6 Huge Movie Plot Twists That Caused Even Bigger Plot Holes
A good twist ending makes you look back on the entire movie while shitting your pants. For example, remember at the end of The Sixth Sense where Bruce Willis is dead and no one saw it coming? It was so damn unexpected! Of course, who the hell would expect that the hero of a film wouldn't notice that his only speaking companion for months was a small, unsupervised child?
That kind of trickery is not a fluke, people. It turns out that sometimes in order for a film to really shock us with its ending it has to fudge the facts a little bit, and a twist is only a twist because it retrospectively makes no goddamn sense. Want proof?
(Cracked can't promise all the twists in our new Star Wars mini-series will make sense. But we can promise...something?)
Skyfall -- The Bad Guy's Plan Depends on Events He Has No Control Over
The Plot Twist
In Skyfall, James Bond tracks his villain through a series of expert spy techniques such as attacking a train with a backhoe, getting shot, fucking feeding a dude to a komodo dragon, and just plain fucking. In the end, he is able to catch his man, a sinisterly foreign yet creepily Aryan ex-agent named Silva (Javier Bardem).
"Hey, Javier, we want you to play a villain."
"Sure, what kind of terrible hairdo will he have?"
But in a twist no one had seen since The Avengers (and before that, The Dark Knight), it then turns out that the villain intentionally got himself captured! It was all a plan to get to Bond's boss, M (Judi Dench), who was on trial thanks to Silva's machinations. Silva manages to upload a virus into MI6's system, escapes his cell, disguises himself as a police officer, and meets up with his henchmen to take out M at her hearing ... but not before crashing an expertly timed train right on a pursuing Bond's dome.
"Usually I'm the one railing people."
Hold On, Now ...
Before we go any further, yes, this is universally considered to be an awesome movie. It's just that any time a movie has the villain do the, "Surprise! Every action you've taken has actually played perfectly into my hands!" bit with the hero, it never really makes sense. And this is a great example -- when you walk through it from the bad guy's point of view, you realize that either Silva is an incredibly lucky bastard, or he's literally God.
The entire point of Silva's scheme is to kill M during her hearing -- he has two guys waiting for him with a cop uniform after he breaks out of MI6 specifically so that he can sneak into the courthouse and shoot her. Presumably he allowed himself to get captured (as opposed to just going straight to the courthouse) because he wanted to upload the virus into MI6's computers to distract everyone.
It was all a cunning scheme to show off his Hannibal Lecter impression.
Here's the thing: Silva's master plan began the moment he got captured, timing it so that he'd be in custody right when M was testifying. But he didn't turn himself in -- he was captured by Bond. So how could he have known when that would happen? Bond tracks a bullet shard in his shoulder to an assassin guy who has a casino chip from a casino where he sticks it to some lady who happens to know where Silva is. That's literally how it happens -- Silva had no control over that. How many days were those two fake cops standing there, waiting for Silva?
And then, when Bond corners him, Silva blows the tunnel at just the right time for a train to come crashing through it. How did he even know to set explosives in the specific time and place where James Bond would catch him? How did he know a train would be coming along at just that moment? He utters a little catchphrase in the split second the train crashes through -- imagine if the train had gotten delayed and they'd had to stand there in silence for 20 minutes until it finally came along.
The Dark Knight Rises -- Bruce Wayne Magically Adjusts His Will Retroactively
The Plot Twist
We've all seen The Dark Knight Rises by now, right? Then you know that at the end of the movie, Batman appears to die when he sacrifices himself to save the city, going out in a nuclear explosion in the middle of the ocean (and that's the only realistic way Batman could ever die). The first twist is when we find out that he isn't really dead -- he just fucked off to Italy to stick it in Anne Hathaway.
Pictured with one of the two pearl necklaces she got from him.
But there's one more surprise before the credits: In his will, it is revealed that Batman left a little map to the Batcave to hero cop John "Robin" Blake (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), strongly hinting that Blake will become the next person to don the black cowl. Or at least a thong and pixie boots.
Hold On, Now ...
At what point did Bruce Wayne leave that will? When Bruce's will is being read, the lawyer dude specifically states that it "was not amended to reflect his more modest estate." That means he hadn't touched it since he lost all his money, which happened right at the start of the action in the film, when he barely knew Blake. He hadn't even seen the guy throw a punch at that point.
"What are you like, a 38 ... 40 tall? Yeah, good enough."
But let's say that Bruce secretly added that part later in the movie and simply forgot he was bankrupt -- when do you suppose he had the time to do it? When the big dude with the funny voice was breaking him in half and throwing him in a pit on the other side of the world? By the time Bruce makes it back to Gotham, it's like Escape from New York in there: The city is ruled by criminals, so Wayne's lawyer probably had better shit to do than amend a will. After that, Batman only had one day to get his shit in order before his "death."
