7 Movie Plot Holes You Didn't Notice Due to Editing (Pt. 2)
The magic of editing means that in just seconds, a movie character can go from attending a party in a tuxedo to being fully dressed in Batman gear by merely cutting from one shot to the next. Movies would suck without this -- nobody wants films to waste time showing Bruce Wayne tediously lacing up his boots and applying the talcum powder that lets him get the rubber mask over his cheeks.
But as we've shown you before, even great movies abuse this power by building key plot points around utterly impossible events hidden by clever edits. Once you start to notice this sort of thing, it's kind of hard to stop asking questions like ...
Kill Bill: Vol. 1 -- How Did Nobody Find the Bride in Buck's Truck?
After being shot in the head by David Carradine, the Bride is left lying in a coma for four years, until she suddenly wakes up just in time to bite a rapist's face off.
She then uses a doorjamb to brain Buck, the skeezy orderly who had been pimping out her comatose body, and steals his keys. Because the muscles in her legs have atrophied from disuse, she has to ride a wheelchair to escape, and the Bride rolls around the parking garage until she finds Buck's truck, then crawls inside. He won't mind, since he's now dead and all.
She would have taken his shoes, too, but they were too small.
As you can see, the Bride spends over half a day lying in the truck before her legs start working again and she is able to drive it the hell out of the garage.
So ... was Buck the only person working at the hospital that night? In the span of 13 hours, did nobody discover two fresh bodies lying in the middle of a suddenly missing coma patient's room? There must have been a shift change at some point -- at the very least, Buck's absence would have been noted, and we have to believe that a patient in the Bride's condition would be monitored pretty closely. When he didn't show up for roll call or respond to pages, and when they saw no updates on the Bride for the past half-day, hospital staff presumably would have sent someone to both look for him and check on her. Honestly, somebody should've tripped over those dead guys within 10 minutes of the Bride making it to the garage.
"Hey, this isn't where we store these."
With a murdered employee and a missing patient, that hospital would've locked down like the Thunderdome while the Bride was still lying in Buck's truck and staring at her feet. Regardless of whether they thought she was responsible (and they probably wouldn't have -- they'd find it way more likely that some lunatic had killed Buck and hauled her comatose ass off like a sack of potatoes), the cops would be covering all exits and combing the building looking for her.
"OK," you think, "but maybe it wouldn't occur to them to look in the parking garage. Maybe they'd be too worried about whether there was a killer loose in the building to go see if Buck's car was missing." Well, sure, we could buy that for an hour or two. But once they'd established that the killer and coma patient didn't seem to be in the building, they'd need to figure out how to track their asses down. And someone (either the cops or a super sleuth doctor) would definitely notice that Buck's keys were gone, because Buck's keys look like this:
And the vehicle they operate looks like this:
The cops don't even search it anymore. The Purell costs were breaking their budget.
Buck drives the gaudiest, most ostentatious truck in the hospital, probably in the entire state, and possibly in continental America. People notice when the Pussy Wagon comes and goes. With Buck dead, his keys stolen and a patient in his care missing, that truck would be the first thing everyone in the history of deductive reasoning would look for, and they would find it plenty fast if it was sitting in one place for 13 goddamned hours.
Ocean's Eleven -- How Did the Fake Money Get into the Vault?
Danny Ocean assembles a crew of thieves to steal $150 million from one of casino owner Terry Benedict's seemingly impregnable vaults (they do such a bang-up job that Benedict catches every single one of them 10 minutes into the sequel). Their incredibly complicated scheme involves breaking into the vault, lacing it with explosives and telling Benedict that they are going to blow up all of his money unless he has it loaded in bags into a van they have parked outside.
Benedict caves in to their demands, but not without calling a SWAT team to secure the vault and having his men follow Ocean's van to the airport.
Benedict's men intercept the van and discover that it's a decoy -- instead of money, each bag is stuffed with thousands of fliers for Las Vegas hookers (which they presumably found by sweeping up one 50-foot stretch of Vegas sidewalk).
"Guys, make sure you collect all of these for ... uh, evidence."
We then find out that the SWAT team is actually Ocean and his crew in disguise, having pulled a hilarious bait-and-switch to now sneak the real money out of the vault.
"Leaving the scene of a crime? Eh, no need to keep my face covered the whole time."
