Top 5 Most Ridiculous Movie Plots of ALL TIME

Written by Carter Swan

Sitting in the back seat of my parents’ car last week, driving across the Big Sky State and fighting with my brother Skyler like an adolescent over shared space and what was to be defined as “my territory”, I was hit with one of those ideas that seemed great at the time. “Most ridiculous movie plots ever! I’d totally read that.”

CUT TO: Today as I hash this out. Let me tell you? it ain’t easy. What is a ridiculous plot? There are as many ways to define this as there are ridiculous movies themselves. So in order to do this right we have to lay some ground rules for how to judge this, and like a bad fighting movie, there is only but one rule?

These movies have to be something that was made with the intention of being taken seriously. Comedies don’t really cut it because for the most part, they are ridiculous by nature. Same goes with fantasy, horror, sci-fi, or anything else that is going for any kind of alternative or heightened sense of reality. These films create their own universes and/or rules so it is not fair to say that they are as ridiculous as others that are supposed to be “real.” (And believe me, there are a few that came close to making it anyways.)

Before we get started I’d like to hand out a few honorable mentions and awards:

Just missing the cut:


Jean Claude Van Damme Lifetime achievement award:

Since it’s not fair to give it to Van Damme because he is a fake kick boxer posing as an actor, I give this award to the stallion himself, Mr. Sylvester Stallone. This is a man who has starred in the biggest suspension of disbelief pieces of all time. ROCKY 3, 4, 5, BALBOA, and TANGO AND CASH. He road with the Taliban in RAMBO3. He directed STAYING ALIVE, COBRA, RHINESTONE, LOCK UP, DRIVEN, and the list goes on and on. If you go back and watch his old movies now they are literally as funny as anything Chaplin or Peter Sellers ever did. True classics.

The Anti-Irving J Thalberg award:

Uwe Boll. It says something when you only direct video game adaptations and people walk out shaking their heads at the absurdity of your work. I would say more but Uwe seems to be the only one taking his work seriously, and will duke it out with anyone who says different. And our friend Uwe made waves this week with Wired News taking them on as well. It’s only a matter of time before I’m next folks. Pray for me!

The decade on decadence:

Maybe it was all the cocaine, or the glam rock, but something was definitely in the water during the 1980’s when cinematic I.Q.’s took a real dive. A bad hangover from the innovative films of the seventies led to what I believe is over 90% of the most absurd plots of all time. Ahhhh, along with the awesome music videos that displayed innovative filmmaking and great social messages like “Here I go again” and “Nothing but a good time.” This is a decade whose entertainment media I sorely miss. (I just spent 20 minutes re-watching these videos a couple of times apiece. I can tell you two things: 1) I feel like my IQ has diminished drastically within that time span, and 2) I don’t care because those videos ROCK!!!!!)

One last point that I’d like to make — while yes, these movies are ridiculous, they are all highly watchable and I would go so far as to say I like all of them because of it. Yes these plots are ridiculous but its part of their charm, which makes them near, and dear to me and “cult” movies throughout the world. We’ll save the worst movies for another Bat Place, another Bat time, on another Bat channel.

So without any further ado? the top 5 most ridiculous plots, in reverse order?

#5. EXTREME OPS (2002)

The story of five friends and extreme sports enthusiasts, who travel into the Yugoslavian mountains to film themselves for a commercial. But unknown to them, a Serbian war criminal who faked his own death, has set up shop at the same seemingly abandoned mountain hideaway they decide to camp at. When they accidentally get footage of him, they must run from him and his mercenary henchmen. Good thing for them that they are such great sportsmen as the chase ends up seamlessly involving skiing, snowboarding, sky diving, white water rafting, helicopter jumping, motorcycle chases, and base jumping, all of which they have the equipment, and expertise to pull off with world class precision. They not only save themselves, but end up bringing down the terrorist and his militia as well.

Another poor attempt to cash in on the snowboarding, pot smoking, extreme sports crowd that didn’t pan out. A not as smart version of XXX (yes, read that again), this movie pretty much forced Brigitte Wilson into retirement, a real loss for us all, and ended Devon Sawa’s career. It’s strange because when watching this movie, you would think that with all the stunts they’ve mashed into it, it would at least be entertaining, but no. The entertainment comes from its ludicrous, Scooby Doo haunted house-style plot and girth of ridiculous situations that are only there to induce wild stunts instead of trying to push its so called plot forward at all. And as bad as these things are its one-liners are even worse; its tagline “fear is the trigger” is the best they could come up with, so you can imagine how the rest of them are.

