It's been bothering us for months, and now that Justice League has been made available on home video, it's time we got this off our chest: Batman's plan of attack in the movie's final battle is pretty dumb. Justice League is back in the headlines thanks to its release on digital download earlier this week. And while the talk of the town is currently on the deleted scenes featuring Superman and the rising calls for the infamous Snyder Cut, we're taking a minute to look at Batman's distinctly un-Batmanly behavior in the climatic showdown against the villainous Steppenwolf.
The Dark Knight we see in Justice League is a very different hero than the one we met in Batman v Superman. After being brought back down to Earth by the Man of Steel’s death, the Caped Crusader has lightened up a bit, even in the face of armageddon. Realizing that he can’t take on this incoming threat alone, Bruce Wayne recruits a team of metahumans to stand against the invading Steppenwolf and his army of Parademons. But the way our hero goes about saving the world, specifically in the third act of the film, is heavily, heavily flawed.
Batman’s plan is pretty straightforward: drop the team off on the outskirts of the battlefield, take out the force field, and lead the horde of Parademons away from Steppenwolf. Clearing the field so that his fellow Justice Leaguers could take out the big bad is an honorable move — if it works. It doesn’t, and the Dark Knight only ends up delaying their world-saving efforts. And that's where the real problems begin. Take a closer look and see why Batman’s Final Justice League Battle Plan Was Pretty Dumb.
Though we were hoping that Batman would take charge and lay out some sort of strategy while the team was en route to Bizarnov, the Lasso of Truth scene with Aquaman is charming enough that we don't mind him keeping things close to the vest. Honestly, revealing his plan of attack to his teammates at the last second so that they don't raise questions about his suspicious behavior is a pretty Batman-y move. The short-sightedness of that plan, however, definitely isn't.
Bats drops the team off outside the force field, telling them that he's going to take out the tower powering the dome. He blasts through the force field and takes out the tower with a few rockets from the Flying Fox, leaving us wondering if that wasn't something that almost every other Justice Leaguer could’ve done without going solo. But never mind that, because part two of the Caped Crusader's master plan involves blaring this random siren noise through the Batmobile's speakers that Batman has learned the Parademons really don't like. (Thanks, random inclusion from the first act!) Again, this is intended to attract Steppenwolf's foot soldiers so that the other Justice Leaguers have a clear path to the main villain. It works to a degree, as hundreds of Parademons come flying after the Batmobile. This marks the end of the nice-ish things we have to say about Batman's strategy.
The Dark Knight doesn't appear to have planned on surviving this phase of his scheme. The Batmobile can't even outrun the Parademons, who quickly close in on him and begin tearing through his beloved ride. Our hero seems to accept his fate with an "oh, son of a bitch", and that appears to be that.
Except of course it isn't, because the rest of the Justice League then arrives on the scene to save his ass. And this is the major flaw in Batman's battle plan: did he really think his teammates would just leave him to die? They may not like him all that much, but there was no way they were just going to let him get torn apart while they went after Steppenwolf. So instead of attacking the dome as a team and giving the distraction siren to someone that could actually outrun a Parademon attack -- like, say, the Fastest Man Alive -- Batman actually delays the team from getting to Steppenwolf. Aquaman sums things up nicely when he tells the Caped Crusader “so your genius move...is dying. You really are out of your mind.”
Side note: humanizing Batman with an "oh, son of a bitch" moment only really works if your iteration has been built up as unstoppable hero who thinks of everything, something the DCEU hasn't quite managed to do yet. But hey, maybe the Dark Knight can salvage things in the next part of his plan, right? Well...