PEDAUNT

Plot hole: This film is set in 2004. The thought that no search and rescue operations would be put in place after an aircraft disappeared from radar during a routine flight is absurd. The Chinese are paranoid about intrusion on their territory and the downed aircraft would have been located by a simple satellite search within hours of it crashing. Chinese military satellites crisscross the Gobi and they are equipped with optical cameras, microwave and infrared detectors and radar, so spotting a metal aircraft on the ground would be simple even if it was hundreds of kilometres off course. The crew would have been visited by Chinese military helicopters (and probably arrested!) as soon as the storm had died down.

PEDAUNT

Plot hole: The idea that Marlow would simply take a taxi to his wife's address after being missing in action for thirty odd years is stupid beyond belief. He was on a ship sailing from the central Pacific for days and those ships have radios! The US military would have known he was coming. Someone, somewhere would have notified the authorities that a US serviceman long thought dead was actually alive and on his way home and his wife and son would have been there on the docks to greet him, not standing slack-jawed in the kitchen dropping trays of drinks on the floor when he turned up! What would have happened if she had remarried? Or moved house? Or she was dead? Don't tell me the US military didn't know he was coming - he is wearing a brand new uniform, clean and pressed.

PEDAUNT
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Suggested correction: The implication is that Marlow went through an extensive debrief and nobody had contacted his family until the debrief had concluded, based on the top secret nature of the mission. As you say, the fact he has a brand new uniform suggests that he has contacted the US Military prior to ever contacting his family. The fact that his wife would have moved and re-married is irrelevant, he still would have made an attempt to contact her so he could see his son.

BaconIsMyBFF

It is an inviolable, carved in stone, fur lined, ocean going, top of the list rule that the next of kin are immediately advised of the change of status of military personnel. MIA, now confirmed dead? They'd be the first to know. MIA, now confirmed to be alive, same outcome. His wife would know he was on that ship coming home.

This is true in real life but in the fictional world of the movie Monarch is a secret, government agency that has some degree of control over the military. You can't apply the same rules as in real life in this situation.

BaconIsMyBFF

And they wouldn't have contacted her after the debrief had been completed? What utter nonsense. Allowing him to just turn up on the doorstep without notifying his wife first is an utterly irresponsible and even dangerous act. She could have fainted with shock or even had a heart attack. She would absolutely, definitely, 100% carved in stone, been advised of her husband's survival and return.

Since we know very little about the completely fictional organization Monarch, we obviously cannot say they would "carved in stone" do anything. In order to be a mistake in the movie, it would have to be something that is impossible. A secret government organization that doesn't even exist in real life not behaving the way the real military would is not impossible. At least not by the rules set forth in the film. It's perhaps improbable but it is most certainly not impossible.

BaconIsMyBFF

3rd Nov 2017

Red Dwarf (1988)

Can of Worms - S11-E6

Plot hole: At the end, Kryten, Rimmer and Lister are in a lift facing off six gelf shapeshifters - two copies of each real person, in a Mexican standoff. Nobody knows who to shoot, as they might shoot the real person instead of the shapeshifter. But the real people know they're real - all Lister has to do is shoot the two fake Listers, Rimmer shoots the fake Rimmers and Kryten shoots the two fake Krytens, problem solved. Not to mention Lister is now a soulless, unfeeling killing machine. Earlier he shot and killed a shapeshifter who could well have been Cat - he didn't know it was a shapeshifter and by his own admission he didn't care. We have already seen how fast on the draw he is - why didn't he just open fire on the six shapeshifters, Kryten and Rimmer in order to ensure his own survival?

PEDAUNT
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Suggested correction: The point of a Mexican standoff is no one is in a position to shoot first for fear of being shot themselves. We're told the shapeshifters have no problem killing each other, so as soon as the real person starts to shoot, everyone may start firing, which could result in a real person being killed. Additionally, the only time all 9 are pointing guns at each other is in the lift. Before that, it's 3 groups of Listers, Krytens, and Rimmers, so no one is facing off with their shapeshifters. The only safe way to shoot the 6 shapeshifters would be to do it at the same time, and there's no way Lister, Kryten, and Rimmer could coordinate that. And, like all Mexican standoffs, it can only be resolved from outside help.

25th Oct 2017

Capricorn One (1977)

Plot hole: The "death" of the three astronauts and the requirement to then fake the whole scenario of the failed mission was obviously unplanned - it came about because of an unexpected computer glitch which reported that they had burned up on reentry, causing a mad scramble to cover up the fake mission and kill the astronauts. Obviously it was planned to have the astronauts "return" to Earth as heroes after their supposed trip to Mars, maintaining their deception (under threat if necessary) for the rest of their lives. One problem. Every scientist on earth would be champing at the bit to get their hands on a sample of Martian rock. Samples would be worth billions, worth far more than Moon rocks are worth today. How was NASA going to explain they didn't have any? They could not possibly fake the rocks - Martian soil and rocks would have a number of identifiable characteristics that a smart first year college student could identify. Using Martian meteorites collected from the Earth's surface won't work, either - prolonged exposure to the Earth's atmosphere would leave tell tale weathering and chemical changes that would be instantly detectable. NASA have painted themselves into a corner and that is not something they would have failed to realise well in advance.

