A spoiler-filled exploration of The Dark Knight Rises

Feature James Peaty 23 Jul 2012 - 07:06

As The Dark Knight Rises brings Batman’s story to a dramatic conclusion, James takes a closer, spoiler-filled look at the film’s events...


Taking a franchise that many felt had peaked in 1989, Christopher Nolan’s root and branch reimagining of Batman not only revitalized his standing as a pop culture icon, but did so by boldly grappling with some of the contradictions at the core of DC Comics most popular character.

That boldness reaches its natural conclusion in the black, brooding and often brilliant The Dark Knight Rises, a more than fitting last hurrah for this rightly lauded incarnation of the caped crusader. Successfully building upon the solid foundation established in Nolan’s previous two Bat-films, Rises takes many of the ideas and themes set-up in Batman Begins and fuses them with the style, intensity and scale of its 2008 follow-up, The Dark Knight.

Chief among these returning elements is the spectre of Ra’s Al Ghul and his League of Shadows, which seems wholly appropriate for this Batman’s final chapter. While hewing closely to material established in the comic books the one major change that Nolan and co-writer David Goyer made to Batman’s origin in Begins was the co-opting of Ra’s as Bruce Wayne’s mentor. 

In this continuity it was Ra’s who gave Wayne the idea to adopt a dual identity based around theatricality and deception, while also famously telling his star pupil that with devotion to an ideal he could transform himself into a legend. Unsurprisingly, it’s the playing out of this second idea that essentially forms the backbone of The Dark Knight Rises. 

Set eight years after the events of The Dark Knight, we find Gotham becalmed and in a state of relative prosperity. Organised crime has been routed thanks to the draconian laws contained within the Harvey Dent Act, while Gotham’s now legendary former DA has become the city’s officially sanctioned hero. 

With Batman taking the rap for Dent’s murder and pained by the death of his childhood sweetheart, Rachel Dawes, Bruce Wayne has not only hung up his cape and cowl, but also withdrawn from public life.

Spending his days holed up in Wayne Manor like a modern day Miss Haversham, Wayne’s disconnect from the world is not only proving harmful to his health and reputation, but also for his company. Thanks to Wayne’s insistence, a costly and wasteful investment in a failed clean energy reactor has left Wayne Enterprises on the brink of a hostile takeover.

However, Bruce’s connection to the world is partly re-established when his mother’s pearls – a potent symbol of Batman’s birth – are stolen by sassy cat-burglar Selina Kyle. Bruce clearly enjoys sparring with Kyle and before long he’s back in the Batcave, researching Kyle’s background and attempting to track her down to recover the stolen jewellery.

But while Bruce concerns himself with Kyle, Gotham is coming under threat from a new visitor. An ex-communicated member of Ra’s Al Ghul’s League of Shadows, the mercenary known as Bane has to come to Gotham, seemingly at the behest of disgruntled Wayne Enterprises board member John Daggett.

Based in the city’s sewers and slowly building up an army of Gotham’s dispossessed, Bane is planning something big. Young beat cop John Blake recognizes things are not as they seem, but it’s not until Commissioner Gordon is injured by Bane that Blake decides to pay Wayne a visit at his manor house. 

A fellow orphan and one-time resident of a Wayne sponsored children’s home, Blake’s worked out Wayne’s dual identity as the Batman and confronts the older man about it. He urges Bruce to get back in the game and come to the aid of Gordon to try and stop Bane.   

But as Batman begins to re-emerge and Bane makes his move, Bruce is also confronted with problems at Wayne Enterprises and it’s here that the films fourth new character is introduced. 

A successful businesswoman in her own right, Miranda Tate is an urbane professional who’s more than a little reminiscent of Rachel Dawes. When Wayne is forced to cede control of the company he pushes for Tate to become CEO as she pledges to protect Wayne’s clean energy reactor that resides beneath the city.

Using Kyle to get close to Bane, Batman engages the former protégé of Ra’s Al Ghul in battle and is utterly defeated. Taken from Gotham to The Pit, a prison at the bottom of a giant well in India, Bruce is left broken and forced to watch as Bane begins his plan to destroy Gotham.

Cutting Gotham off from the mainland, Bane dragoons Wayne’s fusion reactor and turns it into a makeshift nuclear device. Threatening to detonate the device if anyone leaves or enters Gotham Island, Bane begins a campaign of terror throughout the city.

