Christopher Nolan's Batman movies aren't just great action films, they're awesome movies for gearheads. What, besides the occasional Michael Bay crapfest, has vehicles as awesome as the Tumbler or the Batpod, or even Bruce Wayne's Lamborghinis and MV Agusta motorcycle from The Dark Knight?
And one of the best things about the rides in Batman's arsenal is they all have some kind of basis in actual military hardware. That goes a long way toward establishing the "realistic" world that Nolan wanted for his Bat-movies.
But when you follow that line of thinking as far as you can, one thing becomes very apparent: Lucius Fox is the worst and most irresponsible business executive in America, and not only would he likely lose his job at the end of The Dark Knight Rises, he would probably end up issuing a massive apology to the entire country, being forced to testify before a Senate panel, or going to prison. All three, most likely.
WARNING, Spoilers Ahead!
I came to this realization after I watched the third film on Blu Ray last week. Here's the thrust of my argument: Every single movie features Wayne Enterprises technology being misappropriated in some way and then used to do everything from spy on the citizens of Gotham City to gas them/blow them up.
Oh, and all while using their money, too. First and foremost, let's talk about what a massive waste of taxpayer dollars all of this stuff is. In Batman Begins, Fox notes that much of the stuff in his section comes from abandoned "defense projects;" in The Dark Knight, it is said that the machine Batman uses to find the Joker by listening in on cell phones was made as a project for the Army; and in Rises, Fox said that he built the Bat attack-copter for the Dept. of Defense.
Kids, money from defense contracts doesn't grow on trees. It comes from us when we pay taxes. So here's Wayne Enterprises' M.O.: the government gives them money to develop these weapons, they don't ever put them into production for whatever reason, and then Fox hands them off to Bruce Wayne, who runs around blowing shit up with them and creating even more property damage we all have to pay for. Come on, man! What the shit is that?
It's not just vehicles, either. In the first movie, a Wayne Enterprises prototype microwave emitter gets stolen and used to spread fear-gas all over the city. In the next one, Batman violates the privacy of everyone in the city using a Wayne machine to find the Joker (the one and only time Fox raises any objections to this crazy shit, which is just unbelievable.)
Rises is the worst one of all. Bane's men get ahold of a bunch of Tumblers (despite Fox asserting that they've been "locked up and off the books") and wreak havoc on the city before planning to blow it up using an energy reactor that was turned into a nuclear bomb. You know, one what was developed by... drum roll please... Wayne Enterprises. This is like General Motors in the 1980s except worse, and I didn't think that was possible.
And then there's that absurd monorail, most prominently seen in Batman Begins. Ever notice that it's like 20 stories off the street? That's just ridiculous! Would you want to walk up that many flights of stairs after a long, hard day of work when you're just trying to catch a ride home? And then, at the end of the movie, it is — once again — used to try and kill people. Because of course it is.
This raises another question: What does Wayne Enterprises do, exactly? What products do they make besides military weapons that are never used by the military and public projects that are used to try and murder the public? Bag O' Glass, maybe? That would be fitting.
At the heart of it all is Lucius Fox, played by the awesome Morgan Freeman. We never learn what his deal is and why he's so quick to hand over all these dangerous toys to his old boss's crazy son, becoming the enabler-in-chief to a man who is clearly unhinged. Maybe he just likes to mix shit up, you know, let things get off the chain a little bit every now and then.
Presumably, since people in Gotham City knew the reactor-bomb came from Wayne Enterprises, all of the company's zany misadventures would come to light at the end of the third film, so I highly doubt Fox would get to keep his job. At the very least, he would end up having to make an insanely apologetic BP-style video for his shareholders and the people of America.
More than likely, he'd be going to jail, but probably not before getting a massive golden parachute when he left the company. These movies are supposed to be realistic, after all.
Photos credit Warner Bros., fxguide