Pick One: Realistic or Idealistic?

Clearly the goal of the movie was to be realistic and therefore have storylines and themes that could be plausible in reality.  Nevermind that it’s a movie based on a comic book character and doesn’t need to qualify itself that way to be entertaining, it’s clear that’s what the intention is and if that’s the case then it will end up contradicting itself when moments of totally unrealistic idealism are shown.

Such is the case with the people on the 2 ferries loaded with explosives.  In reality, it would take all of 30 seconds for someone on one boat or the other to turn the key on the trigger to blow up the other boat.  The Milgram Experiment proves this.

Someone also mentioned: “The power gets shut off of the ferry boats and they sit in the water for an hour… yet no rescue boats come and ask what’s up. In real life a rescue boat or coast guard [or other form of patrol] would show up in 10 minutes.”

BTW, is Tommy “Tiny” Lister wearing the same orange jumpsuit from “Next Friday” (1999)?

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18 Responses to “Pick One: Realistic or Idealistic?”

  1. How could the Joker know the two ferries would be loaded with exactly half criminals and half obnoxious sweating bald men?

    All his schemes were totally unbelievable. No one noticed a bunch of people loading explosive oil drums and bombs onto the boats?

    The movie forces you to make all these absurd jumps and conclusions.

    How did TwoFace survive the hospital explosion AND the car wreck??

    You half to ASSUME half the stuff in the film.

  2. This site is fucking stupid and you people should learn how to write.

  3. good points avantsweater. no comment there. just p holes.

  4. The ferries are loaded with armed soldiers and police I’m pretty sure rushing them is a good way to guarantee you’ll get killed which would be exactly what your trying to avoid by turning the key in the first place. As for rescue boats the Jokers warning precludes anybody leaving, it’s exactly the same principle as a hostage situation, the police don’t rush in and start to pull people out they assess the situation first, in this case finding the Joker and his detonator was the priority.

  5. The name of the movie is BATMAN! quit comparing everything in the movie to what could happen in real life. enjoy the movie experience because believe it or not its not real life!!!

  6. The problem is everyone is saying how REALISTIC it is and that’s why they love it!

  7. Its stupid comments like these that make the point to watch a movie futile. People usually watch movies, especially a movie about Batman to escape from the real world. Story telling can do this to people. Why does every little detail about The Dark Knight have to be critized and analyzed to the point of death. Do that to any movie and I guarantee there is enough to make a site. If you didn’t like it that much then why do you even care? Are you upset that it is successful and not a failure because it didn’t stimulate your intellect to its full extent? Its just a movie, an excellent one at that. It deserves all praise it gets. This site is useless.

  8. @ avant: Joker dropped the line about the tunnels and bridges to have them deliberately closed down, ensuring that people would be boarding the ferries. I don’t think he really cared who was on what boat, but it just worked out in a way that made the situation even more tense (this is a movie, after all).

    Joker was the one who pushed Dent over the edge in the hospital, so it makes no sense to blow the hospital up with Dent inside. That would ruin the Joker’s entire plan to bring Dent “down to his level.” Also, the car crash didn’t even look that bad, and it wasn’t even shown whether or not Maroni was killed.

    You have to take some things for granted for a movie like this to work. If you question things like Dent’s crash, why would you not question the scene where an entire 18 wheeler is flipped on it’s roof without a noticeable scratch on the Joker?

    Was it realistic? Not at all. But again, it is a comic book-based movie. I’m not a huge DC fan, but I know that in the Marvel universe, sonic booms don’t exist because it would cause too much of a logistical problem with characters like the Human Torch and Quicksilver moving around all the time.

  9. :) i forgot to finish that last thought.

    The concept of sonic booms not existing is just my way of saying that, because the setting requires a sense of disbelief, certain laws of physics and probability need to be suspended for the characters to live up to their names.

  10. Ethereal Magnanimus, the “sonic booms” thing is fair enough (in regards to suspension of disbelief) and somewhere here I have mentioned that even in movies intended to be “realistic” (or should I say focused on realism), the suspension of disbelief is necessary otherwise the movie can’t be enjoyed. I think the main gripes here (the overall issues, not just this particular one) is that either the movie’s message contradicts itself or the attempt at realism is completely destroyed by things like sci-fi mass-sonar cell phones.

  11. The point of the movie was not to be physically realistic and was never stated as such.

    The point was to be SOCIALLY and MENTALLY realistic, as in the situations, emotional responses, mob mentality, and personal morality battles were down to earth and realistic rather then, “He is the good guy everyone likes him” mentality.

