Compared to the success Marvel Studios have had with their movies, DC Films is in shambles. They’ve produced some great movies, both outside their shared cinematic universe – like Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy, of course – and in it – Wonder Woman, Aquaman – but they’ve also produced some real stinkers. Those movies – the ones that put Ryan Reynolds in a CGI suit or had Batman and Superman putting their differences aside because their moms have the same name – speak for themselves.
There’s one thing that all movies based on DC Comics characters have in common, however: they’re all filled with mistakes. Whether they’re errors in franchise continuity, egregious departures from the source material, or simply gaping plot holes, DC movies are full of mistakes. Not even Nolan’s critically acclaimed Batman movies are above the occasional continuity error or plot hole. In fact, some of them will change the way you look at the movies entirely – some of them are fundamental flaws with the script that the whole movie is built on.
With the DCEU currently undergoing some restructuring, we could start to see less of these mistakes. At the very least, they’ll curb the continuity errors as they focus less on it being a shared universe and more on making movies that are, y’know, good. Without further ado, 25 Times DC Movies Made No Sense (But Fans Didn’t Notice).
25 Man of Steel – It Can't Be Night-time Everywhere
In Man of Steel, General Zod hijacks the world’s TV stations to warn everyone about their impending doom. It’s a scary situation to be in, especially when it’s the middle of the night. But thanks to the Earth being round and the Sun only being on one side of it, it can’t be night-time everywhere in the world, as Zack Snyder depicts it.
This is an example of a scene where the most cinematic version was chosen over the most realistic version – but if it’s so obviously unrealistic, then it fails to be cinematic, so it’s a paradox.
24 Batman Begins – The Monorail Was Pointless
Near the end of Batman Begins, Batman sends Commissioner Gordon to knock out one of the monorail’s support beams to make sure it never gets to Wayne Tower, and then the Caped Crusader grapples up onto the monorail to fight Ra’s al Ghul.
But if he sent Gordon to knock out the monorail, why did he have to grapple up there at all? Also, why didn’t Ra’s just start at Wayne Tower if that was the plan? He claimed to have “infiltrated every level of Gotham’s infrastructure,” so why couldn’t he just let himself in?
23 Superman Returns – Lois Gets Clark's Weight Wrong
In one scene in Superman Returns, Lois mentions that Clark is 6’4” and 125 lbs. Now, we can gather that she meant to say 225 lbs, but since she didn’t say that and she said 125 lbs and it made it into the final cut of the film, this is pretty annoying.
6’4” is pretty tall, so if someone of that height was 125 lbs, they’d be as skinny as a pole. They’d barely be able to stand up without fainting. And we’re expected to believe that’s how much a super-strong alien with the nickname “Man of Steel” weighs?
22 Aquaman – How Did He Get Those Tattoos?
Jason Momoa turned Aquaman from the laughing stock of the DC Comics universe into one of the franchise's coolest characters. The creative team behind the DC Extended Universe were asking a lot of him, since he had to make a fish-man named Arthur Curry with mostly useless powers seem cool. But somehow, he did it. He pulled it off.
How did he do it? Well, part of it is the tattoos all over his body. But the sad thing is, they don’t make sense. He once mentioned that human metal can’t pierce his skin. If human metal can’t pierce his skin, how did a tattoo needle cover him in permanent ink?
21 Batman v Superman – The Dirt Moving Was Meaningless
At the end of Batman v Superman, after Doomsday terminates Superman and they have a whole funeral for him, we start to see the dirt on his grave move, suggesting he’s about the burst out like a zombie. It was a big moment that geared us up for the next movie.
But the beginning of Justice League ignores this as he’s shown to be mourned by the world – until the heroes bring him back to life. The movement of the dirt worked as nothing more than a hint that Superman wasn’t gone forever – it had nothing to do with his rebirth.
20 The Dark Knight Rises – How Did Batman Escape The Blast Radius?
At the end of The Dark Knight Rises, Batman flies a nuclear bomb out into the ocean to save Gotham and then becomes a mythical figure. But then Alfred sees Bruce Wayne with Selina Kyle a while later in Florence, which is an ambiguous hint that maybe he survived and retired from Caped Crusader duties.
If he survived the explosion, how did he manage to escape the blast radius in time? Christopher Nolan left the ending of his trilogy open for each fan to interpret for themselves – but strictly in terms of the laws of physics, the real ending is that he was wiped out.
19 Wonder Woman – Only Love Can Truly Save The World...?
Towards the end of Wonder Woman, Steve Trevor’s demise (well, supposed demise – Chris Pine has somehow turned up in the sequel) inspires Diana Prince to learn the lesson that “only love can truly save the world.” That seems to be the moral message of the movie as a whole, too.
But this doesn’t change anything about her actual plan. She still goes right ahead and takes Ares’ life, which she always intended to do in the first place. Did she actually learn anything from Steve’s sacrifice? It doesn’t seem like it.
