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Headscratchers: The Dark Knight Saga
"You see, it's all part of the plan."
The Joker

New entries go on the bottom of each section. The individual films' Headscratchers can be found at Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises.

  • Why is the mayor wearing eye-liner?
    • If you type in the name "Nestor Carbonell" to google, it tries to autofinish it with "eyeliner." Suffice it to say, he doesn't wear eyeliner. It's just what he looks like.
    • Original Trooper here: Wow. Those are some pretty damn awesome eyes then. Unless its something bad that causes that.
      • Different troper — I'm pretty sure he just has really beautiful dark eyelashes.
  • How do you think the people of Gotham view Bruce Wayne in universe? On the one hand in Batman Begins you have him jumping into fountains with supermodels and giving his car as a gift to the valet, then apparently insulting and pissing off some of the richest and most influential people in the city before drunkenly burning down his own home. That screams Rich Idiot with No Day Job. But the very next day he pulls off a plot to purchase the majority share in his company while pulling the wool over the eyes of every major business and financial expert around. Does that make him an Obfuscating Stupidity Magnificent Bastard, or maybe a Bunny-Ears Lawyer? Considering his behavior in The Dark Knight with stuff like falling asleep in business meetings and randomly taking an entire ballet troupe out on a cruise, do people think that Wayne really is that much of an idiot, and is just a pawn for The Man Behind the Man: Lucius Fox?
    • Perhaps not Lucius Fox specifically, but they probably assume he's a Rich Idiot with No Day Job who just has the best team of business gurus money can buy running the show for him.
    • I imagine they view him they way society currently view Richard Branson. As an eccentric weirdo we all secretly envy.
      • The only smart thing they saw him do is buy up Wayne Enterprises. He did this via phone while the extremely intelligent, disgruntled former employee who had been friends with the Waynes for years was standing in the board room. Oh,... and it just so happens that he is in charge now. The obvious connection would be that he was pulling Bruce's strings. Even in the second movie, Reese comments about Bruce acting in an embarrassing manner despite the fact that he was simply hired from a firm and not an employee. If he's openly critical of Bruce, then everyone in the company probably thinks he's an absolute idiot. The public just sees him as a playboy.
  • Since when is it a trilogy?
    • Since Nolan announced it was a trilogy way back in Begins,
  • In Begins, Gordon is a normal Detective Sergeant. Nothing particularly special about him. Except for the fact that he is one of the few honest cops in Gotham City. Perhaps this is the reason he's still a lowly detective after 20+ years of service. In TDK he is a Lieutenant in charge of the Major Crimes Unit. Then he gets promoted to Commissioner. Okay, two things: 1) Why is a Lieutenant placed in charge a major police unit, while in most departments, a captain would only run a precinct? And why is said Lieutenant promoted straight to Commissioner? Gotham PD is seriously screwed up. You know, besides the corruption and all.
    • The guy captured the freaking joker. I think that deserves a promotion.
    • A police commissioner is usually a political appointment, not a promotion. New York had at least one commissioner who had retired as a captain.
    • It's probably also easier to move up the ranks when the last person was killed. And by Dark Knight, it was implied he was on the fast track, with his predecessor grudgingly acknowledging it.
      • He was promoted back in the first movie too.
    • In The Wire, which is a pretty realistic show, Baltimore's Major Crimes Unit was consistently commanded by a Lieutenant throughout the show's run.
  • Gotham City is portrayed as a pretty big city. Lucius Fox says there are "30 million people" in (presumably) the metro area. That would mean that Gotham has around the population of New York City within its borders. NYPD has almost 40,000 cops on its payroll. Let's presume Gotham has a similar amount, probably less (let's say 30,000). How can most of those cops be on the mob's payroll? I can understand paying off certain parts of the force (Narcotics and Vice detectives, beat cops who patrol areas where the mob deals usually take place, etc.) but the majority of the force is portrayed to be corrupt. I doubt the mob can afford to pay all these cops without bankrupting themselves.
    • They don't need to corrupt everyone, just enough to ruin the Gotham PD's efforts at investigation. Claims that the entire PD are corrupt are probably just overblown; the majority of the cops in TDK, for example, seem perfectly upstanding.
    • Also, there's not just one "mob" in Gotham, there's multiple mobs who were competing with each other until Batman showed up. And even in real life, it doesn't take much to corrupt a police department. Generally powerful gangs have a few patrol cops directly on their payroll, a few investigators in divisions like burglary, homicide and narcotics, someone in the evidence room and maybe someone in Records. And then they regularly try to suborn judges and city officials on top of that. Spread that out over multiple precincts and turn it Up to Eleven, and you have Gotham City.
    • They don't have to actually keep them all on salary. If the mob knows that most cops will change testimony or destroy evidence for an envelope full of cash, then it has the same effect. And its demoralizing to the remaining cops.
