There’s nothing like enjoying the magic and mystery of a good movie. When we’re truly drawn in it’s like we’re temporarily part of another world. However, sometimes we go back to our old favorites and realize that things may not have made nearly as much sense as we thought they did. In fact, sometimes our favorite movies have gaping holes that should have ruined the entire story had the director not used sleight of hand and broken the rules of their own world for narrative convenience. In retrospect, the plots of these 10 popular flicks are a bit of a mess.
10. X-Men: Days of Future Past
In X-Men: Days of Future Past Wolverine is sent back in time to stop mutant destroying robots called sentinels from ever being made. Wolverine meets a young Charles Xavier, who plans to break Magneto out of prison with the help of Quicksilver, who can think and move at ridiculously superhuman speeds. Then Magneto will help them stop Mystique from murdering the creator of the sentinels right in front of the President, which would inspire Mr. Nixon to begin mass production. Superhero movies sound confusing when you have to explain them like that.
Anyway, as soon as Magneto is broken out Quicksilver conveniently disappears from the movie and Magneto predictably starts to make a mess out of everything. Near the end of the movie he uproots an entire baseball stadium, drops it where the President and his cabinet are standing, draws the attention of the world’s media, and starts threatening people. But Mystique stops him, the sentinel program is cancelled and the day is saved.
But that makes no sense. The President almost got murdered and witnessed a mutant dropping a baseball stadium on his front lawn. If anything, he’s probably want the sentinels to be improved and shipped out as soon as possible. There are more undocumented people like Magneto out there, so if that didn’t start a witch hunt it’s hard to say what would.
Even if you can get past that, there’s the problem of Magneto in the first place. After they break Magneto out all he does is cause problems, and he was already well known for being a loose cannon. Why release him at all? He was acting against them from the minute he was released, and there was no reason to think he wouldn’t have done otherwise. Even if you suggest that they were young and didn’t have as much of a history, the plan was conceived in the future when everyone was old, at which point they knew exactly how they would have behaved at that age. It’s like Magneto was released just so the movie would have more conflict.
9. Batman Begins
In Batman Begins we learn that a shadowy organization is going to destroy Gotham because the city is too corrupt. We also find out that they’ve been slowly poisoning Gotham’s water supply for months. However, no one has been affected yet because the poison needs to turn to vapor before it turns people into the maddened lunatics they need to make the city tear itself apart. To this end, a large part of the movie is centered on a stolen experimental weapon that can vaporize tons of water, and Batman stopping the bad guys from using it to completely wreck Gotham City.
However, by the time Batman learned about the problem everything should have spiraled out of control and the whole city should have been a post-apocalyptic mess. Think about where water vapor comes from. The only way the poison never affected anyone was apparently because no one in Gotham showers, or for that matter even uses hot water at all. If they do take hot showers, then everyone in Gotham should have gone crazy and started killing each other long before Batman figured out what was going on.
8. 28 Days Later
In 28 Days Later a rage virus rapidly infects people through biting, and these fast zombies tear through the United Kingdom, quickly infecting the entire populace and just really ruining everyone’s day. Like many zombies they’re attracted to noise and are completely insane, deranged, mindless killing machines that want to feed and feed. The virus has basically reduced them to an animal state where they just want to hunt and eat.
But they don’t behave in a way that makes any sense whatsoever. For the entire premise of the movie to work the zombies need to leave each other alone, or they would all just eat each other and the problem would pretty much solve itself. However, despite being told that the infected have no way of discriminating between each other and are completely out of their minds, they never try to attack each other, even for food when starving, and they’re never shown trying to attack animals either. Somehow, the infected know not to bother other infected, but this makes no sense. They’re simply trying to eat to live and have no higher brain functions beyond that. It makes sense in other zombie movies because the undead want fresh food, but technically these “zombies” aren’t zombies at all — they’re just humans who have become really fast, really angry and really, really dumb.
