Monday, July 28, 2008

Dark Knight Plot Hole Repository

So, really, I don't mean to seem like someone who hated this movie. It had lots of cool moments, and the three major performances-- Christian Bale, Heath Ledger and Aaron Eckhardt-- were great. And my major beef isn't even with the plot holes, it's with the bloat, the competing Two Face and Joker plotlines that should have been two movies, and the resulting damage to both as the result of refusing to choose one.

But the more I think about the movie more plot holes spring up, so I'm just gonna post a bunch here as I think them up. Not as a mean-spirited campaign against the (wildly successful) movie but as a public service.
  • Many of the most vexing danglers and mixed-up concepts come from the Joker's trip to jail-- a trip, we learn, which the Joker intended to take. It's revealed that the Joker intentionally let himself be captured by the police in order to get into the Major Crimes Unit's lockup so he could kill Lao, the crooked Hong Kong businessman. He wants to kill Lao because Lao is the chief witness for the prosecution against the mobsters Harvey Dent and the Gotham PD indicted.
  • As the movie constantly tells us, Harvey Dent's credibility is essential to the prosecution of these mobsters. Batman himself tells Dent that if people found out Dent was pulling his Russian roulette routine with the Joker's henchman, the prosecution would fall apart.
  • But the elaborate, dangerous chase scene that the Joker set up to attack Harvey Dent in the police truck-- an event, remember, that the Joker took part in so he could get arrested and get to Lao-- happens after Harvey Dent "admits" to being the Batman.
  • So wouldn't Dent's credibility already be null? Wouldn't the prosecution fall apart anyway? If Dent's integrity is so vital to the prosecution of these mobsters, as the movie insists on telling us again and again, why would the Joker go to so much trouble to attack Lao? What sense does that make? And how could Dent have prosecuted the mobsters if he was in jail for being Batman, anyway?
  • Of course, it's hard to imagine why the Joker would go through such an elaborate, incredibly dangerous attack on the police convoy if he only intended to do it in order to get arrested. I mean he does seem to make a real effort to kill Dent, but again, if Dent is dead, why the pretense of going to jail? Lao becomes useless without Dent, and anyway at that point both the crusading DA and Batman would be Dent. (Joker tells us, after all, that he really thought Dent was Batman.)
  • Why would Gordon house not only the Joker, but also the Jokers cronies (including the one with the cell phone bomb implanted inside of him) in the same MCU holding facility that houses Lao? I thought the whole point was that nobody else would be in MCU to kill Lao.
  • Now with the Joker in custody, Gordon and Batman grill him to find out where Dent and Rachel are, who have suddenly disappeared. (Why Gordon didn't immediately think "Hey I wonder if the cops who took Dent and Rachel home might be involved, I don't know.) Eventually the Joker talks (kind of invalidating the whole "you can't get me to talk cause you won't kill me" speech, but whatever). Gordon and Batman race off to try and save Rachel and Dent. (The Joker having played a flip flop regarding Dent and Rachel, for reasons that weren't 100% clear to me other than, you know, he's one bad dude).
  • Here comes what to me was the just laugh out loud, are-you-kidding-me part. The Joker, who has killed dozens and terrorized Gotham, fought the Batman hand-to-hand to a standstill and pretty much revealed himself to be the A-number one badass on the planet, is left in an interrogation room (not a cell, mind you)...unshackled...alone... with a single, middle aged cop in a suit. Now, the holding cell that has the Joker's crony with the cell phone-bomb inside him appears to have an entire precinct full of cops in it. But the Joker? One old dude. Who either has a key, or just has the door unlocked, because the Joker quickly takes him hostage and walks into the other room.
  • He takes the cop hostage, by the way, so he can make his one phone call, and thereby trigger the bomb in his buddy, creating confusion and allowing him to get to Lao, so he can kill Lao (preventing the prosecution of the mobsters) and find out where the money is. Of course, this plot could have been foiled if, instead of leaving this one, conveniently old cop to stand alone in the cell with the Joker, the cops had just locked the door of the interrogation room, or, call me crazy, put him in a cell.
  • But the Joker does take the hostage, he does call the cell phone bomb, it does blow up, which does create the conditions that allow him to get to Lao, who he does get the location of the money from, and then kills. So here's the real question: why does he bother to kill Lao at all, if he's only going to kill the mobsters? Why prevent a prosecution if your intention is only to kill the people being prosecuted? Was it so he could find out where the money is? (The money, by the way, is apparently sitting in a boat in Gotham harbor, instead of on its way to Hong Kong). He just burns the money! And if his intention was just to kill the mobsters and set their dogs on them, again... why kill Lao? It's not like he needs to get the head mobsters out of jail; the head mobsters have made bail. They're there for the Joker to kill anyways, and he does. He just wants to free all the of their lieutenants and goons so they can be in his gang? Again, Dent is about to blow up, as far as he knows. And his credibility is already shot, or at least it was as far as the Joker knew when he intentionally got arrested. So doesn't that mean, by the movie's own assertion, that the prosecution is screwed anyway? Why go through all the rigmarole?
I mean... I find this all a tad unconvincing.

