10 Movie Characters Written To Be Smart (But Aren’t)

Many movies insert „genius“ characters that are excellent for unraveling the plot, exposing its greatest mysteries, and moving the story forward. These bastions of intellect are acknowledged by both peer and enemy alike, with their vaunted intelligence being among the most recognizable aspects of their personalities.

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However, many of these individuals are greatly overrated. When analyzed critically, the conclusions they came to were fairly ordinary at best and sometimes even below average. In the end, many characters greatly overestimate their own intellect whether because they’re written that or on account of an inflated sense of ego.

10 Benoit Blanc Stumbles Upon His Conclusions

Knives Out

Glass Onion — Benoit Blanc in the pool

Benoit Blanc was celebrated as Knives Out’s greatest detective. However, he often needs help with his cases, stumbles upon his conclusions, and sometimes has no contingencies for aggressive opponents. This was seen in the Glass Onion story, where the main antagonist burned his only piece of evidence right in front of him.

Even in the original film, it took Ransom blatantly dipping his hand in order for his identity to finally be exposed. In the end, anyone could have reached Blanc’s conclusions based on how simple his mysteries are.

9 Yoda Was Completely Oblivious To The Dark Side

Star Wars

yoda order 66

Yoda was celebrated as the most intelligent Jedi in Star Wars. Given that he was the leader of the Jedi Council, such a conclusion may not be particularly far-fetched. However, Yoda proved completely oblivious to the Dark Side and the Sith’s machinations as a whole.

He allowed Qui-Gonn to convince the council of Anakin’s worth, couldn’t anticipate Dooku’s betrayal, and only had a mild suspicion of Palpatine before Order 66 commenced. In the end, the Order collapsed under his watch, and he shoulders a significant amount of the blame.

8 Blackwood’s „Magic“ Was Easily Exposed

Sherlock Holmes

Blackwood from Sherlock Holmes

Lord Henry Blackwood was the main antagonist of the first Sherlock Holmes movie. He relied on magic in order to perform his stunts, whether allegedly escaping death or „cursing“ his political enemies. Blackwood’s strength was his charisma, as his actions genuinely convinced the masses of his supernatural powers.

However, Blackwood left an abundance of evidence at every crime scene for Sherlock to inspect and later explain. It allowed the detective to eventually defeat Blackwood in spite of his vast superior resources and needing to protect Irene Adler at the end of the film.

7 James Bond Usually Gets Captured

James Bond

Sean Connery as James Bond

The titular protagonist of James Bond was considered to be Britain’s finest agent. However, he often gets captured in most films and is overly trusting of women he doesn’t know. Oftentimes, both realities correlate with one another.

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Although Bond inevitably escapes from his restraints, it’s almost always due to whatever bizarre but conveniently useful tool he was given during his debriefing. Bond isn’t even much of an investigator since his colleagues already have the facts behind his mission ready before they send him on one.

6 It Took Over 40 Years For Laurie To Defeat Michael


Laurie Strode in the hospital Halloween Ends

As Halloween’s main protagonist and „final girl,“ Laurie Strode’s capacities are as a survivor were unmatched. However, she often made questionable decisions for the sake of suspense, as seen in the first film.

Rather than attempting to run as far as possible from Michael, she hammered on a door and begged a child to let her inside the house. Considering that Michael has only walked throughout his entire life, it would have made much more sense for Laurie to continue running since she wouldn’t be cornered that way.

5 Tulio Wasn’t Much Smarter Than Miguel

Road To El Dorado

tulio guiding himself and miguel with a map

The main protagonists of Road To El Dorado were Tulio and Miguel. Although the former was presented as „the smart one,“ he was hardly more reserved than his companion. Some of Tulio’s schemes were completely outrageous, and it was a miracle they worked.

For example, he faked dueling Miguel in order to escape an angry Spanish mob and used a living creature in order to defeat El Dorado’s most prolific athletes. Either instance easily could have exposed him for a fraud, which would have resulted in arrest or even death.

4 Quaritch Lost To The Na’vi Despite Major Advantages


Quaritch from Avatar

Quaritch was considered a brilliant and ruthless general in the Avatar universe. For his cunning and decorated service, he was appointed to take over Pandora so that humans could settle there. However, Quaritch was grossly incompetent at his job.

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Despite having vastly superior resources, training, and technology, his forces were ousted on two separate occasions. The latter failure was particularly humiliating since Quaritch had multiple hostages and still lost. Although escaping with his life the second time, it was only on account of Spider’s assistance.

3 Megamind Feared Success


Megamind with a malicious smile in Megamind

The titular protagonist of Megamind was as smart as his name suggested. However, his chronic fear of success limited how far he could progress in life. Childhood trauma cast him so irrevocably as a villain that he embraced the role even though it didn’t suit who he was.

Given that Megamind was intelligent enough to defeat Tighten, he also could have beaten Metroman should he have ever actually tried. Unfortunately, Megamind’s refusal to be honest with himself meant that he wasted a large part of his life.

2 Tyler Durden Couldn’t Control Himself In Many Instances

Fight Club

Tyler Durden composed himself as the menacing main antagonist of Fight Club. Able to command servants from across the entire world, one might assume that he was extremely intelligent. However, Durden only played on others‘ visceral impulses and did not have much of a plan beyond blowing up key buildings to destabilize society.

Worse yet, he didn’t even control himself since he was an entirely different and fundamentally opposite person half the time he appeared on screen. Realistically, Durden’s schemes would have been foiled before they left his local community, whether on account of the authorities he couldn’t coax or even his own instability.

1 Iron Man Was More Emotional Than He’d Have Others Believe

Iron Man / MCU

Iron Man was arguably the most influential character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Despite being known for his ingenuity and intelligence, the mistakes he made were critical enough to nearly cost the heroes everything.

For example, Iron Man gave his enemies his personal address, which resulted with his home’s destruction and nearly his own death. More famously, his creation of Ultron nearly caused an extinction event since the A.I. viewed humanity as its own worst enemy. Iron Man’s ego prevented him from seeing his many flaws.

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