These Legos Don't Fit Together

I found this commentary on the TDK board.  I can’t seem to find the details of the original post, but it matches my own assessment pretty well, so I share it here as-is and unedited:

If I understand it correctly, Gordon faked his own death (even though it’s edited to make it look like he got shot for real) to protect his family. Batman then decides to announce who he is but Dent takes his place. The Joker intercepts the Dent convoy but is himself intercepted by Batman. Carnage ensues including the destruction of large parts of the Gotham road system and various buildings and, seemingly by fortune, Batman, the Joker and, the driver of the convoy who is, of course, Gordon, reach a point at which the Joker is captured. Unfortunately for them that’s what he wanted all along.

So: doesn’t make very little sense when you try and add it up from characters’ POV. Why would Gordon legitimise such a ridiculous plan: there’s no guarantee it would work and he’s placing the lives of his men and Dent in very real jeopardy because he knows the Joker is coming for them. Batman may suffer from incredible pride but there’s no way he could have planned, forseen or even imagained such a successful scenario as him flipping the Joker’s truck, faking his defeat and Gordon’s reappearance because it all happened just metres away from his vehicle. The Joker needs Dent for phase 2 of this particular plan os his attempt at killing him is self serving. He needs to be caught AND he needs the guy with the phone in his stomach to make it with him otherwise he’s got no way to get Lao or the money. He surely should have walked into the station with his men a la Se7en!

I put this to a friend and he suggested the whole ‘agent of chaos’ angle which doesn’t work for me because Dent, Gordon and Batman ren’t agents of chaos and that’s the force they’re fighting against. If the Joker had initiated this then, yes, I could agree. But this is their party which the Joker crashes.

(I also have another one which is a little smaller and more of a quibble. But all of the Joker’s plans are well prepared, well researched and devoted entirely to a double aim in which everyone looks one way while he goes the other. The only case that’s not true for is the boats. There’s nothing the Gotham PD can do OTHER THAN look for him. That does seem a) out of character (this is supposedly the beginning of ‘the game’… he doesn’t seem to have prepared particularly well) amd b) a writer’s convenience. The end of the Joker Batman story comes again through circumstance. Not sure on this one but thought I’d mention it while I’m writing).span>

But am I wrong? Maybe I missed something? Thoghts comments and flames wanted and expected…!

Lots of salient points in there.

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32 Responses to “These Legos Don't Fit Together”

  1. Better questions than that Gay batman post you made.

  2. This is the main problem I have with the film. Bale’s stale acting, the editing errors, the illogic of comic book movie physics (Two-Face’s mouth, speech, the school bus intro, the BatPod, and the Sonar phone etc.) could all be forgiven if the plot made sense. But it doesn’t because there is no way around that gigantic contrivance. If Gordon had the foresight to fake his own death and capture the Joker, why does the Joker still have the upper hand in jail?

    The entire movie shows the Joker as some omniscient criminal yet we never see his plots unfold, just the result of those plots. When did he make the decision to implant one of his men with a cell phone bomb and tell that man to be caught by the police?

    The Joker acts all along like he doesn’t want to be captured, he wants to capture the Batman, and he doesn’t know Gordon is alive, he doesn’t even know Dent isn’t the Batman until the chase ensues. Yet he also has this intricate “back-up” plan to capture Dent and Lau and bust himself out of jail in case he fails?

    The problem is poor writing; the writers wanted to put the Joker in an impossible situation, and then have him escape from it. They also wanted to put Batman in an impossible situation: save the white knight of Gotham or his lady love, a prisoner’s dilema of sorts. However they did both at the same time without any lead-up to it; confusing and annoying the viewer, and doing so in a way that makes the viewer feel cheated (I certainly did).

    In order to suspend disbelief in a comic book movie the plot has to be believable since the action/special effects will not be. The plot in this movie is contrived, and not beliveable, and that combined with silly comic book movie physics, and leaden acting make the movie poor.

