Best action movie plot holes of all time

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Minority Report picture

Plot hole: Anderton's wife gains entry into the jailhouse using her husband's eyeball - but he's already locked up inside, so his eye would not still have access to enter as it pleased. Any place anywhere that would have any sort of security system requiring anything from a simple passcode to a card key to a retinal scan, would immediately delete the user in such instances from all rights. And would also certainly report on any attempted use of such (retinal scan, pass code, whatever). (02:00:45)

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Hollow Man picture

Plot hole: There must be a lot of dumb scientists in Sebastian's lab. While defibrillating the invisible gorilla, (s)he becomes completely visible for a moment. However, not once do the scientists consider that applying a mild electrical shock to the system renders the invisible animal visible again - that electricity may be the key to the whole invisibility problem. They don't even comment upon the fact that the gorilla does become visible.

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Kong: Skull Island picture

Plot hole: The idea that Marlow would simply take a taxi to his wife's address after being missing in action for thirty odd years is stupid beyond belief. He was on a ship sailing from the central Pacific for days and those ships have radios! The US military would have known he was coming. Someone, somewhere would have notified the authorities that a US serviceman long thought dead was actually alive and on his way home and his wife and son would have been there on the docks to greet him, not standing slack-jawed in the kitchen dropping trays of drinks on the floor when he turned up! What would have happened if she had remarried? Or moved house? Or she was dead? Don't tell me the US military didn't know he was coming - he is wearing a brand new uniform, clean and pressed.

PEDAUNT

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Suggested correction: The implication is that Marlow went through an extensive debrief and nobody had contacted his family until the debrief had concluded, based on the top secret nature of the mission. As you say, the fact he has a brand new uniform suggests that he has contacted the US Military prior to ever contacting his family. The fact that his wife would have moved and re-married is irrelevant, he still would have made an attempt to contact her so he could see his son.

BaconIsMyBFF

And they wouldn't have contacted her after the debrief had been completed? What utter nonsense. Allowing him to just turn up on the doorstep without notifying his wife first is an utterly irresponsible and even dangerous act. She could have fainted with shock or even had a heart attack. She would absolutely, definitely, 100% carved in stone, been advised of her husband's survival and return.

Since we know very little about the completely fictional organization Monarch, we obviously cannot say they would "carved in stone" do anything. In order to be a mistake in the movie, it would have to be something that is impossible. A secret government organization that doesn't even exist in real life not behaving the way the real military would is not impossible. At least not by the rules set forth in the film. It's perhaps improbable but it is most certainly not impossible.

BaconIsMyBFF

It is an inviolable, carved in stone, fur lined, ocean going, top of the list rule that the next of kin are immediately advised of the change of status of military personnel. MIA, now confirmed dead? They'd be the first to know. MIA, now confirmed to be alive, same outcome. His wife would know he was on that ship coming home.

This is true in real life but in the fictional world of the movie Monarch is a secret, government agency that has some degree of control over the military. You can't apply the same rules as in real life in this situation.

BaconIsMyBFF

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Die Hard 2 picture

Plot hole: The only reason the terrorists' plot can work is that the airports around Dulles are all closed to landings because of the violent snowstorm. If there were no storm, the pilots of the airliners in the holding pattern would simply divert to nearby airports when they started running low on fuel. If they were able to do that, the whole plot would simply fall apart. How were the terrorists able to count on the storm happening on the very day General Esperanza's flight was due to land? They didn't have any influence over the date of his flight. How did they know the storm would be so bad that all airports would be closed - except Dulles? I don't think they had any way of predicting the weather quite that accurately, and If the storm hadn't hit or had been even slightly less severe the pilots of the stranded airliners could easily have diverted to any one of half a dozen alternate landing sites, including a nearby Air Force base. They could do this without consulting or even contacting air traffic control. The whole plot falls apart from there - no hostages, no leverage, and who cares what happens to the people on Esperanza's plane? They'd have it shot down as soon as they knew Esperanza had killed the pilot and taken over the flight.

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Suggested correction: The terrorists in the film planned extensively for this operation, but the storm occurring may have just been a coincidence for them. They may also have had the plan waiting for a perfect opportunity, like a snowstorm. In the beginning of the movie, there's a news story on while the Colonel is exercising nude. The story says Esperanza's extradition has been long and drawn out, until a phone call from..." and he cuts the TV off. Given his connections, Colonel Stewart may well have been able to arrange a State Department call the week of a predicted snow storm. Esperanza's adherents may also have been able. Another scenario they may have had is to take the Air Traffic Controllers hostage (as they did) and have the other aircraft diverted for a supposed emergency, but the snowstorm worked out. Whatever the case, that element of the plot is an interesting discussion, not a mistake.