First freeing the criminals imprisoned under the Harvey Dent Act, he sets up kangaroo courts and stages public executions, all with the express purpose of fulfilling Ra’s Al Ghul’s original plan to help shame and destroy the corrupt Gotham once and for all.

But while Bane tears Gotham apart, Batman languishes in the seemingly inescapable Pit. Allegedly it’s the place where Bane was born and raised. However it’s also rumoured to have been home to the child of Ra’s Al Ghul, the only person ever to escape from its oppressive walls.   

Looking like an expressionistic version of the well that Bruce fell into as a child, the broken Batman has to rebuild himself inside the prison and finally climb out of the darkness that’s seemingly imprisoned him his whole life and move towards the light.

Despite the media’s obsession with linking The Dark Knight Rises to the debate surrounding Occupy Wall Street, I’d argue that attempting to imply that the film is a direct parallel to contemporary events is pretty much a waste of time. 

Certainly there are resonances in the wider culture that Nolan is using as points of reference, but generally Rises is far more concerned with matters of its own internal mythology and consistency than how it fits into the ideological debates of the day.

An intense and relentless experience, Rises is a story much more in tune with ‘classical’ literature than anything else, with its approach to storytelling hewing closer to Joseph Campbell and Charles Dickens than anything ripped from the current headlines. As a result, Rises is a film as much about legacy, myth and recursive symbols as it is about wealth, class and revolution. 

From the images of snow and ice, which permeated Bruce’s early journey in Begins and return here at the Dark Knight’s end, through to Bane’s aerial kidnap sequence which mirrors Batman’s Hong Kong rendition in TDK, the film is stuffed to the gills with echoes and reflections of the previous two movies.

This echoing is also apparent in the way new characters Selina Kyle and John Blake are introduced to Wayne. Bearing in mind that both characters end up essentially apprenticed to the Dark Knight, it’s clearly no coincidence that during their first encounters with Bruce that his look is reminiscent of Ra’s Al Ghul.

And this doesn’t stop at Blake and Kyle. Miranda Tate’s introduction to Wayne at a high society function is also reminiscent of his confrontation with Ra’s in Wayne Manor during the final act of Begins, while Tate’s relationship with Bane has echoes of Bruce’s relationships with Rachel, Gordon and even Alfred.

However, despite all of the various links to the past, it’s Ra’s talk of legends and Bruce’s subsequent conversation with Alfred about that same subject in Begins which serves as the driving force of The Dark Knight Rises.

In that scene, Bruce tells Alfred that he plans to become both an incorruptible symbol and a dramatic example to shake the citizens of Gotham out of their apathy and inspire them to take back their city.

Clearly at this point, Wayne’s plan was intended as a short-term project and in TDK Wayne is completely convinced (not incorrectly as it transpires) that the time to continue as Batman is coming to an end thanks to the emergence of Harvey Dent. 

But with Batman out of the way and Dent now discredited, it’s actually Bane who picks up that mantle and runs with it, inspiring the worst aspects within Gotham society as he oversees show trials, executes prisoners and generally revels in his manipulative, florid and symbolic revolutionary rhetoric.

It’s only after Batman sheds the weight of his accumulated guilt and shame, as well as the baggage of being Bruce Wayne, that he’s finally able to rise up and depose Bane to become the symbol that Gotham needs him to be.

In leading the similarly symbolic and ‘costumed’ Gotham police force against Bane and his revolutionary gang, Batman not only saves Gotham one last time, but in the process becomes a true symbol of justice and moral courage who is firmly embedded within the civic culture of Gotham City. 

After this day he’s no longer the ambiguous figure that Commissioner Gordon had to deny he ever worked with, nor is he a scapegoat for Harvey Dent’s appalling crimes. He’s now, literally, a symbol that will serves as an inspiration for the city’s population as long as it exists. But with the Dark Knight ascending, there’s no need for Bruce Wayne to fill that role anymore. Freed of shouldering the legend of Batman and the legacy of his family’s name, Bruce is free to rise above it all, leave Gotham and finally join the human race.

Now for people who love the open-ended pulp-opera of super-hero comic books this ending is probably anathema, but from day one serving up cosy comfort food hasn’t been on Nolan’s agenda. Instead he’s been chronicling a clearly defined modern hero’s journey and telling it with a level of sophistication, insight and rigour that popular cinema has seldom seen. 

