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BenjaminJB said on July 22nd, 2012 at 4:07 pm

Again: this is a movie about a man who flies around in a giant bat-thing which in real life would never get off the ground, and this is where you cannot suspend disbelief?

I agree totally with your diagnosis of the problem here: complainers thinking tactics instead of thematics–especially when the characters inside the narrative have been bombarded with theme-laden speeches and see themselves as actors in a thematic drama so of course they’re going to act thematically!

But I think you should rethink this issue about suspension of disbelief. Suspension of disbelief isn’t “I believe anything can happen.” Suspension of disbelief is “I’ll buy your premise, now show me the consequences.”

H.G. Wells (and Lovecraft and, well, just about every major spec fic writer who bothered to write an essay about it) notes that in a tale of speculation, you have to be realistic in everything except the speculation. So, I buy a Batman (premise), but I only buy “Police acting thematically rather than tactically” (consequence) if that’s realistic.

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CapnFrance said on July 22nd, 2012 at 4:10 pm

A one-line off-joke does not a Robin make, but being orphan who was (sort, with him paying for the orphanage) taken in by Bruce Wayne who wants to fight crime and believes in Batman and is inspired to greatness by him sort of does.
That combined with me being bad at names had me thinking that “Detective Robin” was awesome WELL before the reveal of his first name.

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Despite claims of grim and dark for the Dark Knight trilogy, I found Rises to be a particularly uplifting film. It’s not happy or full of levity (although there were a few laugh out louad bits for me), but it’s certainly not a downer film, either.

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A neutron bomb (or enhanced radiation weapon) is a fairly standard fission-fusion-fission weapon which sacrifices some yield to produce extra neutrons. There will be fallout, especially if the fireball touches the ground. Also, any large explosion – including volcanic ones – can produce a mushroom cloud. All you need is a big enough blast in a small enough area.

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My problem with the movie is that it tries to imply a Jacobian-esque uprising with the rigged court overseen by someone Not-The-Joker (you could see if Ledger had lived it’d have been him making the death sentences), but all we see enjoying the turnabout are the criminals freed from Blackgate. But yet the implication is enough to condemn anyone who would protest the income inequality in Gotham, putting the likes of the Occupy movement in a bad light.

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I’d like to note that his name actually being Robin is, to my mind, the best reason for that being his superhero name that we’ve ever had – it’s miles better than “Robin Hood without the hood”, for example. And, given that the film makes it clear that he’s going to be using Batman as his alias anyway, it’s not like everyone’s going to be saying “wow, that Robin superhero guy sure looks like that policeman whose legal name is Robin, doesn’t he?”

If they’d called him “Dick Grayson”, you and I would have gotten it, but my mother wouldn’t have. This is a compromise that means everyone understands what’s going on.

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How do you get a neutron bomb from a fusion reactor?

Why did they make Bane a lackey? Yes, I know, he was Talia’s bodyguard and lover, but I don’t think the term ‘lackey’ has *ever* applied to the comic book Bane.

Would the US government seriously allow a city to exist under armed occupation for months?

It was a good movie, but it had blemishes. Hard to live up the hype created by the last two successes.

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switchnode said on July 22nd, 2012 at 5:42 pm

Re; how did Batman get back to Gotham and on the island: The problem wasn’t so much as “hey, we need to see how Batman did that or we won’t believe you” as “hey, what just happened?” The months-long timeskip sort of got lost in the way they kept cutting between Gotham and the Pit. Obviously everyone, including me, worked it out before too long, but until it became clearer it looked like Batman’s recovery and return happened near-instantly. Which was just confusing.

And—since Batman’s entire deal is sneaking around and not being seen—would it be so wrong for the audience to get to see a little of it?

Re: bomb: A neutron bomb is triggered by a fission reaction, relatively less explosive than standard nuclear weapons, and designed to release a huge pulse of high-energy neutrons (thence the name). The idea isn’t so much “no fallout” as “no big boom, so we’ll be able to kill the people and keep most of the infrastructure”. It’s better than detonating it right in the middle of the city, but the neutron activation would probably render the bay medium-toxic for a while. Hopefully Gotham gets its water elsewhere.

And, okay, I didn’t mind that they exaggerated the big boom, but how was a fusion reactor turned into a bomb in the first place? We’ve been gunning for fusion power for years because not only does it pump out less radioactive waste, but if you screw up the reaction, it just stops. No meltdown, no fallout, no boom. I know, I know, Russian nuclear secrets and all that, but… really?

Also, physicists don’t work alo Never mind. I’m sorry.

To be fair, at that point I was nitpicking because I was bored. Right right, actors in a thematic drama and vast ideological struggle and all that. But—and I mean this as an honest question—is that what other people go to see Batman for? I like Batman because his entire deal is sneaking around and not being seen. He reshapes the power dynamics of Gotham without visibly altering it. He is the World’s Greatest Detective. Sneaky, intelligent, tactical, cunning action scenes are gold. By the time we got to “men charging at one another in an awesome manner”, I found myself thinking of epic fantasy movies. Grim and gritty or not, why does that belong in a Batman film?

On the other hand, it did have multiple, active female characters. That was a nice surprise.

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Adam Ruining said on July 22nd, 2012 at 6:36 pm

My most simple question: How did Talia age three times faster than Bane?

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Bane wasn’t Talia’s lover. He was her Alfred. It’s not romantic love, but the same kind of love that Alfred had for Bruce.

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SilverHammerMan said on July 22nd, 2012 at 6:53 pm

I didn’t so much mind the Robin reveal, though I thought it was goofy, my problem with Detective Blake was that Chirstopher Nolan just seemed to be a lot more interested in him than he was in Batman. He was pretty much the main character for a good third of the movie. He was good and all that, but I couldn’t help but miss Batman.
My problems were less with plotholes than just general things I didn’t like about the movie.
Will we be seeing a single sentence or even full length review of the movie at some point?

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taichara said on July 22nd, 2012 at 6:55 pm

the third film in a Batman trilogy which has been extremely serious and grim in tone thus far

Indeed they were, and it was.

And now it’s over and maybe we can get something that isn’t grimdark-misery-Batman ;p

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JCHandsom said on July 22nd, 2012 at 7:16 pm

The problem with Blake discovering Batman’s identity isn’t that he couldn’t have figured it out, it’s just that it suddenly makes every single other cop look like idiots. Everyone was looking for Batman after they thought he killed Dent, and no one was able to piece his identity together?

Until Blake revealed he knew about Wayne’s double life, it was easy to just assume that Wayne covered his tracks very well. Now all of a sudden it becomes, in your own words, “it is not terribly hard to figure out Batman’s identity.” To that I say if it’s so easy, why haven’t trained detectives and other investigators discover it?

It’s still an awesome, awesome movie and an epic conclusion, but that was a problem that got to me, among other, smaller issues.

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My problem with the movie is that it tries to imply a Jacobian-esque uprising with the rigged court overseen by someone Not-The-Joker (you could see if Ledger had lived it’d have been him making the death sentences), but all we see enjoying the turnabout are the criminals freed from Blackgate.

I disagree here, thematically; it would’ve made more sense for Joker to sit things out rather than play a role for Bane. Instead, I’d rather they play out another thread from TDKR and have him stay in his room at Arkham – because who’s going to drag him out? – until seeing the Bat-symbol in the bridge finally restores his smile: “… Batman. Darling.

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LightlyFrosted said on July 22nd, 2012 at 7:38 pm

To be honest, my major impression coming out of the film was ‘this was a sequel to Batman Begins, not a sequel to The Dark Knight’. Yes, there’s a needless fixation on the death of Harvey Dent – because really, did they have to blame the Batman? They couldn’t have pinned one more murder on the incredibly dense machinations of the Joker? – but the themes of ‘corruption’ and similar would have worked a lot better without the middle movie.

Largely, I felt that Rises was a fine conclusion to the series, but while I’m happy to see a franchise that knows when to leave the party, there were enough plot-elements in this film (such as the Wipeout program) that could have been introduced in previous films, even in passing (a Riddler-themed film, for instance), that I wasn’t ready for the franchise to be over yet.