    • There's also the fact that once they get a cop to look the other way once, they have 'em for life. They can use it to blackmail them, sink their careers, and likely get them sent to jail themselves. This is why Gordon's partner in Begins mentions that Gordon not taking a slice makes them nervous; they have nothing to hold over his head. On top of that, if the police department is as corrupted as we are lead to believe, they're likely investing their bribe money right back into the mob one way or another. They're drinking away at mob-owned bars, slipping it into the g-strings of mob-employed strippers and hookers, and snorting mob-supplied cocaine through it. Hell, the mob likely supplies a few of these services (hookers and blow) to the cops at cost in lieu of actual payment in exchange for a few favors, not to mention, additional blackmail material.
  • It kinda bugs me why Nolan refused to incorporate Robin in the trilogy. I mean, yes, I do understand that the addition of Robin will add some light-heartedness that Nolan is trying to avoid. However, I recall that there are some serious contents that can be done with Robin and they can still make it 'With sidekick, but STILL gritty'. For instance, the first instance of Dick Grayson quitting as Robin (due to injury) can be incorporated. So let's say for the next part, Robin is featured and is eager to be Batman's sidekick, but Batman kept refusing his offers. He lets up, and lets Robin join the climax battle... only for Robin to be gravely wounded (might be in a bizarre way) and in the end of the movie, Batman told him to quit, Robin reluctantly agrees and they go separate ways, Batman resumes being solo again, and now with knowledge that "It's dangerous to take sidekicks". How is that 'light hearted'?
    • Well, for one thing, that will majorly piss off Robin's fans. Introduce him just to have him get a bridge dropped on him to teach Batman a lesson that his job is dangerous? Of course it's too dangerous to have a freaking kid with him. That's why he wears state of the art body armor, and he still takes pretty bad injuries on a nightly basis.

      Plus, the scenario you described is a movie all about Robin. A movie all about Robin where he learns that it's too dangerous to be Robin. I dunno about you, but do you want a Batman movie that's not about Batman, that ends up as a Shaggy Dog Story? I'm a big fan of the Boy Wonder (particularly Tim Drake), but I would hate a movie with that scenario.
    • To be honest though, there was actually only one movie about Batman Begins.
    • And Nolan has a point. Bruce Wayne is still fairly young, Dick Grayson is still in kindergarten somewhere. I don't want Robin to be in any Batman movie just 'cause the audience expects it to be a package deal. If the director thinks Robin would be a meaningful addition to the plot, and they've found the right actor to pull it off, more power to them, but until then stop demanding a character be shoehorned in.
    • Think about this: in the first two movies, almost every incident Bruce has been involved in has ended with him being suffering from at least one serious injury. He's been set on fire, beaten severely, dangled underneath a train, been dosed with fear toxin, mauled by a dog, thrown into a support beam in a parking garage, had his vehicle destroyed, was thrown off the other vehicle he used and was shot. Now, considering how screwed up Gotham is at this point (the Joker may be gone, but most of Arkham's inmates are on the loose), would you really want to introduce a young kid or teenager trying to fight crime into this mix? If anything, any interpretation of Robin should (at the very least) be outfitted in the same body armor Bruce wears.
      • Incidentally, Batman: The Brave and the Bold sidestepped the whole thing by revealing that Robin had already split off as an independent hero himself before the series started.
    • As of The Dark Knight Rises, it has been revealed that Christopher Nolan and Christian Bale both outright lied about not incorporating Robin, and that Joseph Gordon-Levitt supported them by not saying anything to prove otherwise. Robin John Blake is a composite of Dick Grayson, Tim Drake, and Jason Todd, who discovers the Batcave at the end.
      • This is hardly a lie. John Blake is a composite character based on some aspects of the backstory of Robin, certainly, and he's named 'Robin' as a cutesy little shout-out, but he's hardly the same character. He doesn't act as Batman's sidekick, he doesn't put red, green and yellow tights on, he doesn't become a superhero until the very end... he is to all intents and purposes an original character who has some nods to the character of Robin as a homage.
  • As interesting a character as some of the Robins can be, I have always thought them an unnecessary and emotionally/thematically stifling addition to the Batman mythos. Think about it: criminals are a cowardly, superstitious lot. He must become a creature of the night: black, fierce, terrible...with this twelve-year-old, wisecracking, wholesome fellow in brightly-colored circus clothes flipping about nearby!
    • While I respect Nolan for pursuing his own vision of the series and for only including characters he feels he can use well, this argument — the argument that Robin must always be tonally inconsistant with a darker Batverse — is a minor pet peeve of mine. I consider it the Straw Robin argument. In a reboot where every element of the mythos is being reinterpreted to create a darker and more "realistic" tone, why assume Robin would have to be a garish little ray of sunshine that spews bad puns and wears pixie boots?
    • Some Alternative Character Interpretations claim that Robin's real purpose is just to be a distraction. Canonically, he needs a lighter influence to balance his own darkness. Which makes Damien hilarious when you realize that he's even more GRIMDARK than Bruce or Dick ever were.