56 comments:

Joseph F. said...

...because he's the Joker, agent of chaos. The rigamarole is the point.

Giving a character unfathomable and nonsensical motivations does wonders for plot holes!

Philip Marlowe said...

Freddie, I'll admit that I attempted to answer your plot holes, it's just so much easier to say "what joseph f." said...he's like a "dog chasing cars"...in other words, who gives a shit?

Geoffrey said...

I'll try to do a little better than "who cares", though I agree with Joseph that you seem to have missed both the "dog chasing cars" speech and the "bandit who threw away the rubies speech"

Batman wasn't trying to preserve Dent's credibility, and Joker to destroy it, in order to succeed in the mob prosecution. The mob prosecution was just one big example of the mindset of Gotham's people turning around. Stay with me, 'cause there's actually something interesting here:

Joker's ultimate goal wasn't money or the protection of the mob, but chaos and hopelessness amongst the people of Gotham. "The battle for Gotham's soul." Batman and Dent were both fighting on the other side of this battle - to save and improve Gotham's soul, but each thinking the other was better at it. Dent wanted to be Batman, and turned himself in to save Batman. Batman wanted to protect Dent's image and credibility - not to win the mob trials, but to give the people hope and a good example.

Ultimately, the Joker isn't working towards a specific achievement (save the mob? get the money from Lao? he even gives up on "kill Batman") but rather a general chaos and hopelessness.

I can try to address the holes you list point-by-point, but almost all of them resolve and make sense once you change each person's motives from revolving around the mob prosecution.

And keeping prisoners at MCU wasn't so they'd be alone, but so they'd be under the control of the presumably trustworthy MCU as opposed to the corrupt regular cops at county.

But yeah, un-handcuffed and behind unlocked door with one old cop was pretty dumb.

Anonymous said...

i dont get the whole gordon pretend death. wtf was that all about?

i especially dont get how he came out of nowhere to save batman after batman had crashed randomly for no reason and got knocked out.

how do you go from weaving through the wheels of an 18 wheeler, to doing a 180 off a wall, to crashing into a truck and getting knocked out cold for no reason at all?

Goldfoot said...

"why would the Joker go to so much trouble to attack Lao? What sense does that make? And how could Dent have prosecuted the mobsters if he was in jail for being Batman, anyway?"

The Joker was after Lao because he knew where the money was, not because he was testifying against the mob. Hence him burning Lao alive ON TOP of the pile. That scene was to show that he wasn't in it to help the mob. He never intended on keeping his end of the deal with the mob. As for Harvey claiming to be the bat man, well even though Joker said that for a while he thought Dent really was Batman, he lied throughout the movie. He consistently lied and used people to get what he wanted. He knew Batman would be planning on saving Dent when Joker attacked. And since Joker wanted to get caught to get to Lao, he attacked.

"I mean he does seem to make a real effort to kill Dent, but again, if Dent is dead, why the pretense of going to jail?

He wasn't really trying to kill Dent. He repeatedly shot the cop cars with the RPG, not the SWAT truck that Harvey was riding in.

Why would Gordon house not only the Joker, but also the Jokers cronies (including the one with the cell phone bomb implanted inside of him) in the same MCU holding facility that houses Lao? I thought the whole point was that nobody else would be in MCU to kill Lao.

For one thing, they kept Joker separate from the rest of the people, and Lao was separate as well. He was in his own cell. Gordon didn't trust the people at the county jail, so someone like The Joker he wouldn't send there when there were likely people that would let him go.

(Why Gordon didn't immediately think "Hey I wonder if the cops who took Dent and Rachel home might be involved, I don't know.)

Nobody there knew Rachel was missing until Joker said that they could only save "one of them." Also, Gordon wasn't present to see who drove Dent home, so he couldn't know, and if he were to ask, what are the chances someone's going to squeal?

Why does he bother to kill Lao at all, if he's only going to kill the mobsters? Why prevent a prosecution if your intention is only to kill the people being prosecuted?

I maintain that The Joker didn't care about the trial. All he wanted was the money so he could destroy it. As for killing Lao, he kills people randomly that are driving in their cars after the semi flips, and you wonder why he'd kill Lao? Why should he keep him alive? He killed almost everyone he worked with.

Was it so he could find out where the money is? He just burns the money!

Yes, and that's the point. All the mob cared about was their money, and he took it away. He likes taking things away from people.

Again, Dent is about to blow up, as far as he knows. And his credibility is already shot, or at least it was as far as the Joker knew when he intentionally got arrested. So doesn't that mean, by the movie's own assertion, that the prosecution is screwed anyway? Why go through all the rigmarole?

Because that's the kind of villain that The Joker is. If there was a specific reason for EVERYTHING he did, he wouldn't be The Joker. Now, other than the lone cop guarding the exit to the interrogation room, I don't see any of the things you listed as plot holes. A plot hole happens when something happens that doesn't make sense given what you know or can deduce from what you know. No matter what motive he had for killing Lao, it's not a plot whole that he did. Just because you aren't fed every piece of info doesn't make something a plot hole.

blighter said...

