EDITORIAL: The Plot Hole - Crutch for the Cynic

A look into what determines a plot hole and why so many people are incorrect in "finding one." Here I use The Dark Knight Rises as an example. *Spoilers ahead.*

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By BattlinMurdock - 7/26/2012
There's a problem with the movie Men in Black 3, and you might notice it. I'm not talking about the fact that the entire movie stands on the logic that in order for the events to have happened, the character of J should by no means be a part of the Men in Black. I'm referring to a particular scene in which Agent J uses the time traveling device to warp back in time with an enemy so he can dodge flying spikes being "thrown" at him at an incredible speed.


It was revealed earlier in the movie that when you go back in time, you find yourself side by side with a version of your past self. This is played up highly by the fact that the villain from the present time teams up with himself from the past in order to kill Agent K and keep his arm. However, when Agent J goes back in time in the scene described above, he returns back to the place he was alone, without a duplicate of himself in the past. Because of this, the logic of one of the movie's points was broken for the sake of a single scene. This is a plot hole.


Our good friend Wikipedia (and, yes, I'm citing Wikipedia for this information and am aware of its contributors) defines a plot hole as "a gap or inconsistency in a storyline that goes against the flow of logic established by the story's plot, or constitutes a blatant omission of relevant information regarding the plot." With this definition, MIB: III falls into the category of a movie with a gaping plot hole.

But do all movies really have a plot hole? Or do they merely exclude information not necessary or relevant to the outcome of the plot?


Take for instance the newest Batman film The Dark Knight Rises. As many would see it, there are "plot holes" that are sporadically placed throughout the film. I gave the movie an 8/10 (which you can find here) and for a while attested to the fact that the film did, in fact, suffer from some plot holes. However, as I looked more into it, I realized that that was not the case. I'd like to look into a few arguments or "plot holes" that have been going around the web and face them directly, instead of simply saying that one should have "listened to the movie better."


Why was there a tracking device in the pearls?
While the answer to this is not stated by the film, this is more something silly than anything else. There is never a moment in the movie where the pearls are seen as a device that at some point defies the logic of the plot or that withholds information from us. If there was a problem with the pearls, it's the fact that they have been put back together after they were ripped apart in Batman Begins. One could say Bruce put them back together, in defense of the topic. However, at most this would merely be a continuity error, not a plot hole.


There's no Joker!
Once again, the absence of the Joker is not a plot hole in that it has no changes to the direct plot of this movie. It does not flow against the rest of the film in terms of continuity within this stand-alone film. While it might seem awkward, Joker's absence cannot be defined as a plot hole.

How does Bruce get back to Gotham after being in the Pit?
If this is a plot hole, by our definition, then it can only be a plot hole by the second half of it stating that it "constitutes a blatant omission of relevant information regarding the plot." However, this is more relative to the viewer than anything else. One could assume that a man like Bruce Wayne has allies and friends that would be able to transport him back home in time to stop the bomb. And since we're only given a basic outline of the time-frame in which the bomb can explode, we can't say that the time in which it takes Bruce to get to Gotham constitutes as a plot hole, either.

However, when one takes into account the amount of time Bruce has to take to fully heal his back (and not just to walking ability, but to prime fighting ability), one could assume that it is near the end of the five months. Since we're not given a time frame for how long it takes to effectively heal, it is left up to us to determine just how long Bruce is actually in the pit. Is he there for almost five months and gets back home just in time to stop the bomb? Or is he there for three months and it takes him to get home in two months? Since the time frame is never too specific, yet is just specific enough for us to take the above information into account, it's by all means possible to debate whether or not this is indeed a plot hole.

Miranda Tate sleeps with Bruce
I know what you're thinking. And, obviously, this is not a plot hole. But people are using this as an excuse to debate "plot holes." It's obviously more of one of two things:

1)Something to give an under-developed character more development (though, I would attest that it's not only shoehorning, but fails in doing anything to move the plot forward).
2)A ploy used by the character to use sex and intimacy as a weapon, making the reveal at the end heavier in impact.


How does Bruce know how to fly the Bat?
Now, obviously, a jet and a car are two very different things. So, let's get this out of the way: it doesn't matter if the Bat and the Tumbler have the exact same controls; a jet and a car are used in entirely different environments. Jets have to deal with altitude, greater speeds etc. etc.