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Why did they fake the physicist’s death in the plane at the beginning of the movie? What was the point of that?

… are there people who seriously don’t understand the point of that? That was one of the best-executed “make a man disappear” sequences I’ve ever seen. Compared to much of the rest of the film it was very straightforward.

if during Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s speech about how he was traumatized for life by the deaths of his parents and how it changes you, your first reaction was “well how did he figure out Batman’s secret identity,” I would kindly suggest maybe you were concentrating on the wrong bit of the movie.

Blake’s speech had two purposes; to do some heavy lifting with regard to his character, and to advance the plot re: him knowing Bruce Wayne is the Batman. It does one of those things extraordinarily well; Gordon-Levitt is a hell of an actor. It does one of those things kind of shittily. They could have spared thirty seconds where Black proves his detective bona-fides by proving he tracked down solid evidence Tim Drake style rather than relying on his gut; I hope he brought more rigor to his police work than he does when he accuses people of being wanted criminals on his own time.

Why did they send ALL THE POLICE underground?

It’s not even just that. Gotham, like many cities in the DCU, is a New York equivalent. Where are its national guard detachments? Manhattan has like three whole regiments on the island. Where are its dedicated counter-terrorist squads?

For that matter, where the hell are the rest of the cops? There were apparently only three thousand of them in those tunnels. The NYPD has a uniformed strength of about 35,000. I have trouble seeing Gotham having fewer.

Why does the prison in the middle of nowhere have cable TV?

… again, is this seriously something people complained about?

I can get a full premium package just about anywhere in the world with a satellite phone, a TV, and some basic IT equipment. It wouldn’t be cheap, but someone like Bane could literally fund it out of petty cash.

How did Batman get from the prison back to Gotham? Why didn’t they show that? …. How did Batman get onto the island which is supposed to be all locked down?

See, for me, these aren’t the right questions, but they’re CLOSE to being the right question. The right question is “Why didn’t we get to see more of Batman being Batman?”

Seriously. For a three-hour movie, there is very little time actually devoting to Batman being awesome and taking people down, and a lot of that time is devoted to him charging down a street at the head of an army in broad daylight to fight a war, which is… not very Batman-like. I sort of feel like there could have been a lot more detective work, a lot more of him swinging around at night busting up Bane’s organization, a lot more of him being Batman.

I get that overcoming physical and spiritual blocks are a big part of the Batman mythos, and that this movie was borrowing liberally from both Knightfall and Dark Knight Returns, both of which have long extended sequences where Batman isn’t Batman, so to speak. But I dunno. I sort of feel like ‘more time in the cape and cowl’ is a legitimate gripe.

the point of their [police officers] charge is not to demonstrate how to take a position using flanking maneuvers, but to demonstrate that Men Can Stand Against Evil, even if it means their own deaths.

And there were a million ways they could have shot that scene that didn’t make it look like the police were suicidal idiots. I prefer my Men Standing Against Evil to be intelligent and to demonstrate a modicum of common sense where its appropriate. If that mob had been composed of the good people of Gotham taking back their city, the direct charge would have been fucking awesome. When it was the cops it just makes them look stupid.

And it perhaps might be worth discussing WHY it wasn’t the good people of Gotham rising up and taking their city back. The whole No Man’s Land sequence has a lot of unfortunate implications and more than a little “guys preaching populism and equality are evil fuckheads who need to be stomped on” message.

I don’t like grim and serious Batman. I like fun, energetic Batman.

… again, a criticism that baffles me. Hell, if anything, I’d argue that the movie wasn’t dark ENOUGH. I will be defending my “Batman should have died” viewpoint for a very long time.

My principle problem with the movie is that Nolan is incredibly wedded to his whole Ra’s al Ghul mythos, which was the weakest, worst-explained part of the first movie and continues to be the weakest, worst-explained part of this movie. The philosophy and goals of the League of Assassins are well-explained, well-presented, and make a lot of sense in the comics. (Or did. I don’t even want to know about the nu52 League, if they even still exist.) The League of Shadows… I’ve seen Batman Begins a whole bunch of times and I’m still unclear as to what they want and, more importantly, why they think fucking with Gotham will get them there.

(And while I like Liam Neeson an awful lot, I feel like they whitewashed Ra’s by casting a pale European. For that matter I feel the same, more strongly, about Bane. Would it have killed them to cast a hispanic or latino guy?)

Talia out of fucking nowhere also felt kind of cheap. I mean, they did telegraph it, but… I dunno. On the other hand, Bruce making poor romantic choices and then not running background checks on them IS how he rolls.

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Nice of you to throw up a whole mess of spoilers for a movie that came out, like, two days ago.

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And you kept reading after the first paragraph of the post made it abundantly clear there were a ton of spoilers… why?

The blog discusses pop culture while its still relevant. A lot. Cope.

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Christophe said on July 22nd, 2012 at 8:10 pm

How do you get a neutron bomb from a fusion reactor?

There’s a paper about it by an O. Octavius, PhD.

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MedrawtMedrawt said on July 22nd, 2012 at 8:14 pm

I haven’t seen the movie, because I’m that unusual person who thought The Dark Knight was a bad movie, and therefore have greatly diminished interest in this one. But several of the points in this post seem kind of weak to me.

(1) the dynamic of suspension-of-disbelief in speculative-ish fiction was already covered in an earlier comment.

(2) John Rogers, the guy who created and runs Leverage, gets to do the “look, just get on the fun train, ok?” thing because that’s what his show is about – he starts with (sometimes unsettlingly accurate) interpretations of real-life crimes, and then he sends ridiculous people to go punch the bad guy in the neck. The Nolan-Batman movies, otoh, don’t get the benefit of “don’t derail the fun train” because they’re terribly Serious. More serious than (based on two movies, one of which I liked and one which I didn’t) I think Nolan has actually lived up to in execution. They Want to Be About Stuff, which sets the bar for everything else higher, and makes stuff that happens for “look, it’s awesome and stirring” reasons suspect, as it undermines the seriousness of your alleged purpose.

(3) If the defense for stuff that seems to be bothering (some) people is that the demands of story mechanics dictate (whatever the bothersome thing is), perhaps the problem is actually with the story you’re telling (or the way you’ve told it).

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And you kept reading after the first paragraph of the post made it abundantly clear there were a ton of spoilers… why?

The blog discusses pop culture while its still relevant. A lot. Cope.

Some people have monitors that display more than one paragraph at a time. Shocking, right?

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And you read all of said paragraphs at once? Your brain processes every single word on your monitor simultaneously?

I mean, if that’s the case, tagging the post with an explicit spoiler warning wouldn’t actually have helped, at all, because you’d have absorbed the entire thing anyway the instant you looked at it. MGK would have to basically not talk about one of the biggest movies of the summer at all in order to satisfy you.

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Hey, there’s a question you forgot to answer:

“Why did I feel the need to spoil the movie for people who had to work over the weekend?”

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How did Batman get to the island?

GLIDER CAPE.

Also, in reply to all of you who are upset about spoiling. I literally just got back from watching this movie. I saw this post this afternoon and you know what I did? I closed the browser tab. So there were plenty of enjoyable surprises for me, although I was sad to have known ahead of time who Marion Cotillard was playing…

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@mystman: You think you had problems…I was literally in the theater waiting for ‘DKR’ to start when I saw this blog entry.

…so I stopped reading it, because hey, I hadn’t seen the movie yet and I didn’t want to be spoiled, and the title of the post made it pretty obvious there were spoilers. Why didn’t you do that too?

My problems were mostly that the first third or so felt oddly rushed. Everyone was spouting their emotional subtext as text (John Blake: “Hi! I’m an orphan who figured out Bruce Wayne was Batman because he, like me, has unresolved grief issues!” Alfred: “Hi! I’m really despairing because Bruce Wayne Takes Being Batman Too Seriously. Oh, and by the way, I’m also going to infodump Bane’s backstory for later.” Catwoman: “Hi! I’m in deep with heavy hitting criminals and looking for a fresh start!”) and not much actually happens until Bane starts doing his thing.

