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Informed Ability / Live-Action Films

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  • Gary Cooper played baseball players in Meet John Doe and The Pride of the Yankees. He is not convincing as an athlete in either film, although he delivers otherwise excellent performances.
  • Played for laughs in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade: "(Brody) has friends in every village from here to the Sudan. He speaks a dozen languages, knows every local custom. He'll blend in, disappear. You'll never see him again. With any luck, he has the Grail already." Just as you're thinking, "That doesn't sound like him at all," cue a Gilligan Cut to confirm that it was all a bluff. Once the Nazis have left, Indy admits to his father that Marcus "once got lost in his own museum."
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  • In Ever After, Danielle uses this to her advantage. She tells her captor that she is a good swordswoman without ever actually fighting with a sword. In a subversion, she's bluffing, and very convincingly too. (Watchers know she's bluffing because she tells him that her father taught her to swordfight; her father died when she was eight. Even if he did teach her, it's not as though she's had much opportunity to keep her skills up in the ten years since.)
  • Not Another Teen Movie parodies this in that Janey is supposed to be a great artist but is clearly only capable of drawing the same stick figures over and over. It also parodies Hollywood Homely, which is a sub-trope of Informed Attribute.
  • In Star Wars:
    • Obi-Wan notes, "Only Imperial Stormtroopers are so precise," yet throughout the rest of the series, stormtroopers hardly ever hit what they're aiming at.
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    • Boba Fett has a fearsome reputation as the best, most ruthless bounty hunter in the galaxy. However, he does nothing in the actual films to merit that reputation. The one notable thing he does is to successfully track his quarry to their destination, which you'd think most bounty hunters would be able to do. The rest of the time, he mostly just stands around looking threatening.
    • Yoda's skills as a powerful Jedi Master are shown through his ability to lift up Luke's X-Wing using the force. His skills as a warrior, however, are left completely informed in the original trilogy. Attack of the Clones eventually included a scene where he demonstrates his abilities.
    • General Grievous is said to be a fearsome combatant that has personally killed dozens of Jedi, and such an effective and brutal tactician that he replaces Count Dooku as the greatest threat to the Republic during the Clone Wars, yet in the prequel film, he spends most of his screen time running away and getting his butt kicked. This is somewhat explained in Star Wars: Clone Wars. Both seasons demonstrate Grievous as a serious threat, even when confronted by multiple Jedi at once. At the end of the second season, however, his chest gets force-crushed, explaining his hunchbacked, hacking wimpiness in the film. His strategic brilliance remains undemonstrated, though most strategy in Star Wars seems to look like Zerg Rushes anyway.
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    • Master Plo Koon of the Jedi Council. Based on both official and fan-written bios on his skills and abilities, one might be tempted to think that he's the third most skilled Jedi Master after Yoda and Mace Windu respectively. In the Expanded Universe, Darth Maul even stated that he was one of the most skilled lightsaber duelists of all time. It's even been said that he was the third best pilot after Anakin Skywalker and Saesee Tiin. Unfortunately, Master Koon has been involved in very few action scenes (the kind where he usually just destroys battle droids and enemy mooks), and fewer lightsaber duels, in the Expanded Universe literature, comics, and both Clone Wars cartoons to really justify his high standing, as opposed to someone like Kit Fisto who's been given more feats and showings in the EU. And while he does get to show off his piloting skills in The Clone Wars, ironically, his only piloting scene in the movies is the moment where he's shot down and killed by one of his own clone soldiers. Though there's no doubt that at the very least, he's a skilled Jedi Master (why else would he be on the Council?), his feats in the Star Wars Universe are so few and far between that fans are left with little more than speculation on exactly how he ranks compared to other Jedi and Sith.
    • Anakin is repeatedly stated to be an immensely powerful Jedi with potential far exceeding Yoda and Palpatine, but this seems to manifest almost entirely in him being a good swordsman and pilot. Outside of his combat performance, you'd struggle to name a time where he used an ability or accomplished some kind of feat that couldn't be done by seemingly any other Jedi, especially compared to the kind of utter nonsense that Force-users got up to in later works or the various EU branches.
    • A variant - Rebel Alliance starfighters such as X-Wings and Y-Wings have Deflector Shields supposedly making them more durable the the Empire's unshielded TIE fighters. It's even mentioned several times in dialogue where the Rebel pilots explicitly switch deflector power and orientation to match the current combat conditions. In practice however the Rebel fighters don't fare any better when hit - only pilots with Plot Armor such as Luke and Wedge survive hits. Note that this doesn't apply in the expanded universe and video games featuring Rebel starfighters - the shields work just fine there.
