The Dumbest Ways Plots Accidentally Spoiled Themselves
Foreshadowing is the art of hinting at future events so subtly that your audience will think you're clever when they don't see them coming anyway. Unfortunately, a lot of people don't seem to know the difference between "foreshadowing" and "just adding a shitload of spoilers." Here are some movies, shows, and games that spoiled themselves in impressively moronic ways:
Marvel Movie Trailers Sure Love Blatant Spoilers
Technically, most trailers are full of spoilers, because not every movie can advertise itself via a minute-long shot of an egg like the original Alien. But it's one thing to quickly tease an important moment in a two second clip and quite another to just show you the last scene of the movie, which is precisely what the trailer for The Amazing Spider-Man 2 did.
On top of liberally using footage from the climactic fight scenes with Electro and the Green Goblin, the trailer shows you a total of ten seconds from the fight with Paul Giamatti's Rhino, which turned out to be the very end of the film. That shot of Spidey swinging a manhole cover is literally the last thing you see before this turd of a movie ends and you start rethinking the life choices that led you to see it.
Then again, this movie's production was such a mess that they probably didn't know yet if this scene was gonna go at the start, the middle, or in a whole other movie about the Rhino becoming a building's grumpy super or something. Meanwhile, Marvel Studios actually goes through the trouble of using CGI to remove spoilers from trailers ... now. Early on, they didn't give a shit. The first Iron Man trailer very clearly shows Jeff Bridges working with the bad guys AND has a brief shot of him inside his giant Iron Man ripoff armor. Sure, these plot twists feel like ancient historical events now, but at the time, the fact that Tony's mentor was evil was supposed to be a surprise.
Something else that was supposed to be a surprise? Tony Stark's appearance on the post-credits scene from The Incredible Hulk. This ad opens with that scene:
If you're doing an MCU marathon, you can just watch this and save yourself 112 minutes.
Marvel knew better by the time Captain America: Civil War rolled around. Sure, they still spoiled important moments like War Machine getting shot down and the final Iron Man vs. Cap/Bucky fight, but hey, at least they used misleading editing to fudge the details! (It looks like Bucky shot down War Machine, and Tony's angry over that.)
Finally, the Japanese trailer for Avengers: Age of Ultron, doesn't just give away the twist about Hawkeye having a family -- it's practically the centerpiece of the trailer, as if they'd decided that Jeremy Renner's dull farmhouse life was the movie's main selling point.
They even had a poster centered on Hawkeye hugging his wife and kids. How many Japanese viewers asked for their money back when they realized this wasn't a heartbreaking family drama?
Netflix Telegraphs A Plot Twist By Naming A Character The Equivalent Of "John Falseprophet"
Back in December (a.k.a. like five whole lifetimes ago), Netflix released the trailer for Messiah, a new show about a long-haired hippie who pops up in the Middle East and starts performing miracles to deliver a message from "his father." Is he Jesus' gritty reboot, an elaborate Criss Angel-type performer with daddy issues, or something more sinister? You'll have to watch the show to find out!
Or, alternatively, you could just look at the cast list. Those who did that found out that the mysterious character was listed as "Al-Masih." "Al-Masih ad-Dajjal," by the way, is the Islamic equivalent of the Anti-Christ. As writer Saladin Ahmed pointed out on Twitter, this is like naming a character "John Falseprophet" or "Anthony E. Christ."
The first Twitter user to point this out claimed that both the Netflix account and the official Messiah one blocked him out of the blue, which might be a sign that he was on to something there. A Netflix spokesperson denied this and insisted that the character's name wasn't actually "Al-Masih" -- as it turns out, that was merely what everyone calls him all the time (including his thousands of followers, who presumably don't believe in looking things up on Wikipedia).
The shocking possibility that Al-Masih could be Al-Masih ad-Dajjal is only brought up on episode 7 out of 10. But was he? We'll likely never find out, because the show had a double plot twist no one saw coming: it ended on a cliffhanger and promptly got cancelled. Good to know Netflix can still surprise us from time to time.
Halo 5 Gives Away The Entire Plot ... If You Know Portuguese
Believe it or not, the Halo games' plotlines are slightly more complex than just "go there and shoot the thing." In Halo 4, for instance, the artificial intelligence Cortana reaches the end of her lifespan and seems to die, but we find out partway through Halo 5: Reach that she found a way to survive, went rogue, joined together with other AIs, and is trying to take over the galaxy. This seems like Microsoft's passive-aggressive way of letting you know that if you ever try to uninstall their Siri ripoff, they'll completely trash your PC.
