SPOILER ALERTS FOR: Men in Black 3, Back To The Future, Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure, The Terminator, Terminator 2: Judgement Day, Donnie Darko and The Butterfly Effect.
The nice folks at Cinema Sins have put together a comprehensive list of everything that's wrong with Men in Black 3. It's a tongue in cheek look at why the movie, while entertaining, doesn't completely hold together, particularly in its treatment of time travel, but also in weird stuff like Agent J eating chips in a Chinese restaurant. Yeah, seriously - who does that?
Of course, Men In Black 3 isn't the first movie that's mucked up delivering a logical take on such a profoundly complicated subject. Here's my top 5 most entertaining, most irrational takes on time travel:
Again, spoiler alerts for the following: Back To The Future, Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure, The Terminator, Terminator 2, Donnie Darko
BACK TO THE FUTURE
You guys, think about it. When Marty goes back in time, he brings his parents together at a party, and creepily enough, his mum develops a mega crush on him - so much so, that you'd expect her to remember what he looks like when she conceives a son that looks not just a little, but exactly like her former crush. So why doesn't she recognise him?
BILL AND TED'S EXCELLENT ADVENTURE
This film is knowingly goofy, so it seems a little humorless to pick holes in its logic, since it wears its stupidity like a badge of honor. All the same, isn't it odd that present time Bill and Ted need the Bill and Ted from the future to persuade them to go on their journey? I mean, if we’re going to be nitpickers, couldn’t you argue that they never would have left at all, because there never would have been a future Bill and Ted to come along to persuade them in the first place?
THE TERMINATOR (AND TERMINATOR 2: JUDGEMENT DAY)
Let's recap. So, it's the future, humans are at war with robots, and thankfully for Mankind, fearsome warrior John Connor seems to be winning the battle for the humans. Then those conniving machines send Arnie back to the 80s to kill Connor’s mom to prevent him from being born, so the humans fight fire with fire and send Michael Biehn back to save her.
...Then Michael Biehn sleeps with her and they conceive John Connor. We learn in the sequel that when the Terminator is destroyed in the first film, the microchip in its skull survives, falls into the hands of computer company Cyberdyne Systems and allows for the creation of Skynet in the first place. So…the only reason John Connor and/or the machines exist is because the Terminator went back in time, while the only reason the Terminator went all that way back is because the machines and John Connor exist.
...which doesn't really make sense, does it?
I effing love this movie. If it was a cereal, I'd eat it for every meal. If it was an attractive member of the opposite sex, I'd get hitched in Vegas to it. However, quite a lot of it doesn't totally make sense. Which I sort of like. But all the same: why does the jet engine fall off the plane in the first place? And how does Donnie deliver it back through time once he realises how awful the tangent universe evading his death has created? Director Richard Kelly explains in the director's commentary that in addition to all his other superpowers, Donnie has telekinesis and he rips the engine off the plane himself. But there's no hint of this elsewhere in the film so I wouldn't know this without watching the director's commentary...
THE BUTTERFLY EFFECT
Props to Total Film's 50 Best Time Travel Films for this plot hole: 'How come Evan always has blackouts at the same points in his childhood no matter how crazily the timeline gets changed?'
Have I missed any plothole filled time travel movies off the list? Let me know in the comments below!