Best sci-fi 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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Suggested correction: I thought that this was a mistake as soon as I saw it on screen, but reconsidered. It's perfectly possible that there was some, probably human caused, delay in updating the security system. After all, there wasn't a rush to do it since they already had the chief on ice. Maybe the sleep jail was still on a legacy system without automatic updating. Just assuming that in the near future that all systems are all perfectly integrated and instantaneous does not validate this as a mistake.

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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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Hollow Man picture

Plot hole: Why on earth would the military be interested in a soldier (sailor, aviator, whatever) who has to go into combat naked and unarmed, and who is detectable by an enemy equipped with a pair of cheap, mass-produced goggles? How would you treat them if they were injured? They would be utterly useless in any form of military operation, even espionage.

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Suggested correction: Presumably the military are interested because Sebastian's research could lead to advanced forms of invisibility technology, such as the ability to turn materials and weapons invisible for use in combat.

You cannot second guess the film like that. Sebastian is making no effort to make non-living items invisible and throughout the film we see that is not possible (why else would Sebastian have to walk about naked?). His research is on animals (and later humans) not "materials and weapons" and is based on their physiology, anatomy and metabolism. How would you inject a rifle or a tank with a serum? They don't have a bloodstream. The military wouldn't see any value at all in this research - maybe they would be interested in invisibility, but not if it was restricted to living creatures as we see here.

You know how easy it would be for an invisible person to infiltrate an enemy's compound undetected and take out powerful leaders or dictators? Especially if no-one knew the technology existed.

Easy? Impossible. First, they would be naked and unarmed. Too bad if you are trying to knock off Vladimir Putin - a taekwondo black belt - with your bare hands during a Moscow winter! Being invisible doesn't mean you can avoid making a sound or triggering a pressure plate or an infrared detector and so on and so on. Final answer - a naked, unarmed combatant would be about as useful as a chocolate teapot in any form of operation, covert or otherwise.

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Capricorn One picture

Plot hole: Further to the comments about the Lunar Lander being useless as a Mars Lander - who is going to believe that three men spent eighteen months crammed into a tiny Lunar Command Module? Not only would they go out of their minds, where would they store the tonnes of water and food they would need in that tiny capsule? How could the Service Module carry enough oxygen or have enough battery power to make the trip?

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Suggested correction: You're assuming they travelled from Earth to Mars in the lander alone. The astronauts didn't do this when they went to the moon. The Lunar Lander was attached to the command module during the 3-day journey. When the astronauts reached the moon, they detached the lander from the command module and landed on the surface. It is reasonable to believe the astronauts for Capricorn One did the same thing, except on a much bigger ship for a journey that lasted over a year. We just never saw it.

Mike Lynch

The posting did not refer to the Lunar Lander, it referred to the tiny Lunar Command Module, the only part of the Saturn V that returned to Earth. From 44:00 to 48:08 of the film we see a live broadcast, supposedly from Martian orbit, showing all three astronauts crammed into a Lunar Command Module. The posting is absolutely correct.

This is another Deus ex Machina explanation for a blatant film mistake. The astronauts launched into orbit in a standard Saturn V rocket which could not possibly carry anything like a spacecraft large enough to make the trip to Mars. There is nothing in the film to suggest that there was a "much bigger ship" involved.

They are also shown seated in the tiny Apollo command module, supposedly transmitting messages from orbit around Mars. The posting is absolutely correct.

You're assuming the astronauts were launched in a standard Saturn V rocket, but with all the resources needed for a journey to Mars that took 18 months round trip, NASA would have to send them on a larger rocket to accommodate the required oxygen, water, food, spare parts, supplies, etc. needed to bring them back safely.

Mike Lynch

Did you watch the film? From 1:54 to 2:25 we see an establishing shot of a perfectly ordinary Saturn V rocket on the launch pad. From 6:05 to 6:43 we see all three astronauts strapped into the tiny, Lunar Command Module. As has already been pointed out from 44:00 to 48:08 we see a live broadcast, supposedly from Martian orbit, showing all three astronauts crammed into a Lunar Command Module. There is absolutely no mention of a larger spacecraft and none is ever shown.

