10 Ridiculous Movie Premises Everybody Fell For

The greatest trick the devil ever pulled...

We€™'ve all had it happen to us at some point: you'€™ve come out of the cinema with one eyebrow raised, as everyone around us gushes on about the film they'€™ve just seen. These are critical darlings, blockbuster sensations, fan favourites: movies that moved people to watch them again and again. You'€™ve heard all the plaudits, read the rave reviews, seen the reports of broken box office records and the lists of the highest grossing movies of all time€ and you just don€™'t get it.

It€™'s not really the film though€ some of these movies actually are genuinely great, brilliantly written and directed. No, it'€™s the idea behind the film, or an idea. Perhaps the central conceit doesn'€™t make any sense, or the plot has one major, inescapable hole in it that wrecks everything. Perhaps it€™'s just that everyone€™s always had the wrong idea about how the film works. Maybe the protagonist or antagonist acts in an utterly baffling, nonsensical way, or in a manner that€™'s completely out of character. Perhaps the film itself is so irredeemably stupid that you want to pick it up and shake it to see if its brain falls out.

So, here: I€™'ve angrily pored over a lifetime of moviegoing to present to you a selection of ten well known, hugely critically and/or commercially successful films that, when you think about it a little, have a premise or a central conceit that just doesn'€™t work...

10. The Matrix Is An Efficient Way To Subjugate The Human Race - The Matrix (1999)

the matrix
Warner Bros.

I'€™m not that worried about that whole silly idea that humanity can be used as batteries for a Machine over-race, because that'€™s not the engine that drives the narrative of The Matrix. No, the notion that causes me problems is the whole concept of the Matrix itself. This virtual reality that keeps humanity asleep and content is a representation of human society in the late 20th/early 21st century, which the Machines consider to have been the pinnacle of our civilisation.

The question is€ why have they chosen a millennial society as the template for their artificial reality? A society which understands the €˜real life€™ concepts of artificial intelligence, virtual reality, programming, computer viruses and hacking? Why have the Machines given Neo (and potentially millions upon millions of others over the centuries) the intellectual tools to determine that what he sees around him is illusion, and to conceptualise it? Why have they made it so easy for him? If they€™'d just set the Matrix in a Dark Ages style agrarian economy, with any necessary attrition caused by fake pandemics and €˜predatory animals€™ instead of Men In Black, then they'€™d never have any kind of problem with humanity rising up. Giving their slave race the ability to fake memories and skills that allow them to fight their Machine overlords more effectively is a terrible, terrible idea.

Also, if late nineties America was the pinnacle of our society then perhaps we deserve to become human Duracell for jumped-up toasters.


Professional writer, punk werewolf and nesting place for starfish. Obsessed with squid, spirals and story. I publish short weird fiction online at desincarne.com, and tweet nonsense under the name Jack The Bodiless. You can follow me all you like, just don't touch my stuff.