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Every now and again a movie gets a little too wrapped up in its twists and turns. It’s a very common movie flaw that the story gets more focus than the actual characters, so while in a classic like ‘Alien’, we can relate to our characters all the way through, in more modern movies, it gets a little harder. For instance, a movie can come out with a great twist, but then you end up realizing that some of the decisions made by the characters do not make too much sense. Below are three times 2013 movies made that mistake.

3 – OWEN SHAW EMPLOYS LETTY FOR LITTLE REASON

The big hook of Fast and Furious 6 was the fact that Letty had come back from the dead. It was the shock twist that the trailer revealed that made this movie so gripping. So how would they explain away that narrative trick? Well, seeing as the writers wanted to go for the Letty becoming a villain route, we learnt that Owen Shaw, British so therefore a Hollywood villain, had recruited her. When he learned that she was suffering amnesia, making her a blank slate, she was the ideal puppet for his schemes. He basically got a free master driver to add to his evil plans.

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However, surely he must have begun to get a little cautious, when his schemes pitted him against Don Toretto, her former lover. OK, I grant you, it was pretty unpredictable that the Feds ran to ex-cons for help, but when Shaw learnt about this factor in his plans, he should have kept Letty away from the action. But no, he sends her out on almost every mission. It is this alone time with Toretto which eventually convinces her to switch sides, something that could very easily be avoided.

And while writing this I just realized how stupid the fight scene between Letty and Riley is. By the end of the film, we learn that Riley is actually Shaw’s woman on the inside and the secret weapon that allows him to break out of Hobbs’ grasp when he is captured. However, that also makes some of the earlier parts of the movie weird, namely that fight in the subway station. We can either believe that both Letty and Riley were in on the betrayal and actually were just ‘looking’ like they were trying to kill each other. This is unlikely as Letty surely would have blown the whistle the second she switched sides. The only other argument is that Shaw didn’t trust Letty on this mission after all, which makes it even weirder that he gives her enough leash to stab him in the back by the end of the movie.

2 – GENERAL ZOD BRINGS LOIS LANE ONTO THE SHIP

I really didn’t want to mention this one, as everyone has discussed this at one point or the other. However, I decided I would be criticized for not at least bringing it up, so I will make this short and sweet.

There was absolutely no reason for Lois Lane to be brought onto the ship. It was clear why she there, but that was for writing reasons. Snyder has to make us like Lois as a character, other than the fact that she is Lois Lane, and the film was getting so bloated, a lot of Lois Lane’s appearances are crudely shoe-horned into proceedings. She stumbles through the movie, always being at the right place at the right time. This is the most obvious one (we could argue that if it wasn’t for this, we wouldn’t have started nit-picking through the rest of her character arc), as Zod doesn’t even really need a human onboard. He says some daft line about hostages and brings her with Superman onto the ship. He then proceeds to leave her there, where she makes her escape and saves Superman. OK, it was impossible to predict that Superman’s dead Dad would show up out of nowhere, but that doesn’t excuse the random decision made by this mastermind conqueror.

Other mad Man of Steel moments include:

– The Kryptonians punishing Zod and his men by making them the only survivors of Krypton.

– Faora randomly hesitating before killing the commander who blows her up. Why?

– The use of the Wilheim scream. Really, Snyder? Really?!


1 – JOHANNA TRIES REALLY HARD TO MAKE EVERYONE HATE HER

The twist in Catching Fire is a pretty awesome one. It turns out that a bunch of the nasty-looking characters, like the organizer of the Hunger Games and some of the douchier kids in the competition are actually part of the resistance. Katniss wakes up to see how many people are actually on her side and it is a pretty awesome moment. Johanna is one of them, but thinking back through some of her actions in the movie, it becomes very hard to see why she made herself such a memorable and volatile character.

