Each week, we analyze a movie that illustrates a logical fallacy you’ll find on the LSAT. Who said Netflix can’t help you study? 🎥📖
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What do you do when Theon Greyjoy kills your dog? If you’re John Wick, you go on a murderous rampage that takes out most of the Russian mob and Adianne Palicki. Collateral damage.
John Wick tells the tale of a hitman who made it out. But, just when he thought he was out, they pulled him back in.
Keanu Reeves’s sublime performance in John Wick captures the essence of a tormented soul. Having once left his violent life because of the love of a woman, the loss of her and her final gift from beyond the grave (a cute beagle, played by the inimitable Andy, showing at least as much range as Reeves) drives Wick to find his revenge.
Where is that revenge found? At the end of the barrel of his gun.
The movie eschews really anything other than Keanu Reeves taking out a huge number of people across a variety of settings in brutal, impressive, and well-trained ways.
So, what logical fallacy did Alfie Allen and his non-Greyjoy raiders commit?
Well, logically, you don’t mess with John Wick.
Seriously, though, they committed a Comparison Flaw, jumping between relative and absolute terms. Just because they were a dangerous crew, backed up by the dangerous Russian mob, they assumed that they were more dangerous than some random guy they came across at a gas station. When you jump between absolute terms—here, dangerous—and relative ones—more dangerous—you’re committing this flaw.
After all, a third-string basketball player for a pro team is talented, but that doesn’t make them more talented than LeBron. And Shaq is shorter than Dikembe Mutombo, but that doesn’t make Shaq short.
Whenever an LSAT question is jumping between these types of statements, you can be fairly certain you’ve found your flaw!
Want to learn more about Logical Reasoning on the LSAT? Don’t forget that you can attend the first session of any of our online or in-person LSAT courses absolutely free. We’re not kidding! Check out our upcoming courses here.
Matt Shinners is a Manhattan Prep instructor and jdMission Senior Consultant based in New York City. After receiving a degree in Biochemistry from Boston College, Matt scored a 180 on his LSAT and enrolled in Harvard Law School. There’s nothing that makes him happier than seeing his students receive the scores they want to get into the schools of their choice. Check out Matt’s upcoming LSAT courses here!