Let's face it: Most of mankind's plans, regardless of what they're actually for, never go any father than shitting your pants and begging for mercy. And that's why we praise movie characters when they actually come up with a solid, convoluted plan that doesn't end with sobbing and an impromptu diaper. That said, sometimes they come up with way, way too elaborate plans that make things way longer and more difficult than they ever logically should be. For example ...
The elders in The Village, the film that revealed the first cracks in M. Night Shyamalan's plot-twist-filled armor, so had it with '70s disco music and mustachioed porn stars that they decided to up and leave civilization behind. They eschew all present-day technology and pretend their new settlement exists in the 1800s. And to ensure that their children are never seduced by the outside world and its Harry Potter books, meth-fueled orgies, and meth-fueled Harry Potter-themed orgies, they pretend the woods are full of monsters that'll attack anybody who tries to leave. Basically, it's Mike Pence's living room.
Eventually, one of the kids stabs another kid out of boner-fueled jealousy, and the only way the wounded teenager will survive is with modern medicine. But anybody who goes out into the modern world to get some will inevitably see a Waffle House and refuse to return to their life of chewy venison and grass pies in favor of countless delicious All-Star Specials. The elders decide to solve this problem by sending a blind girl, Ivy. She eventually hops over the border between the woods and the real world and gets the medicine. She's never in danger of seeing any horseless carriages whizzing by or any trailers for Thor: Ragnarok, so she doesn't learn the truth. Everybody wins!
Hold It ...
Why didn't one of the elders just go themselves?
Even though Ivy successfully snags some medication from a friendly park ranger, the whole trip runs into an array of problems. To start, the people tasked with accompanying Ivy immediately abandon her, believing the monsters would kill them. Once her guards leave, Ivy is forced to avoid the aforementioned boner-jealousy guy, who has dressed as a monster. This is sort of tough, especially because, oh yeah, she can't see shit. So now we've got this blind woman wandering through the woods alone trying to avoid getting stabbed or falling into a hole somewhere. All so you can protect your kids from learning about Xbox Live.
Any of the elders could have grabbed a walking stick and gotten the medicine themselves real quick. There'd be zero problems. Sure, they're each about as old as Benjamin Franklin's farts, but they also know the layout of the forest and aren't -- and this is surprisingly crucial -- suuuper blind. Also, they are remarkably set in their ways. You know who has the worst chance of becoming swayed by the evil sex and sins of 2004? Someone who hasn't had an erection since the Nixon administration. They can go out, grab the medicine, and never have to worry about blossoming minds succumbing to the allure of a Black Eyed Peas album.
When the hyperdrive on Queen Amidala's spaceship gives out in The Phantom Menace, it's up to Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn to figure out a solution. After realizing that kicking Jar-Jar out into the cold vacuum of space to reduce weight won't be enough, Qui-Gon decides to land the ship on Tatooine and purchase parts for repairs. Problem: Tatooine is the sandy asshole of the Galaxy, so this may be tough to do legally.
The only guy who appears to have the right stuff is flying bug / awful Jewish stereotype Watto, who refuses Republic credits as payment. And Qui-Gon's furious Force hand-waving doesn't work, since Watto's mind is too strong -- or too distracted by Natalie Portman -- to have any effect. However, as Watto's slave, Anakin, seems gifted in the Force, Qui-Gon wagers his ship against the repairs, and the boy's freedom, provided that Anakin can win the next podrace. Watto eagerly accepts the deal, because Anakin crashes pretty much all the time. Fortunately, Anakin somehow wins, and he's freed to go murder a bunch of younglings and plunge the galaxy into horrific, genocidal warfare. Hell of a maneuver, Qui-Gon.
Hold It ...
Why not go mind-trick somebody else or ... do anything else?
Before you say something about Qui-Gon adhering to the Jedi Code or whatever, remember that he literally tried to brainwash the first person they encountered on the planet before giving up and pinning the fate of Naboo on the racing skills of a whiny ten-year-old. Why not mind-trick some other vendor? And if that doesn't work, simply play a couple hands of space poker or do some underground street fighting. It's hard to walk two feet in Tatooine without bumping into someone who wants to rip your face off; it can't be that difficult to palm-shake your way into some high-stakes bare-knuckle boxing.
If all that feels like too much effort, why not trade the Queen's ship for a functional ship that could safely transport them through space (and hide their identity better than the Queen's personal ship, which all but screams "Abduct me!")? Why not buy passage on an intergalactic bus, or freaking hire a smuggler guy like Han Solo to transport them, like in A New Hope? All of those options would take all of a few hours to sort out. And at no point would anyone ever have to hear Anakin scream "NOW THIS IS PODRACING!" And that, my friends, is the greatest treasure of all.
The emotional turning point of Fast & Furious -- the last movie before they decided to add the Rock and make the series watchable -- is the brutal "murder" (later retconned away) of Vin Diesel's main girl, Letty. Diesel's character leaves her to protect her from ... crime, we guess? But to the surprise of exactly nobody, Letty decides against getting a barista job at Starbucks and immediately turns to the life of crime she'd never left to support herself without Diesel and his improbably thick neck.
And apparently, when Letty decides to do some crime, she goes all-in. Letty skips over growing her own pot or smuggling fidget spinners and dives straight into the heroin trade. Naturally, her boss' recruitment plan is to essentially hold street races and then offer spots on his heroin-running team to the winners. Letty wins the tryout race, of course, but what she doesn't know is that the drug lord, Braga, only has his drivers run heroin a couple of times before capping them in the head, ensuring the location of his secret tunnel route never leaks.