Bruce Wayne may have been devoted to an ideal, but in much the same way so has Christopher Nolan. Sticking to his storytelling principles and being utterly faithful to the characters and world he established in Batman Begins, Nolan exits the franchise rightly garlanded as a legend in his own right.

Most superhero franchises stumble as the reach their final acts, uncertain of where they should go and with nothing interesting to say about their core characters. Thanks to Nolan and his collaborators Batman never comes close to suffering that fate.

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I think this is Nolan's worst film and a bit of a mess to be honest. It does nothing to add anything truly great to the trilogy and in many ways harms the Batman franchise. The character is now in desperate need of creative recalibration. The only men for the job are Paul Dini and Bruce Timm.

I don't disagree with much of this article... unfortunately the movie accomplishes much of this to the detriment of the storytelling. It unfortunately suffers from three-quel-itis.

It works as closure, but is probably the weakest of the three.

I thought it was an epic conclusion to the trilogy.

It is a mess. The film was slow to get going and it kept dumping the tension. The editing seemed messy. Caine was great but was used terribly. There must be a shorter edit of this, I for one think it would be vastly superior.

I understand everything this article says and agree with it. This is Nolan's vision and it is epic. The three movies are not only about the city but about the legend that is Batman. And all the themes and all the characters make sense in TDKR except it could've been executed as a better movie. It's a bit of a mess. Batman's injured knee is introduced and never seen again. Bane does something with the stock market and I have no idea what it was. When Batman comes into action he screws up the police actions and lets Bane get away. Why does Kyle know how to get to Bane? She was the worst aspect of this movie. And then Nolan wants to show Gotham tear itself apart once again AND have Batman break his back AND have Batman return to save the day...and he invents some atomic bomb threat to create fake tension. I mean, if Bane wanted to destroy Gotham with an atomic bomb, or should I say Talia, because Bane is reduced to a sidekick in his last moments, a love-sick puppy that knows how to fight and look menacing, he could have just you know NOT have told anyone and let the bomb go off anyway? But no he needed to take over Gotham for some reason and let the entire world know he has a bomb? And then he installs a television in the Pit for Bruce to watch. And his back conveniently heals within just the right amount of time it takes to get back to Gotham (how did he get back? He had no money and he was stuck in India!) and somehow he becomes a better fighter than Bane even with such a blatant injury that could paralyze him and he never went to see a proper doctor! I mean what?

Too much is shoehorned in here, making Bane look stupid, Talia look 2-dimensional, Catwoman non-existent and therefore they had to take out Morgan Freeman and Michael Caine from the story all in order to have Batman come back and save the day just in the nick of time....

Clearly the worst of the three Batman movies. Hell, it might even be Nolan's worst movie. The Prestige was better than this and so was Inception.

The Dark Knight Rises sacrifices logic, characters and a good movie to tell a thematic story...a good thematic story...but if you're going to judge a movie by its themes than the Star Wars prequels are good too and Prometheus would be a masterpiece.

And just to be clear, TDKR is better than those movies. It just could've been so much better.

I was disappointed in this but only because of my high expectations, but still think it was a good film and am reserving final judgement until a second viewing. The below comments are fair though, it was a bit sloppy and there were some missed opportunities for some great set pieces. The "heroes" weren't as heroic as they could have been (even taking into consideration the understated darkness of the trilogy) and some cinematic crowd pleasing was sacrificed for storytelling to the detriment of the film.

I was extremely impressed with Michael Caines performance but he could have used some more screen time with the end of his relationship with Wayne explored more. Catwomans appearance in the film could easily have been omitted altogether as it brought nothing but filler story to the main arc. Gary Oldman was as usual good but really could have used a third (or even second) dimension to his character.

One thing is clear, Nolan is brave enough to have ended the trilogy as a complete story but for him to end the movie on what was bordering a cliffhanger, we haven't see the last of this universe.

First and foremost, THANK YOU FOR ADDRESSING THE ISSUE OF THE MEDIA CONNECTING THIS FILM TO THE OCCUPY MOVEMENT. Nothing gets on my nerves more than she somebody mentions my favorite film franchise and that ridiculous movement, in the same sentence. Nolan has thoroughly denied any connection to the movement, therefor, since the man himself has dispelled it, we really should quit trying to find subtle ways to connect the two.

