Though any movie, good or bad, is best defined by the primary "A-plot" that drives the story forward and maintains audience interest, almost all movies feature at least a subplot or two.
When they're executed well, subplots add context, flavour, and diversity to the central story, serving as a garnish to both the narrative and characters.
But as we all know all too well, subplots are often nothing more than lazily constructed bloat intended solely to pad a film out to feature length. At their worst, they're sappy, annoying, or most egregiously of all, downright boring.
These 10 recent films, whether genuinely good movies or more mixed affairs, were all accompanied by one truly terrible subplot which felt like absolute dead weight.
From pointless "human interest" storytelling the target audience had no interest in whatsoever, to enigmatic mysteries that ended up going nowhere, to underdeveloped side-stories, these subplots all ended up landing with a dull thud.
With some script refinement it's entirely possible they might've worked, but as it stands they just make these movies more of a slog to sit through than they otherwise would've been...
10. Madison & The Conspiracy Theorist - Godzilla Vs. Kong
Though Godzilla vs. Kong mostly felt like a course-correction for the MonsterVerse after Godzilla: King of the Monsters over-indulged in dull, pointless human drama, the film isn't without its own inane subplot.
Young Madison Russell (Millie Bobby Brown) ends up trapped in a terrible side-story where she teams up with conspiracy theorist Bernie Hayes (Brian Tyree Henry) and her friend Josh (Julian Dennison) to investigate Godzilla's rampage.
It is the epitome of lousy, uninteresting human nonsense thrown into a film that, primarily, is about a giant ape and a giant lizard punching each other. That's what people came to see.
The movie already has an overabundance of human characters - enough that numerous prominent roles were cut during editing - so one has to question why this subplot needed to exist at all.
The trio's adventuring inevitably lands them in harm's way, and they even end up having a direct influence on the outcome of the final battle, when Josh...pours a flask of liquor on Mechagodzilla's control panel, allowing Godzilla and Kong to take advantage.
As talented as these actors are, nobody asked for this, and in 2021 the idea of presenting a deranged conspiracy theorist as actually correct is troubling at best.