If the storm hadn't hit the pilots of the stranded airliners could easily have diverted to any one of half a dozen alternates, including a nearby Air Force base. They could do this without consulting or even contacting air traffic control. The whole plot falls apart from there - no hostages, no leverage, and who cares what happens to the people on the Esperanza's plane? They'd have it shot down.

The snowstorm was not part of the plan. Early on when the group of terrorists is sitting around the table about to exchange the package, Cochran is listening to a weather report and states that a huge storm is approaching, which makes the other men smile and one of them responds "God loves the infantry." The terrorists could still crash planes without the snow storm because they could impersonate the tower. The planes that are circling overhead are the planes that didn't have enough fuel to be diverted to another airport and that has nothing to do with a snow storm. The blizzard was simply fortuitous for the terrorists.

BaconIsMyBFF

The airliners we see could easily glide to any one of seven nearby airports from the airspace over Dulles, let alone fly there when fuel began running low.

That is a separate issue (and is indeed a mistake in the film) that doesn't really have anything to do with the blizzard. This film acts as if Baltimore Washington International or Richmond International Airport don't exist.

BaconIsMyBFF

And since they do, it is both a plot hole and a factual error. If they had called their fictional airport Springfield International, fine, but they didn't. They identified it as Dulles International which is within easy flying - or gliding - time to half a dozen other airports.

This is possible that other airports were closed due to bad weather.

Which necessitates the terrorists knowing that! They had to know the storm was coming for their plan to work. The stranded airlines could easily have diverted to an alternative even if that meant gliding, and they could do so without consulting air traffic control.

The terrorist obviously knew that. They are very arrogant and planned everything very accurately. They knew that other airports are closed because of the bad weather.

The airports were closed AFTER Esperanza's flight took off. The storm is an essential part of the terrorist's plans. Storms like the one we see can can diminish very rapidly or veer away from their original course (I have seen both happen) and cannot, ever, be counted on to the meticulous extent the terrorists do.

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Olympus Has Fallen picture

Plot hole: The fact that a five minute timer starts after the three Cerberus codes are entered defeats the purpose of the program. If they program was made to destroy their own nuke warheads in case of a misfire you would expect them to be destroyed as soon as all three codes are in.

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Die Another Day picture Die Another Day mistake picture

Plot hole: In the pre title sequence James Bond travels in a hovercraft along the dirt road which is full of land mines. Soon after reaching the waterfall at the end, trucks drive up along the road he just drove in on to capture him. As there was only one road in to the waterfall complex the landmines must have all disappeared, as earlier on in that sequence we are informed that the only way that the North Koreans can avoid the mines along that road is by hovercraft. (00:12:05)

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Planet of the Apes picture

Plot hole: The "video history" of the crashed USAF ship makes it very clear that the planet is uninhabited when they "landed". I can understand how a race of apes develops - they had a bunch of them on board. I can understand how a race of humans develops - they are descendants of the original crew. What I don't understand is...where the heck did all the horses come from?

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Suggested correction: Humans refer to parts of their own planet as uninhabited even though even though they are crawling with animals - vast areas of the Arctic are "uninhabited" even though polar bears and seals are found there. Were we to find a planet with nothing but primitive horses on it, we would label it as uninhabited. Apes and humans came from the crashed spaceship, horses were always there.

I agree with you Charles. Horses are native to Earth but, the Oberon lands on a planet light years from Earth so it's a big plot hole how horses from one planet could end up on another when the planet was not only uninhabited but, the Oberon was believed to be lost.

Again, the Oberon was a massive space station, genetically experimenting with many earthly lifeforms, including horses, apparently. The time/space-rift was very near Earth (Mark Wahlberg made the journey in about 25 seconds at the end of the film. Not years but seconds). The implication is that the Oberon passed through the rift, and much of the crew survived to continue their genetic research on what later became the Ape Planet. So, the Oberon initially arrived on a barren planet and introduced all of the biological and botanical species, including apes, horses, and everything else.

Charles Austin Miller

Suggested correction: According to the backstory, the space station Oberon was dedicated to genetic modification sciences. They were actually experimenting with animal genes in the safety of space (which kind of makes sense). Given that the Oberon was a truly gigantic space station, it's not too much of a speculation that they were experimenting on many different types of animals (not just apes). When the Oberon crashed on Ashlar, half its crew was killed, but half survived with a number of ship's systems still functional, and they continued their genetic research, possibly producing a number of Earthly species on the otherwise uninhabited planet.