Hold It ...
How has Braga not run out of drivers yet?
This plan requires him to host a massive street race every couple of weeks, with enough attention to attract all of the area's best drivers. Again, the drivers competing in these races can't be random scrubs -- otherwise they'd never pull off the precise driving required to navigate Braga's route. How being good at straight-ahead street racing successfully translates to speeding through underground caverns at night isn't covered.
But doesn't anybody notice that the winners of these races disappear a few weeks after their win? Surely, word would get around. These are some of the best and most notorious drivers in the world, and at this point, Letty has already been involved in several major heists that warranted FBI attention. Also, how many insanely talented muscle car drivers are there? The series makes very clear that Dom's gang are almost supernaturally gifted vroom-vroomers, so how long is it before Braga exhausts his supply of competent drivers? After a few runs, he's going to be trying to recruit from the delivery team at his local Jimmy John's.
Braga puts a massive amount of effort into to constantly recruiting these one-of-a-kind drivers, only to blow them away a short time later. That's like if the band Dragonforce kept holding guitar battles to find a new replacement guitarist, only to shove them offstage to their deaths every three shows. Eventually, they're going to run out of musicians capable of playing their highly technical speed metal songs without bleeding all over the place. And no, nailing "Through The Fire And Flames" on Guitar Hero won't qualify you.
The Prestige follows the epic, bitter rivalry between two grown-up, this-is-literally-their-only-job magicians, Robert Angier and Alfred Borden. After a few years of screwing with each other's acts, Borden comes out with a trick called "The Transported Man," wherein he seemingly transports from one end of the room to the other instantaneously. Angier cannot figure out how Borden pulls this off, but he makes it his mission to one day come up with a better version. According to The Prestige, a magician's life is one-third tricks, two-thirds overwhelming obsession and vengeance.
Thankfully, Angier goes to meet Cracked.com's Nikola Tesla, who happens to have built a big goddamn cloning machine. In the 1890s. Totally ignoring all the wonderful masturbatory possibilities the machine offers, Angier decides to use it in his act, because he's responsible. Countering Borden, Angier uses this thing at every gig, duplicating himself and killing the most recent "original Angier" via trap door, drowning him(self) in a tank full of water. Angier then lugs his drowned clones to a big warehouse for ... safekeeping? Or to kinda look at 'em, we guess.
Thankfully, each new clone has all of Angier's memories -- along with his winning Hugh Jackman-y smile and penchant for card tricks -- so it's almost like he never horribly drowned to death at all!
Hold It ...
Why would you ever need more than one clone?
At what point does Angier realize that he doesn't need to keep duplicating himself, but rather that he could use the same damn duplicate over and over? It's got his memories and stuff, so it wouldn't take too much convincing to get his clone to participate in the best plan in the world. After all, Angier consistently chooses to love magic over everything else in his life. It'll take two seconds before his clone would say, "Oh, not just lots of money, but lots and lots of money? Consider me in, me."
This option doesn't even appear to cross Angier's mind, since at the end of the movie, when he learns that Borden's version of the trick utilizes his twin brother, it blows Angier's magical mind. Why has Angier never considered that? Hell, he could make three or four clones and do an even crazier transportation trick, with them showing up under people's seats and beside them at the urinal. Of course, Angier would never consider this, as he's the kind of magician who would surgically graft a coin to the back of your skull just so you could pull it from behind your ear.
There's also the possibility that the cloning machine is the most brilliant magic trick of all time, but even then, dude, get a job.
In X2: X-Men United, William Stryker attempts to use a brainwashed Professor X and a duplicate of the mega mutant Tinder, Cerebro, to psychically blow up the brains of every mutant on the planet. The plan is to infiltrate Xavier's school, gut the existing machine, and restore it at their elaborate underground dam base. But before they can start creeping around a school, Stryker first needs the president's permission. To endear the president to his desires, Stryker brainwashes Nightcrawler into an attempted assassination. Then, because he's still miffed about the whole attempt-on-his-life-by-a-mutant thing, the president readily gives Stryker his approval to do whatever he wants with that school.
Hold It ...
Why does Stryker need POTUS' permission for this, exactly?
Stryker seemingly doesn't need anybody to sign off on all the other bad shit he's been doing. A few things that the president didn't need to OK: performing experiments on mutants, kidnapping Xavier, building a sprawling secret base filled with soldiers, starting the plotline that would lead to X-Men Origins: Wolverine. When the president is shown all the things Stryker's been up to at the end of the film, he has no idea what anybody's talking about.
At this point, nobody knows about Xavier's school. Why is Stryker so confident that he could build a big dam base without the president knowing, but he isn't sure how to cover up that he's going to attack a random school that essentially doesn't exist? That's like successfully turning your bedroom into a brothel without anybody finding out, and then asking your parents if it's cool to go bang a prostitute at Jeff's house. They didn't know Jeff had a prostitute until you told them, moron. Except if this was Stryker, he'd also hire some hooker to attack your parents so they'll be okay with you revenge-fucking a prostitute. To put it bluntly, William Stryker probably would've gotten away with it, if he hadn't gotten mixed up with one too many hookers.
For more, check out 6 Movie Plots That Could Have Been Solved In Minutes and 6 Movie Plots Solved In Minutes With Common Sense.
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