The Eight Biggest Plot Holes in the Dark Knight Film Trilogy

01
of 09

The Eight Biggest Plot Holes in the Dark Knight Film Trilogy

Warner Bros.

  Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight film trilogy (2005's Batman Begins, 2008's The Dark Knight and 2012's The Dark Knight Rises) are excellent superhero films. They were major financial and critical successes and I think that their successes were well-deserved. I don't think it is much of a knock on the films to note that there were a few notable plot holes in the films along the way, though. Here, we take a look at the eight biggest plot holes in the film trilogy. 

02
of 09

1. The League of Shadows' Plan in Batman Begins Doesn't Make Sense

The vaporized water covers Gotham City as its citizens are exposed to the fear toxin. Warner Bros.

  The plan of the League of Shadows in Batman Begins was to poison Gotham City's water supply with the Scarecrow's fear toxin and then use a microwave emitter to vaporize the water supply, exposing all of Gotham City to the fear toxin. The resulting mass hysteria would surely destroy Gotham. Here's the problem with that plan, though. The water had been tainted by the League weeks earlier - for it to work, no one could have vaporized water in those ensuing weeks or else they would have been discovered. And that just doesn't work, as people obviously vaporize water constantly (tea, coffee, hot showers, dishwashers, etc.). 

03
of 09

2. Batman goes on to the monorail to stop Ra's for no reason

Ra's has a microwave emitter on the Gotham City monorail headed towards Wayne Towers to vaporize the central water supply of Gotham City. Warner Bros.

 At the end of Batman Begins, Ra's takes the microwave emitter on Gotham's monorail to transport it to Wayne Towers, which is right by Gotham City's central water supply. Batman boards the monorail to fight Ra's. However, he has already told Jim Gordon to shoot the monorail supports, which Gordon does, thus stopping the monorail well short of its target. So there was no point for Batman to board the monorail in the first place. There is also the question of why Ra's didn't just start at Wayne Towers to begin with instead of transporting the microwave emitter there after the plan had already begun, but I suppose I can buy that Ra's is just really into theatricality. I mean, the dude DID once sword fight Batman while bare chested, after all

04
of 09

3. Joker's Private Dinner Party

Warner Bros.

  In The Dark Knight, the Joker famously breaks into a dinner party with the intent to kill Harvey Dent (as he is in the midst of killing off Gotham City officials). Batman shows up and fights the Joker and his goons. Then Joker captures Rachel Dawes and throws her out the window. Batman rescues her and...that's it. He doesn't go back to all of the other party-goers who are now hostages of the Joker and we never see the Joker leave. The presumption is, of course, that the Joker just eventually left, but that's never actually shown in the movie, which is really odd. 

05
of 09

4. The Joker's plan relied on some strange variables for it to work

Warner Bros.

 Joker's big elaborate plan in the film after he is captured was not a terrible plan (having one of his goons have a bomb implanted in his stomach was particularly novel), but it required so many working parts to go exactly as planned that it really didn't make a ton of sense. For instance, he needed a GCPD detective to be placed WITHIN his cell for the plan to work. While it happened, it shouldn't have happened, so it doesn't make sense as a plan (although it reminds me of the old Incredible Hulk issue where Rick Jones is trapped in an exploding Skrull spaceship, but luckily he always carries a miniature parachute on his person in case he ever needs to escape from an exploding Skrull spaceship. When told that that is ridiculous, he replies, "Why? I needed to, didn't I?" So same thing here, yes, it makes no sense, but it worked, didn't it!). 

06
of 09

5. Why does Coleman Reese never reveal Batman's identity?

Warner Bros.

  In The Dark Knight, Wayne Enterprises accountant Coleman Reese figured out that Bruce Wayne was Batman. He told the whole world that he knew and that he was going to reveal the information. The Joker, though, being mercurial, put a price on Reese's head. When Batman saved him, he agreed to not reveal what he knew. However, Batman then allowed himself to be blamed for the crimes that Harvey Dent committed as Two-Face and the Gotham City Police Department began a manhunt for Batman, leading to Batman retiring for years before returning in The Dark Knight Rises after eight years. However, Coleman Reese is never addressed again in the trilogy. It seems unlikely that he would keep such a secret about Batman once he was revealed to be a murderer and wanted fugitive. Similarly, if there was a real manhunt out for Batman, don't you think they would investigate how Bruce Wayne's accountant figured out who Batman was? Then again, Bruce also goes into his secret room to change into Batman during The Dark Knight right in front of two people having sex and it never comes back to haunt him, so I guess no one really puts any thought into Batman's secret identity outside of Reese. 

07
of 09

6. The CIA doesn't notice that they've brought Bane on to their plane

Warner Bros.

 In the opening scene of The Dark Knight Rises, Bane and some of his men are intentionally captured so that they can gain access to Dr. Pavel, who the CIA were placing into protective custody because they wanted to keep him from...Bane. The CIA even refer to Bane as "the masked man," so they have an idea of what he looks like. So why in the world would they not identify the men under the hoods before placing them on their plane? And that does not even get into the fact that Bane and his men arrive with Dr. Pavel. So they show up with Dr. Pavel to get on the plane so that they can fake Dr. Pavel's death through an elaborate plane attack that could have gone wrong in so many different ways (and, as we note on the next page, shouldn't have worked in the first place). Would it not be easier to just do whatever they wanted to do with Dr. Pavel when they had him alone in their custody? Surely there would be better ways of finding out if Dr. Pavel told the CIA.

08
of 09

7. Bane's plane plan doesn't make sense

Warner Bros.

  Bane's plan is for him and a couple of his men to get captured so that they can get on to the CIA's plane. Then they will have another plane come by and attach itself to the smaller CIA plane and tear the wings off. Then they'll attack the plane, complete with shooting at the CIA plane from outside the plane. Then they'll kidnap Dr. Pavel, but not before putting some of his blood into to the dead body of a man that they brought on to the plane, plus leaving one of Bane's men behind because the flight plan listed one extra prisoner. The plan is to make it look like a plane crash that killed Dr. Pavel. However, even a cursory examination of the wreckage would show that the wings were torn off the plane in an incompatible way with an actual plane crash plus all of those bullet holes coming from outside the plane. Once it becomes clear that this was no typical plane crash, how hard would it be to use some other means to identify "Dr. Pavel," like his dental records or the mass of blood in him that isn't Dr. Pavel's blood? Again, like that old Hulk issue, it did work (as everyone believed Dr. Pavel died in a plane crash), but it shouldn't have. 

09
of 09

8. How does the Dark Knight return?!

Warner Bros.

 I know a lot of people have a problem with Gordon committing almost his entire force to an attack on Bane in the sewers (leading to all of them being captured), and yes, it was an ill-advised plan, but I don't think that rises tot he level of a plot hole. Unlike Bane and Joker's plans, a reasonable person could have thought it would have worked. Similarly, many folks have a problem with Batman being shown to be on The Bat seconds before the nuclear bomb exploded, but Nolan notes that there was an auto-pilot on The Bat, and I think people escaping explosions is such a common trope that I have a hard time begrudging it when Nolan actually did bother to throw in the whole "auto-pilot" explanation, especially since that is a lot more explanation that he gave to how Bruce Wayne got from the middle of the desert (after he has healed himself from being "broken" by Bane) to returning to the completely barricaded and sealed off Gotham City. He just doesn't bother explaining it. It is not that Batman couldn't pull it off, but you can't just say "Eh, he's Batman" to explain how he traveled across the globe and got back into a city that the film has made a huge deal into noting how you can't get into it.