Charles Austin Miller

That's just a wild guess. There hasn't been a single mention of horses on board the Oberon. Even if there were, why only horses?

lionhead

Wild guess? The Oberon was experimenting in genetic modification, which implies a broad range of research...and not just on great apes. The Oberon was gigantic enough to be an Ark.

Charles Austin Miller

So where are all the other animals?

lionhead

Exactly. Where are the birds, lions, lizards, etc?

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Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones picture

Plot hole: When Amidala and some of the clone troopers get blown out of the ship chasing Dooku, later the trooper approaches Amidala and asks about making their way back to the front lines, but Amidala says they should go to the hangar to help Obi-Wan and Anakin. How did she know about the hangar, having left the ship quite some time before it arrived at the final destination? (02:05:50)

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Westworld picture

Plot hole: There is a barely credible explanation for the fact that a guest cannot be injured or killed by being shot in Westworld, but what about the vicious fistfight we see in the bar? People are injured or killed in bar brawls all the time, and this one was incredibly violent. How do they prevent guests from being injured or killed by the cutting and stabbing weapons we see in Medieval and Roman World? Guests are supposed to fight each other, not just robots - they cannot be 'programmed' to lose! Delos is going be sued into bankruptcy within a week of the first guest arriving. Quite apart from the legal position, think about the bad publicity! Who is going to pay the huge fees demanded by the parks owners when the media is constantly reporting on the guests who wound up dead or with life changing injuries?

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Suggested correction: The explanation given in the TV show would seem to easily apply to the original film as well: guests can be injured, but not to the point that it would leave a lasting mark. The park has access to futuristic medical techniques, so they can heal most non-life-threatening injuries easily. Also the guests almost certainly sign waivers, so in the event of serious injury the park isn't liable.

Suggested correction: It's easy to nitpick the factual details of "Westworld," the screenplay of which was written on-the-fly on a fairly limited budget, even by early 1970s' standards. Author Michael Crichton (who also wrote "The Andromeda Strain," "The Terminal Man," "Congo," "Sphere," "Jurassic Park" and several other technological thrillers) himself acknowledged that Westworld was more a visual story (like a comic book) than a cerebral piece of science fiction, and he learned on this movie that suspension of disbelief outweighed technical or even factual details, if he wanted to expedite the story in an hour-and-a-half. Crichton said he was having more fun and devoting more time to shooting the film than actually writing it, comparing the experience to playing cowboys and indians as a child. So, yes, Westworld is not much more than an adult fantasy with a number of plot holes that we are supposed to gleefully overlook, rather than analyze.

Charles Austin Miller

Except for blatant continuity mistakes you just invalidated every single entry on this site.

Suggested correction: Westworld ensure that any interactions with the robots are entirely safe for the patrons of the park. They cannot prevent humans fighting amongst themselves, just as Disneyland can't prevent people fighting there. People are also injured or die all the time in horse-riding accidents, but that won't lead to people suing Westworld. Due to the nature of the park, all the guests likely sign a waiver stating that any injuries are not the fault of the park.

Utter rubbish. Guests who were completely innocent bystanders could be killed or injured by the actions of other guests, notably in the bar brawl or by the explosion used in the jailbreak. We see one guest smash a barstool against the back of another guest - not a robot - which could easily have broken his spine. There is no question whatever that the owners and managers of the park would be held liable in this and many other cases, just as amusement park owners and managers nowadays are held liable when roller coasters or other rides go awry, injuring or killing guests.

The most plausible explanation would be a waiver that visitors to the park have to sign. The waiver would explain that while the robots cannot harm humans, other humans can, and the park is not held responsible. In the event of death or serious injury, the guest who caused it would face criminal charges and possibly a civil lawsuit. But a waiver would protect the park. Also, the rules of the park may be similar to those in the HBO Westworld series, where the robots cannot cause a "permanent mark", meaning they can injure guests as long as the injury is repairable.

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Venom picture

Plot hole: At the angle of descent and the speed it was traveling (still burning from reentry even), when the space shuttle crashed in the opening of the film, it would not have left much of anything behind. The kinetic explosion that would have resulted would have downed the forest around it for a good distance leaving a crater, and the clean up crews would have been lucky to find any piece of the ship itself still intact bigger than a football. Much less been able to find any discernible remains of the crew. Yet bodies were being taken out in still relatively good condition. And probably most unbelievable is that the glass containers holding the Symbiotes were not even broken.