Actually, this whole discussion is missing what I think was the biggest plot hole of them all: what did the Joker do at the party in Wayne's penthouse after Batman and Rachel went out the window?

Did he look for Dent and not find him locked in a closet by a pole shoved through the handles? Did he just figure "Oh well! Guess now that Batman has gone out the window, the party's over!" And head home?

What the eff?

As for the plot-holes listed here, I think the other commenters have laid a convincing case that they are mostly not actually plot-holes, just misunderstandings of various motivations -- mostly enormously too much emphasis placed on the importance of the prosecution as a motivation for anything. This was a super-hero movie. It was about the heart and soul of a city. It wasn't a crime-drama about one prosecution.

The lone exception being leaving the Joker alone with the old guy. That's a plot hole. Only thing close the an explanation that I can imagine is that they figured he was beaten down by his "interrogation" with Batman and weren't too focused on him in the ensuing rush to try and save Rachel and Dent.

Anonymous said...

What I don't get is if Harvey Dent was the city's hero, why was he ditched in the hospital when they evacuated everybody else?

Hibernicus said...

Here's a bigger plot hole - why doesn't Dent kill the Joker in the hospital, or at least try to? The coin toss doesn't explain it, because in the later killings Dent always explains away the toss and kills them anyway. He goes after Batman and Gordon because he blames them for not saving Rachel, but he has Rachel's actual killer in front of him and he doesn't even try to kill him? (Of course if he did either he would kill the Joker or the the Joker would incapacitate him, which would mess up the plot.)

cIL said...

1. how come The Joker left the prison IN THAT WAY? Do you really leave one cop INSIDE the jail with the criminal???? With open doors??? Oh... maybe The Joker was able to unlock doors with his knife while holding the guy... pretty strong...kkkkkk. This is cheese! They should have created another way of The Joker leave the prison!

2. how come Harvey Dent is left ALONE in a hospital room, being him THAT important, without even a cop outside the door? How come NOBODY thought that The Joker would go for him? And How come everybody was taken from the Hospital, but Harvey, the man THAT IMPORTANT, was left there alone and THE LAST ONE (it seemed). This is cheese!! They should have left at least one cop outside his door, even if it was for The Joker to kill him!! The Joker could go for him outside the hospital like he could have kidnapped his ambulance or something more credible.

I think that if you want to do a REALISTIC movie, you have to be realistic. This two plot compromises the rest of the movie.
Did the people who wrote and direct the movie have ever watched a policy movie, tv show... or whatever? They should have seen Vantage Point... that was a really spectacular police script!

Anonymous said...

This is in reference to Harvey Dent's credibility and integritiy. Yes, it was in danger when he said he was Batman. But, it would be become clear later to the public when he wasn't Batman that he said this so a) they weren't actually giving to the demands of a terrorist and b) they were protecting the lives of the people the Joker said he would kill.

Beat Café said...

he needed to get to lau because only lau knew where the mob's money was being kept- on that boat. remember in the kitchen scene, where we first meet the joker (the pencil magic trick...), lau says he has moved the money to a 'safe location' that only he knows. the joker is entitled to half of that money, and he wants to burn it to make a point to the criminals of gotham. 'gotham deserves a better class of criminal' etc

Danny said...

This isn't really related to the plot holes you discussed, but I was curious about something. You know that mob boss Salvatore who Batman dropped from around four floors and who, when he landed, broke his legs? How was it that afterward he was walking just fine? It seems to me like they added in the scene after filming the ones which appear chronologically later and then forgot that, "Oh, oops, his legs are supposed to be broken."

hibernicus said...

Danny
In the later scenes with Sal Romano he is clearly shown to be walking with a stick.
Goldfoot:
You seem to think the Joker burned all the mob's money. The dialogue makes it clear that what the Joker burned was his half of the money; the mob had already collected their half.

Anonymous said...

"2. how come Harvey Dent is left ALONE in a hospital room, being him THAT important, without even a cop outside the door? "

They didn't - they had two cops outside the door, but they nurses berate them into helping the hospital get cleared.

"the Joker didn't fire his bazooka at hte SWAT van" - yes he did - that was the missle the batmobile took to stop which damaged it so much.

Gordon, btw, was the one driving the SWAT van, who had his mask pulled down the entire time. And was wearing his seat belt, obviously. It makes all the difference.

But since we're talking plot points, if Bruce Wayne's penthuse was the safest place in Gotham for Rachel after Gorodn was shot... why wasn't it safe earlier when the Joker broke in? Thicker doors since?

Plus, am I the only one who thinks Two Face just didn't seem that mad? Just, you know, pissed off and wanting revenge?

Anonymous said...

Not so much a plot hole, but I told a friend that if we had read that in an early draft of TDK there had been a sub-plot involving a Wayne employee trying to disclose Batman's identity, we would have welcomed its omission as unnecessary and probably slowing things down without much of a payoff. Oh well...

Anonymous said...

Let me resolve some plot holes here.