    • This was also back in the day when everyone and their mother was getting a kid sidekick. Seriously. DC was crazy-bad with that. Even Aquaman, the joke of DC, got a sidekick. (Though this troper's favorite, just in concept, was Green Arrow's sidekick Speedy who wore red and, much later in the comic, developed a heroin habit. Almost as nutty as that was the Flash's sidekick, who just happened to be involved in nearly the exact same accident hoopla.) The Robin concept's just basically the only one that actually made a permanent mark.
    • I've never bought into the concept of Robin either, although I can tolerate him (in varying degrees depending on who the Robin and writer are). None of the excuses I've heard for his existence come within a thousand miles of holding water. Batman has plenty of ways of distracting criminals. He's the goddamn Batman. Hello? He needs no one's outside help in that regard, and if he did, he wouldn't be the same. If he needs anyone to team up with, there's always the Justice League or any of the other crime fighters who live in the Gotham area, or they could just make up a new guy. As for needing someone to confide in and be close to so that he won't have to suffer alone (would it be so bad if he did? May I remind you who we're talking about here?), he has Alfred. And whatever rationalizations people may come up with for the concept, the fact remains that a menacing bat-like shape speaking from the shadows in an infernal voice loses some of its effect when it's accompanied by an unfunny, brightly colored thirteen-year-old wisecracker.
      • On the other hand: incomprehensible is scary. If there's no reason for Robin that the average mook can discern, than he's probably making Batman seem more intimidating, not less. See also: dressing up like a bat.
      • Or just don't have him be Robin yet. Have Bruce adopt Dick after he's orphaned. Of Course Dick finds out Bruce is Batman. Bruce tries to dissuade him from becoming a vigilante, but of course it doesn't work. So Bruce begins training him. But only training him at this point. It'll take years before Bruce is going to consider Dick trained enough to join him on the streets. So you can set up for Robin, but not have Batman performing child endangerment.
      • "have Bruce adopt Dick" um... as Bruce's public image is probably somewhere between Paris Hilton and Kim Kardashian, except you know, a dude, any judge that gives him sole custody of a minor would be up for review... especially in light of the still recent "burning down the house" episode so w/o a real good reason why would Bruce invite the scrutiny
      • I always liked the explanation for Robin from New Frontier - that Batman had him help with situations where there were kids in peril/involved, because having Robin around made him seem more approachable and kept the children from running away in terror, when he only wanted the criminals to. Another thing that always helped me deal with the idea of Robin was the very, very crucial concept that Robin does not go along for every mission. With regards to his effect on Batman's own dark and formidable image, that's easily explained by the differences in mentalities between kids and adults. Kids see Batman hanging around with another kid and find him less scary, since, obviously, he doesn't mind kids. Adults see Batman assigning a child to fight crime and assume that he is too cold to care what happens to him. Also, the brightly colored thing - well, by the time Robin turns up in Gotham, I think most Gothamites (honest or otherwise) would find bright and cheerful colors much more terrifying than simple black. Still don't think he should be in Nolan's movies, though. Robin is (usually) a sign that whatever he's in is kid-friendly.
      • I think Batman took a Robin not because he needed him for something but essentially to give Dick a chance at having his own revenge. He saw this kid who had his parents killed by criminals in front of him, only without Bruce's resources, and decided that, like him, the boy deserves a payback. Besides, Batman probably realises that he isn't an immortal and doesn't want his accomplishments to die with him, so he raises himself a replacement who needs to 'practice'.
  • In Gotham Knight, Neko Inc can't help but observe that Batman looks a teeensy bit too much like, of all people, Yagami Light. And it wigs him out... Maybe he's just seeing things, though.
  • It bugs me that Christopher Nolan has arbitrarily ruled out a Justice League of America crossover movie even though he's now working on both Batman and Superman franchises.
    • Because, canon or not, some people are bugged by rational characters like Jim Gordon and the other Gotham cops living in the same universe as Superman and Wonderwoman. The "realism" Nolan is trying to establish conflicts with anything with super-powered characters. Granted the Nolanverse is still really darn unrealistic, but compared to previous incarnations of Batman and anything with superpowered heroes ... you can finish this for me right? Metropolis is a great world, and the Justice League comics are fantastic, but it doesn't bug me that we have at least a few incarnations of Batman that are separate from the rest of the DC universe.
      • Superman can't exist in the same universe as a cop?
      • Sure he can, and does, but reasons for Nolan not wanting to do a crossover (realism and whatnot) were already extensively discussed.
    • Another reason is the concept of Batman in the Nolanverse.
    Nolan: "If you think of Batman Begins and you think of the philosophy of this character trying to reinvent himself as a symbol, we took the position philosophically ó that superheroes simply donít exist. If they did, if Bruce knew of Superman or even of comic books, then thatís a completely different decision that heís making when he puts on a costume in an attempt to become a symbol. Itís a paradox and a conundrum, but what we did is go back to the very original concept and idea of the character. In his first appearances, he invents himself as a totally original creation."
    • Which explains why Nolan had the Wayne family attend an opera with bat-costumes, not a Zorro movie, before Thomas and Martha got shot. The Scarlet Pimpernel probably doesn't exist in Nolanverse fiction, either.
