One of the most interesting things about plot holes in films is that they are typically most often found in the more complicated films in the world. In other words, if your film has a very simple plot, the odds are that your movie is not going to have a plot holes in it (unless the film was just horribly made, which is a whole other story). However, if your film has a complex plot, the odds are higher that an edit here or there will inadvertently create a plot hole by removing the explanation needed for a later sequence.
The end result is that when we began to count down the biggest plot holes in Batman film history, we were surprised to find out just how many of the plot holes occurred in the recent, much more critically acclaimed Christopher Nolan-directed Dark Knight trilogy than the less acclaimed Joel Schumacher films. Here, then, are the biggest plot holes in all of the Batman solo films (not counting Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice, which we’re counting as a Superman film).
15. POISON IVY AND MISTER FREEZE
Naturally, Batman villains are not always the most logical people in the world, as they think stuff like, “Wow, I survived that fall and some cats are licking me — I guess I should start dressing up like a cat!” That’s understandable, though, in the internal logic of the films. However, in Batman and Robin, that internal logic was fouled up with the main villain pairing of the movie.
Uma Thurman’s Poison Ivy hates humanity because she thinks that they are ruining the world for the plants of the planet. She manipulates Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Mister Freeze into making a freeze ray that can freeze the entire world! Her theory is that it will kill all of humanity and then plants will take over — but, of course, if the whole world is frozen, that would kill the plants, too! They make no sense as a pair!
14. GOONS IN THE CATHEDRAL
At the end of Tim Burton’s Batman, the Joker (Jack Nicholson) attempts to murder a whole bunch of people in a parade in Gotham City. Batman manages to show up in his Batwing and save everyone. However, the Joker managed to shoot the Batwing down and the Batwing crashes into Gotham Cathedral. Joker heads to the Cathedral with his prisoner, Vicki Vale (Kim Basinger), and travels to the roof. Before Joker heads to the Cathedral roof, he arranges for a helicopter to pick him and Vale up in 10 minutes.
Batman then heads to the roof to stop the Joker. He is interrupted, though, by a number of Joker’s goons, who were waiting for him. That, of course, makes no sense. How could they already be there? No one knew that the Batwing was going to show up, get shot down and land specifically at the Gotham Cathedral!
13. BATGIRL’S ORIGIN
Okay, so Barbara Wilson (Alicia Silverstone) shows up at Wayne Manor in Batman and Robin to visit her Uncle Alfred, who is the butler to Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson. Once there, Alfred comes down with a mysterious illness. Fearing that he is near death, he entrusts Barbara with a disk containing secret information that he wants to be given only to his brother, so that his brother could succeed Alfred as the Wayne butler.
Barbara opens the disk herself (luckily figuring out Alfred’s code to unlock the disk) and discovers that Bruce and Dick are Batman and Robin! She then goes to the Bat-Cave, where Alfred has a Batgirl suit waiting for her, as he somehow predicted that all of these very specific things would happen.
12. WHY DID COLEMAN REESE KEEP QUIET?
In The Dark Knight, Bruce Wayne’s accountant, Coleman Reese, discovered that Bruce Wayne was Batman. He publicly threatened to reveal Batman’s secret identity to the world. However, after the Joker (in a fit of pique) decided to kidnap him and try to kill him, Reese decided not to reveal Batman’s secret once Batman saved him from the Joker.
However, at the end of The Dark Knight, Batman took credit for the crimes committed by Two-Face and thus became a wanted fugitive for eight years. So, at no point in those eight years on the run did Reese think to maybe share the information with anyone else, despite now believing Batman to be a deadly criminal? Also, while hunting down Batman, no one thought to check on the guy who said he knew Batman’s secret identity? And no one wondered how Bruce Wayne’s accountant, in particular, figured out Batman’s secret identity?
11. WHY DIDN’T POISON IVY KISS ROBIN TWICE?
In Batman and Robin, when Dr. Pamela Isley is transformed into Poison Ivy, she gained the ability to seduce men with pheromones. She also gained the ability to kill people with a kiss from her now poisonous lips. In a major sequence in the film, she seduces Robin (Chris O’Donnell) and lays that killer kiss on the Boy Wonder’s lips… and nothing happens!