Quantom X Premium member

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Suggested correction: Since this is in the Marvel universe the capsule could have at least partially been made of Vibranium or Adamantium.

lionhead

Adamantium is exclusive to the X-Men films which for the time being are under Fox, and Vibranium is exclusive to films within the Marvel Cinematic Universe. This film is part of neither. There were rumors and speculation prior to this film's release that it would be adjunct to the MCU, but there are things within the film that contradict it. Particularly Eddie Brock being dismissive of the symbiote being an alien life form. An alien invasion was one of the major plot points of the first Avengers film, so an alien being wouldn't be something people would be skeptical of going forward.

Phaneron Premium member

Like Phan said. But also, i'm referring to the glass of the container staying in tact. Those two super metals don't make glass.

Quantom X Premium member

I just thought that although there can't be a mention of Vibranium, it doesn't mean it's not there. What I mean is if Vibranium softens the bow of the impact the glass containers would stay intact. But I suppose if it's not allowed to exist for the films, then I guess it doesn't exist. The glass can be nanotechnology though.

lionhead

I see what you're saying, but that wouldn't mater with an impact like that. Space Shuttles are even made of Titanium, and would still be smashed to millions of little pieces from a reentry impact like that. The momentum and resulting kinetic explosion would devastate everything around it and level the forest for a good distance, leaving a massive creator, possibly as big or bigger than a football field. We are talking a few megatons of force.

Quantom X Premium member

This movie is not set in the Marvel Universe. It has been confirmed by the film crew that Venom is a standalone movie so it doesn't take place in the MCU at all.

I didn't say MCU, I said Marvel Universe. Some Marvel Universe anyway.

lionhead

There's only the MCU and since this movie doesn't take place in it, the ship is probably only made from the materials that most rocket ships are constructed from.

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Ocean's Eight picture

Plot hole: When Sarah Paulsen pulls the necklace out of the water, the necklace clasp is obviously closed. Since the circumference of the necklace is too small to fit over the top of Anne Hathaway's head, why would anyone believe that it fell off her when she was running to the bathroom? The only way that could have happened is if the clasp (which we were earlier told can only be opened by a magnet) had opened. The trained security guards wouldn't have suspected something wasn't right about a closed necklace falling off over of her? They were following her. They saw that at no point did she lower her head on her way to the bathroom for the necklace to fall off over her head to begin with. It also could not have fallen off her when she was vomiting into the toilet in the bathroom since the clasp was closed. (01:18:25)

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The Mummy Returns picture

Plot hole: Anubis Warriors can only be killed by being beheaded. But during the final battle, you see several are killed by simply being stabbed.

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Flight of the Phoenix picture

Plot hole: This film is set in 2004. The thought that no search and rescue operations would be put in place after an aircraft disappeared from radar during a routine flight is absurd. The Chinese are paranoid about intrusion on their territory and the downed aircraft would have been located by a simple satellite search within hours of it crashing. Chinese military satellites crisscross the Gobi and they are equipped with optical cameras, microwave and infrared detectors and radar, so spotting a metal aircraft on the ground would be simple even if it was hundreds of kilometres off course. The crew would have been visited by Chinese military helicopters (and probably arrested!) as soon as the storm had died down.

PEDAUNT

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Suggested correction: It's now 2021, and we still can't find Malaysian Airlines MH370. So this suggestion of planes always being found is laughable.

stiiggy

MH370 crashed into the ocean, and in fact some wreckage has been found. The Chinese military does not have the south Indian Ocean under satellite surveillance 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, unlike the Gobi desert where a crashed plane would be spotted within hours of it going missing.

Suggested correction: The Chinese government, for whatever reason, may have denied there was any crash at all if it suited their purposes, and the oil company that owned the plane would have little recourse. The Chinese have done this before. For the purpose of the plot, the survivors decided that they had to save themselves rather than wait for rescue and that was completely plausible.

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Guns of Navarone picture

Plot hole: Maria describes in lurid detail how Anna was arrested by the Germans and tortured by being severely whipped, leaving her with gruesome scars all over her back. She also says that Anna hasn't spoken a word to anyone since she escaped from captivity. How, then, does Maria (or anyone else) know about the scars? Nobody saw them (they don't exist) and Anna obviously didn't tell anyone about them.

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Suggested correction: She is probably able to write.

This correction is too speculative and offers no in-film evidence or further proof.