In defense of this argument, one could say that Bruce has a pilot's license which is never disputed or revealed within the confines of the trilogy. That being said, Bruce does own a jet and does travel a lot, so it's not completely out of the question. Nonetheless, knowing how to fly the Bat does not constitute as a plot hole in this film.


If Bane is Talia's protector, how old is he?!
Once again, despite the way Bane looks, his age is irrelevant to the logic set by the movie. In the flashback, he is seen as a younger man (I'm assuming he's supposed to be someone from the age of 18-22) and Marion Cotillard is 36 (as an actress) than that leaves Bane to be around the age of mid-forties to early fifties if she escapes the pit at around the age of 6 or 7. Bane wouldn't be "too old" for his portrayal of the film, which keeps him being a logical character for the film's run time.

There are numerous other "plot hole" discussions within the film, but I ask you to take your discussion and use it against our definition of "plot hole" and see if it holds up.

Plot holes are things that cannot be disputed. Don't confuse your distaste for writing, character development, or character decisions in a movie for plot holes. If you have any insight or want to debate what you feel is a plot hole, feel free to use the comment section (respectfully) for your debate!

I'd also like to make one final note that Anne Hathaway "not being sexy" is not just not a plot hole, but is outright denial, and the newest addition to the seven deadly sins.
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BooYah - 7/26/2012, 11:39 PM
Marion is 36? She looks like she's in her 20's. Great article a lot of the plot holes people were pointing out were more of nit picks. For example just because it was never said Bruce could fly a jet doesn't mean we should assume he can't. Not everything has to be spelt out. The last thing I want to mention is Talia, I think she's unfairly criticized, I never felt she was underdeveloped. I mean we were getting her back story all throughout the film we just didn't know it was her story. That being said this film is not perfect: Talia should have had more screen time, the Bane/Talia relationship should have been more of a brother/sister or father/daughter one, Talia and Bruce relationship should have been more complex (like having Talia caring for Bruce, while Bane sees him as a traitor and wants to kill him), and lastly I failed to see how Bruce fell in love with Selina. I mean after her betraying him and all.
Advocate - 7/26/2012, 11:50 PM
It's good to know someone is doing the many debates to be had (not just Batman ones) some justice. I hope this article sheds some light on movie/story debate so that the people discussing such subjects can take a refreshing glance at the scenario with greater wisdom. Once again, great format. Great presentation.
Minotauro - 7/27/2012, 12:03 AM
Alot of this is explained in the film. It's just most who PAY money to go see the movie would actually turn off their comprehension skills and focus on missing the points.

Alot of Avengers mistakes may be "nitpicks" but their valid f***ups.

-No sense of hopelessness. Knew everyone was going to survive.
-Thor falling for the same trick twice.
-Black Widow can kill the Chautari(if that's how you spell it)with a 9mm, but the police can't even do it? Where the hell was the military.
-You jump on something moving over 80 miles an hour, your arms will be ripped off(black widow)
-How did Thor get to earth if the portal was destroyed?
-When you get hit by the Hulk you're suppose to be damaged severely, when you're a human(black widow).
-Loki is pretty much pissed on. He's weak, and for laughs sake is slammed around like a rag doll(I know, that loki can pick up the hulk with his magic and hurtle him with ease).

Just my little falsies with the film.
Minotauro - 7/27/2012, 12:19 AM
TDKR plotholes:

1 Bruce Waynes back is broken, how does he recover so fast?
- He trains for 4 months through rehabilitation, and strength training(sit-ups, pull ups, push ups) with the "will" and motivation to take back his city.
2 But when he fell, the rope should of caused more strain?
- This may be unbelievable to most, but it's recoverable.
3 Being the worlds greatest detective, how didn't bruce "know" who Miranda(talia) was before hand?
-When you go 8 years without even doing any crime work, and suffer from depression of knowing your future love, and your one chance at hanging up the cowl(Dent)die. It's not hard to understand the deception that miranda was talia. Only fanboys knew this. Isn't deception a major roll in the league of shadows anyway?
4 How did Bruce Wayne make it back to Gotham with not passport, ID, clothes, vehicle, etc.
- Should this really be explained? Isn't Bruce Wayne the same man who has to go a thousand miles for someone who doesn't know his name? Nolans interpretation of Wayne is like a "bond" figure. Rich and recognizable.