I, like others, had a bit of a problem with Bane being relegated to henchman again by the end of the film, and with the implication that he’s actually in his late fifties but works out. (Which, admittedly, was foreshadowed somewhat by his comment about “you fight like a much younger man”, and he did shave his head to keep the gray away and the mask conceals a lot…but I bet there are a lot of people who want to know what brand of wrinkle cream he uses.)

And actually, I think they went too far in remixing the sound on Bane’s voice. It sounded absurdly loud and over-distinct, like Bane spends his spare time taking elocution lessons instead of training terrorists. (Then again, I suppose that if you have a speech impediment and you’re giving orders to terrorists who work with high explosives, you get to work on that pretty quick.)

Also, Bane and Talia not having an escape plan seemed a little weird. Wasn’t Gotham just supposed to be one step in a plan that stretches over centuries? Given that Talia has continued the Miranda Tate deception long past its usefulness solely to gain intel on the Gotham resistance movement, and deceive them as to the intent of the bomb, why did she not decide to evac with her people twelve hours early and blow up the city from a distance?

They should never have dropped the “Robin” gag in there, because it implied that they were setting him up as Robin in the sequel, when in fact that was the end and he was the next Batman. It’s a joke that literally anti-explains things; the idea would have been clearer if they’d just shown him finding the Batcave and left it at that.

Oh, and, um…how do Bruce and Selina fund their trip to Italy at the end, given that he’s legally dead and she’s an international cat burglar? Is Bruce just condoning her thievery because it keeps him in fine wines at cafes in Florence?

On the other hand, Tom Hardy’s never going to get boring for me to watch. If the whole thing had been nothing but him making speeches for three hours, I’d have still loved it. (And I don’t think he was meant to be a metaphor for the Occupy movement. He was meant to imply what happened if it failed. If the rich keep taking and taking and whittling down hope to nothing for everyone else, sooner or later someone’s going to have the bright idea that hey, we outnumber these people and they’re not that tough. Revolution is the ultimate end to locust capitalism.)

The fusion bomb didn’t bother me: It’s a standard get-out clause in sci-fi movies that one lone scientist far ahead of his peers can make a machine do something that it shouldn’t. If we were smart enough to figure out how to make a fusion reactor into a clean fusion bomb, Bane would have killed us too. :)

(My one question: Even detonating it out at sea would create a tidal wave, wouldn’t it?)

The acting was generally nice, the action sequences were spectacular, Nolan’s puzzle-box scheme was as nice as ever…it’s not a flawless movie, but it definitely wasn’t without its charms. :)

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@Toby So there were plenty of enjoyable surprises for me, although I was sad to have known ahead of time who Marion Cotillard was playing…

It might not have saved you. I didn’t know who she was playing, and I still guessed who she was about 30% of the way through. (I did not, oddly enough, guess who JGL was supposed to be…funny how that works.) (But then, I was operating on the meta-knowledge of misdirection from Bale/Nolan that That Character will never ever ever be in these movies…so I wasn’t looking for him, and I was pleasantly surprised when that twist got thrown in.)

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“how do Bruce and Selina fund their trip to Italy at the end, given that he’s legally dead and she’s an international cat burglar?”

My guess was that they sold Martha Wayne’s necklace and/or the various things that Selina had stolen to bankroll it. But this is verging even more heavily into “How they eat and breathe, and other science facts” territory than some of the other things we’ve been discussing.

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Wolfthomasq said on July 22nd, 2012 at 10:45 pm

“how do Bruce and Selina fund their trip to Italy at the end, given that he’s legally dead and she’s an international cat burglar?”

I’m pretty sure they used the “clean slate” on Selina. As for the money. Bruce might have had some hidden away in an offshore bank account. He is the crazy prepared Batman after all.

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Gripe: the theme of all three movies is trust. Not a surprise; Nolan is all about trust and deception. The climax of this one revolves around the notion that you must trust, and the setup for this one is the idea that lying will always screw you in the end.

Unfortunately, the coda is a pair of lies: Bruce Wayne didn’t die, and neither did Batman, so it’s another lie for the city of Gotham.

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My problems were mostly that the first third or so felt oddly rushed. Everyone was spouting their emotional subtext as text

It’s something of a testament to the skill of both Nolan and the respective actors that they manage to sell that. Gordon-Levitt in particular has enough gravitas that he managed to make a speech that is basically a straight-up infodump WORK. It comes across as an old-school soliloquoy rather than clumsy. Well, it did for me, anyway.

And actually, I think they went too far in remixing the sound on Bane’s voice. It sounded absurdly loud and over-distinct, like Bane spends his spare time taking elocution lessons instead of training terrorists

I think they may have boxed themselves into a corner with Bane’s voice. They clearly wanted him to have a weird, slightly inhuman voice, but they hit a lot of roadblocks when it came to actually making him comprehensible. There were a number of places where I had to REALLY strain to understand him, and a number of lines that I still don’t know what the hell he said.

I personally think they should have just said ‘screw it’ and just used Hardy’s regular voice, which is plenty intimidating.

Also, Bane and Talia not having an escape plan seemed a little weird. Wasn’t Gotham just supposed to be one step in a plan that stretches over centuries?

Everything involving the League of Shadows is a little bit weird, unplanned, inexplicable, and often nonsensical in the Nolanverse. He clearly really loved the idea behind them, but not enough to actually put it all on the screen.

They should never have dropped the “Robin” gag in there, because it implied that they were setting him up as Robin in the sequel, when in fact that was the end and he was the next Batman. It’s a joke that literally anti-explains things; the idea would have been clearer if they’d just shown him finding the Batcave and left it at that.

One of the many reasons Bruce should have actually died. I’m actually unsure if him living was studio-mandated or not, because it seems weak. I mean, we never ever see him deal with any of his many, many issues. The last time he stopped being Batman he turned into a complete wreck. Dating Anne Hathaway would be enough to give ME a much sunnier outlook on life, but I didn’t see anything in the movie that led me to believe Bruce’s pathologies have been permanently laid to rest.

Tom Hardy’s never going to get boring for me to watch. If the whole thing had been nothing but him making speeches for three hours, I’d have still loved it.

I remain conflicted on this. Tom Hardy is indeed amazing. But still, would it have killed them to find an actual hispanic or latino actor? I know, I know, in the comics Bane is half-british. But still.

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Bryant – well, Bruce Wayne as a legal entity is effectively dead. The man himself is going on to live happily ever after, but the name? The cover identity? Gone. And the Batman, as we were explicitly told, is a symbol. It can be anyone beneath the mask, which is exactly the point.

Believing in Harvey Dent was a lie because Harvey Dent went horribly wrong and killed people, and Gordon must’ve felt awful praising the man who tried to kill his son and f***ed with his family. His wife left him and took the kids to Cleveland – you think the whole Dent thing might’ve played into it?

I think there’s also something to be said about the theme of breaking with the past and moving forward. Selina wants to leave her criminal life behind but can’t, Bruce can’t leave his ideal of Rachel, Gordon can’t leave the lie of Dent, Alfred can’t leave Bruce despite his obsession, and Bane and Talia are carrying on Ra’s’s legacy of destruction.

Hrm. There’s something in there.

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I use that same Casablanca example all the time.

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I had a problem with the movie, but it is not the set of problems noted above. My problem is that The Dark Knight Rises rests entirely on the premise that Bruce Wayne is an incompetent fool.

Item: There is no good reason for Wayne Enterprises to fall into financial chaos in the 8 years between the second and third movies (per Alfred’s line about “there have to have been profits”). It did not do this in the several years prior to Batman Begins, when Bruce was also entirely offstage; that’s why he’s got Alfred and Lucius. (Also, even a moping Bat-free Bruce in most other Bat-incarnations has been attentive to his business interests, usually more so than when he’s Bat-active.)