The joker escaping from the interrogation cell: Of course the door was locked! But now what was the joker holding to the cops throat when he came walking out? A shard of black glass. Obviously he broke the glass to escape. Even during Batman's interrogation, he throws Joker's head into the glass and it cracks.

The mob's money: The mob did not already have half the money. The joker burnt all of it. Although he said he was only burning half he burnt the bottom half. That was the joke! Also he kidnapped Lao to find the money and lure the remaining mob bosses into a meeting so he could kill them off. However Maroni was smart enough to give that information away instead of going there himself.

Harvey alone in the hospital:
Already been somewhat clarified, but I'll add more. The cops later went back in, but both were killed by the Joker.

Bruce's Penthouse: I don't think that the party the Joker crashed is the same as his penthouse. Also it's safe as in none of the corrupt cops would go looking for her there. Although Bruce Wayne's (the billionaire persona) social circle knew Bruce and Rachael were close friends she was currently dating Dent so the most obvious place would be Dent's place. Also even the Joker did not know that Bruce was Batman and that Rachael was close to Bruce.

Now the party (or after-party):
It is plausible that the Joker just left after he threw Rachael out the window because Batman jumped after her. And at that time Joker suspected that Dent was Batman. He wouldn't have massacred everyone there himself, he doesn't do that. He would have used bombs instead, but he didn't bring any because he only intended to kill Dent.

Regarding the car chase:
The Joker clearly wanted to kill Dent. But not doing so immediately, and using bigger and bigger weapons was for(dark) comic effect.Also he didn't know for certain that Dent wasn't Batman. He told this to Batman during the interrogation.

Fenton Bailey said...

Well written blog. Here is my take on the events of the film. I've quoted you in parts. Hope you don't mind.

http://fentonbailey.blogspot.com/2008/08/dark-knight-finally-got-opinion.html

Anonymous said...

I had one question/plot hole that I see mentioned briefly here in the anonymous 8/6 5:26am post. I've only seen the film once, but it was a noticable problem, and this is how I recall it:

There is a scene in the hospital in which Maroni tells Gordon that he knows where the Joker will be that night. We assume that he then tells Gordon the location, else the scene & line are pointless.

The location is the shipyard, where the Joker is meeting with the mob bosses. Maroni is noticably absent, and the Joker remarks on it ("where's the Italian?").

To my confusion, no police show up at the shipyard to pick up the Joker.

When I ask people about this, they either don't remember the hospital scene with Maroni or they tell me that the entire police force is busy dealing with the Joker's chaos and so can't bother to go pick up the madman responsible.

Is there a more believable explanation? A cut scene perhaps?

Beat Café said...

no police show up at the dock because just after getting there, the joker makes a threat on all the hospitals of gotham, diverting police attention. whether this is intentional or not is open to interpretation really..

Anonymous said...

2. how come Harvey Dent is left ALONE in a hospital room, being him THAT important, without even a cop outside the door?

They did leave a cop to guard or take Harvey out of the hospital. His name is "Davis".

The black cop was calling "Davis, Davis" on his walkie talkie. Nobody answered, therefore he went into the hosptital, and found the Joker in a nurse costume.

JeremyBoob said...

Plot holes are essentially things that happen that are unexplainable. The biggest on in THE DARK KNIGHT - and there are many, unfortunately - is when Harvey Dent shoots the driver of Eric Roberts' car instead of him and lives to tell about it. He shoots the driver from the back seat and the next thing you see is the car swerving and then if flips over. Ba-boom! They don't show Harvey exiting the vehicle! Completely ridiculous and a major plot hole!!

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't call it a plot hole, but the thing that I didn't like is the reasoning that Batman/Gordon couldn't hide the fact that Dent had killed a couple of policemen, in a city being rocked by the Joker's killing spree.

Really, was it so difficult to say they'd been killed by the Joker or his henchmen?

JRVJ

astorian said...

A basic question- in previous movies, the Joker's hideous face is the result of a chemical accident. In THIS movie, we're told he's just wearing war paint.

After the big chase, Jim Gordon catches the Joker, and puts him in a cell. Gordon then tells Batman that he's been completely unable to identify the Joker.

Say Jim, I wouldn't want to tell a veteran cop how to do his job, but if you're trying to identify a criminal... mightn't you want to WIPE OFF HIS FREAKING MAKEUP?????
Y'know, that MIGHT make it just a litle easier to pick his face out of a mug book.

Just a thought.

Fox said...

Where to begin?

I think that The Joker went after Harvey Dent with the intention of killing him outright and then making a getaway. But Joker was too smart than to fall for the idea that Harvey Dent could be Batman, and that meant that the real Batman was out there, and he is a formidable adversary. So he makes a back-up plan. If he does get caught, he'll surrender, make sure fatso with the bomb in his stomach comes with him, and he'll go to jail.

The cops knew Harvey Dent wasn't Batman. At least the Mayor did. It was just a set-up to bring out The Joker so they could try and catch him. And even if they did believe that he was Batman for the few hours between when he admitted it and when they transported him, that wouldn't be long enough for everything to go to trial, for him to be convicted, and for all of Maroni's men to be set free before the real Batman showed up, proving his innocence. It was a ploy by the D.A.

