I really hope I am not becoming a film snob, but sometimes, with this gig, I fear I might be. Nowhere was that more evident to me then when I saw The Dark Knight Rises. Like most people, I loved part two in Nolan’s trilogy, and overlooked some of the minor flaws for how undeniably good the film was. But with part three, it did not feel that way to me at all. Within a day of seeing it, I deeply examined the film and many of its flaws. Yet, everywhere I looked, the film was getting showered with praise. Now that some time has passed, it seems to be a great deal easier for people to reiterate what I said the day after it’s release.
Still, this has me questioning if I am becoming “that guy”, because after DKR, it seems all major films that followed had one or two glaring holes I could not look past. It also caused me to look back on some films I enjoyed, and notice holes I had not seen before. I would sit there and squirm, mumbling “no way” to myself, over and over, and not in a good way. Hopefully, by getting these out of my system right now, I will either find out these are perfectly reasonable inquiries into plot holes, or, if I am a film douche, this will exorcise that demon out of me for good. Note, most of these are from newer films, but there are some older gems on the list as well. So beware, MAJOR SPOILERS LAY AHEAD!
The Avengers: Hulking Out
Hulk gets REALLY MAD when tiny Iron Man stands on his shoulders and sings Ace of Base into his ears.
I think I made my love for Whedon quite apparent on this site already, so this is by no means a slap to his integrity. And despite what I am about to say, Avengers was a fun movie. But I found it strange that the first half of the film focused on how the Hulk’s rage was uncontrollable and potentially deadly to them all. Yet in the climax, Hulk can suddenly control it because he is “always mad”. It was a great line, but a bad plot hole. Even Loki’s whole plan bordered around getting Banner to Hulk out, and when he finally did, we were treated to one of the best shots in the film. When the Hulk is chasing Black Widow, and the debris is shattering behind him, that was super badass.
You know what wasn’t badass, though? How Banner reappears on a motorcycle during the climactic battle, and can suddenly and inexplicably control when he Hulks out. Okay, him showing up on the bike for no reason was kind of cool, but I could not ignore that self-control fact, and felt it was a huge misstep in an otherwise fun ride. Also, he could control when he Hulked out, but he was suddenly a dick?
I know it made for a funny film moment, but man, it’s a douche move.
Prometheus: Black Goo
I almost went with a picture of Iggy Pop here to make the same point.
First off, a disclaimer, as I am oft to do. I didn’t hate Prometheus. I know a great deal of people did, as a result of it asking more questions than it answered. But, for me, the visuals, and the unspoken moments left to the viewers mind to interpret, made it well worth it. There were some real inconsistencies, though, and none moreso than the black goo. Namely, and if anyone can answer this inquiry, I imagine it is one of you guys or gals, but in Prometheus, why did the black goo make one person into a zombie? A weird, big-headed, super aggressive zombie? I can understand it may have chained into people’s DNA and acted off their impulses or some shit, but that single scene felt out of place to me, in a movie that couldn’t really afford to have as many things out of place as it did.
Also, why was Guy Pierce in old person makeup, and in the film for only five minutes? He is a very talented actor (Memento shoutout, yo) and was pushed into an acting corner as an old man, buried in prosthetic makeup, with very little memorable about him at all. Me thinks that is a setup for a sequel or prequel, but a prequel of a prequel is nothing more than an unnecessary flashback of a mindfuck, and this movie was already enough of one of those.
But no one can deny Fassbender was amazing, though, and I, personally, really dug the Engineers. But I have eaten swiss cheese with less holes.
Dark Knight Rises: That F*cking Ending (and the Lack of The Joker)
Bane sounded like an odd mix of Bill Cosby and one of Charlie Brown’s teachers.