Item: I might be persuaded to buy Bane’s ability to use Bruce’s thumbprint to either bankrupt Wayne Enterprises or bankrupt Bruce personally — but both at once strains credibility. (One of the whole points of being super-rich is that you’re usually super-diversified, such that it becomes not merely impractical but functionally impossible to keep your whole fortune concentrated in one place.)

But beyond that, Bruce makes no serious effort either to recover the thumbprints or to mitigate the problem by instituting additional security measures. Not believable.

Item: How does Talia, the Evil Mastermind, get control of the incipient nuclear bomb (irrespective of fallout issues)? Bruce literally hands her the keys. having utterly failed to do a full intelligence workup on “Miranda Tate” (like the one he did on Selina) and overlooked the significance of that interesting scar.

Item: Batman lets the tactical situation at the climax go to h*ll, allowing eighteen hours to trickle down to less than fifteen minutes before actually doing anything useful.

This cannot be the real Batman, because the real Batman is by definition the smartest person in the room, the man with more contingency plans than God. (Even the Adam West Batman is — in the context of his native Bat-series — four or five times smarter than nearly anyone else around him, with the possible exception of Batgirl.) One has to assume that the real Bruce committed suicide or something after the second movie, and the one we see here is a bad copy cloned by Alfred and/or Lucius in order to maintain the illusion that Bruce is actually still alive and marginally sane.

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The Unstoppable Gravy Express said on July 22nd, 2012 at 11:38 pm

I don’t think the “Robin” reveal was meant to be a joke at all, but rather a “wohhh” moment as your jaw hits the floor that Robin has been a character in the movie ALL ALONG!!! And won’t ever be again, ’cause now he’s Batman. Or Nightwing maybe.

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John 2.0 said on July 23rd, 2012 at 12:07 am

I think it’s mentioned specifically several times that Wayne Enterprises is failing financially because Bruce had poured ALL the money into the clean energy project that he realized could be turned into the world’s biggest gun, and decided to mothball it.

Also (and I just watched the other movies yesterday, so this was fresh in my mind), it’s pretty strongly implied in Begins that a lot of the WE cash-flow is from defense contracts made when Bruce is out of the picture, and that Bruce quite obviously cancels these as soon as he regains the company.

I’ve read that DKR mocks the Occupy movement, and I don’t really understand that criticism. Selina clearly is upset about the plight of Oldtown, but she is clearly horrified by what happens to Gotham during the occupation.

Bane’s ‘Revolution’ is quite clearly using unrest about income inequality as a false front for his motivations. Gotham would be destroyed even if it somehow became a communist workers paradise.

Hell, Bane’s a member of the League of Shadows. The FIRST time they tried destroyed Gotham (which has shrunk from 30 billion in TDK to 12 billion here. Wow), they created an economic depression. Bane doesn’t give a crap about anyone (including himself) besides Talia.

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The League of Shadows goals are fairly obvious in Begins? They restore order and balance to the world by destroying the “chaotic” (corrupt) cities and civilizations. Decoy Ra’s says its a thing they do only once every century, and because Ra’s / Ducard failed and then died, Talia and Bane have to step in and finish the job.

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Wolfthomasq said on July 23rd, 2012 at 12:31 am

@John 2.0 I think it was only 12 million on the island area Bane controlled. There’s probably been a lot of people evacuated from the surrounding area.

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JCHandsom said on July 23rd, 2012 at 12:32 am

@John Seavey: You took the words right out of my mouth. The first third is by far the weakest part of the movie, with everyone trying to explain themselves and all the changes that occurred over the past 8 years. It really picks up during the first fight between Bane and Batman and the attack on Gotham.

Ultimately, I think that what this movie is, for better and for worse, a large and bombastic conclusion. On the one hand we get the thematic characters and set pieces (like the charge and fight on the steps/fight in the sewer/the pit), but on the other we get looser writing and more obvious exposition dumps/plot holes (Lucius showing Bruce the equipment he’ll use just cuz, the entirely useless special forces soldiers that only serve as an excuse to explain what happened over the past months,the silly mustache-twirling badguy Daggert)

P.S. Was I the only one to make a connection between the final scene with Batman over the bay and Adam West running away with the bomb over his head?

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JCHandsom said on July 23rd, 2012 at 12:33 am

*scratch plot hole and replace with underdeveloped characters.

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John 2.0 said on July 23rd, 2012 at 12:35 am

@Wolf: I know, it just struck me as odd that the population of Gotham is 30 million in TDK (at least that’s the figure Fox gives for Gotham), but less than half that here.

I know Ra’s goes on and on about Gotham being the ‘World’s greatest city,’ but holy cow, that’s a lot of people.

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JCHandsom:

Nope; the “some days you just can’t get rid of a bomb” riff was also noted in the comments over at Tor.com’s spoilers-included review post.

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@Mr. Seavey:

And actually, I think they went too far in remixing the sound on Bane’s voice. It sounded absurdly loud and over-distinct, like Bane spends his spare time taking elocution lessons instead of training terrorists. (Then again, I suppose that if you have a speech impediment and you’re giving orders to terrorists who work with high explosives, you get to work on that pretty quick.)

In the Nolanverse, Hugo Strange is actually an inspiring speech coach for supervillains. Tell me you wouldn’t want to see Geoffrey Rush do this.

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JCHandsom said on July 23rd, 2012 at 1:36 am

I actually think I saw a photoshopped movie poster for “The Bane’s Speech”.

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Jilliterate said on July 23rd, 2012 at 8:28 am

Your Casablanca analogy doesn’t make any sense. In Casablanca, the de Gaulle-signed papers are just a historically inaccurate McGuffin, not a plot hole. The film operates in a universe where de Gaulle-signed papers are a free ticket to America — it requires as much of a suspension of disbelief as a crime-fighting bat, but works within the context of the movie.

A plot hole, on the other hand, is just a plot hole. It might not make the movie bad, but it does reflect some disappointing sloppiness.

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I liked the movie on the whole, but I do have two issues not addressed above :

1.) Batman, apparently, just gives the hell up in this universe. This demonstrates Nolan’s misunderstanding of the only consistent aspect of the character since his debut in 1939 : his determination. See also : Alfred.

2.) The trilogy tries to be ‘realistic’ – to the point of near absurdity sometime – about Batman’s universe. (In DKR, his lack of cartilage from even a brief period operating as Batman..) But it throws those elements up against the fusion ball bomb, and the microwave device from Batman Begins, which are cominc-booky as hell. There’s a clash there.

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malakim2099 said on July 23rd, 2012 at 9:17 am

Thank you for demonstrating I’m not the only nerd that enjoyed Dark Knight Rises. :)

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William O'Brien said on July 23rd, 2012 at 9:18 am

The series most commonly called “Greatest Batman Comic Ever” is probably the Dark Knight Returns.

In Dark Knight Returns, Batman returns from a 10 year absence fueled by the death of Robin. He ends the story faking his death, training some young successors, and living happily ever after (let’s just ignore the sequel).

In Dark Knight Rises, Batman returns from an 8 year absence fueled by the deaths of Rachel Dawes and Harvey Dent. He ends the story faking his death, inspiring/supplying a young successor, and living happily ever after.

I guess I’m just surprised to see the “Batman Never Quits” argument about an obvious “End of Batman” story that cribs elements from the most famous “End of Batman” story. Heck, the original (Earth 2) Batman even retired to live with Catwoman.

Also, Alfred quits during the whole Knightfall thing in the comics. Knightfall, of course, being one of the other stories that Rises borrows heavily from.

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@William O’Brien

Well the thing is…alot of us didnt actually know/think Nolan was gonna end the franchise with Bruce not as Batman. I purposely ignored all stories/spoilers about the film and assumed all talk of Nolan killing Batman off/having Bruce exit the role was all conjecture till the movie was released.

For me at least, considering that Bruce never attained the “true” status quo of the comics in the Nolan films (using the cave, working with the cops, fighting recurring supervillains)I thought that TDKR would’ve done and ended on this note; Bruce having finally established himself as Comics!Batman.

After seeing the TDKR of course, its now apparent that Nolan never had any fucking intention of having his franchise run somewhat parallel to the comics as is the case with other comic book movie.

tl;dr version: WB gave Nolan far more artistic license than I would’ve ever imagined.

