The Dark Knight Saga/Fridge

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Fridge Brilliance[edit | hide | hide all]

  • Bane's motto seems to be "the fire rises". He says the phrase in the prologue, and it's turned up on T-shirts and so forth. Think back to The Dark Knight, when Alfred tells Bruce "some men just want to watch the world burn".
  • Notice that the movie posters are showing progressively less of the actual Batman and more emphasis on his logo, showing his transition from more a mere man to a symbol. Batman Begins has batman taking up most of the image, and the symbol is a tiny thing hovering above the title. The Dark Knight shrinks Batman down to half the image and puts TWO much larger bat symbols OVER the batman. The Dark Knight Rises Is just the symbol appearing out of the collapsing city, showing that he's now become an intangible construct of your Batman fearing mind. The same is done with Gotham city, being incorporated more and more into the poster. I have no idea about this really, his growing commitment to the city maybe.
    • He's a symbol not only of fear, but also of Gotham City. Without Gotham City, there is no Batman—but without Batman, is there a Gotham City?
  • Batman Begins and The Dark Knight. I was recently thinking back on Batman's "One Rule" he tells Joker about, and how he refuses to let the Joker fall to his death despite having refused to save Ra's Al Ghul in Batman Begins, and then it hit me. The line where Batman says "I won't kill you, but I don't have to save you" takes on a whole meaning when you remember that the comic version of this character is IMMORTAL. Batman knows that the fall won't kill him, and so he lets him fall in the same way he did the mobster in The Dark Knight.
    • The problem with that, however, is that it would seem that Batman doesn't know this about Ra's Al Ghul, or that Ra's isn't immortal in the movies. When the decoy Al Ghul is crushed in the mansion at the beginning of the movie, Bruce is of the opinion that he's dead. This is confirmed later in the movie during his birthday party when some random rich woman introduces him to "Ra's Al Ghul", and he tells the imposter "You aren't Ra's Al Ghul. I watched him die."
    • A much simpler explanation: Ducard put himself on the train, and forgot his surroundings, ultimately putting HIMSELF in danger. However, Batman THREW the Joker over the edge, which would have made HIM responsible. Yes, Batman jacked up the train, but had Ducard minded his own advice, he'd of had plenty of chance to get off the train using his super ninja magic or whatnot.
    • Or the simplest explanation: he didn't care that much back then. Presumably, after the Joker's social experiments and Harvey's corruption he saw the greater value in solid ideals. Character Development.
  • Batman Begins; this country troper was always a little miffed that Jonathan Crane was able to get on a panicked horse and make it run through very narrow streets and rear up for him. She was quite certain the filmmakers just wanted to throw in a version of the iconic comics image of Scarecrow on a black horse and were city boys who had absolutely no idea about horse's behavior. Then she read Scarecrow: Year One, in which Crane grew up on a farm in Georgia. No actual horses, but it's possible he would have learned to ride. The filmmakers for Batman Begins probably knew exactly how damn hard it would be to get a horse to do that in that situation - they were hinting that it wasn't Crane's first rodeo.
  • The Dark Knight spoilers: The scene where the Joker sets all the money he is paid by the mob bosses on fire was fairly interesting, and one of the few moments where the Joker stops being profoundly terrifying for a minute and is funny again. Until half an hour after walking out of the theater, when I thought back, and remembered that there was a man, bound and gagged, sitting on top of the money. And the camera cuts had managed to make me forget about it by simply not showing him. It turned the scene all the way around to "creepy" again. --Kefkakrazy
    • That was no random Mook, that was Lau, the Chinese mafia accountant. I had to watch it a second time before I caught that. -abcd_z
      • And what was Ra's al Ghul's long-term plan in Batman Begins? Destroy Gotham's economy. The Wayne family screwed that up, so he went to plan B and failed. OK, kids, what happens when you take a bunch of money from a given economy and destroy it in one fell swoop? GO JOKER!
        • You get a small decrease in overall liquidity, but actually, having less currency in circulation is de-inflationary. Not that it matters much today anyway, when most of the money in existence is purely digital.
    • In the scene where Harvey Dent is at the dinner party, shortly before the Joker arrives, he has a conversation with Alfred. He asks him "So you've known Rachel your whole life?". He replies "Not yet, sir." Guess who dies first?
    • At first, I passed off the "only burning my half" as a brilliant example of The Joker's humor. It wasn't until later that I thought about how vital this scene is to setting The Joker up as Batman's mirror. To be a mirror, his motives have to be as pure as Batman's are. He's as dedicated to mayhem as Batman is to justice. He's more than a man—he's a force. For that to be legitimate, money can't play into things. The money scene, which for any other villain would be the sum of all their efforts, their crowning moment before the hero intervenes to set things right, instead serves as an opportunity for The Joker to declare exactly what kind of man he is. Money doesn't matter to him. He's doing this because Gotham deserves a "better class of criminal", one that isn’t in this for monetary gains.
    • "Only burning half." Foreshadowing, foreshadowing, foreshadowing!
      • One problem, that scene came AFTER Harvey's disfigurement.
      • I never noticed that, that's interesting! And it gets me thinking: specifically, the Joker says, "I'm only burning my half." (I checked). Now, what is the Joker trying to prove throughout the movie? That everyone is as ugly on the inside as he is. By saying he's only burning his half, it implies that the half of Harvey that he burns is already "his" - that is, there was already the potential for madness and evil in Harvey. The Joker (or so he believes) only brings it to the surface. The burns visually represent Two-Face's "evil" side, but the burns themselves were only part of the equation.
