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Most stupid character decision in a film


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I doubt anyone can recall any really, but I was just watching Nate And Hayes, the 1983 Tommy Lee Jones adventure film where he sort of plays a pirate, and in the opening he meets a tribe to exchange guns for gold, it doesn't go to plan and he runs away.

 

He comes to a bridge with people on it, exactly like the one in Temple Of Doom, 100 feet over a river, he throws them over and then looks down as he's stood basically 20% through it. Then he hears a noise where some more people are coming from the direction he's just escaped from so he runs back, cuts the bridge, hangs on then swings to the side he wanted to get to, then they're throwing spears at him as he's struggling to climb up. Finally he manages to and escapes but it's an odd sight him reaching the top like he's achieved something. 

 

Unless I'm missing something, if anyone has also seen this film, why wouldn't he just run across the bridge and then cut it? There's no danger with the swinging, no being vulnerable to be speared while climbing, no struggle. He was already 20% over the bridge! He went back! I just couldn't fathom it and I thought...that's the stupidest character decision I've ever seen in a film.

 

Did the writers watch Temple Of Doom the year after and think...damn that's how you do a bridge scene?

 

It didn't even fit for who this cool cavalier pirate is supposed to be, the first seconds of the film are him strangling and throwing a snake in his path that another person he's with is scared to go near. 

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1 hour ago, Harsin said:

Can I just post a link to the script of Prometheus, it’ll be quicker than listing them all.

 

I saw the thread title and my very first thought was "running directly away from a collapsing spaceship in the direction it's moving."

 

I didn't even hate that moment, or the film as a whole, but it was the first thing I thought of because the Internet has trained me well over the last decade.

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You walk through a door, all of a sudden you are falling some distance down a dark hole.  Suddenly you are grabbed by some talking hands.  

 

It's dark you can't really see, they give you the decision to go up or down.

 

You choose DOWN!!!!

 

Labyrinth.  Sarah choosing down.  It's a fantasy film I get it.

 

But to this day watching it I still hold out a slight hope she might make the only sensible choice and choose up one time.

 

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11 hours ago, Stigweard said:

 

See also Alien Covenant 

This, I was actually thinking about posting about how dumb this is this evening. I don't think a single character makes any decision that is any way intelligent or any way a sentient being would proceed if it valued it's own existence.

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Roger Ebert pointed out that in the first Die Hard movie the cop in charge (the white guy before the FBI show up) is so annoying that he almost spoils the film.  You have sophisticated terrorists, John McLaine ultimately outsmarting them, then you have this idiot character whose only purpose in the film is to turn up and make wrong decision after wrong decision.  Once you've spotted it, you say the same trope in lots of other films, the idiot who comes in to make everyone else's life more difficult by being stupid and wrong, usually from a position of authority.

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13 hours ago, Harsin said:

Can I just post a link to the script of Prometheus, it’ll be quicker than listing them all.

 

This one irks, not because it's in the film, but because everyone commenting on how it would never happen can be easily disproved by googling googling three seconds and coming up with dozens of examples like this:

 

 

There are lazy writing examples, or films where for whatever reason scenes had to be changed at the last minute, but they don't apply to Promethus, where Theron charcter was under huge pressure and had other things like alien killers on top of being in immediate life threatening decision to worry about.

 

Anyway, Patrick Willems sums up most of these examples better than I could.

 

 

 

 

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14 hours ago, Nick R said:

I saw the thread title and my very first thought was "running directly away from a collapsing spaceship in the direction it's moving."

 

But is giant cheeserolling worse than petting a spacesnake?

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4 hours ago, Mikes said:

 

This one irks, not because it's in the film, but because everyone commenting on how it would never happen can be easily disproved by googling googling three seconds and coming up with dozens of examples like this:

 

 

There are lazy writing examples, or films where for whatever reason scenes had to be changed at the last minute, but they don't apply to Promethus, where Theron charcter was under huge pressure and had other things like alien killers on top of being in immediate life threatening decision to worry about.

 

Anyway, Patrick Willems sums up most of these examples better than I could.

 

 

 

 

 

I agree on the Theron running example, both because of the reasons you cite, and also because the ship eventually rolls over and - being FUCKING MASSIVE - demonstrates that a huge area of the space they were in was about to be squished. She's trying to get out of that area, and turning left would not have necessarily helped. I think it's more a poorly framed SFX sequence.

 

In the context of this thread - stupid character decisions - I'm not sure people are saying they're plot holes. They're just fucking dumb choices.