  • In The Great Race, while in Boracho, TX, Professor Fate & Max hear of a man named Texas Jack who is described as the roughest, toughest man they know of. When Jack shows up, everyone clears the way for him and the sheriff backs down. But once a bar brawl breaks out, Jack isn't shown to be better at fighting than anyone else.
  • Star Trek
    • Despite supposedly having genetically superior intellect and tactical ability, John Harrison/Khan in Star Trek Into Darkness isn't very smart. He allows himself to be willingly manipulated by Admiral Marcus, he actually believes that Admiral Marcus will revive his crew, and his superior intellect doesn't give him the foresight to see Admiral Marcus' obvious double-cross. Then Spock fools him and disables his ship using one of the most obvious tricks in the book.
    • Khan isn't very smart in Star Trek II The Wrathof Khan, despite his supposedly genetically superior intellect. Kirk keeps using the most obvious tricks and ploys with him, and Khan keeps falling for them. It gets lampshaded In-Universe even from Khan himself that he has Revenge Before Reason way too embedded on his mind when it comes to the subject of James Kirk and on the final battle on the Mutara Nebula Spock points out that Khan and his minions are just not used to the full extents of starship combat.
    • Shinzon, of Star Trek: Nemesis, as a Khan Expy, shares this trait. He's supposed to be very clever and underhanded, and a tactical genius, but spends about three-quarters of the film dicking around and acting like a Bond villain despite having only a few days to live, and his main tactical decision in the film is to use his invisible ship to fly so close to the enemy that they can hit him while firing blind.
  • The main character of I Know Who Killed Me is supposed to be a great writer and piano player. Supposed to be.
  • The Riddler's "Box" invention from Batman Forever allegedly makes him smarter, until by the climax he's a supergenius. Actually, all he does as the film progresses is keep acting like Jim Carrey, only more so. In fact, he seemed like a fairly competent scientist in the beginning. The smarter he gets, the dumber he seems to act — perhaps because the box also drives him insane.
  • Gunnar Jensen in The Expendables is listed on both official websites as well as all promotional material as a sniper. In the films, he does everything but any sniping.
  • Rafe, in Pearl Harbor, is constantly described by everyone from his best friend to Historical Domain Character Jimmy Doolittle as an amazing pilot. A veteran RAF pilot wanders over to him at a pub for no reason other than to tell him that he's fantastic and by god, if there are more like him, America will kick the world's ass. In the actual combat scenes, he's competent, certainly, but not the god of aviation he's made out to be, and his skills appear to be on par with his best friend.
  • Rocco in The Boondock Saints is nicknamed "The Funny Man" by his fellow mobsters. He only tells one joke in the whole movie, and only when ordered by a patronizing Mob boss. He seems to have earned the nickname from mobsters who like to laugh at him.
  • In Stranger Than Fiction, Emma Thompson's character is supposed to be a great writer, yet the few examples of her writing given aren't exactly stunning prose. Which is a shame, as the third act involves the audience buying that her work is so transcendent, it's potentially worth a man's life.
  • Save the Last Dance would have you believe that the character played by Julia Stiles is an amazing dancer, who is auditioning for a prestigious dance school. Unfortunately, Stiles has very minimal ballet training, and it shows. Stiles was not at all believable as a high level dancer who had any realistic shot at her goal. It's particularly apparent when she's in a dance class scene, where she should be at least as good as if not better than the other dancers— when in fact, she is visibly struggling to even keep up. (For those not in the loop about ballet, the clearest example of this is her extension, meaning hip flexibility and how high she can raise her leg. The angle of her leg is noticeably lower than those around her, even to the untrained eye.) Obviously, given the type of story this is, the character is successful in her audition... which is unbelievable, given how severely Stiles's limited ballet experience shows in every scene where she does her own dancing.
  • In Reality Bites, you are expected to sympathize with Winona Ryder's character because she finds herself unemployable after graduation, despite having been valedictorian in journalism at her college. Things go downhill pretty fast when she loses a page from her valedictorian speech and utterly fails to improvise. After graduation, she flunks a job interview with an editor because she cannot define the word 'irony' to any coherent degree, and later fails an interview with a fast-food manager because she cannot add $0.85 and $0.55 in her head. This might be intentional, due to her scene with Troy in which he easily supplies her with a succinct definition and implies that she's not living up to her level of education.
