7 Movies Where Young, Crazy People Almost Destroyed the World

7 Movies Where Young, Crazy People Almost Destroyed the World

Jan 28, 2015

In Project Almanac, a group of teenagers happen upon a time machine and abuse their newfound abilities to journey across the time-stream to have a good time and make some money. Then things start to go horribly wrong.

Sure, most movies that focus on young people deal with down-to-earth problems like homework and school and parents who just don't understand. But others place the fate of the entire planet in the hands of people who aren't even old enough to drink alcohol. A lot of movies feature young heroes going on amazing journeys and learning valuable life lessons, but a precious few feature people too young to know better accidentally (or deliberately) destroying the world. Let's go over a few of them, shall we?

 

WarGames

Modern kids, with their smartphones and their Snapchat accounts and their Wikipedias, see technology as a toy and a tool. At their worst, they'll ignore their family at dinner so they can sneak a peek at social media. At least they aren't hacking into government missile-defense programs and instigating World War War III with a powerful artificial intelligence that doesn't differentiate between games and reality. To his credit, Matthew Broderick's David is a prankster without any truly malicious intent, but he does come awfully close to transforming the entire planet into a cinder. Stupid kids and their stupid computer machines.

 

Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure

Like many of the unfortunate young people on this list, Ted Logan and Bill S. Preston don't have a truly mean bone in their bodies. All they want to do is use time travel to prepare the greatest history presentation in high school history! But like most (all) teenagers, they don't think about the larger repercussions of their actions. No good can come from spiriting historical figures into the modern time-stream. Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure doesn't dwell on the damage these two ultimately do to the universe, but it lurks just there under the surface, waiting to creep into the mind of any viewer who takes time to think about what these two are actually doing.

 

The Hunger Games series

In most movies, the destruction of society and the social order as we know it is portrayed as a very bad thing that needs to be desperately avoided at all costs. What makes the Hunger Games series so unique is that the societal breakdown triggered by a few willful teenagers is the absolute best thing that could happen to the world. Katniss Everdeen's quest to burn down the Capitol and spit on the ashes gets a whole bunch of people killed and traumatized, forever altering an already-broken world. But let's face it: it needed to happen and only someone as naive as a teenager could have pulled the trigger on this one.

 

Akira

Evil movie governments always learn lessons the hard way. Case in point: if you experiment on one psychic delinquent and get troubling results, you prrrobably shouldn't repeat the process with a more unstable and violent subject who will probably have a few bones to pick with his newly unlocked powers. Of course, that's only the tip of the iceberg in Akira, a film that manages to completely destroy the city of Tokyo twice in its two hour running time. The film does stop short of destroying the world, but not for lack of effort.

 

Chronicle

In many ways, Josh Trank's Chronicle is am Americanized Akira, exploring teen angst through epic battles between superpowered beings. Of course, these are young people who can barely handle their volatile emotions, so their whole "having telekinetic powers" thing doesn't have a particularly positive impact on their surroundings. Thankfully, the final, hormone-charged battle only manages to wreck half of a city and not half of the planet. But who knows what would have happened if the movie managed to get a sequel?

 

Back to the Future Part II

It's a classic story. You know the one: boy gets in time machine, boy's father's former nemesis travels back in time with stolen time machine, boy's father's former nemesis becomes a millionaire and transforms his hometown in a hive of scum and villainy. Yeah, Marty McFly screws up pretty badly in Back to the Future Part II and his time-traveling antics result in his entire personal world being eradicated and transformed into a capitalist nightmare that would make Mr. Potter blush. To be fair, Doc Brown should have installed better locks on the Delorean, but Marty is the one who has to clean the whole mess up.

 

The Cabin in the Woods

The Cabin in the Woods is a unique beast because it's not a movie where the world is threatened and ultimately saved by young people... [spoiler alert]... it's a movie where all of humanity is successfully wiped out and those young people essentially decide to let it happen. Drew Goddard's modern horror masterpiece is a hilarious and gruesome deconstruction of the horror genre in general, but its final moments embrace ice cold nihilism in a way that even the darkest horror films shy away from. In fact, the film paints a picture of a world that the older generations fight to maintain, leaving the young people to throw a wrench in the works and screw everything up for everyone. Deliberately. Stupid kids.

 

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