If Gordon figured out it was his own people who abducted Dent and Dawes right away that would shoot down that part of the entire plot and motivation for Dent's turn. Gordon says early on that he works with what he's got; i.e. he trusts his men. That's his fault. That's one of the reasons Two-Face hates him so much. It's a vital plot point that Gordon trusts his men.

He wants Lao so he can get the money. Once he gets the money, he kills Lao. He gives the mobster in the warehouse a chance, but he makes the mistake of calling Joker a "freak," so he ends up dead. His fault. Joker only burned half of the money anyways. He would've done business if that guy hadn't mouthed off to him. We saw earlier in the film with Gamble what happens when you mouth off to The Joker.

Joker is a lot of things, including a liar. When he tells Dent that he's not a schemer, he's lying his ass off.

mattand said...

Finally saw this movie. BTW, if you're in the Philly metro area, DO NOT see this at the Franklin Institute's Imax screen. They're converted the Planetarium to a "movie screen" that wraps the film around a huge globe. It's unwatchable, IMHO.

Anyhoo, to me, the major plot hole is Batman's abduction of Lao. There is no way that the federal government would just stand by and let a man in a costume kidnap a foreign national. The Chinese would have raised a ruckus and immediately returned him to Hong Kong.

Anonymous said...

Is there anyone out there thinking about the bigger thematic picture or are we all a bunch of mental midgets noodling away on boring (obvious) plot details? Bloody hell people, a lot more to chew on than how Dent got out of the hospital, etc. (or why the idiots took Lower 5th when the other side of Upper 5th was WIDE OPEN due to the street closure...but I digress) - it's A MOVIE - a nightmare, a fantasia of our current emotional and spiritual moment. By invoking the word "terrorist" Nolan opens the can of worms - what slithers out? Is Batman really our George Bush? Is this film THAT reactionary? Moving beyond hero to do the right thing, when all else is against him? Has he made himself the villain so we will all be safer...or has he unleashed a greater hell than even he could ever imagine? it is clearly much more ambiguous than that - but it is definitely some sort of fractured American morality roulette wheel. (Morgan Freeman as Colin Powel..."just this once and then I retire.") Is Joker (no identity) a more entertaining Bin Laden (no identity, not even real? you complete me - Bush/Bin Laden - two sides of SAME COIN....ah, ha...see where we're going here?) BOOM. Come on, cut the crap with the plot holes, there are too many to count and it's boring.

Pieces of Hatred said...

you've got a point sometimes, but your argument mostly lacks consistence because you're reasoning considering joker's actions.

don't you remember? he's just a mad dog, not a schemer. is it all part part of the plan? nope.

Anonymous said...

hibernicus:

1) He burned HIS HALF of the pile. Whether he let the rest of it burn as well is unknown. He probably did, since the Russian decided to be stupid.

2) Harvey became Two Face, and he makes all of his decisions by flip of the coin. The coin said Joker got to live, and it also said Mendez (the female cop who sent Rachel to die) got to live. It would have said Gordon's kid got to live if he saw it.

jeremy:

Before Two Face shoots the driver, he takes off his seat belt, presumably to jump out once he kills the driver.

astorian:

There was no record of his existence. He didn't even have fingerprints.

daniel said...

The original poster is correct. If the joker is so chaotic, why does he rely on a massively specific plan that requires a serious of incredibly unlikely events to take place?

Anyway, at the end of the film, Harvey Dent is given a hero's funeral, Batman is made the villain, but dosnt the whole world think that Harvey Dent is Batman?

Xpertallthings said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Xpertallthings said...

Clearly the fall with Dent dislodged Batman's brain, and the close call with Gordon's son seriously rattled the police commisioner, because after 2.5 hours of brilliant police work they both suddenly turned into idiots when they decided to pin Dent's crimes on Batman. If only they had someone else to blame for Dent's crime spree... surely, there must be someone else who they could have blamed instead... like... oh I don't know... HOW ABOUT THE FREAKIN' JOKER? Stupid ending. But I guess they had to do that so they could get Superman in the sequel.

Anonymous said...