        • Well, of course there was already potential for madness and evil in Harvey. He's a lawyer. - Smerf
      • To add another foreshadowing twist, remember Alfred's story to Bruce Wayne about his trip to Borneo and met the sadistic leader with a horde of diamonds he did not care about having as a warning about the Joker's behavior. "Only burning half."—The Unknown
        • Which makes the Joker, in a way, better than Alfred's company—they burned the whole forest down for money, while the Joker is burning his half of the mob money.
        • Yep, it's pretty unsubtle: "Some men don't care about money. Some men just wanna watch the world burn."
        • Also, the Joker says "only burning my half" - claiming full responsibility for Harvey's transformation, that the "evil" half of Harvey essentially belongs to him.
      • The best part of that scene for me is that "only burning my half" is absurd: the fire's gonna spread to the entire pile anyway. Symbolic of more than one thing: symbolic of the way the Joker's chaos spreads around the city, and also of the way Harvey's burns actually turn him entirely evil (with things like shooting the driver) instead of only half.
        • I always saw that as the Joker's literal half. There was another pile just as big that belong to the mob. Maybe I missed something.
    • And I only realized when someone pointed it out to me that the Joker lied! Batman goes to rescue Rachel and sends the police after Dent. But it's Batman who rescues Harvey and the cops who see Rachel blow up. Knowing that the Joker does things like this adds another layer to the scene with the two boats...
      • Oh, but that's the whole point, don't you see? The way the Joker explains it to Batman in the interrogation room, he makes it out that his game is to force Batman to make the devil's choice about who to save between Dent and Rachel - the man Gotham needs versus the woman he loves. But by switching them around, he forces Batman to commit to his choice, only to find out that he's got the OPPOSITE of what he wanted. Either way, Joker wins TWICE. --Arcane Azmadi
        • Additionally, that little maneuver was pivotal in getting Harvey to do his Face Heel Turn. By saying "I just do things. The mob has plans. The cops have plans. Gordon's got plans. You know... they're schemers. Schemers trying to control their little worlds. I'm not a schemer. I try to show the schemers how pathetic their attempts to control things really are." and later "Nobody panics when things go 'according to plan'..." Joker was implying to Harvey that it wasn't his fault that Rachel died, it was the Police and Batman's for choosing their precious district attorney over her, while at the same time admitting that he did the switch to screw with them.
        • With the reversed choice in that scene in mind, consider the Ferry Boat scene. The Joker plainly lays out two choices, kill, or die. But what reason does he give us to believe that he is playing the choice straight this time? The thought occurred to me in a moment of chilling Fridge Brilliance: what if the detonators that each boat holds in their hands do not trigger the explosives on the other boat, but the ones on the same boat? Then, anyone who triggers their detonator would be killing themselves instead. Given the Joker's love of irony and glee in twisting familiar concepts into cruel mockeries, I found it to be exactly the sort of thing he would do to display 'Justice' in this manner. Fortunately, there was a Third Option.
          • Actually the idea that the detonator on each boat blew up the actual boats they were on would be in a reference to the early "Only burning my half" scene. Look at it like this: The Joker wants to bring humanity's true nature to the surface, to show how they're like him, to show that they're his people. Whoever pulled the trigger would be his people, and that would be the half that burned in a fiery explosion. --Meraxa
        • Am I the only person who, upon hearing the Joker's statement regarding the bombs on the ferries, assumed that had one of the detonators been triggered, both ferries would have exploded? Because that would have been in character for the Joker?
        • I'd always had a problem with the "it'd blow up your own/both boats" theory, and I just now realized why, conveniently in a moment of Fridge Brilliance. Joker is trying to prove Humans Are the Real Monsters, right? If the people who turned the key died, they would be dead bastards. However, if they were to actually live through the ordeal, they would go through the rest of their lives knowing Joker was right, and that they sentenced hundreds of people to their deaths. How's THAT for breaking Gotham's spirit?
        • Well, consider this: If it was rigged to blow up the boat that gave in, he could have never explained this. As a result, everyone on the surviving boat would be viewed as the people who blew up a bunch of others in cold blood. Most of the boat, in fact, would probably have no idea it wasn't true, and would be suspicious of the rest of the passengers, thinking they did it. And god help whoever happened to be near the controller at that point; they'd probably never be trusted again. So he gets some extra psycho irony to laugh about: not only do the people who take his Schmuck Bait die, the other group gets viewed as evil no matter what they actually did.
          • Alternately, the Joker probably guessed it would be the "good people" who pushed the button since they had more to live for. I always thought he would have let Gotham remain under the idea that the thugs killed a bunch of innocent citizens to save themselves just long enough for a lynch mob to form, then after utter mayhem erupts and a few more people die, call the news and tell everyone the truth. That'd give Gotham something to chew on.
        • On the other hand, the detonator was in clear view the whole time, and even if Joker were to create suspicion like that, each person on the boat would still be convinced of their own innocence. It works a whole lot better for Joker to prove Humans Are the Real Monsters if he were to actually make people kill each other; it just doesn't seem like something Joker would lie about this time. True, he could have the guy holding the detonator look like the bad guy without his doing anything, but how much better would it work out for him if he successfully proved people can be made into monsters, as his victims actually realize this for themselves?
