Is the ending of The Dark Knight stupid?

TheAceVsJoker

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My answer: Yes, but I still like the movie.

Okay, so we get the idea that Harvey Dent died a raving madman, and there?s no way that this can ever get out because Gotham City needs him as an inspirational figure and not just one more politician chewed up and spit out by the brutality all around him.
Batman heroically volunteers to take the fall for this, letting Commissioner Gordon paint him as the murderer who pushed Dent to his death (which is, um, more or less the truth, because Christian Bale?s Batman really isn?t that good at the whole ?not killing his enemies accidentally-on-purpose? thing.)
But this is a Really Bad Idea. For one thing, it gives the Joker the victory he was craving just as surely as if they?d let the truth slip out. The Joker?s endgame was to break Gotham?s spirits by proving that its inspirational figures could become vicious murderers under the right circumstances, and Batman was (in his own way) just as inspirational as Harvey Dent. Actually Batman inspired Dent
If Batman is seen to be a cold-blooded, irrational killer, it works to serve the Joker?s ends just as surely as if Dent was. It also has the additional problem of being difficult to believe; despite the fact that Bale?s Batman actually has a pretty good body-count, Maroni is fully confident that he doesn't have the guts to kill him when push comes to shove. (Actually, push did come to shove. It was after that when Maroni decided Batman didn't have the guts to kill him.
Just blame the Joker. Tell everyone that the Joker had one more plan, that his goons kidnapped Gordon?s family and Harvey Dent. While Batman was across town capturing the Joker and bringing him to justice, The Joker?s thugs killed Dent and fled when Batman arrived, sneaking past a police cordon and escaping into Gotham, but they?re now leaderless with the Joker behind bars. Let this just another unsolved case of the GCPD, like many others.
Honestly, why wouldn't this work? The story?s entirely believable, and nobody involved is really going to be interested in exposing Dent?s mania anyway. Gordon's family would go with it. If Ramirez (the cop who Dent punched, and the cop who gave Gordon's family to Dent) says something, everybody would think that she is crazy, and also she would expose herself as being a corrupted cop. Actually everyone who might say that they saw Dent killing people would look crazy.
The Joker might insist it isn?t true, but it?s not like he?s really got a whole lot of credibility here. ?Well, yes, I did kidnap thirty or forty people, plant bombs all over Gotham, murder a bunch of cops by slicing Glasgow smiles into their faces, blow up a hospital, and disfigure Harvey Dent?but this kind of thing is really beneath me!?
 

Thaluikhain

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Yeah...really contrived way for them to hunt the Bat. But then, the rest of the movie was very contrived...how did the Joker go anywhere without being recognised? Even when he's bothering with a disguise (as a nurse), he doesn't do anything to disguise his face.
 

Dangit2019

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Thematically and in a story-telling sense, it's masterful.

If you're the type that nitpicks everything in terms of real-world logic, then it fucking sucked.
 

HardkorSB

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OK, I'll bite.

TheAceVsJoker said:
The Joker?s endgame was to break Gotham?s spirits
He failed at that when the people on the boats chose not to blow each other up.

If Batman is seen to be a cold-blooded, irrational killer, it works to serve the Joker?s ends just as surely as if Dent was.
His goal with Batman was to break his code of not killing. He was tempting Batman to kill him for the whole movie. He lost because that didn't happen.

Just blame the Joker. Tell everyone that the Joker had one more plan, that his goons kidnapped Gordon?s family and Harvey Dent.
That one is actually a legitimate complaint but it's because Nolan writes his movies to follow emotions, not logic. They make sense on an emotional level, not so much on a logical level.
 

Soviet Heavy

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I retroactively dislike the ending more after watching Rises, because of the needless time jump eight years forward. Any interesting ideas they could have done with Batman being hunted are washed away because he immediately hung up his cowl and stopped doing crime fighting.
 

NihilSinLulz

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My only problem with the ending was that he let the Joker live. I'm not saying he should've murdered him, but why didn't he let him die the same way he did to Ras in the first film?

As mentioned, thematically and story-wise, the film is excellent beginning to end.
 

Johnny Novgorod

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I don't like loaded questions and I don't think the ending was "stupid", just a little contrived. It's like they wanted to end on a downer-ish note and all they could come up was that.
 

