We watched Interstellar last night. Long movie – almost three hours. And there was a huge plot hole in the middle.
In the movie, the heroes travel through a worm hole to save the earth. They are headed to two stations where previous heroes went to see if places were habitable. One station has quit transmitting and the other has been transmitting regularly that the place is livable. So our heroes go there, having adventures along the way and losing one crew member. All good so far.
When the heroes arrive, they are met by the lone survivor of the earlier trip. This station is a world so frozen that even the clouds are ice. But the survivor tells them how the place is livable in a lower level so they start unloading all their stuff. However, he turns out to be the Villain who attacks the leader then steals their ship in order to get home because he’s lied and the station isn’t habitable after all.
So the Villain is desperate to get home. Understandable. But here’s the giant plot hole. All he would have had to do is tell them the place wasn’t habitable when they arrived. They would have loaded him up and moved on to the next station, or tried to go home. There’s a twist with going home, but that’s not relevant here and I don’t want to list too many spoilers. There was absolutely no reason for all the storyline maneuvering, the attacks, stealing the ship and all that drama. I mean, the heroes wouldn’t even have had the excuse that they couldn’t save the Villain because they would be over a weight limit on their ship since they lost a crew member earlier. And the Villain is an experienced pilot which they could have used.
In other words, no believable reason for the Villain to be a villain.
I lost interest at about that point.
It’s the same with books. A reader might let one, or maybe two, coincidences slip by. Maybe they’ll allow one instance where the point of view character does something that has no ties to the plot threads. But more than that and the reader will move on and probably never pick up something by that author again.
It reminds me of a book I read a long time ago about a knight on horseback who turns to his trusty companion and says ‘No shit, Sherlock’. Seriously. And that was only one of many such dialog issues. Oddly the author is well known and has a lot of books out with this same knight. He’s one busy dude, slinging contemporary slang as easily as his sword.
Anyway, if the action sequence raises questions because the route taken makes no sense, the author better insert a compelling reason that ties character and plot together. Otherwise the audience is going to move on.