  3. By the time Joker busted out of jail I was extremly tired of his omniscience, it makes for boring viewing.

  4. I hate at the end of the post the writer seems upset and unsure about his observations when he’s 100% right. Yes the Joker causes anarchy, but his plans are wayyyy too thought out, and THAT is just not the Joker whatsoever…at least I don’t think. I mean, I’ve heard of one step ahead of the good guy, but six? The Joker isn’t supposed to be such a mastermind, that was the job of the Riddler, the Joker is supposed to be that, a Joker! And JM, I don’t know if you’ll read this, but you say you don’t like the plot, the acting, the writing, Two Face, and the editing? I can make an assumption by saying…you did not like Batman…I mean, The Dark Knight.

  5. details details details
    if it was good they wouldn’t matter
    house of cards

  6. “By the time Joker busted out of jail I was extremly tired of his omniscience, it makes for boring viewing.”

    Yeah it was like “Q” from “Star Trek: The Next Generation” except not as entertaining.

    It’s lazy writing.

    It allows a writer to put the antagonist in any position and arbitrarily allow him the magical ability to have the upper hand at all times without any explanation of how (just that he does). I can buy a character, especially the bad guy, being constantly one step ahead of the good guy, but if it’s never actually shown how or if we’re never shown the bad guy actually controlling the chaos with specific actions, then it’s a farce. Lazy writing.

    Anyone ever catch the show “Dexter” on Showtime? Whether you watch the show and see him as a bad guy or good guy, regardless of the role he’s positioned in, he’s almost always shown as being one step ahead even when presented with chos and difficulties and it’s always shown HOW and it’s always clever and entertaining. THAT is good writing, and THAT is good portrayal of a sociopath. All plausible, all “realistic”, and never makes me want to look at my watch and hope it’s over soon – rather, the opposite, I’m always looking forward to the next episode.

  7. “And JM, I don’t know if you’ll read this, but you say you don’t like the plot, the acting, the writing, Two Face, and the editing? I can make an assumption by saying…you did not like Batman…I mean, The Dark Knight.”

    I am not a big Batman fan, I am a Marvel/Spider-Man guy, but I understand the character. I saw the movie twice and I was less than impressed with it. It was better than say Batman and Robin, but probably the least impressive of Nolan’s work to date. There were some good things about the movie; the cinematography, the music score, and Ledger being most notable

  8. tdksucks said: ‘It’s lazy writing.
    It allows a writer to put the antagonist in any position and arbitrarily allow him the magical ability to have the upper hand at all times without any explanation of how (just that he does). I can buy a character, especially the bad guy, being constantly one step ahead of the good guy, but if it’s never actually shown how or if we’re never shown the bad guy actually controlling the chaos with specific actions, then it’s a farce. Lazy writing.’

    You summed it up very well. And this is perhaps the movie’s biggest failure. Joker seems to have unlimited resources, personnel, bombs, etc. and he plants all this stuff with NOBODY in Chicago, I mean Gotham City, noticing a guy with clown makeup on his face.

  9. “The Joker isn’t supposed to be such a mastermind, that was the job of the Riddler, the Joker is supposed to be that, a Joker! ”

    The original Joker created by Jerry Robinson is mastermind, less laughing, and smart.

  10. I think they did something to the plot after Ledger’s death. When our analyses here are notable, people just line up to see the movie! Well, who doesn’t want to see Ledger’s desperate acting? He tried too hard, I think. But…the rest of the viewers are not as smart and critical as we are (haha!).

    Can’t wait to see Johnny Depp as The Riddler. Not sure though if he would accept this role if the script is still poorly written. Hmmmm….

  11. God.

    The Joker is not constantly one step ahead of everyone. He didn’t plan to be captured. He didn’t plan to prove Harvey Dent could be made like him.

    He doesn’t scheme.

    He just has heaps of random thigns ready for when he might want to use them. And when the situation arises, he uses them.

    (Some barrels of oil in a warehouse, an exploding cellphone in his lackey, explosive charges along the gas mains of a hospital- Y’know, shit that he finds funny. He’s been active for six months in Gotham time leading up to this movie, remember?).

    The mistakes Gordan, Batman & Dent make during the bulk oft he film is that they keep expecting Joker to behave like anyone else; to have a plan, a reason for his actions, an ultimate goal.