As far as the film goes, I experienced some mild disappointments (which are outweighed by the pros). Conversely to some other comments, I feel like the story developed too fast, Banes identity revealed too early on, and the occurrence of too many character developments, sub-plots, and stories (in addition to the main plot). The film reminded me of the abundance of side stories in Arkham City; simply too many for a first time play through). The film lacked continuity and gets lost in all that is going on. I feel like it would have helped the film out a lot to simply focus on the revolutionary terror of Bane. There were great opportunities in that concept. Obviously the final development of Batman/Bruce Wayne would have worked itself out; everything else was unnecessary. YET, I find myself almost as excited to see this film AGAIN, as I was to see it the first time. 8.5/10.

You know it's like you've stolen what I wanted to say about the movie, I thought all the same things exactly after watching the movie. Am a big fan of Batman Begins and I still hold it better than Dark Knight rises, I was hoping that with all talk about this movie bringing the focus back to Batman (instead of the villains) it should be better than Begins, but clearly it turned out to be worse than any movie Nolan has made.

I came out of the cinema hall thinking that so many things don't tie up together, character motivations were not at all present or where they were they were all haywire with no links.

Begins and TDK were both very smart and logical movies and at the same time had a very good story with progression. This one seems hollow

"Batman's injured knee is introduced and never seen again." -It get's dealt with. It shows he's too beaten up and old to really continue in the role of Batman without tech. He gets the tech, and at the end of the film he gives up. Problem solved.
"Bane does something with the stock market and I have no idea what it was." He puts all of Wayne's money into 'Futures technology' which is a company which is about to fail. It fails, Wayne enterprises goes bankrupt, the biggest financial company in Gotham is pulled down. Chaos. Anarchy.
"When Batman comes into action he screws up the police actions and lets Bane get away." - He's old, as the knee problems pointed out, he's not as good as he used to be, and Bane is pretty good at this stuff. This is a key point and will get mentioned time and again in this comment.
"Why does Kyle know how to get to Bane? She was the worst aspect of this movie." - Before I saw the film I thought I was going to agree with this point, but actually she was great. She knows how to get to Bane because he lives in the tunnels underneath the city. Loads of people know he's down there, including Commissioner Gordon. Finding him in there is more difficult, but not for someone who knows the seedy underground well, like Catwoman does. She also kills Bane in the final act, so I don't know how she can be seen as the 'worst aspect of the movie'.
"And then Nolan wants to show Gotham tear itself apart once again" - Of course! Bane wants anarchy, and he wants to be a kind of anti-Batman, bringing out the worst in people. And what better way for Batman to return than to pull Gotham out of it's worst hole imaginable?
"AND have Batman break his back" - A key story from the comics, it shows that Bane is a true match for Batman's incredible fighting skills, and again, that Bruce Wayne is old.
"AND have Batman return to save the day" - What film do you want to watch? Bane Begins? I think you went to the wrong alternative timeline good sir.
"...and he invents some atomic bomb threat to create fake tension." - Nope. There are many energy sources that have been turned into weapons, taking it to the next logical level is just good sense. And considering that Bane and Talia want to blow up Gotham and complete the League of Shadows last task, they'd probably use a bomb. And a 5 megaton A-Bomb that (and here's the symbolism) takes a good thing and turns it into a bad thing.
"I mean, if Bane wanted to destroy Gotham with an atomic bomb, or should I say Talia, because Bane is reduced to a sidekick in his last moments, a love-sick puppy that knows how to fight and look menacing, he could have just you know NOT have told anyone and let the bomb go off anyway? But no he needed to take over Gotham for some reason and let the entire world know he has a bomb?" - But then there's no tension and no way for Gotham to destroy itself in the public eye. Which is what they wanted. They want to show the opposite of Batman to be true. That one man can be a symbol of awfulness that everyone will follow.
"And then he installs a television in the Pit for Bruce to watch." - Yes. He want's to show Gotham's greatest hero that his entire city will be destroyed and that he'll be powerless to do anything about it.
"And his back conveniently heals within just the right amount of time it takes to get back to Gotham" - That's film-making for you, always tying up stories! Bloody typical eh? He's got like two-three months, and there's a doctor in the next cell, and the British actor who was there seems to know what he's doing too. Alright it might be far-fetched but this is a world in which a man in a black bat suit flies around talking in a funny voice and has a bike which defies physics. I'd say let this one slide.
"How did he get back? He had no money and he was stuck in India!" - Do you remember Batman Begins? He lived as a thief and still managed to make it to Asia.
"and somehow he becomes a better fighter than Bane even with such a blatant injury that could paralyze him and he never went to see a proper doctor! I mean what?" As previously stated this is a film. Suspend your disbelief for a moment. While down in the pit he learns a few things about Bane. You'll notice that Batman does not make the first move in the fight, and that he constantly punches his mask and nothing else. He wised up. He knows that in a 1 on 1 fight, he loses. So like a good RPG fighter, he went for the weak spot, and it worked.
"making Bane look stupid" - At no point does Bane look stupid. He brings down an entire city, why don't you try it and we'll see who looks sillier?
"Talia look 2-dimensional" - Talia very carefully puts herself in a place of trust amongst the police and Bruce Wayne, as she did in the comics. She's the reason the van without the bomb is tagged with the GPS, don't forget. She want's to see her father's work completed.
"Catwoman non-existent" - I'll say it again, CATWOMAN KILLS BANE AND SAVES BATMAN.
"and therefore they had to take out Morgan Freeman and Michael Caine from the story..." - Morgan Freeman was there the whole time, and is down in the reactor core when it's flooded. He's playing his part and waiting for the bomb. Michael Caine was brilliant and explained wonderfully why he had to leave Gotham. He didn't want to watch Bruce/Batman kill himself. So he left. Nothing he can do from outside Gotham so why show him?
"...all in order to have Batman come back and save the day just in the nick of time" -Again, this is a Batman film. Why would you not want Batman to save the day? Are you the Joker or something?