 

Prometheus does have those by the bucketful. Let's go with Fifield - a geologist on another planet in a temple filled with dead bodies who decides to smoke weed in a sealed spacesuite - and Millburn - a expert bioligist who decides to get close to and try to pet a new alien lifeform when he encounters it.

 

 

The whole fucking film is anger inducing, because almost every situation relies on huge stupidity on the part of everyone else in order for it to work. It's like Wayland Yutani hired the worst candidates in every field it needed specifically to make the mission the absolute disaster it was.

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I hope Mike’s appreciates the irony that his *pushes glasses up nose* “Actually your opinions are all wrong and if you watch this YouTube video with a thumbnail of a bearded man in sunglasses it will tell you why” has the most Comic Book Guy tone about it of any post in what was a pretty lighthearted thread.

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1 hour ago, Pelekophoros said:

Prometheus does have those by the bucketful. Let's go with Fifield - a geologist on another planet in a temple filled with dead bodies who decides to smoke weed in a sealed spacesuite - and Millburn - a expert bioligist who decides to get close to and try to pet a new alien lifeform when he encounters it.

 

Yep, the geologist / biologist going off on their own sequence were dumb, but I hold those were the only disjointed decisions in the film. Everything else pretty much holds up within the universes continuity.

 

Taking an example from the same franchise - the colonial marines in Aliens. They're supposed to be the best of the best. Instead they fall apart at the first sign of stress, can't follow orders and are ill disciplined.

 

But without them, we wouldn't have Aliens.

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"let's split up"

 

An awful lot of plots are dependent on people doing something really stupid just to make something happen. Especially in things like horror films. 

 

I would have also said the whole plot revolving around people in power ignoring the actual expert on a given subject but, y'know... *gestures vaguely at the world*

 

My personal pet peeve is a character not taking literally two seconds to listen to the perfectly reasonable explanation for why something has happened / why someone has gone something / a particular situation has occurred. Storming off mid conversation is the cornerstone of most romantic plots.

 

 

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^ "Let's split up"

 

I love that trope in video games especially. There will be some contrivance where you have half a dozen party members, but you have to break into groups of three so that you "Don't draw attention". Irony being even as three you continually attract attention and get into fights.

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3 hours ago, Mikes said:

 

Yep, the geologist / biologist going off on their own sequence were dumb, but I hold those were the only disjointed decisions in the film. Everything else pretty much holds up within the universes continuity.

 

 

Alien: Everyone suits up, John Hurt has a space accident, Ripley cites quarantine procedures and the plot only progresses because evil corporations.

Prometheus: Hey guys, this alien planet has oxygen in its atmosphere, helmets off!

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I rewatched The Score again last night, the De Niro, Norton, Brando 2001 heist film I hope everyone has watched because it's so watchable, and..spoilers... though it makes sense for Norton's character to reveal himself to the old guy he worked with in terms of wanting to be like 'ha I fooled you I was so good with my act wasn't I' and it's very much a power move, unless he kills him (which he doesn't), he's a wanted man regardless whether he gets the scepter or not. And he doesn't because he doesn't check want De Niro hands to him. 

 

It doesn’t kill the film or character because it fits, he's so consumed by ego that when he should be being being smart he's wanting to impose how smart he is. 

 

Just thought of the mirroring of De Niro in the opening scene when he's breaking open a safe and two people come into the room, he hides, the woman notices, he grabs her from behind and says 'stay still, don't turn around'. It's made clear Norton was so convincing that the old guy didn't recognise his voice, all he had to do was usher him into the room. 

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I've said this many times before on this subject, but the very end of the otherwise very good James Woods/Brian Dennehy buddy flick Best Seller.  Going to avoid spoilers, but they clearly had no idea how to get certain characters into a certain situation required for the ending and settled for a minor character making a very obviously bad choice because there was no other way to get there.

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I watched the Tony Scott film Revenge the other week and I had issues with pretty much all the decisions by the characters in that, mostly Costner retiring as a jet pilot, meeting his Mexican cartel boss friend at his house, meeting his new wife, then humping her repeatedly, caring little to hide it. And just two complete strangers helping him get 'revenge' after the cartel boss retaliates with violence when he discovers them. I wish the film wasn't so uneventful and predictable that it could be spoiled ! 

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16 hours ago, BossSaru said:

Not doing a proper headcount of your kids when your previous holiday was ruined by accidentally leaving one at home.

 

Well technically she did though as she did it in the mini bus before they left. Then he got lost in the mad dash to the plane. But yes, as they got on the plane, they should have checked. 

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