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The Fly picture

Plot hole: The whole problem with the teleporter occurs when fly DNA is mixed in with Seth Brundle's DNA, starting his transformation into the Brundlefly. Brundle is on a hiding to nothing from the word go, and the fly is irrelevant. Humans are a walking talking mass of foreign DNA - we are host to one trillion bacteria all of which has a complete complement of DNA, as do various tiny mites that live in our hair follicles and all sorts of single cell organisms in our gut. If the transporter serves to mix the DNA of all living creatures which are in the transporter pod at the time Brundle would turn into a half-man, half-bacteria. Incidentally, DNA from a bacteria, an amoeba or a hair follicle mite would be just as 'compatible' with human DNA as that from an insect. It's quite a simple chemical, really.

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Suggested correction: Being as how the bacteria and mites and such were IN or ON Seth, the machine was able to organize those symbiotic relationships accordingly as teleporting one would teleport all. The fly was separate, not touching. The machine was not programmed to anticipate two separated entities and so combined them into one on the other side.

Phixius

We leave behind a vapour trail of bacteria and viruses (among other things) as we walk, in our breath and emanations from pores in our skin, and Brundle isn't trapping any in his clothes as he isn't wearing any. Brundle has an invisible cloud of DNA floating around him in that teleportation chamber and as far as the machine is concerned their DNA has exactly the same status as that of the fly.

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2012 picture

Plot hole: During the later parts of this movie there is much talk about 'continental displacement' and this appears to be happening in the film. The Earth's crust is falling apart because of the heating of the inner core, and all the cities seems to be falling apart since the ground can no longer hold them. When our cast finds themselves surprised to be already over China when they figured to be over the ocean, it is explained that Asia has actually moved from where it was. If this phenomenon is taking place globally, how come the monks in China don't seem to have been disturbed at all? In fact the bell the monk rings as the ocean approaches hasn't even been shaken. The arks are built in between the mountains, but the mountains are apparently fine. Shouldn't they be falling like the rest of the crust?

polaris

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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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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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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 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.

Which still makes no sense whatsoever.

Charles Austin Miller

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

I think this should've been posted as a question, rather than a plot hole.

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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Spider-Man 3 picture

Plot hole: In this movie Goblin was able to sneak up on Peter. But in the previous movies Peter was able to sense danger from quite a distance away; Green Goblin from a few blocks and the train barricade from over a mile.

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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

It's a cool scene regardless man.

Rob245

Killing Peter would probably send a message to Spider-Man as well, so Ock probably wasn't concerned about being gentle.

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Bumblebee picture

Plot hole: How can Bumblebee and Optimus already have the car specs and colours before they leave Cybertron for the first time to come to earth? Optimus didn't have this when they came to earth in the first Transformers movie.

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Suggested correction: First of all, this might not be the same continuity as the older Transformers films. Second of all, the cars on Cybertron might be Cybertronian vehicles. Optimus scanned the semi in the first film so that he could be a different vehicle than he already was. There is no reason this could not have happened.

I'd like to add that we know for a fact that this is not the same continuity. It is a reboot. See the Wikipedia article.

FleetCommand

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The Cell picture

Plot hole: Peter goes into Carl's mind to save Catherine. When he's in there he sees the tank with the water nymph. On the tank are strange symbols which provide the FBI with the clue needed to find the latest victim. Makes sense so far. But, go back to the scene just after the FBI have captured the comatose killer and are looking in his basement. The FBI are looking at the contraption that the killer uses to suspend himself over the victim. On the contraption is the same symbol seen later on the water nymph's tank. Why didn't the FBI follow up the symbol then?

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Jurassic Park III picture

Plot hole: The spinosaurus manages to smash through a metal reinforced wall designed to stop dinosaurs getting past it without too much effort, yet it can't get through a wooden gate secured by some metal bars. It makes no sense.

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Suggested correction: The Spinosaurus used its full body force to smash the fence. The gate, being a smaller target, was too small for the Spinosaurus to use its full body force.

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Battlefield Earth picture

Plot hole: The facilities at Ft. Hood have working electricity to power the simulators, projectors, etc. even though it's been 1000 years, with no logical reason for the Psychlos to have kept the facility maintained, and the fact that the Psychlos should by rights have leveled the place when they invaded 1000 years before. Even automatic backup generators would have no fuel after 1000 years dormancy except for a nuclear system, which would still have required regular maintenance over a 1000 year interval to maintain automatic functionality.

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Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom picture

Plot hole: Being transported from the west of Costa Rica all the way to Northern California by ship would take about a week. Are we to assume that Owen, Claire and Franklin were staying put in the back of the truck the whole time undetected? They would have to eat and use the restroom, at least.

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Suggested correction: Maybe they did have to sneak around but the director thought making us watch Owen sneaking away at night to take a whiz wasn't really important to the plot.

