5. Bane – The Dark Knight Rises (2012)

Despite The Dark Knight Rises presenting Tom Hardy’s Bane as a masterful tactician who outmaneuvers even the world’s greatest detective, he’s actually the dumbest villain from Christopher Nolan’s celebrated Dark Knight trilogy.

Acting on behalf of the League of Shadows, Bane carries out a deeply involved plan to lay siege to Gotham and watch it destroy itself, waging war against Batman as he does so. However, in his interactions with the Dark Knight, Bane’s choices are not at all smart from a tactical standpoint.

After defeating Batman, Bane explains that he’s prepared a fate worse than death – that Bruce Wayne must watch Gotham fall while he’s incapacitated in an inescapable prison. This is ridiculous for a number of reasons:

  1. The prison was not inescapable, as he’d escaped it himself and seen a child escape
  2. Batman hadn’t been able to beat him in a fight, but he was still a threat to Bane’s plan, and Bane decided to leave him alive for no reason other than to make him suffer, jeopardizing his intended fate for Gotham
  3. Bane wasn’t even thorough enough to properly incapacitate Batman, and he made a relatively speedy recovery even in the squalid prison

On top of this, Bane allows a margin for error in his plan, allowing Batman to ultimately save Gotham. A master tactician and supposedly ruthless mercenary simply wouldn’t have allowed Batman to live to “suffer” – a smart man would have just killed the hero and been done with it (although that admittedly would have been a much shorter and more depressing movie.)