These are just some I can try to make points for.
Minotauro - 7/27/2012, 12:46 AM
@SotoJuice - Agreed. People are just confused with what Nolan was trying to make. Realism vs Fantasy. Realism vs UnRealism, etc...
YOUNGBL00D - 7/27/2012, 6:32 AM
ARE YOU [frick]ING SERIOUS! YOU CALL THESE PLOT HOLES! OH MY GOD! WHAT A BUNCH OF SORRY LITTLE BITCHES! WHERE WAS THE TRACKING DEVICE ON THE PEARLS! YEP I DON'T KNOW HOW I CONTINUED WATCHING AFTER THAT DOOZY! ( that last line was sarcastic by the way) BANES AGE! I'LL ADMIT THE WHOLE MIRANDA AND BRUCE RELASTIOAHIP WAS JUST TO INTRODUCE HER CHARACTER, BUT IT DIDNT LEAVE ME SCRATCHING MY HEAD AFTER! Oh and HOW DID BRUCE LEARN TO FLY THE BAT! HE'S THE MOTHER[frick]ING BATMAN! WHAT ELSE DO YOU WANT!

IF YOU CALL THESE PLOT HOLES, I WOULD HATE TO SEE YOU REVIEW SPIDERMAN OR THE AVENGERS
Hawksblueyes - 7/27/2012, 6:36 AM
You certainly said quite a bit while still overlooking the obvious. Plot holes, pacing, story, acting, direction....these are all aspects of ANY FILM that come together to deliver a final product that hopefully, takes the viewer on a little journey he or she will enjoy. The enjoyment level for any viewer boils down to their personal preferences and tastes.

For some unknown reason, fans of a certain Director are quick to point out the "plot holes" or "problems" with every single film that comes out. That would be bad enough but while they are doing so, they inevitably have to point out how this "certain director" would not have made those same mistakes. And there in lies the problem. This director is not above these same "plot hole" mistakes himself. His films are just as full of them as any other. Why is it then, that as soon as somebody points them out, people get pissed and defensive?

It's all a matter of taste and what each individual is willing to let slide. You, me and everybody else reading this should never let the fact that somebody else isn't happy with a movie we happen to be in love with, bother us one single bit. Let it go. Enjoy the film if you like and respect others choice not to.

I've said more times than I can remember that I happen to love this directors films BUT I don't consider him as lofty as many of his fans. I have also stated that I love his first two films in this franchise. I was very disappointed with this one.

And guess what! I don't have to explain why to anybody. Doing so would make absolutely zero difference in your opinion of the film or mine. You enjoy the Hell out of it. It's your right and I'm glad you did. I, did not.
Hawksblueyes - 7/27/2012, 6:44 AM
BattlinMurdock: Understood and I forgive me for not adding that it is in fact, a great write up. Also, excuse me for coming across as speaking to you directly. My comment was actually directed at many on here who defend "Bat Holes" To their dying breath. I'm sure you noticed that though.
YOUNGBL00D - 7/27/2012, 6:48 AM
I just don't see how everyone keeps saying it wasn't a good movie because it had all these plot holes, if don't like the movie that's fine with me, of they didn't like bane , that's okay too, but to say it isn't good because of plot holes, and then you introduce these as your plot holes it pisses me off
RunDTC - 7/27/2012, 6:48 AM
I agree with everything written...but I still don't find Anne Hathaway sexy.
YOUNGBL00D - 7/27/2012, 6:49 AM
Don't mean to be an asshole @battlinmurdock just trying to voice my opinion
Tainted87 - 7/27/2012, 6:50 AM
Great write-up, and I agree (I can't NOT agree, heh).

I've decided to call TDKR - Nolan-wank. He didn't need to make it, and everything in there is standalone without altering, retconning, or even further explaining anything from Batman Begins or The Dark Knight (apart from Talia, which, IMO, was hurtfully portrayed) - and basically exists because WB wanted Nolan to make another "Batman" movie.

There was too little resemblance to the comics for me to enjoy it like I wanted to, and too little reasoning behind the extensive alterations.
silverdog - 7/27/2012, 7:01 AM
good.. now explain how he escapes the blast , heat and radiation of a nuclear bomb in two seconds.
Tainted87 - 7/27/2012, 7:05 AM
@LEVITIKUZ
Banner landed somewhere in the US and A. The next we see of him, he is riding a beat-up motorcycle.

