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Movies Where A Solution Becomes An Even Bigger Problem

January 26, 2021 2.2k votes 519 voters 126.2k views14 items

List RulesVote up the movies where the solutions totally blew up in the good guys' faces.

We've all been there when grabbing a bag of popcorn and sitting down to take in a film. "Nice job breaking it, hero." A moment in a movie where a supposed solution to a problem ends up becoming an even bigger problem than the one they had in the first place. For example, Tony Stark and the Avengers are tasked with protecting the Earth. So, Tony and Bruce Banner create Ultron to help them protect the Earth, only for Ultron to become an even bigger threat to Earth than anything the Avengers had faced since the New York debacle from the original Avengers film. 

Sometimes, a decision just backfires. Ask the humans of Snowpiercer how fixing climate change worked out for them. Ask Marty McFly how saving his dad from a car accident in Back to the Future worked out for him. We're betting Sarah Connor wishes she could go back in time and destroy that leftover arm from the end of The Terminator, as well. From time to time, a solution just blows up in your face.

  • The world would be an infinitely better place if we could figure out a cure for cancer. Imagine all the lives that could be saved on a yearly basis if we could, somehow, just create an antidote. Then again, if curing cancer could result in a mutated virus that causes the majority of humanity to turn into rabid zombie monsters, then maybe we could run a few more tests to make sure we get that cure as perfect as we possibly can.

    The scientists of I Am Legend created a variant of the measles virus that cures cancer, but the cure mutates again to create a virus that transforms most of humanity into zombie-like creatures. And these aren't your classic Romero zombies that shamble about at a leisurely pace. These are zombies more along the lines of World War Z in that they are fast, strong, and dangerous. In summation: Cancer is a horrible plague on the human race that takes far too many loved ones to even count, but dooming the majority of the human race to zombie-ism is pretty bad, too.

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  • Ah, the best-laid plans of mice and men. Tony Stark and Bruce Banner may be two of the Marvel Cinematic Universe's foremost geniuses - though we're betting Shuri could give them a run for their money - but having intelligence doesn't always mean you make good decisions. In fact, Tony Stark makes plenty of boneheaded decisions throughout his many MCU appearances, but none of them are as boneheaded as creating Ultron.

    At the beginning of Avengers: Age of Ultron, Tony wants to "put a suit of armor around the world," and he convinces Bruce to help him create Ultron to protect the Earth from all terrors, both foreign and domestic - "foreign" here meaning from outer space, of course. You all know what happens next; the pair successfully creates Ultron but are at a loss for words when Ultron decides the best way to protect the world is by getting rid of all of humanity. The jury is still out on if Ultron is right - we'd like to think he isn't, but he's got a point - but man, oh man, did Tony and Bruce mess up big time.

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  • Counteracting climate change is a genuine problem that everyone on Earth is facing together, whether they like it or not. This means there is plenty of narrative tension to be derived from a premise that centers around humanity monumentally screwing up their chance to save the planet. Case in point: 2013 sci-fi thriller Snowpiercer. If we're talking about humanity messing up the climate worse than they already have, then Snowpiercer has to enter the conversation.

    Before the events of the film, humanity tried to stop the rampant climate change that was slowly making the Earth more and more uninhabitable for humans by using climate engineering to bring the temperatures back down across the globe. Unfortunately, they did a little too well at stopping global warming, as they accidentally induced a whole new ice age. What is left of humanity ends up on a class-divided circumnavigational train, and the movie kicks off from there.

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  • In another tale of "science gone wrong," Guillermo del Toro's 1997 sci-fi/horror flick Mimic is a ridiculous tale of unforeseen consequences. The film kicks off in Manhattan, where everyone's least favorite creepy-crawlies - cockroaches - are spreading the life-threatening condition known as "Strickler's disease," which is claiming the lives of children in the city left and right. Mira Sorvino's Dr. Susan Tyler creates a termite/mantis hybrid that releases an enzyme that accelerates the cockroaches' metabolism, causing them to expire and end the spread of the disease.

    Of course, this hybrid was supposed to end after one generation as they were all female. Well... that didn't really happen, and the hybrid ended up evolving over thousands of generations over the course of a few years, which allows the bug to "mimic" the visage of their human targets. Get it? Mimic? It's the name of the movie. Anyways, the hybrid becomes even more dangerous than the cockroaches they were created to eradicate. 

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