It's a fun, ingenious plan that leaves you guessing right to the end. But, uh ... at what point did they get all those X-rated fliers in there? You know, the bags that they trick Benedict and his men into following? They literally appear out of thin air, piled in the middle of the vault, ready to be picked up.
This isn't a trivial point here -- it's the crux of the entire plan. None of this works without the decoy money in the vault. And it's not a case where it could have been dropped in there between scenes -- only three of the thieves ever go into the vault, and none of them could have been carrying the fliers. First the Amazing Yen is smuggled in inside a cash cart, and there is absolutely no room for six huge duffel bags of titty paper in there.
Yet there is totally room for him to take an Amazing Dump.
Then Ocean and Linus Caldwell propel themselves down an elevator shaft filled with laser beams. Clearly they aren't carrying the fliers, either.
It's like a Mission: Impossible themed rave.
Maybe the rest of the crew brought the fliers with them in the SWAT truck ... except we see the decoy van, already containing the bags of fliers, leaving the casino before the SWAT truck arrives.
Nope, no chance a passing patrolman might radio in about this.
So where in the name of The Peacemaker did the decoy money bags come from? On the DVD commentary, the filmmakers admit that not even they know the answer (we're telling you this so that you don't ever find yourself listening to the Ocean's Eleven commentary track). In a movie focused entirely on the cleverness of a master thief, they never bother to explain how he accomplished the most crucial aspect of his plan. We suppose the only explanation is that Benedict stored the fliers in the vault himself to protect them from Julia Roberts.
Superman II -- How Did Lois and Clark Get Back from the Fortress of Solitude?
Clark Kent finally reveals to Lois Lane that he is Superman and decides to take her to the Fortress of Solitude at the North Pole, because evidently she still needs some convincing. Superman realizes that he could never hope to maintain a relationship with Lois as long as he is a son of Krypton (and honestly, if you're considering giving up super alien powers for Margot Kidder, you don't deserve them anyway). He willingly steps into a crystal chamber to expose himself to Red Kryptonian sunlight, stripping himself of everything that makes him awesome and turning himself into a normal person.
"I hope he doesn't think that this means he gets to do butt stuff ..."
Lois and Clark driving in a Chevy to a diner.
This is somewhat less cinematic than flying.
Clearly, they're enjoying their first few days together as a normal couple, and ... waitaminute, how the fuck did they get back from the Fortress of Solitude?
In case you are a relative novice of Superman mythology, the Fortress of Solitude is located at the North Pole. This is not an issue for the Man of Steel -- he just flies back and forth whenever the hell he feels like it.
"I'd secure you with both arms, but the fist-pointing is integral."
However, he gave up the ability to fly when he stepped into that red sunlight chamber. Which, as you may remember, is in the Fortress of Solitude. At the North Pole.
There is literally no way to get in or out of the North Pole that doesn't involve an ice freighter and years of survival training. There's certainly no way that Lois and Clark could have gotten back in such a short period of time unless they had that Narnia closet.
Later on, when Clark realizes that he has made a mistake and decides to go back to the Fortress to restore his powers, the movie just cuts to him already back in the North Pole, walking sadly along like the end credits of The Incredible Hulk. Remember, he still can't fly, and Clark Kent doesn't exactly have the capital to charter an arctic expedition at the drop of a hat. Maybe Bruce Wayne gave him a ride.
"He let me borrow the same teleporter he used to escape a midair nuclear explosion in three seconds."
The Lost World: Jurassic Park -- How Did the Tyrannosaurus Kill Everyone on the Ship?
An expedition to another dinosaur-infested island, consisting of Jeff Goldblum's daughter and Vince Vaughn before he discovered cupcakes, results in a spectacular body count but ultimately sees Tyrannosaurus rex captured at the hands of a bushy-eyebrowed Englishman. They load the prehistoric superbeast onto a cargo ship and transport it to San Diego, because this is without question the greatest idea of all time.
"Great work, men! There is no conceivable aspect of this that could possibly fail!"
Shockingly, the boat carrying the largest terrestrial predator in history crashes into the pier in San Diego because its entire crew has been eatmurdered.
Although the helmsman remained dutifully rooted to his post until the absolute last possible second.
