A Defense Of Plot Holes In Film
Photo: Warner Bros. Pictures
All the major blockbusters that come out these days seem to have one thing in common: there are always a group of nitpickers ready to hate them if they are even slightly less than perfect. It’s a problem that seems to have only gotten worse in recent years with the ease of having your voice heard online, as now that you can put your opinion out there, everyone thinks they have to. We seem to expect so much that we are impossible to please, and it’s beginning to make the whole experience unbearable. Debating what you like and don’t like about a film is an age-old tradition, but nowadays, it’s tiring to hear constant complaints about every new movie sometimes before you even have a chance to see it (Man of Steel **cough cough**). With this in mind, here are several reasons why people need to chill out about plot holes in our movies today. (WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD)
A Defense Of Plot Holes In Film
Movies Are an Escape From Reality
If you squint hard enough, you can find a flaw in just about anything. But…why? It’s okay to turn your brain off for an hour and a half. Yes, you are paying good money to go see a film, but it comes with the territory of a fictional piece of art, not real life, that you are watching up on the big screen. Not everything has to make perfect sense for a story to entertain, and we seem to be forgetting that more and more with each passing year. Soon, a “good movie” may not even exist with the way our insane standards are heading. Enjoy yourself and let go. That’s why you’re there.
Over Before It Begins
The first huge blockbuster of 2013, Iron Man 3, drew much scrutiny from fans due to an unexpected change to a major character. However, a major plot hole being brought to light as of late involves the film’s epic climax, where Iron Man reveals a slew of auto-piloted armors that fly in and save the day at the end. People had a problem with this, of course, and questioned why he didn’t just use these earlier in the film before he was initially attacked. The simple answer, and one that should just be accepted, is “because then there would be no movie.” We’re guessing the audience would have been a lot more pissed off if the film concluded after 30 minutes. It might be time to let things like this go, as the payoff generally far outweighs the oversight.
Driving the Story
The film Prometheus would be a prime example of WAY TOO MUCH criticism. The movie was torn to shreds by its critics, and a shining example of one of the many “flaws” people had to point out involved a scientist and an worm-like creature that eventually goes berserk on him. Everything from his sudden change in disposition to why he would go anywhere near this thing was critiqued, yet it needed to go down in order to move things along and show that disaster was imminent. How else were we supposed to know just how nuts this planet could be? Sometimes, logic needs to be thrown out the window in order to keep things going, or for future scenes to even take place. Yet, no one seemed willing to give this visually stunning sci-fi film the benefit of the doubt, and it’s become the case with almost all new films.
The Devil is In the Details
Much like Prometheus, films such as The Dark Knight Rises are walked into with expectations soaring impossibly high. The prior films in the series had been done so well and with such gritty realism, that people seemed to forget these are movies based on a comic book character. So when Bruce Wayne somehow transports himself from a prison halfway around the world in what seems like a matter of hours, or Batman flies off with a bomb on board his aircraft and somehow survives the explosion, it has to be scrutinized to death. Since when doesn’t “because he’s freakin’ Batman” suffice when it comes to a superhero movie? Why can’t the beauty of something be in not knowing how it was done? Which brings us to our next point…
Ignore It, You Might Like It
Believe it or not, audiences can occasionally surprise us by not over-thinking plot points ad nauseam. Take last year’s The Cabin in the Woods, a fairly popular and well received film, for example. If you did stop to think about it, there were plenty of plot holes to be passed around, from “how were the monsters originally collected?” to “how did Marty survive his attack?” But, you know what, you chose to be entertained instead. The end result of doing so is often a much more enjoyable film, and a much happier crowd.
The Internet Isn’t Helping
One thing you’ve probably noticed when filmmakers (particularly of new films with mixed reviews) are interviewed is that they tend to steer clear of what people are saying online. Can you blame them? Internet message boards anymore are a joke. What starts as intelligent conversation almost always ends with petty bickering about the most minute details and name calling. Forget that plot holes can actually drive a story for the better (and all the other previous points made), if it doesn’t make 100 percent sense or has to be individually interpreted in any way, it’s stupid and the guy who liked it is wrong for thinking otherwise. And let’s not even get started on websites like Red Letter Media and How It Should Have Ended, which, while funny, only encourage unnecessary hair splitting all the more.
Where Do We Draw the Line?
The bottom line is, plot holes are necessary and can make films more enjoyable. There are plenty of great movies that wouldn’t even exist without them. If you are walking into a science fiction or action flick especially, you should be along for the ride, not critiquing every second of it. Yes, a good movie should make you think, but every movie (except some documentaries, perhaps) should be an escape from reality. It’s perfectly okay to have standards, just don’t let those standards get the better of you to a point where you consider everything you watch garbage. You’re bound to see a stinker every now and then — just make sure you personally aren’t the cause of it.