Dumb things in 2018 movies that everyone just ignored

Fun fact: It's been 112 years since the first feature-length motion picture was released. In that time, the art of movie making has made some astonishing leaps forward. Special effects have surpassed our wildest dreams. Hollywood finally rubbed some aloe on its nagging itch to make Scary Movie sequels. Most importantly, the internet has blossomed into what we always knew it could be: a place to pick films apart like so many Big Wheel crash scabs.

With that in mind, 2018 is coming to a close. It's a bittersweet time of introspection where we consider what we can improve about ourselves, then generally pound a couple of beers and rag on dumb parts of movies instead because, be honest, that's easier than self improvement any day of the week. It's been a great year for movies, with incredible achievements both technical and emotional.

Now, back to what we were saying about scab picking … here are the dumbest things everyone ignored in the movies of 2018.

A boring Han, Solo: A Star Wars Story

Solo: A Star Wars Story was, and hear us out, fun. It told a relatively self-contained story with minimal fan winkery, plus we finally got to see what Chewie looks like on days when he doesn't condition. For all the hate it got, the main crime Solo committed was calling fans' bluff when they said "we're getting tired of Star Wars movies."

Now, on to its second biggest crime: making Han boring.

See, when we meet Han in A New Hope, he's a force for moral ambiguity. He's clear about one thing: He's in this for the money. Once he gets paid, he's out. When he turns the Falcon around and saves the day at the eleventh hour, it's a genuine win for the good guys. They took a purely mercenary charisma bomb and grew that suave Grinch's heart three sizes.

Then along comes Solo and we find out that Han has been figuratively turning the Falcon around his whole life. Suddenly, his transformation from space nogoodnik to gold-hearted hero isn't a transformation, it's another in a long series of instances when Han went back on a super-swearsies to leave when he got paid. You robbed our boy Harrison of a character arc, Disney.

The most easily distracted villains in history, A Quiet Place

Look, A Quiet Place did its job, and it did it well enough that we were totally engrossed the whole time. That's generally the best thing you can ask for from a horror movie: a strong enough execution that you don't go "wait a minute, that was lame" until after you've left the theater.

Anyway, after you left the theater, you probably noticed that this was dumb. A Quiet Place featured, and we can't overstress this point, the most easily manageable movie monsters since aliens started getting taken down by sprinkler systems in Signs. How they toppled human civilization is a genuine mystery. A bevy of creepy xenomorphs really loses its gusto when you find out that they're drawn to any sound at all like that dog from Up when a squirrel runs by.

If humanity couldn't kill these things, they could at least have put an Amazon Echo on top of a flag pole, set it to play "Mambo No. 5" on repeat, and quietly watched the monsters scramble until they found a way to get rid of them.

Eh, whatever. Infinity War

By the time 2018 rolled around, Marvel fans had already been put through a lot. There was the death of Odin in Thor: Ragnarok, the death of Coulson in Avengers. There was the revival and subsequent spiral in character quality of Coulson in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. And yet, like the gluttons for emotional punishment that we are, we all came back for more, and lo, there was Avengers: Infinity War holding the feels equivalent of a riding crop and telling us to sit up straight.

Nobody's arguing that Infinity War wasn't a great movie. It juggled two dozen character storylines masterfully, giving everybody you've come to care about over the last decade exactly the right amount of screen time and stuff to do. Where it stumbled, though, was in ignoring the stories about those characters that already had been told.

By way of example: Thor. In Thor's last outing, he learned that, like a Mjolnir-wielding Dumbo, the magic was never inside the hammer, the magic was in him all along. He didn't need a magical weapon to be great. So what does Thor do for most of Infinity War? He tries to find a magical weapon. Also, for the love of all things holy, why didn't Doctor Strange just open and close a Sling Ring portal around Thanos' arm? Maybe that was the plan in one of the failed futures he checked out.

Let's start a Riot, Venom

The path to making a Venom movie was long and tumultuous. Fans, hot off 20 years of being told that Venom would be coming out any day now, were right to wonder if Lucy was going to pull that football out from in front of them again. But along came October 2018, and we finally got the big screen symbiote for whom we'd all been champing at the bit.

Final assessment after two decades of waiting? Not bad, could've been better. And while we happy nerds will be arguing minutiae until our popcorn-clogged arteries finally give up, one big ol' plot hole keeps nagging at everyone who noticed it.

Riot, fellow Symbiote to Venom and the movie's antagonist, can't stay with a host for too long since it feeds on its host's life force, right? That's sort of Riot's whole thing. But right off the bat, Riot latches onto that old lady at the beginning of the movie, and she carries it around for six months with no problems.

The fact that it was a Cloverfield movie, The Cloverfield Paradox

Cloverfield and its kinda-shared cinematic universe is a house built on bold ideas, and held up by aping other people's bold ideas. The second film in the series, 2016's 10 Cloverfield Lane, famously started life as an independent, small-budget thriller that had life breathed into it when the studio rebranded it as part of a major franchise. What's more, they didn't even announce the film until two months before its release.

How do you beat that? To quote George Lucas, "faster, more intense."

At this year's Super Bowl, fans were shocked — shocked! — to learn that there was a new new addition to the Cloverfield universe: The Cloverfield Paradox, and this one was waiting for them on their Netflix accounts as soon as they were done watching the game. J.J. Abrams, you scamp! What can't you do?

The answer in this case, sadly, is "proofread a script before slapping his name on it." The Cloverfield Paradox was pretty universally viewed as a hot mess, and the scenes tying it to the rest of the franchise felt harshly unnatural.

The billion dollar liability nightmare, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

The Jurassic World franchise is, appropriately, a story about man's hubris and inability to let things that had their time stay dead. Not sure why that seemed important to say.

After the success of 2015's nostalgia-blasting Jurassic World, a sequel was an inevitability. True, the franchise has a checkered past when it comes to sequels, but like the entrepreneurs who decided to make another dinosaur theme park, the studio swore it wouldn't make the same mistakes twice. Smash cut to:

Fallen Kingdom, weirdly, hits a lot of the same notes as the critically maligned The Lost World. Pete Postlethwaite gets swapped for Ted Levine (who weirdly doesn't seem to have any blood in his body when he dies) but besides that, it's nearly tonally identical, plot holes and all. The worst of these is the reveal that John Hammond, the mastermind behind the first park, poured billions of dollars into building this place without checking to see whether the island he just bought was a freaking volcano.

Did anyone bring a charger? Deadpool 2

Deadpool 2 was, without a doubt, right up there in the top two most anticipated Josh Brolin comic book adaptations of the year. It promised bigger action, better quips, and best of all, a heaping scoop of Cable, the time-traveling Yin to Wade Wilson's Yang.

Brolin's turn as Cable was met by mixed reviews (even from Brolin) but overall, the movie was well received. For Cable's part, he travels back from the future, intent upon enacting that wole "would you kill a baby Hitler?" philosophical quandary. Upping the drama: He only has enough time travel juice for two jumps, one back and one forward.

Except then, at the end of the movie, Negasonic Teenage Paid By The Word manages to recharge Cable's time travel device using nothing but a can-do spirit and stuff from around the house, sort of hamstringing all the dramatic tension from earlier in the film. Is it a ridiculous post-credit gag in a movie with so many dumb poop jokes that they become load-bearing? Yeah. But come on.