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Idiot Plot / Spider-Man 3

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This film has Sam Raimi's biggest Idiot Plot since A Simple Plan. This How It Should Have Ended episode sums much of it up:


  • This was already pretty bad in the previous film, but the fact that even after all the time between films, right after Harry found out Peter was Spider-Man, he still hasn't tried to take a moment to talk with the former. Yeah, at the beginning of the film we see Harry brushing him off, but what's really stopping Peter from simply swinging to Harry's penthouse and force him to talk? This isn't a simple misunderstanding on a game or a problem with dates, it's a matter of life and death and Peter is just not trying hard enough to solve the issue.
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  • Much of the tension could have been relieved if Mary Jane just asked Peter "You do realize my role in the play was replaced, right?" Or if Peter would have taken a deep breath and talked things through with her after "killing" Harry. On the other hand, he was under the effects of the evil suit, but it feels like he just forgot her entirely after getting his revenge.
  • Don't forget the admittedly in-movie (but treading actual What an Idiot! territory) stupidity of, on a whim, publicly giving an open-mouthed kiss to his lab partner at the same time he was still going steady with Mary Jane. "Special kiss" in and of itself or not, and not even going into fidelity issues, it doesn't take a sociologist to realize that that is going to raise some hackles.
  • Harry gets his memory back and then threatens Mary Jane, telling her that he would hurt Peter unless she breaks up with him.
    • Both Harry and Mary Jane somehow forget that Peter is just as strong as Harry, and has had far more experience dealing with superpowered people than Harry ever has. Hell, in their (only) encounter, Harry blindsided Peter and had every possible resource at his advantage and Peter still comes out unscathed and borderline accidentally crippled Harry.
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    • Mary Jane proceeds to break up with Peter, and forgets to tell him that Harry got his memory back, is once again dangerous, and that he threatened her.
    • This is made even worse by the fact that Harry was nowhere close enough to actually hear what they were saying to each other, so she could have just whispered this new development to him.
    The Nostalgia Critic: "Hey! Harry's got his memory back! He’s standing right there. Beat the shit out of him." (cut to scene with Peter kicking Harry through a window) "THE END!"
  • Harry's butler tells Harry that Peter did not intentionally kill his father. Either the truth about Harry's father's death slipped his mind for several years, or the writers retro-actively made the butler an idiot to advance the plot, and make Harry and Peter friends again (Word of God is that the butler in that particular scene is a hallucination, meant to parallel Harry's previous Norman Osborn hallucinations).
  • The scientists detect extra mass in their experiment (which has to take place in a pit open to the environment for some odd reason), but rather than actually go check, they just assume it's a bird (what 200 lb bird are we talking about, exactly?) and keep going with the experiment.
    • Not to mention that you actually watch a shutter close over the viewing window that oversees the experiment moments before the scientist blows off the change of mass as a bird. Even if time was of the absolute essence and even if the experiment had already began, it would have taken that scientist all of about three seconds to open the shutter, delicately raise from his seat and TURN. HIS. HEAD. 90. DEGREES to see what the change in mass was, close the shutter, and resume.
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    • What if it really was a bird? That would completely change the conditions of the experiment, which is supposed to be with sand, not with sand and the corpse of a bird. What if it was a dog, or cat, or any of the majority of small animals that couldn't fly out, or a piece of garbage, or really anything? Unless the purpose of this experiment was to test what wacky hi-jinks could ensue from the irreverent and careless misuse of a demolecularizer, not checking this change of mass was probably the absolutely stupidest act in the entire trilogy.
    • More to the point, what kind of experiment are they doing that doesn't require them to have cameras or sensors other than a scale (and apparently not a very precise one)? How are they going to corroborate that everything is going well if there's no actual observation?
  • Not to mention that Sandman, a man with ability to easily move an infinite amount of sand, decides that the best way for him to make money with his abilities is to be a criminal.
    • It's not as if there are places with tons and tons of sand that need moving, perhaps to access a valuable resource of some kind. Outbidding the guys who created the World Archipelago by a few million dollars would've netted him in excess of several billion.
    • It's also not as if the United States was not currently fighting a war, in a desert, or as if families of active duty military did not get unlimited free health care (granted, he's currently a fugitive from justice, but still, if the man can't convince the US government to trade one free pardon in return for him single-handedly kicking the ass of the entire city of Fallujah without getting scratched, then he's just not trying.)
    • Hell, even if he just supplied sand to the construction industry he'd probably be doing better than robbing banks.
    • Even worse, the guy could've at least used stealth in his bank robberies. But no, instead he just thugs through the whole thing.
    • He could have also just bailed. Who cares if Spidey stops him from robbing the 150 FDIC-Insured banks in New York City? There are just shy of 7000 of them across the United States alone, and Sandman can turn into a sandstorm and fly. The country is literally his oyster, but he sticks around in the one city where there's a superhero that can actually fight against him.
    • Then again, Sandman was never the brightest bulb on the Christmas tree of Spidey's rogues gallery, so him not really thinking things through makes some sense. Still, that he never considered any plan beyond bank robbery, not to mention his willingness settle on a plan to kill an innocent woman just to get to Spider Man rather than considering alternatives, makes his protestations of being a good man a bit harder to swallow.

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