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In Dark Knight Returns, Batman returns from a 10 year absence fueled by the death of Robin. He ends the story faking his death, training some young successors, and living happily ever after

If by “happily ever after” you mean “spending all his time training an army to carry on his work” then sure.

He didn’t QUIT at the end of DKR. He changed his methods but the war goes on. He wasn’t sipping pina coladas with his hot young girlfriend on a beach in Europe.

Your point about Earth-2 Batman is well taken, but you had to go all the way back pre-Crisis to make it. Batman (Batmen?) was a lot different then in most of his incarnations. The Nolan Batman was deeply fucked up compared to original flavor Batman.

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@William O’Brien – DKR’s vision of Batman as presented by Frank ‘Batshit’ Miller is skewed in a lot of ways, as has become increasingly evident every time Miller revisits that version of Batman. Further, it’s not really explicit that the death of Robin was the sole factor in driving him to retirement – that Batman is aged, with heart problems. You might argue that Nolan’s Batman has many physical infirmities, but nothing that seemingly requires more than a high-tech leg brace.

And then of course there is the fact that in DKR, Old Bruce is actually training his successors and not just sipping tea in Italy with Selina Kyle, having washed his hands of Gotham after a few parting gifts.

And as much as you might like to ignore Dark Knight Strikes Back.. it’s still there. I think it makes the case pretty eloquently that even if Miller understands nothing else about any DC Hero (especially Superman), he knows that Batman keeps fighting.

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Ah, and Earth-2 Batman – I forgot to address that point. Earth-2 Batman is another version of Batman changing his method – he became the Police Commissioner. He had Robin and Huntress doing the ‘Young person’s work’ in the capes and tights. Batman doesn’t quit. He finds some way to fight.

And it’s especially egregious in the Nolan-verse, with its repeated use of the “Why do we fall?” mantra. Apparently, the answer is “So we can slack off and sulk for eight years, then give up altogether after one last hurrah.”

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the characters inside the narrative have been bombarded with theme-laden speeches and see themselves as actors in a thematic drama so of course they’re going to act thematically!

It’s a bad sign when things happen because that delivers some message rather than because that’s what those characters would do in those situations – when the plot becomes less important than the themes. Unfortunately, that happens now and then in this movie, definitely more than in the two previous. We can wonder about the League of Shadows’ motives in ways we couldn’t before, and they’re pretty thin. And the movie tells us that Batman’s theatrics and shadow-fu doesn’t work on Bane and his men because they were trained by the League. Batman still manages to ambush sentries patrolling the sewers just fine, though, and he never bothers trying anything tricky on Bane himself. It’s like Bane personally has a, to put it in RPG terms, shadow resistance aura.

’ve read that DKR mocks the Occupy movement, and I don’t really understand that criticism.

The politics of it were pretty clearly horrible to me. It’s possible to imagine non-horrible explanations for it – Bane isn’t Occupy because he’s going to blow up the city, Catwoman regrets her role – but still, everyone who ever mentions economic inequality is using it as a pretext for either their own issues or mass murder, but don’t worry because the billionaires and police will maintain order.

I liked the movie overall despite that. Art doesn’t need to be politically correct as long as it’s good. The third X-Men movie was the one most focused on prejudice, and look how that turned out. (That wasn’t the main problem with it, of course, but it didn’t make up for everything else.)

Talia out of fucking nowhere also felt kind of cheap.

Actually, I really liked how they handled her. I told my girlfriend I was tricked by the reveal, but “outsmarted” would have been a better term for it. I knew Ras has a daughter in the comics, but the movie established Bane well before they ever connected him to Ras at all, let alone hinted at parentage. There was no point at which I thought, “Wait a second, what about Talia?” When she was revealed I was just, “Oh, yeah…” I’m sure some people knew about her all along, but Nolan got me there.

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John 2.0 said on July 23rd, 2012 at 11:28 am

I think an equally valid answer to ‘Why do we fall’ is ‘So we can pick ourselves up, and finally move forward with our lives.’ I think that’s what Alfred’s last speech is all about, moving past the cave after securing Gotham’s safety. I think it’s also he shops up in that French cafe at the end, sot show Alfred that he finally heeded his advice, and that all was forgiven.

But interpretations can vary.

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Clambone said on July 23rd, 2012 at 11:30 am

I saw what I considered to be three plot holes that aren’t addressed above, and I’d be curious if anyone had thoughts about them.

1) The underground prison works visually and thematically, and I’d love to love it. But it’s got a fucking pulley at the top of the shaft that would allow anyone with control of the rope to lift anyone else out of it. I understand that the jailers leave it slack when the prisoners get to the crucial jump, but the prisoners are allowed to crowd up to the jailer with the rope at will. If the prisoners revolt, they could lift each other out all day. I found that pretty distracting.

2) There is simply no way that Bruce Wayne’s alleged “bet the company” trades would have been considered valid a) after a massive terrorist attack b) after the damn cable was cut c) in violation of insider trading laws. (I’ll give them partial credit: they tried to address is by saying that Wayne could have tried to prove fraud, but it would take months.)

3) Bane’s takeover of Gotham was terrifying- great cinema!- and his ideological League of Shadows minions would presumably stay with him, but it’s pretty uninspiring for the common criminal, isn’t it? From the perspective of the criminals who were released from jail, or the kids who joined up in the sewers for lack of better options, it would probably be fun to raid some rich people’s houses, but a week into it, they’re trapped on an island and scrambling for rations just like the rest of the folks. Wouldn’t you be looking for some progressive new leadership?

Finally, this isn’t a plot hole, just an observation: Christopher Nolan’s Batman really doesn’t belong in a Justice League movie, does he? In the comics, he justifies his lack of powers with his inhuman planning and forethought, but this Batman just ain’t that guy.

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William O'Brien said on July 23rd, 2012 at 11:32 am

If by “happily ever after” you mean “spending all his time training an army to carry on his work” then sure.

Rises ends with him supplying a successor to carry on his work. He even gives Gordon a new signal to call the guy.

He didn’t QUIT at the end of DKR. He changed his methods but the war goes on. He wasn’t sipping pina coladas with his hot young girlfriend on a beach in Europe.

I can understand this argument. However, in the context of the Nolan movies, the war (as laid out in Batman Begins) is mostly won. He doesn’t so much as quit as retire victorious. I think he would come back if he were needed.

Your point about Earth-2 Batman is well taken, but you had to go all the way back pre-Crisis to make it.

That’s mostly due to two factors 1. Difference in medium; serialized storytelling means you don’t have many attempts to write “the end”. 2. DKR (which came out within a year or two of Crisis) is held in such high regard that many/most comic writers see that as the endpoint for the character and don’t try their own.

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William O'Brien said on July 23rd, 2012 at 11:49 am

Further, it’s not really explicit that the death of Robin was the sole factor in driving him to retirement – that Batman is aged, with heart problems.

Death of Rachel isn’t the sole factor in Rises. The events of TDK curtailed organized crime to the point he wasn’t needed until the new threat arose (plus it needed him to not be there to fully work).

And then of course there is the fact that in DKR, Old Bruce is actually training his successors and not just sipping tea in Italy with Selina Kyle, having washed his hands of Gotham after a few parting gifts.

I think this mostly comes down to the fact that the difference in medium from comics to movies (and the difference in mentality from Miller to Nolan) let Nolan create a story where Batman gets to win his war. Nolan wanted to tell a story with hope. That’s not a bad thing.

And as much as you might like to ignore Dark Knight Strikes Back.. it’s still there.

Yes, 15 years later DC paid Miller a bunch of money to make a sequel. The very act of making a sequel to End of Batman means you have to undo the End of Batman. That doesn’t change the intent of the original work.

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William O'Brien said on July 23rd, 2012 at 11:56 am

Ah, and Earth-2 Batman – I forgot to address that point. Earth-2 Batman is another version of Batman changing his method – he became the Police Commissioner. He had Robin and Huntress doing the ‘Young person’s work’ in the capes and tights. Batman doesn’t quit. He finds some way to fight.

