Originally Posted by BatLobsterRises
A character's incompetence is not a flaw of the writing if that is part of the point of the character. The police force had become bloated, complacent, cocky. Foley was there to give a face to that. He was an opportunistic d-bag, who is able to achieve some small measure of redemption due to the restored power of Batman's symbol. To have the same character who was hunting Batman be the same guy who is later inspired by him was a good way to show how radically things have changed in Gotham from the end of TDK to the climax of TDKR. The relationship between Batman and the law/Gotham has been in constant evolution throughout the trilogy, and this is a pretty important part of the last stage of the transformation.
We can take shots at the execution all day, but if you simply removed Foley from the film, it has a domino effect on themes that IMO would hurt more than it would help. Once a screenplay is written you can't just pluck things out willy nilly without having to make much deeper changes. That is why I consistently find most of the criticisms leveled at this film are a result of wanting a different movie altogether. And some people openly concede that- which is a totally valid and fair position to have, as long as it is acknowledged. Removing Foley would have this effect to a lesser degree, but things like removing the LOS and Talia or losing the 8 year gap/Dent Act would completely change the entire fabric of the film to the point where in my view, it would be a different film...not "TDKR with tweaks".
Wow, great points and it's refreshing to see someone demonstrate such a level-headed, well-informed view of the character rather than "Foley sucks!!!" or "More Selina instead of Foley!!". It's almost like people are acting as if Foley had moments dedicated soley to him on-screen. Let's not forget that in pretty much every one of his scenes, he is alongside a main character or other people.
I will say that as a character, Foley was not particularly well-developed, but it wasn't his purpose to be. We were not meant to learn all about Foley's innermost thoughts. We didn't need to see him interact with Batman. He serves his purpose within the context of the story.
At first, he represents the way most of Gotham would have felt about Batman, otherwise known as "the guy who murdered Harvey Dent (our hero) and a bunch of cops in cold blood". However, after the city learns the truth about Dent's murder...and after months of living in terror, Batman returns to Gotham with his symbol publicly emblazoned for Bane and his army to see. Batman was showing that the city wasn't going to go down in flames without a fight. Batman was not afraid of Bane and his army. This is enough to inspire Foley to come out of hiding and fight for his city, as I'm sure Batman inspired others.
I think the biggest misfire with Foley was his casting. Not the right actor for the role, IMO.