Doesn't Batman contradict himself in Batman Begins?

#1 Posted by Gambit1024 (9890 posts) - - Show Bio

With the hype of DKR, I decided to go back and watch the other two movies to refresh my memory. I haven't seen Batman Begins since 2009 (give or take) and my younger little mind was only focused on Batman beating the bad guys. But I digress. There are two instances (probably more) that Batman contradicts his no killing policy.

Now I'm not badmouthing the movie by any means, so if you're looking to hate on the movie, please find another place to do it. I'd just like for someone to give me heads or tails on the topic.

Ok, I'll go with the ending first.

At the climax of the film when Bruce fight's Ra's Al Ghul on that runaway subway/train/monorail thing, Batman gains the upper hand, immobilizes Ra's, and tells him that "I don't have to save you" after jumping out the exploding vehicle.

What? Leaving someone for certain death doesn't constitute for killing? I see the logic Bruce is trying to prove to Ra's here, but isn't that worse than killing him? For the rest of his life (or at least until the sequel) he's gonna have that on his conscience. Yeah, Ra's was a bad guy, but if Bruce was so adamant about his no killing rule, you'd think he just would have done something else to him. But I know that's up to debate, so I'll leave that open for discussion.

The other instance was towards the beginning.

Note that Bruce was training at the HQ of the League of Shadows. Now for his final task he must kill a man (or a thief rather) to prove that he's willing to do what it takes. This dude is older, out of shape, confused, and overall harmless to anyone, let alone to a trained assassin. After Bruce explains to Ra's that he's not murdering anyone, the dude proceeds to light the place on fire and blows it up.

Now lets analyze what happens here:

Right before Bruce decides that he's not gonna kill anyone, he blows the place up. This place is filled with people. Now I know, "These guys are assassins! They can take care of themselves! NOLAN HATER!" Calm down. I know that. But that's not what I'm talking about. What about the thief? That defenseless, disoriented, out of shape thief? After the place blows up (and I really mean that this place explodes), all we see is Bruce and a knocked-out Ra's Al Ghul. Surely there's no way that the thief made it out alive if the great Ra's Al Ghul himself almost couldn't.

#2 Posted by VampireSelektor (749 posts) - - Show Bio

He probably forgot about him in the heat of the moment.

#3 Posted by Jonny_Anonymous (33974 posts) - - Show Bio

That thief had some mad skills 

#4 Posted by RainEffect (3240 posts) - - Show Bio
@Gambit1024: I've thought about it quite a lot and I've come to the conclusion that Nolan's Batman is a little less self-righteous than the comics one. For example, when he tackles Dent off the building at the end of The Dark Knight, he doesn't save Dent but saves the kid. Whereas the Batman we are all familiar with would never tackle someone like the Joker from a building and let him fall to his death. 
 
Without going into too much of a rant right now (preparing for New Years celebrations), I think that the Ra's al Ghul scenario is a little different. He saved Ra's' life the first time around, maybe he felt as though he didn't have to do it a second time? Maybe his thinking was "I gave you a second chance, you've used it to try and destroy Gotham and millions of lives". 
 
To take what Tim Drake says in Red Robin: Collision 
 
"That the greatest killers in the world are now being killed themselves? Part of me says they deserve it They're reaping what they sow, but I push the thought aside. If that's how we worked, the Joker would be dead a thousand times over. That's the rule, and I hold on to it. I'm going to hold on to it. Forever, no matter what."
 
That's the rule of the Batman we all know and love. Nolan's is grittier and more human.
#5 Posted by Gambit1024 (9890 posts) - - Show Bio

@spiderbat87: Totally.

@RainEffect: Thanks for your answer! I know that first scenario was a little debatable, so I'm more open to discussion about that one, but I think that second scenario deserves some light. The point you made about the kid is a good one (and I'll admit I totally forgot all about it). So yeah, I guess this Batman is totally different than the comic version, but if the dude is adamant on no killing, I think he should stick to it and make it count. Especially during heated moments like that.

#6 Posted by Daveyo520 (2447 posts) - - Show Bio

Ya, that is the one people talk about.

#7 Posted by VampireSelektor (749 posts) - - Show Bio

@RainEffect: I am confused on this point, though: Did Batman try to hold on to Dent, or did he let him fall?

#8 Posted by RedOwl_1 (1664 posts) - - Show Bio

@RainEffect: Ah, That's one of my reason why I love Red Robin

#9 Posted by RainEffect (3240 posts) - - Show Bio
@VampireSelektor said:

@RainEffect: I am confused on this point, though: Did Batman try to hold on to Dent, or did he let him fall?