Rises Batman doesn’t need to become Commissioner because his friend Gordon is still there, organized crime is gone, and the only supercriminals are dead or locked up. He has Blake to do the young person’s work and carry on what fight is needed.

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BenjaminJB said on July 23rd, 2012 at 11:58 am

Cyrus,

It’s a bad sign when things happen because that delivers some message rather than because that’s what those characters would do in those situations

Just to be clear, I’m not saying that the characters have to do X for the movie’s theme or message. I’m saying “acting thematically” is here the same as “acting in character.”

For instance, Foley doesn’t just put on his dress blues because that makes a clear statement about his thematic role in the film; he gets into his dress blues because he’s been convinced, yadda yadda yadda–and part of what convinces him is the themes playing out in his life.

(Foley may be a terrible example because I never really got a good sense of him as a character–he’s more like a foil to Gordon and Blake than a real character. But I think we can see how someone could take the choice to dress up for a special occasion in a thematically appropriate way–not because the author was making him, but because it was his own organic choice as a character.)

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@William – And you seem to suffer the same misunderstanding of Batman as Nolan – he doesn’t just take down mobsters and freaks. There are still people being murdered in Gotham City, and other little boys ending up as orphans.

And Rises Batman may not have needed to become commissioner to continue fighting – hell, he didn’t even need to stay Batman. As Alfred pointed out, Bruce Wayne’s resources and knowledge are more necessary than his body. There are many ways to fight. Sipping tea with Selina isn’t one.

So Rises Batman just gives up. Unlike every other depiction of Batman.

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Hell, even Earth-2 Batman wasn’t totally content just doing good as the Commissioner – you might recall that he died in costume.

Batman is driven. Without that drive, he’s just Billionaire Ninja Commando.

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Mike Zeidler said on July 23rd, 2012 at 1:26 pm

Death of Rachel isn’t the sole factor in Rises. The events of TDK curtailed organized crime to the point he wasn’t needed until the new threat arose (plus it needed him to not be there to fully work).

Organized crime was curtailed, but who cares? Organized crime didn’t kill Thomas & Martha Wayne. I find it incredibly hard to believe that Bruce would give up while *any* crime was being perpetrated within the confines of Gotham.

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Mike Zeidler said on July 23rd, 2012 at 1:30 pm

I also found it odd that a ‘penniless’ man could give his former home to a municipality and force them into the care and upkeep of it. The orphans already had a building, they needed money to staff it and provide supplies. How does a massive, empty house that cannot be sold help them?

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Can I make the point that fighting forever and never giving up is kind of a prerequisite in a medium that never ends the story of the Batman? Whereas if you’re making, say, a film trilogy, it’s generally considered good form to provide an ending for your story?

If the Bruce sighting wasn’t studio mandated, then Nolan’s vision of the Batman is not one of a MAN, but rather a MANTLE. Nolan’s Bruce Wayne talked about a day when the city would no longer need the Batman… heck, wasn’t that in the first movie? At the end of Rises, he’s physically broken, bankrupt… but finally victorious over the League of Shadows *and* organized crime. He has given his mantle to a successor (did anyone else catch the reference to the Untold Story of the Batman there, btw?), given Gordon a new signal, and made his exit. Because he won his battles and he CAN’T be Batman anymore. This is not the Ur-Batman of that Planetary crossover, this is a Batman who wanted to take down organized crime and clean up Gotham. He did that, retired, and then came back to save the city from the League before retiring again.

There’s a difference between giving up and knowing that it’s time to lay down your burdens and move on, and that’s kind of one of the themes Nolan was dealing with here.

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SilverHammerMan said on July 23rd, 2012 at 1:53 pm

Am I the only one who was annoyed by the fact that Batman came back twice in the same movie? First he comes out of retirement, then he gets his ass kicked, climbs out of a hole, and comes back again. The review over at The Escapist made a fairly strong argument that it was wasted space. I guess it establishes that Batman is indomitable and will keep coming back, but c’mon, it’s the same damn story twice in one movie.
And also, given that Blake was set up as the new Batman, how exactly is he supposed to do that competently? I mean yeah, he’s got the cave and Batman’s old gear, but none of the essential resources that allow Batman to be Batman; He doesn’t have Alfred to patch him up discretely, he doesn’t have the financial resources to buy new gear and even repair old ones (unless you assume that Bruce will be secretly financing his operation) he doesn’t have a good cover ID (A hero cop who quit the force seems like a pretty obvious suspect for a vigilante) and finally he has no training whatsoever. He might have hisd moral integrity and fighting spirit, but he’s a cop, not a kung-fu master, it just doesn’t seem feasible that he could fight crime as a non-lethal vigilante. Maybe I’m over analyzing, but come on, setting up a character as the next Batman is the kind of thing that fans are going to over analyze.

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re neutron bombs: Quite the contrary, neutron bombs are all about the fall out. They’re designed to produce high burst of neutron energy which will kill all living things & produce a lot of fall out all out of proportion to the actual yield of the blast. Their purpose is to kill populations but leave infrastructures intact; however when one is speaking of a 4.5 megaton blast range, no way could Bats bet it far enough from Gotham City in that short a period of time to not end up killing thousands in the blast radius.

And the whole point of fusion energy is to not have big hunks of near-critical nuclear material sitting around…

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hoorayforicecream said on July 23rd, 2012 at 2:53 pm

I just found the criminal plot to be way too elaborate to be believable. They have to steal Wayne’s fingerprints to make fake trades to drive the company into bankruptcy to get the fusion reactor to make a nuclear bomb to hold the city hostage for six months before destroying it.

Why not just get a nuclear bomb elsewhere? Or just place more of those cement bombs all over the place? If they can explode a bunch of cement bombs simultaneously to bury the police force (which was just a weird plan to begin with. I mean, Bane didn’t even want them to be found down there, which is why he killed the goons that brought Gordon to him in the first place, but it was their plan to lure the police into the sewers eventually?) and take out the bridges, why not just do more of that?

The whole thing just like one big rube goldberg device that was really unnecessary. It’s really a testament to the actors’ performances that the plot threads didn’t fray immediately.

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Jason B. said on July 23rd, 2012 at 3:09 pm

Thank you for this. Thank you, so so so much.

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I was fine with most of the so-called problems. It’s clear the Batman universe is slightly different than ours.

But I was confused by the first part of the movie. Batman’s girlfriend is killed by a sociopath and he hides out for years? That’s not how Bruce Wayne handles grief, even as established in the previous movies. Batman doesn’t mope. Batman overreacts on a grand scale and tries to prevent anything like that from ever happening to anyone ever again.

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Agreed on wishing they’d cas a latino/hispanic actor for Bane; Tom Hardy was fantastic, but hearing that Sean Connery-esque British voice comeing out of that character was weird. I would’ve loved to see Javier Bardem or maybe Benicio Del Toro take a crack at him. I do think they got Bane’s character almost perfectly right, however; a shame they had to go ahead make him Talia’s lackey regardless. I saw that coming, but it was disappointing that he essentially ended up hired muscle once again (unless we’re to believe he came up with the entire scheme her behalf). Despite that, however, speaking of getting characters right, I was very pleased to see Talia turn out ot be the prime mover behind events; this would make Jonathan Nolan the second writer after Grant Morrison to really give her her due.

Also, Bane is the best Bond villain since Sean Bean in Goldeneye, and the opening of the film was the best Bond cold open since The World Is Not Enough. Funny how that works.

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The Unstoppable Gravy Express said on July 23rd, 2012 at 3:49 pm

Am I the only one who was annoyed by the fact that Batman came back twice in the same movie? First he comes out of retirement, then he gets his ass kicked, climbs out of a hole, and comes back again.

Ah but the first time he came back, his “heart wasn’t in it” (to oversimplify), hence his defeat. He didn’t REALLY come back until he got himself out of the pit. That’s why we don’t get a full-blown rendition of the Batman theme until that point.