Some people here are idiots. im sorry but its true. to the people who complained that Harvey was ungraded and unmoved when the police were evacuating, he was last because no matter how bad thoses's scars were, at least Dent could walk, unlike a lot of the other people they had to carry out. They also had a guard outside his room, but i guess he thought he could be of better use getting people out of the EXPLODING HOSPITAL. and lets not forget Harvey was tied down because he was a suicide risk. They were going to move him when the Joker showed up and killed the cops. Besides, someone would have to be pretty out there to think "What if the Joker goes to hurt Harvey" when the hospital there in might explode.
There was also a question here of why didn't the police take the joker down after Maroni told them wher he'll be. Gordon is shown organising the ambush on the Joker at the tanker, but when Joker makes a bomb threat, he abandons it to get people out of hospitals. so sue him if he cares more about keeping people alive.
I'll give Danny credit, cause Sal's legs makes one great recovery. He's not even using his stick.
For JeremyBoob, sure it would have been a bumpy ride, but Harvey was in the backseat with his seatbelt on (YES ON. HE DIDN'T JUMP OUT. ON!!!!).
Astorian, do you really think that if Gordon wipes off the paint he'll just go "Oh, your in this book of random faces". the point of the Joker is he came out of nowhere, has been planing a lot of this for a while and his face isn't going to pop up for some random offense in old mug books.
Hibernicus, Harvey never weasels out of what the coin saids. when rameraz got live he just punched her out.
Mattand, yeah the Chinese may get pissed, but who they gonna cry to. batman's a criminal in America too, so they didn't allow it. and lets not forget he's a crime lord anywhy. if i where them i'd have a party.
Xpertallthings, the Joker had an albi for those killings and the last thing Gotham needs is its new commisoner arrested for absruction of justice. besides, the cops saw batman there. blaming him would check out. And i think you can take the stupid cake home for suggesting a seguel with Superman, beacuse that will never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever , ever, EVER happen.
As far al the compliants that the Joker's plans seem unlikely, can we just suggest he may have a lot of plans for all resulting circumstances. He may not look it, but there is a good brain behind that make-up.
I'll give credit to the guy talking about how "why the idiots took Lower 5th when the other side of Upper 5th was WIDE OPEN due to the street closure". Maybe it turned somewhere else? But you got a lot to political. Nolan isn't that kind of guy.
cIL please tell me your joking. Vantage Point had more plot hole then any movie in history!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

I finally saw the movie last night and the biggest plot hole was the party scene with batman jumping out of the window. Yes, some of you have addressed this already, like the Joker somehow didn't care about all those potential hostages and just left the party calmly... BUT what about batman?? does he also not care about leaving a psycho killer in apartment full of people??

and yes, we all realize that this is just a movie but the real confrontation here is between two groups of people: the majority praises this movie for its awesomeness while the minority feels that this is a dumb movie for dumb people. yes that's a bit inflammatory but hey, i'm smart, this movie is dumb.

the best batman was the animated series.

The Loopa said...

You all are missing the single biggest plot hole. You have been dancing around it for a while. All the rest of these supposed plot holes are BS. There is only one and here it is: (By the way in my opinion there is a definite and certain explanation to every single "plot hole" brought up earlier, trust me I have seen the movie 10 times...but I digress)

Scene: Harvey Dent Fund raiser in Bruce Wayne's swanky penthouse.

Necc. Background: Gordon has just gotten word from his Lt. that the card left on the fake Batman that collided against the Mayor's window during his meeting with Harvey Dent has 3 different sets of prints/DNA on it. The Commisioner, Harvey Dent, and Judge Cirillo. He gives instructions to the Lt. to seal City Hall (for protection of commisioner), and take Dent and the Judge into custody.

The problem/plot hole: How does Bruce Wayne know that The Joker is on his way up? He attacks Dent and throws him into the closet before Joker crashes the party.

My take: Please spare me the "he has security cameras" or "he just knew". I have obviously considered the security camera thing, and that seems the most plausible. However, what host goes to check on security cameras every ten seconds of his party. Its not like Gordon has Batmans number and could tell him what was up. I would love to hear your thoughts.

Kevin T. said...

Great point, Xpertallthings. To me, that was the most annoying thing about the whole movie. It's like it ends with "Now we need to chase the batman" "Why?" "Because we can." I hated the ending of this movie. And all these additional plot holes, some which I thought of and some which I didn't (but still, I left the movie very confused so I knew there were some, otherwise I wouldn't have searched for this) just goes to show that this isn't the best movie ever. Sure, it's not bad, and it sure is lucrative, but there were some things very wrong with it.

Anonymous said...

You could not pin Dent's death on the Joker as the Joker was arrested before Dent's death.

The biggest plot hole that bugs me is involving Gordon. Within hours of becoming commissioner he lets a vigilante enterogate and beat up a suspect. Soon, the suspect blows up the police station, killing cops and prisoners and escapes with their biggest witness...and on top of that, he steals a bunch of police cars. Not to mention, after escaping he blows up a hospital.
I know we have to suspend disbelief for movies like this, but Gordon's tenure as commissioner would have been very short.

BTW, I loved the movie which is why I'm able to pick apart the problems with it.

Anonymous said...

Why does Batman install a cell phone sonar system that lets him see any place in the city, only to destroy it later? What's to stop him from doing it again for the next master criminal? Why does Lucious have morals about the issue but Batman does not? And the sonar obviously worked wonders since it helped Batman get Joker and save boats of people. So why is it considered evil? Is the movie trying to say something about a big brother police state and if so, what, exactly? The movie is full of muddled morality but at least it has a lot of nifty explosions.

Jared Odom "The Red X" said...

Okay I'm not reading all of these to see if someone already answered it but it seems a common question as to why was the joker left with just one guard at the jail. It's really quite simple. THERE WAS NO TIME. did You NOT SEE Batman and Gordon storm out of the building. there was no time to get a key or other people to block they had to make do with him. Heck they didn't even tell him to Guard Joker he just happened to be the only guy who was there when Batman and Gordon ran.