Sorry, it was a little hard to understand. 
 
When Batman tackled Dent off the railing, he let Dent fall to his death whilst he saved Gordon's kid. Now, you might say 'oh, he only has two arms, he can't save everyone', well, he didn't have to tackle Harvey off the rail; he could've very well used one of his gadgets. Now, the Batman that we all know and love would never willingly tackle someone off a building and let them fall to their death. That is why I make the assumption that Nolan's Batman is darker, grittier and more human than our comics version. 
 
Of course, if I want to go ahead and punch myself with a contradiction, when he threw the Joker off the building, he saved his life, much to the enjoyment of the Joker.
#10 Posted by Dracade102 (8167 posts) - - Show Bio

Purposely finding a way around a moral standard is not a good character defining quality. 

#11 Posted by Pokeysteve (8425 posts) - - Show Bio

I don't want to kill people so I don't light buildings (freaking WOOD buildings at that) full of people on fire. Seems pretty straight forward. I've never made it a secret that I hate Nolan's Batman movies. It's BS people point out Keaton's killing that guy with the bomb in Batman Returns all the god damn time and yet NO ONE mentions these incidents here.

Comic Batman would never tackle a guy off of the, what was it third or fourth story, and then take the blame for him. Stupid.

Great post and very well thought out.

#12 Posted by cattlebattle (13016 posts) - - Show Bio

Batman also drove around in vehicles that had heavy artillery weapons in them
 
He was blowing up parked cars, he is lucky as all hell he didn't hit the one with the kids in them, what a psychopath...
 
Seriously though, its a movie, I think Batman won't just run around killing criminals who he thinks are guilty, instances like the ones he mentioned were ones where he didn't have a whole lot of options
 
In the Leagues fortress it was either kill or be killed, With Ra's it would have probably been difficult to escape while carrying Ra's on his back with the allotted time, and He probably hadn't planned to kill Dent. He was injured and it was an act of desperation

#13 Posted by Superguy0009e (2265 posts) - - Show Bio

i think that scene is kind of like the scene in TB Batman where he blows up the facility.

now, this one isn't too far out there, and i think he is right that not saving him and giving him a chance to survive isn't murder, but you are right that it went against his character

#14 Posted by entropy_aegis (15456 posts) - - Show Bio

It's Nolan sticking close to the comics,Batman has allowed Ra's and even certain others to die many times but has almost always saved Joker.@Pokeysteve said:

I don't want to kill people so I don't light buildings (freaking WOOD buildings at that) full of people on fire. Seems pretty straight forward. I've never made it a secret that I hate Nolan's Batman movies. It's BS people point out Keaton's killing that guy with the bomb in Batman Returns all the god damn time and yet NO ONE mentions these incidents here.

Comic Batman would never tackle a guy off of the, what was it third or fourth story, and then take the blame for him. Stupid.

Great post and very well thought out.

Keaton killed people depending on his mood swings,and then told others not to do it.That's plain contradiction,Batman chose not to save Ra's simply cause Ra's put himself in that situation,he saved him earlier in a completly different situation (which was created by Bruce),same goes for Dent.

Joker is a complicated/retarded case,Batman saved him as a tribute to their everlasting rivalry.

#15 Posted by Emperor Gonzo Noir (19714 posts) - - Show Bio

@entropy_aegis said:

It's Nolan sticking close to the comics,Batman has allowed Ra's and even certain others to die many times but has almost always saved Joker.@Pokeysteve said:

I don't want to kill people so I don't light buildings (freaking WOOD buildings at that) full of people on fire. Seems pretty straight forward. I've never made it a secret that I hate Nolan's Batman movies. It's BS people point out Keaton's killing that guy with the bomb in Batman Returns all the god damn time and yet NO ONE mentions these incidents here.

Comic Batman would never tackle a guy off of the, what was it third or fourth story, and then take the blame for him. Stupid.

Great post and very well thought out.

Keaton killed people depending on his mood swings,and then told others not to do it.That's plain contradiction,Batman chose not to save Ra's simply cause Ra's put himself in that situation,he saved him earlier in a completly different situation (which was created by Bruce),same goes for Dent.

Joker is a complicated/retarded case,Batman saved him as a tribute to their everlasting rivalry.

That and the whole "If I kill him, then he wins" thing.

