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Movies are designed, to an extent, as a form of wish fulfillment. There’s a reason why so many characters in films are portrayed by good-looking actors and actresses. It’s because the general movie-going public would much rather pretend they’re Brad Pitt than Paul Giamatti. While drama is usually derived from characters going through hardships, entertainment is usually derived from characters experiencing things that the audience would like to experience themselves but can’t. The combination of drama and escapism is what makes for great entertainment. Whether it’s watching your life fall apart while becoming a powerful drug kingpin, like Breaking Bad, or finding out your father is a mass murderer while discovering the ability to move things with your mind, like Star Wars, without giving the audience something spectacular to experience vicariously, many of these stories would be too dramatic or sad to really be called entertainment.

However, when spending any amount of time considering the practicality of some of these vicarious wonders, it becomes clear that the suspension of disbelief has to be elevated in certain cases more than others. If audiences are going to enjoy putting themselves into the mind of a character with incredible powers, they can’t spend too much time questioning whether said powers would be worth having in the first place. For some movies, this question on the actual usefulness of said powers is painfully obvious. For others, such powers do require a bit of consideration before one realizes their lack of practicality.

For reasons of illumination (a power that could be practical, depending on how dark it is at any given time), I present to you the top ten powers in film that wouldn’t really be that great in real life.

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This article was first posted on August 18, 2013