The 6 Dumbest Mistakes of Supposedly Smart Movie Characters

#3. The Fugitive -- Dr. Richard Kimble Forgets That He Lent the Murderer His House Keys

In The Fugitive, Dr. Richard Kimble (played by Harrison Ford's bearded variant) is wrongly convicted of the murder of his wife but escapes on his way to prison thanks to an awesome train/bus accident. He goes on the run, trying to avoid capture while tracking down the real killer, a one-armed man who bizarrely overpowered both him and his wife.


"Wow, he must jerk off a lot."

The problem is, the police have no evidence that the other killer even exists (which is baffling considering that Kimble battles the guy in his foyer before the cops arrive and he has one goddamned arm, how hard can he be to find?), and there were no signs of forced entry into Kimble's home on the night of the murder, a fact the good doctor couldn't explain (which is why he wound up convicted of the murder).

The Big Twist:

In the end, Kimble finds out that the murderer was sent to kill him by his friend and colleague Dr. Charles Nichols (we assume he got some kind of discount by hiring a one-armed assassin). It was all because of an unsafe drug Kimble was about to blow the whistle on (or something).


In the original script, it all stemmed from his jealousy of Kimble's dope beard.

But How Did He Not See This Coming?

Remember the thing about there being no forced entry into the house? Well, Kimble lent his house keys to Nichols earlier that day. Since the whole "the killer had a set of keys" thing was kind of crucial to the investigation (it's what made Kimble a suspect, after all), you'd think he would have made the connection.

Now, we aren't saying that the fact that Nichols had free access to the Kimble residence immediately makes him the killer, but had Kimble simply mentioned to the police that he'd lent Nichols his house keys, that bit of information would've been enough to at least add Nichols to the list of suspects. Once that happened, it probably wouldn't take the cops very long to figure out that Nichols knew a sketchy one-armed man and had contacted him several times in the weeks preceding the murder. After some email transcripts revealed that their conversations focused mainly on the best methods of removing the skull fragments of other people's wives from beneath your fingernails, the case would've been pretty well closed, and Kimble would've been spared a whole lot of running away from Tommy Lee Jones.


"Next time I'm just going to shoot you in the dick and call it a day."

Instead, Kimble either forgot about it entirely or didn't think it was worth bringing up the entire time he was on trial for murder, right up until he was given the freaking death penalty. You'd think he'd have had plenty of time to think about it while sitting in jail.

#2. Limitless -- The Man With the Superhuman Brain Forgets to Pay Back the Terrifying Loan Shark

Limitless stars Bradley Cooper as a washout writer named Eddie Morra who lives in a shitty apartment run by a terrifyingly aggressive Asian lady. About 20 minutes into the film, Eddie discovers a drug called NZT that gives him unrestricted access to every piece of information he's ever stored in his brain, even if it was only in there for a second. This apparently makes him Thought Superman, and he solves every single problem in his life in a series of montages, because that's how drugs work.


We'd call this scene bullshit, but the career of Hunter S. Thompson says otherwise.

Eddie then goes to an Eastern European loan shark for some quick cash. With his NZT mind lasers, he is able to use that money to become stupefyingly rich on the stock market, which we're pretty sure is the only time in history anyone has ever become a stock-trading super baron after shoving dangerously unregulated drugs into their face.

The Big Twist:

Eddie comes home one day to find that -- holy shit! -- the loan shark is demanding repayment of his money. In the course of the confrontation, the loan shark winds up with the super brain drug, and now Eddie has a big-brained enemy who makes his life hell for the rest of the film, nearly driving Eddie to suicide.


"Who could have predicted that life choices based on drug abuse and criminal involvement could turn out so bad?"

But How Did He Not See This Coming?

Wait a second. Despite the fact that his veins are coursing with the mind-flexing drug of the future that makes you remember everything ever (possibly even events in other people's lives that you didn't even witness), it somehow slips Eddie's mind to pay the loan shark back? It's not like he didn't have the money -- he is literally the most rapidly successful man in history at this point in the film. Eddie has written his dream novel, made a fortune on Wall Street, and become the personal financial adviser to one of the most powerful men in the country.

The $100,000 Eddie owes the loan shark is like peanuts now, plus he has the memory of a mythological deity -- why the hell wouldn't he pay off the loan? Instead, he lets his face get plastered all over the news under the headline "Handsome Billionaire" while Crazy Russian Scarface gets to stand around leering like a hideous ogre, wondering when the fuck he's going to get his money back.


"I should go pay him back, but it's not like these sits are going to up themselves."

The film ends with a permanently drugged Eddie about to become a senator, with eyes on becoming president. It's played like a happy ending, but the guy seems like a shoo-in to immediately forget where he left the nuclear launch codes.

#1. Watchmen -- Dr. Manhattan Forgets That He Can See the Past

As Watchmen draws to a close, and you attempt to pound circulation back into your legs, Ozymandias reveals that he has siphoned energy from Dr. Manhattan (the dong-swinging omnipotent superman) to stage atomic-level blasts in major cities across the globe. By framing Dr. Manhattan as an unpredictable (and indestructible) threat to the entire world, he brings an end to the Cold War, saving us all from total annihilation at our own hands.

However, Rorschach doesn't cotton to this idea, seeing as how Ozymandias murdered millions of people to pull it off, and he vows to bring the truth to light. However, before Rorschach can leave Ozymandias' snow palace to spread the word, Dr. Manhattan blows him up like a jelly doughnut in a decompression chamber, thus preserving Ozymandias' lie and keeping the world united and safe from nuclear war.


Satan's answer to snow angels.

The Big Twist:

Except at the end we find out that Rorschach had already mailed his journal, which we see in the hands of the news media just as the credits roll, implying that his batshit insane version of events will be both entertained and accepted by all who hear it. Dr. Manhattan's plan to go along with Ozymandias' plan was foiled by a guy who isn't as smart as either of them.


"At least I was smart enough to understand the concept of pants."

But How Did He Not See This Coming?

Wait. This is Dr. Manhattan here. That is, the godlike being who can see through time and space.

True, Ozymandias created a tachyon field (comic book science) that blocked Dr. Manhattan from seeing the future, but he should've still been able to see the past at least marginally clearer than the scrambled porn struggling through the blocked channels on your parents' television. If he was so intent on preserving Ozymandias' plan, why wouldn't he check the past to make sure nobody did exactly what Rorschach did to jeopardize it? That's just like proofreading your work, man. You're supposed to be a doctor.


"Hey, it's not like I have all the time in the wor- oh, wait ..."

If Dr. Manhattan had taken half a second of his infinite lifespan to scan the sands of time, he would've noticed Rorschach dropping his gibbering scribbles in the mail and could have done one of a million different things to "correct" it (teleport to the newspaper office and vaporize the journal, turn the journal into a chicken, etc.), because ultimate power is pretty flexible. Instead, after voicing his agreement with Ozymandias' logic and killing a fellow superhero to keep the plan a secret, Dr. Manhattan gives it absolutely no more thought and beams off to another galaxy, never to return.



T.D. Woodward MST3Ks TV shows and bad movies on YouTube. Check him out!



For more boneheaded movie characters, check out 6 Heroic Movie Deaths That Could Have Been Easily Avoided and The 5 Most Easily Avoidable Movie Deaths.

If you're pressed for time and just looking for a quick fix, then check out The 4 Least Anticipated TV Shows of February 2013.

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