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For one, why was she so clearly a rival to Katniss until the Hunger Games. We first meet her character in the elevator, where she undresses in front of Katniss, Peeta and Hamish. While it shall remain my favorite movie moment of 2013 – no, life in general – it does seem like an odd move. Katniss clearly doesn’t take to this too well, and the only reason, she does not totally flip out is because she isn’t actually in love with Peeta. Remember one of the main plot points of the movies is that Katniss and Peeta have managed to get everyone believing that they are a couple. Only a handful of people know the truth and even then, they suspect there is an affair going on anyway. There was no way Johanna could have known they were not a couple. Therefore here Johanna is trying to antagonize Katniss by flirting with her ‘fiancé’ in front of her. Johanna was very lucky that the moment the Hunger Games started Katniss didn’t make it a priority to hunt her down first and kill her on sight, long before she learned that Johanna is actually nice all along. Remember, the Hunger Games are very traumatic and the survivors are very unpredictable.

But it’s not just Katniss. There is a scene where Johanna publically shouts her true feelings about the corruption of the government. Hell, from what we’ve seen from President Snow, he is likely to order her death the moment the Hunger Games ended. Does she not understand the fundamental nature of being undercover? She has just made herself the number one suspect for a secret rebel. As much as I love her character, she does make some silly decisions in Catching Fire. If anyone has any background reading from the actual book that could shed some light on her choice-making, feel free to share in the comments below.

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6 thoughts on “The 3 Stupidest Character Decisions in 2013 Movies

  1. It boils down to this simple truth: Johanna, like the rest of the victors, is broken by the games and what the capital has done to her since she won them. Finnick’s brokenness comes across in his arrogance. Haymitch’s in his drunkenness. Katniss’ in her guilt over killing people. And Johanna’s is mostly anger. But also self-defeating nonchalance to her own well-being. She simply doesn’t care what happens to her.

    In that way, Johanna isn’t making informed choices, really. She’s acting on impulse, doing whatever occurs to her in the moment it occurs, without considering the repercussions. She doesn’t see herself as an undercover agent, even if she is one. And she doesn’t care what happens to her; but she does understand how important victors are – by structuring the games as they have, the capital has turned them into celebrities. Johanna aims to use her celebrity to incite reaction. From the capital, the populace at large, and Katniss. She acts in such a way as to get response, without really processing the long term effects of her actions.

    In other words, Johanna is not a strategic thinker. Like many soldiers suffering from PTSD, she is too emotionally scarred for all of that.

      • You bet. Honestly, I tried to present that interpretation from what we see in the movie, not what we read in the books. But I think it applies to both.

        I will also note: I don’t think the elevator scene primarily about flirting with Peeta. After all, Haymitch is there, too. I think it’s primarily about Johanna. She’s trying to shock these people whom she’s never met. She’s also disgusted by the games in general, the introductory ceremony and her costume. She’s shedding all of them, as quickly as she can, so she can feel free again, if only for a moment.

        Her nakedness and audience, in many ways, are secondary.

  2. Johanna’s actions could also be a bit more strategic based on whether or not she was part of the secret pact among Victors when she made the actions.

    If she wasn’t part of the pact, she likely actually wanted to die. As you point out, she’s been in the clutches of the Capitol (who do not do nice things to Victors) for years and she has no one to live for. She’s goading both Katniss and the Capitol into what she figures is probably inevitable anyway. And yes, she’s not going down without creating a stink for the Capitol during her one shot at a national audience. I loved that scene!

    If she was part of the pact already, then she’s likely trying to get a sense of who the two Victors from District 11 are via the elevator scene. I always felt so. And on stage she makes herself a very public, very obvious target for Snow and the Capitol to focus on. This could divert attention away from the real source of their trouble – Katniss.

    Finally, Lois Lane was Zod’s back-up plan. He needed to know where Clark’s spaceship was and if he couldn’t get it from fellow superior-being Clark, he’d have to figure he could likely get it from the mind of the puny human who had publicly declared herself the only Clark expert on the planet. And she indicates that he did use the same procedure on her, so that tracks.

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