Protagonists who SHOULD know better than to launch a full frontal charge, and yet, they do it anyway.
Just last night, I rewatched James Cameron's Avatar. In most ways, the execution of that movie was brilliant - they really breathed new life into an old story.
But when an army of pa'li riders charged a line of guys with machine guns, I wanted to facepalm. Way to make yourselves easy targets, people.
And in Return of the King, when they reacted to an attack of Oliphaunts by saying "Reform the lines"?!
No. No, no, no. Any decent RPG player knows that when your enemy is using area-of-effect attacks, like a swinging set of spiked tusks, you do NOT bunch your people together so that more of them can get hit at once. You scatter so that each of your enemy's attacks does less damage.
Maybe it isn't fair to ask filmmakers who probably have no military background to make sensible military decisions. But you'd think if you're going to sink millions of dollars into a movie, you'd get some better guidance for your characters' strategies than "zerg rush into a death trap".
(Yes, I know, J.R.R. Tolkien served in the army. But with the way the battlefield was arranged in the movie, I think the sheer numbers of airborne and dead Rohirrim during the Oliphaunt battle speaks for itself.)
Maybe I'm out to lunch. Maybe the frontal charge was a good idea in some way I haven't thought of.
But personally, I can't help but think that it would have been smarter for the Rohirrim to continue fighting among the Orcs, covering each others' backs while shooting at the Oliphaunt riders, and at least force the enemy to dish out some friendly fire instead of giving them a convenient target of nothing but tightly-packed horsemen. Or at LEAST scatter a bit, so that each swing of the trunks took out fewer riders.
And I think the Na'vi could have done more damage, and suffered fewer casualties, if they used stealth attacks on the mecha instead of a highly visible, vulnerable frontal assault.
What do you think? Am I missing something? Or do supposedly battle-savvy leaders need to quit leading their fictional armies into suicidal zerg rushes?