18 Suicide Squad – They’d Be No Match For General Zod
In Suicide Squad, Amanda Waller’s justification for putting together Task Force X – a team of psychopathic villains to be released from Arkham Asylum to do the government’s dirty work – is that they’ll need to be prepared if someone like General Zod ever comes to Earth again.
This is a reference to the events of Man of Steel, in which Zod threatened Earth, and Batman v Superman, in which Superman supposedly lost his life. But there isn’t a single character in Suicide Squad that would be a match for someone as powerful as Zod. Where did Waller get that idea from?
17 Green Lantern – How Did No One Else Figure Out Parallax Could Be Eliminated By A Star?
There is a lot wrong with Ryan Reynolds’ CGI-heavy Green Lantern film. The many, many plot holes make up just one of the movie’s litany of crimes against entertainment.
There are a lot of Green Lanterns in the movie, and yet none of them figured out their mortal enemy Parallax could be eliminated by getting pushed into a star until Hal Jordan of Earth came along and had the bright idea to throw him into the Sun. There are a lot of stars in outer space – could no one else have thought of this?
16 The Dark Knight – The Joker Just Sort Of Leaves Dent’s Fundraiser
In one of The Dark Knight’s most memorable scenes, the Joker crashes Harvey Dent’s fundraiser with the intention of kidnapping or even terminating Dent. This is why Bruce Wayne knocks Dent unconscious and puts him in a closet. He plans to eject the Joker from the party, saving Dent, but he gets distracted when the Joker sends Rachel falling to certain doom. Bruce jumps out the window to save her and they land on the roof of a car.
But just because the movie cuts away, it doesn’t mean the situation’s over. What happened after that? The Joker’s still upstairs holding all the guests, including Dent, hostage. Did he just take his party bag and leave? That wasn’t the plan. He could still have taken Dent.
15 Justice League – How Did Barry Allen Afford His Flash Suit?
In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it’s explained how every character has their suit. Captain America got his from the U.S. government when they made him a super soldier, Scott Lang was given the Ant-Man suit by its designer Hank Pym when he was too old to use it, and Tony Stark is a billionaire scientist who builds his own (and gives high-tech gear to Spider-Man, an orphaned teenager whose aunt struggles to put food on the table).
But the DCEU doesn’t do this. It explains to us that Barry Allen doesn’t know where his next meal is going to come from, but not how he afforded a fancy super-suit to run around as the Flash.
14 Suicide Squad – Is It Set Before Or After Justice League?
Speaking of the Flash’s suit, one theory is that Bruce Wayne gave it to him in Justice League. That movie depicts Barry meeting Bruce for the first time and also insinuates this is Barry’s first rodeo, superhero-wise.
However, he can be seen wearing the suit in his appearance in Suicide Squad, so wait, is that movie actually set after Justice League? No, because the mid-credits scene in Suicide Squad shows Amanda Waller giving Bruce Wayne a dossier containing information about the Flash. Is the DCEU trapped in some kind of time loop or something? None of these events line up!
13 Watchmen – Dr. Manhattan didn’t need to eliminate Rorschach
In Watchmen, Dr. Manhattan eliminated Rorschach to stop him from revealing Ozymandias’ plan to the world. However, Rorschach has already given his journal, which contains this information, to a news reporter. If Dr. Manhattan can see into the future, why didn’t he see that terminating Rorschach would be pointless?
Zack Snyder’s movie adaptation of Watchmen is far from terrible, but HBO’s upcoming TV version is looking to be a much stronger take on the source material. Plus, with this being a long-form narrative, it’ll be able to delve deeper into the characters and their relationships.
12 Man of Steel – Krypton Has A Yellow Sun
The reason that Clark Kent manages to have superpowers on Earth is due to its yellow sun. His home planet of Krypton has a red sun, which is why he was just a normal guy there. That’s why Zack Snyder ticked off a lot of people when he gave Krypton a yellow sun in Man of Steel.
It might seem like a minor thing, but to dedicated comic book readers, it’s a huge thing. It’s like making a Batman movie where his parents are alive and well or a Green Lantern movie where he gets his powers from a necklace instead of a ring.
11 The Dark Knight Rises – No One Asks Coleman Reese Who Batman Is
At the end of The Dark Knight, Batman takes the fall for Harvey Dent’s crimes and it’s circulated in the media that Coleman Reese knows Batman’s identity. However, in The Dark Knight Rises, Bruce Wayne still walks free, so did none of Gotham City’s finest think to ask Reese for that information? That’s pretty shoddy police work.
It’s not even like The Dark Knight Rises is set directly after the events of its predecessor and they just didn’t get round to it yet – there’s an eight year time jump. That’s eight years of negligence by the Gotham Police Department.
10 Green Lantern – The Green Lantern Corps Let Hal Keep His Power Ring After Quitting
After Hal Jordan quits being a Green Lantern and vows to leave that life behind him, the Green Lantern Corps let him keep the Power Ring that gives him his powers. Was this just an oversight on their part or did they let him keep it as a souvenir? Either way, it’s ridiculous.
