Renowned Hollywood director Zack Snyder has a tendency to polarize audiences, meaning that those who watch his movies either love his films or really hate them; there’s not too many people that have opinions in between. Perhaps this has something to do with his propensity for high intensity action films, or maybe it’s his abstract and odd vision that he superimposes on his stories, or maybe it’s just his weird and sometimes paradoxical plot lines that have audiences so divided. Whatever the reason, anyone who has seen a Zack Snyder film likely has an opinion about him.
Take his 2011 fantasy drama Sucker Punch, for example. Some viewers think it’s a visually stunning story of female empowerment, toppling the strictures of a male-dominated world and finding ways to break through the chains of captivity by using cunning, sexuality, and courage. Then again, other audience members think it’s a testosterone fueled wet dream of what a school girl locked up in a mental asylum would look like, dancing for attention and fighting Gatling-gun wielding Samurai in mini skirts. See what we mean? Totally polarized.
Sometimes Zack’s artistic vision for a film can get in the way of important things, like a good story. Any of you that have seen Zack Snyder’s films have likely recognized a few flaws and plot holes; historical and literal accuracy aren’t exactly Zack’s priorities when shooting a film. Let’s poke a few holes in Zack’s biggest films. Be warned, there are spoilers ahead! Here are fifteen of Zack Snyder’s biggest plot holes:
15. Jimmy Olsen and His Ridiculous Camera B*llshit
Did you even realize that Jimmy Olsen, Lois Lane’s greatest friend and ally at the Daily Planet, was in Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice? Probably not, since his part was so minuscule you may have missed it when blinking. If you’re able to watch the extended director’s cut version of the film, we urge you to do so since it makes this scene make a bit more sense.
In the beginning of the movie, when Lois is on a dangerous interview run in sketchy territory, she takes with her her favorite Daily Planet photographer, Jimmy Olsen. In the comics, Jimmy is a favorite and is a key character in several Superman issues. Here, he’s using a 35mm camera and smuggling in tracking agents for the feds. SO MANY PROBLEMS HERE. First off, he would never go behind Lois’ back and betray her like that. He could’ve gotten her killed. Second of all, NO modern day photographer uses 35mm cameras. That’s just plain logic.
14. When Did Lex Luthor Figure Out Superman’s Secret Identity?
Continuing on with the many problems in Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice (don’t worry, we’ll be revisiting this film a lot throughout the list), we want to talk about a big whoopsie that was never explained. Usually, when it comes to stories about caped crusaders and masked heroes, it’s a big freakin deal when the bad guy discovers the secret identity. We get to see how he did it, why he did it, how painstaking the process was in solving the mystery behind our heroes identity. Well in Zack Snyder’s version of this story, Lex Luthor was seemingly able to discover Superman’s secret identity (and possibly Batman’s as well) with immense ease. The movie never mentions how difficult or easy it was! Lex just seems to omnisciently know that Superman is Clark Kent, and he knows who he dates, who his mom is and where she lives and works, and every bit about his weaknesses. What gives? How’d he figure it all out when the United States government couldn’t pin it down?
13. Really, How Has No One Else Figured Out Superman’s Identity?
On the flip side of this argument, how has no one else been able to figure out Superman’s secret identity? Logically, it isn’t surprising that Lex Luthor figured out who Superman truly was- he was a photographer at a party of his and he could just look past the glasses and see that “Oh, this guy looks like Superman. Shit, I think that’s him.” It’s not like glasses are a good modern day disguise for someone like Henry Cavill.
But think about all the red flags that indicate exactly who Superman is. Zod landed his ship in the side yard of his childhood home. Clark saved a bus load of children from drowning when he was just a small child and effectively convinced everyone in his small Kansas hometown that something was quite super about him. Hell, he works at one of the top newspapers in the world that writes about Superman on a regular basis and no one has recognized him?! Is everyone in this DC Universe blind?
12. Explosives (That Hadn’t Been Invented) in 300
There are a lot of problems with 300, the story of the Spartan King Leonidas and his futile attempt to stop the Persian invasion. There are many silly moments that are totally fueled by testosterone and don’t make any logical sense and straight up contradict what we know to be historically true. One of these many instances is that of the several explosions used.
One of the many weapons the Persian King Xerxes uses against the few Spartan soldiers are small explosives made of black powder. They made for some cool visuals and slow motion shots but um… problem. Explosive black powder of this kind was not invented until around the 9th century C.E. in China, and it was a composition of sulfur, charcoal, and potassium nitrate. Furthermore, cultures in this part of the world were not reached with these inventions for several centuries more. So it may look real cool, but it’s real inaccurate.