            • I had a weird moment of Brilliance with this scene; you see, I had always been absolutely certain that the Joker had given the people on the boats the detonator for their own bombs; it wasn't until later that I realized that the fact is never mention or implied or as some mention not that at all! I just knew it because that was what the Joker do and there was no need to establish that.
      • It's entirely possible that neither boat would have blown up. That would be quite a prank, wouldn't it? And still sit on the detonator's conscience all his/her life. I think that may be part of the point: that there is no telling what would have happened. Maybe neither boat, maybe both boats, maybe the same, maybe the other. Maybe it wouldn't have been an explosion at all but his laughing gag or something. With the Joker, you just don't know. His unpredictability is his deadliest forte.
        • No, because when they didn't blow up by the deadline, Joker tried to fire his detonator.
      • Going on if the detonators blew up their own boats, it works out either way for the Joker. It doesn't matter what the people on the ship know, they're being watched by the entire city. The Joker making it clear that he intends to blow up both boats is the perfect cover. If only one boat blows up, nobody is going to believe that the Joker was responsible for it. Also, if the citizens boat blows, the criminals become dehumanized and mobbed after. If the criminal boat blows, there'd be no way to determine which citizen did it, so they would all be criminalized by the city. In truth, Joker blowing both ships us was the last thing he wanted because it only makes him out as more of a monster when what he really wants is to make himself and the people of Gotham city indistinguishable.
    • The Joker's dual backstories. I realized several hours later that the back stories have not one, not two, but three completely separate layers. Layer the first. He's trying to scare Gambol and Rachel by telling them about his scars. Layer the second. Each story is tailored to the listener. Rachel is a woman about to be married... so he tells her a story about how his wife committed suicide. Gambol is a gangster, likely with a higher emphasis on family... so The Joker tells him a story about how his father was an abusive alcoholic. Finally, both scenes are parodies of the stock standard Freudian Excuse in comics. Where the majority of supervillains were either abused by their fathers (literally, 90% of all male supervillains), or had self-inflicted misfortunes (Penance, anyone?).
      • Now you've got me wondering what story he was going to tell Batman. - Ronfar
        • I've always thought it'd go something like this:

Heath Ledger: He was a great knife-maker, my father. When the one-armed man appeared and requested a special knife, my father took the job. He slaved a year before he was done. The one-armed man returned and demanded it…but at one-tenth his promised price. My father refused. Without a word, the one-armed man slashed him through the heart. I loved my father, so naturally I challenged this man to a duel. I failed... the one-armed man left me alive, but he gave me this (a scar on his cheek) and this (another scar)...

      • Considering Batman's obsession with law and order, he'd probably say that they were inflicted by a sadistic cop or something. Or better yet - a vigilante!
        • While reading all these things about the Joker, I came to the conclusion that they're probably all TRUE. It's the Joker. He'd just as easily lie to you as tell you the truth, but there's really no way to prove it. Which just makes it that much more frustrating, which is EXACTLY WHAT THE JOKER WANTS!
        • They all ARE true. He only tells two stories, two scars, two scars that look different in type. While it does make it impossible to conclude what he would have said to Batman, my assumption would have been something simple that would have compared them to each other, like "These are from my loved ones. They made me who I am."
    • Consider that in prison, convicted child abusers need to be isolated. In short, criminals like kids. In the good way. I thought it was absolute perfect genius the prisoners would give up their lives for the kids. - Lots42.
      • Adding to that is the line the Scary Black Man says: "Give it to me, or we'll kill you and take it from you." In light of what happens a moment later, that line actually means he was fully willing to kill the police officers just to make sure they didn't have a spat of cowardice and blow up the boat of children.
        • Actually, he said "these men" would kill him and take it anyway. I would argue that in this case, it's more ambiguous what he means when he's describing what the other guys would do.
      • To add more,"Give it to me and I'll do what you should have done 10 minutes ago." Some of us think that scary black man is going to blow them up. He didn't. The brilliant part is, he basically telling the cop: "Give it to me and I'll do what you should have done as sworn officer of this state and public servant, 10 minutes ago."
        • That's not Fridge Brilliance. That exactly how you're supposed to interpret the scene from the first viewing.
    • In a movie full of Ironic Echoes, one struck me hard, just days after getting the DVD, even though I saw it in the theater. Harvey and his trademark two-headed coin, an obvious sign of things to come, is first indicative of not his reliance on chance, but his apparent vigilant philosophy, as noted by Rachel: "You create your own luck?. It demonstrates just how far things have gone when Joker pulls his Hannibal Lecture and convinces him that luck and chance are inescapable. Despite the fact that Harvey and Rachel weren't targeted by chance at all, nor that he'd be the one saved instead of Rachel, Joker successfully convinces him that it was so. And thus he creates the Two-Face we all know and cringe from. - Kryptik
      • And on top of that, as I realized on rewatching it on DVD myself, Two-Face's coin doesn't work with pure randomness: it comes up good head, then bad head, then good head and so on in a perfectly alternating pattern until the end. The instrument Two-Face uses to enact random chance is perfectly, mechanically predictable, which tells you just how twisted he is (and helps undercut the Joker's logic). - Omar Karindu
        • Uh, I think that was just an unfortunate coincidence that it turned out that way, since there's never any suggestion that Two-Face is cheating on the coin toss (at least, not after his double-headed coin is burned on one side anyway). --Arcane Azmadi
        • This is more of a Two-Face in general thing, but the scars on the "bad" side make it lighter, and therefore, it's more likely to come up in a toss.