7. The Twilight Saga
Even if you haven’t seen or read any of the Twilight Saga, you probably still know that in the Twilight universe vampires sparkle when exposed to sunlight. This turns out to be an important plot point, because there’s a shadowy cabal of vampires that control all the other vampires and will kill them if they expose their presence to humans. In the second movie, “hero” Edward thinks Bella is dead so he almost commits suicide by exposing himself to a bunch of humans in the middle of the day, knowing that once they saw him sparkle the boss vampires would punish him with an execution. “Luckily,” Bella arrives just in time to show him she’s still alive.
But according to Twilight’s own rules Edward should have been dead a long time ago, and Bella along with him. The vampires also believe in silencing any humans who know about them, so that includes anyone Edward told his secret to. And despite the sparkle thing being an important plot point in two of the movies, there are multiple instances where vampires are talking to humans in broad daylight with no sparkle or repercussions. It’s like they ran out of money in the visual effects budget and just hoped that no one would notice. If they had “sparkled” like they were supposed to then their vampire overlords would have brought the heavy end of the hammer down on the entire cast of heroes and the whole story would have ended in “tragedy.”
6. The Phantom Menace
In The Phantom Menace, Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi start out on-board a Trade Federation ship waiting to have peace talks with their leaders. Instead, the wily sentient beetles decide to gas them. After this fails and the Jedi try to storm the bridge, the bad guys send a pair of destroyer droids, which are fast and have shields. Upon realizing that they’ll be slowed down by fighting them, the Jedi use their powers to run away in the blink of an eye.
Near the end of the movie Qui-Gon Jinn fights Darth Maul and doesn’t appear to be on the winning side. The two of them get stuck between a force field, and Obi-Wan gets stuck behind one farther back. They all have the chance to collect their wits, get their force strength together and make their battle plan. Completely forgetting his fast running force power from earlier, Obi-Wan tries to run forward normally and fails to arrive in time to save his best buddy.
However, Darth Maul make matters even dumber. After knocking Obi-Wan down a hole where he hangs onto a ledge for dear life, he doesn’t reach down and cut him to pieces or force push him into oblivion (a move he happily used earlier). Instead he just kicks up sparks and waits with a dumb expression on his face as Obi-Wan takes his time leaping up, getting his balance, and swinging in a wide arc to cut Darth Maul in half. It seems like both of them had moments where they completely forgot that they know how to use the force.
5. Sherlock Holmes: A Game Of Shadows
In Game of Shadows, supervillain Moriarty’s plan was to become incredibly rich by anonymously buying businesses that make war supplies, then secretively starting a world war to rake in the profit. To gain control of a powerful munitions manufacturer he needed to bump off a businessman named Alfred Meinhard. Moriarty figured that if the man was blown up while with a bunch of other businessmen then he’d both avoid drawing suspicion to the fact that Meinhard was being killed and anger the already upset world powers with another untraceable terrorist attack.
His plan would have been perfect if he left it at that — Meinhard dies in the explosion, the world is more volatile, no one suspects a thing and Sherlock Holmes has nothing to go on besides the fact that a bomb went off and effectively killed everyone in the room. However, Moriarty inexplicably hires his friend Colonel Sebastian Moran to assassinate Meinhard with a sniper rifle moments before the explosion that was going to kill him anyway, for reasons that are never explained (presumably because they would make no sense). Not only is this pointless overkill, it’s a big mistake — the clues Moran leave behind are what allow Holmes to find Moriarty and discover his entire plan. In fact, simply realizing that Meinhard was the real target was all the info Holmes needed. All Moriarty had to do was let the explosion do its job just like he planned, leaving no loose ends and leaving Holmes completely in the dark.
4. The Karate Kid
In The Karate Kid, our hero Daniel is bullied by the Cobra Kai, a group of kids who study martial arts at a school that’s clearly teaching them all wrong, as martial arts are supposed to be for self-defense. A wise old bearded master, Mr. Miyagi, saves Daniel, teaches him karate and even confronts the leader of the Cobra Kai gym, who’s a Vietnam veteran and also kind of a huge jerk. In order to get the Cobra Kai to stop giving him trouble, Daniel decides to learn karate from Mr. Miyagi and then fight in a martial arts tournament in order to prove himself.