Please, go back and watch the film again. I'm sure since you've had everything explained to you like you are a child, maybe you'll actually enjoy it.

He leaves the ending open so that we can all wonder what happens to Gotham now. Does Robin come into play? Who knows? We won't. At least I don't think so. If WB do actually make a fourth in the series following Robin, it will most likely not have Nolan at the helm and probably be a critical disaster.

If anything I think a longer cut is probably somewhere and the only problem I had with the film is that some editing seemed a little too quick and sharp. But a longer cut would fix that. If anything, a shorter cut would be a mess.

You defend it fine but as a film, with cinematic storytelling, it fails. So much is told to the audience through exposition and not shown - this made TDKR feel a bit dull to me.

Catwoman should never have killed Bane with a gun. Bane, as the villain, never deserved such a throwaway death.

I thought TDKR was ok but it also shows up all of Nolan's deficiencies as a filmmaker. He never sets a scene and is ham-fisted when dealing with information.

Er, and as a character Talia was 2D. And the bomb plot was like in a 90's computer game. No way did I get the sadness of Bruce Wayne at the start - as I say it was all told to me rather than shown effectively in the performance etc. Basically the first thing he does is banter with Selina Kyle. There are so many lame decisions in TDKR. I think it's a massive missed opportunity.

Clearly it didn't fail. I understood everything that was going on, and I can't see why anyone else can't. I agree that Bane deserved better than to be killed with a gun. But the point of Bane in relation to Batman is that he defeated him. And in turn, Batman came back and defeated Bane. That was the most important thing there. Bane was defeated. It was only because Talia was revealed at that point that Batman was denied his defeat/arrest of Bane. Catwoman killing Bane works because it gives her a cinematic entrance and she saves Batman who in turn saves the city. It's enough for me, but I can see that it feels throwaway. As a character, Talia was an assassin, trained to hide herself in plain sight and also indoctrinated in the ways of the League of Shadows. She may seem 2D but for her it's how she was trained and brought up. She was a child when she escaped the pit (a horrible place for a child to be brought up it would seem) and immediately sought out Ra's al Ghul. She never had a chance to be anything else than what she was trained to be.
Also, the first thing Bruce Wayne does is watch over the event downstairs from the east wing. The second thing he does is banter with Kyle, who Bruce Wayne ends up with at the end of the film, so it works from a story point of view because they set up their relationship early.

Undoubtedly Nolan/Bale is finished with this universe, but I cant see WB / DC not wanting to revisit it at some point in the future judging by its financial success. Personally, I would hate to see JGL as Blake try to be a new Batman or take over the care of Gotham as Robin but judging by that ending and the fact during the movie Batman says to Blake he needs a mask to protect those around him (which was unnecessary unless he will at some point wear a mask on screen) I think we will see something based in this version of Gotham. However, I would prefer it left alone now for a few years at least until a Justice League or Batman & Superman collaboration can produce a new version of the Batman.

