The bigger the action, and the higher the stakes, the more audiences tend to overlook the little details of movie plots and surprise twists. But even when a film has been enjoyed for decades, a closer look can reveal lingering questions and clumsy plots that fans would rather ignore. They don’t have to ruin a movie, and sometimes, coming up with a solution can be more fun than the filmmakers ever imagined.
Here is our list of 10 Massive Plot Holes in Popular Movies.
In the first Thor movie, it’s established that Earth is just one realm in the larger Marvel Universe, with Asgardian visitors using a “Rainbow Bridge” – also known as the Bifrost – to travel there and back. In the film’s climax, Thor is left with no choice but to destroy the device, seen as a major sacrifice, since it means he has no way to return to his new love, Jane Foster. Since the god of thunder was needed in The Avengers, his arrival was written off with just one line of dialogue: “How much dark energy did the Allfather have to muster to conjure you here?” Even if fans accept that “magic” brought Thor back, director Joss Whedon has admitted there’s no explanation for how he managed to track the Avengers in midair.
He may be the face of the X-Men franchise, but even Wolverine’s writers don’t seem to have a handle on his unique superpowers. In The Wolverine, Logan is brought to Japan by a wealthy businessman whose life he saved during World War 2, offering to make him mortal as a thank you. But Logan has a hard time believing it, claiming that “what they did to me can’t be undone.” He’s likely referring to the Weapon X program that gave him his metal skeleton, but Logan’s permanently-regenerating cells and immortality are his mutation – they weren’t given to him by anyone. The plot holes and questions don’t stop there. When he realizes his healing factor has suddenly been disabled, it’s revealed to be the result of a robotic bug on his heart. How does it work? That’s never explained. And the same can be said for why his claws can no longer cut through samurai swords, or how drilling into his bones could steal his healing factor and, apparently, his youth. Other films may tamper with the nature of Wolverine’s powers, but this one doesn’t even try to make sense of them.
In the post-apocalyptic world of The Matrix, Morpheus learned that it isn’t just Machines his crew needs to worry about. When the character Cypher (Joe Pantoliano) realizes that the artificial reality of the Matrix wasn’t so bad after all, he cuts a deal: he’ll betray his commander, as long as he’s plugged back into the system as a wealthy actor, with no memory of the real world. The twist pushes Neo to embrace his role as the One, but it’s never explained how Cypher entered the Matrix without an operator, or getting caught, since sharing a meal with an Agent is hard to do quietly.
Steven Spielberg’s vision of future crime relied heavily on science fiction, with Minority Report relying on a trio of psychics able to see murders before they happen, leading star Tom Cruise’s team to stop them in the nick of time. That is, until he sees a murder that he will commit. Going on the run to find out why, he discovers it’s all been a set-up, with evidence planted to fuel Cruise’s desire for vengeance. The victim still winds up dead, but it’s never explained how the Precogs saw the murder to begin with. Did the film’s villain just plan the frame-up, and cross his fingers that they would envision his plan working out perfectly? If there’s an answer, the movie doesn’t include it.
Even staunch defenders of Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar‘s complicated science have trouble explaining away one plot point – and it has nothing to do with interstellar travel. When fluctuations in gravity send Coop stumbling onto NASA’s mission to save humanity, he’s told that it’s a trip only he can lead. So why did those planning the mission – who knew Coop years beforehand – never contact him, despite his farm being just a day’s drive away? Even if his arrival was a lucky break, the idea that a man who needed a wormhole explained to him would be taking the wheel instead of experts who had probably planned and trained for months makes no sense at all.
George Lucas made the right call by starting his Star Wars saga in the middle, but it didn’t come without some problems. When Obi-wan Kenobi first told Luke Skywalker that the disbanded Old Republic had lasted for a thousand generations, fans assumed he meant tens of thousands of years – an idea contradicted by Padme in Attack of the Clones, who claimed the Republic had only been around for one millennium. The extended universe tweaked the language to make sure both characters were right, but the gap between the original series and prequels wasn’t so easily fixed. Aside from Obi-wan and Anakin aging several decades by the Time Luke hit his teens, Imperial soldiers refer to the Force as an outdated, “ancient” religion. Even Han Solo claims he’s never seen any evidence of The Force. Since that’s basically the same as grown today doubting the existence of VCRs or cassette tapes, things don’t quite add up.
The Microwave Emitter used to turn Gotham City into a living nightmare in Batman Begins had fans debating the science of the movie’s climax from the moment it hit theatres. But the machine’s ability to instantly vaporize water without injuring people is established earlier on in the film. What isn’t explained is why the city wasn’t driven mad by the water-based fear toxin long before the final showdown. The toxin may have been harmless in water, but the villains had spent “weeks” spreading it through the city. Which means boiling water, saunas, or simply hot showers should have turned Gothamites into crazed threats by the thousands.
Terminator 2: Judgement Day
Movie fans will never forget Arnold Schwarzenegger’s introduction in The Terminator, but there was a good reason for him appearing naked. Kyle Reese explains that only living organisms can travel through time – or machines covered in living tissue, like the T-800. But in the sequel, the T-1000 travels without any problems, even though it’s made of liquid metal alloy. The writers originally intended to show a “flesh cocoon” the Terminator used to survive the trip, but felt it would confuse viewers. Instead, he simply appears as naked as any other time traveler, even though that wouldn’t make any real difference.
Guardians of the Galaxy
The cast of Guardians may have begun as criminals, but they eventually decide to sacrifice their own lives to protect the entire galaxy from destruction. The team hatches a plan to bring down the movie’s villain on board his own ship, with Gamora volunteering to cut power to the “impenetrable security doors” so her comrades can attack. As she fights her way to the power source, the rest of the team fights through dozens of enemy soldiers on their way to the bridge. The doors to the bridge open to even more enemies, before Gamora blasts a hole in the floor and comes to the rescue. Since nobody asked why they didn’t just blast through the floor of the impenetrable room and ambush the villain to begin with, we’re guessing the fans should just ignore it.
Back to the Future Part 2
Given the bond between Marty McFly and Doc Brown, it made sense that Back to the Future would end with Doc’s return from the year 2015, warning Marty that his unborn children were headed for trouble. The physicist had refused to change the past in the first movie, but the future was apparently fair game. It was meant to be a simple fix, and Doc reassured Marty that he and his girlfriend Jennifer turned out fine. Except they didn’t. With Marty’s music career ruined by a car accident, he wound up in a dead end job with a failing marriage. The obvious question is: why wouldn’t Doc save Marty’s future? Considering all his family’s troubles traced back to a single car accident, he would only have had to meet Marty and Jennifer one day later to prevent Marty being hurt, and his entire failed future in a single moment. He must have really hated rock and roll.
So what do you think of our list? Did we miss any glaring plot holes or unresolved story lines in your favorite movies? Let us know in our comment section and don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel for more videos like this one.