  • Played for Laughs with brave, brave, brave, brave Sir Robin of Monty Python and the Holy Grail (as well as the stage adaptation), who was not in the least bit scared to be mashed into a pulp. Or to have his eyes gouged out, and his elbows broken. The audience never saw him have the chance to not be afraid as such acts were imposed on him, though it is seen when he "bravely beat a brave retreat" as his bard narrated. Sir Bedevere the Wise also cocks up a battle plan. Sir Galahad the Chaste is remarkably keen to sample the perils of Castle Anthrax (though he at least requires a bit of prodding to give in). Even 'Sir Not Appearing In This Film' appears in the credits.
  • Goes both ways in The Phantom of the Opera (2004) (the movie adaptation of the musical):
    • Workers in the opera house are seen stuffing cotton into their ears while Carlotta is singing. Her singing is actually legit, and only employs some contrived scoops to make her sound bad. This is a case of Informed Flaw. Maybe they just really hate her for being the Evil Diva. Alternatively, they may simply want to avoid hearing her practice, which can be very grating you're forced to hear it over and over, no matter how good the singing is.
    • The singing ability of the Phantom himself is described by Christine as transcendentally beautiful and a reason to believe he is the Angel of Music. In the film, Gerard Butler's singing ability is debatable, but few would describe it as transcendent.
    • The main reason why people adore Christine is for her lovely opera singing voice, and Emmy Rossum doesn't even almost fit the description. She keeps scooping, she can't enunciate while singing higher notes and they even had to change the end of "Think of Me" because she couldn't sing the operatic bit. And still the characters go around talking about how you're bound to love her when you hear her wonderful opera voice...
    • This is also true of the 1989 version of Phantom; while not a musical version, Christine does sing a fair amount on screen and to an untrained ear, it's painfully obvious that she's a completely untrained singer.
  • Zigzagged with Deckard in Blade Runner. Deckard is, or was, supposed to be one of the best Bladerunners in the business; however, he spends most of the film getting beaten black and blue by the NEXUS 6 replicants. He ends up shooting one in the back while she was fleeing, has to be saved by his love interest when at the mercy of another, barely manages to shoot the other female replicant while getting his head kicked in, and simply lucks out when the final replicant drops dead. On the other hand, he does show skill at identifying replicants and part of his failures can be explained by the fact that there is no way for any human to match a replicant physically and his mental deterioration due to alcoholism. Finally depending on the version of the movie there is no certainty as to how much of Deckard's backstory is real.
  • Anne Bancroft plays a great ballerina past her prime in The Turning Point. Herbert Ross, the director, wisely keeps Bancroft's "dancing" to a few shots (e.g., brief barre work), but even so, Bancroft fails to either look or move like a dancer, nearing retirement or otherwise.
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: Played with to the point of several characters lampshading it. Jack Sparrow is touted to be the best pirate ever, yet he is mutinied after being captain for a year, in the first movie is captured twice and saved twice (first by Will, then Elizabeth), gets knocked out from behind twice, and his Plan almost fails. In the second movie another one fails after Norrington discovers his Bait-and-Switch and pulls a switch of his own, setting into place the events of the third movie, where everything finally seems to go his way. The characters themselves can't seem to figure out if he's a bumbling quirk or an unlucky Magnificent Bastard whose plans/Indy Ploys keep getting spanned. (One character at least calls him the worst pirate he's ever heard of.)
  • It's hard to imagine that Fred Astaire's dancing could be an Informed Ability. But in Shall We Dance?, Astaire's character is supposed to be a successful ballet dancer. A convincing ballet dancer, Astaire is not.
  • In Finding Forrester, the writing of both Forrester and Jamal is said to be brilliant, but given that it's a movie, not a book, there wasn't really any time to show the audience this. This is obviously because if the screenwriters themselves were capable of creating brilliant work, they wouldn't be writing Finding Forrester.
  • In The Lost World: Jurassic Park heroine Sarah is said to be an expert field biologist. In the film, she can't help but pet a wild stegosaur cub, then snaps pictures from about three feet away like a tourist (she then rants at Ian, as if he was a misogynist for coming to save her, when five minutes earlier, she started a freakin' stampede!). Then, after frequent lectures that her expedition had to "leave no trace", she does the logical thing; take an injured baby tyrannosaur to their camp and splint its leg, causing the parents to come and wreck it and kill a party member. Then she walks around in the forest wearing a blood-soaked shirt (after both mentioning that it wasn't drying and that the T. Rex had the greatest sense of smell ever), leading the parents to again wreck an encampment.