I know, I could go on for days about this one, and already have. In some ways, my distaste for The Dark Knight Rises is not fair to Christopher Nolan’s amazing trilogy, and I can see that. There was no way he could have followed up that second film, because that film was pure magic, and a great deal of that magic emanated out from Heath Ledger’s enigmatic portrayal of The joker. The clown prince who truly brought all of Gotham to it’s knees. And I can also PARTLY understand why he would not want The Joker’s legacy from that film to be touched out of respect for the passing of Mr.Ledger, but to not even MENTION one of the most devious, well written, and well acted bad guys in film history was a huge and unforgivable hole. Although it was addressed, hypothetically, and brilliantly, in this dreamt up storyboard we ran some time ago, it is still left unanswered in a film that stacks questions onto questions, which no final film in a trilogy should do. You close it all up in a tight little package. Not the opposite.
The other thing I couldn’t look past was the idea of the bomb going off in close enough range that all of Gotham would have died from fallout, and with exactly zero percent chance of Bruce escaping. Yet, there he is, at the end of the film, in some Parisian cafe, after all of his friends, family, and fans have mourned the death of Batman, and wouldn’t you know it, he is dressed like a douchebag, and with the lady who pretty much caused ALL OF THE BAD SHIT THAT HAPPENS TO HIM AND EVERYONE.
Way to keep it under the radar, Bruce. You’re supposed to be dead. Also, Alfred has been blaming himself for your death for years, you fucker. Also, how did you not die from that explosion when the blast radius is six miles? Also, smiling doesn’t make up for the Hell you put people through. Also, bad ending to good trilogy.
On a side note, I have total bro boner for Joseph Gordon Levitt, so the thought of him donning the cowl is by no means the worst thing that could happen to this franchise. Could be the best thing, considering all the missteps this final film took, I am glad it did one thing right.
True Grit (Remake): Why Did He Ride The Pony
These two were so amazing on screen, I made them an alumni foil, double Oscar while watching them.
True Grit was awesome. It really was. Hailee Steinfeld was mesmerizing as little Mattie Ross, and the always amazing Jeff Bridges was, well, as always, amazing. And as perfect as the film was, one thing really bothered me, even though it was done on purpose. The fact that, after she is bitten by the snake, Cogburn takes Mattie back to the doctors using Mattie’s “pony,” instead of the bred and able horses that were all around him at the time (one of them is seen in the shot when he first gallops off).
I know it is supposed to symbolize the strength of the little horse, as well as the polarity of the strength of this old man, (while also symbolizing the perseverance of Mattie herself, even though she was at both of their mercy) but riding one pony to death, and risking a little girl’s death as the result of it, does not seem like something someone with true grit would do. Actually, riding a pony to death to save a little girl is pretty epic now that I am proofreading this out loud. Regardless, wiser decisions could have been made in that instance. Wiser, but maybe not as epic, and I respect that. Honestly, compared to the others on the list, this “hole” hardly bittered the sweet taste that this awesome film left in my mouth.
The Sixth Sense: How the F*ck Do You Not Know You Are Dead
Remember that time Bruce Willis got shot by Donnie from The New Kids On The Block? Yeah, either does he.
I know you need to suspend disbelief for modern day fables, and I respect that. I also know that The Sixth Sense tried to explain all these possible holes away with certain, targeted lines of dialogue. ” They don’t know they’re dead.” Or “They see what they wanna see.” And I know that they show Bruce Willis’ character trying to interact with his wife at the restaurant. but she ‘ignores” him, or so he thinks. But regarding that date, how did he get there? Did he drive? Was it a ghost car? The place he met her at was swanky, but we are to assume they didn’t have valet? At no point between when he was shot and when he realizes he was dead did he need to go to the store, or to get gas, or to pay bills? Or maybe life slows down, or speeds up after you die, or some other crap I missed, but the idea that the boy is the only person who speaks to him or even acknowledges him in that time frame is foolish. He either didn’t know he was dead, or was a pedophile who was just a wee too fascinated with the time he was spending with the little, broken boy who is allowed to walk alone through cities, and play by himself in dangerous neighborhoods. Either way, yuck, and plothole.
Being a hermit is one thing, but not being aware that you don’t exist is a pretty massive hole for me to look past. Like, Courtney Love sized.