8 Classic Movies That Got Away With Gaping Plot Holes
People hate plot holes in movies. At least, that's what they'll tell you. But sometimes, if a movie is awesome enough, people will overlook even the most retarded gaps in reason and logic.
At least, until some asshole on the Internet points them out and makes a big list of them. Enjoy:
Back to the Future
Marty McFly goes back in time, helps his parents get together, invents rock and roll...
...and everyone promptly forgets he was ever there the minute he leaves.
Nobody notices that a famous clothing brand is later named after him, nobody notices that Chuck Berry releases a song that sounds pretty similar to the one he played at the big dance, and most importantly, nobody bats an eyelid when his Mom has a kid who looks exactly like him.
Now we don't claim to know exactly what first enters the mind of a married man when his wife births a child who looks identical to their old high school boyfriend, but we're guessing it's not "time travel conspiracy." Old George was either the most oblivious, forgiving man on earth, or there were some secret resentment beatings in the McFly household.
Even more disturbing, what must his Mom have thought? The only explanation we can see making sense from her point of view is that Marty was Satan (he did invent rock and roll after all) and the whole thing's some kind of demon spawn Rosemary's Baby type deal. And no one should ever be in a position where the most plausible explanation for their situation implies that they fucked Satan.
This was the most sinister looking picture of Michael J Fox we could find.
Plus, think how chilling Marty's final remark on stage becomes given this context: "I guess you're not ready for that yet... but your kids are gonna love it."
Tom Cruise is convicted of a murder he hasn't committed yet, by a team of psychics called "precogs."
The precogs? They don't work. At all. We're told they predict the future but nothing they predict ever happens. If they actually predicted the future properly, they'd predict the people getting arrested, not committing murders.
In the entire movie, the only precog prediction that actually comes true exactly as they said involves a kid losing a balloon. Chinese fortune cookies have a higher success rate than these guys.
But maybe they're really more telepathic than precognitive, able to see what people's intentions are. Except they can't do that, either. The movie is set in motion by the premeditated murder ball coming out with Tom Cruise's character's name on it. But he hadn't planned the murder at all. The whole point of the movie is that he had no idea who he was going to kill.
The one time they do predict a murder that actually happens, they still manage to fuck it up. The loophole the movie's villain exploits is that if you commit a murder that looks identical to a previous murder, when the precogs' vision comes up they'll just think it was an echo and delete it. But that would only get rid of the image, there'd still be a new ball naming you as the murderer, which would be hard to explain. Seems like a flawed plan right? Well, it would be in any other movie.
Add that to the fact that Tom Cruise was able to continually get past the retina scanners at police headquarters by using the eyes he had when he first became a fugitive (they don't revoke your access when you get accused of murder? What, do they operate on the retina honor system?) and you have to wonder if they weren't just making shit up as they went along.
The Sixth Sense
Spoiler alert: Bruce Willis is dead. The whole time. We totally didn't see it coming and apparently neither did he. He's only able to figure out he's a ghost when he sees his wife drop his wedding ring.
But shouldn't he have figured it out before that? All the other ghosts in the film seemed to be wandering the earth, mindlessly reliving their deaths, with little awareness of the outside world at all. But ol' Bruce was just carrying on as normal, working and going about his day-to-day routine, completely unfazed by the fact no one but a small child had spoken to him in several months.
What kind of lifestyle was he living before his death that would make him fail to notice that no one could see or hear him? He assumes his wife isn't speaking to him because he's "neglecting their marriage." In the days right after he died, did he think she was mad at him for getting shot in the stomach? And what about everyone else? Does he also assume all waiters are suddenly assholes? That the girl at the supermarket check out finds him too hideous to make eye contact with? That taxis won't stop for him because he's balding?
And how does he get the assignment to treat the kid anyway? Nobody hired him, being a ghost and all. Does he just approach random children in churches and start giving them free psychiatric advice? That's no way to run a business, ghost or not, and we're pretty sure it will get you thrown in jail.
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
At the end of another wondrous wizarding adventure, Harry uses a magical time-travel necklace to go back and save himself and his godfather from the evil dementors.
This is actually a problem in most movies that contain time machines. The movie treats time travel like this urgent thing: "We've made it to the past! Now we've only got a few minutes to go back and stop the dementors!" No you don't, you have as much time as you need. It's fucking time travel. If you mess up, just go back and try again.
"OK, thirty-seventh attempt..."
They also seem to feel that they have to do it immediately, that there's no time to wait. Of course there's time to wait, you've got a goddamn time machine. Do it tomorrow, do it in ten years. You already know you've succeeded, you were there when it happened. It's actually the only situation you could be in where failure is impossible. It's the least suspenseful thing imaginable, yet they treat it as the nail-biting climax of the movie.
The power to travel through time still wouldn't be worth
the humiliation of owning Harry Potter jewelry.
We're picking on Harry Potter especially for this because after they use the time machine that one time, that was it. For the rest of the saga, the entire wizarding world is under siege from a magical Hitler, and they never again find the time travel useful? Despite all the people who die in the Harry Potter series (and post Azkaban, they start killing them off like it's a Friday the 13th movie) he never goes back and saves any of them?
Yeah, even Kane. The greatest film of all time, according to those monocle-wearing types who refuse to even consider Robocop for the title.