Wayne is a different story. Forgetting that he is broke, or may have friends in high places, we're not arguing how he got from Morocco (?) to the US and A - we're arguing how he got from Morocco (?) to GOTHAM. Gotham is an island, and the bridges are watched and guarded, as demonstrated heavily at the end. It is like getting into North Korea. Unless he has Bat suits outside of Gotham, there is no way he could have gotten in without passing under the ice. We saw NOTHING, NOTHING to support this.
InFamouslyCool - 7/27/2012, 7:08 AM
some really pathetic people out there. ahahahahah babies will cry about anything.
RorMachine - 7/27/2012, 7:08 AM
Good stuff. agree almost completely. Far too many "plot holes" I see brought up by people are simply them not paying enough attention to the damn movie. I see a bit of suspension of disbelief (duh) and a few things that re left unexplained, but these are not plot holes.
silverdog - 7/27/2012, 7:08 AM
really? did he have a teleporter too?. cause even if he had the "autopilot" on, two seconds before the bomb exploded he still was in the cockpit.
marvel72 - 7/27/2012, 7:09 AM
@ battlinmurdock

but the blast radius was six miles,he couldn't of escaped at all.
silverdog - 7/27/2012, 7:09 AM
"One could say how did the Hulk get back from where ever he was to NY. Same for Thor"... one got a bike, the other can fly. at least they were in the same country, not in a prison on the other side of the world.
CharlesLord - 7/27/2012, 7:18 AM
Good write up but I disagree with the Bane thing. Its kinda hard to believe a guy in his 40s or 50s moves with the speed of a man in his early 20s, idc if hes on the pain killer or not, age is still gonna slow you down. When I saw that he saved Talia when she was like 8 Banes age instantly came into question. So its still a plot hole for me.
Tainted87 - 7/27/2012, 7:19 AM
But that still doesn't account for how Batman is able to travel six miles in a matter of seconds AFTER deploying from the Bat.
RorMachine - 7/27/2012, 7:20 AM
The closest thing to an actual "plot hole" in the movie is how Bats escapes the blast. But to that I say, he's Batman!:) Seriously though, how he escapes is irrelevant, just as how he gets back to Gotham from that pit is irrelevant. Nolan could have spent an extra 15 mins showing us how he manages to get back into the city etc, and it wouldn't have kept the story flowing, in fact it would have had the opposite effect and slowed the final act down quite a bit. The first thing any director/editor is thought is to lose what is not needed, we were coming to the last big battle and the climax of the film, and was never gonna make the cut. If you are so concerned as to how Bruce managed to get back, make it up! There are any number of possibilities, like I said, he's the god damn Batman.
Tainted87 - 7/27/2012, 7:23 AM
@LEVITIKUZ
Canada is a couple hours from NYC.
And there was no military radius - Cap was organizing the cops to evacuate civilians while the National Guard was on their way.

Either way, there's no reason Banner couldn't have gotten to Manhattan.
Ceejay - 7/27/2012, 7:24 AM
Actually they do state in the film that the pearls have a tracking device just in case they ever get stolen from what was supposed to be a burgle-proof safe. They belonged to his mother, a gift from his father so it only seems logical considering who he is. And considering who Selina Kyle was she couldn't resist looking for something to steal instead of just getting his prints.
RorMachine - 7/27/2012, 7:26 AM
The Bane age thing is the furthest thing from a plot hole you can get. Who says Talia is supposed to be in her thirties? Just because the actress is? Assume she isn't for God's sake! Let's say she's mid - lat e20s, even if she was in her early thirties Bane would only have to be 40ish.
brewtownpsych - 7/27/2012, 7:30 AM
The same people who complain about plot holes in TDKR are the same people who fully accept, contrary to the laws of physics and physiology, that a woman (black widow in the avengers) can jump off an alien-piloted rocket cycle going 150 mph and land on a rooftop, shoulder roll, and be perfectly ok. Try shoulder rolling off a car going 1/5th that speed and see what happens.
backup - 7/27/2012, 7:32 AM
How did bruce get to the Bhutan prison in begins
Tainted87 - 7/27/2012, 7:32 AM
I'll agree there, whatever age difference was the furthest thing from my mind.

