Surprising your audience is a great way to make your story memorable. However, doing so using one of the dumbest plot twists ever conceived is far less advisable. While this might make the narrative unforgettable, it usually does so in the worst way possible.
Plot twists are deceptively difficult to get right. A good one is usually subtly foreshadowed somehow, and always leaves the audience feeling they should have seen it coming. Bad ones need do nothing of the sort.
Some of the dumbest plot twists of all time earned their underwhelming stripes the easy way. Tacking on an illogical, clichéd, or downright weird narrative development is enough to secure a movie’s status as truly laughable. And, for better or worse, those are the ones we’re looking at today.
7. Eternals (2021) – Ikaris Did It
Fleshing out the MCU with a cosmic-level story, Eternals was certainly ambitious. Combining the talents of Oscar-winning director Chloe Zhao with an ensemble cast of world-class actors should make for an easy box office success. Considering global stars such as Richard Madden, Gemma Chan, Kit Harington, Angelina Jolie, Salma Hayek, Ma Dong-seok, and Barry Keoghan all feature heavily, the MCU movie was initially tipped to do very well, indeed.
Unfortunately, it was a major disappointment. Among the many criticisms of Eternals we can find its silly plot twist, infecting a potentially solid plot with clichéd nonsense. After leader Ajak (Hayek) is found dead, it comes out that she was murdered by second-in-command Ikaris (Madden) for betraying her own orders. It’s a development that sees the titular team of heroes turn against one another, but it’s also thoroughly underwhelming.
Ikaris betraying his friends (and wife) without hesitation seems a little lazy, but it’s actually far worse than that. Like with many similar reveals, it creates various small plot holes around Ikaris’s actions throughout the movie, undermining the entire narrative with its stupidity. What makes it one of the dumbest plot twists around is simply that Marvel should know how to do better by now. Apparently, they don’t.