Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy took an interesting new approach to superhero movies that many saw as a much smarter and grounded take on the comic book tales. Indeed, Nolan told some bold and clever stories across these three movies and allowed those characters to display their own intelligence that was not always seen in the comics.
From the heroes to the villains, the characters of the trilogy ranged from those who made some pretty terrible mistakes to those who were brilliant. It is fascinating to look back on the main characters of The Dark Knight trilogy to see who were the fools and who were the geniuses.
When first introduced, Harvey Dent seems like a heroic district attorney who could lead Gotham into a better future. He is a talented lawyer, though he seems surprised when a random thug lies during his court testimony.
When Harvey takes on the mob, he is unprepared for how they respond. He is certainly heroic, but that often gets in the way of logical thinking. When he is turned into Two-Face, his gaps in logic are even worse as he lets Joker, the man who killed his fiancée, manipulate him into becoming the villain .
Jim Gordon is another person who is certainly heroic, but that doesn't always translate to the smartest decisions. Despite having a precinct filled with known corrupt cops, Gordon continues to trust them with very important information.
When Joker is arrested, Gordon takes most of the police force with him on an obvious distraction while leaving Joker lightly guarded in the same jail as their key witness. He is also stupid enough to keep a handwritten speech in his pocket that details the entire lie about Harvey Dent's death which is, of course, found by Bane.
Rachel is an underrated hero in the trilogy who never lets fear stop her from pursuing justice or standing up to the bad guys. But it might have been smart of her to exercise a bit more caution. She is so aggressive in her battle against corruption that she makes herself an easy target.
From openly accusing Dr. Crane of corruption while she is alone at his asylum to trying to fight Joker while surrounded by his goons, Rachel has a knack for putting herself in dangerous situations. However, she truly is a brilliant lawyer whose work really puts a dent in Gotham's crime.
Selina Kyle is one of the few characters in the trilogy who operates somewhere in between good and evil. She is a skilled fighter, but she has really managed to survive because of her intelligence.
Aside from the skills she has as a master thief, Selina can hide in plain sight and is a skilled manipulator. She is also good at seizing opportunities that benefit her. However, Selina's weakness is that she seems to get trust bad guys to keep their word when it feels like she should know better.
Alfred is a bit of a hard character to pin down when it comes to intelligence. He doesn't make too many big decisions throughout the trilogy and is more of an advisor to Bruce at various times.
Overall, his advice is pretty sound and effective. He is able to see the larger picture in many ways and show Bruce what he is missing. However, he also decides to tell Bruce that Rachel, the love of his life, chose another man before she died which feels like an obviously bad idea.
Lucius Fox is another one of Batman's allies and probably his smartest. Despite Bruce never coming out and telling Lucius that he is Batman , it is something that Lucius works out pretty quickly on his own, which makes one wonder how no one else managed to.
Lucius is also a jack-of-all-trades when it comes to gadgetry and equipment. Whenever Bruce comes to him with a dilemma, Lucius knows exactly what to do.
Apart from being the most physically imposing villain Batman has ever come up against, Bane is a brilliant strategist . He is able to infiltrate, cripple and imprison the entire city of Gotham in a matter of days while also getting rid of Batman as a threat.
The one mistake Bane makes is that he imprisons Batman to make him suffer but doesn't bother to leave any guards behind to ensure he doesn't escape. However, other than that, Bane is the rare evil genius that can kick a lot of butt.
Before Bane attempted to burn Gotham to the ground, Ra's Al Ghul nearly completed this task himself. He is a brilliant strategist who devises complex plans for dismantling societies and having them rebuilt from scratch.
He is someone who seems to know everything that is going on even from the other side of the world and he also has a clever plan to hide his own identity while keeping various decoys around him. It is no wonder Batman learned so much from him .
Though Joker seems like a madman who only wants to create chaos, his high intelligence is quite clear. From the opening heist sequence, it is clear that Joker is always one step ahead of everyone else.
He is able to get to Gotham's most powerful citizens and turn the whole city upside down with a few nefarious schemes. He also outsmarts the police, the mob, and Batman on separate occasions while planning a larger scheme to corrupt Harvey Dent which actually ends up working.
Batman is called the world's greatest detective for a reason and it proves that his intelligence might be his greatest power as a crime fighter . While Nolan's movies don't explore his detective work extensively, they do show how brilliant of a hero Batman really is.
As with any hero, he makes his share of mistakes, but it is also indicative of his intelligence that he is able to recognize and fix those mistakes quickly and effectively. The villains may occasionally get the upper hand, but Batman's quick thinking always allows him to come out on top.