11. Aquaman- Do You Want to be Discovered?
Returning to Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice (told you we’d be revisiting it a lot), there’s a really ridiculous moment that we need to talk to Aquaman about. When Batman discovers Lex Luthor’s files on the study of metahumans, we get to see data on four heroes that were previously unknown to the series. Wonder Woman was the first, with only one picture to document that she’d been here a long time. Then there was The Flash, when Barry Allen only risked revealing his powers to save the life of a store clerk- but even then, he was very careful not to leave much evidence. There was also Cyborg, who’s never fully been captured on camera- only the documentation of his father’s research reveals that he may have survived experimental trials. Finally, there’s Aquaman: who swims directly up to a camera, looks it in the eye, slowly rears back his trident, and knocks it out of his way before charging off. But he looks at the camera so long, you’d think he was just invited onstage to play The Price Is Right! For someone trying to remain a secret, he certainly isn’t camera shy.
10. How Did Jonathan Kent Manage to Hide Kal-El’s Spaceship in Man of Steel?
Let’s back up to the first installment of the Justice League franchise with Man of Steel, where there’s a huge question that was never answered about Kal-El’s arrival on Earth. Kal-El is shipped off to Earth by his dying Kryptonian mommy and daddy in a fairly large spaceship that essentially lands in Jonathan and Martha Kent’s backyard. They manage to open it up to find a fairly super baby in it. Presumably, they took it inside and cared for it before quickly realizing, “we’re going to have to do something about our new lawn ornament.” Somehow Jonathan finds a way to discreetly hide this monstrous spaceship without anyone noticing, which means he did it by himself without recruiting help or renting large machinery. How could he ever manage to do that alone? Or did infant Superman manage to do all the labor intensive work for him? That’d be pretty convenient.
9. Baby Doll’s Molotov Cocktail in Sucker Punch
Alright, let’s leave Superman alone for a little while- we’ve picked on him a lot for such a short list (don’t worry, we’ll pick on him more soon). Let’s skip over to Sucker Punch, Zack Snyder’s pseudo-feminist pseudo-wet dream. In the movie, Baby Doll is told by her hallucinated mentor (who turns out to be a bus driver) that she needs five things to escape the mental asylum/brothel/torture palace she’s been thrown into: a map, fire, a knife, a key, and a sacrifice. But actually, she ended up needing six things; in order to light a fire, she needed a bottle of alcohol for her yummy molotov cocktail. That’s a tiny plot hole, but add to it the fact that it never explains where Baby Doll got the bottle of alcohol she ended up using. Not that it truly matters anyway, since most of it was a demented, lobotomized daydream of hers anyways… right?
8. Doctor Manhattan Was Easily Created- Why Not Create More?
Let’s skip over to Zack Snyder’s first attempt at superhero movies, when he directed the renowned graphic novel Watchmen. Technically, this is kind of a plot hole for both the movie and comic writer Alan Moore, but we’re going to blame Zack for convenience’s sake. Doctor Manhattan, our favorite big blue man that refuses to wear underwear, was born of a tragic accident. Dr. Jonathan Osterman was originally working on an intrinsic field subtractor when a meltdown was occurring. He was locked inside and painfully disintegrated, only to be reconstructed as the living and breathing nuclear weapon Doctor Manhattan. Our big question is, if the U.S. government loved him so much as their front lines guy, why didn’t they create more? All they’d have to do is shove a guy into the intrinsic field subtractor and have him painfully torn apart before he bounced back. Really, how hard is that?
7. How is Lois Lane so Damn Incapable All the Time?
This is another criticism on both the part of Zack Snyder and his predictably flawed writing as well as the part of the Superman comic writers. Lois Lane is perhaps the most incapable, useless, and worthless characters in comic book history. Every time she tries to help, readers and viewers can almost be certain that she’s probably going to make things worse. Want some examples? Oh, we have legions but we’ll just refer to Amy Adams’ portrayal of the damsel in distress. The time she entered a secretive and foreign space ship illegally to try to get a good story? The time she was a willing hostage to an alien militia? The time she tried to get another good story by entering a war zone to do an article on a terrorist and arms dealer? Or the time she confronted power house Lex Luthor on a rooftop only to be pushed off? Or the time she tried to get between a murderous Batman and a dying Superman? Or when she threw a kryptonite spear into a deep pool, one she’d need about fifteen minutes later to save the world? Or when she tried to retrieve it and almost drowned herself? That enough examples of her cluelessness yet?
