27 November 2001

More plotholes

Subject: More plotholes
From: Yukon
Date: Nov 27 2001 2:46 AM

In Independence Day, the Jeff Goldblum character immobilizes the alien mothership by uploading a computer virus into its main computer.

A computer virus is not something that occurs in nature and just hops aboard some organism as it walks by. It is piece of code designed to hijack some program. In order for it to work, it has to be written in the same language as the program. Absolutely nothing in the story supports that the Goldblum character would know that programming language. After all, it's aliens we're talking about. The whole story takes place in three or four days; he couldn't have learned their natural language in that time if they'd been force-feeding it to him. This kind of plothole is downright insulting; it would have been most honest to just have him wave a magic wand.

In Starship Troopers, a surprisingly good movie, all these gorgeous guys and chicks take showers together while in training, and they don't even look! With this one, for a while, I wondered if the idea was soldiers of this future, rather fascistic, society might have somehow been induced to renounce sex as incompatible with a life of stirring military purpose and numbing violence. (The movie goes out its way to make the gals one of the guys, so to speak.) Except that, when actually on the front lines, the main characters go ahead and do it, with the blessing of their CO. So I think that the explanation must be that cap troopers get something in their food or water while in training to keep their minds off sex.

Shakespeare could be guilty of plotholes big enough to drive a wain through. In Much Ado About Nothing, Benedick, Hero's father and Hero's uncle, actually challenges Claudio to a duel to avenge the "death" of Hero, when they all know perfectly well that Hero didn't die (and Benedick also guesses correctly that Don John is behind Claudio's behavior). Except for the watchmen's accidental discovery, these pointless duels would have had to have taken place. In addition, Hero agrees to take back the man who savaged her and callously agreed to accept the hand of another of Leonato's heirs in her place. Furthermore, Beatrice still has every reason to hate Claudio which she voiced so emphatically in Act IV, scene i. All of these people are going to be related to one another after their weddings and exit dancing happily, but it is hard to see how they can be anything but miserable after what has happened.


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