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So my question, on giving it much further thought: Why did the older cop say to the rookie, “Oh, you’re in for a show tonight, kid!” as though he’s seen the Batman in action plenty of times and is thrilled to have him back kicking criminal ass on the streets of Gotham…when in practical terms, from what we’ve seen of this version of Batman from the previous two movies, what he’s generally known for in Gotham is semi-accidentally destroying tons of cop cars in high speed chases? Wouldn’t his realistic reaction be, “Oh, crap, kid, get your seat belt on!” :)

And on thinking about it, the movie states only that Batman wasn’t publicly seen for 8 years after the death of Harvey Dent, and that Bruce Wayne has been a recluse. If you want to, you can assume that Bruce was acting as Batman during that period right up until his injuries became too severe to allow it, and that the police simply covered up their inability to catch him by saying, “He vanished.”

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My main problem was that Bane and the League held Gotham hostage for five months. I have trouble picturing any American president allowing a terrorist group to hold a major city for that long, fusion bomb or no. If they had implemented that plan and had it for a week or so until Batman saved Gotham, I would believe it.

Can you imagine Fox News (since you mentioned it) going on about how the president is bowing down to terrorists? Obama, Bush, whoever would look like a pussy if they didn’t act on that.

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Wait, THOSE were the problems that nerds had with this movie? Nerds are kind of silly. He says under the gaze of his Mr. Spock collector’s plate.

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Actual, serious grumble about the movie: It would have been a lot better if Bruce had figured out for himself that it was the safety line that was holding him back, by making him careless because he wasn’t afraid to die, instead of having a character airlifted into the plot to give him his climactic revelation. (Which, as noted, was a very real problem with the movie…since there was more plot than even three hours could fill, many of the things that Bruce should have found out for himself wound up being imparted to him very unrealistically. “Bruce, as your butler, I’m very aware of the movements of the League of Shadows, and I can tell you that Bane was excommunicated from their ranks.”)

On a lighter note, I just realized what makes Bane’s voice make total sense. The scientist who designed his weird mask-dealie built in a voice modulator, and was a huge fan of New Series Sontarans. “This bomb is NUCLEAR! It is MOBILE! It produces huge quantities of LACTIC FLUID!”

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@Clambone:

Agreed; once you get as rich as Bill Gates/Bruce Wayne, as a practical matter it becomes more or less impossible to go completely broke — purely because it’s more or less impossible to park that much wealth in fewer than forty or fifty places at the very least. And Bane’s high-risk derivative trickery would also, in any realistic context, been short-circuited by the various Wall Street protocols that halt trading in a given stock when too much of it is moving too fast. (I could be convinced that Bane & his minions could either cripple Wayne Enterprises’ cash flow or drain away most of Bruce’s readily accessible liquid assets via a sufficiently clever comic-book handwave, but pulling off both at once just couldn’t be done.)

As for the Justice League, clearly Nolan’s Batverse doesn’t have any other actual superheroes running around in it; if it did, Green Lantern, Superman, and/or various other folks would certainly have attempted to intervene in Bane’s five-month occupation of Gotham City.

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My biggest problem with it, aside from the lego spinal surgery, was the pit escape.

Here’s Batman, diminished, yes, but Batman all the same. He’s stuck in a pit that’s a few hundred feet deep. They have a rope suspended half-way up the pit. Could they not figure out how to make a grappling hook?

Again, he’s freakin’ Batman. You think he didn’t look at the fact that they had twice as much rope as they needed to go half-way up , and said, “Hey. Why don’t we just throw the rope over the edge of the pit and climb up?”

Rope ladder technology being a strange and distant secret.

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As for the Justice League, clearly Nolan’s Batverse doesn’t have any other actual superheroes running around in it; if it did, Green Lantern, Superman, and/or various other folks would certainly have attempted to intervene in Bane’s five-month occupation of Gotham City.

There was actually a short story addressing that point during No Man’s Land; basically, Bats showed Clark that Gotham had to bootstrap itself back from the depths.

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“His wife left him and took the kids to Cleveland – you think the whole Dent thing might’ve played into it?”

i think the Dent thing is exactly why she did that – after seeing her husband have to praise the man who was going to murder her and her children every year, she couldn’t stand to be in the same city as him anymore.

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MonkeyWithTypewriter said on July 24th, 2012 at 1:03 pm

Random DKR remarks

I enjoyed the Killer Croc reference.

How did he fly the autoplane with the bomb out? Did he switch planes really fast somewhere?

What ever happened to the Narrows? You know, the little island that has Arkham on it? And I’d have loved to see Dent presiding on the court, even if he IS dead. Oh, and bring back Zzaz to give Robin a mini-supervillain to fight.

Others have made my “Blake isn’t trained enough to be Batman 2” gripes, but I will also say that his fall into the pit wasn’t that affecting because we’d already seen that he wasn’t 100%. If Bane broke into the Manor and crippled him and THEN he had to climb out and get suited up, that would have been much more interesting.

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Scavenger said on July 24th, 2012 at 2:21 pm

SilverHammerMan said:

Am I the only one who was annoyed by the fact that Batman came back twice in the same movie? First he comes out of retirement, then he gets his ass kicked, climbs out of a hole, and comes back again. … c’mon, it’s the same damn story twice in one movie.

A thousand times this! My single, #1 problem with the film.

You do TDKR’s coming out of retirement story. OR you do Knightfall’s he is beaten and broken and has to rebuild story. You don’t do both in the same 3 hours.

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Scavenger said on July 24th, 2012 at 2:30 pm

I give the movie credit for coming up with an actual explanation for the No Man’s Land Edict, rather than the comic books’ “uhm…because?”

*****************************

John Seavy says,

Actual, serious grumble about the movie: It would have been a lot better if Bruce had figured out for himself that it was the safety line that was holding him back, by making him careless because he wasn’t afraid to die

It would have been a lot better if it wasn’t obvious that rope was too short to let someone make the jump. Or that it didn’t take an hour for the @#@#$Damn Batman to figure it out.

On a lighter note, I just realized what makes Bane’s voice make total sense. The scientist who designed his weird mask-dealie built in a voice modulator,

Eddie Izzard does a routine about a James Bond villain who’s voice modulator is stuck on multi-accent demo mode. THATS what I was reminded of whenever Bane spoke.

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JCHandsom said on July 24th, 2012 at 2:43 pm

@Scavenger: Except he didn’t come back twice, he only came back ONCE. The point was already made above but it bears repeating; Bruce may have put the suit on after a long period of inactivity twice, but the first time he was clearly out of his element, doing it more out of a lack of purpose than thinking he was the only one capable of saving Gotham.

There is a telling scene that happens right after the scene where Selina disappears in front of him (which, by the way, is another example of Bruce wearing the suit but not really being Batman) in which Bruce, in the suit without the helmet, lamely reassures Alfred that he is up to the task (“The cops can’t do it, because only I, the BATMAN, have the moral authority to use my tools and techniques without abusing them, nevermind the fact that I kinda did that in TDK. Sure Bane is really strong and fast, but I’ll just fight harder and faster, because I’m BATMAN.”)

The first fight with Bane breaks through his delusion, pun not intended, and the pit scenes remold him into Batman. Which is why, again as stated above, we hear the full Batman theme for the first time in the movie when he climbs out, signifying the Batman’s return.

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“As for the Justice League, clearly Nolan’s Batverse doesn’t have any other actual superheroes running around in it; if it did, Green Lantern, Superman, and/or various other folks would certainly have attempted to intervene in Bane’s five-month occupation of Gotham City.”

If I recall at some point Nolan said something to the effect that if there were other superheroes, Bruce wouldn’t have become Batman. He’s Batman to strike fear into criminals but more importantly to inspire decent people to stand up. If Superman existed and was already doing that, Bruce wouldn’t need to.