TakerFoxx

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thaluikhain said:
Yeah...really contrived way for them to hunt the Bat. But then, the rest of the movie was very contrived...how did the Joker go anywhere without being recognised? Even when he's bothering with a disguise (as a nurse), he doesn't do anything to disguise his face.
He just washes off the makeup whenever he goes incognito. Remember when he disguised himself as part of the honor guard during the Commissioner's funeral? Sure, he still had the scars, but otherwise he just looked like a decent looking guy with an unfortunate facial injury.
 

CriticalMiss

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I dislike the ending because Two-Face/Dent was quite interesting and could have showed up again in the future. It seemed a bit premature to off him so soon. Otherwise the movie was quite enjoyable.
 

Ilikemilkshake

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I get that they didn't want Dent's reputation to be ruined because it might lead to people loosing hope or whatever (and yes there's still that same problem when batman takes the fall) but the way I remember it, the main reason they didn't want Dent taking the blame because of the whole "it's all on you thing" the mayor was talking about went Dent put away all of Gothams criminals in the RICO case... Why would all of those criminals be set free because Dent went insane?.. does Dents insanity absolve hundreds of criminals of their guilt?
 

Avaholic03

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I went with "no it's not, the movie is". If the story hadn't painted itself into a corner with all the escalation, it would have been possible to write a compelling ending that didn't feel tacked on.

That being said....it's a fictional story. Some suspension of disbelief is to be expected. I can't think of a single movie that stands up to scrutiny without the slightest problem.
 

Relish in Chaos

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You know, it seems as if the more and more I think about Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy, the less I seem to like it. Also, I appear to flip-flop on whether or not I prefer Batman Begins to The Dark Knight, because while I think it has a better plot structure and a less silly Batman voice, it doesn't have the Joker or as much of the emotional "high-stakes" drive that its sequel does.
 

Carpenter

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You can dislike it all you want but calling it "stupid" is kind of missing the point. Maybe if you understood how much work goes into every single scene, you would realize how silly it sounds to call the ending "stupid" rather than saying it was compromised or changed at the last minute.

The movie is far more symbolic and deep than people give it credit for. If you really want to understand what the move is really about, start by understanding that batman is not a hero or presented as a "good guy."

Harvey Dent is "the good guy" and Wayne himself says this. I could explain why the ending was important but that would only lead to me being called a "conspiracy theorist" or something so I'll keep it simple.

It doesn't make sense realistically but it makes perfect sense symbolically. Preserving Harvey Dent's "Messiah" status was important (to batman) because it means the city has a hero (now a fallen idol which is far more powerful) that doesn't hide behind a mask.

Ask yourself why batman lets the joker live but kills two face. No two face was not an accident, it was pretty obvious Batman intentionally threw him off the building. No he didn't let the joker live because of his "one rule" because if that was the case, he would have just tranquilized or knocked out two face.

You can say "it doesn't make sense, it's stupid!" but really ask yourself if Nolan would let something like that go by accident. It's all symbolically important. Batman lets the joker live because the joker is the boogeyman that justifies all of batmans actions such as spying on everyone in the city. Yeah he destroys that one machine, but that's clearly not the only surveillance he uses which is made quite obvious in the dark knight rises where he has access to pretty much all security footage that he needs.
The existence of the joker (a living joker) is vital to the city accepting an entity like batman as well as the increase in police force which we do not directly see but we get to hear about in Dark Knight rises. You don't get rid of all organized crime by respecting people's civil rights, keep that in mind.

Harvey Dent was far more valuable to "the plan" as a fallen hero or martyr. It's that idea (which I do not agree with) that John Lennon needed to be shot so he died an inspiring figure instead of becoming a fat, drugged up, sell out. I won't get too deep into this concept but the idea is very prevalent in a few more secretive and some less secretive religions.


Now it's fine to disagree with the message presented by the movie or to say that the movie sucked because you didn't like it or it bored you but to call it "stupid" is just infantile.