      • By the logic of perfect switching back and forth between life and death sides of the coin, Two-Face's last flip should have ended up on death. But after Batman tackles him, the coin landed on the cement on the life side. Because he refused to believe in the "One Bad Day" theory like Two-Face and the Joker, Batman changed the outcome of that flip and thereby disproved the theory. What a perfect way to subtly reinforce the theme of the movie.
        • Or it's supposed to represent that Two-Face is still alive.
          • Okay smart guy. Why would they hold a funeral for a man who is still alive? If he's alive he could ruin their entire plan. Dent/Two-Face has to be dead.
            • Um, you did watch the whole movie, right? And you're asking why they'd hold a funeral for someone who's still alive?
            • The funeral was for Harvey Dent. He is dead. Twoface, his other personality, is alive and well.
            • Unless they simply hid him in Arkham and told everybody he was dead so his legacy would not be tarnished. If he came back and ruined their plan, then perhaps they deserve it for using such morally questionable tactics in the first place.
      • Another thought on the coin. When he was the idealistic crusading DA, his coin had two sides, both of them the "Good" side. Regardless of chance, he was going to do the right thing, no matter what, because there is no other option. After Rachel dies, the coin is defaced on one side, showing that he now has the capability in him to do bad.
      • After Harvey becomes Two-Face, he goes around claiming that "the only morality in a cruel world is chance". Except he doesn't, really, shoot people by chance; he's the one who chooses who he shoots, made very clear in the scene where he shoots Maroni's driver. Bit of an Ironic Echo of his line from before "I make my own luck"...
    • On subsequent viewing, I picked up some richer subtext than the first time around, particularly regarding the scene when the Joker is apprehended. I had thought Batman's game of chicken, resulting in his Batpod wipeout, was a little odd. Now I see that this happened because he really was thinking about running the Joker down (in keeping with Batman's struggle over what he "had to become" to beat men like him), but couldn't do it at the last second. I also realized this was the exact moment that the Joker decided Batman was "just too much fun" to kill.
      • Under this interpretation, when the Batpod crashes, look at the Joker's face when he turns to look at Batman. Not before, not after, during.
    • It wasn't until I got home from the theater that I grasped the subtleties of the ending. Earlier in the film, it is very briefly alluded to that Batman is having difficulty: the criminals of Gotham have figured out that Batman won't kill them, and they no longer fear him as they once did. By accepting the blame for the killings committed by Two-Face, Batman not only prevents Dent's name from being tarnished, but he gives the crooks reason to believe that he's willing to kill. They have a reason to fear him again, and Batman doesn't need to violate his code against killing. -Lord Carnifex
      • He also solved the problem of the copycats that were emulating him. People stopped "looking up to him". He didn't wanted to be a symbol of what's good, he wanted to be a symbol of fear to the criminals of Gotham.
    • I realized that the Rachel/Dent choice isn't just a cruel trick on Batman and the cops, it's also one for the victims. Both Dent and Rachel think that they are the one that's going to be saved over the other. As D.A. is more important than A.D.A., Dent sees himself as more valuable to the police. Dent also thinks he has a stronger relationship with Batman since Batman met with him face to face and he just risked himself to protect Batman's identity. Rachel thinks she's going to live because of her own relationship with Batman, who might take the chance to get rid of her fiance. If you listen to their conversation, both Rachel and Dent are trying keep the other calm because they know the other is being left to die.
      • Having just read this, I re-watched it and saw Rachel's expression as she realizes Harvey is being rescued, and not her... and she seems to suddenly realize she is about to die. Never saw that expression before.
        • And that lead me to the realization that even after all the talking Bruce had done about giving up being Batman, and his clear intent to save her, she died thinking he chose saving Harvey over her. Thus she died believing that in the end, Bruce chose the Batman over her. Relief, betrayal, and sudden fear of death.
    • I came to understand that the day after Rachel's death and the death of Batman's parents are stylistically very very similar. First, there's Bruce Wayne looking out in his own world, when Alfred comes in wanting to prepare something to help take his mind off of things. Initially Bruce is unresponsive, so Alfred leaves with a "Very well", but then Bruce says, "Alfred." and then Alfred has to give some comforting words to Bruce in order to help the disillusioned person. In the first movie it was to help rid Bruce of his self guilt over leaving the theater, to provide comfort, and the first spark that "It was his fault, and his alone." to inspire the future Batman. In The Dark Knight, it's to remind him that, "You have inspired good, but you spat in the face of Gotham's criminals. Things were always going to get worse before they got better." This congruency makes the scene much more different because it lends extra depth to the idea of Alfred as Bruce's father figure after the death of his real father, and that even in the worst of time, he'll have something to say to comfort and encourage him.