  • The eponymous members of The Genius Club. They are gathered together, explicitly because they have abnormally high IQ's. However, through the movie's dialogue they are twice shown unable to answer very simple (and well known) riddles. And all their arguments are extremely shallow. They're supposed to be geniuses, and they're in a hostage situation. Why can't they form complex arguments or express themselves above a junior high-school reading level?
  • The premise of the Alvin and the Chipmunks movies is that the chipmunks are talented singers, or at least insanely popular. This is confusing to anyone who finds their squeaky voices annoying and not something you would choose to listen to in a million years. Nevertheless, they did have some pop hits in the real world.
  • The Quick and the Dead: Lampshaded by the Gene Hackman character in his duel with Lance Henriksen's Ace Hanlon, who was previously played up as a sureshot trickshot artist, but whom Hackman exposes as a fraud. By shooting him. It is also revealed that Hackman had previously killed a man that Ace falsely laid claim to.
  • The Big Lebowski:
    • The Dude is supposed to be a very good bowler, but he's never seen bowling. This was probably intentional as Rule of Funny.
    • In the same vein, Walter's eulogy for Donny mentions his love of surfing, even though we never see him do any. But unlike the Dude, he is a good bowler; the only time he's shown screwing up at that is just before his fatal heart attack.
  • In Strange Days, Jeriko One is supposed to be the most popular rapper in America, and his fiery lyrics are supposed to be so good that they threaten to ignite riots and rebellion from the disenfranchised black community. However, the one song heard from Jeriko barely qualifies as music, much less the best hip hop around.
  • X-Men talks about but never shows the mental aspect of Rogue's power where she picks up memories and personality fragments from a person she touches in addition to the person's strength/ability. In a scene near the end, Jean says she picked up some of Logan's personality traits but they're gone by the next scene. In the later films, Rogue seems to gain some measure of control over her powers, which might explain why she doesn't fear losing her mind anymore.
  • In Rounders, Teddy KGB is supposedly a devastatingly effective poker player who can eat the protagonist Mike McDermott alive. He is shown playing exactly two games of poker in the film. The first game he wins by luck: it doesn't exactly take a lot of skill to slowplay pocket aces that turn into trips and then the nut full house, especially when the other guy happens to have two pair and then the lower full house and will gleefully bet into you for all his chips. The second he loses because he has an incredibly obvious tell, starts playing irrationally when it's pointed out to him, and then falls victim a simple trick: McDermott feigns a drawing hand when in fact he has a made hand. Makes you wonder if he only got such a great reputation because people were afraid to bring their A game against a high-ranking Russian mobster.
  • Parodied in Mystery Team. Jason is a Master of Disguise, Duncan is a "Boy Genius", and Charlie is apparently the strongest kid in town. Not only do they fail to demonstrate any proficiency in these areas, it's proven time and time again that they are actually completely inadequate. They even get called out on it early on. As one example, Jason "disguises" himself as his own father by putting on a mustache and speaking in a low voice. His guidance counselor says that he's not fooled, and Jason acts like the counselor is a Worthy Opponent for having figured it out.
  • In Good Will Hunting, Will is said to be a mathematical genius by almost every character in the film who learns about it - his teacher, his psychiatrist, his friends...everyone. Yet, there is little to no evidence of his skills in action, and every time you see an example of Will's work, it's either been completed beforehand (with the teachers just seeing the end result) or mentioned in passing. Justifiable in that general audiences likely wouldn't understand the equations anyway (as Lambeau says in the film, there are only a few people in the world who could even tell the difference between him and Will), so they were kept to a minimum.
  • Invoked in Trail of the Screaming Forehead. According to the "science" of the movie, the forehead, not the brain, is the seat of thought. Andrew Park's character allows himself to be injected with "foreheadazine," which will supposedly turn him into a super-genius. In spite of some truly horrific transformations that turn his head into a forehead, and his own lamentations on how his incredible intellect has given him no measure of happiness, no evidence is given at any point of his actual intelligence. This was most likely intentional on the part of the writer, since the movie was made as a parody of cheesy B movies.