  • The new Batsuit is composed of 110 individual pieces. How does Bruce get into it so fast? It took him like 3 minutes after the Joker appeared at the part. Does he have a bunch of robot helpers like Stark?
    • 110 individual pieces doesn't mean they're all separate all the time. He was probably referring to 110 different panels of armor in the suit.
  • Bruce Wayne's hair. He's got this thick, slicked-back business hairdo, but that's gotta be annoying under his helmet/mask. Why doesn't he have something more practical? I'm not asking for an army-issue buzzcut, just something that would work in both Bruce-mode and Bat-mode.
    • Hair is pretty flexible. I've seen people with thicker heads of hair wearing just as—if not more—restrictive headware (football helmets, hockey helmets) without problems.
  • This has always bugged me about Batman in any media (but at least the recent films have corrected it): Batman would need to wear body armor rather than just "dodge bullets." Why haven't the crooks in Gotham have figured that out and started using armor-piercing rounds? Also why doesn't Batman suffer most of his injuries from the kinetic impacts from the bullets that hit him?

    And really,even if Batman's armor could stop armor-piercing rounds,why wouldn't Wayne Industries patent and sell that type of anti-ballistic armor and make even more money than they have?
    • Batman does take the kinetic impact of being shot; watch the end of The Dark Knight, where he falls to the ground and is visibly injured after it. And the armor is a failsafe; Batman does depend on not being shot, and while he might not dodge bullets, he does everything in his power to avoid his enemies getting good aim on him (sticking to the shadows, taking them by surprise, in close, and scaring the shit out of them). The armor is just in case one of them happens to get in a lucky shot.
    • And really,even if Batman's armor could stop armor-piercing rounds,why wouldn't Wayne Industries patent and sell that type of anti-ballistic armor and make even more money than they have? Who said they haven't?
      • Also, the batsuit is stupidly expensive.
      • Yeah, Fox points this out directly when they introduce the bat-armor. It was too expensive for the US Army, so Batman's got the only prototype. Lucius rattles off the figure at around $300,000 per suit. Whether that's the prototype cost or production unit cost...
      • That's actually a pretty common problem for the US military. They keep having companies develop or bid on replacements for their stuff, but can't come up with the money to pay to equip every soldier with new gear. One can assume this sort of thing is where a lot of WE's Rn D stuff comes from.
      • It was established that the Tumbler (Batmobile) was fully functional. It's just that it was designed as a river-jumping vehicle, and that the bridge it was supposed to be able to deploy didn't work.
  • Here's what bugs me: Why is Wayne Industries publicly traded company? AN accountant is shown discovering Batman's identity by looking closely at the books. Wouldn't the dozens (if not hundreds) of people working in finance at a publicly-traded company have discovered the same irregularities? Or their auditors? Or the government? This wouldn't be as big an issue if Batman's identity was already public knowledge. It seems to be one considering that it is not. Why not say it's a privately-held company and move on from there?
    • It was privately held. Part of the first movie is how the board decides to make it publicly traded. The one accountant figured it out because Lucius essentially made him go over it again as busywork; the first film goes over how Bruce would get the equipment through dummy companies to avoid that thing. What really tipped Reese off was things like the Tumbler, which isn't disguised in the least aside from being painted black, being used by Batman, not necessarily irregularities in the bookkeeping.
      • He might well have been looking for something completely different to blackmail them with. Like embezzling.
      • Not to mention the only reason Reese could find any irregularities was because Bruce have little time to plan the whole Radar thing while hiding it from Fox.
      • Reese found the irregularities through recognizing Rn D equipment from the news. He explicitly points this out to Lucius. At no point is it suggested that Bruce was simply too busy to cover his tracks.
  • This might be solved in the upcoming third movie but I have trouble believing the League of Shadows has been wiped out. If Ra's claims that they secretly run governments is true then they should still be in heavy operation. If not, they still proved to be an omnious, international terrorist group. It was obviously designed to continue functioning after its leader died so Ra's death should not be a problem. They should still be out there and they should be pretty interested in visiting Gotham again.
    • From what has been released, Bane is likely working for or possibly running the League now.A "young" Ra's Al Ghul has been cast for "flashbacks" also.
      • As The Dark Knight Rises reveals, yep, The League of Shadows is back, with Bane, as well as Talia, as its leader, with the goal of finishing what Ra's started in the first film.
  • All right folks, this is maybe just me, but I have yet to see someone aims for Batman's mouth. You see, that part of him isn't armored.
    • Hitting a target that small is nowhere near as easy as most people think. Especially if you're in the middle of fighting someone.
      • Yeah, you might as well ask why criminals don't do that now. Even a SWAT cop in full body armor has no armor over his face, yet you never hear about SWAT teams routinely getting their faces blown off in busts.
      • SWAT teams typically wear helmets with visors that are more than likely bullet resistant, so they're still protected there.
      • Not all the time they don't. And those visors are really only good for protection against ricochets and shrapnel from explosions. A direct hit from a bullet will rip right through them.