#16 Posted by entropy_aegis (15456 posts) - - Show Bio

@Emperor Gonzo Noir said:

@entropy_aegis said:

It's Nolan sticking close to the comics,Batman has allowed Ra's and even certain others to die many times but has almost always saved Joker.@Pokeysteve said:

I don't want to kill people so I don't light buildings (freaking WOOD buildings at that) full of people on fire. Seems pretty straight forward. I've never made it a secret that I hate Nolan's Batman movies. It's BS people point out Keaton's killing that guy with the bomb in Batman Returns all the god damn time and yet NO ONE mentions these incidents here.

Comic Batman would never tackle a guy off of the, what was it third or fourth story, and then take the blame for him. Stupid.

Great post and very well thought out.

Keaton killed people depending on his mood swings,and then told others not to do it.That's plain contradiction,Batman chose not to save Ra's simply cause Ra's put himself in that situation,he saved him earlier in a completly different situation (which was created by Bruce),same goes for Dent.

Joker is a complicated/retarded case,Batman saved him as a tribute to their everlasting rivalry.

That and the whole "If I kill him, then he wins" thing.

Yup,and the fact that Batman could have also pushed the Joker sideways or kicked him away.There were other options,that is why Bruce saved him.

Dent was standing on the edge of a building and he was a coin flip away from killing a child,there was no other option.

Same goes for Ra's,it was Ra's who boarded that train with the weapon and it was Ra's who smashed the controls.Not to mention based on Nolan's realism Batman could'nt have saved him anyway,remember what happened when he tried to save Rachel from the fall in TDK?

#17 Posted by Pokeysteve (8425 posts) - - Show Bio

@entropy_aegis said:

It's Nolan sticking close to the comics,Batman has allowed Ra's and even certain others to die many times but has almost always saved Joker.@Pokeysteve said:

I don't want to kill people so I don't light buildings (freaking WOOD buildings at that) full of people on fire. Seems pretty straight forward. I've never made it a secret that I hate Nolan's Batman movies. It's BS people point out Keaton's killing that guy with the bomb in Batman Returns all the god damn time and yet NO ONE mentions these incidents here.

Comic Batman would never tackle a guy off of the, what was it third or fourth story, and then take the blame for him. Stupid.

Great post and very well thought out.

Keaton killed people depending on his mood swings,and then told others not to do it.That's plain contradiction,Batman chose not to save Ra's simply cause Ra's put himself in that situation,he saved him earlier in a completly different situation (which was created by Bruce),same goes for Dent.

In the comics he allowed Ras to die because he knew it wasn't permanent. Was there a Lazarus pit photo floating around a while back from Rises? How many people total did Keaton's kill? Does anyone know? I hate Batman Returns and have only seen it a few times over the years. Can't remember any in the first one.

Dent was standing on the edge of a building and he was a coin flip away from killing a child,there was no other option.

This one is true but there is no logical reason to take the blame for it. It was just stupid.@Emperor Gonzo Noir:

That and the whole "If I kill him, then he wins" thing.

Joker is a complicated/retarded case,Batman saved him as a tribute to their everlasting rivalry.
No. It's "If I kill him DC will lose money which is a tribute to their everlasting salaries.
#18 Posted by entropy_aegis (15456 posts) - - Show Bio

@Pokeysteve said:

@entropy_aegis said:

It's Nolan sticking close to the comics,Batman has allowed Ra's and even certain others to die many times but has almost always saved Joker.@Pokeysteve said:

I don't want to kill people so I don't light buildings (freaking WOOD buildings at that) full of people on fire. Seems pretty straight forward. I've never made it a secret that I hate Nolan's Batman movies. It's BS people point out Keaton's killing that guy with the bomb in Batman Returns all the god damn time and yet NO ONE mentions these incidents here.

Comic Batman would never tackle a guy off of the, what was it third or fourth story, and then take the blame for him. Stupid.

Great post and very well thought out.

Keaton killed people depending on his mood swings,and then told others not to do it.That's plain contradiction,Batman chose not to save Ra's simply cause Ra's put himself in that situation,he saved him earlier in a completly different situation (which was created by Bruce),same goes for Dent.

In the comics he allowed Ras to die because he knew it wasn't permanent. Was there a Lazarus pit photo floating around a while back from Rises? How many people total did Keaton's kill? Does anyone know? I hate Batman Returns and have only seen it a few times over the years. Can't remember any in the first one.

Dent was standing on the edge of a building and he was a coin flip away from killing a child,there was no other option.

This one is true but there is no logical reason to take the blame for it. It was just stupid.@Emperor Gonzo Noir:

That and the whole "If I kill him, then he wins" thing.