My biggest issue isn't even the topic of discussion, but I won't go into it. I have to go to work at this point, so I'm just going to end it here with this...

Batman taking the reactor out was the climactic event - the one everyone is paying attention to because the stakes are so high. We see Batman heading off into the sunset, and from the interior of the Bat, we see the sun catching Batman's face. Suddenly, the reactor goes nuclear. To say that it all happened off-screen is simply lazy film-making. Anything could happen off-screen.
CharlesLord - 7/27/2012, 7:35 AM
@battlinmurdock

its not a plot hole for you but it is for me. and thats fine
JP22 - 7/27/2012, 7:37 AM
Why did Batman need Selina Kyle to find Bane in the sewers? Gordon had already found Bane. It should have been pretty obvious especially to someone of his calibur. This may not be a plot hole but it made no sense.
marvel72 - 7/27/2012, 7:38 AM
Minghagz - 7/27/2012, 7:39 AM
@BattlinMurdock - Thanks for this article. I've always felt the same way for ANY movie.

The problem with a lot of people is that they're just looking for something to hate on rather than just enjoying the entertainment. I had my fair share of nitpicks with both the whole TDK trilogy and the entire MCU films. But a nitpick is not a plothole. If you had everything blatantly explained to you in movies then they would be way too long to enjoy. Besides CBMs are meant to suspend belief and provide entertainment.

Bottom line: Nitpicks don't stop me from enjoying a film.
CharlesLord - 7/27/2012, 7:42 AM
@battlinmurdock

actually by definition it is. its a inconsistency in the storyline. but im not gonna debate about it
CaptainObvious - 7/27/2012, 7:53 AM
It's funny how people are so quick to jump on TDKR for its plot holes, yet nobody mentions the plot holes The Avengers had.
DarthTesla - 7/27/2012, 8:01 AM
"How does Batman know how to fly the Bat?"

HE'S [frick]ING BATMAN.
marvel72 - 7/27/2012, 8:02 AM
@ captainobvious

the avengers did have plot holes,but when every rants & raves how much a superior director nolan is meant to be over whedon,i believe people pick up nolan/the dark knight rises flaws more because they expect more out of him.
enggarb - 7/27/2012, 8:03 AM

How does Bruce get back to Gotham after being in the Pit?
Well, before the scene where bruce climbed ,n escaped from the jail.. There is a scene where Gordon said, the bomb is about 23 days remain to explode.

TDKR took place, 8 years after TDK, so i suppose many things happened during 8 years.
eleven59 - 7/27/2012, 8:04 AM
I would never call those plot holes either. But there is deffinately some lazy writing which makes it the weakest of the three bat films in terms of writing.

A commissioner would never go down a sewer and especially not with only 3 guys.
Where'd the bikes come from to drive out the bank? I must've missed them loading me in
Two, count them two forced relationships
Bruce just hands over the company to a stranger
The effectiveness and villainy of bane is rendered moot from a last minute twist (making him no greater than the bane from batman & robin)
Bane's defeat by a surprise guest

And since a plot hole is set up by the films rules itself, black widow getting on and off a bike, no matter how crazy I agree it to be, IS within the the films reality! You have a hulk, aliens, a unfrozen super soilder, and asgardian GODS in the film

For the record Banner clearly landed in a city. Remember the scene before? With the security guard. It just turned out the city was NY

And it clearly tells how Thor got back too

And as weak as the aliens were killed was, I can admit, at least they showed from the first scene of the movie, that they were "connected" and even throughout the battle it shows electricity flowing through them and that they are wearing devices

I enjoyed both films but some of you act like Nolan's shit don't stink and it's repulsing. Hell if Nolan were making ant-man there would be death threats if anyone didn't like it
SkywayTraffic - 7/27/2012, 8:05 AM
This is a gigantic stretch that could only be written by a fanboy. It was a cute try though, but this movie was a [frick]ing disaster.
eleven59 - 7/27/2012, 8:06 AM
And how did banner get into the city is a complaint but a poor Bruce who was the other side of the world but made it just in time to save the city by miracously showing up in a city that also has been blocked off except for the one bridge that the military is guarding isn't the same? That's lasy writing too

Damn hypocrites
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