Bishop73

Wasn't she a school teacher? So probably could write.

If she "wrote" about the scars wouldn't someone want to see them, perhaps get her to a doctor? Making up silly, deux ex machina explanations for film mistakes does not invalidate them.

Your assuming a lot like when the Germans release here. She could have "recovered" and had a fit anytime anyone touched her.

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Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest picture Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest mistake picture

Plot hole: There are six metal bars mounted around the circumference of the water wheel's axle. In the wheel's interior, when Jack frees himself he lands on his feet, begins to run and promptly hits his head on one of those axle bars, then falls out. Moments later, when Jack returns and runs in the wheel, he is shorter (way more than a foot) than all six spinning axle bars, which would make that previous shot impossible, however humorous it is. (01:52:40 - 01:53:55)

Super Grover Premium member

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Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade picture Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade mistake picture

Plot hole: When Indy is stepping on the letters at the end, trying to spell out God's name, he steps on J, incorrectly, causing it to collapse. When he falls through, however, he grabs onto another letter so as not to fall down. The letters he grabs onto and pulls himself up are an L and a Y, which are not in the word Iehova, so should have collapsed too. (01:46:20)

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The Core picture

Plot hole: How do they maintain communication between the ship at the centre of the earth and the surface? There's no wire, and radio waves can only travel any distance without obstacles, and the earth's crust would be a pretty hefty obstacle...

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Spider-Man 2 picture

Plot hole: Harry tells Doc Ock that in order to find Spider-Man he must find Peter first. Doc Ock finds Peter with Mary Jane in the cafe and throws a car through the window straight at them, then later throws Peter against a brick wall. Any normal person would've been killed instantly (or very badly injured), and Doc Ock doesn't yet know that Peter is Spider-Man. Given that Peter is his only lead on Spider-Man, it makes no sense that Doc Ock would try to kill him.

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Suggested correction: Doc Ock is being controlled by the arms. They aren't behaving rationally.

Creating a series of silly explanations for obvious plot holes never resolves them. These arms were not behaving irrationally. In many scenes they were shown to be very intelligent. A good example is the scene where they attack doctors who try to remove them from Doc Ock's body. Saying that they weren't behaving rationally is absurd.

He may not have been trying to kill Peter, he could've been trying to make more of a scene of his entry, so Peter would take him more seriously and tell him where Spider-Man was. He could've been thinking of it as a risk of killing Peter though, but his arms made him go crazy.

This is only a theory. Theories never resolve mistakes.

It's not a theory. When Otto is first giving his demonstration to everybody at his apartment, a woman asks if the advanced AI for the tentacles would make him susceptible to being controlled. Otto says that yes it would so he shows everybody the inhibitor chip that he designed so he would not fall under its control. After the inhibitor chip gets destroyed, it's seen that the tentacles have not only taken control of his mind by forcing him to commit crimes, but have slowly driven him insane.

This scene is much too confusing for many people. This entry is correct. This is a mistake.

If these tentacles wanted him to finish the experiment then they wouldn't make him kill the person who has valuable information for him.

The arms are influencing his thoughts but not controlling every part of him. Doc Ock still seems to have control when defending himself but they seem to work in tandem with Ock. The only time they work on their own is when he under anesthetic. As we don't see him before he throws the car, we can only speculate the arms were trying to hurt Peter by themselves.

Lummie Premium member

It's a cool scene regardless man.

Rob245

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Charlie's Angels picture

Plot hole: In the Redstar mainframe, we are told that the floor of the vault will trigger the alarm if it receives more than 0.25 seconds of contact (apparently even with the security checks). What would be the point of the bosses going through all of those security measures if they would just set the alarm off anyway? Surely once the girls have faked the fingerprint and retina scans, they don't then need to flip across the floor! (00:33:55)

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Con Air picture

Plot hole: The convicts remove the radar transponder from the Conair aircraft and put it aboard a tour plane to distract their pursuers. That won't work. By law the tour plane will have a working radar transponder of its own, and two working transponders that close together will show up on radar as a collision. Air traffic controllers would immediately alert emergency services who would, obviously, wonder how two aircraft that had collided had managed to stay in the air. Nobody disconnects the first transponder - Pinball carelessly tosses the second transponder under the rear seat of the aircraft (the implication being that it continues to operate, perhaps on backup battery power). He doesn't disconnect the original transponder either - Swamp Thing, a skilled pilot, does that. There is no time for him to do any of this before he is stopped by the female security guard anyway.

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