Joker is a complicated/retarded case,Batman saved him as a tribute to their everlasting rivalry.
No. It's "If I kill him DC will lose money which is a tribute to their everlasting salaries.

He set some guy on fire,attached a bomb on some meathead,pushed the Joker of a building.But Batman still blew up many pits(Bane did the same),what would happen if the pits were finished once and for all,with Batman leaving Ra's to die.

#19 Posted by Pokeysteve (8425 posts) - - Show Bio

@entropy_aegis said:

He set some guy on fire,attached a bomb on some meathead,pushed the Joker of a building.But Batman still blew up many pits(Bane did the same),what would happen if the pits were finished once and for all,with Batman leaving Ra's to die.

He didn't push Joker, he fell. Batman was hanging from the ledge with Vale. The bomb and the fire I remember. You really don't mess with Keaton's Batman. Ras has been around for hundreds of years. He probably knows where most of them are and how to track down the other ones. If the pits were all gone and Batman knew that, he probably wouldn't kill him or "leave him to die".

#20 Posted by Xtremeperson (77 posts) - - Show Bio

1st case: Still, he never "crossed that line" and killed him. It is a little different than the Batman we see in things like, say Arkham City, where he did end up saving the joker. However, it's still clear that he never killed Ra's. What if he thought Ra's could figure out a way to escape? Considering Ra's is a world-class assassin, that could be quite conceivable. In that vein, Batman didn't save him because he didn't think Ra's would need it.

2nd case: He does save people from the fire though, and I'm positive most of the people in the building escaped anyway. Again, world-class assassins.

#21 Posted by Gambit1024 (9890 posts) - - Show Bio

@Xtremeperson said:

2nd case: He does save people from the fire though, and I'm positive most of the people in the building escaped anyway. Again, world-class assassins.

No he doesn't. It blows up and the only two people we see after the explosion is Bruce and Ra's. I acknowledged that the assassins could take care of themselves, but 1) we never see the thief get out, and 2) that's no excuse for putting everyone's life in jeopardy.

#22 Posted by entropy_aegis (15456 posts) - - Show Bio

@Pokeysteve said:

@entropy_aegis said:

He set some guy on fire,attached a bomb on some meathead,pushed the Joker of a building.But Batman still blew up many pits(Bane did the same),what would happen if the pits were finished once and for all,with Batman leaving Ra's to die.

He didn't push Joker, he fell. Batman was hanging from the ledge with Vale. The bomb and the fire I remember. You really don't mess with Keaton's Batman. Ras has been around for hundreds of years. He probably knows where most of them are and how to track down the other ones. If the pits were all gone and Batman knew that, he probably wouldn't kill him or "leave him to die".

No he punched him off a building,with the full intention of killing him.Joker just happened to save himself by hanging on.

#23 Posted by Pokeysteve (8425 posts) - - Show Bio

@entropy_aegis: Oh yeah lol then he lends him a hand hahaha.

#24 Posted by War Killer (20343 posts) - - Show Bio

Never bothered me.

#25 Posted by GamerGeek360 (251 posts) - - Show Bio

I've debated the Batman Begins "I don't have to save you" scene a lot. I'm a big Batman fan and a big Nolan fan and I've basically ignored it. He didn't kill him, at least not in the way where it would really piss people off, and Ra's hinted to his "immortality" back in the training place. Not saying Bruce knew he would come back, but I think he realized it's pretty hard to kill Ra's. As for the training explosion, that never really bothered me. I think I usually forgot about the dude whenever I watched that part. Either way, love the movie and I'm willing to give Nolan a little leeway when it comes to his Bat-verse. As long as he doesn't flat out kill someone. Like with a gun.

#26 Posted by Xtremeperson (77 posts) - - Show Bio

@Gambit1024 said:

@Xtremeperson said:

2nd case: He does save people from the fire though, and I'm positive most of the people in the building escaped anyway. Again, world-class assassins.

No he doesn't. It blows up and the only two people we see after the explosion is Bruce and Ra's. I acknowledged that the assassins could take care of themselves, but 1) we never see the thief get out, and 2) that's no excuse for putting everyone's life in jeopardy.

What about in JLA comics when Superman is in trouble? Batman might do something, but more often than not he focuses on the task at hand because he knows Superman can take care of himself. It's the same case with Ra's and the assassins I think.

#27 Edited by Gambit1024 (9890 posts) - - Show Bio

@Xtremeperson said:

@Gambit1024 said:

@Xtremeperson said:

2nd case: He does save people from the fire though, and I'm positive most of the people in the building escaped anyway. Again, world-class assassins.