Robin revealed that he was wearing plastic lips to protect himself! However, he then takes off the only thing preventing her from kissing him and killing him just to show her what he had done! All she had to do was kiss him while the plastic lips were off and he’d be dead! It’s be like shooting a guy with a bulletproof vest, having him take off the vest to demonstrate how it protected him and then choosing not to shoot him while the vest was off!
10. THAT FIRE SYMBOL
It is already a plot hole in The Dark Knight Rises that Bruce Wayne goes from being in the middle of the desert half the world away to then easily entering into Gotham City despite a barricade that the film specifically tells us is practically impenetrable. So, that’s already a problem; however, the film doesn’t stop there.
Batman somehow manages to travel half the globe, gets past an impregnable barricade and then what he does is spend a few days painting a giant bat symbol in gasoline without being seen by either the bad guys or the good guys, all so he perfectly time it so that Gordon and his men get into a fire fight at just the right spot for Gordon to light up the fire symbol, which also served to ruin any sneak attack advantage that Batman had going for him.
9. WHAT KIND OF DUMB INTRUDER ALERT IS THIS?
In Batman Forever, the Riddler (Jim Carrey) discovers Batman’s secret identity. He and Two-Face (Tommy Lee Jones) and their henchmen break into Wayne Manor while Bruce Wayne (Val Kilmer) is on a date with Chase Meridian (Nicole Kidman). Riddler heads to the Bat-Cave to wreak havoc with a series of comical (but dangerous) bombs.
Luckily for Batman, the Bat-Cave’s intruder alert sounds when the Riddler enters Batman’s secret headquarters. Unluckily for Batman, the way that the Bat-Cavs’s intruder alert works (outside of it blaring “Intruder alert, intruder alert, intruder alert”) is for all of the items in the Bat-Cave to be activated and for the Batmobile to be lifted up and become unlocked. So the Bat-Cave’s solution to an intruder is to make everything easier to steal? Cunning.
8. JOKER’S ESCAPE PLAN
In The Dark Knight, the Joker (Heath Ledger) allows himself to be captured so that he can be interrogated by Batman and he can tell batman that he has captured Harvey Dent and Rachel Dawes and that he has them rigged to explode and Batman only has time to save one (while the police tries to save the other). Batman goes to save Rachel, but the Joker gave him the address for Dent instead.
Meanwhile, the Joker somehow knows that a cop will be placed in his cell with him so that he can provoke the cop into attacking him and then he takes the cop hostage and that sets up his escape. If the detective just did not get into the cell with the Joker for no reason, the Joker never would have escaped!
7. WHY DID NO ONE UNMASK BANE?
In the opening of The Dark Knight Rises, Bane (Tom Hardy) pretends to be a prisoner so that he can get on to a CIA transport plane with Doctor Pavel, who Bane needs to create a nuclear bomb. Pavel is being put on to the plane to keep him protected from Bane, who the CIA only know as “the masked man.” Despite this, when they receive a prisoner with a hood on, they do not think to, you know, look under his hood to see if he happens to be wearing a mask like Bane.
Not only that, but Bane arrives at the transport plane… in the same jeep that they were transporting Doctor Pavel in! So he traveled with Doctor Pavel to sneak on to a plane to kidnap Doctor Pavel! Of course, that doesn’t factor in his “brilliant” plan to fake Pavel’s death. More on that very soon.
6. BANE’S PLANE PLAN WAS PLAIN DUMB
Bane’s plan required Pavel appearing to be dead (so that no one would look for him). So he and his men (who followed the CIA plane in a plane of their own) hijack the CIA plane (tearing the wings off of it in the process) and deliver a dead body that they inject with some blood from Doctor Pavel. They then go on to their plane with Pavel and let the CIA plane (now missing its wings) crash.