Here is the trailer for anyone who is interested:

Extreme sports guys defeating Bosnian war terrorist and his cronies = PRETTY RIDICULOUS.

#4. OVER THE TOP (1987)

Stallone. Arm. Wrestles. For. The. Custody. Of. His. Son.

That’s right. A child custody movie mixed with ARM WRESTLING. I think Norm MacDonald’s Car Wreck victim character on Saturday Night Live said it best when he exclaimed: “Whoa, hey! Hey, remember that movie “Kramer vs. Kramer”? Yeah, that was about child custody, too. Yeah, but it wasn’t that good. I don’t know, it was missing something, you know? Ah, what was it missing? I can’t.. oh, wait! I know! Arm wrestling!”

I don’t think I can say it any better than that?

I found this AMAZING old VHS promo for OVER THE TOP that delves a bit more into the rest of his career. After watching that (hopefully ten times in a row like I did), do you find yourself wondering “How did the arm wrestling world championships escalate to the point where Robert Loggia is kidnapping Sly’s son, and forcing him to drive a semi-truck through the front of his house?” Or is that just me?

Stallone. Arm. Wrestles. For. The. Custody. Of. His. Son.= REALLY RIDICULOUS.


In JAWS, a landmark, watershed film that I count among the greatest of all time, Matt Hooper, played by Richard Dreyfuss, tells Mayor Vaughn of Amity “? what we are dealing with here is a perfect engine, an eating machine. It’s really a miracle of evolution. All this machine does is swim and eat and make little sharks, and that’s all?” The beauty of this is that it’s true and encapsulates what is perhaps mankind’s greatest living predator, the Great White Shark, to a T.

Unfortunately, the franchise itself didn’t heed its own words when they made JAWS: THE REVENGE. Now if you are unfamiliar or have forgotten the plot, let me lay it out for you and remember, the following words are actually true?

Years have passed since the Brody brothers where attacked at Sea World by a giant great white in JAWS: 3D (a lot of people forget that they tried to use these characters in JAWS 3, including the filmmakers of this movie, who mention nothing about it.) It has also been years since their father Police Chief Martin Brody has passed. His youngest son Sean works as a local deputy and gets a call that there is a piling stuck to a buoy, and boats out to free it. But as he does, he is attacked and viciously killed by a new great white shark.

His brother Michael flies down from the Bahamas to attend the funeral and comfort his mother, Ellen, who is convinced that this shark came for Sean. Michael and family convince Ellen that she needs to get away and she flies down to the Bahamas with them. Not too bad so far. Nothing that breaks it yet, right? Well this is where we jump off the tracks and never get it back? The shark then FOLLOWS the Brody family from the northeast coast, where great whites are rare, to the Bahamas where great whites are non-existent. That’s right. Through some sixth sense, the shark KNEW that they left, where they went, and exactly where to attack them when he gets there.

I really don’t know what else to say. Every movie asks you to take certain leaps of faith, and suspend disbelief a bit, but to ask us to believe that a shark would take a personal vendetta and follow a family around the ocean is cartoonish, absurd and ridiculous. In fact this is the only movie on this list that literally couldn’t happen. There are only two reasons this doesn’t rank higher on this list?

1. The rest of the movie besides that is actually pretty straightforward and scientifically correct.

2. It led to one of my favorite Nintendo games of all time JAWS and I feel strongly that that should count for something.

You can see the game actually played in its glorious entirety, here.

There is actually a really lame alternate opening to this film in which a narrator tries to add some explanation to this movie. You can watch it here.

Funny enough, some people swear by this movie, and this guy here even goes so far as to proclaim it “Most underrated movie ever!”

Shark with a human-like vendetta and LoJack GPS that helps him locate said vendetta: UTTERLY RIDICULOUS

#2. The Karate Kid Part III:

**I have to put up this disclaimer before I get into this one. For me, this probably is the most ridiculous plot of all time. The reason I have it at #2 is because one of my idols, The Sports Guy, Bill Simmons, on has already staked this out as his own. Now I may steal a great many things from time to time, but I have to leave this one for him. It’s his. He peed around it along time ago so that’s why it will not crack the top of my list. Now having said that?

