7 Movies With Dumb Plot Holes (Rescued By Editing)
No one wants to watch a frowny Batman drive silently back home to the Batcave or see the awkward moment when the rousing applause gradually dies down after Gene Hackman delivers an inspirational speech. This is why we have film editing, which keeps the story moving by trimming out unimportant scenes and maintaining a consistent tone to keep the audience engaged.
Other times, editing can be used for the much shittier task of getting around the fact that the movie has written its characters into an inescapable situation, and the only way out is to just move on to the next scene and pretend like nothing happened. This is exactly the case for the following films, which bravely gloss over glaring plot holes with a single, well-timed cut.
Spectre: James Bond Somehow Gets A Super-Secret Spy Car From London To Rome In Two Days
In a truly unique departure from the last few films in the series, Spectre follows James Bond as he gets suspended from duty and injected with a tracking device while MI6 is threatened with a government shutdown, only to defy orders and take on the villain -- who reveals both his dark past and physical deformity to Bond while behind dramatic security glass. Also, this time Bond gets a custom murder-car equipped with flamethrowers and ejection seats ...
"Wow, we must be doing really well."
The only problem with getting a new murder car is the aforementioned suspension and DNA tracking, which our boozy-suit hero quickly bypasses by influencing Q to hold off on reporting his whereabouts for the first 48 hours. Then, like some kind of double-O-asshole, he thanks Q by sneaking into his underground go-go-gadget lair under MI6's old London headquarters ...
"Where's all my shiiiiiiiiiit?!"
... and flat-out stealing the awesomobile for his personal use.
Cut To ...
Bond, a suspended agent being carefully watched, somehow got a secret spy car filled with weapons and flamethrower fuel all the way to Rome in less than two days' time.
"I made good time by making only five sex stops."
That may seem doable at first glance (if you've never tried to drive across Europe before), but Bond had to break into goddamn MI6 and somehow steal a one-of-a-kind spy vehicle before even attempting to keep that time table. Unless this super agency simply leaves the keys under the mat, that alone would undoubtedly require all kinds of planning, equipment, and security hacking, right? But even assuming that Bond is somehow able to magically breeze through the theft, he would then have to either fly the car to Rome (which would mean taking it through customs and consequently being detained) or drive the thing through the Channel Tunnel, which also has rigorous security checks for the vehicles passing through.
One assumes all the detonation-looking switches would raise some red flags.
The act of stealing and trafficking exotic weapons in major countries is something you could devote a whole film to, and Bond does it in the span of a snappy transition.
The Dark Knight: We "Yadda Yadda" Over The Fact That Commissioner Gordon Should Be Fired
Before being asymmetrically victimized, Harvey Dent spends the first part of The Dark Knight trying like hell to marry Batman's crush, coaxing Commissioner Gordon to spill the beans on his secret relationship with the Caped Crusader, and taking on Gotham's corrupt police force. Because of his diligence on that last item, Harvey is kidnapped by dirty cops and ends up sans a girlfriend and half a face.
You should probably get some aloe on that ...
Harvey then goes on a police-murdering spree and kidnaps Commissioner Gordon's family before Batman swoops in and tackles him to death ... leaving the once beloved D.A. a crumpled gargoyle of his former self. This is why Bruce tells Gordon to frame him for Harvey's crimes and publicly declare Batman to be a cold-blooded psycho murderer.
Cut To ...
"We're here to mourn not just for Harvey but for ourselves for not having saved
the whole Two-Face thing for a sequel."
The music swells as the film montages to Gordon blaming Batman for the "heroic" Dent's death while speaking at his funeral and smashing the Bat Signal as he vows to hunt him down in front of the media.
"Shouldn't we at least unplug it before you hit it, with a metal ax in the rain? Fine, just ignore me ..."
