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Movie Plot Holes and Paradoxes
Top film scripts introduced unclear plot points and broke the rules they had established.
1. Lord Of The Rings Eagles
The following is a common complaint in Lord Of The Rings: Hey Gandalf, here s a thought why don t you just get your giant eagle mates to fly you into Mordor and drop Frodo/the ring bearer off at Mount Doom? Yes, it does seem obvious. Yes, it would have solved their problem of getting into Mordor quite easily. But here are a few issues with this. First off, you think Sauron might notice giant eagles flying into his domain, so you still need to create a distraction, like Aragorn at the gates. Secondly, the Eagles are doing their own thing. It s not their war, they re just helping out their mate Gandalf. And as an internet commenter pointed out elsewhere (I can t remember where though, sorry), there s a big difference between asking your mate for a lift into town in his car, and asking him to take you to Spain or the fantasy equivalent
2. Back To The Future Part III The extra DeLorean
So, this is most likely one of the first plot holes many of you would ever have noticed. Marty arrives back in 1885 in a DeLorean. Sadly, the time machine springs a leak and loses all its fuel gasoline proving hard to obtain in the 19th Century. Cue he and Doc creating an ingenious and ridiculous plan to power the DeLorean via a steam train, and various rail hijinks en route. But: why didn t they just dig up the fully fuelled DeLorean the Doc had buried in the mineshaft awaiting his 1955 counterpart? Timey wimey, wibbly wobbly stuff, I guess. More BTTF paradoxes can be found here.
3. The Shawshank Redemption The poster
Who put the poster back in place after the daring escape in The Shawshank Redemption? Andy spent months on that tunnel, and covered his tracks thanks to a poster. The hole is only discovered through an unlucky throw of a chess piece. But how did he attach it in place from inside the tunnel? How? Well, it s pretty simple really he probably only stuck it to the wall via the top and let it fall down in place naturally. There you go, not just showing you plot holes, but solving them, too!
4. The Terminator Why doesnt Skynet just send more Terminators back
You d think Skynet would want to make sure the job was done. But no, it just very occasionally sends one solitary Terminator back in time and then assumes it s done completed its mission a slightly risky strategy for a supposedly infallible sentient machine one might think. It s not as if there s a shortage of Terminators lying around. However, my favourite answer to this was suggested by critic Devin Faraci, and neatly ties in Terminator Salvation into the franchise in a way that makes it suck a hell of a lot less. Skynet is damaged at the end of Salvation, almost beaten in fact. It s been driven to extreme action using the last of its power to send one Terminator back in time in a desperate attempt to destroy the future, and thwart its own destruction. I really wish they d put this on screen.
5. The Avengers Why dont they bother keeping an eye on Bruce Banner
So, SHIELD takes the trouble of taking their top agent, Natalia, off a vitally important mission (right in the middle of a dangerous situation too, and violating what appears to be Russian sovereignty with the threat of blowing up the building with missiles) and sending her to India with a full squad of heavily armed soldiers in order to ask Bruce Banner to come in. They ve also spent millions researching and actually building a cage for his alter ego. They know exactly what Hulk can do. Yet once they ve got him onboard, the top secret, state of the art HeliCarrier, they let Bruce casually wander around with no restraints, and no one watching him free to be shocked by Tony Stark into potentially Hulking out. Guess they thought Banner was a really cool guy once they met him in person.
6. Star Trek What was Nero doing for 25 years
Nero arrives in the Star Trek past all guns blazing. It s one of the finest sci fi action scenes ever committed to film, and is responsible for much of the goodwill the 2009 Star Trek garnered. Nero has the technology and the motive to wreak havoc across the galaxy. So what does he do? Apparently sits around in his mining ship for 25 years waiting for Spock to arrive. Uh, ok
7. Oceans 11 fake money
The ultimate robbery has been committed Ocean has successfully tricked Benedict into thinking the entire vault has been rigged with explosives ready to detonate unless he gives them all the dosh. Benedict agrees, but not without calling in a SWAT team to secure the vault and getting his men to intercept the van with his money in. Which they duly do, only to find out that the money has in fact been switched for hundreds of flyers of a lovely Las Vegas night lady. Meanwhile, the SWAT team are actually Ocean s crew who then sneak the real money out. The fake money is the key to it all here, but stop and think for a moment just how did they switch it in the first place? There s literally no time for it to happen and no way it could. Of the three thieves who get into the vault, Yen smuggles his way inside in a tiny cart, while Ocean and Linus rappel themselves down a shaft laced with lasers. Even Soderbergh admitted on the commentary he was stumped on how it was done, so you re in good company.
8. Iron Man 2 The Whiplash master plan
In a stodgy Iron Man 2, Whiplash s attack on the Monaco Grand Prix is a real highlight and a heart pounding action scene. Posing as a pit crew member, Whiplash gets onto the track and directly attacks Tony Stark, who just happens to be driving a racing car, after impulsively deciding he wanted to and chucking his driver out (probably someone who would have won the race like Vettel). So how did Whiplash know he was going to do that? Tony Stark didn t even know he was going to do that until moments before. Is it another case of a villain magically being able to see into the future and being able to plan for everything? (see Skyfall entry later on). Well, actually, I think not. Whiplash knew Tony was likely to be at the Grand Prix it s a lavish event after all. And he knew if he caused some shit, Tony would respond leading to the same fight on the track. He just got lucky with Tony deciding to drive.
9. Edward Scissorhands Ice blocks
It s a truly beautiful moment in one of Tim Burton s most magical and twisted fairy tales Edward Scissorhands creates artistic wonders in the attic of his home. Just one small detail though, where did he get the ice from? I recently had a long and heated argument about whether Edward Scissorhands was a cyborg or not (I was in the wrong as I believed he was), and this point about the ice started it. So as a warning to you reading this, discussing plot holes can ruin friendships.
10. Raiders Of The Lost Ark Indy saves Hitler
Indiana Jones, hero of the Nazi Third Reich. Why? Well if Indy had just stayed at home during Raiders Of The Lost Ark, World War II would probably never have happened. By his getting involved and reacting to events, he sets in motion a chain of situations that saves Hitler s life. Belloq would have eventually uncovered the location of the Well of Souls (he was after all a good archaeologist, if a little misguided) and sent the Ark back to Berlin. Which is where Hitler would have opened it and had his face melted by the Angels of Death. Of course, there is a very fair argument that Belloq would still have opened it pre Hitler anyway, and thanks to Indy being there, the Ark was prevented from being loosed on the world (and put into storage instead). So maybe Indy isn t a friend of the Third Reich after all.
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