One of the slain crewmen has a death grip on the controls for the ship's cargo hold:
And the hold door is stuck partially open, its motor loudly struggling against some obstruction:
Meanwhile, Jeff Goldblum stares at his script in wide-eyed disbelief.
One ill-advised decision to press the OPEN button in the dead crewman's hand later, T. rex busts loose and starts killing people:
The dinosaur's closest living relative is the Kool-Aid Man.
So ... what happened on the boat, exactly? The Tyrannosaurus broke out, killed everyone, then climbed back into the cargo hold? Maybe, but how could an animal that size have gotten to the people we see lying dead in the wheelhouse? His head wouldn't fit through the windows to bite anyone, let alone any of the doorways. And what about the dead crewman holding the cargo door controls? His body is several yards away from the hold. If they'd successfully lured the Tyrannosaurus back down in there and gotten the doors mostly shut again, how did T. rex manage to kill that guy? With a crossbow? Did the man succumb to some unrelated illness?
Apparently, the filmmakers originally intended to have a bunch of Velociraptors sneak aboard the ship and wipe out the crew. However, the idea was ultimately dropped, probably because they figured that after seeing one of the raptors get killed by a little girl doing gymnastics, the audience could no longer take them seriously. The dead crew angle was never rewritten, though, so we're left to assume that the Tyrannosaurus either has mutant powers or is a spirited practical joker.
Batman -- How Did the Joker's Henchmen Get to the Top of the Bell Tower?
In Tim Burton's Batman, the Joker holds a parade in downtown Gotham City and plans to murder everyone in attendance by releasing deadly Smilex gas, resulting in a puzzlingly large death toll, considering that the only thing the paradegoers know about the Joker at this point in the film is that he likes to poison large numbers of people in public. Batman shows up in his Batwing to thwart him, so the Joker blasts him out of the sky with a comically oversized pistol.
Trust us, Internet -- the Joker was awesome before Heath Ledger, too. It's just a question of degrees.
After the Batwing crashes on the steps of Gotham Cathedral, the Joker takes Vicki Vale inside and radios a chopper to pick him up on the roof in 10 minutes, leaving him with a shitload of rickety stairs to climb.
"I really need the workout. My wacky pants are getting a bit snug in the waistline."
Batman, who totally survived the crash without being roasted by flaming jet fuel, shakily climbs up after them, barely stepping out of the way in time to avoid the giant dislodged iron bell the Joker tosses down at him, which destroys the majority of the staircase in its wake.
Batman pulls himself up through the trapdoor into the belfry at the top of the cathedral and is immediately attacked by three henchmen, including one particularly relentless thug that every single person who watched this movie as a child referred to as "Ray Charles."
Because look at him.
Quite simply, how the hell did those three goons get up there (especially Ray -- the man is blind)?
The Joker had no idea that he was going to be in the cathedral until the Batwing crashed in front of it. The helicopter hadn't arrived yet, so it's not like the goons got dropped off in the belfry. The only other way up there is the stairwell, and we clearly see that the Joker doesn't bring anyone but Vicki up with him. Furthermore, he demolishes like 80 percent of the stairs when he drops the bell, so there's that.
Even if the goons had somehow managed to parkour their way up that splintered mess, they were already in the bell tower when Batman got there, meaning they would have literally had to pass the Caped Crusader in the stairwell on their way up. This would have resulted in a decidedly less exciting melee.
Octopussy -- How Did Bond Get into a Ridiculous Disguise (With Makeup) in Seconds?
After everyone is through giggling over both the film's title and the fact that at this point in his career Roger Moore looks more like a math teacher than a secret agent, 007 discovers a plot to detonate a nuclear bomb at a circus on an American military base that the titular Octopussy (ahem) will be attending. Bond tries to warn everyone of the danger, but nobody believes him because, again, he looks less like an authoritative international badass and more like a pre-Heisenberg Walter White.
With no time to lose, Bond crashes a car through the base's perimeter gate, which is a surprising move, considering that Liam Neeson hasn't invented it yet. With military personnel in hot pursuit, and the bomb's timer ticking down ...
... Bond quickly ducks into a trailer.
007 steps back out of the trailer looking like some grief-stricken parent's misguided attempt to tell his son that he has bone cancer:
"Don't worry, clowns only eat healthy kids."
