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.*
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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