Ever heard the term MacGuffin thrown around? That’s pretty much a plot device, only in a visual form. It’s what entire movies revolve around, as heroes chase down what could be a mystical item of untold power, or something far, far lamer. Here’s ten of the best.
The Tesseract/ Cosmic Cube – Captain America: The First Avenger, The Avengers
The Tesseract! An item of unbelievable power! Able to open doorways into the far-off regions of space! Or you could just use it as quick-charge method to give your not-Nazi Hydra soldiers some fancy-dancy weaponry, while completely ignoring the fact that it’ll teleport your ass to a far-off location when you’re doing battle with your roided-up American super-soldier counterpart. But dammit, it sure is pretty.
The One Ring – Lord of The Rings
Sauron’s ring thing, do your thing! As far as choices go when it comes to bottling up all your power into one small item, the One Ring wasn’t such a bad idea. Plus it looked bloody fashionable, unless you were one of those kinds of elves who wasn’t down with eternal marriage. With the power to control all other fashion accessories and in the darkness bind them, the One Ring had only one real flaw. The fact that it was pure thief-bait.
That damn VHS tape – The Ring
Some horror films will never age. And other horror films will be cringe-worthy examples of a time long past. Years from now, when we have tales and films to tell our kids, we’ll frighten the little bastards with this particular movie. Only to be asked what the hell a “Vee Aitch Ess tape” actually is. At which point I’ll pack up my VCR, VCR head cleaning kit and VCR quick rewinder and scuttle off in a huff.
The Rabbit’s Foot – Mission Impossible 3
In typical JJ Abrams fashion, there were a few questions left over at the end of Mission Impossible 3. And in even more typical JJ Abrams fashion, none of them were answered. Mission Impossible 3 was all about chasing down the ever-elusive Rabbit’s Foot, a MacGuffin of who the f**k knows catastrophic power. I’d bet easy money that it was a height growth formula, which would have explained why Tom Cruise wanted it so badly.
Horcruxes – Harry Potter
Horcruxes, much like doing your taxes, were soul-draining examples of wizardry, which when done right could confer immortality onto the sorceror who performed the spells. When done wrong, it’d play a game of “Got Your Nose” and sentence you to an agonising existence of un-life if anything happened to your corporeal form. Just like taxes.
The Force – Star Wars
How strong is your religion? Well in the Star Wars universe, worshiping the mystical side of the force can do more than just give you a tax break, it can actually lend you some proper power. Pure power,zero CGI hand fart technique, the Force is the real plot device behind Star Wars.
The Spice – Dune
Ah, the Spice of Arrakis. A valuable commodity that the universe revolves around, and man, a snort of that stuff will f**k you up! Not that I recommend doing that. Created by the mighty worms of Arrakis, the Spice is the key to interstellar travel, and fiercely protected by the Fremen. Plus it goes great on some Harkonnen hors d’oeuvres. More heart-plugs please waiter.
The Suitcase – Pulp Fiction
Just what the hell was inside that damn case? What was worth seeing Samuel L Jackson with a bad haircut, seeing Bruce Willis almost get raped and John Travolta accidentally decorate his car with in-season brains and blood? No one knows exactly, but…Oh wait, it turns out that it was diamonds. Just diamonds. Huh. Now give me my damn Big Mac already.
Helen of Troy – Troy
You’d have to be pretty stupid to wage a war that would shake the ancient world to its core and have thousands of men die, over a pretty lady. Then you’d realise that as a species, us men are pretty petty and screw those damn Trojans, who think that they’re such hot stuff because of their impenetrable defenses and stuff. If ever there was an excuse to go to war, you can bet that us men would choose the silliest reason possible.
A bloody elephant – The Protector
As far action movies go, The Protector is a completely mental example of what happens when human bones met the unifying destructive force of Tony Jaa. Multiply that by a stolen elephant, and the Jaa side of science results in more broken bones per square kilometer than previusly thought possible. All this, while one angry Muay Thai expert flying kicks his way into various establishments demanding to know where his elephant is.
Last Updated: March 27, 2014