    Its only when Batman realises that Joker is just acting out and doing whatever comes to mind at the time (NB this is not to say that he’s making stuff up as he goes along; Joker is a brilliant tactician and elader; just not a strategist- look up the terms and learn the difference) that Batman stops trying to second guess the Joker and just does what needs to be done.

    Its fine to attack a movie, (I didnt think it was `teh awesoem’ or anything, just a good Batman movie, similar to a good batman arc) but you really do come across as a simpleton, buddy. (plenty of your detractors do too though. I.e. Swears and bad sentance structure).

    The problem that your having is confusing dialogue- characters thoughts and opinions- with exposition. Just because a character states something doesn’t mean its a fact. The point of the movie is that normal, healthy people- people who aren’t sociopaths- juts don’t easily understand someone who just wants to watch the world burn, someone like the Joker

    But don’t worry, a major criticism of this movie has been `too much expostion’ i,e, lots of professional critics don’t seam to understand the difference either.

    Its like they’ve never read any Agatha Cristie.

    (PS Gordon likewise didnt plan in advance to fake his own death; he took the opportunity when it was presented. People- especially the clever & the desperate, improvise sometimes)

  12. “He just has heaps of random thigns ready for when he might want to use them. And when the situation arises, he uses them.”

    LOL are you kidding? So dozens and dozens of buildings, boats, warehouses, hospitals, and damn knows what else in Chicago (I mean Gotham) were pre-filled with explosives by The Joker and nobody in the city would have noticed this at all?

  13. Here’s how the movie should have gone:

    The Joker shows up at the beginning and makes his “Batman turns himself in or people die” demand. He then goes on a rampage blow up random buildings- banks, government offices, etc- and trying to kill guys like the mayor, police commissioner, Gordon, Dent. Then, when hurt people are taken to the hospital, he blows one up WITH PEOPLE IN IT (who cares about a destroyed building that’s empty?). There should be a final confrontation.

    I hated maggie gyllenhaal; uglier than katie holmes and just as bad acting. christian bale/batman didn’t get enough face time. heath ledger was good, but the joker was physically on the screen for such a short time.

    How the hell did all those passengers get on those boats without noticing the bombs?

    Gotham was a real city in Batman Begins, but had the ugly, grimy edge to it. Here, it looked too clean and pristine to fit that crime-ridden reputation.

    My list of complaints could go on and on.

  14. Not dozens and dozens. 2 warehouses, 1 hospital and 2 ferries.

    That’s less stuff than the unibomber blew up.

    He didn’t need to sneak heaps of explosives into the hospital, as explained by a munitions expert on this very site.

    Storing oil & gas in two warehouses isn’t the most suspecious thing in the world; especially if their mob owned warehouses in the first place.

    The ferries is the only real tricky one, but, y’know terrosits do get away with shit like that occasionally. (London train bombings, nerve gas in tokyo, oklamhoma city etc) Especially in a city with already high crime levels.

    How pissed of were you when No Mans Land came out when Joker filled two ferries with explosives? (where Nolan got that scene from) Or did you let it slide in the comic and hold the movie to different standards? Or haven’t you read No Mans Land?

  15. I said stuff but just meant number of bombs/attacks when I referenced the unabomber; I know he mostly sent bombs to single persin targets not large buildings.

  16. For one thing hafabat, go read a batman comic or two before you come on here and make ignorant comments like “The joker isnt supposed to be a mastermind” the joker has never been ANYTHING BUT a mastermind, not just the riddler. I suppose you think Bane is just dumb muscle also, right? As for fennychandra with the whole “But…the rest of the viewers are not as smart and critical as we are (haha!).” thing, yea, your so smart your believing that idiotic Johnny Depp rumor when a sequel hasnt even been announced yet, thats intelligence right there. But in response to the whole “they didnt show the joker making all of his plans” comment, the simple answer is they didnt have time for that, with all your complainis of how things are missing, if all of that was in there it would be a 4 hour movie. You complain about the pointless stuff missing “i wanna see the jokers plans before they happen! :’(” but then you complain that two face has a voice that everybody can understand. Theres just no pleasing you, if you try hard enough, you can hate anything nomatter how truly little the faults are.