So far so good. Daniel enters the tournament and in his final match goes up against Johnny, the top student at the Cobra Kai gym. Johnny isn’t a particularly bad guy, but his coach pushes him to use unethical moves to cripple Daniel. However, it’s important to note that while the moves were ethically questionable, they were still within the rules. Eventually Daniel pulls out the famous crane move and manages to kick his opponent right in the face, winning the match, getting the trophy and living happily ever after. However, we’re told that kicks to the face aren’t allowed, so Daniel should have been instantly disqualified and had his trophy taken away in disgrace. There’s no explanation for why he’s allowed to get away with this — the judges simply stand there and do nothing as he flagrantly violates the rules in the most important moment of the most important match.
3. The Dark Knight Rises
In The Dark Knight Rises, Christopher Nolan turns Gotham into a dystopian wasteland of crime that’s somehow still incredibly crime free looking. Bane takes the entire city hostage with a giant bomb threat, breaks all the thugs out of jail and manages to get the entire police force locked in the sewers. Also, the villains get a hold of Bruce Wayne’s powerful technology after he becomes bankrupt overnight, thanks to Bane and his terrorists attacking the stock exchange in broad daylight and making trades in his name.
There are two main problems with this. First, the idea that the stock exchange wouldn’t reset or put their numbers under serious review after such a blatant act of terrorism is downright silly. There’s no way such a plot would simply destroy someone like Bruce Wayne overnight. But what’s even sillier is that the police commissioner is giving orders from a hospital bed. It’s unlikely that anyone, even the Mayor, has enough power to send the city’s entire police force into the sewer at once, and it’s equally unlikely that even if he did have that much power no one would stop and point out what a terrible, terrible idea that is.
2. Man of Steel
In Man of Steel, General Zod and his accomplices are captured after they try to overthrow Krypton’s government. The planet is dying, and Zod felt that it was the government’s fault that nothing was being done. The elders of the dying planet decided that it’s necessary to punish Zod and his men for their crimes, but they’re a civilized society that doesn’t believe in the death penalty, so instead they sent them to space prison. The problem is that in this case their space prison doesn’t make any sense at all.
Krypton’s society is based on the ethical philosophy and principles they’ve built, but what they send their prisoners off to is a fate far worse than death. They freeze them and hurl them into something called the Phantom Zone, which makes no sense for multiple reasons. If the space prison capsules can eventually open without outside assistance, there’s no reason that at least some of the people of Krypton can’t use them to escape the fate of their planet. However, if the capsules are designed so that they can’t normally be opened without outside assistance, and Krypton is going to be wiped off the map, then they’re literally sentencing these people to an eternity of imprisonment, which seems to be far outside their culture’s ethical standards. With a little foresight several innocent civilians could have escaped in the prison capsules, while Zod would be long dead along with the rest of Krypton.
1. Attack of the Clones
In Attack of the Clones we learn that someone is trying to murder Senator Padme Amidala, and the pair of Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker are assigned to help her. Anakin serves as her personal bodyguard while Obi-Wan is sent to track down the assassin and find their employer. Kenobi follows a clue from a dart used by a armored bounty hunter to a rainy ocean planet called Kamino. Here he finds a clone army being made for the Republic and interviews bounty hunter Jango Fett, who is the basis for all of the clones. He’s a legitimately employed man, and after some verbal sparring Kenobi decides he has nothing solid on Fett and leaves him alone.
At this point, Kenobi has no reason to associate Fett with the assassin he saw flying away. Fett is legally in the clear and Kenobi leaves him be. Fett’s next actions therefore make no sense — he decides to straight up attempt to murder Obi-Wan, first before he even leaves the planet and then later during a space battle. All Fett had to do was chill out and call his space lawyer, but instead he made it obvious that he was the bad guy. Then, without checking to make sure his opponent was actually dead, he went straight to his allies’ secret lair, where Kenobi learns about their most sensitive projects. If Jango Fett had acted even halfway as smart as his reputation made him out to be, the Jedi wouldn’t have learned anything until it was far too late.