In Batman begins, Batman is the revolutionary fighting against a corrupted system (Gordan is the only good cop, or at least one of a few)

In the dark knight, batman is like a secret task force for the police. You may say "oh but the cops are the good guys now" but no, what happens in the movie directly contradicts this, it's made very clear that it's still infested with dirty cops. "dirt cops" in this movie isn't cops beating a guy or stealing some money, it's cops that are paid off and pretty much owned by criminal organizations. In this movie, batman goes against a would be rebel who hides his true identity, sound familiar?
The Joker is a creepypasta embodiment of the "evil anarchist" who doesn't like our system or our material obsessions and is therefore extremely dangerous and unpredictable.

In the Dark Knight rises, they present the idea that they have rid the city of criminal organizations but much like the first movie, the mysterious group of religious fanatics have again infiltrated every aspect of Gothams infrastructure.


that is leaving out a lot of important detail. Let me just say these are not my beliefs just the beliefs symbolically presented in the series. I am not saying that criminal groups have infiltrated our society in every aspect, that is the idea presented by the movies.
 

Canadamus Prime

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Well like Honest Trailers (and you) pointed out, why couldn't they just blame The Joker for all those deaths? Nobody would really question it after all he'd been killing people the entire movie.
 

Carpenter

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j-e-f-f-e-r-s said:
I didn't like the ending, simply because of what it seemed to say about the nature of justice: namely, that it's alright for individuals to cover up the truth and enforce their own version of 'justice' and 'the truth' as long as they think it benefits everyone, no matter how short-sighted or biased their own views may be.

Harvey Dent murdered people. The families of those murdered at least deserved to have some sort of justice. Batman's whole 'the truth is what we say it is' shtick not only makes him as bad as the people he's fighting against, it rings uncomfortably close to the current political climate where politicians are perfectly happy lying to the electorate as long as they feel it's in their best interests. In short, the moral of TDK was 'Justice is whatever the guy with the biggest stick says it is', which kinda runs counter to the whole idea of why Batman was created in the first place (to enact true justice when those in power would not).

I believe TDKR addresses this somewhat, but considering Nolan originally wanted to leave TDK as his last Batman film, I can't say that says much for the themes of the ending. Woop woop, Batman just undermined due legal process and enforced his own personal feelings over the blind hand of the law. What a guy...
It's a lot deeper than what you described but yeah I also don't quite like the way abusive law enforcement is treated as the hero of the movie. In that way, I think that might have been the point.

I could be wrong, but I think it might have been a far more hidden Star ship troopers type of thing. Star ship troopers wasn't war propaganda, but it was presented as such in a way that most labeled it as propaganda without realizing it was satire.
It's possible that the dark knight is something similar. Remember batman is not the moral hero of the story.
 

ninjaRiv

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I loved all three films when I saw them the first time but after a second viewing, I spotted all the flaws. No logic and kind of a disregard for the source material. My main problem throughout the franchise was the melodrama and use of music, though. Plus the fact that Batman's a pretty shitty detective and isn't really all that devoted to being Batman. Dark Knight is pretty awful in that Joker was reduced to a pretty simple "chaos rules" generic bad guy. But, thinking about it, it kind of contrasts the comics pretty well. In the comics Batman is incredibly smart and the Joker has the intelligence to match his. In the movies Batman solves his problems by shouting and moping and Joker blows stuff up. All intelligence and subtlety (and now to wait for someone to tell me there is no intelligence or subtlety in their relationship) is lost and reduced to a simple brawl with a dude in make up. Pretty sure Nolan has no idea how to write Batman. Don't know if he's even read the comics.

Edit: More on the actual subject, though; the ending was just plain stupid which is on par with the entire franchise.

I've always thought Nolan was an overrated hack, though. Bullshit within bullshit within bullshit. I have to kind of respect him for being the only one who didn't want the ending of Man of Steel to go the way it did, though. Still... He's all about the melodrama and it sucks ass.
 

Carpenter

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canadamus_prime said:
Well like Honest Trailers (and you) pointed out, why couldn't they just blame The Joker for all those deaths? Nobody would really question it after all he'd been killing people the entire movie.
Because that would mean nothing symbolically.

The joker is in prison, he's an example of how evil the "free man" can be to society, his actions serve as a reminder. Harvey Dent served many purposes in death but one purpose was to demonize the batman. It's not that he had to blame it on himself, it's that he needed to demonize his batman persona and Harvey Dent was a nice little opportunity.