Most of which was spent preparing for this.
He certainly couldn't have done it after faking his death -- we know that the will reading happened right after that, since it's established that Bruce had fixed the autopilot only six months prior. Seriously, what kind of superhero entrusts his entire legacy to a dude he just met?
"Say, you wouldn't happen to have years of ninja training and millions in disposable income, would you?"
The Empire Strikes Back -- If Vader Knew That Luke Was His Son, What Was He Waiting For?
The Plot Twist
It's maybe the most famous plot twist of all time: In what was the series' biggest Maury moment, Darth Vader is revealed to be Luke Skywalker's father, Anakin, after Luke had spent the entire first film thinking that Vader was his father's murderer. The touching reunion includes Vader cutting his son's hand off and Luke jumping into a void rather than spending more time with his dad.
In the end, Luke gets a killer hand stump and some light incest out of the deal; it turns out that love interest Princess Leia is Vader's kid as well.
OK, maybe the father thing wasn't the biggest Maury moment after all.
Hold On, Now ...
The "I am your father" twist is one of the greatest movie moments ever, so it's easy to forget that it makes no fucking sense.
For starters, when exactly did Vader find out that Luke even existed? This is an incredibly important moment the movies never show us. Remember, the idea was that Luke was stashed on Tatooine as an infant specifically to keep the Empire from finding out about him. Luke is still living in peaceful anonymity in A New Hope, so clearly Vader doesn't realize that Luke is there.
But why? You'd think he would have noticed at some point in the first movie that this kid with a passing resemblance to his own younger self happened to share his last name. The first mention of him as the "son of Skywalker" is in the second movie, when Vader suggests to the Emperor that Luke could be turned. So did they just now put this all together? For real?
"You should have followed the Rule of Two: condoms and a vasectomy."
Vader and the Emperor were about as smart as their Spaceballs counterparts if they somehow missed the fact that for 20 years, there was a kid living on Vader's own home planet, with Vader's own family, openly telling everyone that he was "the son of Anakin Skywalker." And it's not like Vader is too far away to visit home, after all -- he has no problem visiting in the first film, right?
Which went about as well as any family reunion has ever gone.
Let's say that Vader's secret good side just didn't want to get his son involved; what about the Emperor? Or how about the fact that if Luke is down there, surely that pesky Obi-Wan (aka the dude who put Vader in that breathing suit) can't be far?
Vader must be the least-attentive father ever ... which isn't exactly a stretch, considering that his keen sense of the Force didn't pick up on his own daughter being tortured right in front of him. Jesus, Vader, you could have warned her.
"Listen, don't make out with any dudes named Skywalker. Just ... just trust me on this one."
WALL-E -- The Autopilot Is Trying to Thwart Its Own Mission
The Plot Twist
In this preschooler post-apocalypse feature, we follow WALL-E, a lovable trash compactor/cassette deck who falls in love with a big white butt plug from space. This robot, named EVE, is actually there to check in on whether a trash-riddled Earth could possibly sustain life once again -- and in her search stumbles upon an honest-to-God plant, which she immediately brings back to her mothership for further analysis.
They then toss it out once it's established that it can't be smoked.
But the movie needs an obstacle between the heroes and restoring Earth to a livable ecosystem, so the big twist is that the ship's autopilot, AUTO, is trying to prevent the humans from seeing the plant and finding out that Earth is now habitable. Why? Well, it's revealed that 700 years prior, all the autopilots of these ships were given secret orders to never, ever return to Earth, which was deemed a lost cause. AUTO was simply following those orders by hiding any evidence of the plant.
Hold On, Now ...
Then why send EVE down to Earth at all?
As the film shows us right away, the captain is completely out of the loop when it comes to practically every function of the ship, which is now in the hands of AUTO -- including the part where it periodically sends recon robots to find out if there's any trace of life on Earth, even though the answer is irrelevant.
Robot jobs ... just as soul-crushingly pointless as human jobs.
Of course, AUTO is a robot, so maybe its robot brain just doesn't work like that. Let's say that even AUTO itself didn't know about the secret "fuck Earth" directive until it kicked in -- but we know the exact moment when that happens, which is this:
"Asshole mode engaged."
See that "A113" there? That's the directive number for the order to never return to Earth, blinking up at the very sight of the plant. It's the moment AUTO knows to hide and destroy it -- and yet instead, immediately after this he informs the captain about the plant. Why?
Why bring the captain up to speed on something it is about to cover up? If this robot is capable of hurting other robots and holding people hostage in order to carry out its secret orders, can it not also just withhold information? Isn't that the point of the order in the first place? Seriously, AUTO, your uncle HAL would be very disappointed.