You're my hero.

Agree completely

This article is not an exploration of the film - it is a plot summary.


They should make a prequel to TDK that takes place after begins and use The Riddler or Penguin or even one of the lesser villains. No they actually shouldn't buy if they could come up with a good enough story and make it parallel the stories after it that would be so cool. Hate on me I just don't want Nolan to stop!!!

Totally agree with your 'bit of a mess' statement. I actually got up and left before the movie ended (just guessing, perhaps 15 minutes). Editing huge problem. I've seen all Batman movies, and with this one, viewers needed score sheets to tell what was going on. Huge lapses where not much interesting was going on. Perhaps this one was meant for die-hard fans who followed the Comic Book series (am grasping for reasons). I figured it would be much more enjoyable to get out and just ask the girl at the Popcorn Counter how it ended. I won't even ask for my money back. To me, the Val Kilmer/Nicole Kidman version was the best.

I am astonished by these comments! Leaving before the end is ridiculous! But if you love Batman Forever, that says it all. Best wishes in the future!

i would of liked to have seen more of batman in his suit! plus abit more footage of gotham cut off from the outside world, 5 months gotham was supposed to be cut off but it was all over too quickly for me! plus how did bruce wayne get back into gotham? all too easy if you ask me!

Agree with most of this, but as for how Wayne got in... I'd think Bane only forbade anyone LEAVING Gotham, not caring about anyone crazy enough to enter. See how easy the Special Forces guys got in, only to be killed by Bane's goons right away.

A "throwaway death"? He gets roughed up for a good wee bit, removed from his ventilator, panelled for a bit more and only then gets finally done in with a big gun. Maybe a bit more punching will do it, eh?

Strong Article. I was very impressed with the film. I was upset with TDK as I thought all of Bruce's actions were very short sighted and although its been hammered in from the get go it took till this movie for me to realise Nolan's Batman isn't supposed to be in it for the long haul.

I would have gone home good and pissed if Bruce had in fact died at the end. Absolutely beautiful and poetic way to end the series. All Batfans owe Nolan a big thank you for saving our beloved brooding Batman. Long live the Dark Knight.

From what I have read they are planning to reboot the series almost immediately. Aside from the franchise being a HUGE "cash-cow" they WANT to do a Justice League movie & they have to have a Batman that exists in a world with other superheroes to do so. I dont know IF the upcoming Supes reboot will play into that as it seems to be a very serious take on the character, so time will tell, but have no fear--Batman WILL be back either way. Personally, i think they should do a Bats/Supes team up movie as a bridge to the Justice League, but I dont know if that is in the cards or not.

I love Chuck Dixon's response to the question about Bane being compared to Romney, though I doubt the Occupiers find it amusing:
Chuck Dixon, the comic book writer who created Bane in the 1990′s, did
not like the idea of comparing his villainous creation to Romney.
Calling himself a “staunch conservative,” Dixon said that Bane is more
of a “Occupy Wall Street type” and Romney is more like Bruce Wayne, a
billionaire philanthropist out to save his city.

Dark Knight Rises was on a par with Batman Begins but nowhere near the genuis of The Dark Knight. Robert Zemeckis said it best when he indicated that we will all accept a standalone film but each of us will imagine the sequel. I am guilty of thinking the whole story would not rest on a ticking timebomb...which it ended up doing.
Nobody expected for Dark Knight to be as good as it was but comments I keep reading of "Amazing" for Rises do not stack up for me.
Where was the pathos so strong in parts 1 & 2? It was poorly edited and bloated.
Levitt was the star of the film for me but I doubt Warners are going to hand him the cape. Next up I bet its another reboot....