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Jonathan L. Miller said on July 24th, 2012 at 7:45 pm

Honestly, the only major issue I had with the movie (other than the predictability surrounding both Talia and “Robin”‘s identities) was the whole “how does he get back to Gotham” thing. He’s somewhere in Northern Africa. There’s a week (I think?) until the bomb goes off. Two big plot points have been established: 1. Bruce is basically broke and 2. Gotham is cut off and completely inaccessible, comings and goings are monitored, etc. Given both of these things, how does Bruce get back to Gotham? Wouldn’t that be important for the audience to know? In a semi-realistic setting (even if you emphasize the “semi”), it comes off as “I’m Batman. I’m magic.” Which kind of deflates the movie a bit and severely shook my suspension of disbelief. (When he tells Selina that he has a way for her to get out of Gotham, I thought, “Oh, ok, so this is when Nolan will show us how he got there.” But no, it just involved blowing up the cars blocking the tunnel.)

That being said, I did enjoy the movie and it was too long. But there were other parts that could have been shorter to give us more of an explanation of how Batman is smarter than Bane/Talia’s contingency plans.

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@Jonathan L. Miller: He snuck on board an airplane by posing as an air marshal, using his stealth and computer-savvy skills to get to a place where he could alter passenger manifests. He then stole some cold-weather SCUBA gear from the military encampment just outside of Gotham, and went in via the river under cover of darkness. Bane’s men were far more interested in making sure nobody escaped than in making sure nobody entered; they had their bomb threat to ensure that the military didn’t come in force, and who’d be crazy enough to sneak onto an island that was in the grip of a warlord with a nuke?

That’s the sort of thing that would have been actually much less interesting than you imagine to show, basically. :)

Back to Bane, though…on thinking about it, I don’t think he was just Talia’s lackey. Her partner, yes; but when Talia says that she wants Batman alive, it literally takes only until she’s in the room for him to countermand her order and (attempt to) kill Batman. He’s clearly an equal to her, although obviously there are depths there that we’ll never know (just like we’ll never know what Bane did to be sentenced to the pit, or what changed him from the only man with compassion enough to save a child into the ruthless monster we see here.)

Which is, actually, I think what people are really articulating when they talk about Bane being relegated to a lackey at the end: There’s no closure. Bane was the one who broke Batman, Bane was the one who imprisoned Batman, Bane was the one who savaged Gotham…but in the end, he’s brushed aside with a comedy death so we can focus on Talia, who really gets brought in out of nowhere for the last half-hour. We’re emotionally invested in seeing Bane’s comeuppance, not Talia’s.

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Dan Coyle said on July 25th, 2012 at 1:26 am

Like MGK’s Lost apologia, I ain’t buying this defense, but then again, like the lost apologia, it really wasn’t written to counter the haters, was it?

I will say this, though: the biggest flaw in the film is not seeing the world reaction to Gotham’s suffering. The League of Shadow’s plan is to use the destruction of Gotham to start a domino effect that will throw the world into chaos. A shot of cities rioting, paranoia in the streets, a growing Bane cult over the five months would have gone a long way towards selling gotham’s importance and confirming the League’s true goal, to foment chaos. Otherwise Bane and Talia are just blowing the city up for the sheer fun of it.

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Dan Coyle said on July 25th, 2012 at 1:28 am

But maybe you can answer this question: what is the point of Foley’s arc, and how does it add or subtract to the film? Does someone on the production team really like Matthew Modine or some shit?

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But, Dan, the League isn’t ABOUT chaos. That’s the Joker.

Ras? His dream was burning Gotham to the ground as penalty for its sins. And Talia and Bane wanted to honor his dream.

The world’s reaction doesn’t matter to them until they blow up Gotham, and then they want “Oookay. So, this corruption thing? I guess it’s a bad idea”.

I mean, to the extent they care about anything beyond revenge on Batman and his city.

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I’ve always worked on the assumption that The Joker rose to power simply because Ra’s failed to purge Gotham, and his existence is what made Talia and Bane willing to finish the job.

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@John Seavey: This. If I were Batman, I’d be pissed that the guy didn’t tell me earlier that the secret was not wearing the rope. “My back’s been broken and punched back into shape like THREE TIMES NOW!”

I guess he was waiting for Batman to figure it out himself. Alas.

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nolans batman is a dullard compared to canon batman.

most tech and operational props were brought to the table for his use…canon batman is a superhero because he is a supergenius, not once does nolans batman convince that he is one of those(sorry, but the cellphone sonar and bat autopilot were complete asspulls, theres no scripted precedent to justify nolans batman filling what would be plot holes apart from desperate necessity…)

he fights like an imbecile. not like batman. this is especially obvious in DKR, and warrants a standing ‘wtf nolan’ for allowing him to fight like an inbred hillbilly, and if your being honest with yourself, you know this is the hard truth…i dont give a good fuck about the plot, because its shite. completely facile shite, so no, trolling batmans superhuman combat ability is a shit plan, designed to make bane look better. Bane could have stayed just as competent, just as devastating, but nolan didnt have to crap on batmans brains and capability, until he looks like some fucking lemming, with no combat sense, no common sense and no ability to convert damage. Thanks chris. canon batman was beaten by bane because he’d just singlehandedly reimprisoned all of arkham asylum, nolans one lost because he fights like shit.

Bane is not a putz to be blasted away by catwoman when inconvenient to the plot, nolan set him up, then ruined him to give a desperate extra credibility to ‘talia’ plus, where is the automatic segue between the bane who saves a child and him becoming a terrorist general willing to kill millions, isnt that something worthy of note? He desesrved more than just to be sacrificed for ‘talias’ twist…

Plus, this film seemed so full of bloated waste with so few moments of genuine emotional depth. I was amazed that so many scenes of ostensible emotion left me cold. I think its the suspect directional grounding… It needed to focus far more on keeping bane immediately important throughout and constantly in physical or emotional combat with batman. Because the dark knight did not rise fully, nor did bane, they got relegated. By ‘talia’, by blake(boring scripting there) and that fucking batwing crutch(to name 3 of many)…the scene with batman flying the bomb away looked like something out of family guy…all those scenes of ‘finding the bomb truck’…oh my GOD!!! Like others have said, this film survives based on ignoring all the ‘REALISTIC’ tactical responses, which in a film purported to be realistic, is fairly unforgivable.

Wtf is selina kyles background? Is it not important? Her skills are equal to batman…only a cat burglar? eff off…she needed to be ‘merc octuple’ agent with false allegiances to govts and blackmail data on all of them, the illegitemate son of bruces father and rahs al ghuls wife…fuck it, i dont care, just something more engaging than what we got…ie. she nicks shit and is pretty handly all round if she could just lay off the bitch juice…

michael caine, well done, good performance. aves.

bane, rich and filling! while the plot is not filleting your credibility.

bruce wayneman, shock at the films tittytwister was your finest hour…by far, i felt the pain. yes, you got trolled hard. ouch.

lucius…

miranda, you are a pleasing bitch, long may you be ‘the thorn’now die, you emtionally useless being.

blake, i tried hard to enjoy your performance, stop trusting anyone but rian johnson.

scarecrow, you need to have a heart to heart with the joker

modinecop, in the words of avid merrion’i dont know what he is!?’

Nolan! Nolan! Chris! Chris! Nolan! NO. dont do it again, your best movies are the the ones you scratch build, you are the opposite of zach snyder…i hope you have a happy bouncing superbaby between you!

that is all.

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fuckstiches.

gordons alive!?…wait, that was the last film…you are genuine…its just a shame youre sinking in the goop of others…well done for trying.

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The problems with Casablance run beyond DeGaulle’s authority to write letters of transit. As Roger Ebert points out (he did the commentary on the anniversary edition DVD I have), Rick admit to Louie at one point that the letters aren’t bulletproof: If the Nazis want to stop him leaving, they’ll find a way. And there’s absolutely no security at the airport checking the letters.
Despite which I love the film. If I had to sit their and tell myself “suspend your disbelief!” that would be a sign it didn’t work.
Denny O’Neil said some years back that he believes Bruce can walk away: He put on the cowl to deal with the trauma of his parent’s death, and someday, he’ll be able to take it off.
The nuclear bomb being Perfectly Safe did make me wince. It’s hard to see any way Bats made it out of there.
I still liked the movie. Better than the second, in fact.

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