    • There is a further, stronger, parallel between Alfred and Bruce across Batman Begins & The Dark Knight. In Batman Begins, there is a subtext of Bruce searching for a father figure, which by the end of the movie and throughout The Dark Knight, is Alfred. When Rachel gives Alfred her letter to Bruce, Alfred reads and then later burns the letter because its contents would destroy Bruce after he'd sacrificed so much. For Alfred, the truth is not as important as giving people the reward they deserve and the drive to keep going. Then, at the end of The Dark Knight, Bruce/Batman takes the blame for Two Face's murders, and he gives the reason that "the truth isn't good enough. Sometimes people deserve more. Sometimes people deserve to have their faith rewarded". Bruce has taken on Alfred as a father figure so completely that he's internalized Alfred's values and is expressing them as Batman, and without even realizing that Alfred is treating him the same way. The fact that Batman delivers his reasoning as a voice-over to Alfred burning the letter is very anvilicious. - Lamartine
    • When Alfred tells Bruce that the only way he caught the jewel thief was to burn down the forest, I thought that he was just providing a cautionary tale about the lengths Bruce might have to go to stop the Joker. However, then I remembered Alfred describing earlier that the only thing the thief wanted was to "watch the world burn". So, in order to catch the thief, Alfred had to do exactly what the thief wanted! This is prophetic because in the end of the movie, in order to stop the Joker, Batman has to sacrifice his heroic image by taking the blame for Harvey's crimes. If you remember from earlier in the film, the Joker's main strategy was to turn Gotham against Batman!
      • That sounds cool, but there's no indication the theif wanted them to literally burn down the forest. Maybe you're right, but it dosn't actually say that.
      • No, even better than that: there are three things the Joker wants: to kill off the criminals who are in it for the money, to make Harvey Dent violate his moral code, and to make Batman violate his "one rule". He gets all three.
      • It gets even better for him than that. Batman doesn't kill the Joker - he kills Dent. He broke his code not by becoming a criminal, but by killing to fulfill his goal. It was to save Gordon's son, but he was still forced to cross the line just like Alfred did - and it was in a way that even benefited the Joker, who still lives to see his triumph. Conversely, Batman and the Joker both won - the Joker accomplished his three main goals; Batman accomplishes his, in becoming the hero the city needs (though in a horrible, twisted way).
      • What I took from Alfred's line was that it had to do with Batman's use of the cellphone sonar device, which in Lucius's eyes seems incredibly immoral. Just as Alfred exposes the thief by burning down his hiding place, Batman exposes the Joker by removing all of the privacy and anonymity of not only the Joker, but all of Gotham.
  • One moment that appealed to me was during the Batman/Joker discussion in the cell. At one point, the Joker says/quotes the Jerry Maguire line "You... complete me!" At first it just sounds like a throwaway line for a cheap laugh until you consider the source: in the movie, Jerry Maguire, until the scene that line comes from, almost always gets around with a rictus grin on his face - Does This Remind You of Anything?? Also, Jerry Maguire's meant to be seen as an antihero - again, probably how the Joker sees himself. -- Saintheart
  • Two pieces of Alfred's dialogue within Batman Begins and The Dark Knight are very similar. The first happens just after Bruce's parents die in Begins, and the second after Rachel dies in Dark Knight.

Alfred: "I thought I'd prepare a little supper... (Bruce looks out his window, silent). Very well, then."
Alfred: "I thought I'd prepare a little breakfast... Very well, then."

    • This troper recognized that when Alfred gave the line in the second film, which only made the dialogue that followed so much more brilliant and wrenching. In the first movie, Bruce Wayne is just a little boy, who was in no way responsible for his parents' death—and as with the second movie, he asks Alfred, in effect, whether he was responsible for the deaths that have just occurred. Alfred's response is clear in the first movie: it was not Bruce's fault. But in the second movie, rather than comfort Bruce Wayne, he addresses him as an adult: "You spat in the faces of Gotham's criminals. Did you not think there would be some casualties?" It's both an acknowledgment by Alfred that Bruce is an adult fully capable of making his own decisions, and also a restatement of the sorrow, if not slight disapproval, that Alfred has for Batman. Bruce had the excuse of being a child and being innocent when Alfred first comforts him this way; in the second movie, he's neither a child nor an innocent, so Alfred serves it to him straight. Even so, that scene from the first movie is one of my Tear Jerker favorites; I still cry like a baby when that one comes up, and to have that scene restated and then raked over was like pulling a scab off a healed wound. Brilliant. --Saintheart
  • In the opening, Joker hides among the bank robbers working for him. During the car chase scene, Gordon hides among the cops. There's a recurring theme of hiding things, all though the movie.
    • Not just hiding, but hiding in plain sight. Both those examples, as well as Joker hiding among the cops during the assassination attempt, are all hiding in plain sight.
      • It's even present in the first shot of the film. Remember the film starts with the Joker having his clown mask off. He doesn't remove it at any point to put his makeup on during the opening sequence, with the conclusion being he had it on the entire time he was just standing there in the middle of the street, quite openly, for everyone to see his face. He is hiding right there in plain sight.
        • And yet no one even looked twice at him. A subtle commentary on how evil is always within us, we just don't recognize it—or don't want to recognize it?
        • Notice how little concern citizens on the street have as The Joker and his thugs come out of their Suburban and run to the bank entrance.
          • If you saw a man, in a city notoriously full of crazies, looking like that, would you do anything about it? I know I would just get the hell out ASAP.
  • Remember the scene where Batman holds a mafia guy over a ledge to scare him and he retorts that "a fall from this height wouldn't kill me" to which Batman says "I know. I'm counting on it" and drops him anyway? That's exactly what he'd hope would happen to Harvey when he tackled him!
    • Also remember that Harvey was already severely injured (having already survived being badly burned & then a car crash), it wasn't just the fall that killed him. Batman didn't know about the crash and thus didn't know about Harvey's other injuries, his death was completely accidental. The fall was just the final nail in the coffin.