However, the wings of the plane were plainly torn from the plane by force. No one would ever think that it was a normal plane crash. Once they figured that out, they would check the body of “Pavel” and unless they specifically test that one spot in his body where he had Pavel’s blood in him and not every other part of his body, they’ll know it it not Pavel.
5. WHY DID BATMAN CHASE RA’S ON THE MONORAIL?
At the conclusion of Batman Begins, Ra’s AL Ghul’s master plan of using a microwave emitter to vaporize the water supply of Gotham (which Al Ghul has laced with fear gas that will only activate when the water is vaporized) is almost ready to occur. So, Ra’s travels on the Gotham City monorail until he gets to Wayne Tower, which is the closest building to the water supply.
Batman has Sergeant Gordon knock out the monorail supports so that it cannot reach Wayne Tower. Gordon does so. So, why does Batman even attack the monorail? Gordon clearly was going to do what he said to do and it did happen, so the day was already saved! Plus, as an aside, why did Ra’s not just start his plan at Wayne Tower instead of traveling there by monorail for some reason?
4. THE LEAGUE OF SHADOWS’ PLAN
Speaking of Ra’s Al Ghul’s plan in Batman Begins, the whole thing does not make any sense. His plan is to douse Gotham City with the fear gas (developed by Doctor Jonathan Crane) and thus drive them all mad to the point where they would tear the entire city apart. That’s all fine and good, but the trick is that Ra’s and the League of Shadows pre doused the water supply for Gotham with the fear gas chemicals weeks earlier, so that the water would just have to be vaporized to turn it into the fear gas.
However, how could the gas be there for long without anyone noticing, since water is constantly being vaporized! When people make tea, when they take a hot shower, vaporized water is all over the place in Gotham City, and yet somehow their plans weren’t uncovered a week early!
3. HOW DID BATMAN AND ROBIN GET OFF OF THAT BUOY?
Going back to the original Batman film (not counting the serials), Adam West and Burt Ward played Batman and Robin in 1966’s Batman: The Movie. Early in the film, Batman and Robin run afoul of the Penguin and find themselves trapped on two buoys, being held in place by a powerful electromagnetic force.
The villains then launch three torpedoes at them! Batman cleverly found a way to use his utility belt to jam the signals of the first two torpedoes and they safely exploded and then (in a rather gross turn of events) the third torpedo is stopped when a dolphin swam in its path and it prematurely detonated the torpedo. That’s all well and good (except for the dolphin, of course), but how did they ever get off the buoy? The magnet was still working and had them stuck!
2. WHY WEREN’T THERE ANY COPS AT JOKER’S PARADE?
As we noted earlier, the Joker capped off the end of Tim Burton’s Batman film by planning to douse the citizens of Gotham City with a deadly gas at a parade that he organized. Now, first off, all that the public knew about the Joker at the time was that he liked to kill people in public venues, so why so many people showed up happily for the slaughter is beyond us.
But more important is who didn’t show up – the Gotham City Police Department! They know that the Joker is a murderer, but he throws a parade and no cops come by for it! As it turned out, a reason was written (the Joker used a non-lethal poison to knock out the cops), but it did not make its way into the final film, leaving a giant-sized plot hole in its place.
1. WHAT HAPPENED TO JOKER’S PRIVATE PARTY?
The Joker first really makes a public name for himself in The Dark Knight when he began killing off public officials in Gotham City in the hopes of forcing Batman into revealing his secret identity. His next target was District Attorney Harvey Dent (Aron Eckhart), so the Joker and his henchmen crash a fancy dinner party where Harvey is in attendance with his girlfriend, Rachel Dawes. They lock everyone inside.
Batman shows up to fight the Joker, but then the Joker throws Rachel out a window and Batman jumps after her to save her. Batman luckily manages to save her. However, that’s it for the party! Batman just left the Joker and his goons alone with a bunch of captured rich people and it’s never shown again! What the heck? What a giant-sized plot hole… and what a terrible Batman!
Can you think of any notable Batman film plot holes that we missed? Be sure to let us know in the comments section!
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