But wait ... that means Gordon publicly admitted that the Bat Signal is a thing that exists and not just "malfunctioning equipment" like he says at the start of the film, right? Remember, even before Dent's death, Batman is a known vigilante that the police have a standing order to arrest on sight. So the police commissioner of Gotham just announced to the world that he's been secretly working with a vigilante who is now responsible for the deaths of several police officers. Furthermore, as far as the public knows, Gordon was an accessory to the murder of Harvey Dent ... and he still has a job? That kind of feels like a Blackgate Prison-worthy offense, let alone the kind of thing that generally earns you a pink slip.
Furious 7: Jason Statham Can Control Time And Space
Furious 7's beef-skulled wonderland of entertainment kicks into gear when The Rock enters his Los Angeles office, only to find a vengeful Jason Statham looking up the personal information of the people responsible for killing his brother, starting with a Tokyo Drift character named Han Seoul-Oh.
I just realized how much I want Jason Statham to play Boba Fett.
During the ensuing grapple between a 260-pound ex-wrestler and a rabid British man, The Rock ends up on the very wrong end of a car while Statham gets away with the information he needed.
"This isn't ... so bad ... all things considered ..."
Cut To ...
Vin Diesel visits his sister and her husband, Paul Walker, at their home, seemingly unaware that anything is amiss with The Rock while a mysterious package from Japan sits innocently on the doorstep ...
"Hentai of the Month Club usually gets here on the 7th ..."
Then Vin's character gets a phone call from our antagonist -- who stands basking in the recently murdered Han and detonates that innocent-looking package with cellphone bomb magic ...
"You're going to be deader than The Last Witch Hunter's franchise chances."
This is the punctuation to a death scene from the post-credits ending to Fast & Furious 6, where Jason Statham uses a souped-up car to ram and murder Han in Japan. It's also chronologically crazy-marbles, thanks to a later scene when Paul Walker moves his family to the Dominican Republic and watches a news report saying the attack on The Rock happened 36 hours prior ...
... meaning that everything you just saw (The Rock attack, Han's murder, the bomb mailed to Paul Walker's house from Japan) happened in two days. Let's do that math: It took Paul Walker about six hours to fly from L.A. to the Dominican Republic, and at least another two hours to pack and settle in. Assuming dealing with the police after the explosion took only a few hours for some insane reason, that means there's about 24 hours between Jason Statham learning about Han's location to him standing on the streets of Tokyo having shipped a fucking bomb back to Paul Walker. How long does it take to fly to Japan?*
*Not factoring any NOS boosted aircraft.
There goes 12 hours, and assuming that getting a ticket and boarding the plane was a world record, I'll give Statham another hour to get to and from the airport. So now we're down to 11 hours for the villain to find and modify a car, track down and kill Han, and mail an explosive device across the Pacific Ocean.
Shipped via FedEx's less-known time travel service for murderers and terrorists.
Unless Statham had a super helpful FedEx employee ship the bomb for him before he landed, the only possible explanation is that Statham is a time wizard.
Armageddon: Bruce Willis' Entire Team Scatters To The Far Corners Of The Country In The Span Of 48 Hours
Released between The Rock and Pearl Harbor, Armageddon is the exact moment Michael Bay elevated from a promising action director to the P.T. Barnum of exploding ethnic caricatures. The film begins when a child's fantasy version of NASA discovers that an asteroid will wipe out the Earth in just 18 days.
"We'll stop it with all the money we saved by not turning on any lights!"
Since this is a world where all logic is written backward from snappy quips and explosion scenes, they opt to hire a team of oil drillers to save the planet. From here we join a grizzled Bruce Willis making fun of environmentalists and trying to kill Ben Affleck with a shotgun on a flammable oil rig.
Our hero, everyone.
Then an army chopper shows up and takes Brillis and his daughter straight from the rig of colorful gamblers and pedophiles to the situation at NASA.
He refused to go unless they threw in matching flight suits.
Willis agrees to grizzle the asteroid to death with his unmatched grizzledness, but on the stipulation that NASA rounds up his wacky oil rig team to hilariously tag along (which ultimately results in most of the team suffering horrible space deaths).