  • The Joker says he doesn't make plans, but this obviously isn't true. Because he's lying. He's a consummate liar, remember? He says whatever would twist the knife more. For someone like Harvey, who has dedicated his life to Lawful Good, saying he's Chaotic Neutral is an excellent way to hurt him.
    • Actually, I think what he meant is that his plans don't have specific goals. For example, he wasn't actually TRYING to turn Harvey Dent into Two-Face. There was so many things that could have happened instead. Harvey could have died. Both of them could have died. Rachel could have become Two-Face. But whatever happens in the end doesn't really matter to Joker, because it always works in his favor.
    • Except... Joker actually clearly plans everything he does, to the point where he's annoyed when his bombs only trigger after a few seconds of delay. He's just as much of a planner as everyone else!
  • After watching The Dark Knight a dozen times, one moment of Fridge Horror struck this troper completely at random. In the scene where the Joker is meeting with the mob bosses and he proposes killing Batman, on boss retorts "If it's so simple, why haven't you done it already?" The Joker replies "If you're good at something, never do it for free." Now, pause for a moment. Consider that Joker's not saying he's good at just killing people in general, and he's not just being really loopy. How does he know if he's good at killing vigilantes unless he's done it several times before?
    • I always took it as he is good at killing people, not vigilantes in specific.
  • A brilliant, perhaps unintentional one, here. Many remember the scene of the Joker crashing Bruce's party, entering with: "Where. Is. Harvey. Dent?". However, shortly before that scene, where Bruce himself joins the party he asks "Where is Harvey-" and cuts off as he sees him, implying he may have been about to say Dent. Coincidence, or an attempt to draw parallels between Batman and Joker? Probably the former.
  • Many epileptic trees have been planted on the nature of Ducard/Ra's Al Ghul. While it seems most agree he was always Ra's, consider this. Ducard teaches Bruce to be more than a man, an "idea", a "legend", and ultimately implants Bruce's idea for Batman to be, not just a man, but a symbol. So could it be, rather than one person, Ra's Al Ghul is something more? A mantle to be taken up, a symbol! Brilliant.
    • Since the original version of the character is literally immortal, it would make sense in the more realistic Nolanverse that Ra's al Ghul would be a name for successive leaders of the League of Shadows to use rather than a specific person.
  • This Troper was rewatching The Dark Knight, and something occurred to them during the scene in which Dent catches up with Wuertz. When Two-Face grills him about what the mob did to him and Rachel, Wuertz responds with "I didn't know what they were gonna do to you!" Harvey then spins his coin and says "Funny, because I don't know what's gonna happen to you." The first few times this Troper always thought a better line would be "Funny, because I don't know what I'M gonna do to you." but then it dawned on them. When Two-Face uses the coin, he abdicates responsibility for his actions, so Harvey would never use that line. To Harvey, the coin killed Wuertz.
  • This Troper was recently thinking about why does Batman do this growling voice every time he puts on the mask and suddenly realized: it's another form of disguise! Nobody in superhero-related media seems to be able to recognize the hero by his voice, even close relatives! But here, Batman changes his voice in order not to be recognized (he's a public person and stuff).
    • Yes! That's my biggest peeve when people critique the movie is that the voice is unnecessary? Come on, Falcone says in the first movie "You're Bruce Wayne. You'd have to go a thousand miles to find someone who doesn't know who you are." Bruce is definitely more popular than most his other counterparts (i.e. Burton's Wayne was more mysterious), and it'd be the equivalent of Charlie Sheen running around not disguising his voice. Someone is bound to notice that they sound familiar.
    • Still doesn't explain why he uses the voice in front of Lucius Fox though.
    • Because it's his Batman voice, and when he uses it in front of Fox, it's while he's being Batman.
    • No one is criticizing Bale for using "the voice." They're criticizing Bale for using "that incredibly stupid, distracting voice." Nolan and Bale didn't invent the fake voice. Michael Keaton created the first fake Batman voice (so effective, I might add, that my six-year-old self thought they were two different actors). Kevin Conroy was even more effective in the animated series. But Bale's voice has always been laughable and bizarre.
    • Actually the horrible voice in TDK is Nolan's doing, not Bale's. Bale altered his voice like you would expect but Nolan distorted it even further in editing. He say it in an interview but I don't remember a reason being given.
    • Over the course of the first two films, the voice gets gruffer and growlier as the list of people who've met both Batman and Bruce Wayne gets longer. Rewatch The Dark Knight and compare the voice before and after Batman has been introduced to Harvey Dent.
  • In Begins, the incident with the League was probably what caused Batman to start his no-killing policy. Before, he had no problem trying to kill bad guys, like Joe Chill, but when presented with an uninterrupted chance to kill a murderer in cold blood, he choked, and bought down the entire building trying to escape. That's not a plot hole, that's character development.
    • Also, Bruce Wayne may have killed people, if in a combination of panic and self-defense, but Batman doesn't.
  • This troper was slightly disappointed when he found out Nolan wasn't going to create a brand new, darker version of Robin. Then, he realized that Rachel Dawes IS this universe's Robin. In the comics, Batman never had a real love interest like most other superheroes did, because his teenage sidekick took its place. So in the movies, they created a new character to act as Bruce's companion even if she didn't fight crime with him. Also, the second Rachel Dawes, played by Maggie Gyllenhaal, was murdered by the Joker in a similar way that the second Robin, Jason Todd, was murdered by the Joker.
    • Vicki Vale? Selena Kyle? Batman has had love interests in the comics.