  • In Johnny Mnemonic, Jane's bionic implants are said to give her quick reflexes and other enhanced abilities, but nothing she does in the movie would suggest that she has enhancements. She even has to be pushed out of the way of a falling, exploding car that she otherwise wouldn't have noticed, despite her quick reflexes; less explained is what makes Johnny such an amazingly talented data-smuggler that he can afford such a luxurious lifestyle as the one he is used to having. The latter may be less a matter of his personal abilities, and more that he is one of the view people willing to have that much of their personal memory erased to make place for the data.
  • In Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels, the narrator gives a short monologue about Ed's nigh-superhuman ability to read the reactions of other people, especially in card games. Ed then proceeds to not demonstrate any capacity whatsoever for reading other people's reactions, most especially in the card game that sets up the plot, in which he utterly fails to notice his main rival reacting to the information being secretly fed to him about Ed's hands.
  • Casino Royale (2006): It's mentioned Bond was picked for the mission precisely because he's such a good card player. Yet in the actual poker game he loses badly until he gets dealt a fantastically good hand. (This is partly because real card experts are very boring to watch as they do their best to remain emotionless and spend a lot of time folding early to minimize losses.)
  • In The Experts, John Travolta's character - who thinks he's in a Nebraska town (he and Arye Gross's character are actually in a Russian town full of KGB spies training to be sleeper agents) - asks if anyone there knows how to dance. Kelly Preston's character says "I know how to dance," and the two promptly demonstrate that while he knows how to, it's a different story in her case. (Then again, let's cut them some slack as this was where they met - they were married four years later and remain a couple to this day.)
  • In Pitch Perfect, Beca is supposedly a DJ and a producer. She goes out of her way to mention to her father that she intends to be a producer, as opposed to just a DJ. However, you never see her produce any original music, or hear any of her original productions. Any time she does anything music related on her computer, she has DJ software open, not production software. In the scene where she walks into the radio station and hears "her song" playing, the song is either a remix or a mashup, not an original. The sequel reveals the reason we never got to see any of her original compositions: they don't exist. When she gets a chance to show her work to an actual music producer, he points this out. Fortunately for her, he decides to give her a second chance to come up with something original, but we get to see just how little experience she has with it.
  • Subverted in The King of Comedy: Rupert Pupkin thinks he has great material and is destined to be a famous comedian, but up until the climax the only real joke he's ever seen to make is a fairly cheesy prop-based pun, and he's also a fame-obsessed Loony Fan. So the audience is meant to infer that he's delusional about his talent and either his first performance will be a disaster or he'll just never be seen performing at all. Instead, he actually does deliver a competent, if not hilarious, comedic monologue near the end of the film.
  • In 13 Going on 30, Jenna's redesign proposal for "Poise" magazine looks about like a 13-year-old's attempt at a photo collage of her friends. So far that might seem somewhat justified, since the character is a 13-year-old trapped in an adult body. However, the trope comes into play when the amateurish design gets a tearful ovation from a room full of media professionals, and then someone resorts to corporate espionage to rip it off for their own magazine.
  • The plot of Rhinestone revolves around country singer Jake (played by Dolly Parton) betting her manager she can turn anyone into a C&W type in two weeks; She selects taxi driver Nick, who's played by Sylvester Stallone. His singing at the beginning is genuinely as awful as you're supposed to think it is - but he hasn't improved a jot by the end (hearing him say "You got to be luh-huved" is the kind of thing for which Brain Bleach was invented). No wonder this is an Old Shame for Sly.
  • In The Lightning Thief the audience is told that Annabeth is a wise combat schemer, probably a combat pragmatist, but in the movie she offers no actual aid to the heroes and just kind of acts like a Tag Along Kid with specks of Damsel in Distress. All the combat and ideas on how to solve problems are thought up by Percy, with the only exception being the idea to keep Medusa's head for later.
  • In Road House, Dalton claims that his mentor Wade Garrett is better than him at everything. When Wade finally shows up, you don't really see any of that. In fact, he ends up getting stabbed to death offscreen, which is not something that would've happened to Dalton.
  • Played for laughs in The Mask. During the "Cuban Pete" musical number, we are informed that Pete/the Mask is "a really modest guy". In the same musical number, he claims to be "the king of the rumba beat" and responds to being described as the hottest guy in Havana with "Si, señorita, I know!"