After being destroyed by Miyagi in KARATE KID I and with the help of a brief cut scene from 1 placed at the beginning of 3, sinister sensei John Kreese of the Cobra Kai goes into a downward spiral, closing his school and becoming a drifter. Luckily for him he has an old army buddy Terry Silver, whose life he saved in ‘Nam, and who happens to now be a billionaire through his shady waste disposal business. And since he owes his friend his life, and luckily enough is a complete psychopath, he agrees to help his friend John Kreese, destroy Daniel LaRusso, and launch a plan to spread the Kobra Kai’s evil Karate across California. Duhn-duhn-duhn!!!

I realize that on the surface, this idea may not seem quite as far fetched as a vengeful shark with a GPS awareness but when you watch the film, you find yourself repeatedly shaking your head and saying “huh?” Let me put this into a real life context, do you think that Mark Cuban would take time out of his life, to go undercover as a poor karate teacher, drive a beat to shit old Toyota truck with no roof, in order to destroy an 18 year old karate champion from the valley? And that Cuban’s ultimate goal would be to hatch a whole slew of evil karate schools which he hoped to profit tremendously from, even though he hands over twenty five percent of them to karate’s bad boy, Mike Barnes, a ringer they bring in from out of town to punish Daniel San at every turn, before winning the tournament? Yeah, my thoughts exactly. Add to that the fact that Ralph Macchio was like 40 when they did this movie, and that Pat Morita mails this performance in like a parking ticket, and you have a gleefully fun and ridiculous plot. The love story in the movie involves Daniel and a girl with a boyfriend that he has no shot with. Apparently they had that little faith in Daniel’s pull with the ladies.

I would write more on this, but as I said, The Sports Guy has covered this one thoroughly enough already.


Billionaire decides to go undercover to sabotage 18 year old karate champion from the valley and help out his old buddy from Nam = LUDICROUSLY RIDICULOUS (Which by the way is the expression my dad used when I tried to do a half ass Michael Jordan up an under and got checked by the bottom of the backboard and fell on my ass during a Junior High basketball game. It really was probably a fitting description.)

Now before we get to #1, I would just like to quickly re-iterate the fact that just because movies are on this list, doesn’t mean that I don’t like them, or that I think they are bad movies. As a matter of fact, I am a huge fan of the following movie. I saw it as a kid at Totem Lake Theater in Kirkland Washington with my best friend Casey. I’ve watched it numerous times since. My friend Steve and I like to do quotes from it all the time. So don’t any of you out there think that just because it’s the #1 most ridiculous plot of all time on my list, doesn’t mean that I don’t have love for?

#1. IRON EAGLE (1986)

Since I love the one-liners from this movie, lets get them in the mix?.

-“Can you handle the loop?” “
“Can you handle the music!?”

Imagine you’re a movie executive sitting in you office on a warm afternoon, circa 1984-1985, and a screenwriter comes in with this pitch?

“So this air force pilot gets shot down in a middle eastern country. He’s going to be executed and it looks like the politicos are going to let it happen. So back at home his eighteen year old son, who is a great pilot, but not good enough to get into the Air Force academy and his old wingman, a crotchety older guy, think someone like Louis Gosset in OFFICER AND A GENTLEMAN team up. With the older pilots guidance and help from the kid’s air force brat gang, they manage to secure a couple of F-16’s and in three days, the kid learns how to become an ace pilot and he and the crotchety guy fly to the middle eastern country, kick the hell out of their army and air force, save the dad, and fly home safely. Not only that but by doing what the bureaucrats wouldn’t, he becomes a hero, and is allowed into the Air Force Academy! Doesn’t that sound great!? Its like TOP GUN meets GOONIES!” (And yes I am aware that IRON EAGLE hit the theaters a few months before TOP GUN so you can feel free not to remind of it. I’m just saying.) “And to top it all off, I have a sequel where the lead character from the first one gets killed in the first five minutes of the second one! It’s radical!”

What would you say? Well some movie executive heard that very pitch. And you know what? They loved it. So did countless others on the way to production of the most ridiculous movie of all time. Apparently nowhere along the way, no one stopped and said, “Wait a second, this is fucking ridiculous and in no way could ever happen!” That in and of itself seems fairly unbelievable to me.

-“You’ve gotta to believe that plane you’re in is like a suit of armor, an iron eagle nothing can penetrate.”

