5 Baffling Recent Movie Moments (That Were Explained Offscreen)
Hollywood history is rife with movies that are confusing as hell; Chinatown, Mulholland Drive, 2001: A Space Odyssey – which, if we’re interpreting the ending correctly, was all just some baby’s wacky dream. But, as we’ve mentioned before, even generally straightforward films sometimes contain scenes that are complete and utter head-scratchers, necessitating belated explanations to questions such as …
Spider-Man: No Way Home – Why Does Electro Suddenly Look Way Less Stupid?
The Baffling Moment:
Spider-Man: No Way Home may be one of the most financially successful movies of all time, but that doesn’t mean it’s totally confusing at some points; like how did Doctor Octopus know that he could find Peter Parker on that freeway? How did Happy Hogan still claim to know May Parker when he had no memory of Peter at the very end? Why couldn’t Doctor Strange conjure some kind of spell to keep Morbius from coming out?
But one of the oddest unexplained details is the physical appearance of Electro; in The Amazing Spider-Man 2, he looked like the lovechild of Dr. Manhattan and a Tron-themed pinball machine –
– but in No Way Home, suddenly he transforms into plain old handsome Jamie Foxx, as if he had just strolled off the set of Miami Vice. While Electro’s random make-over is briefly commented upon by some of the other characters, we never actually find out the reason behind it.
According to Foxx, his new powers, seemingly acquired from sucking an alternate universe’s power supply simply allowed him to “project” a new version of himself – which also explains why his human form is lacking the unconvincing combover and giant glasses that previously defined his alter ego. So really he still looks exactly the same, but is somehow able to create the illusion that he resembles a movie star now. Of course the real reason for this perplexing transformation is that the only way the producers could convince Jamie Foxx to reprise the role of Electro was by promising that he “didn’t have to be blue.”
Scream – Who is Sidney’s Unseen Husband?
The Baffling Moment:
Because we’re all secretly stuck in the year 1996, we recently got a new Scream movie, simply called Scream. While it features the return of the series’ heroine Sidney Prescott, we don’t get a ton of details about her life; we briefly see her pushing a stroller on a boardwalk, so presumably she has a small child who we're guessing will inherit the franchise by around Scream 17.
We also learn that Sidney has a husband – but we never actually meet this mystery man, despite his important role in the life of a character we’ve been following for more than two decades. Who is this guy?
Sidney refers to her husband as “Mark” and according to directors Tyler Gillett and Matt Bettinelli it’s Mark Kincaid, the LAPD homicide detective from Scream 3, played by Patrick Dempsey. Which is surprising since we never saw them have an actual romantic relationship in that movie beyond a brief epilogue in which he pops by Sidney’s place for movie night with Dewey and Gale Weathers.
And it’s extra-weird because Mark was never even mentioned in Scream 4, but apparently he’s now Mr. Sidney Prescott. And, judging from entertainment news, there could be a very good reason why his character never actually shows up in the movie.
Black Widow – How Does Natasha Get Away From Gen. Ross, Exactly?
The Baffling Moment:
Black Widow opens with Natasha Romanoff in full-blown fugitive mode as she’s relentlessly pursued by Gen. “Thunderbolt” Ross for violating the Sokovia Accords. After going into hiding and defeating the villainous Dreykov (and his icky pheromone-based defences) Natasha is seemingly surrounded by government agents and presumably apprehended. Then the movie just cuts to a scene set two weeks later in which she’s inexplicably roaming free.
Was her only punishment a small fine? Did Ross just force her to get a haircut and a dye job then let her go? What happened?
If it seems as though a key story beat is missing here, yeah that’s pretty much exactly what happened. A deleted scene shows us that after being captured by Ross, Natasha took the blame for blowing up the red room, covering for her family. Then she simply picks the lock on her handcuffs and escapes.
Then presumably she changed her hair, but kept the motorcycle and skin-tight black outfit in what has to be the worst superhero disguise since Clark Kent first visited an optometrist.
The Batman – What The Hell Did Batman Inject Himself With?
The Baffling Moment:
The big finale of The Batman finds The Dark Knight facing off against, not a badass supervillain, but rather, a handful of The Riddler’s online fanboys who are presumably fighting for the first time outside of internet comment sections. Somehow these cosplaying randos still manage to give Batman a run for his money – so much so that he seems to be down for the count at one point, and only finds the strength to continue after injecting himself with … something?
While you may have assumed that this mysterious drug was introduced in an earlier scene that played out while you were taking one of several bathroom breaks, but nope, it wasn’t. Some fans, understandably, theorized that this mysterious injection may have contained venom, Bane’s super-steroid of choice.
But according to the recently-released book The Art of the Batman, the shot in question was simply good old-fashioned epinephrine, which gave him a spike in adrenaline, allowing him to best the remaining petty thugs. Why Batman never took four seconds to be like, “Hey Alfred, check out this beltful of epinephrine” at some point in the preceding two and a half hours is anyone’s guess.
Deep Water – Seriously, What’s The Deal With Ben Affleck’s Snails?
The Baffling Scene:
As we’ve mentioned before, Deep Water, the erotic thriller starring Ana De Armas, Ben Affleck, and palpable discomfort of Ben Affleck, is absolutely chock full of unhinged scenes. One narrative wrinkle that caught viewers particularly off guard is how Affleck’s character has confoundingly channelled all of his pent-up marital frustrations into an obsessive collection of … live snails?
Why snails? It’s hard to imagine that anyone was titilated by the sight of the star of Paycheck creepily watching two gastropods get it on in the middle of the night. Well, it turns out that there’s a good reason for this character trait that seemingly came out of left field from a ballpark on another planet.
The film was based on a novel by legendary author Patricia Highsmith, who also wrote classics like Strangers on a Train and The Talented Mr. Ripley. Apparently, Highsmith was similarly obsessed with snails, and not only kept them as pets, but incorporated them into her work. Highsmith penned a short story literally called The Snail-Watcher, about a snail enthusiast who starts out simply observing the creatures, but ends up drowning in a sea of murderous, copulating snails.
So Affleck’s character’s bizzaro hobby was a tribute to both Highsmith and her work – although to be honest, Deep Water would have been 1000% better if it ended with Ben Affleck being taken down by an army of zombie-like snails.
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Top Image: Warner Bros.