Remember the movie starts with a subplot involving amateur vigilantes trying to emulate batman. Batman makes it pretty obvious (he flat out says it actually) that he doesn't want this.

We don't see any copycats in dark knight rises.
 

Carpenter

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ninjaRiv said:
I loved all three films when I saw them the first time but after a second viewing, I spotted all the flaws. No logic and kind of a disregard for the source material. My main problem throughout the franchise was the melodrama and use of music, though. Plus the fact that Batman's a pretty shitty detective and isn't really all that devoted to being Batman. Dark Knight is pretty awful in that Joker was reduced to a pretty simple "chaos rules" generic bad guy. But, thinking about it, it kind of contrasts the comics pretty well. In the comics Batman is incredibly smart and the Joker has the intelligence to match his. In the movies Batman solves his problems by shouting and moping and Joker blows stuff up. All intelligence and subtlety (and now to wait for someone to tell me there is no intelligence or subtlety in their relationship) is lost and reduced to a simple brawl with a dude in make up. Pretty sure Nolan has no idea how to write Batman. Don't know if he's even read the comics.

Edit: More on the actual subject, though; the ending was just plain stupid which is on par with the entire franchise.

I've always thought Nolan was an overrated hack, though. Bullshit within bullshit within bullshit. I have to kind of respect him for being the only one who didn't want the ending of Man of Steel to go the way it did, though. Still... He's all about the melodrama and it sucks ass.
No logic? Did you seriously say the movie had no logic?

As in nothing at all was logical?

I am fine with some hyperbole but you pretty much embody everything wrong with this generation of film viewers. To say a movie (even a david lynch movie) has "no logic" is really making it obvious that you don't understand how film works and how film or story logic works.

The film has it's own logic if that makes it easier to understand.

But it's kind of cute that you are going off on the "cynical film reviewer" rant. Maybe one day you can get sort of famous making youtube videos too.
 

ninjaRiv

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Carpenter said:
ninjaRiv said:
I loved all three films when I saw them the first time but after a second viewing, I spotted all the flaws. No logic and kind of a disregard for the source material. My main problem throughout the franchise was the melodrama and use of music, though. Plus the fact that Batman's a pretty shitty detective and isn't really all that devoted to being Batman. Dark Knight is pretty awful in that Joker was reduced to a pretty simple "chaos rules" generic bad guy. But, thinking about it, it kind of contrasts the comics pretty well. In the comics Batman is incredibly smart and the Joker has the intelligence to match his. In the movies Batman solves his problems by shouting and moping and Joker blows stuff up. All intelligence and subtlety (and now to wait for someone to tell me there is no intelligence or subtlety in their relationship) is lost and reduced to a simple brawl with a dude in make up. Pretty sure Nolan has no idea how to write Batman. Don't know if he's even read the comics.

Edit: More on the actual subject, though; the ending was just plain stupid which is on par with the entire franchise.

I've always thought Nolan was an overrated hack, though. Bullshit within bullshit within bullshit. I have to kind of respect him for being the only one who didn't want the ending of Man of Steel to go the way it did, though. Still... He's all about the melodrama and it sucks ass.
No logic? Did you seriously say the movie had no logic?

As in nothing at all was logical?

I am fine with some hyperbole but you pretty much embody everything wrong with this generation of film viewers. To say a movie (even a david lynch movie) has "no logic" is really making it obvious that you don't understand how film works and how film or story logic works.

The film has it's own logic if that makes it easier to understand.

But it's kind of cute that you are going off on the "cynical film reviewer" rant. Maybe one day you can get sort of famous making youtube videos too.
Wow... You're a hostile person, it seems. I'm everything wrong with film viewers and know nothing about movies? My experience in film school and my grades would beg to differ but I'm not going to reduce this into a "I know more than you do" petty argument filled with insults because I'm sure we both know equal amounts in different areas. And you kinda handled the petty insults on your own.

You know as well as I do that by "no logic" I meant less logic than there should be. Of course there is logic, I think you're just trying to use choice words to suit your own argument. The logic thing wasn't even the main part of my argument.

And no, I'm not a cynical reviewer. The majority of reviews I have written tend to be positive because I'm surprisingly optimistic. No need to assume and insult.