I'm amazed at how many negative comments I'm seeing here.
stuxmusic thanks for defending the film, you did a fine job explaining those points.
I loved this movie from start to finish. I was never bored or felt a lack of tension. Bane was a freaking monster and that fight in the sewers was exactly what I was waiting to see since I first heard he was the villain. There were a few moments where I couldn't totally understand him but I could generally figure it out by what was going on around him so I that didn't bother me as it seems to have others. I felt that Bane totally upped the ante from TDK too. He not only installs fear in Gotham but he also breaks the city right after he breaks Batman. He does what the Joker couldn't do - he wins(for 3 months). I won't try and compare Bane to the Joker because both performances and characters are incredible in their own right. That said, who the hell will ever top the performance of Heath Ledger? RIP
Anne Hathaway as Catwoman was also fantastic, you get a glimpse of every character trait from the comics. You see the thief, the fighter, the renegade and the hero. And she looks good doing it. I loved it. You are welcome to disagree with me though...
I was hoping for a little more Talia but I agree with the view that she was lying in wait for her chance to strike. They dropped the love story and gave us a seduction of Bruce Wayne instead which worked great I think. This also eliminates the love triangle from being an issue at the end which was a concern of mine going in.
I'll admit I was caught by surprise by the intro of Robin. I knew JGL was going to be important and there had to be a special reason for him being there but that still caught me. I was very pleased that they decided to have a whole new Robin for this series. I felt it mixed with the other origins that they created for this world of characters perfectly. Although I think he would also need some serious training to go along with his mask.
I don't believe for a second that Alfred was hallucinating at the end. You see Bruce and Selina, the autopilot patch ID, and the Bat-signal was fixed. That's confirmation for me.
I think DKR was a great end to this amazing story. Like Guy le Dude said, "Long live the Dark Knight!!"

The way I interpreted it, he did die. My immediate reaction was that the restaurant sequence was in Alfred's mind.

Alfred had no idea of Batman and Catwoman getting it together, no reason for her to be there. Not in his mind.

Thanks for the props, I agree with all of these points too! More Talia would have been great, but her reveal was superb.

Thank you, kind sir!

Were you asking me that? I was paraphrasing Rolta! Plus I said 'I can see that it feels throwaway.' I don't think it was throwaway at all. The point was that Batman defeated Bane, Catwoman shooting him was only because Talia interfered.

You aren't serious are you? This is sarcasm and lies, right? You actually stayed to the end and enjoyed the best Batman film there has ever been right to the end. Right? Your favourite Batman film can't be Batman Forever, can it? Otherwise you're an idiot. 1) For having sat there for 2hrs 30 and leaving when there was only 15mins left. 2) For thinking that Batman Forever is the best.

I think you need to go to a shrink.

I think ur idea to make a movie between 'Begins' and 'TDK' would require shooting additional footage of Heath Ledger as the Joker to tie up stories and, tragically and very sadly, we all know that isnt possible.

I have yet to see the film but from reading online about it im very much looking forward to seeing it. I've been particuarly interested to hear about JGL being introduced as a 'Robin' of sorts. Something occured to me about that tho and i wonder if it's occured to anybody else regarding DC and how may go about keeping this Batman universe we've all fell in love with 'open' on screen.....
Obviously, it's gonna be nigh on impossible to reboot Batman for a VERY VERY long time. More importantly, where would you go with it? I think the universe Nolan has created for DC and Batman cannot and will not bettered. So, what do you do now that Nolan walks away? U keep the Nolan /DC Batman universe and all it's nuances but you unleash a NEW hero into it!
I predict it wont be too long before we see a NIGHTWING movie based in the Nolan universe. I for one, am very excited by that possiblity. After a NIGHTWING movie or two with, hopefully Nolan producing or creative advising, there will be enough yrs passed for the cinema audience to accept a whole new lead actor as BATMAN.
Possibly off topic but i was wondering if that's occured to anybody else? Has it even been reported?

I thought this at first too, but a friend of mine pointed out that Mr. Fox discovered that Bruce Wayne had installed an autopilot without Fox knowing, implying that Batman never flew the bomb away himself after all.

I went to a Q&A with Synder for Sucker Punch and he flat out said at that he doesn't see his Superman as being "the Justice League" Superman, not sure if that would have changed but from what I gathered the Justice League may be a stand alone film, or perhaps a reverse Avengers. Start with the team up and then split off in to seperate films

...yeah. I read through this expecting analysis and just got a summary. Not a great article.

Fairly sure it showed him in the driver's seat of the Bat with only a few seconds to go on the timer. Even if he could have got out, there's no way he would have escaped the blast radius.

Why wouldn't he put him with the woman who Bruce had been obsessively looking up not long ago and who seemed finally like a kindred spirit for him?

I also don't think it's in either Bruce or Selina's nature to just rest on their laurels and relax. I think that's definitely Alfred idealising.

And why would they all be in the same café Alfred imagined before?