    • Its a small target that is difficult to hit at any range past point-blank, and that's if the target is perfectly still. Batman doesn't stand perfectly still,a nd is constantly moving. He rarely gives his opponents time or a target to even shoot, let alone enough time to draw a bead on his mouth.
    • First off, hitting is in reality much harder than movies present. This is why bodyshots are more common than headshots. Add to that that mouth area is much more smaller.
    • Why doesn't anyone shoot him in the chest until he falls over, and THEN shoot him in the face?
      • You don't think they're trying to already? Batman only works because he avoids situations where his enemies have a clear shot at him. The armor's for the off chance that his stealthing and close-quarters training fails and he ends up getting shot.
    • More Dakka, then. Doesn't matter how badass he is, nobody can stand against 10 guys with FN Minimis.
      • Like the above troper said, Batman is careful to avoid that kind of situation.
      • No amount of dakka will allow you to take down a target you can't find.
      • Yeah, despite what the US military may tell you, having a shitload of guns firing at once will not solve all your problems or kill all your enemies.
  • I find the different versions of Gotham in Begins and Dark Knight very jarring. In Begins Gotham was grimy, cramped and dirty looking. In Dark Knight it was modern day Chicago. I can understand how Batman and Dent helped clean up the place, but the geography seems entirly different.
    • Gotham is a very large city and is comprised of districts varying in economic growth, etc. Begins focused on the poverty stricken slum areas and Dark Knight seems to keep us in richer company (the banking, wealthy mobster districts). Many cities in the world have sections that seem incredibly different from each other in their architecture and such, which will be what's happening here. Hopefully Dark Knight Rises will somewhat link these two styles together in some way, to help the audience feel a continuity in Gotham locations across the trilogy.
      • You also have to consider the type of person he was fighting in either film. In "Begins," he is fighting a mobster who preys on the poorest and most desperate people in Gotham. The scenery reflects that. In "Dark Knight," the Joker is going up against the Gotham elite, so the scenery reflects this as well.
  • Why would Coleman Reese be the only person who figured out that Bruce Wayne or someone affiliated with Wayne Industries is Batman? Considering the fact that most of Batman's tech was contracted by the military, shouldn't some general see the Tumbler on the news and say "Hey, isn't that the tank we contracted Wayne Enterprises to build for us?"
    • Knowing the Batmobile is the Tumbler wasn't the same as knowing Bruce Wayne is Batman. If you look closer at the exchange between Reese and Fox, you'll see that at first Reese didn't know Bruce Wayne was in fact Batman, only that Wayne Enterprises might have connections with the vigilante (that was why he confronted Fox, not Bruce). It was actually Fox who cue him in.
    • The Microwave Emitter was Wayne Tech as well, Wayne Enterprises must be on League of Shadows payroll!
    • The Tumbler is a military prototype that was never put into operation. There are thousands of those that never see the light of day. Nobody knows about the Tumbler. Reese only discovered the Tumbler because he Fox had him recounting their numbers over and over.
  • Does it bug anyone else that people claim this movie is realistic? I mean I know Nolan claims to be striving for realism, but this seems less realistic than Die Hard 4.
    • Honestly I don't think the movie is realistic at all. If it was it wouldn't be a superhero movie. I think it's MORE realistic than any other superhero movie on the other hand. A lot of the things in the movie exist in real life, insane people, terrorism, and the mafia. You know what isn't realistic though? Batman. Or believing that The Joker is really that prepared. But, although YMMV, I found it pretty easy to suspend disbelief.
    • Compare this movie to the ones where particle accelerators turn you into sand, radioactive spiders give you powers (Spider-Man), and gamma radiation gives you super strength (The Hulk). Plotwise, it still makes much more sense.
      • Or compare this Joker to the Joker in the comics. What's more realistic: a man having his skin bleached white, his hair green, and his lips red, or a man who puts on makeup to resemble a disfigured clown? I'm going for the latter.
      • Well, I don't think the choice of makeup for the Joker was one made in lieu of realism. In fact, if all of the concept art and whatnot is anything to go by, it was a choice made relatively late in the film's production - and, if Nolan is to be believed, one made in tandem with Heath Ledger and his understanding of the character. Personally, I could go either way. I like the possibilities presented by both, although there's a real alien-like quality that comes with the character having bleached skin - especially if he were to do it himself.
    • I think people are misusing the word "realistic" when they call The Dark Knight realistic. It's not realistic. It's just believable, and that's all fiction has to be. Willing Suspension of Disbelief and all that.
    • My point exactly. Here's what makes it believable. 1. Several things from our real world experience have been carried over, for instance, crime is not just fought by superheroes, superhero teams, or secret organizations of superheroes, we have police and a mayor and a district attorney, 2. the unbelievable things are either really cool (Batpod) or done offscreen (The Joker somehow rigging up a whole hospital with explosives with no one noticing), 3. you can't find any miraculous superpowers PRESENTED, sure The Joker is super-sadistic and super-prepared, but that's just part of his character. This is in no way realistic, it's just easier to believe, YMMV.