Oh and Anon 5 you have to admit that Morgan Freeman's line about Blackmail was pretty awesome.

The Loopa, I agree but Gordon doesn't need Batman's number, He needs Bruce Wayne's Number which, maybe not on speed dial, but he probably has it.

WHAT DID JOKER DO AFTER DROPPING RACHEL?
just random speculation but with the Batman appearing he chickened out and left. After all the cops couldn't be far behind.

aa97464 said...

Uhh ya, about the whole agent of choas thing, BULLSHIT.

The joker had to have been planning this shit from Day 1. We even have two lines indicating he isn't just making it up as a goes a long.

1) "No, I kill the bus driver" then skirts to the left implies he knows the bus will crash through the wall AT THAT MOMENT and will kill the henchman. Hence, he planned the heist to the second.

2) His plan to get into police custody to present Batman his sadistic choice ENTIRELY hangs on his knowing Batman wasn't Dent, and ordering his henchmen before hand to kidnap Dent & Rachael while everyone is busing arresting him.
Because as we clearly see, he can't have made-it-up on the fly, as he is denied his phone call (which he, conceivably, could've used to arrange the kidnapping). Further, he HAD TO PLAN BEFOREHAND to operate on a henchman and stick a phone in him.

Hence, bullshit. The Joker isn't an agent of choas. Heck, he's better at planning then Xanatos himself.

Anonymous said...

to the OP... Why ?? .. some people just want to watch the world burn :)

Anonymous said...

I have some questions about the Joker and the people around him:

-> Where did he get his money from (also condisering the fact, that he burned a lot of cash, but nevertheless must have had a lot more to buy all his dynamite-stuff).

-> Who are all those cops/normal people working for him and how can he convince those around him to do things which are in no way transparent actions?

-> The 2 Ferries: It seems that you have to go just two steps down to see a large room filled with explosive stuff and the bomb, so why didn't they check the ferries first? Would have been a good idea, although it is also quite interesting, how all this stuff was brought on the ferries in the first place.

-> The hospital crushes due to many small explosions. it is an eye-catching moment but also one where you think about the preparation time and work...
YOu have to wire the detonators, you have to place dynamite everywhere and yes, in addition to that nobody should see you.

The Joker is neither a chaotic crackpot nor a schemer... he is just unreal, and it is a pitty that not one of his plans would work if you see it realistically

CribFullofWiis said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
CribFullofWiis said...

I can't believe so many people don't understand why one inept guard was left with the joker in the interrogation room. This has been done in like half of all James Bond movies since the 70's and Austin Powers totally spelled it out for you like 3 times in one single movie.

THE BIGGEST PLOT HOLE OF ALL. Are you ready? Is why would the Joker burn a lot of money if he presumably wants to cause chaos and harm. He could have used it for dynamite or heck go nuclear with that kind of cash. Half of it was the mobs and if he did burn their half that would actually good for the city/justice. But most off all everyone who understands basic economics knows that if you want to cause chaos and ruin a society you PRINT money thereby devaluing the public's faith in the currency. The Joker does the exact opposite. And didn't he just rob a bank anyway?

THE BEST LINE IN THE MOVIE is in like the first ten minutes. "Maroni? He's just a fall guy. I'm the brains of the organization." The whole script is downhill from there.

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Jack said...

Wait - did Batman actually know Gordon faked his death? That always struck me as Gordon working solo, a strong character in his own right.

Note how crestfallen Batman looks when Gordon's wife blames him for his death.

Brice said...

the only part of this movie that even my overactive imagination can't explain is this; what the crap was that fingerprint ballistics thing he did. Sorry but that WAS a bunch of crap. It would have been a lot cooler if Emily Proctor showed up and had a diologue with batman and CSI'd all the little bullet pieces and took them back to the lab to make a finger print puzzle thingy on the flourescent glass table. Either that or he takes the brick and does a spectroanalysis like Hodgens on it to get the residual oil from the fingerprint off the brick impact with the brick. What the gatling gun was for I have yet to figure out, maybe he just wanted to play with his toys.....

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Lookatmenot said...

Your post is based on the assumption that the Joker is a rational individual with streaks of evil that make him bad. He isn't; he is a crazy sonofabitch, and the essence of his character cannot be filtered down to reason. Some men just want to watch the world burn.

Regards,
Rorschach.

Veer said...

I think this is an awesome article, however these plot holes can all be nulled by two sentences:

1.The Joker always has backup plans
2. "I'm a dog chasing cars. I wouldn't know what to do with one if I caught it!"

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cthulu48 said...

I love this movie, but can anyone provide some clarity on part of this scene for me - - how exactly does this explosion in the jail allow the Joker to escape? I know that lots of the cops aren't at the station b/c of the Harvey Dent situation, but there are still several cops there. How does the Joker evade every officer in the station w/o getting killed by the explosion? Are we to believe that the explosion killed everyone in the jail except for the Joker and Lau? Or is this a "suspension of disbelief" moment that is left up to interpretation? If so, that's cool, I firmly believe in suspension of disbelief. It's just a question I've pondered since I first saw the film. Does anyone know this detail definitively? Am I missing something?? Help!

