Home to good thoughts, bad thoughts, and the occasional railroad spike, the old grey matter is no longer the king of the hill in the universe. With these 5 movies about intelligence that prove brains aren’t everything, you might just have to remove the ice packs tucked into your sweatband to cool your thoughtbox off as these other forms of life would like to have a word with you.
“Futurama: The Beast with a Billion Backs”
He may be made out of metal and reek of cheap booze and expensive cigars, but Bender’s brain-free structure is filled with intelligence. Alcohol, love, friendship, greed, and good old egotism power Bender through his life, showing that you don’t have to have a brain to be a smart, cunning jerk as it might just get in the way of all the ruthless acts you have going on. As the League of Robots sip cognac and tell human jokes around the fireplace, the feeling that brains definitely don’t prove intelligence will warm your organic heart.
So the plants have just now decided that humanity is a threat and so they whip up a batch of their favorite neurotoxin, which doesn’t just paralyze humans but goes that extra mile and sends them out to commit suicide, in order to take the edge off of this threat. Ignore that they just somehow have this toxin on standby, ignore that they’ve waited until now to do this and concentrate on how well coordinated the attacks are, showing off both intelligence and foresight in their non-brain carrying plant bodies. The conga line through the tall grass shows off both the smartness of the plants and some really hilarious acting.
“Transformers: Dark of the Moon”
They were able to travel from their home planet to Earth, able to form relationships whether it be in the form of friends and allies or predator and prey, but the Transformers robotic intelligence could have used a brain when they ended up in a sequel. Whether they encountered a superior intelligence or not, it’s clear the Transformers had to do terrible things on the casting couch to score their first movie and clearly didn’t read their contract that locked them into the franchise. Sentient metal might prove that brains aren’t everything but when you have to see the painted flames on Optimus Prime as he fights a “Dune” type robot worm, you have to wonder if common sense might trump all forms of intelligence.
There are three things robots love: petting kittens, "Three Stooges" films, and killing humans. “Robotropolis” only manages to satisfy one of those loves but at least you get to see what artificial intelligence can get up to when not limited to car building and dancing at comic conventions. The robots decide it’d be nice to stop doing blue-collar work and have a city for themselves so naturally they follow human history and start killing off their oppressors. After the soccer player is killed, his soccer team returns to start a random chant about getting rid of the robots, which shows that brains do not come with intelligence pre-installed.
Mimicking isn’t a true sign of intelligence, until you throw in the ability to make conscious decisions, a willing stabby finger, and a drive to see your mission accomplished as you get with the T-1000. Driven to pick up where his predecessor failed, the T-1000 has no conventional grey matter to speak of and yet shows a great capacity for the use of intelligence. Watch as the liquid metal villain accepts the consequences of liquid nitrogen as he gambles his life against the death of his target.