10 Movies That Struggled To Define Their Own Rules

Overthink it at your own peril.

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No movie should be rejected simply because it has a ridiculous premise, because as long as the world within which the film exists is internally consistent, there's no reason why audiences can't go along for the ride.

It becomes frustrating, however, when writers either refuse to adhere to their own established ground rules or, worse still, don't even bother to lay down the basic fundamentals.

These 10 movies, whether genuinely brilliant or undeniably messy, all touted high concepts which asked audiences to accept a certain suspension of disbelief.

There's no inherent problem with that, except that not a single one of these films managed to outlay a clear set of rules with regard to physics, timeline mechanics, the hero's moral code, or even the simple size of the feature character, in turn leaving fans more than a little frustrated.

In many cases the rest of the movie was fantastic enough that viewers could simply accept the inconsistency and move on, but for films that were already on the borderline, it was enough to turn the nitpickers off entirely...

10. The Future Is Not Set (Or Is It?) - Terminator 2: Judgment Day

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The Terminator franchise has a habit of flip-flopping on its own prevailing philosophy when it's convenient for its box office.

Though the brilliant Terminator 2 came up with Sarah Connor's (Linda Hamilton) iconic mantra, "no fate but what we make," it's hardly one that's emblematic of the series as a whole.

And it all begins with the original Terminator movie, which has Kyle Reese (Michael Biehn) reciting the message, "the future is not set," even though John Connor's very conception appears to be ordained by the law of determinism itself.

T2 nevertheless concluded with the hopeful implication that the destined apocalyptic future had been averted, only for Terminator 3 to completely reverse that, insisting that Judgment Day was always inevitable, as is reinforced by Terminator: Salvation's future war setting.

By the time Terminator Genisys and Terminator: Dark Fate materialised, the franchise had settled into a routine of melding the familiar with the "new," and the fated with the unpredictable.

Genisys presented a villainous John Connor (Jason Clarke) while revisiting several classic franchise moments, and Dark Fate killed off Connor only to deliver a thinly-veiled rehash of the first two movies.

At this point we get into a meta-discussion of the series' goals, which are sadly always going to put Cameron's ultimate message at the mercy of box office bucks.

The grand irony, of course, is that with Dark Fate's commercial failure, the future of the franchise itself is anything but set.


Stay at home dad who spends as much time teaching his kids the merits of Martin Scorsese as possible (against the missus' wishes). General video game, TV and film nut. Occasional sports fan. Full time loon.