      • But Rachel shares more similarities with Robin, most notably her death.
  • Listen to the notes that have to be played on the piano to open the Batcave in Batman Begins. Unless you're completely tone deaf, you'll notice that they're horribly discordant, do not work next to each other in that order and never could under any circumstances. Basically, they're horrible. The Fridge Brilliance is that since they're so incompatible musically, it's highly unlikely that anyone will ever play those notes in that order except to open the Batcave, preventing the Batcave from being opened by accident while someone plays the piano or whatever.
  • What little criticism Batman Begins received was about the jump-cut-heavy fight scenes, which made the action a bit too frenetic for some. Fridge Brilliance: Nolan stated he had a pragmatic reason for this, wanting to show Batman as a scarily fast attacker where the targets could not make heads or tails what they were being overwhelmed with. Nevertheless, he used more tracking shots for The Dark Knight's action scenes.
    • That doesn't explain why the action is equally frenetic in the opening fight, in broad daylight, before Bruce received his League training; or against members of the League, who've received the same training and never lose track of him.
    • It's because Nolan couldn't direct a fight sequence until Inception and the Batsuit is ill-fitting and awkward. The tracking shots make this very obvious.
      • Except for the fact that Dark Knight was made before Inception, and it had improved fight scenes. Pretty much the same thing happened in the second and third Bourne films. Director gets complaints about the jumpy fight scenes, pulls back on the jitter cam. In the opening fight, Bruce is still a very good fighter, by normal standards, as Ducard notes. But he's savage, and raw. As for the League fight, who says its his enemies' perception? Maybe it's Batman, who thinks he's about to be overwhelmed.
  • A bit of music Fridge Brilliance here. Everyone remembers that chilling scene with Joker escaping from prison and the race to the rescue happening concurrently. The track, "Agent of Chaos", contains a particular theme. This is NOT the first time this theme has played in the movie series. Altered from the original format to an extent, but the theme is intact. When did the theme play in Batman Begins? When Wayne Manor BURNS DOWN. We have been CONDITIONED to panic when this theme plays. And hopefully Nolan will be making good use of this in the third film.
  • This may be more of a explanation of a Title Drop, but one might think that it is called the Dark Knight just because that is one of batman's nicknames, but when you think about it throughout the movie everybody calls Harvey Dent The "White Knight". This is because he is the ideal model of a pure hero (especially in Bruce's eyes). In the movie he takes down hundreds of criminals and cleans up Gotham in a non-dangerous, legal and respectable way all without wearing a mask. But at the end Gordon gives his speech about how Batman does the same but in an imperfect and reckless way, but doing things in an unidealistic and realistic manner is what needs to happen to stop the monstrous threats like the Joker, which is why Batman is the hero Gotham "Deserves, but not the one it needs". So to summarize Batman is a corrupt realistic version of Gotham's hero the White Knight making him The Dark Knight.
    • Yup, it's pretty obvious. Remember the dinner scene between Harvey, Bruce, Rachel, and Bruce's Russian ballerina date? How the ballerina holds a piece of white paper over Harvey Dent's eyes, suggesting he could be Batman. The point being: Harvey is Gotham's white knight, with a white mask, at that point, while Batman's is unremittingly dark.
    • Also, remember Dent's speech before he 'reveals' himself to be the Batman, where he says, "The night is always darkest just before the dawn." 'The Dark Knight' can also be interpreted as 'The Dark Night', the dark night being the reign of terror on Gotham being perpetrated by the Joker.
  • It occurred to me that the Joker was very skillfully manipulating Batman into the person that the Joker wanted him to be. Thinking over the hostage bit, when Gordon and the police were on their way to save Dent, or so they thought, both Gordon and Batman believed the Joker when he told them where he was holding Harvey and Rachel. This had two possible outcomes, with Batman in the position of making a Sadistic Choice either way. If the locations hadn't been switched, and Batman successfully saved Rachel, that would leave Gotham without its White Knight, which would pave the way for a new era of crime and corruption in the city - just what the Joker promised the mob guys earlier in the film. However, the second way, as had occurred in the movie, was also immensely profitable to the Joker. With Rachel dead, there's nothing standing in the way of Batman devoting himself to fighting crime, and the Joker would have his opponent. Not to mention, he STILL takes down the White Knight side of Dent by exploiting his bitterness at surviving. Either way, the Joker wins.
  • A meta-example: The first full-length trailer for Dark Knight Rises was attached to Sherlock Holmes 2. This might not seem that significant, until you deduce what Batman and Sherlock have in common...
  • It seemed odd at first to this troper that when training Bruce, Ducard was so negative about Thomas Wayne. But then you find out that the League of Shadows tried to destroy Gotham before, by causing a depression. And who messed up that plan? Thomas Wayne! Bruce is not the first Wayne to thwart them.
  • This Troper has realized that the League of Shadows and the Joker are actually similer. Both belive that humans are bastards, and try to force people into evil acts to justify their actions! The League claimed Gotham was a cesspit of corruption and crime. But they caused a lot of that by putting the city in a deppresion, increasing the desperation, and thus people who would turn to crime because of that desperation. And in doing so, they would have criminals they could kill. The Joker is always trying to prove that deep down inside everyone is just as ugly as he is. He does it by forcing them into sadistic choices, and mind rapes.