Ohhhhhh? where to begin? This movies plots has more holes than the PGA championship, features some rather unbelievable plot devices, character motivations that seem very false, and reversals that are laughable in how contrived they seem.

Let’s elaborate on this plot a bit?

The film starts off with Ted Masters, Air Force Colonel being wrongfully shot down over a Middle Eastern country that remains nameless but hostile the entire film. Meanwhile back at home his son Doug engages in a reckless race pitting his Cessna, against a local public school jocks motorcycle. So intent on winning, the local guys sabotage Doug’s plane, knowing full well it will lead to Doug crashing and being killed. Now I’ve been in a lot of heated, high school, airplane/motorcycle race rivalries, but its never escalated to the point of us trying to kill each other so blatantly. After hearing this, Doug convinces his dad’s old war buddy and wing man Colonel Chappy Sinclair that they need to go save him since the bureaucrats claim nothing can be done as they don’t want to risk war. After thinking hard about it for 30 seconds of screen time, Chappy says, he’ll do it if Doug can prove that he can fly.

– “Damn it Chappy, I’m doing it my way!”

The first time they rather easily sneak Doug onto an F-16 they go to the target range and Doug initially misses all the targets badly. Chappy tells him to land the plane; he’s not ready for this. But what Chappy doesn’t know is that when he turns on his heavy metal music, Doug turns into a pilot that would make Han Solo green with envy (or nausea.) Doug blasts the targets at the range away and it looks like the mission is on.

Video of this scene:

In the mean time Doug’s gang of Air Force brat friends (including Styles from TEEN WOLF, and Lamar from REVENGE OF THE NERDS) is begging, borrowing, and hacking their way into securing two fully loaded F-16’s for Chappy and Doug.)

Within three days time and no-real hiccups, they secure the jets, Doug learns to fly like an ace, and they come up with a plan to take out the middle eastern army’s forces and rescue Doug’s dad.

-“No you can deal directly with me, Colonel Nakir Nakesh!”
“And you can deal with me, Doug Masters!”

The bad guys in this movie are so stereotypical and one dimensional, I’m actually surprised they weren’t wearing turbans and ululating the entire film. When Doug and Chappy reach the base, they quickly cripple the enemy forces but Chappy is hit and crashes, seemingly dead. As Ted Masters is brought out, Doug drops a snake eyes bomb that creates a wall of flame that is so big and burns so long, apparently no one can just drive around it. A sniper shoots his dad, but thank god, it was just a flesh wound.

– “Way to fly Doug!”

Doug escapes the runway, shoots down about five more jets including one piloted by ace Nakesh himself and escapes with the help of some U.S. backup. Back at home he is placed under military arrest and as he goes to his hearing is stunned to find Chappy still alive. Apparently no one bothered telling Doug his friend survived his crash and somehow swan out of the Persian Gulf unscathed and free.

– “God doesn’t give people things he doesn’t want them to use, and he gave you the touch.”

At the hearing of course Doug not only doesn’t get reprimanded for stealing a multi million dollar aircraft and blowing the hell out of another hostile, oil carrying country. No, no? they are so proud THEY LET HIM IN THE AIR FORCE ACADEMY.

Somehow far fetched doesn’t seem to quite do it for this whole scenario. This movie asks for suspension of disbelief so many times yet hides under the guise of being real. Now a lot of 80’s movies featured plots with teenagers doing extraordinary things and getting into government control (WAR GAMES, RED DAWN, REAL GENIUS) but they were all done with a tongue in cheekiness to them or done well. IRON EAGLE takes the steps to make it seem authentic, with steps that are just as flawed, making it utterly ridiculous and unbelievable.

Here is the trailer?

And a great cheesy montage video for it that pretty much sums it up, can be found here.

So in conclusion?

High school kid hijacks jet fighters, takes on a whole hostile middle eastern country, kicks their ass, saves his dad, and is let into the air force academy because of it = THE MOST RIDICULOUS PLOT OF ALL TIME.

7 thoughts on “Top 5 Most Ridiculous Movie Plots of ALL TIME

  1. Jacob Stowe

    This is goo but there is one movie you are forgetting and that is Leprechaun 4:In space. The title itself is enough to make you laugh at its…..ridiculousness.

  2. bee

    I don’t know why you are picking on old movies, people back then just wanted to have fun, jaws for instance made a name you’ll never make so deal with it. Go pick on movies of the 21st century I’m sure there is quit a number of them

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