5 Movies That Cause Gaping Plot Holes in Their Own Sequels
Remember how the first Terminator film was all "Only organic matter, guys," and in the second film they were all like "Fuck it, knife hands" for, like, no explained reason at all? All of that man ass for nothing, thanks to a sequel-induced plot hole.
But that's not the only case of a sequel raising more questions than it answers. In fact, some sequels only exist by feeding off the carcass of the original's now-mangled plot ...
The Police Totally Should Know Who Batman Is at the Beginning of The Dark Knight Rises
Sure, Heath Ledger was an excellent Joker, but the real tour de force performance in The Dark Knight had to be this guy:
Pretty smug for an office drone.
This is Coleman Reese, the little turd in the second film who not only manages to learn Batman's secret identity, but also tries to batmail him for millions of bat dollars.
While that doesn't exactly work out for the guy, once the Joker holds Gotham hostage for the Bat's true identity, Reese musters up the weenie courage to go on national TV announcing his revelation about the man behind the cowl. Before he's able to pull the curtain, however, plot gets in the way when the Joker changes his mind and puts a bounty on Reese's head instead of the Bat's, causing a shit show that ends in Reese getting taken into police custody.
"I just made some pieces."
And while Batman helps keep Reese out of the grave, he goes on to kill Gotham's beloved but secretly evil Harvey Dent, making him the number one most wanted asshole of Gotham City, since he also gets blamed for every terrible thing Dent did during his short rampage as Two-Face.
But in the Sequel ...
The Dark Knight Rises opens eight years after the second film. Bruce Wayne has retired, and Batman remains the most wanted criminal of Gotham ... because for some reason nobody thought to ask the guy who claimed to know who he was.
"We were gonna interrogate him, but no one wanted to be locked in a room with that wiener."
In fact, they never mention Coleman Reese again. What exactly happened to him? Did they just let him go? He's the only person who knows the identity of the bat-masked man who went on a murder spree that included at least one cop and the city's freaking district attorney. Even if Reese -- the guy who was trying to blackmail Bruce Wayne at the beginning -- for some reason decided not to rat on a wanted murderer, how would he even manage to walk down the street at that point without every single cop and criminal gunning for him?
But honestly, when a lawyer working for the richest man in Gotham suddenly comes out with the fact that he knows who Batman is, you'd literally have to put in effort to not connect the dots at that point.
Everyone Forgets About the Key Technology Between Tron Movies
As we previously pointed out, the entire Tron series is centered on characters completely ignoring the fact that they have a laser that could potentially solve all of the world's problems and instead use it to play frolf in a discotheque. As seen in the first film, our hero, Flynn (The Dude), discovers that a laser being tested and used to digitize inanimate objects can also do the same thing to people. Then he himself is lasered into the computer world to fight with sentient programs conveniently living out an allegory for religion.
Until Flynn, this orange was their god.
But in the Sequel ...
Flynn is introduced seven years after he gets out of the computer in the first film. He runs the company and now has a son whom he regales every night with stories of his adventures on the "grid."
"Eh, fuck it, close enough." -CGI artists
After that, Flynn vanishes -- as in he gets trapped in his own creation using the laser from the original film -- and no one knows where he went. Because apparently sometime between the first and second films Flynn was able to take a laser that used to fill two floors of his company ...
... and was observed by dozens if not scores of employees ...
... and tucked it away in an arcade basement.
It'll be safest in the hands of the 16-year-old seasonal arcade employees.
Because once you learn that computer programs feel feelings and believe in gods, the best course of action is to not tell anyone about it. Even Flynn's partner, Alan, has no freaking clue what happened to his pal or any semblance of what he was up to all these years ... despite knowing where Flynn was the night he had his revelation, and that the company he works for houses a giant digitizing laser.
When Flynn came back from Neverland that first time around, did Alan not even bother to ask what happened, or did Flynn just randomly lie to his best friend about the biggest discovery of mankind? How did he even get that laser into the cramped basement without help? Did he build a new one completely from scratch, along with an ultra-modern console? There's literally no option that doesn't involve murdering all of the workers, Batman-style.
Men in Black 3's Central Plot Completely Voids the First Two Films
The MIB is a highly trained organization devoted to protecting Earth from comically grotesque or oddly hot alien life by recruiting wisecracking rookies or emotionally distant curmudgeons or talking dogs. It's a formula that actually appears to be working out for them, as all three films involve them managing to save the globe from near annihilation.
First you have the Arquillians, a tiny race dwelling in robot faces with a love for pirogies despite having no possible ability to consume them.
You'd think alien technology would use a touchscreen instead of a clusterfuck of steampunk levers.
They fire upon Earth and threaten to blow it up unless they get a tiny galaxy in the form of cat jewelry. Next up in MIB 2 we meet Serleena, a hentai wet dream that crashes on the planet, only to wreck up the place. The point is, basically all of MIB's problems are shit-tempered aliens showing up wanting crap in exchange for not exploding the world.