  • The plot of Bill & Ted centers around Rufus' claim that the two main characters will write the most important rock song in the history of the world, in contrast to all available evidence. Rufus even jokes about their lack of ability in the last line of the film.
  • Vlad's theoretical cruelty in Dracula Untold. While several characters state he killed thousands of innocents, we never see him doing any of that. Also the Elder Vampire's evil and immense power, none of which is ever showcased.
  • The cheesy sci-fi movie R.O.T.O.R. has two genius-level scientists as protagonists. They show no such traits throughout the movie, and run around with the Idiot Ball during the film, failing to exploit the killer robot's Weaksauce Weakness. The robot itself is supposed to be a Terminator-style unstoppable killer. It not only has trouble going through a row of empty folding chairs, it can be stunned by a car horn.
  • Home Alone 3 has a pretty bad example: the film pits a bunch of Stupid Crooks against a wise-cracking, very-smart-for-his-age kid in a series of "Home Alone" Antics. The difference between Marv and Harry and these guys is that they are allegedly veteran master spies and assassins, they are assaulting the kid's home armed to the teeth (various pistols and a shotgun), they sure are not willing to provide any mercy.... and the resulting Curb-Stomp Battle ends up in favor of the kid.
  • The Sting: Loretta Salino is supposed to be Doyle Lonnegan's deadlist assassin (to the point that Lonnegan's second-in-command flatly tells Lonnegan that using her to find and kill Hooker after he has managed to give them the slip twice is a severe case of There Is No Kill Like Overkill). Salino spends the movie pulling off an absurdly complicated plan to get close to Hooker and kill him (one that severely depends on luck for Hooker to find her in the first place), and ends up getting killed by a bodyguard hired to protect Hooker right before she can make her move.
  • The Hunger Games: The Career tributes are trained for years, yet they ignore basic survival skills such as the use of sentries and are prone to Failed a Spot Check. This incompetence is handwaved/paired in-story with their arrogance.
  • Charly: Charly Gordon's operation supposedly turns him into a super-genius. But he never comes off as anything more than average intelligence. In particular, during the question-and-answer session, he sounds like a bog-standard campus radical from the 60s counterculture. This may be more obvious in retrospect than it was at the time.
  • Breach: FBI traitor Robert Hanssen supposedly has the remarkable ability to tell if someone is lying, which is why The Mole Eric isn't given a cover story-"Hanssen would peel it away in a day". Later, after asking Eric several mundane questions, he is able to deduce which answer is false. But other than that, he fails to see through the numerous lies Eric tells him throughout the film, many of which are made under duress and should therefore tip off even the least perceptive person.
  • In Emmanuelle 4, Sylvia states herself to be a columnist for a Los Angeles-based newspaper, and the plot is motivated by her undergoing plastic surgery to look like a younger woman ostensibly for the purpose of a feature article. After she gets the procedure done, she seemingly forgets all about the article and spends most of her time... well, taking Brazil by storm.
  • A Matter of Faith: Kamen is stated to be a skilled debater, but fails miserably in the film, not even attempting to rebut the points which Portland makes.
  • God's Not Dead: Radisson is claimed to be a philosophy professor about to be awarded tenure, essentially the highest position in teaching. From his actions he seems to know absolutely nothing about philosophy. In reference here to the specific issue of the film, for instance, there are many arguments against the existence of God he would no doubt be familiar with, likely having argued for them at least in print, yet he uses none of them. The idea that a first-year student would beat a professor in their field of study during a debate is dubious (it would be true if their views were reversed too of course).
  • The protagonist of Loqueesha is repeatedly said by other characters that he always gives brilliant, essential, life and society-transforming advice, and always "the right thing to just the right person". In reality the "therapy advice" consists on abusive, faux-wisdom trite and cliched statements.
  • The titular Henry of The Book of Henry is supposed to be incredibly kind, even being a Messianic Archetype. For most of the film, he comes across as a bratty Insufferable Genius with nothing but contempt for those around him. Additionally, his supposedly great intellect is belied by the fact that his big final plan upon which the story hinges on is laden with holes.
  • Bastian in the sequels to The Neverending Story is spoken of as "a special young human of great imagination," and others talk about how he's very well-read and intelligent for his age. In those movies proper, he comes across as dumb as a sack of bricks. He's so Genre Blind that he believes an Obviously Evil witch over an honorable warrior who is his closest ally, and he alternates between using his wish-granting power in the least efficient way possible, and not using it at all.


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