No he doesn't. It blows up and the only two people we see after the explosion is Bruce and Ra's. I acknowledged that the assassins could take care of themselves, but 1) we never see the thief get out, and 2) that's no excuse for putting everyone's life in jeopardy.

What about in JLA comics when Superman is in trouble? Batman might do something, but more often than not he focuses on the task at hand because he knows Superman can take care of himself. It's the same case with Ra's and the assassins I think.

But that's a huge difference. Superman's damn near invulnerable to all earthly threats. If it were Superman that he'd "choose not to save", that'd be fine because with the wide range of powers at his disposal, he can get out of any threat, providing if it wasn't krptonite/magic filled (and if that were the case, Batman would never let Superman handle that himself)

Never was Bruce given any evidence that Ra's could have escaped from that predicament. Therefore, Batman "choosing not to save him" is almost the same as killing him himself. At least that's how I feel about it. I did and still do want to keep that debate open, though.

#28 Posted by VampireSelektor (749 posts) - - Show Bio

@GamerGeek360: Plus, the Ra's Al Ghul cameo in The Dark Knight Rises deadens the "I don't have to save you" controversy. Maybe Batman realized Ra's had a chance a good chance of surviving (?)

#29 Posted by TheCheeseStabber (8151 posts) - - Show Bio

This does kindve bring up the point of his Bata Rangs though he never to rarely uses them could easily slit a mans throat or stab someone i mean if he ever uses them...DEAD!

#30 Posted by primepower53 (5686 posts) - - Show Bio

I've been asking people about these instances for a loooong time.

#31 Posted by MrMiracle77 (1659 posts) - - Show Bio

Remember that Bruce saved Ra's once already, and therefore was no longer responsible for his life from that point on.  Ra's could have taken a different path after that.  He didn't have to go to Gotham, or steal the evaporator, or pump drugs in the water system.
 By leaving Ra's on the train, Bruce was basically saying "I gave you the chance to be saved.  You turned it down."

#32 Posted by Uncanny_Doom (479 posts) - - Show Bio

Yeah, this was always a complaint I had with Batman Begins. It only made it more distracting because it was a plot device in the beginning of the movie and then in The Dark Knight his "one rule" is brought up and he is frustrated when fighting with Joker but reluctant to kill or let him die. It was a poor choice and very uncharacteristic of Batman.

#33 Posted by InnerVenom123 (29510 posts) - - Show Bio

Now that I think about it, Batman could have disarmed Dent with a batarang. But he didn't want to take the chance, clearly.

This brings me to a new thought: Batman didn't even use batarangs in TDK.

And to that I say, "Oh well."

#34 Posted by WildValentine (289 posts) - - Show Bio

For the people referencing the League headquarters incident, I think it is pretty clear that Bruce was not trying to kill anyone. He needed a distraction to get out because if he didn't execute that farmer, Ra's would have had him executed. He's stuck, surrounded by a league of ninjas, and he needs to not only save his own life, but the life of his (at the time) friend. I'm sure, when he lit the spark, he thought that a league of trained ninjas could escape a burning building. 
 
I refuse to believe any ninjas died then, except the Ra's double. That too was not Bruce's fault. The double actually had Bruce at swordpoint, then an explosion hit, they went flying and Bruce immediately rolled away to prevent himself from being crushed by flaming debris.

#35 Edited by superbatprime (130 posts) - - Show Bio

Comic book Batman would have saved Ras from the train, no question.

He'd risk his own life to do it too.

Even if Ras were to refuse that help, comic book Bruce would have knocked him out and then saved him.

The one that always gets me is TDK, screaming down the street in the Batpod blowing up parked cars just because they're in his way!

How the hell does he know that there's nobody sitting in any of those parked cars?

Not just in the cars, but anybody within a certain radius would be in extreme danger from all those explosions... it's just totally uncaring and irresponsible... reckless, Batman is NOT reckless.

How many homeless people got killed by flaming car shrapnel? How many storefronts got wrecked (adding flying shards of window glass to Batmans lethal game of Dead Citizen Roulette)?

Once again, even if there was nobody in danger, I just don't see comic book Batman being that reckless and destructive.

Anyway collateral property damage is Superman's specialty... :p

#36 Edited by DarkChris (303 posts) - - Show Bio

If you remember, Batman in his early years was even more violent, I could say almost lethal. In Begins, he is still young and inexperienced. He would save Ras's life, but not if he sacrificed his life, knowing that he should continue his crusade against crime. Also, maybe he had a suspicion about the way Ra's was alive and that he could use it again.

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