A bunch of reporters try to figure out the meaning of Charles Foster Kane's last words. "Rosebud."
No one was around to hear them.
Now, no one's suggesting that journalists in the 40s weren't good at getting scoops. With the chief breathing down their neck and dames left and right trying to play them for saps, they pretty much had to be good. But unless their source was telepathic or invisible, there's no way they could know what Kane said.
Kane's nurse, arriving several minutes too late for the movie to make any fucking sense
And if they really are just that good, you think they'd also know the twist ending, that Rosebud was his sled (what kind of weirdo names his sled anyway? Does he miss his childhood desk chair too?).
So the next time some film critic is getting all up in your face, picking holes in your favorite movie, hit them with that, and watch them curl up into a ball and weep like a child. Then maybe kick 'em a couple of times. If you think we're being too hard on the critics, remember that they get paid to watch movies and be dicks about them. We on the other hand ... never mind.
You may not have seen this one if you're the type who refuses to watch movies from before you were born. This is from a better time, when men were men, movie titles told you exactly what to expect (hint: an adventure that is fantastic), and Raquel Welch in a catsuit was the closest thing to pornography a man could get without having to go to a seedy-looking theater with sticky floors and Travis Bickle types making gun fingers at the screen.
A team of scientists shrink themselves to go inside a patient's body in a tiny little spaceship, in order to fix a blood clot in his brain. They have only an hour, and then they will return to normal size.
We don't ask that you stay within the bounds of physics, but at least follow the rules you freaking made up. At the end of the movie, the crew's tiny sub gets destroyed, but the team manages to get out of the guy's body just before they grow back to size. Only problem, they leave the wreckage of their miniaturized submarine behind. As clangers go, that's about as bad as you get. Anyone paying attention to the plot of the movie is wondering right up until the end when the giant submarine wreckage will be bursting out of the guys chest.
It's not quite true that no one cared about this plot hole. When one of sci-fi's greatest writers, Issac Asimov, was hired to write the novelization of the movie (something to keep in mind if your son is ever contemplating a career as a sci-fi writer) he pointed out the hole to the producers. The producers pointed out that Mr. Asimov could shut the hell up and kept it the way it was.
Asimov went ahead and changed the ending in the book so it made sense. Hollywood, believing revenge is a dish best served cold, waited 40 years and then turned his book I, Robot into a love story between Will Smith and a pair of converse.
Subtext: Suck it, Issac!
The Lion King
Scar murders his brother and usurps the throne, then Simba returns from exile to avenge his father's death. Also, they're lions.
For someone who wanted to be king so much, Scar was really bad at it. There's being incompetent, and then there's being so incompetent that you cause the rain to stop and all the rivers and lakes to dry up. We know he let the hyenas run the show and eat whatever they wanted, but come on. What, did they drink the lake?
We know what you're going to say. "Why don't you just point out the fact that lions can't really talk, you pedantic dicks!" But think about the environmental message kids get at the ending. The place was basically a desert, the lions were on the brink of starvation and a huge fire couldn't have helped matters. Simba repairs an entire ecosystem and gets everything back to normal in a couple of years.
Obviously a slow and difficult reconstruction period during which most of the tribe dies isn't the most uplifting montage to end a kids' movie with, but it's a little late to spare our feelings at that point, isn't it Disney? Where was that concern when you killed Mufasa, you fuckers?
We like to hit rewind at this point, so then it's like Mufasa gets up and everything's okay.
Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back
We had to make this number one, not because of the size of the plot hole, but because it's friggin' Star Wars. That's right nerds, the indisputably best one of the series has a pretty gaping hole of its own.
You know the plot. Don't play that game.
So there's the famous sequence where Luke gets trained by Yoda on Yoda's shithole of a planet. To break up the sequence, the film cuts to the Millennium Falcon getting chased by the Empire to Lando's cloud city. When they arrive, they get captured, at which point Luke has finished his training.
Well, that doesn't work. Were they chased for months? Or was Luke trained in an afternoon? Either we were spared some extended scenes on board the Millennium Falcon featuring starvation and debates about when they'd have to eat Chewbacca, or becoming a Jedi is easier than getting a cub scout merit badge.
Pictured: The entire Jedi training process
The latter explanation seems more plausible, as it just reveals Luke to be an even whinier bitch than he seemed. Talk about ungrateful, he's getting taught God-like abilities in about six hours, and he complains through literally every single one of them. It also means Yoda's insistence that Jedis start their training as young children isn't because the training's such a long arduous process, but because he's amused by the idea of children knowing how to choke each other with their minds.
Now it's true that when Luke tries to leave, Yoda insists the training isn't over. But when Luke returns to Planet Shithole in Return of the Jedi to finish it, Yoda waves him off and tells him there's nothing else to learn.
Then it turns out the final test Luke has to pass to become a Jedi is to defeat Darth Vader, the most powerful Jedi in the universe which kind of seems like a huge leap in difficulty after his one-day training session. That'd be like if the final stage of your driving test was to win the Indy 500.
So to answer the question, at what point did George Lucas stop paying attention? It looks like it was part way through the second movie.
For more movies that are way more disturbing when you actually think about them, check out The 6 Most Depressing Happy Endings in Movie History. Or for movies that you already know suck, but just don't know why, check out 5 Awesome Movies Ruined By Last-Minute Changes.