PEDAUNT
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Suggested correction: They could use meteors that had landed on Earth. This is one of the theories for the "faked" moon landing, that they either created the moon rocks from scratch, or collected meteors. As for the death of the astronauts, that's not a plot hole, it's the plot of the movie; the powers that be wanted the men to fake everything and return as heroes. When they wouldn't play along, it was decided they needed to be eliminated.

Jason Hoffman

It is clear from the narrative of the film that it was planned that the astronauts would "land" safely. Using meteorites would not work - exposure to the Earth's atmosphere would mean (and has meant) that the rocks would show weathering and chemical changes that anyone would be able to detect.

Plot hole: An important plot point (in the book and the film) is that Charles Calthrop - thought to be the Jackal, at that stage - played some mysterious part in the 1961 assassination of Rafael Trujillo, the dictator of The Dominican Republic, and rumours of his involvement came to the attention of MI6 and Special Branch, leading to the accidental exposure of the Jackal's false passport. In fact there is no mystery at all about the assassination of Trujillo and there were no shadowy foreigners involved. It was organised by Trujillo's own senior aides, amongst them General Juan Tomás Díaz, Antonio de la Maza, Amado Garcia Guerroro and General Antonio Imbert Barrera. The gunmen was later identified as Luis Aniama Tio. All the conspirators except Tio were arrested, tortured and shot. There was no panicked evacuation of foreigners who were involved with Trujillo's regime and no reason for them to be concerned - the government did not fall and Trujillo's brother Hector took over as President, ruling in a brutal and totalitarian manner for a further eight years. Any rumours of a mysterious Englishman would have been dismissed out of hand and would not have made it onto even the lowest level filing system anywhere in Whitehall.

PEDAUNT

7th Sep 2017

The Day of the Jackal

Plot hole: The arms dealer tells Special Branch detectives that Charles Calthrop - wrongly suspected to be The Jackal - barely escaped with his life when Rafael Trujillo, the dictator of the Dominican Republic, was assassinated in 1961. "The whole regime collapsed within hours." He tells them, relating how Calthrop was with the Police Minister at the time and had to flee, bribing a fisherman to take him off the island in order to escape the angry mobs of partisans who were rioting in the streets, indiscriminately killing anyone they thought had collaborated with Trujillo's regime. What cobblers. There were no partisans and no riots. Trujillo's regime continued uninterrupted. His brother Hector immediately took power and ruled absolutely and ruthlessly for another eight years. Calthrop would have nothing to worry about unless Trujillo himself had signed his pay cheque. Calthrop's alleged involvement in the assassination is a hugely important plot point as it inadvertently leads to the discovery of the false passport obtained by the Jackal and the uncovering of his false identity, and his name was only placed on file because of his rumoured involvement in events which simply did not take place.

PEDAUNT

28th Sep 2015

Jonathan Creek (1997)

The Sinner and the Sandman - S5-E2

Plot hole: Ian Avery-Cooper loses his lottery ticket which is immediately picked up and appropriated by Leonard Corbyn. However, Avery-Cooper immediately reports the loss to the shopkeeper who sold him the ticket. All lottery sales staff are trained in what to do under these circumstances, because it happens a lot - they cancel the lost ticket and issue a new one. Since Avery-Cooper used the same numbers every week this would not pose a problem, but even if he didn't the ticket would be recorded on the seller's computers and could be precisely reconstructed. This would be even easier since Avery-Cooper reports the loss within a minute of it happening and we see that he has the receipt for the sale in his hand. Corbyn's stolen ticket would be worthless and Avery-Cooper would be able to claim his rightful winnings. If nothing else Ian could have simply bought another ticket with the same numbers.

PEDAUNT

15th Jul 2015

Ted (2012)

Plot hole: Ted calls on John to tell him that he saw Lori leaving her apartment with her boss. How did he find him? He turns up not only at the right hotel but the right room! They have had no contact since their fight after the party and Ted hasn't been asking around after John as he tells him he 'just saw' Lori leaving with her boss. So how did he find John? Is he psychic?

PEDAUNT
Upvote valid corrections to help move entries into the corrections section.

Suggested correction: A week has passed since the breakup and we don't see anything that happened during that time. There's nothing in the film to indicate Ted didn't try to reconcile with John (such as through text) or at least find out where he's staying. The only reason Ted decided to go to the hotel is to tell John about Lori leaving with her boss because he knows that would be a big deal to him. And Ted went to Lori's to try to get her to take John back (probably because of things John said to Ted during the week we didn't see). Once Ted is at Lori's and sees her leaving with her boss, he goes to the hotel to tell John he "just saw her leave" with him.

Bishop73

8th Aug 2014

Broadcast News (1987)

Plot hole: How could Jane not be aware that Tom had only used one camera for the date rape interview, recording his fake tears later? That's the way things are done on television news shows and as an experienced, hard-bitten television producer she could not possibly be unaware of that. The reporter always records his or her reaction shots (called 'noddies') after the interviewee has left. Shooting with two cameras would involve two crews, two lighting rigs, a vision switcher and so on and so on and a straightforward interview simply would not justify such a complex and expensive set up.

PEDAUNT

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