Storytelling is a weird art.
For the most part, our favorite movies spend hours entertaining us with colorful lies. It’s the basis of the entire industry, and, honestly, it’s pretty great.
There are times, however, when these lies are just a little too far-fetched. Sure, Hollywood, give us lies, but please don’t insult our intelligence by giving us nonsense.
Some movies are the result of especially convoluted, nonsensical, or otherwise ridiculous premises, and usually, being based in such liberal doses of horse manure do nothing but hurt the end product.
Occasionally though, something shines through the lacklustre preamble, and, against the odds, we get a great (or at least enjoyable) movie out of it.
Here are 7 of Hollywood’s dumbest movie premises, and whether or not they actually worked.
7. Face/Off (1997)
While Face/Off might feature outstanding performances, intense action sequences, and a delicate mix of action, drama, and humor, it still has a truly ridiculous premise.
After six years of hunting “freelance terrorist” Castor Troy (Nicolas Cage), FBI agent Sean Archer (John Travolta) gets his man, only to learn that he’s hidden a bomb somewhere in Los Angeles. When the criminal slips into a coma before giving up any further information, it’s clear what Archer must do.
No, not follow normal lines of investigation – this is Hollywood, after all. Archer undergoes an experimental face transplant procedure to take on Troy’s appearance (and also his voice, to save time in post-production).
Yes, Face/Off might have one of the flimsiest concepts of any action thriller ever and some of the most ridiculous action sequences ever committed to film, but that doesn’t stop it from being a truly incredible thrill-ride. Plus, Nicolas Cage spends a while running around acting completely unhinged, which is always great.
Did it work? Yes, it did. Despite the wonky science behind the premise, it delivered a solid dramatic, action-packed and occasionally comedic experience.