    • If you think about it, the Shadows and the Joker came to the same basic conclusion about human nature, but took it in opposite directions. The Lo S think Humans Are the Real Monsters but essentially want to scare humanity straight with dramatic examples of punishing evil, and they manipulated the citizens of Gotham towards crime to get the most dramatic example they could. Joker thinks Humans Are the Real Monsters, but he revels in it and wants to force everybody else to do so as well. So the Shadows' response was to adopt an impossibly stric and rigid moral code all about punishing evil, while the Joker's was to gleefully abandon morality altogether.
  • One way Sal Maroni could've survived the crash (i.e. Harvey Two-Face keeping his word) is that Harvey Two-Face deliberately unbuckled himself to shield Maroni and then, after the crash, Maroni was scared so shitless he actually fled Gotham! That may explain why he doesn't appear in Rises—because he was too scared shitless of the Gotham DA and had lived under a rock for the last eight years!
  • The Joker's declaration that "I think you and I are destined to do this forever". He's not talking about a rematch! He no longer cares if he gets imprisoned forever or even executed for his crimes. He already won when Batman failed to rescue the woman he loved. The Joker knows that Batman is the sort of person who would obsess over every mistake he made, wondering if he could have done something different and saved her. That's why they two of them will be battling forever.
  • In Batman Begins, Bruce says that as a symbol, he can be incorruptible. At first, I thought that the ending of The Dark Knight proved him wrong: by taking the blame for Harvey's crimes, he corrupted the symbol (Batman). However, I later realized that there is a character in The Dark Knight who was corrupted as a man, but remained uncorruptible as a symbol: Harvey Dent.
  • Why didn't Joker tell Harvey a scar story? Because he would've already heard one from the people at the party, especially Rachel. He does, however, tell him a different lie; that he's entirely Chaotic evil without any real plans whatsoever. For someone like Harvey, who has lived his life by The Plan, the idea that one lunatic could do so much damage hits him right in the soft spots.
    • There were two likely outcomes to that situation; Joker convinces Harvey and blows up the hospital, Joker doesn't convince Dent and Dent kills him in cold blood (making him a murderer), Joker doesn't convince Dent and blows up the hospital (making him a martyr?), but Batman is still put off kilter by the loss of Dent and Rachel.

Fridge Logic[edit | hide]

  • A lot of The Dark Knight's Fridge Logic troubles can be summed up in the infamous fan video The Dark Knight is Confused.
  • The convoy chase scene in The Dark Knight where they divert down onto Lower Fifth. Bearing in mind that this is a police convoy on closed streets, it would have been entirely possible to bend the laws of the road to stick to their defined route and keep their air support. Yes, it was an attempt to draw out the Joker, but that's not a good excuse to waltz into an unknown trap.
    • Wasn't their planned route blocked by, y'know, a flaming fire truck? The most important thing for a convoy to do is to keep moving, even if you suspect an ambush.
  • If the giant sonar grid imager was only to be used by Lucius Fox and Bruce knew it would be destroyed after the Joker was captured, why does it have five identical chairs and computer stations?
    • Looks. It's in a (for Batman) public area that more people than just Lucius can get into. Even if Wayne restricted access to that room, someone had to build it. Hence the need for it to look normal. Another option could be that the computer was repurposed from something else and tossing out the extra chairs was an unnecessary opening for questions.

Fridge Horror[edit | hide]

  • In Batman Begins, remember the really cool scene riding the Batmobile over the rooftops with that girl inside? Got it? Now remember she was still under the influence of the Scarecrow's literal Nightmare Fuel and imagine what that already scary ride must have looked like...
    • Remember in the Dark Knight, how there was all that build-up about the Joker causing people in Gotham to turn on each other and let them tear the city apart? Remember how it took time to do, and Batman had time to head it off? Yeah, Scarecrow's fear toxin could have done all of that in about thirty seconds if Batman hadn't stopped the train.
      • Also, he took his time stopping the train. At least few thousand apartments were passed at that point already, so while most of Gotham City was saved, at least few thousand denizens went mad any way.
        • That explains why so many Gothamites are crazy.
    • Batman refuses to execute the petty criminal at the end of his training, but as he escapes he deliberately burns down the entire building, with all the trainees inside and including the petty criminal who was tied up.
    • Rewatching the final scene from Batman Begins knowing in hindsight just how much destruction The Joker would cause in the next film sends more of a chill down my spine than it did when I first watched the film. With all my knowledge of Batman, nothing quite prepared me for what I would see in three years time.
  • A bit of Fridge Horror from the comics. Harvey calls the coin his father's lucky coin. Seems like a random line until you realise that in the comics Harvey's dad would flip that coin to decide whether or not to beat Harvey. Heads he would; tails he wouldn't. Now what's unique about Harvey's coin.....
  • In the scene from The Dark Knight where the Joker is meeting with the mob bosses and he proposes killing Batman, on boss retorts "If it's so simple, why haven't you done it already?" The Joker replies "If you're good at something, never do it for free." Now, pause for a moment. Consider that Joker's not saying he's good at just killing people in general, and he's not just being really loopy. How does he know if he's good at killing vigilantes unless he's done it several times before?
    • Just to add more proof. Remember the other vigilante the joker killed? The Batman wannabe? Yea, well there were more than just one of those guys running around and that's just the one WE KNOW ABOUT. And we know how sadistic the Joker is and if you didn't before, you knew after seeing THAT scene.
  • Some scenes in The Dark Knight with Gordon's son become somewhat creepy with the recent development in the comics that James Jr. grows up to be a psychopathic Complete Monster

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