We’ve all felt it. We’re watching a movie, rooting for a character, and all of a sudden, they settle on a course of action that gleefully makes no sense. Why are they doing this, we wonder (or shout at our screen), exasperated and amused that they are not seeing the obvious. And yet, without these silly plans, these films wouldn’t be what they are: a lot of fun. Here are some of our very favourite examples.
1. The Boss (2016)
Business tycoon Michelle Darnell (Melissa McCarthy) meets her demise when she is sentenced for insider trading, and after a spell in prison, has nowhere to go but her former assistant’s couch. However, she doesn’t stay stumped for long. Inspired by a ten-year-old, she launches a brownie bakery business with the help of a legion of former Girl Scouts. Yup, that’s apparently a surefire way of making a mint.
The Boss is available on Sky Cinema from Friday 24th March
2. Despicable Me (2010)
Disgruntled that he has been out-villained by his competitor Vector, Gru (Steve Carell) decides to shrink and steal the moon. The plan involves adopting adorable orphans in order to nab the required shrink ray, and securing a loan from the Bank of Evil. What can we say? It’s beautifully, delightfully, silly.
3. Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)
The evil Sauron is uniting his forces across Middle Earth, and he only needs that one magical ring in order to rule supreme. The good guys thankfully have it, and need to get rid of it, presto. They form a fellowship and do the long and arduous hike to Mordor - the Dark Lord’s HQ and the only place the ring can be destroyed. Here’s the hitch: the elf Lady Galadriel (Cate Blanchett) has a whole flock of giant eagles at her disposition. Why don’t they fly the group with the ring straight there - thereby saving everyone a lot of time, trouble and heartache? We’re still puzzling.
4. Horrible Bosses (2011)
Three employees who have terrible bosses decide that the easiest solution to their troubles would be to um, murder them. Nope, filing a complaint to HR or getting another job doesn’t really get a serious consideration. To top it off, they hire a ‘murder consultant’ who’s entirely useless. All sort of absurd antics ensure.
5. Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)
Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) is traumatised by the Chitauri attack on New York, and wants to launch a worldwide artificial intelligence defence system in order to prevent further invasions. The only problem is that when he and the Avengers press the button, what emerges instead is the villain Ultron (James Spader). Who, as it happens, is hellbent on destroying all humans. All points for effort, zero for execution, guys.
6. Armageddon (1998)
An asteroid is hurtling towards Earth, ensuring our swift end as a species unless something throws it off its course. The plan is to plant a bomb in the asteroid deep enough to do just that. To that end, NASA recruits the best drillers in the world and trains them to be astronauts – seemingly ignoring the fact that it’d probably be just a lot simpler to teach professional astronauts how to drill.
7. Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011)
After testing potential Alzheimer’s cures on chimps, Will (James Franco) decides to adopt one with unusual intelligence. No one seems to question this as risky or ethically dubious, or even suggest that maybe, just maybe, Will shouldn’t be exposing his adoptee to all of these high-tech, ability-enhancing drugs. Ahem.
Find Rise of the Planet of the Apes in On Demand > Movies > Virgin Movies
8. X-Men: The Last Stand (2006)
In the third X-Men instalment, Magneto (Ian McKellen) is set on destroying the cure to the mutant gene (plus the usual world domination stuff). It is however a little weird that he chooses to team up with Jean Grey (Famke Janssen), who as the Dark Phoenix is no longer in control of her abilities. And she’s the most powerful mutant around. So rather expectedly, when she loses it, she endangers everyone, Erik’s side included.
Find X-Men: The Last Stand in On Demand > Movies > Virgin Movies
9. Batman Begins (2005)
After his moment of crisis, Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) disappears to faraway mountains and is trained by Ra’s al Ghul (Liam Neeson) in martial arts, along with every other sort of skill a superhero might need. So it seems a little silly of Ra’s to have served as mentor to someone who was going to end up opposing him. The League of Shadows, after all, was scheming to destroy Gotham city. Couldn’t the villain have guessed that Bruce Wayne would be intent on saving his home – and prove to be his deadliest foe?