  17. all you clowns, need to go read a comix, and understand the many incarnations of the joker. plus might i add, the brilliant joker from the miller alternative reality lineage supplied in the dark knight. for you guys to say the joker isn’t six steps ahead of anyone is a huge SLIGHT, on your part to realize the brilliance of the joker character. you are omitting and showing your ineptitude to the character model, and actual history of the character.

    you are prisoners.

    art barr

  18. “So dozens and dozens of buildings, boats, warehouses, hospitals, and damn knows what else in Chicago (I mean Gotham)”
    Look, that’s really getting old. How many times have you said it now, three?

  19. earlofwhatever, do you see what you write? if you’re going to assume the conventions of any style of writing, do so. currently there is none. a conventional style is what you’re after and what you complain that others lack. it should look like this -

    You capitalize properly or you don’t. Randomly and haphazardly is not a style, well, no, actually it could be, but in your case it’s not. You constantly point out the ’supposed’ grammatical flaws of others, e.g. “but you really do come across as a simpleton, buddy. (plenty of your detractors do too though. I.e. Swears and bad sentance structure).” Unreal. A gem. Oddly, every one of your posts is written like this yet you poke fun and complain about the writing of others’. What’s your name really? Rush or Rove?

    For the love of God.

  20. Alright.
    People can’t spell, punctuate or write meaningful sentences.
    This sight happens to be called
    Stick to the topic.
    Or is there not much more left to say?

    For the love of roger (isn’t that a name, aren’t they supposed to be capitalized).

  21. roger,

    I was saying that tdksucks seamed like a simpleton when he criticised parts of the movie where the problem may not have been the movie, but rather his understanding of the movie. That particular critisicm wasn’t meant to apply to everything our host has said, many of his criticisms are valid and justified. I’ll even admit, that upon further reflection, my post in question is a bit extreme, I was probably being too emotional, and overreaching in my own coutner claims (hey, I never said I wasn’t a hypocrit too).

    Anyways, I wasn’t saying his sentence structure was bad, I was saying that many of his detractors display their own idiocy by swearing and posting gibberish. (I.e. means `for instance’ by the way.) In that manner I was agreeing with him, as he’s lamented the lack of inteligence of some of his opponants.

    I wasn’t poking fun at anybody.

    I’ll admit to being haphazard at Capitisation and to being a fairly poor speller, but- as to the question of style- I think for the most part my posts have been readable. And on a public forum where communication is the primary goal, I think that’s the most important thing.

    (anyone else have an opinion of this?)

    I haven’t constantly pointed out the grammatical errors of others, except for one time I think (I’ll have to check) where one dude didn’t use any punctuation at all. I haven’t even poked fun at your spelling and grammar, only your lack of clarity and talent. Loser.

  22. UrUnforgivenToo,

    sorry, you’re right, we’ve gone off topic. I’ll try not to let it happen again.

    The Dark Knight rules!

  23. i agree with you earl, communication is more improtant than the punctuation. and your posts are for the most part, crystal clear in terms of what they convey. unlike certain regulr posters. *cough* roger *cough*

    and roger, you’re the biggest hypocrite here. you lost the right to criticise the hypocrisy of others a loooooong time ago.

    Long Live The Dark Knight

  24. jb
    i lost the right?

    yeah good.

    check it out.
    tdk was about 2 million dollars a minute. if you had 8 million dollars to direct a hip-hop video it should, without doubt, be amazing, but still it’s just a music video. so yeah, 200 million should make a comic book seem novel. so what?

  25. Ok Roger, first off, where did you learn math? 180 million(the budget), divided by 152(the amount of minutes) equals 1.184, which rounds to 1, not 2. Therefore the statement “about” 2 million per minute does not make sense. Secondly, its not just all about money that goes into a movie that decides how good it is. If someone gave me 8 million dollars to direct a music video, I could still have no talent towards directing and it wouldnt be good at all. Your general rule of “less money=better movie on ALL OCCASIONS” is ridiculous, just as you are.