Winston Smith said...

I just love right at the beginning, the Joker crashes through a bank with a school bus during rush hour without anyone noticing, and no damage to the bus. Even when he drives out, nobody honks at him, no pedestrians even look over.

Or how about when Batman is blowing up all the cars, and you see the two kids "pretend" firing. Would have been great if Batman blew them up, too. I mean, how did he know the cars he was destroying didn't have people in them?

The Dark Knight is silly. Take it for what it is, a fun blockbuster with some cool ideas and decent performances, and you'll enjoy it greatly. Take it too seriously or think it's on par with something like The Godfather Part II, well, you're an idiot who doesn't know much about filmmaking or story cohesion.

It's a fun movie. I still slightly prefer the more globe trotting, visually interesting Batman Begins.

Anonymous said...

Best part of the film? When Batman goes to the club that Maroni is in and lifts him out of the chair like: "YOU. ARE. FUCKING. DEAD". Maroni's face was priceless.

Anonymous said...

Ok I wish my comment was posted at the top so the moronic TDK haters wouldn't have to look too far to see why Freddie is wrong. rather than try to unserstand why the events in this film occur, you tried to see it from a POV of just trying to find errors.

If you watched the movie and paid attention to details, you would know that the Joker ISN'T a PLAN AHEAD person. He even says himself that he isn't a schemer. he only asses a situation and take advantage of it any way he can. And later on, I'll show you how that worked. And this point alone negates about half of your "essay". I will adress your points int he order you wrote them.

- He didn't intend to go to prison. Joker never said that himself. That is just what Gordon claimed. Joker didn't know Gordon(the man who captured him) was alive. At the time he was trying to kill Batman. When he got captured, he saw it as a chance to get to Lao. And he didn't have to bomb set up to escape MCU, he just had it as a backup, he had the choice to blow up his henchmen to blow anything else up that seemed convinient(including Batman himself if he got close enough).

- How is your second point a plot hole? you just summurized the plot.

- I have already adressed with my first point. The Joker is not a schemer, he is an opportunist. Harvey dent didn't admit it on an official comfession tape, he just did that to draw the Joker out, which he was praised for upon Joker's capture.

- Again, it wasn't an official conferssion tape so his creedibility isn't damaged. Instead it is raised upon Joker's capture.

- Already defeated this point.

- MCU is Gordon's handpicked unit. It consists of cops that he trusts. The Joker and Lao were too important to send to a prison run by corrupt officers. he had no choice. As for threat to lao. The searched everyone for weapons (seen in the scene where they are placing al of Joker's knives they found on a table).

- Gordon didn't know they were missing because of the cops. he got a phone call much later. For allw eknow they could have been kidnapped from there house(which is not unheard of). Also, he didn't know who took Dent home. We just see ramirez seeing him off,(I don't remember if it was a taxi he left in).

- The joker was handcuffed before Batman started interrogating him. They ran off in a hurry and didn't shackle him because he wasn't in the cell alone with a middle-aged cop. he was being surveilled by the one-way glass. They would ahve locked the door if the Joker advanced towards the cop. But he pissed of the cop so the cop would try and hit him. At that point he pulled out the knife and holding the cop as a hostage, he forced his way out of the interrogation room.
- No one expected the Joker to be able to make his way out of that situation. there was already a shortage of cops beause his bomb carrying friend distracted many of them(this was when the joker was sitting quietly in his cell). And the majority of the remaining cops left with gordon to save "Dent". Leaving a handful of cops in the unit.

- this is perhaps the stupidest point you have posted against the film. Why the Joker does these things if they will end up a certain way anyway? If we allowed them to take place, then they would have gone accordingly in an "ORDER"ed fasion. The Joker is "an agent of chaos", the tries to "introduce a little anarchy" to gotham. This wasn't even a dpoint that required any insight. you just failed to pay attention the way you should have. The Joker just wants to 'watch the world burn".


I mean...I find it a tad ironic, that someone who sets out to find plot holes in the film has plot holes "WITHIN plots holes WITHIN plotholes." maybe Mr. nolan should make a film about you. inception: part 2 anyone?

BAM!

Anonymous said...

This is a response to the previous comment:

Most of the plot inconsistencies relate to the joker's intentions and methodology. There are 3 things I am forced to believe about him based on watching this movie and I don't think they are consistent.

1- The joker is extremely good at what he does.
2- The joker is a force of nature who just acts on a whim and doesn't plan.
3- The joker does many things that require long-term planning.

Now 2 and 3 would actually be consistent if the Joker was just an incompetent madman who can't keep anything straight, because he would plan one thing one minute and do something else another. But he is supposed to be very competent and happy with his results. So you can't say that some really inconsistent thing the joker does is because he likes chaos and doesn't have any specific objectives. If that were true, he would never have been able to set up the scene with the 2 boats.

It seems to me that the joker only has a vested interest in being in a movie with a handful of flashy scenes while having some excuse to link them all. This is known as lazy writing.

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