6. What is Lex Luthor Hoping to Gain By His Evil Plot?
It’s not hard to see that Lex Luthor in Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice is pretty kooky. He’s an odd guy, carefully walking that line between eccentric billionaire and rich psychopath- that is, until he decides to try to kill everyone and everything. But why does he do it? He devises a plan to try to kill either Superman or Batman (maybe both, if he’s lucky). After that, he’s ready to create Doomsday in order to do… what? Kill the other superhero? What happens when the other hero dies and Doomsday is still alive, hunkering around like a building-sized, steroid-infused Hunchback of Notre Dame? What’s Lex’s end game here? Is he trying to destroy the world and, if so, what’s his motivation? What on Earth could he have to gain by creating something that he cannot control and will destroy everything endlessly? You’re not giving us a lot to work with, Zack.
5. Krypton’s Death Makes No Sense
Maybe readers of the early Superman comics were able to accept the death of planet Krypton- it was a far away planet that was made a victim to the wild acts of space, and readers decades ago didn’t have any concept of the insane effects space can have on us or that they had on their planet. But readers today? No no, we’re not buying it. This wildly advanced civilization on Krypton, that has utterly mastered space travel to the point that they outsource their prisons to space and has the capabilities to terra-form, they weren’t comprehensively able to predict the probable demise of their planet? Hell, Earth isn’t nearly as advanced as Krypton supposedly was and we’re able to predict our planet’s demise given its current trajectory (stop polluting and being wasteful and maybe we won’t end up like Krypton, kids). If we stupid Earthlings could figure it out, shouldn’t Krypton?
4. Doctor Manhattan Was Never a Neutral Enemy
Okay, are we picking on Superman too much? We’ll leave him alone for a little while (but just a little while). Let’s return to Watchmen and the famous big blue guy, Doctor Manhattan. If you haven’t seen the movie (stop reading this because you’re spoiling it) or if you’ve forgotten some of it, let us refresh your memory: Ozymandias has a plot to create world peace by creating a foreign threat that all countries will unite together to defeat. The threat he creates is Doctor Manhattan’s nuclear explosions. But there’s a huge problem with this: Doctor Manhattan isn’t a foreign or neutral enemy. He was created in the United States and used by the U.S. government to win wars. If Doctor Manhattan was the threat used worldwide, the rest of the world would unite against the United States. Looks like Mr. Smarty-Pants didn’t think this one through all the way.
3. Why Aren’t Any of You Kryptonians Fleeing Your Dying Planet??
Okay, we just can’t leave Superman alone! But let’s leave Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice alone for a moment and look specifically at Man of Steel. In the beginning of the movie, General Zod and Jor-El don’t really tend to get along but they agree on one thing: their world is rapidly approaching its demise, whether the rest of their civilization can see it or not. Clearly, a lot of other people on Krypton have to know that this ideology is present in their governing body. Did really no one on the planet choose to migrate away in a grand exodus, just in case they were right? Furthermore, when the planet was beginning to face its doom, did no one attempt escape other than itty bitty baby Kal-El? If Jor-El was able to have a ship ready for his baby to get away, you’d think other people would have their space-Toyotas packed and ready to go in case of emergency.
2. The Daily Planet Doesn’t Really Get Journalism
This is a major criticism of the DC Justice League franchise in general. Zack Snyder knows absolutely nothing about how journalism works. Or, if he does, he must have intentionally made Perry White one of the worst editors on the face of the planet. He’s an editor that pitches articles to his writers by headline alone- well, that’s shitty and obnoxious. He also calls out to Clark once that he’s “on sports today:” excuse us, but Metropolis is an enormous city, likely with their own multiple sports teams in the NFL, NBA, MLB, and NHL. They should have a permanent sports writing staff that are occasionally featured on ESPN! Clark should have a regular beat or, in layman terms, topic of writing. He also never seems to get in real trouble for missing work, never being available, pursuing stories he’s told to back off of, or missing deadlines. The Daily Planet would apparently be the most chaotic and somehow laid back work environment any journalist could find themselves in.
1. Martha is a Common Name
Zack Snyder thought he made a major breakthrough when writing the first climax of Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice: “Oh my God… both Superman and Batman have moms with the name Martha! I MUST BE THE FIRST PERSON TO EVER REALIZE THIS.” He designs the entire showdown between Batman and Superman around Martha Kent and around Superman begging Batman to save Martha. The two then mutually bond over similar names and become super buddies.
But okay… first of all, you’re not as clever as you think Zack. We all were aware that both Bruce Wayne and Clark Kent have moms named Martha. We just didn’t think it was very important or noteworthy because Martha is a very common and very boring name. Which, to be honest, is what anyone would think if they heard the name Martha (even if it was their mom’s name). This whole climax is one big fat joke.