We love superhero movies, but virtually all of them are based on comics — and comics are notorious for leaving plot holes you can usually drive a Mack Truck through. The movies typically do a better job of tying up their loose ends, but there are still plenty of superhero flicks that had some dumb moments that made virtually no sense.
From hiding critical clues in the stupidest places to plain old boneheaded plot holes, here are the superhero movie moments that make absolutely no sense.
The Winter Soldier’s magic camera (Captain America: Civil War)
Look, Captain America: Civil War is a fantastic movie. It features one of the coolest fights in movie history and was one of the most ambitious films ever attempted within the comic book genre. But the whole plot hinged on one heck of a weird contrivance. Zemo uses the footage of the Winter Soldier killing Tony Stark’s parents to push Tony over the edge and turn him against Bucky, but how the heck did this footage exist in the first place? We see the Winter Soldier force the elder Starks off the side of the road back in the 1980s, and they seem to crash on this random stretch of backwoods nothingness — which is somehow right in front of a security camera. Isn’t the Winter Soldier supposed to be a master assassin? How does making this hit directly in front of a camera feel like a good idea? Then, he shoots the camera after it’s over. You know, because that magically erases the tape. Not.
Logos without logic (Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice)
It’s hard to deny that Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice was a bloated mess, and one of the film’s biggest problems is that it tries to tell a story all its own, while also doing a boatload of heavy lifting to set up the Justice League movie. The most ridiculous and overt way this takes place? When Diana is checking out Lex Luthor’s super secret disk drive and finds files on pretty much all the Justice League members — complete with little logos that … umm … Lex made for them (and that they’ll all use in their super-suits). What? There’s also the fact that director Zack Snyder literally pauses this movie for a full five minutes to have Wonder Woman watch the equivalent of a bunch of YouTube clips designed to set up future movies in the most obvious way possible. So, yeah. Ridiculous.
Where was the Justice League? (Suicide Squad)
Suicide Squad goes a long way to make the point that these characters are bad guys (Harley Quinn makes sure to remind us of that a few times along the way), and their initial mission was just to go in and rescue Amanda Waller. Which makes sense! That’s the kind of mission you would use a black ops team for. But the city’s literally being destroyed by Enchantress. Who’s supposed to be taking care of that problem? If only there were a few superheroes already zipping around the world … Oh, that’s right — Flash, Wonder Woman, and Batman are all active during this time. None of them think they might need to pop by and take care of this giant laser weapon (and the random floating garbage around it) being controlled by an ancient god?
The ‘Francis’ conundrum (Deadpool)
One of the big jokes early on in Deadpool is the fact that Wade sneakily figures out that Ajax’s real name is Francis, then proceeds to call him that just to piss him off. When Wade gets loose later and sets off on his revenge mission, he starts hunting down all of Ajax’s known associates by asking for Francis … which is not the name any of these guys actually use for Ajax. Chances are, none of Ajax’s cronies even know that’s his actual name. If Deadpool had just said he was looking for Ajax, that search might’ve gone a whole lot faster.
Batman’s healing factor (The Dark Knight Rises)
Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy is one of the seminal film franchises in comic book history, but even the mighty Nolan can stretch things a bit too far. Case in point: the fact that old man Batman is somehow stronger and more physically capable than any version of the Dark Knight we’ve seen up until then, despite the fact that he has a busted knee, a broken back, and has been retired from the vigilante game for years. Apparently, all you need is a robo-brace for that knee, a few weeks hanging onto a rope for the broken back, and you’re good to go to take on the dude who literally broke your back in the first place.
One popular orb (Guardians of the Galaxy)
Marvel’s Guardians the Galaxy is so darn fun that it’s hard to actually nitpick much of anything, but watch it a few times and the seams start to show. One of the biggest is the point that actually kicks off the whole movie: Star-Lord’s trip to Morag to retrieve that orb (which is actually an Infinity Stone). Namely, why had no one tried to get it before, and why did everyone show up at literally the same time to try and claim it? This is never really explained in the movie, although director James Gunn explained in the film’s commentary that Morag is typically underwater, and the seasons only change every 300 years. That’s why everyone was going at the same time, because the seas had just receded. But it doesn’t count if you don’t explain it in the actual movie, bro. Also, they don’t have submarines in space?
Howard Stark’s terrible clues (Iron Man 2)
The MCU hasn’t had a lot of duds, but of the few films that have fallen below expectations, Iron Man 2 leads the pack. It was bloated to begin with, but the big twist was one of the dumbest plot points possible. Tony discovers the new element he needs at just the right time and puts all the pieces together after seeing the old Stark EXPO design (which Howard had no clue his son would ever see) and watching an old B-roll interview with Howard (which Howard had no clue his son would ever see). At best, it’s a deus ex machina to save Tony, and just truly awful writing at worst. Of all the ways Howard could have passed on and hidden this message, he chose the silliest and most convoluted way humanly possible.
So Zod doesn’t want superpowers? (Man of Steel)
In Man of Steel, Zod’s big plan when he gets to Earth is to terraform the planet to make it more like Krypton in the hopes he can restart his old civilization (while wiping out humans in the process). But once Zod sees the superpowers Kryptonians exhibit on Earth, why not just suck it up and learn to adjust to the atmosphere? Clark is proof positive that a Kryptonian can adjust to breathe in Earth’s atmosphere, and even if it’s tough, isn’t it worth it if it means you get to have superpowers? So you’re telling us that Zod, a military mastermind, didn’t see any reason to be super-strong and invincible? And yes, we realize that Superman normally gets his powers from Earth’s yellow sun in the comics, but the movie makes it clear that Supes loses some of his abilities while inside the Kryptonian atmosphere. So, atmosphere is apparently a factor (at least in the DCEU movies).
Why not use Quicksilver all the time? (X-Men: Days of Future Past)
Introducing a speedster can make for awesome effects and cool set pieces, but it also creates more than a few plot problems. The CW’s Flash series does a good job of dealing with it on a week-to-week basis, but X-Men: Days of Future Past could’ve used a bit more fine tuning. Yes, the Quicksilver super-speed scene is easily the coolest moment in a very good movie. But, how on Earth do you sideline Quicksilver after you’ve gotten a peek at his abilities? He can take out every enemy before they can even blink. How do you not keep him in the fight for the entire movie?
Why wait for the House Party? (Iron Man 3)
Fans might be mixed on Iron Man 3, but there’s no denying the film did a great job of putting Tony Stark outside his comfort zone and telling a story unlike pretty much every other Iron Man movie. We just have one head-scratcher: Why didn’t he just pull out the "House Party" protocol sooner and get that army of super-suits free? He spends most of the film trying to repair and reacquire his latest suit, but he apparently has an emergency protocol all this time that can get an army of suits in the air. Why not flip that lever a while back? Yes, they needed to excavate the mansion to get a path cleared, but it doesn’t take that long to just cut a man-sized hole down to the lab, does it?