The DC Extended Universe’s upcoming Green Lantern Corps movie promises to do justice to these characters by presenting a sort of “Lethal Weapon in space.” A buddy cop movie about two Green Lanterns certainly sounds exciting. But then so did a Green Lantern movie starring Ryan Reynolds, once upon a time.
9 Justice League – Two Versions Of Cyborg’s Origin Story
In Batman v Superman, Bruce Wayne watches a video clip of Cyborg in action before Superman “passes away.” But then in Justice League, Cyborg mentions he was created using the third Mother Box, although these didn’t light up until after Superman “passed away.”
So, that’s two versions of Cyborg’s origin story before he’s even had his own movie. When the actual solo movie gets released in 2020 (or whenever it gets released – it’s thought to have been delayed), maybe we’ll get some third version – or at least a confirmation on which of the two versions is actually the right one.
8 Wonder Woman – Why Didn't She Fight In World War II?
In Wonder Woman, Diana Prince leaves Themyscira to join the wider world and fight alongside Steve Trevor in World War I. The sequel, Wonder Woman 1984, will be set in the Cold War, while she’s also said to have been in hiding for decades when she reappears in Batman v Superman.
When Germany rose and fell over a six-year period, why did Diana turn a blind eye to World War II? Maybe none of the WWII fighter pilots crash-landed near her and she therefore somehow didn’t even realize it was going on.
7 The Dark Knight – The Joker’s Nurse Disguise Wouldn’t Fool Anyone
Harvey Dent was genuinely convinced there was an actual nurse in his room until the Joker took off his surgical mask. But a surgical mask isn’t a very good disguise for a man whose face is covered in white paint and smudged black eye-liner. And yet, somehow Harvey fell for it.
The following scene, in which the Joker blows up the hospital, is now one of the most iconic moments in cinema history. But to get to that awesome shot of the Joker dressed as a nurse walking away from an exploding hospital, viewers are expected to suspend a lot of disbelief.
6 Aquaman – Has Arthur Curry Ever Been To Atlantis Or Not?
This one might have Justice League’s many reshoots, as well as the replacement of its director, to blame. In Justice League, Arthur Curry senses a disturbance to his home world of Atlantis and storms across the ocean to battle Steppenwolf and protect it. He knows his way around the undersea kingdom.
However, in Aquaman, which is set long after the events of Justice League, he is depicted as a stranger to Atlantis. We see him go there for the first time. What is going on with the DCEU’s messed-up continuity?
5 Suicide Squad – The Joker Has Unbleached Skin
In the comics, the Joker is driven to insanity after his skin is bleached in an incident involving dangerous chemicals. But in Suicide Squad, Jared Leto’s Joker is just a little pale. His skin isn’t bleached to give him that iconic and unnerving look – and keep him faithful to the comics.
There are a lot of problems with Leto’s characterization of the Joker, frankly, but a lot of it is in the writing. The beauty of the character in the comics – and in The Dark Knight – is that he’s psychotic, but he’s also intelligent and one step ahead of everybody. Leto’s Joker is just psychotic.
4 Batman v Superman – Batman Blows Away Criminals With A Gun
In the comics, Batman is staunchly against the use of guns. He hates guns and never uses them. There are a lot of weapons in his arsenal, but none of them are guns. It’s been part of the makeup of the character ever since his parents were shot in front of him as a child, which set off the course of events that made him don the black cowl in the first place.
So, why would Batman v Superman betray the character so egregiously by depicting him as a gun-toting lunatic?
3 Man of Steel – Why Does Superman Execute General Zod?
The Superman we’ve known and loved for decades would never take a life. That’s one of the last son of Krypton’s defining characteristics that every movie about him should adhere to. You wouldn’t give him a green cape, so why have him take a life?
But that’s exactly what Zack Snyder did at the end of Man of Steel, the character’s introduction to the DC Extended Universe – he had Superman break General Zod’s neck. That’s relatively one of the first things he does in the franchise – it sets the tone for his character (and it does it all wrong).
2 The Dark Knight – Neither Ferry's Crew Took A Passing Glance At The Boat
When the Joker threatens Gotham, the people flock to the ferries, falling right into another one of his traps. He’s rigged two ferries with explosives, one containing prisoners and the other containing civilians. They each have a hundred barrels of gasoline ready to detonate, and no one realizes this until it’s too late.
But if either ferry’s crew knew what they were doing, they would either notice how much lower the boat was, thanks to the extra weight added by the gasoline, or they’d simply spot them on board. A hundred drums of gasoline are difficult to hide.
1 Justice League – Why Did They Hide All Three Mother Boxes On Earth?
It was a good plan to hide the three Mother Boxes from Steppenwolf. Plot-wise, it was a little derivative of Thanos’ quest to collect the Infinity Stones in the MCU. But as long as we’re going along with the stolen MacGuffin plot, that was a good starting point.
What wasn’t such a good idea was hiding every single one on Earth. It’s like an Easter egg hunt where every egg is hidden under the same bucket. And together, those eggs have the power to end the world. And someone’s looking for them with that in mind.