There is no such thing as a perfectly rational person, so it is often understandable when movie characters make less than optimal choices, whether because of clouded thinking, a lack of information, or something else that is unknown to the audience. However, there are also times when the bad decision-making of movie characters stretch the suspension of disbelief so much that it starts to fail, thus creating what most people would consider to be plot holes.
Here are five times that movie characters ignored a simple solution to their problems:
In the Amityville Horror, the Lutz family undergo a series of supernatural events before fleeing their new home, which was once the site of an infamous mass murder. Examples of said events include but are not limited to newfound compulsions, suspicious accidents that should not have been possible, and black ooze bubbling out of the toilets, but the most famous example is perhaps when the house tells the Lutz family to get out. To be perfectly honest, they should have followed that recommendation, which would have saved them a great deal of frustration.
For that matter, while some people have argued that the Lutz family could not have afforded to move out, it is worth noting that some people seek out haunted houses for purchase in particular, meaning that if they had been a bit more savvy, they might have been able to profit by selling their house to such an individual.
Called The Shaft in the United States, Down is more infamous for making references to the possibility of terrorist attacks in New Year City before September 11, 2001 than for its actual narrative, which happens to involve the murderous shenanigans of evil elevators controlled by a brain serving as a bio-computer. The whole series of events is possible only because of the incompetence of the authorities in the movie, who are eager to fob off the blame on whatever is convenient instead of discovering the actual source of the problem, thus letting people continue to use the elevators instead of just fencing them off and posting a warning sign while they got the problem fixed. Unfortunately, this sort of thing is not as unbelievable as it seems, but nonetheless serves as an excellent example of how doubling down on dumb decisions can backfire harder than otherwise possible.
In Free Willy, a boy who has been separated from his parents befriends a killer whale that has been separated from his pod. Initially, the owner of the water park where Willy is held plan to make use of this bond to make money off of the titular whale, which falls through when he becomes irritated by the audience members and refuses to perform. As a result, the owner chooses to sabotage Willy’s tank so that he can collect the insurance payment from the whale’s death but is found out by the boy and his foster parents.
Instead of something reasonable such as calling either the police or the insurance company about the attempted insurance fraud, the boy and his parents decide to steal the whale, bring him to a marina, and then get him to escape into the sea. In real life, this would have been remarkably foolish, both because of the stress of the journey to such animals and because of the legal complications in which the whale rescuers would have gotten into because while they might have had a good cause, there was no doubt that they had broken the law as well.
X-Men: The Last Stand
Magneto is one of the most powerful characters in the X-Men movies, so it should come as no surprise to learn that he has had more than his fair share of epic shows of power over the course of the series. For example, there was the time when he used the excessive amounts of iron injected into a man’s bloodstream to create functional bullets before propelling them at lethal speeds in an incredible show of finesse. Furthermore, there was the time when he caught the missiles of numerous U.S. and Soviet warships with the full intention of returning them to their senders in the incredible show of power.
As a result, it seems more than a little bit ridiculous that Magneto never seems to bring these capabilities to his confrontations with his enemies, with a battle in X-Men: The Last Stand being a prime example. In brief, he moves his team to the island of Alcatraz by moving the Golden Gate Bridge, which stands out because his main contributions to the subsequent fight consisted of him tossing cars like makeshift bombs. Even if Magneto had been disinclined towards dropping the Golden Gate Bridge on the island of Alcatraz, which would have served his objectives just fine, he should have been able to create a countless number of bullets from the cars on the Golden Gate Bridge to bathe the location in a lethal shower of bullets, though to be fair, if he had done so, the movie would have ended then and there.
The Yogi Bear film saw Yogi Bear working with Ranger Smith to save his home from being logged by a corrupt mayor, which was resolved by the discovery of a rare and endangered species of turtle found living there, thus saving it from its fate. Unfortunately, there are two problems with this plot. First, Yogi lived in Jellystone National Park, meaning that the mayor had no right to sell it off for logging when it would have been someone else’s jurisdiction.
Second, Yogi and his pal, Boo Boo, were fully-sapient and fully capable of communication, which would have been a much bigger draw than a species of turtle could have ever hoped to be, no matter how rare and endangered it might have been. In other words, if the two had chosen to make themselves known to a bigger swathe of the American population, they could have saved their home via the tidal wave of interest that would have flooded into the region upon learning of something that goes against so much of what people know about the sciences.