The Dark Knight: The plot holes you missed
Superhero movies are not supposed to be realistic. They are supposed to be fun, entertaining, and a freaking blast… right? The Dark Knight proved that this is not true at all. It gave the viewers a superhero story grounded in realism with philosophical and moral dilemmas that would leave anyone with many things to consider. The greatest part of the Dark Knight lies in its story. It feels real, it feels solid, it’s logical and it’s riveting. And, this is also just another masterpiece by Christopher Nolan.
But for all its apparent perfection, the Dark Knight is actually filled with lots of plot holes and logical inconsistency. And it’s Jonathan Nolan’s brilliance that makes sure the audience is distracted from them. Yet, look carefully enough and here’ a few things about The Dark Knight that tend to stick out:
- Didn’t Gordon know he had problems in his department?
I mean someone totally leaked the information that the cops were going to bust the banks and, then you have the fact that someone from his team kidnapped Harvey and Rachel. After both events, Gordon does not take any action to find out who the mole is.
Over here, Nolan uses misdirection to make sure the audience doesn’t notice these logical fallacies. On the first instance, after the mob bank busts turn out to be empty, Gordon blames Harvey for the leak. For the second instance – before it is revealed that Harvey has been kidnapped, it’s clearly shown him being taken away by Michael Wuertz, a detective in Gordon’s unit.
Why didn’t Gordon do something about the corruption in his unit? Why did you fail to notice? Because, there is something more important happening: Joker has kidnapped Harvey and Rachel, Batman had his first conversation with the Joker and what a freaking conversation – and now Batman has to choose who to save – Rachel or Harvey. There is so much happening, so much at stake!
- Why didn’t Batman attack Joker’s Truck in the Tunnel?
You may have to jog your memory for this point, so watch this video first.
So… Batman attacked the garbage truck first! What the heck! The garbage truck was literally doing nothing. Ideally, Batman should have attacked the Joker’s trailer truck first and stopped the attacked right there.
And, because of that, he had to throw the Batmobile in front of a rocket.
But, hey, you know what? That tunnel scene was epic because Batman was racing form one corner to another, and then we got to see a cool-ass bike. Wait. Were you saying something about Batman should have attacked Joker’s trailer truck first? Who cares!
- Joker Blows up the Hospital
So, you know the Joker is about to blow the hospital up and instead of stopping him, you evacuate everyone out? Not to mention, from the looks of the explosions, it looks like every room in the hospital is rigged to explode. How did the Joker get so many explosives and how did he rig the hospital without anyone noticing?
The truth is that it would be easier and cheaper for the police to stop the Joker from rigging the bombs in Gotham General than evacuating the hospital.
- Didn’t Gordon know he had problems in his department?
- What happened to the Gotham Bridges?
When Joker announces that he’s getting everyone in the “game” and he tells people to get out when they can – except that the exits from Gotham City – the bridge and the tunnels have a surprise waiting. From a storytelling perspective, Nolan needed to create a situation where people evacuated Gotham City by boats.
But, really – there seems to be a logical flaw in Joker’s plan. One man can’t just block a tunnel or bridge – it’s not logically possible. And I’m sure the police are smart enough to ensure that there are no surprises on the bridge or tunnel.
- The Two-Face Name
In some kind of foreshadowing, we learn early on that Harvey Dent was part of the Internal Investigation involving Gordon’s team and that they had a special name for him, which was later revealed as Two-Face.
Why is this a problem? There simply is no background to why he was called Two-Face. From a storytelling perspective, it could have been done better. Maybe Nolan could have thrown in an actual story about where Harvey Dent clearly backstabbed his own men. From a logical perspective, it does not make sense, it’s force fit.
- The Oil Barrels on a Boat
Before your boat gets off the harbour, you better at least check what you are carrying. I mean, you can’t certainly miss that you’re carrying over 10 oil barrels – all wired to blow up, right?
Of course, that’s exactly what happened to the two ferries at the end of Dark Knight. How in the world did this happen! How did the Captain and crew miss that they were carrying over a dozen oil barrel ready to explode!
From a viewer perspective, this could be deal-breaker, a disruption in the story, but Nolan crafted this scene in a manner so that viewers didn’t care about the logic. Nolan doesn’t just raise the stakes of the story, he creates a social experiment, which forces the viewer to ask themselves the same question as the people on the ferry – Would I pull the trigger first to save myself and condemn someone else?
- Batman blamed for Harvey’s deaths
Here’s a big plot hole in the Dark Knight. After Harvey Dent falls and dies, Batman tells Gordon that he needs to blame the Batman for the people Harvey killed. And something struck me after several viewings – Why the hell didn’t they just blame the Joker? If you’re gonna lie about something, might as blame the villain.
Why did I fail to notice it? Why did you fail to notice it? It because that whole ten minutes scene was a highly emotional one with the film’s three main characters – Harvey Dent, Gordon, and Batman. Furthermore, once again, there was so much at stake. Harvey threatened to kill Gordon’s family. For Batman, it was a one-last attempt to stop Harvey from turning into a villain. For Harvey, it was a painful moment, a reminder of his Rachel’s voice just before she died. And, the scene was followed up by a great speech from Gordon. There was not a single hint, or mention of blaming the Joker.
It takes an immense challenge to make a realistic and logical fiction tale, and it’s nearly impossible to do so with a superhero movie. However, the Nolan brothers did so and nobody batted an eye, no one noticed the flaws. Why? Because as the movie progressed, so did the stakes, and as the challenges increased for Batman, so did the audience’s concern for whether those challenges were overcome or not. You don’t care that it is not really possible for Joker to rig explosive in hospital, a bridge, tunnel or a ferry without anybody noticing. No – you are more interested in whether Batman will burn down the forest to find Joker, whether he is willing to break his own rule, and whether he will endure. The movie may have started out with Batman trying to take down the mob, but it ended with Batman trying to stop the city from tearing itself apart.
Put this story in comparison with BatmanVsSuperman. The audience was not forgiving of any of the story loopholes in this movie because they didn’t care about what was happening, they didn’t care about the stakes. There were too many boring things happening – Lex Luther’s manic plans, Superman’s struggle against the governmental machines, Batman hunt against criminals – seriously, no one cared about these stories.
On the other hand, the Dark Knight is filled with a series of such compelling stories that make you care about the world. The story keeps intensifying with Joker challenging everyone. As a viewer, you’re too engrossed in the story to care about the little mistakes.
What do you think? Do you agree? Do you disagree? Do you think you could have made a better Dark Knight movie story?