Plot hole in "Road to Perdition" ruined the movie for me (SPOILERS!!)

I saw RTP over the weekend, and not only was I disappointed with the utterly predictable story, I found myself downright pissed off over what I consider to be a key plot hole. I’ll insert spoiler space, just in case…


OK. When Conner Rooney goes to Michael Sullivan’s home to kill Michael Jr., he walks into the house, sees the wife and one of the kids (Peter) in the bathroom, shoots them both, then leaves. We have already been shown that Conner knows and is close to this family, and that he is an experienced hitman (so to speak). For what reason am I supposed to believe that he didn’t check to see if he’d killed the right son? The mother was shielding the boy when they were shot, so it’s not even as if he could claim that he got a good look at which one it was before shooting. There’s a bit of dialogue later where the elder Sullivan is told to take Peter and go to Ireland, and he responds that he can’t because Peter is dead. From that, it seems clear that Conner has simply assumed that he killed Michael.

This makes no sense to me. I find it totally improbable both that Conner would shoot the wrong son and not double-check, and that he’d leave the premises without establishing where the other son was. Obviously, the movie would have no point if Conner had made sure he killed the right son, but the fact that he didn’t ruins any shred of credibility that the story might have had. AFAIC, ignoring something so obvious for the sake of establishing the course of the rest of the movie is just downright crappy writing.

Any thoughts?

I think, at the wake, Conner sees Michael and says something along the lines of “which kid are you?” So Connor doesn’t know which kid is which. Also we weren’t shown that Connor was a good hitman, we were shown that he was an idiot with a temper. So I found it very believeable that he would get the wrong kid. I saw his leaving the scene without looking for the other kid as a sign of his sloppiness, not a plot hole. But maybe that’s just me.

I remember that scene, but in my mind, that makes the plot set-up even worse. It illustrates to an even higher degree that if he didn’t know which kid was which, he had even less reason to think he’d killed the right person.

Connor is a fuck-up who’s always been protected by his father. The plot is predictable because it’s in the form of Greek tragedy. Good movie.

I’m with Lionel. Connor was a self-centered creep who didn’t know shit about squat. I could totally believe he’d blow someone away and just assume he was so perfect that he’d gotten the right person.

The part that wasn’t believable to me was that the elder Rooney had known all along that his son was scamming him and was a near psychopath besides and was just letting him get away with it. “Oh well, he’s my son, what can I do?” I could see where it would cause you a bit of torment at first, but as the bodies piled up I’m pretty sure my fondness for the boy would wane.

Great movie though, I liked it quite a bit & will probably see it again.

I can believe that Connor didn’t know the Sullivan family too well. After the shooting that Michael witnesses, Connor asks Michael Sr. if that is one of his sons. If Connor had known Michael Jr. well, I think he would have been able to recognize him.

They should have called this film “The Map To Perdition” because, lordknows, you could see what was coming a mile away.
Pretty photography, Hanks was ok, Newman better, kid was good, but the story was just a long, tedious drive down Illinois roads - and if you’ve ever lived in Illinois, you know how thrilling that is.

It’s just exactly this sort of thing that is vexing me, though. Am I supposed to believe that the Rooneys and the Sullivans are like family, or am I supposed to believe that Conner can’t even recognize the children of the guy who supposed to be like a brother to him? There’s no consistency at all. The writing is for crap…they can’t have it both ways.

I didn’t have a problem with the scene mentioned above, but I found the voice-over narration at the beginning and end totally pointless. Except for giving the date (which was pretty evident by the clothes and cars), it did nothing to add to the story. I thought it was well-acted but predictable.


One would wonder of the point of stealing from one’s family.
“Hey, Dad, I’m taking another $1000. For. . . a new tommygun. Yeah. One of those new-fangled new ones.”
Did the Sullivans need to be killed because they witnessed a murder/execution, or because Idiot Son fet it necessary to hide evidence?
And was Idiot Son already dead when Michael Sr. bussa caps inim? If not, why was he relaxing in the bathtub?
And I disagree with the ending 100%. Not being able to shoot the killer of your father is not something to be proud of. And what happened to Jude Law’s face? Looked like he’d been in a knife fight.
Arg. That happened in Minority Report, too. If someone menacing is walking towards me, and I am unwilling to kill them, then I shoot their lower legs. Both of them. And arms, if said menacing person has shown proclivity for toughness.

Remember the scene in the prissy accountant’s (or whatever he was) hotel room? Where Jude Law saw Mike Sullivan through the window from across the street and came running over? Remember how Mike didn’t shoot Jude but shot a lamp or something made of glass and it exploded and Jude lay on the floor screaming and holding his face?

THAT’s what happened to Jude Law’s face. Tiny bits of broken glass cut him up.

Connor was drunk when he killed Peter and the mother, very drunk, plus I agree that he was a self-centered son-of-a-bitch that wouldn’t be able to recognize his own son, let alone the son of the man he knew was taking his father’s affection. Also, I think this movie stayed very close to period–the kids may have been around, but most adults wouldn’t have paid much attention to them–in the thirties, kids had not yet become the universe about which all must revolve.


Yeah remember the gun fight in the accountants hotel room.

How one earth do you fire a shotgun that many times in a room and not hit someone 10 feet away?

At the end. Remember how beautiful it was when Tom Hanks blood hits the window. How in the heck did his blood get there. If the bullet made an exit wound on the front side of Tom Hanks why didn’t the bullet go ahead and hit the glass?

Basically I didn’t think young Michael was that great. Plus I don’t get the tragic hero/ganster hitman idea. I can’t feel sorry for Tom Hanks. I’m glad his life caught up to him.

The thing that bothered me was that Jude Law shot Tom Hanks and Hanks lingered for like half an hour, whereas Tom Hanks shot Jude Law and he died immediately. Convenient, eh?

Excellant! One more movie I will never have to pay to see!

The money I save by reading these spoiler threads is gonna pay for my new Ducati!

Video killed the Video Star.

I think that what happened is that Connor knew who he was shooting. He just used the excuse of thinking that he shot Michael to get away with it.