It was established in the plot's timeline that the ship travelled overnight. A ship like this travels at about 12 knots and would take for them about 9 days to complete that voyage.

Nauticalisimo

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The Time Machine picture

Plot hole: When George stops the machine for the first time, the candle burned down to about half of its size, which took according to his observations 98 minutes. But as the trip continues it takes seven hours for it to burn down completely. (00:25:45)

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Sphere picture

Plot hole: The first time they communicate with the "entity" in the spaceship, they find a correspondence between numbers sent by the entity and letters of the alphabet. The entity presents itself as "Jerry". Later on, the entity tells Dustin Hoffman, "Stop calling me Jerry" - and then Dustin Hoffman realizes that the number-letter correspondence was wrong, and the actual name of the entity was "Harry". But if that is true, how could they have communicated without problems before? The very first word that the entity used was "hello", which would have to be displayed wrong, since it begins with an "h" and has an "e".

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Spider-Man: No Way Home picture

Plot hole: The whole premise of the movie is that due to a botched spell, people who happen to know that "Peter Parker is Spider-Man" are pulled inside this universe. It's a bit of a stretch already that amongst those people is...Peter Parker himself, twice over, but let's say it makes sense. The problem is that Jamie Foxx's Electro does not meet this condition; he never found out. You could say it's a retcon or it's a different universe from the original movie's, but even this cop-out explanation is negated by the movie itself when Max Dillon makes a joke that shows that he didn't know Spidey's identity or even race.

Sammo

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Suggested correction: Although Max didn't discover Peter's identity on film, an explanation of why Max knows his name IS offered. When the villains are talking about what happened before they found themselves in the MCU, Max indicated that once he tapped fully into the power grid and information systems, there was nothing he didn't know at that point. Since we know there is a clandestine organization tracking Peter from the end of ASM1, it's possible Max gained the info from their database.

In the interest of clarity, you refer to the one line that goes "I was stuck in the grid, absorbing data."? Nothing about tapping fully, and becoming omniscient as the correction presents. So we have to give it that specific meaning and make a connection to the obscure postcredit scene by Fiers in the unfinished trilogy that asks Connors if he said anything to the boy imagining that it produced data that was 'on the grid' somehow, and Electro never processed this information in the movie. Not sure if it's quite an"explanation offered", since the movie offers none. It's a 'possible' explanation like the other one people use, about hearing Gwen say Peter's name (I like this one better because at least it would give a special meaning to a throwaway line and I do I love attention to details).

Sammo

Suggested correction: I don't find it such a stretch that he knew Peter's name but didn't know what he looked like.

Electro didn't learn Spidey's name during the events of the original movie.

Sammo

When Spider-Man is explaining his plan to defeat Electro to Gwen, Gwen addresses him as "Peter." Electro was laying on the ground nearby and likely would have heard this. Presumably, knowing that Spidey's real name was Peter was enough to pull him in.

There are almost 10,000 "Peter" in New York alone in our world. Knowing just the super-common first name wouldn't cut it and the movie does nothing to support this theory, in fact does everything to undermine it (Strange's explanation, Electro's joke, complete lack of addressing it, etc). Also if he overheard that bit in the original movie, he would have also learned their plans to defeat him.

Sammo

It's not shown, but Harry could have shared details off-screen.

What kind of details and for what purpose? Harry himself learns that Peter is Spider-man when Electro is already dead and they had a very improvised and loose alliance to begin with.

Sammo

Suggested correction: I guess we're all going to ignore the fact that this Electro has a completely different look than the Max we saw previously. It's quite possible he's from a different universe.

DetectiveGadget85

He's not from a different universe than the Electro from The Amazing Spider-Man 2. The Lizard and the Andrew Garfield version of Spider-Man both know who he is, and he talks about events from the aforementioned film. His different appearance is also explained in the film.

Phaneron

All that means is he went through similar experiences and has a similar appearance as the Max they knew. Ala J. Jonah Jameson.

DetectiveGadget85

Suggested correction: It's not people who know who is Spider-Man that are spilling in, it's people who are connected to him in any way.

lionhead

No, no. Strange says it explicitly "That little spell you botched, when you wanted everyone to forget that Peter Parker is Spider-man? It started pulling in everyone who knows that Peter Parker is Spider-man" and so on. That's why in the end they fix it by making everyone forget who Peter Parker is, not who Spider-man is.

Sammo

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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

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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

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

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

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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