    P.S. When Jimmyboy said you “lost the right” he obviously did not mean it literally. He was just saying it sounds, well, HYPOCRITICAL of somebody that on almost every topic here shows signs of being a hypocrite to try to site that as a major flaw in another person’s argument.

  26. roger,

    Look at the dates of the posts.

    I apologised for going too far into ad hominem territory on some posts at a later time.

    Also, try rereading the posts of yours I was responding to in my various attacks before re-replying. Context is key! And when it comes to flinging insults, you almost invariably are the instigator.

    And as to your phrase: `Just a music video?’ Oh my god, so your a medium snob as well as a genre elitist! I mean what the hell kind of thing to say is that? Explain to me just how a music video- regardless of budget or the genre of music- has inherently any less of a claim to being art than any other medium of expression (I.e. film, dance, architecture, design, comics etc).

    The medium may very well be the message (although I don’t believe it is) but art is most certainly in the intention and the execution. Not merely the field in which it is pursued. The filmkakers you have previously listed as being those you admore would be appalled at such a narrow-minded viewpoint.

    I’m stunned.

  27. This is a bad movie and no amount of post-film reasoning or references to which comic book version the Joker is based on will make up for it. The plot is so convoluted by random contrived scenes it fell apart 30 minutes in. You can try to make sense of it for all eternity, but essentially, this is so badly written none of the scenes can ever be justified by basic logic.

    It is such a depressing shame too as Batman Begins seemed to buck the current Pirates Of The Caribbean/New Star Wars trend of films where random CGI action scenes take place for no narrative-weighted reason. Now we know: film is no longer about telling a story, it is about wowing your audience with continuous, ever louder, visually gratifying action sequences. As an audience, you are given no intellectual credit whatsoever; so long as you are in your seat, who cares whether the film has any artistic integrity?

    I’m personally offended and totally disillusioned by this. I do not pay money to be patronised by the “latest marketing ethic based on current film-goers attitudes.” I know it is only entertainment, (and this is cliched) but what happened to the human soul? I understood it from old Star Wars, Star Trek and Indiana Jones, from Terminator 1+2, from Alien 1+2 etc: I do not see any humanity in the vast majority of films created now.

    All I see is money-grabbing. Money-grabbing based on an idea of the consumer as an emotional animal whose carnal desires need to be piqued in order to get him/her to hand over their hard-earned. How else do you explain the spate of remakes and revivals? How else do you explain the nonsensical storylines of New Star Wars or POTC 2+3? Have we become so bland and uncreative as a culture that we can’t create anything with universal appeal that also makes sense?

  28. I just want to say athat after browsing this site I’ve realized some people just need to let out there little emotions, and that is fine.

    But if your like me, then you would wake up.


    Wake the fuck up people.


  30. @Organ donor

    where do we begin? (god i love that line)

    well, i suppose the beginning makes sense

    “You can try to make sense of it for all eternity, but essentially, this is so badly written none of the scenes can ever be justified by basic logic.”

    Well, I happen to read around at all the articles that have been posted. and I see posts by movie fans. posts which, with extreme ease and clarity, clear up the perceived “problems” with scenes. so a) it didn’t take all eternity. significantly less in fact. b) base logic used each time to easily justify scenes.

    For the most part, those who couldn’t make sense of the scenes are unable to do so because they didn’t pay attention in the movie. Now, that can hardly be said to be the movie’s fault can it?

    Moving on,

    “random CGI action scenes take place for no narrative-weighted reason.”

    erm, no. TDK was fairly minimalistic when it came to CGI (eg most explosions done with real explosives). and it was always part of the narrative

    Two Face: combination of makeup and CGI (im guessing the CGI was for the eye and gap in his cheek)

    Highway Chase: well, the helicopter crash obviously couldn’t be done in full verite style. that said, batpod and tumbler=real. truck flip=real (apparently the device used to do this is visible for a few seconds)

    end sequence: the bat sonar obviously required CGI. joker falling off building: hardly going to throw one of your star actors of a building are you? especially before a wonderful monologue.