Cut To ...
The Michael Bay/Michael Clarke Duncan Easy Rider reboot never panned out, sadly.
Aerosmith violates your ears as Bruce Willis rounds up the menagerie of roughneck riggers in various places all over the country, because apparently the span of time it took NASA to fly him directly from his oil rig to their headquarters and explain the asteroid situation was enough for his team to completely scatter to the wind and resume a series of zany adventures. Ben Affleck somehow managed to open and operate his own fucking drilling business.
"Oil, your daughters -- whatever you got, I'll drill it."
That's his stupid character name on the sign -- meaning that he traveled off the current rig he was on, put together all the legal and tax paperwork that comes with establishing a business, acquired oil-drilling equipment, hired workers, and was up and running in 24 to 48 hours.
When they are brought to train at NASA, they are given at least a day's worth of physical testing before being told they have 12 more days before the mission. So assuming that saving the planet takes a fucking day, that's four days between NASA learning they had 18 days, and Ben Affleck being the president of a working oil rig somewhere in dusty America. Even for a movie where they bring machine guns to space, that's a logical travesty.
Face/Off: Nicolas Cage Teleports From The Middle Of The Ocean Back To California
For the philistine knuckle-dragger who dares to waft hideously through life without seeing the cinematic firework that is Face/Off, the story follows FBI agent Sean Archer (John Travolta) surgically swapping his likenesses with the meth-eyed peach-enthusiast Castor Troy (Nicolas Cage). Archer's goal is to infiltrate the magnetic super-prison Troy's brother is in, gain his trust, and discover the location of an explosive left behind by the criminal duo. But when he ends up mistaken for the real villain, plans quickly devolve into escaping the island jail under a storm of helicopter fire ...
... and into the ocean below, causing a visible splash that doesn't go unnoticed by the trigger-happy pilot.
"Too tucked on the entry. 4.5."
Cut To ...
After visiting Sean Archer's grave, Castor Troy wearing Sean Archer (John Travolta) learns that Sean Archer wearing Castor Troy (Nicolas Cage) has somehow escaped prison.
John Travolta doesn't even understand that sentence.
It's a baffling moment for all. Especially since the last time we saw Nicolas Cage, he was leaping off of an oil rig into the middle of the ocean under the direct sight of a police helicopter. Even if he somehow survived the fall without drowning, he would get riddled with bullets the instant he poked his head above water for a gulp of delicious air. There's no way he could've possibly made it all the way back to shore. And yet, the very next time we see him, he's wandering around valet parking looking for a car to boost without a single scratch on him.
"It's a good thing that giant flock of doves was able to fly me to shore."
There's no conceivable way Cage could have made it back to dry land without teleporting like Nightcrawler or turning into Aquaman. So instead of explaining the unexplainable, the film opts to cut away in the hope we won't notice that something doesn't add up in this otherwise flawless motion picture tale of motorboat chases and wind turbine fights.
Related: 55 Facts About Nicolas Cage Movies
X-Files: Fight The Future: Mulder And Scully Magically Escape Antarctica
Back in 1998, there was X-Files: Fight The Future -- which follows our stoic agents as they uncover the truth behind the alien black goo virus and the sinister machinations of FEMA, an organization which screenwriters of 1998 had hilariously overestimated. In the film's climax, Scully gets kidnapped by the shadow government, and Mulder tracks her location via secret coordinates to the middle of freezing Antarctica:
As his snow vehicle runs out of gas, Spooky Mulder hikes the rest of the way over a hill and spots a distant government facility ...
... which he infiltrates to discover a giant gothic underground lair filled with aliens incubating inside human subjects -- one of whom is his kidnapped partner.
The Rule 34 is out there.
Mulder rescues a mostly nude and immobile Scully, wraps his jacket around her, and escapes the underground base as it erupts from the ground, revealing itself to have been a giant alien spacecraft this whole time.