Lay off the mushrooms man, it's a plot hole by Nolan, how did they recover the aircraft batman flew when the bomb exploded directly under it? Massive plot hole. He was alive at the end. Terrific film but does have some plot holes.

Or maybe it wasn't a plot hole and he's dead? Seems unfair on Nolan to call it a plot hole when it might have been entirely intentional.

the point of catwoman is the echo bruce's struggle, + to give him a way out.
she's also the impetus for him coming 'back to life' at the beginning f the movie.
wow, the more i think about it, the more vitally important she is to not only the movie, but now the series.

That wasn't the same aircraft. That was a different one, that was also patched by Wayne. I recall that it had a different color (not sure).

I think the Special Forces guys snuck in secretly. They weren't wearing their usual uniforms, right?

And besides, I think Wayne has enough experience travelling the globe so he can get to Gotham easily (a few days at least). Not to mention, he's a master of stealth and infiltration so he can get inside the city.

wasnt she at the funeral ?? if so they could have talked

Fanboys need to stop comparing films to comics, its like comparing pictures to music, these are different mediums and for various (what I assume to be obvious) reasons movies cant be the same. You had your ideas and the film fell short/matched/exceeded them. There is suspension of disbelief and plot faults in every movie. To mention yet another cliche one mans food is anothers.....I personaly dont remember any other superhero movie juggling so many important characters so successfully - Every one of the main and supporting charracters (as far as I was concerned) had good time on screen and played their role in the plot perfectly. Do you remember spiderman 3 or the last days of schumacher?????????

Nearly all 'good' trillogys (with the exception of toy story) where planned trilogys - concieved in book form first plotted as a 3 film ark. Sequals are nearly always worse - how often is the third film even watchable? this film is an immense success even if it didnt match your expectations - Here is a tip, go into films with a blank opinion and let the film dictate your enjoyment rather than setting the bar so high that you will always hate what your there to enjoy.

I think it was just Gordon, Alfred, Blake and Fox.

Well, Alfred talked to Bruce about it, he would know where to go to let Alfred know he was alright. Plus they had that whole 'Bruce fixed the autopilot' scene. Which makes me think he just dived out asap. Also, not in Bruce's nature to rest on his laurels? I mean, he did rest for 8 years in-between films and he has got a new lady in his life and a new life to live! I'd say that's enough to bring Wayne out of the murkiness.

The fact he fixed the autopilot may just mean that he initially planned to get out. But I think that, the way we were shown it, he couldn't have got out quick enough to avoid the blast.

He wasn't resting for 8 years. He was physically and mentally drained to the extent that he physically couldn't be what he needed to be anymore. Do either of them seriously seem like the kind of people who could just live a normal life?

There are some really good points here and some bloody awful ones. The fact of the matter is that Nolan has done what previous studios/directors have been too scared to do which is to take the stories that are so brilliantly written in the graphic novels and deliver a story that captures exactly what every comic book fan has been craving for. By placing the new Batman trilogy in a universe that removes any of the true 'superhero/superpower' elements he has created a piece of work that not only still works in its genre but is also stands up against mainstream oscar type films in its own right.
For those that have never picked up a graphic novel before please please please do so and you will see exactly how Nolan has grasped what is clearly great storytelling and very often not full appreciated. Using what has already been written over the last 20 years and amalgamating these stories he has delivered pure class.
Check out No Mans Land and have fun.

Perhaps there was a prototype bat running on the same software as the original (aka the bat in scene with Fox at the end) hence the software patch. Perhaps as Batman was escaping with the bomb, he put the original bat on auto-pilot, then escaped somewhere in the city, en-route to the ocean; piloting the prototype bat as the final means of escape. Perhaps Bruce realized that the issues of the past had finally been resolved, and had a golden opportunity for a new start; along with a clean slated Selina Kyle. Perhaps Selina Kyle was closure for Rachel Dawes. Perhaps Bruce recalled the name of the cafe that Alfred mentioned earlier in the film (-shock- leading up to the "coincidental" meeting at the end). Perhaps Bruce intentionally planned to be seen by Alfred at that cafe as a way to add closure to that relationship. Perhaps.

...and the top keeps spinning...

It could've been better? Of course it could've! But the question is how...Then I ask you: how you would've written TDKR so it be as "believe-able" as you would've liked...and as epic and esthetically magnificent as clearly it was?

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