    “no intellectual credit whatsoever”

    well, it did give you intellectual credit. judging by some of the difficulty its haters had understanding it, it gave some people a little too much intellectual credit (though i attribute this to people not paying attention in the movie) i mean, did iron man require you to think about things? (general term i know, but this was the kind of movie that makes you think about many things)

    this movie was the thinking man’s (well, person’s technically, but you catch the drift) superhero film. not even that, because batmans really not a super hero per se… thinking man’s crime drama…? Genre definiton aside, there aren’t any summer blockbusters out there that required you to excercise that pink squishy sponge between the ears as much as this did. even in contest with other non summer blockbusters types, it still holds up terrifically.

    I’ll agree with your last two paragraphs. Because they are sadly true. but they don’t apply to TDK. Because it wasn’t some FX j**k-off. It was much much more. Although the attention spans of some people seem to have prevented them from seeing that.

  31. Sounds rather dubious how the poster above me would claim “attention span” as a culprit. People got the concept. What the nuthuggers of TDK don’t understand is that the film really is full of plot holes that they’re willing to turn a blind eye on because they’ve been taken in by the hype.

    Joker was omnipotent, being in many places at once and relying more on the “out-of-character” knowledge of the writers themselves than of “in-character” knowledge and all the limitations he should have.

    Bale was an okay Bruce Wayne, but a horrible Batman. Not as horrible as Clooney, but the way he struggles with his voice and the wooden acting he shouldn’t have now that his bat-armor’s more articulate was a bit jarring.

    Rachel Dawes is terrible, and I think it may be because she’s flawed by design as a character. The fact that she ultimately became a “woman in the fridge” is testament to that fact. It certainly didn’t help that Maggie G. was downright scary in some scenes.

    Then there’s the bullet jacket thing. I mean, come on! You can’t get a fingerprint out of that… again, Hollywood science at its finest.

    Then the fact that they were able to empty a hospital so fast. Also, I posit that without Ledger dying, the movie wouldn’t gross half as much as it would have regardless of its so-called merits.

    The fans of this movie is the worse, as seen from the guy above. His arguments are impotent, he claims people to have “gotten it” without citing what they got or how they addressed the numerous plot holes of this film, and quite frankly, calling TDK a crime drama is an insult to crime dramas. Calling TDK the best superhero film ever is less of an insult, but considering the genre, meh.

  32. I have been a comic book collector for over 30 years and my favorites were Spiderman, Batman and Iron Man. Wolverine had me for a while and (I hate to admit it), but even Dreadstar. When Batman Begins came out a couple of years ago, I thought it was the best comic book movie I had ever seen. To me, it was perfectly dark and edgey. I said out aloud to my wife, as we exited the theater, “Now THAT is how Batman movies should be!” After I watched it a few times, I thought it had some issues and hoakeyness, but I enjoyed it, overall.
    This was not the case with The Dark Knight, unfortunately. Too much violence, too many explosions, too much hoakeyness in the plot lines, way too much death. This is not the way Batman comics were 25 years ago, not even the Frank Miller stuff. Isn’t this the origin stuff–the beginning–that TDK is tapping into? Batman and Joker are just not portrayed properly, bottom line. Jesus, directors and producers–read some comics if you want to make a good movie. I will admit it is possible other Dark Knight material in the graphic novels could be more similar to TDK, but those books are not mainstream and I was never a fan or collector.
    As a moviegoer, I was stunned by the sheer lack of comedy relief in TDK and two hours in, I was looking at my watch wondering when I could get the hell out of the theather.
    I am a REAL Batman fan and I loved the new dark direction that Batman was taking. The reality is that TDK is just TOO DARK, and the plot is TOO FANTASTIC and bumbles and trips over itself at the end. I was embarrassed for the movie, if that is possible. Seriously. This could have been a great film with half of the crappy plot lines removed and a more believable Joker–how about some REAL detective work and problem solving by the Batman or Gordon? The technocrap special effects junk drove me crazy. This film tried to cram way too much in and did it poorly.
    We all have found this site together–I just Googled “The Dark Knight Sucks” and here I am. That must be something–plus, it was still bothering me weeks and weeks later. I don’t consider needless death and darkness the hallmarks of a great film–it is bothersome in that this film should have been much better, it just was not.

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