Matchstick Men -- The Con Could Have Ended With a Single Phone Call
The Plot Twist
In a bold acting move, Nicolas Cage plays a twitchy eccentric named Roy Waller who has difficulties controlling his inflection and tricks people into giving him money. Thanks to his new therapist, Roy ends up meeting the 14-year-old daughter he never knew he had (courtesy of his ex-wife) and she moves in with him.
Honestly, for the first 20 minutes we thought this was a documentary.
But since this is a movie about con artists and double crosses, you just know that at some point everything we thought we knew will turn out to be a lie! In this case, it turns out that daughter Angela was never Roy's kid -- she was part of an elaborate con set up by his partner, Frank (Sam Rockwell), to make Roy trust someone enough to give up the code to his safety deposit box. A perfect con!
Hold On, Now ...
Frank's plot is presented as a perfectly planned scam involving fake shrinks, fake daughters, fake cops, and fake hospital rooms ... but it all hinged on Roy not doing one simple, logical thing: calling his ex-wife.
"Nah, no need to make sure I'm not kidnapping you or anything."
Angela's "mother" was the only real part of this whole charade -- Frank took advantage of the fact that Roy left her pregnant 14 years ago to set up the trick. One quick phone call to her, and the gig is up. The only precaution Frank took to make sure this didn't happen was having Angela tell Roy that her "mom" didn't want him to call her ... but then they spend the rest of the movie putting him in situations where he really fucking should.
For instance, the shrink advises Roy to call his ex, and he actually does it -- he only chickens out when she picks up. If she hadn't, Roy could have left a message mentioning the whole "So we have a daughter together, huh?" thing, and that would have been it. Con over.
Or if she'd called the creep back and told him to eat a dick.
Later on, when Angela fucking disappears for hours from Roy's home, Frank himself casually suggests that she might have gone back to her mother's house, knowing full well that a call to said house would end it all right then and there. It's only a fucking miracle in bad parenting that Roy waits patiently all night until she turns up. And this was somehow all part of the plan.
The Usual Suspects -- Keyser Soze Purposefully Undoes His Entire Plan
The Plot Twist
The twist at the end of The Usual Suspects is universally recognized as one of the greatest ever. If you haven't seen the movie, stop reading this article and go watch it. That was awesome, right? OK, now let us ruin it for you forever.
The whole movie centers around the mystery of the identity of Keyser Soze, a brutal mobster and not a delicious deli sandwich like one would have thought. The story is narrated by crippled con artist Verbal Kint (Kevin Spacey) as he's interrogated by the police after being found at the scene of a perfectly good drug deal heist gone wrong.
The only other survivor of the heist is a badly burned Hungarian, and what do you know, just as Kint leaves the police station, a fax gets sent in with the Hungarian's description of Soze's face ...
"Holy shit! Put out an APB for Phil Collins, NOW!"
That's right, bitches -- Verbal Kint is Keyser Soze.
Hold On, Now ...
The movie makes it clear that the "drug heist" was actually just an excuse for Soze to kill the one man who knew his face. In that case, why stick around and show said face to everyone?
While it's clear that Kint was making all kinds of shit up during his questioning, let's look at the things we do know, the stuff that happens outside of his story. We see the beginning sequence of Soze leaving the scene of the heist with the cops nowhere in sight ...
The bunny ears turned out to be a red herring.
... meaning that he could have escaped before the cops got there, but for some reason didn't. Did this guy seriously create an elaborate boat heist with four other men so he could sneak in and shoot the one man who can ID him ... and then stand around and wait for the cops to ID him?
He even willfully talked to the cops, despite having been granted immunity (meaning he could have fucked right off any time), while the Hungarian was describing his appearance somewhere else at the same time. He had no way of knowing when the fax with his face on it would arrive, and yet he still spent hours dicking around in a police station, for absolutely no reason.
Clearly that coffee wasn't as bad as we were led to believe.
Once more, this is all portrayed as a perfectly orchestrated scheme by the world's greatest master criminal, but he's shown walking out of the police station right as the fax that nails him as Soze is scrolling through the machine. His whole plan would have collapsed if the cops had chosen to hold him for 30 more seconds, or if the one at the other end had been a bit quicker at dialing.
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For more things that just don't make no damn sense, check out 8 Classic Movies That Got Away With Gaping Plot Holes and 6 Movie Plots That Could Have Been Solved In Minutes.
If you're pressed for time and just looking for a quick fix, then check out The 6 Craziest Animal Products Ever Patented.
And stop by LinkSTORM to learn why the Emperor really wasn't that bad of a guy.
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