"Man. What are the odds?"
This turn of events, while confirming Mulder's belief in an extraterrestrial conspiracy, leaves him and Scully in the middle of Antarctica with an inoperable snow vehicle and a single pair of warm clothes between them.
"Well, at least they left a giant grave for us."
Cut To ...
"We had to eat Kurt Russell's corpse to survive."
Scully is magically back at the FBI answering questions about what happened while the X-Files is reopened to the villains' ire. It's a happy ending for all, so long as you don't consider it the hallucinatory death rattle of the two characters freezing to death at the Earth's pole ... because there's no goddamn way they made it out of there alive. In fact, the film seems to take pains to ensure how hopeless that is, showing Mulder's vehicle clearly out of gas (which doesn't serve the plot at all), and the bad guys taking any of the other rides out.
"'E' stands for 'enough,' right?"
They even give us the exact coordinates so we know just how fucked they are.
That giant red circle is the rough location of their coordinates, putting the duo a solid 500 miles from any known base. So there you have it: Either Mulder and Scully are impervious ice-monsters who ate their way through the snow back to civilization, or everything after Season 6 is a slowly degrading death hallucination involving rogue genies and mushroom line dancing ... which now that I think about it is pretty goddamn plausible.
Taken 3: We Totally Skip The Part Where Liam Neeson Goes To Jail Forever
Taken 3 is basically the plot to The Fugitive with just one subtle difference -- Dr. Richard Kimble is falsely accused of murdering his wife and thrown in prison, and despite ultimately proving his innocence, he is still arrested at the end of the film for breaking out of prison and evading capture. In Taken 3, Bryan Mills is falsely accused of murdering his wife and refuses to be arrested. His refusal starts with violently pistol-whipping two cops over his wife's corpse:
"Stop smiling, you asshole! He just broke your wrist!"
Then he flips out in a squad car, shoving one officer out onto the highway:
"Tuck and roll! Tuck an- eh, I'm sure he'll be fine."
That's already one count of attempted murder and two points toward assault ... plus kidnapping, which Mills earns when he forces the officer he didn't fling from the squad car to keep driving at gunpoint, making him jump a median into oncoming traffic. And I can't stress enough how "at gunpoint" the officer is during all of this ...
This dangerous flying car causes a massive pileup on the highway, in which a tractor trailer loses control of its cargo and goes barreling wildly into traffic like Godzilla's dick ...
"They don't count as dead if you don't open the wrecked cars. Schrodinger rules."
While all those bystanders wail in their respective steel-crushed cages with what I can almost guarantee are irreparable skull and spinal injuries, our hero is busy kicking the other cop out of the moving car before crashing down a fucking elevator shaft like some kind of babbling maniac:
And this is just one scene from this film. Later on, Liam Neeson murders people in a convenience store, waterboards a guy, and shoots up a house before running a plane off the Santa Monica airport runway:
Jet fuel can't melt felony charges.
When the dust settles, he has managed to prove that the only crime he isn't guilty of is murdering his wife, and he waits by the wreckage for his inevitable arrest.
"You have the right to remain ..."
Cut To ...
"... totally fucking awesome, bro."
Haha, nope. He just shakes hands with the police and everything is fine. The movie just completely skips over the part where Liam Neeson has to answer for any wrongdoing, and instead shows a brief conversation and a hearty laugh about the whole thing. The officer even jokes that he could arrest him for previously hacking police files, and not, you know, the cop-destroying rampage he conducted through Los Angeles. Apparently, being found innocent of one crime completely absolves you from all the other bone-breaking assaults you committed along the way, allowing you to watch sunsets with your daughter while contemplating the rest of your bafflingly non-incarcerated life.
"Maybe I should go back to law enforcement! I hear a bunch of jobs just opened up at the LAPD."
David is a researcher and editor for Cracked, the site you are currently reading. Contact him on Twitter.
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