9 Biggest Plot Holes in "Man of Steel"

Henry Cavill posing for 'Man of Steel' Madrid Premiere
WireImage / Getty Images

The Superman reboot movie Man of Steel is a blockbuster hit and the start of the DC Extended Universe of films. It's controversial for many reasons but is beloved by fans around the world. But like any movie it has mistakes. Some are little ones and some are great big Superman sized plot holes. 

Warning: Spoilers for Man of Steel

01
of 09

The Magic Truck

Still of impaled truck from Man of Steel.
Warner Bros. Pictures

In one scene Clark Kent is working at a truck stop. Some jerk is harassing a waitress and Clark wants him to stop or he'll “have to ask him to leave.” There's a great moment when the guy pours beer on his head and Clark, seething in anger, walks away from him.

Later the guy is walking out of the truck stop and sees his truck impaled on a bunch of electrical poles. The guy's surprised. 

Here's the problem, no one saw or heard anything. That's impossible, but it helps to bring Zack Snyder's joke home. It's about the surprise.

Is it possible for someone to pick up a truck, tear down electrical poles and shove them though the truck without anyone seeing? Sure it was dark, but there are huge floodlights over it. Plus, it's within eye-shot of the door and all the windows.

Could it without making a ton of noise? Think about how a car accident sounds and multiply that by 1000. The noise would be deafening. Even if the sound of the truck having metal jammed in it didn't make enough noise to wake the dead, the electrical poles are making sparking sounds. 

It would have been better if Clark had just punched the guy. Why not? He could pull it back enough to bruise him. Or, Clark could have made the incident look like a hit and run--though it wouldn't have been as funny.

02
of 09

The Incredible Flying Lois

Still of Superman carrying Lois, from Man of Steel (2013)
 Warner Bros Pictures

Near the end of the movie, Lois is captured by the Kryptonians and taken aboard the ship. Later she stumbles and begins falling to Earth as a massive black hole is created above them. Meanwhile, everything else is sucked into the intense gravity of the black hole except. Rocks and dirt are violently pulled up from the ground.

Superman flies up and catches her in midair. He then starts getting sucked in by the intense pull of the singularity. Superman struggles and finally escapes, carrying Lois to the ground for a passionate kiss.

But why wasn’t Lois sucked into the black hole? Why was she falling when everything around her--including cars and buildings--were? Could she discover she was Kryptonian and was actually flying to the ground? Was she stronger than Superman? 

We’ll never know, but it makes for a daring rescue.

03
of 09

Masterful False Documents

Still of Clark Kent sitting on stairs, from Man of Steel (2013)
 Warner Bros Pictures.

When the Kent’s adopted the young baby Kal-El they had to lie about where he came from. How do you explain having a new baby? Maybe there was a snowstorm and no one saw Martha for months, so they pretended she had the baby at home?

They couldn't apply for a birth certificate because he was older than 7 days when they found him. Without a birth certificate, they have no proof of citizenship and can't get a social security number. This essentially makes Superman an illegal immigrant.

So what are the Kents to do? They fake it. Today, that’s not an easy thing to do. But let's say Clark gets a fake birth certificate and social security number. All well and good. He goes to school in a small Midwest town and gets odd jobs. 

But how would he fair in a big city like Metropolis? How did he get military clearance to work on a classified base in the Arctic? How could he attend a prestigious university to get a Journalism degree so he could work at the Daily Planet? We’ll never know but it’s a lot more interesting than seeing him visiting the immigration office. 

04
of 09

The Kryptonians Always Speak English

Still of Kryptonians coming out of spaceship, from Man of Steel (2013)
Warner Bros Pictures

Although we know the Kryptonians  have a native written and spoken language, they always speak English.

When they're on Krypton, we can assume they’re speaking Kryptonian and we're just hearing it translated. But why do they speak English on Earth? Everyone they talk to completely understands them. They even use English when talking among themselves.

For that matter, why even speak American English? We know from Zod's "You are not alone" speech that they can speak and understand multiple languages. Why adopt the language of the very people you're attempting to kill? If history is any indicator, they should have forced everyone to learn and speak Kryptonian.

05
of 09

Metropolis Was Never Evacuated

Still of people escaping crash, from Man of Steel (2013)
 Warner Bros Pictures

Zod activates his World Engine which will terraform the planet. The process increases Earth's mass and changes the atmosphere. As the military says, “they're turning Earth into Krypton.” A massive ship hovers over the city and shoots a huge blast of energy into the ground. Huge gravity waves cause cars and other objects to fly into the air and come crashing down. Buildings start crumbling and people flee in terror for a few blocks. However, there are still many people in the area when Superman and Zod come crashing in. What would make them think they'd survive five minutes in ground-zero of Zod’s attack?

