house with one of his keys, engage him in combat with one arm, and forget his freaking wife exists. Absolutely anything is better than that.
Doc, the brilliant criminal kingpin in Baby Driver, has one rule: Never use the same team twice. That keeps crew members from getting too comfortable with each other and joining up against him, or from getting on each others' nerves and blowing things. The only exception is Baby, because he drives like a badass, is in Doc's debt, and is a gangly kid with tinnitus who doesn't exactly scream "physical threat."
Doc has implicitly lived and survived by this rule for years, and he fanatically sticks to it ... until the third heist of the film. For the biggest job in the movie, Doc changes one guy, but otherwise the crew is identical to the one used for the opening bank job. All he did was swap out Jon Bernthal's character, who has issues with Baby, with a maniacal Jamie Foxx, who ... has issues with Baby. Was that supposed to make some dramatic difference? He also kept the two Bonnie and Clyde-esque criminal lovers. Shockingly, that backfires!
Maybe this crew was particularly effective, or maybe they were a lot of fun during post-heist Applebee's happy hour, but from what we see in the first two heists, the only skills required are driving like crazy, which Baby has covered, and pointing guns at people while screaming loudly. There's nothing special or unique about this team, besides the fact that two of them are utterly unhinged -- and surprise, that's why the job goes to hell.
Doc also sends his team of maniacs to buy guns from crooked cops without bothering to tell them about the "cop" part, leading the crew to the somewhat reasonable assumption that this was all a sting, which results in a giant, wasteful shootout.
It's like it was everybody's first day doing crime, and none of them paid attention during the training.
Get to writing your own incompetent baddies with a beginner's guide to Celtx.
Support Cracked's journalism with a visit to our Contribution Page. Please and thank you.
For more harebrained baddies, check out 6 Stupid Things Movie Villains Did (For No Apparent Reason) and The 6 Stupidest Plots Of Supposedly Smart Movie Villains.
Follow us on Facebook ... we dare you.