10 "Important" Movie Characters Who Were Mere Plot Devices

Yep, some of your favourite characters are little more than glorified exposition-dispensers.

Every great story needs compelling characters. They are what elevate a film's themes, symbolism and morality into relatable territory and allow us to project ourselves into the narrative. When this is done right, characters can make a film truly great because as well as becoming invested in the central plot, we follow them and we feel for them, too. This is not always the case. Sometimes writers can't find the time to give their characters daft traits like being 'real', 'believable' or 'empathetic'. That takes time and in the industry, time is money. The easy path to follow is that of convenience, where a character becomes less human being and more... well, narrative device. It's not always laziness that's to blame - sometimes the plot is at a dead end and needs someone to magically save the day or it could be that the ideas being presented are perceived to be too complex and a character is needed as a glorified plot glossary. We can understand this, but the con becomes evident when a film asks us to invest ourselves in its characters when they're nothing more than basic archetypes and plot devices. It is not the intention of this article to belittle (all of) the films in question, as many of them are great on the whole. This being said, nothing is perfect, so let's delve into the annals of weak characterization and point out some of the worst offenders... As I will be discussing major plot points (and characters who act as them), spoilers follow...

A pop culture mad writer from the North East who loves films, television and debating them with whoever will listen. Follow me on Twitter @Johno_Patterson