The strangest part is that Perry White and the Daily Planet workers don't leave till almost a half-hour into the attack. Did Perry have to tell the people it was time to go? Are they so afraid of getting fired that they’d hang back?

It makes Perry look more heroic, but it’s ridiculous that so many people would see buildings falling, cars crashing and not find a way out of there.

06
of 09

Daylight Around the World

Still of giant machine over ocean, from Man of Steel (2013)
 Warner Bros Pictures.

Zod releases the ancient Kryptonian terraforming machine known as the “World Engine.” There are two parts to it. One is in Metropolis and the other was sent to the other side of the planet in the Indian Ocean. Superman destroys the first device and flies back to Metropolis to fight Zod. The scene is amazing, but there’s one problem: it’s daylight in both places.

When the World Engine is started, they show that it’s daylight in Metropolis and the sun is coming up (or down) in the Indian Ocean. That means the sun is shining on both sides of the Earth which is impossible.

It would have been pretty easy to fix: Just make it light in Metropolis and dark over the Indian Ocean.

07
of 09

Whale of a Tale

Still in the ocean, from Man of Steel (2013)
 Warner Bros Pictures.

After Clark saves the oil rig workers, he's knocked out by the blast and thrown in the ocean. While underwater, he looks up and sees a pair of humpback whales swimming by.

There was a massive explosion that it would have sent marine life swimming for the hills. Why are whales swimming leisurely by?

After the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil rig disaster, the number of whales in the area dropped dramatically. This continued for years after the explosion.

A fan theory suggests that Aquaman was controlling the whales either to cause the disaster, as an act of eco-terrorism, or to save Superman. However, he couldn't have known Superman would be there and they did a lousy job of helping him. That would mean that Aquaman sent helpless whales on a suicide mission to start a massive explosion. Not likely.

08
of 09

Arctic Freeze

Still of Lois Lane from Man of Steel (2013)
 Warner Bros Pictures.

When Lois Lane goes to a military base in the Arctic she’s warned not to go out at night since the temperature drops to “minus 40”. After it gets dark, she sneaks out and starts snapping pictures, following Clark Kent through the ice and into the alien ship.

Let's ignore the fact that the military didn't think to keep an eye on an investigative reporter on their top secret base. It's hard to keep warm in -40 degrees. Given those conditions, she should have frozen to death.

40 below zero is so cold, you can throw hot water in the air and it'll freeze before it hits the ground. It's so cold you can feel your eyes in their sockets and it's painful to breathe. The idea that she doesn't have to cover her face, and can pull her hood back is ridiculous.

What's even stranger is why Superman would fly off and leave her alone in a frozen wasteland to be found the next morning. That's cold no matter who you are.

09
of 09

No One Figures Out Clark Is Superman

Still of Henry Cavill as Clark Kent on "Man of Steel" (2013)
 Warner Bros Pictures

It's may be an old super hero troupe, but still doesn't make sense that people don’t know Clark is Superman. Superman saves the day and flies off, Clark Kent shows up at the Daily Planet and is introduced as a new employee to Lois Lane--the only person who knows his secret.

Every single clue points to it. Zod is looking for Kal-El in Smallville. The military follows him, so they know Zod is there looking for Kal-El. In the middle of the battle, Superman shows up and starts fighting them. Therefore, Superman obviously has a connection to Smallville.

Not only that, they show up at the Kent farm looking for him and find the spaceship in Martha’s barn. The military gets the ship and uses it as a weapon to defeat Zod. That means they know Kal-El is in Smallville and his ship crashed on the Kent farm. They have every reason to believe Martha Kent’s son Clark is Superman.

Even without those huge, glaringly obviously clues, Lois figured out Clark was Superman. Still the government can't figure it out. Military intelligence indeed.

Final Thoughts

So these are the nine biggest plot holes in Man of Steel. The next time you watch the movie try not to notice them and just enjoy the ride. After all, it's just a movie right?
Format
mla apa chicago
Your Citation
Mitchell, Maurice. "9 Biggest Plot Holes in "Man of Steel"." ThoughtCo, May. 21, 2018, thoughtco.com/biggest-plot-holes-in-man-of-steel-4026378. Mitchell, Maurice. (2018, May 21). 9 Biggest Plot Holes in "Man of Steel". Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/biggest-plot-holes-in-man-of-steel-4026378 Mitchell, Maurice. "9 Biggest Plot Holes in "Man of Steel"." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/biggest-plot-holes-in-man-of-steel-4026378 (accessed May 26, 2018).