ByTrevor Norkey, writer at
Writer, filmmaker, actor and film enthusiast.
Trevor Norkey

Hollywood is filled with new ideas. Some of these ideas are normal, while others are completely, bat-sh*t crazy. Many people assume that if an idea for a film seems stupid, then the movie will also be stupid. That, however, is not always the case.

Hollywood has proven over time that movies with seemingly ridiculous concepts, like Ant-Man, can end up being amazing films if they are done right. It's also been proven that movies with seemingly perfect (and previously successful) concepts, like Batman & Robin, can go up in in flames. It all depends on how the movie is made.

I have seen hundreds of films with ridiculous concepts fail, such as Cowboys vs. Aliens. I have also seen other films with just as ridiculous concepts that were made perfectly. Let's take a look at a few of these films that everyone thought would fail because of how ridiculous they sounded that actually turned out to be amazing movies:

1. Ant-Man (2015)

This movie is the most recent release on my list. Based on the comic book superhero, Ant-Man tells us the story of a superhero who is able to shrink to a minuscule size and talk to ants.

Even after being told how stupid of an idea for a movie this was, Marvel still went on to make the film. With people like Edward Wright, Peyton Reed and Adam McKay involved, there seemed to be some hope for the movie. The combined work of the writers, the producers, the cast, the director and the rest of the crew made this seemingly absurd superhero flick into a really good movie. It received a 79% on Rotten Tomatoes, which is great considering the skepticism prior to release.

2. Inception (2010)

Sure, people going into other people's dreams sounds cool, but is it believable enough to be a good movie? Typically no, but writer and director Christopher Nolan proves that theory wrong. After ten years of writing and adding a phenomenal cast, Nolan managed to perfect this insane theory in an extraordinary and mind-boggling film that most people still can't truly comprehend. It is easily one of my favorite films to watch.

3. E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982)

Though it is a classic now, making E.T. seemed like a really bold move in 1982. At the time, most alien movies were about invasions and attacks. The concept of an alien being peaceful had never really been brought up in film. When Steven Spielberg came up with the idea for the movie, it was considered absurd and unrealistic due to the rest of the films coming out at the time. However, they let him do the film anyways because, well, he's Spielberg. It became one of the greatest film classics of all time. Well done, Mr. Spielberg.

4. Toy Story (1995)

Not only was Toy Story the first big movie about toys coming to life, but it was also the first movie to use 3D animation. Numerous people thought this movie would be a bust, including the Barbie company who refused to give Pixar the film rights to their character. But after years of writing and animating, the team at Pixar managed to get two big name actors on board and made a very beautiful film.

The trick used here was avoiding the fact that they are toys in the plot, and instead making the movie about human emotions like resentment, fear and jealousy. It was an enormously successful movie which kick-started Pixar's other films and also resulted in three (soon to be four) sequels.

5. Star Wars (1977)

There were already a few space movies by 1977, but none on the scale of Star Wars. In my opinion, what made Star Warsso successful was that it did not rely on sci-fi concepts and technologies to run the plot. Many space movies had already been made with awful quality and overly-complex plots about futuristic concepts. The Force is an example of one of the strange additions that was made to the movies. It was an unexplainable concept which was added to a movie where almost everything seems explainable through technology. Making Star Wars more than that was actually a strange concept at first, especially considering how the plot was more than about being in space. George Lucas managed to take this seemingly absurd and 'unnatural' concept and turn it into one of the most successful franchises in history.

6. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008)

Based on a short story from 1922, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button tells the story of a man growing up and getting accustomed to his surroundings in life. The catch? He ages backwards. He starts life as an old man and dies as a baby. Sure, this concept works as a short story, but turning it into a full movie seemed quite laughable. I honestly have no clue how they managed to make this concept into such an amazing movie. The fact is, they turned this ridiculous idea into a beautiful, heartwarming film that went onto win three Oscars.

7. Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)

With a half-human, a ripped green dude, a mysterious green lady, a talking raccoon, and a walking tree who only says "I am Groot", most critics assumed this movie would be awful. Then the movie came out, and (most of) the critics withdrew their statements. With writer and director James Gunn at the helm, this movie was destined to be good. Gunn devoted himself to the film and turned the absurd comic book series into a truly stellar movie. Oh, and Chris Pratt was amazing in it, too.

8. Her (2013)

Honestly, this movie surprised me more than any others on this list for taking an absurd concept and perfecting it. For those who don't know, Her is about a man who falls in love with the equivalent of Siri on his smart phone. Who came up with this idea? I don't know. Who signed off for this to be a movie? I don't know that either. All I do know is that the incredible acting, writing, directing and all of the other factors put into this movie turned Her into a phenomenal film that touches the heart of nearly every person who watches it.

Thus we see that there is always the potential for a ridiculous premise to turn into a great film, just as there is potential for a great premise to turn into a ridiculous film. All it takes is a good writer, a good director, a good cast and a lot of hard work and even the most absurd concepts can become heartwarming, Oscar-winning films. Now imagine if Sharknado was treated the same way by the writers and directors? It might have been quite a bit better.

But...maybe not.
But...maybe not.

What do you think, though? Let me know in the comments, and thanks for reading!



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