Five Movie Plot Absurdities

Some movies are just so good that when the plot twists and turns, you may fail to notice that it also disappears up its own backside. Carried along with the moment, you may never see the incongruity amidst the events on screen. Here is my top five of film stories with holes that gaped just for a moment, but where you may have missed the holes when you blinked…

5. The Shawshank Redemption

Andy, played by Tim Robbins, is going to escape from Shawshank prison by using his little stone chisel to make a great big bloody hole in the wall. The guards never see the hole because it is covered over using a poster of a cinema sex symbol. Andy hides his chisel in a bible, and in one tense scene the warden is holding the bible whilst they search Andy’s cell. Fortunately, the warden never opens it up, although he talks about bible stories at length. But why hide your chisel in a bible, when there is a bloody great hole in the wall big enough to hide the chisel plus an elephant or two?

4. Star Wars

After a stirring escape from Death Star, and from the TIE fighters sent to chase after them, Han Solo and the crew of the Millennium Falcon at last feel like they can relax. Princess Leia, though, knows better. ‘Too easy’ she says, and announces the evil empire must have put a tracking device on their ship. If the heroes fly back to the secret rebel base, then they will lead the empire back there too. So what do they do? They fly straight back, in the hope that they will find a weakness in the Death Star which will allow the rebels to blow it up. Flying in the wrong direction and changing ships would have been a less risky plan.

3. The Prestige

Two warring Victorian magicians, played by Christian Bale and Hugh Jackman, scheme and counter-scheme to upstage and bamboozle each other. In a masterstroke, Bale allows Jackman to ‘steal’ his secret diary. The secret diary leads Jackman halfway across the world, to meet with the inventor Nikola Tesla. The diary reveals that Tesla is the man who made a machine that can transport a man through space, making him reappear at a distance from where he first started. However, the diary is a cunning connivance by Bale – he actually performs his disappearing and reappearing trick with the help of a twin brother unknown to the rest of the world. The foolish Jackman believes the diary and tracks Tesla down in the US, finally persuading the reluctant but penniless inventor to meet with him. Desperately needing Jackman’s money, Tesla agrees to build Jackman a transporting machine, which works pretty darned well (apart for one unfortunate side-effect). How unlucky for Bale! He intended to send Jackman on a wild goose chase, but in the end he pointed him at the one man in the world who could build a machine that actually does magic. What were the odds on that?

2. Alien

In space, no one can hear you scream. You are being chased by an alien monster. It is strong. It is covered in armour. Its has a tail that can slice you in two. It has an extra set of jaws for biting you when the first set does not get the job done. It has acid for blood. To sum it up, killing this alien is going to be hard. But in space, no one can hear you scream because there is no atmosphere. So how do the hapless humans try to fight off this one-alien apocalypse? They use flamethrowers and other weakling weapons. Why not try switching off the atmosphere and allowing the otherworldly bugger to suffocate instead?

1. The Fast and The Furious

The starter for this high-octane car racing franchise starred Vin Diesel as the gang leader who boosts a lot of electronic equipment to pay for the modifications that boost his automobiles. However, in the craziest scene of the movie, Vinnie needs to escape the police following a street race. He hides his precious car in a garage, then high-tails it away on foot. A police car spots Vinnie and chases him. Remarkably, Vinnie manages to outrun the police car, and he makes his getaway. What were the moviemakers trying to say with this incongruous scene? Perhaps they were saying that feet are fleeter than the furious automobiles of this car-studded feature. Or perhaps they were saying that Diesel is faster than petrol…

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