    If Nolan wanted a physically realistic movie this movie would’ve sucked for a lot of reasons

    no tumbler
    no gadgets
    no skyhook
    no sonar
    no two-face
    no truck flipping
    no bat-pod up the wall turn around

  12. So the ultimate thing is that the Joker doesn’t even follow his own rules of “no rules/anarchy/I do whatever at any given time” and meticulously plans every detail down to the minutia?

    He did know it was prisoners and regular people though on the boats I think also.

    He just seemed totally omniscient and Batman seemed like a dumbass.

  13. that cell sonar seemed to make situations more complicated.

    89 batman seemed like a realistic movie to me. with the exception of a utility belt pulling someone up. but hey I can buy that much for a movie.

  14. Joker did seem pretty omniscient, but that is to be expected. If he wasn’t one step ahead of Batman, the movie would have been about someone who was (the Riddler, perhaps).

    Most cell phones have both speakers and microphones, so the concept of sonar, while a stretch, seems semi-plausible.

  15. Yeah I believed the phone thing but Joker was like FIVE steps ahead of everyone at all times. I thought it was kind of obnoxious. He should have just killed more people and planned less things. Maybe bought more dogs.

  16. Ok, I’ve browsed the hating of the film with nothing more than mild amusement, but as a psychologist, I have to call out the blatant misuse of the Milgram experiment.

    Firstly, Milgram performed over a dozen different versions of his test and almost all of the findings completely disassociate this situation from that.

    He showed that the effect only works if an authority figure is present, physically, the Joker was not. He showed that the effect only works if the authority figure was legitimate and respected, the Joker was not. He showed that it only worked if the situation was at least slightly ambiguous, and blowing up a ferry is most certainly not.

    A large part of the discussion within psychology regarding the Milgram experiment (and trust me, by the end of your first year you are pretty sure you can not discuss it for another second) relates to the fact that the participants had a kind of plausible deniability in their own minds, and that when you take that away, the effect all but dissappears.

    Plus, if they -did- believe it, the participants of the Milgram study only believed themselves to be harming or killing one person. Not pressing a button which meant certain death for a ferry load of people.

    Finally, and perhaps most importantly, is the concept of gradual commitment. The shock levels in Milgram’s experiment increased by 15volts at a time, and after you have agreed to 15 volts, and then 30, it is hard to decide to draw a line before 45, or 60. It is very, very different to going from 0-blow up a ferry in one step, don’t you think?

    Have a pleasant day,


  17. Just like to second the opinion that the Milgram Experiment was wrongly referenced (i’m also a psych student, you’ll have to forgive us, we’re anally retentive about this stuff.)

    I wont repeat what Uno has said, because it’s unnecessary, but basically it was an inappropriate allusion because of the things Uno pointed out plus the fact that two different things were being tested; Milgram was testing obedience under certain conditions and found that it is only present under very specific conditions. the Joker was testing survival instinct and the willingness to sacrifice a hell of a lot of other lives for your own. even if the result had turned out to be the same, they arnt cmparable studies.

    Also, you will tend to find anyone but the most sadistic/psychotic/sociopathic people will shy away from killng a lot of other people who are within eye sight.

    also, we all know films often carry messages; about society, government, poeple, emotions, you know. there was a message there about how even in depraved places like Gotham City poeple still have a flicker of humanity; thats why it was the criminals who went so far as to throw the detonator out of the boat; to hammer a point home. maybe its not what would have happened in real life, maybe it is; depends whos on the boat.

    and that leads me to my final point; it wasnt real life. it was a film. go mutter about the inaccuracy and unrealistic nature of The Simpsons or something….

  18. Yes!! thumbs up for the man who made us laugh,people should be ashamed for criticizing the dark knight.The movie is ok ,what ever one can say i don’t care i have seen it 4 times now.

    who ever don’t understand the theme of the movie,they should just give up.because neither one of the boats blew up was to show that not all the people are about blowing things up.

    and why two face was no longer the same is to show that people should not always prioritize by choosing to save women,that is why the joker swapped the addresses of were they are.

    why so serious,its not all about the money that why the joker burned all the money.its about the plan people.even though
    something is bad but if its according to the plan its good.

    we are also taught not to want to be in control of everything.

    well again there are so many mistakes on the movies,but its not important now,so i ll watch it again.

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