But in the Sequel ...
The most recent installment happens when a villain of the comically grotesque variety travels back in time to 1969 to kill Josh Brolin as Tommy Lee Jones before he is able to send something called the ArcNet into space -- an "impenetrable shield" designed to protect Earth from anything aliens might throw at them. A shield that, according to the film, Earth absolutely had at the time the first two movies took place.
The rings don't do anything, but 1969 law required all sci-fi technology to have kickass ellipses.
In other words, it completely negates the threats of the first two movies.
Once they got that ArcNet up there (again, said to have happened in 1969), there's no reason that the Arquillians should have been able to fire on the planet, right? That's what an "impenetrable shield" does -- it goddamn shields things, impenetrably.
So THIS the shield can ward off, but not a race of aliens the size of mice?
How does anything with hostile intent get on the planet? Shouldn't the first two movies just be two hours of dudes in suits laughing while watching satellite images of shit smacking into a giant force field that's been around since the Apollo era?
Honey, I Blew Up the Kid Completely Forgets the Ending of the Previous Film
Look, we don't want to hold a silly movie like this to some impossibly high standard of scientific rigor, but we do ask that the people producing any additional movies in a series take a couple of hours to watch the first one. Seriously: Just, like, rent it and leave it playing while you're writing the script or something.
So, despite the fact that there were a million grotesque ways it could have gone down, the first film manages to stick four powerless suburban minors through a shrink ray and then literally throw them out in the middle of a monster lawn. They defy both the laws of physics and lawnmower wrath in order to escape, even enslaving an ant instead of being mercilessly torn to shreds by its powerful pincers.
By "ant" we of course mean "large Muppet."
But in the end they not only manage to make it all the way into Rick Moranis' cereal unharmed, but get unshrunk by the same shrink ray that miniaturized them to begin with. Everything ties itself up pretty neatly, all things considered.
But in the Sequel ...
In the movie's powerful, in-no-way-related-to-making-money sequel Honey, I Blew Up the Kid, we begin with Rick Moranis crazy as always and now working for a big company attempting to perfect a brand new ray. Their goal? Make one that enlarges shit as opposed to shrinking it. This is the entire point of the film ... despite this being something the old shrink ray did readily in the first film.
Rick used the ray on his stash, and then forgot how it worked.
At the end of that movie, it's not like he has to jury-rig the machine to make his kids life-size again -- he just presses a freaking button and it's done. Boom, instant enlargening ray. And before you say "Maybe it can only bring things back to original sizes," check out what they're eating at the end of the first film:
A delicious California condor?
Either everyone got amnesia between the first two films or the growth hormone industry really stepped up its game. Of course the latter still wouldn't account for the giant dog bone we see at the very end either.
Awarded for not eating the children when he had the chance.
The Entire Plot of Alien 3 Couldn't Possibly Have Happened
While the original Alien film managed to personify unimaginable horror of the unknown, the sequel took a different route by simply flamethrowering the shit out of unimaginable horror while Bill Paxton made illegal immigrant jokes in what is supposed to be 200 years in the future. Both have their merits, as Aliens gave us one of the series' most iconic villainesses:
Wait for it ...
Queen Alien! Ripley first faces this egg-laying hell beast while rescuing the little girl at the end of the second film, and when faced with the choice of either quietly walking away or being an ultimate badass, she goes ahead with the second choice by blowing up the nest, being chased by the Queen, and making a daring escape on the drop ship, mostly getting away.
But in the Sequel ...
Alien 3 begins with Ripley, Hicks, Newt, and some of Bishop tucked safely in hypersleep aboard a ship with a certain undesirable +1 tagging along:
For a complete list of orifices this resembles, please see the comment section below.
That would be an egg from the defeated Queen in the previous film, having somehow secretly made it onto a ship that never touched down on the planet before. In fact, there's literally no moment in the second film that this could have happened -- we see the eggs blow up and the Queen detach from the egg sack and then chase Ripley to the ship, zero eggs in hand.
As you can clearly see from this inexplicable moment of jazz hands.
Presumably the Queen then made it into that stuck landing gear and stowed away until her Bishop-ripping reveal at the end of the second film. Thanks to Alien 3, somewhere along that trip she apparently learned how to hide giant eggs via sleight of hand, like some kind of slightly more tolerable David Blaine.
But hey, without this glaring plot hole, we would have never gotten Alien 3. So, totally worth it ... right?
Without fail, most of your favorite television shows let you down in the series finale. In our latest podcast, Dan O'Brien, Breandan Carter, and Adam Ganser join Jack O'Brien to discuss their version of finales that would've much improved the overall series. You can download it here and subscribe to it on iTunes here.
Related Reading: Some movies are brilliant enough to get away with plot holes. We forgive Back to the Future for not explaining why no one assumed Marty's mom slept with him. And we also forgive Star Wars for all their asteroid field bullshit. When you're done with all that, take a look at these plot holes Hollywood hopes you won't notice.