    • There are multiple ways to consider it realistic. First, rather than fighting a superpowered villain bent on world domination or an alien invasion, Batman is fighting what can best be described as social forces. He's fighting the panic that the Joker has instilled in Gotham through terrorism and he's fighting the madness that Harvey Dent got and he's fighting Gotham's corruption. Another realism here would be the very logical cause to effect of the story structure. Batman fights crooks, crooks begin to escalate, then Batman is forced to escalate which makes him question his newly gray morality. Dent gets burned and loses his wife and so he goes mad and begins to blame the world for his loss rather than take up a personal responsibility.
    • For me, it's a matter of the distinction (perhaps subtle, but nonetheless there) between 'realistic' and 'treats the material seriously and respectfully'. You can go backwards and forwards on the former (yeah, it's more grounded in the real world than most other superhero movies but, at the same time, it's still about a guy dressed as a bat using supertechnology to fight a mad but near-omnipotent evil clown and a guy who gets half his face burnt off), but there's no doubt that it does the latter. I suspect that many people use the former term where in fact they may mean the latter.
    • Also the word "possible" has to be considered here. No-one will ever get superpowers at all in all likelihood, but definately not from spider bites or ill-defined cosmic rays. While the things in these films are unlikely and even more so all together, nothing in them is actually impossible.
    • It's realistic mostly in a "physical" sense. As in, it provides physically plausible explanations for concepts that would otherwise seem like cartoony fantasy. (Ie. Explains why Batman can fly through the "memory cloth" explanation used in Batman Begins.) That, and its "realism" is in the "compared to other superhero movies" sense as was explained earlier.
    • It might seem a little cynical, but for me it's the fact that while this movie, like practically any comic book movie, is going to be full of handwaves, it has very, very well written handwaves. As stated earlier it's not so much realistic as taking itself seriously.
  • Simple one, why does the skin around Batman's eyes appear to be black to match the suit? Is there some sort of felt padding or is it makeup? Either way, it's not addressed and when he takes the cowl off his face appear clear. Why do we never see him put it on, or, more tellingly, why when he takes the cowl off is there nothing on his face (see the scene Batman Begins after he gives Rachel the antidote).
    • It's make-up, same as with the Burton/Schumacher Batmen. As I understand it, Batman Begins originally had a bit where Alfred stopped to remind Bruce to take the makeup off before going into his birthday party.
    • Besides, we never see his clean face after he took the cowl off. There was a reason his back was turned to us in that scene.
    • Now that The Dark Knight Rises is out, there is indeed a scene with Bruce's cowl off while he's still in the Batsuit. And... no makeup.
  • I suppose here is as good a place as any to put this. We all know that Batman will not kill. However, it's addressed in The Dark Knight that the criminals have caught on to this and no longer fear Bats anymore, since they know he just won't go that far. Is there anything about this particular version of Batman that would prevent him from successfully pulling off the trick he does in the comics? The one where he takes care to mention that if he ever DID kill, there wouldn't be any evidence of it?
    • This version of Batman is not real talkative. I doubt there's anyone he could mention it to that would spread it all over the city. Secondly, I did not get the impression that all criminals knew he didn't kill as most of them seemed still very scared of him. The only one who seemed to know for sure was Joker who happened to be very smart and quite probably good at guessing.
    • There's an easy answer. Unless he actually kills someone, the threat is worthless. The criminals have "compared notes" and realized that he isn't killing anybody. Nobody is suddenly going missing because of the Bat. Therefore, they have nothing to fear. Part of the reason for throwing the blame for Two-Face's murders on Batman was to help reinforce fear among criminals. Now, they'll think the Bat is willing to kill.
    • In the comics at least, Batman gets around this by reminding people that if he did kill someone no one would ever know about it because he's just that good.
    • Was it ever a big problem that he doesn't kill? The Joker is the only one that uses this rule to his advantage. The rest of the movie demonstrates quite clearly that the criminals are afraid of him. That's why the Joker was able to enter the plot in the first place. Blaming Dent's death on Batman just ensures that no one will ever be able to use that argument again, and allows Harvey Dent to die with a clean reputation.
    • It doesn't really make that much of a difference if he kills or not. Maybe the high level guys who can make bail don't need to worry, but the lower level criminals still don't want to go to jail. And they also don't want to get the shit beaten out of them. Batman, even if he doesn't kill, can do both of those things. Therefore, they are still afraid of him. Maybe not as much as they would be if they were willing to kill, but they're afraid enough.
    • For any criminal, having Batman constantly up your ass every night, getting you arrested (and putting you in the hospital) has got to be a pretty horrible thing to look forward to for the rest of your criminal life. You can only be killed once, but being persecuted and forced to live in fear for the rest of your life might be considered worse.