He then runs into the circus tent to tell the base commander about the bomb, because clearly that's where the commander would be and not, you know, in his office, running a military installation. Bond tries once again to warn everyone, this time using his weepy, pleading clown face:
"He's trying to trick us! Everyone knows that clowns don't have emotions!"
Unfortunately, they all still think that he's a lunatic (in their defense, he is dressed like a fucking clown), so 007 has to fight through them to get to the bomb himself:
Um, look around you, Roger -- we've located the bomb.
He finally reaches the nuke, only to find the timer still ticking away at ... wait, what? Does that thing seriously read 14 seconds?
It seriously does.
That means only five minutes have passed since Bond darted into the trailer.
The stuff with him goofing around in the circus tent trying to convince everyone that he isn't on angel dust takes almost four full minutes -- you can time it. This leaves no more than 120 seconds between Bond closing that trailer door and re-emerging as John Wayne Gacy's existential British uncle. So, applying intricate clown makeup and a full costume, in a dressing room that he has never seen before in his entire life, took less time than a Pixies song? Bond probably spends more time putting on his regular clothes -- hell, we take longer than that getting dressed for work, and we aren't wearing tuxedos (well, most of us aren't, anyway).
To compare, Die Another Day spent two hours making James Bond look like a stupid asshole. We just don't believe that two minutes is enough time.
The Godfather: Part II -- Who Killed Michael's Would-Be Assassins?
Early on in the film, Michael Corleone is hanging out in his bedroom when he notices that the drapes are open. A few seconds later, his room is riddled with bullets, presumably by some time-traveling Samaritan trying to save the future from irritating Scent of a Woman impressions.
And in turn saving Al Pacino from appearing in Jack and Jill.
Michael escapes unscathed and has the entire Corleone family compound locked down until the assassins are caught. He specifically orders his men to take them alive, and then tells his right-hand man, Tom Hagen, that he suspects that there is a traitor in the organization. The traitor, Michael suggests, will try to kill the assassins before they have a chance to question them.
Sure enough, the two assassins' bodies are found in a ditch, which is probably where they were headed anyway.
It's not like Michael was going to have them dropped off at a rec center to run laps for punishment.
However, the movie never explains who actually killed them. Since the assassins were trapped in the compound with nowhere to go, and all of Michael's foot soldiers had specific orders to take them alive, Michael's theory that they were erased by the traitor is the only possible answer, unless they sawed their own necks open in a sudden fit of guilt.
Now, as we eventually learn, Michael's brother Fredo is the traitor. Fredo was secretly doing business with Michael's enemies without realizing that they would try to kill Michael, because Fredo is a stupid man. He lives in the family compound, and he was there when the attempt on Michael's life was made, so logically, the only person who could have killed the assassins was Fredo ... that is, if you can ignore this picture and the horrible truth it screams:
That mustache alone is enough to get you on a sex offender list in 13 states.
Fredo is a weak, sniveling man-child. Fredo can't kill anything. He rarely even manages to get his clothes to match, and he literally spends most of the first movie getting slapped in the face. When his father is sprayed to the ground in a hail of bullets, Fredo fumbles desperately with his own gun before dropping it in the street and weeping through his mustache as the hit men escape, unshot. This is not a man who suddenly overpowers two assassins in the middle of the night and slits both of their throats. This is a man who hides in the closet during thunderstorms.
Character attacks aside, when the bodies are found, you can see Fredo in the background dealing with his hysterical wife:
He's not exactly winning.
He wouldn't have been able to get more than five feet from that hairspray and acrylic whirlwind without everyone in the compound knowing he'd done so, and as the films have established, Fredo is simply not smart enough to concoct a good alibi. Even if by some miracle he mustered up the nerve to kill, Fredo couldn't have possibly left his wife to do so without her blowing his cover. Given what we've discussed so far, the only other explanation we can come up with is that the two assassins were killed by a Tyrannosaurus.
Robin Warder is the co-owner of a pop culture website called The Back Row.
For more questionable scenes in movies, check out 6 Movie Plots Made Possible By Ridiculous Understaffing and 6 Plot Threads Famous Movies Forgot to Resolve.
If you're pressed for time and just looking for a quick fix, then check out Why the 'Men in Black' Agency Is Just a Huge Con.
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