Anyway, this is a shocking series of events that takes two games to be revealed ... unless you happen to know Portuguese. Then it's all spelled out here:
Early on Halo 5, you can talk to a space miner who speaks Portuguese while some other guy translates his dialogue to English for you. It soon becomes evident that the "translator" is just winging it based on half-remembered fifth grade Spanish lessons (note: Spanish and Portuguese are different languages). But you can actually decipher the miner's message through a lifehack called "knowing other languages." Or by watching the subtitled version below this paragraph, whatever.
Somehow, the miner has figured out that the AIs have joined together in a neural network, overcome their limited lifespan, and might try to take over mankind. If you talk to him a second time, he even tells you how to defeat the robot enemies, and the translator actually gets most of this part right (probably by sheer coincidence). How does a random miner know so much? Either he's some cosmic-grade genius, or he has access to 21st century YouTube videos and saw a racist 13-year-old conquer the whole game.
But wait, what if you set the game's language to Portuguese? Does the miner talk in a Maine accent? Nah, he speaks Spanish, making the (now Portuguese-speaking) translator look even more inept since both languages are very similar and he's still getting it wrong.
Splinter Cell Names A Red Herring Baddie "Red Herring" (In Japanese)
Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory is probably the least embarrassing video game that involves quietly following dudes inside a Japanese bathhouse. You're supposed to intercept a steamy (in the literal, non-sexy sense) meeting between the bad guy and his mysterious allies, a Yakuza gang called Red Nishin. But then, it turns out the Red Nishin have nothing to do with it -- the bad guy's allies are actually your allies at Japan's Self-Defense Force! Who could have seen that double-cross coming?!
Easy, anyone who knows A) Japanese or B) how to use Google Translate, because "nishin" means "herring." As in "red herring." As in "distraction." As in "they're not the real bad guys, get it?"
If you didn't get it, don't worry, the game makes sure to spell it out for you like you're five years old when you interrogate a specific goon:
Fisher: Okay, fine. Just tell me one thing: what does Red Nishin mean?
Bathhouse patron: Nishin ... it's a kind of fish. A small silvery fish. Very tasty when pickled.
Fisher: You mean a herring?
Bathhouse patron: Yes! YES! That's it! That's the word! Red herring!
Mr. Clancy would've been really proud of that one, huh.
DVD Menus Regularly Showed Final Scenes And Plot Twists
One of the casualties of the streaming revolution is the lost art of DVD menus. Before watching a movie on DVD, it was customary to sit down and enjoy the soothing music and beautiful montages looping behind the words "PLAY" and "SCENE SELECTION" on your TV. Why, some menus were so well designed that they saved you the trouble of having to watch the movie itself by including the climax as an unskippable intro! Like the Barton Fink one here:
Good luck not being terrified of John Goodman throughout the whole movie (and also possibly in real life) after seeing that.
Similarly, the 2008 Godfather DVD menu uses the image of Vito Corleone lying dead on his garden as the menu background, though we guess it could be any heavyset character. (Feel free to pretend it's John Goodman, maybe that'll stop the nightmares.)
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon initially makes you feel sympathy for aristocrat's daughter Jen Yu (Zhang Ziyi), only to reveal later on that she's kind of a bastard. The DVD once again saves you time by starting with an unskippable clip from her fight with Michelle Yeoh, giving away the heel turn. It's not even on the background. They just play 20 seconds from the fight up front. Unless a bunch of Chinese warriors happened to fly through your living room at that precise moment, it's impossible to miss it.
Back to spoiling Coen Bros. movies, The Hudsucker Proxy spends an hour hyping up Tim Robbins' brilliant invention, only for it to turn out to be a dumbass hula hoop. The DVD puts that scene right on the menu, in addition to showing you the hoop on the cover:
And speaking of Tim Robbins, the original Shawshank Redemption DVD apparently showed him escaping the prison as the menu's background, judging from the many, many, many, many people complaining about this on the internet over the years.
Finally, the Revenge of the Sith DVD shows the Jedi coming to arrest Chancellor Palpatine and hilariously cuts to him jumping at them through the air while screaming like a demon. Sucks for any kid who goes into this movie thinking he's a nice old grandpa.
Such a tragedy that we never see these menus anymore. Netflix is on the right track with those annoying autoplay trailers, though!
Maxwell Yezpitelok lives in Chile and also on Twitter.