    • Whether or not they consider Batman a killer, the criminal community has no doubt whatsoever that their caped-crusader nemesis is freakin' insane. Sane people don't dress up like giant bats to kick the crap out of thugs. For all they know, he's been teetering on the brink of committing a vigilante-style mass murder, all this time, and none of them want to be the one he's pounding on when he finally cracks completely. More likely, it's the existence of Bat-wannabes who aren't competent enough to kill, even if willing, that's diminished the real Batman's intimidation-factor: unless and until he proves he's the genuine article by whipping out some serious tech and/or ninja moves, they probably assume they're facing just another copycat.
      • There's at least one comic where the criminal nutcase of the week that Batman's just captured is mocking him by pointing out that he's borderline insane and is bound to snap and go psycho at any moment, only for Batman to interrupt by pointing out that a likely trigger for him to snap and go psycho is some criminal nutcase he's just arrested mocking him and calling him insane. The criminal nutcase decides to shut up at that point. Yeah, you don't have to actually kill anyone to give off the impression that you're dangerously insane and ready to snap.
  • The soundtrack for Batman Begins gave each track a seemingly random-word title. Any idea why Hans Zimmer and James Newton Howard dropped this practice from the sequels?
    • The tracks are the Latin names of bat species.
    • So why didn't they follow that practice with the sequels?
    • Its possible they ran out of cool sounding Latin bat names, or they felt people would be confused if there were many soundtracks with Latin track titles.
      • It may also be because actual bats are most prominent in the first movie, with its central theme of fear.
    • I may incur the wrath of fanboys, but.. maybe it's possible that giving the tracks Latin bat names wasn't a good idea in the first place? I'll admit it's "cute," but it defeats the purpose of naming when someone wants to listen to a piece of music from a certain part of the score, and the only clue you have is the track order.
  • This is from, but how did the stuff in the batcave get installed, and how is it cleaned?
  • What did Gotham City ever do to the League of Shadows?
    • Seriously. I get that they want to cleanse the "corrupt" and all but Gotham is hardly the only "corrupt" city in the world. Why travel all the way around the world when they can target another "corrupt" city closer to home? It just doesn't seem very practical. Or maybe they do? Is the league wiping out other cities the viewers don't care about off-screen? Or do those other cities have their own superheroes stopping them in order to maintain the status quo in which case does the League ever succeed at all?
    • Maybe Ra's just got short-changed one time when he was doing mercenary work in New York?
      • Because Gotham City is a big, well known city—it would serve as a bigger example than some place that was equally corrupt but not as well known.

        Same reason the NCAA recently smacked down Penn State over the Sandusky scandal and they've done nothing while a nearly identical situation happened with Montana's football team—Penn State is one of the biggest, most well-known schools in the world, and Montana...isn't.
      • Except - what's the point? Unless the League of Shadows issue a press release saying "We burnt down Gotham as it was corrupt and other cities better watch out!" which seems unlikely (OK, Liam Neeson's Ra's died before he could claim responsibility for anything, but he didn't seem to have any plan to do so), it seems highly doubtful anyone's behaviour will change as a result of their actions (at least, not for the better). The likely result of the League's actions isn't to end corruption but to increase regulation of new chemicals & technology.
      • You're missing the point. It's supposed to look like Gotham just became that bad that it tore itself apart, not that the League of Shadows is going to come and get you like the bogeyman if you don't shape up. The idea is that cities will see Gotham fall apart, think it happened because the city just was that corrupt, and the citizens would then be spurred to clean up their own cities.
  • In Batman Begins, Batman uses the sonic bas attraction signal in his boot to attract the horde of bats only once. Why didn't he ever use it again? There would've been plenty of uses for it, like in the final battle against Bane. Imagine the police charging Bane's men, with an enormous cloud of bats overhead, attacking the terrorists and Batman swooping in and delivering his boots right into Bane's face. That would've been an awesome opener for the fight.
    • OK, while this trooper hasn't read as many Batman comics as he would've liked to, nor has he seen the whole of Batman Begins, there are a few things that seem like easy explanations. First, the attack took place in what seemed like the middle of the day, when bats usually sleep. Second, even if it was night, when Bruce pulled that trick in the first movie, it was in a cramped building that officers were going INTO; the final battle with Bane takes place in the open streets. Third, ignoring that, Bane still had a few tumblers with weapons that could've most likely included flares or flashbang grenades, dismissing the bats quickly. And fourth, as said before, this is a fight in the OPEN STREETS in the DAYLIGHT; odds are, Bruce's stealth tactics wouldn't be as effective. Then again, I don't know everything so I could be totally wrong in some areas, in which case, my bad.
    • The face-off with Bane happened in the wintertime. Temperate-zone bats hibernate in winter.
  • Something I have wondered over is the timeline for the events of the first two films. (I searched through, and didn't notice that anyone else asked this.) How much time passes between Bruce returning to Gotham (around age 30) in Batman Begins, and the end of The Dark Knight? From those two points (the return to Gotham and the deaths of Harvey and Rachel), did only about a year pass? Two years? Five years? Is there a canon answer to this?
    • Normally, timeline stuff like this doesn't bother me in movies, but I'm really curious here. The reason I ask is because the amount of time, to me, subtly affects how we perceive the characters. If it's only a year, it sort of become a statement that Bruce just doesn't have the endurance to be Batman, as if he drastically fell short of achieving what he wanted. If it's somewhere in the range of five years, it's a huge testament to Alfred's commitment to, and Rachel's trust in, Bruce during that time. It also might make a bit more sense regarding Bruce's physical condition in The Dark Knight Rises, as he could be anywhere from his late 30s to his late 40s.
    • I always got the impression that a year had passed and as a result in TDKR Bruce is around 38-39.
    • At the parole hearing in Begins, it's stated that Joe Chill had already served 14 years. In the Nolanverse Bruce was 10 when his parents were shot, which makes him 24 when he left Gotham. In TDKR, when talking about his fantasy Alfred explicitly states that Bruce was gone 7 years. That means that Bruce was 31 when he first became Batman. One year passes between Begins and The Dark Knight, based the Joker's comments when he crashes the mob meeting. TDKR explicitly states that 8 years have passed since Harvey Dent's death, which means that Bruce is 40 in the third movie.
      • In Batman Begins, he is canonically 29 when he first starts as Batman. Source: the decorations at his birthday party show him to be turning 30. So if he starts at 29, turns 30 during the first film, then if the Dark Knight is 1 year later he is 38-39 in the Dark Knight Rises.
      • Did it explicitly state that there is only a one year gap between Batman Begins and The Dark Knight? I know the Joker says that the mob wasn't all that scared of anyone a year prior to TDK, but that could just mean Batman was busy trying to get the fallout from the Narrows going to hell under control for a while before targeting organized crime became a reasonable goal. I might be and probably am reading too much into that, but is there a point where the film (or the top guys working on the film) unambiguously state its only been a year like they did with eight years in The Dark Knight Rises?
  • Did Batman spend his entire career breathing through his mouth, with his mask covering his nostrils?
    • Possibly the mask had air-channels built into its cheeks? It's certainly thicker than cloth.
    • His mouth is never hanging open in any of the dialogue scenes in suit. He's probably nostril breathing somehow.
    • I was looking closely at Batman's mask during the scene where Joker's pinned him down, and noticed there are indeed two nostrils poked in the mask's nose. You can see them here when he says "But I know how you got these!"
  • Why do so many people praise this Batman for being true to the comics in that he doesn't kill when throughout the trilogy he has either directly killed people (Dent), caused people's deaths (the ninjas in Ra's hideout, Talia), or deliberately let people die that he's capable of saving (Ra's)? Also, why was it OK for him to let Ra's die but he just couldn't let the Joker fall to his death?
    • Even the comics haven't exactly been consistent about that... in his early appearances, Batman was prone to executing criminals now and again and even carried a handgun. It was only later, at the insistence of the Comics Code that he adopted a no-kill policy, which then became ingrained into the mythos. However, when Tim Burton's film came about, it showed Michael Keaton just murdering villains right and left (not even including The Joker, which was arguably an accident, but hundreds of Mooks via the bombs on the Batmobile) and that drew criticism from lots of fans. In Nolan's films, they've tried to be a bit more grounded and real; so declaring war on crime but never being forced to use lethal methods is implausible. Even so, Nolan's Batman is careful only to use lethal force when absolutely necessary; his killing of Dent is an accident and to kill the Joker, however justified, would have proved the clown right in some way. As far as Ra's Al Ghul, he was arguably more dangerous than the Joker and saving him would not have been possible without great risk to Batman and Gotham... The Joker was left hanging and harmless, but had Batman pulled Ra's out of the train, Ra's could very possibly have killed him and finished his plan. Also, for what it's worth, comic book Batman doesn't want to kill Ra's, but does destroy the Lazarus Pits whenever possible, knowing this will eventually lead to his adversary's death... which he wants. TLDR; The comics themselves are inconsistent at best, the films are actually pretty faithful to them, and Christian Bale has at least killed far fewer people than Michael Keaton did.
  • There is something that bugs me off about the Tumbler. Thorough the movies we have seen that the vehicle (both the one Batman uses, and later others that Bane stole) is armed with some SERIOUS firepower: high caliber machineguns, rocket launchers, autocannons, missile pods, and I recall reading the vehicle even had mine-laying capabilities. But in the first movie it's established that the tumbler was created with one purpose, to quickly lay out mobile bridges for the military. Why would they arm such specilized vehicle with much more firepower than most actual fighting light armored vehicles posses?
    • There's a couple explanations. If it is meant as a bridging vehicle, it may find itself physically cut off from the rest of the force and need to defend itself until it can complete the bridging mission and be reinforced. Another possibility is that those weapons were meant to destroy obstacles in or around the river that would block the bridge. Another possibility is that when they couldn't get the bridge function to work, they tried adding guns to it to sell it as a LAV, and either failed to secure a contract or were shut down by Wayne Enterprises' Board.

Batman: The MovieHeadscratchers/FilmBatman Begins

alternative title(s): The Dark Knight Saga In General
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