Thank you for your posts, that was another good read for me. I have to say that, although we do have considerably different views on The Dark knight Rises, I have to agree with you on certain points.
I think of Rises as nothing more than a ten-times greater budgeted version of Batman Begins, which failed to convince me in the necessity of its existence. The trilogy did need its conclusion, but not in the vein Nolan decided to manage it this time. Yes, there might be indeed certain similarities with The Dark Knight, but these are much more minor in comparison to story borrowings Rises does from Begins.
I believe what Nolan Bros. & Goyer should have done was to properly develop Bane to have his own motivations and no help from the League or especially Ghul’s daughter. As we see in the end result, this took a lot of exposition, backstory, unnecessary re-doing and more emphasis on linking to Begins rather than The Dar Knight. However, I have to admit that I see your point that Nolan wanted to end all the storylines of the previous two films in this one, as that would be the conclusion in his own vision.
And, yes, the exposition in Rises was over the top, even in comparison to The Dark Knight. The latter was unfolding like a detective thriller. Batman, Gordon and Dent altogether are solving a puzzle created by the Joker. They are trying to understand what his plan is. This very suspenseful and intriguing as well. In Rises, there was more of unnecesary details than in any other installment For instance, the story about the kid who escaped the pit. I just though it was redundant. The same was with Alfred’s dream, etc. You can say that all these again serve dramatic narration and symbolism, but, this is because we view the entire film in a different manner. It all begins with the fact that I enjoyed Batman Begins, while you considered it a pile of mess. Thus, I believe we have opposite views of Rises as well.
In addition, by the relationship between Bruce and Rachel, I do not specifically mean their affair, but the relationship itself they have had since their childhood. You are right that it is not elegantly portrayed in Rises how Bruce suddenly switches to two other woman over his grief. One thing that I found as another forced dramatic device was the fact that Alfred simply decided to tell Bruce of Rachel’s letter only now, eight years later. I mean he could have done it even a year after the Dent Act was issued.
I do like the way you put the whole concept of Bruce constantly learning something. The Joker did give out the message plans might not always be in need, whereas Ban & Talia pointed Wayne’s guns against him.
As for Blake, he was indeed the most active character in the entire film. Yet, he was acting like a great detective rather than a potential new vigilante. He might indeed grow to become the one, but I did not see any real evidence this young man is ready enough to face psychos like the Joker or other maniacs. Yes, he was there when Bane occupied the city, but he was not the one to actually face this man in one-on-one confrontation. He’s also not cautious enough. I just though having him ‘to carry the mantle’ was the story creators’ way of using lies to give a hope. And, Dent was a great example, in my opinion, of what Bruce should be aware of. He cannot put too much trust in one person. This was fully contradicted by his trust in Blake in Rises. Either way, I could not tie one film’s message to the other one’s.
As for our discussion, I have to say that I like the way you interpret the film and I see the points you emphasize on. I have to agree to disagree with you on many points.
Earlier today I just thought to myself it could have been even better, if Bane was operating on his own and would take over the city without any intention to blow it, but simply to put it under his own rule from now on. He secretly captures Batman and puts him in Arkham Asylum as the only prisoner, while all others, including doctors, the judge, etc., would be the former patients of Arkham. These would only several minor members from Batman’s rogue gallery, including Riddler, the Mad Hatter, Calendar Man and Victor Zsasz. While Scarecrow would fit in as the judge of the asylum’s own court, Hugo Strange would be its headmaster and the direct link to Bane. Initially, he would be the one to inform Bane of Batman’s true identity and how to capture him. Yet, it would be Bane as the prime commander of the whole plan. The only issue would be the Joker; the most I could do would be having him imprisoned in the national custody or even detention camp, equipped with Wayne’s top technology.
All in all, that was just an idea I came up with. I am not sure whether it could have been a better film than Rises, but I personally prefer this take over what we have got.
^ I think that would have worked if it weren’t a tidy trilogy but had the time to build all those characters. Arkham Asylum but more on the streets of an isolated Gotham, as shown. I think having those crazies appear without precedence would undermine the correlation that Arkham Asylum exploits as its theme regarding how Batman’s presence causes the crazies to come out of the woodwork. A drily hilarious metanarrative, that book was. Without that correlation, it would seem apparently they were just hanging around, Batman or no, the whole time, which is less satisfying.
I agree with your take on these issues in Rises.There was a lot of incoherence and inconsistency that I saw in Rises. Others might have a different look at it. But, to me, it seemed like the weakest piece in the trilogy, for its own contradiction and redundancy relying on the exaggerated overuse of dramatism that serves ostentation.
I did not care about 94.7% of the film, liked the last 8 minutes. Thought Bane was a joke, a weird cross ’tween Sean Connery, Darth Vader and a WWE bad guy. The first act was incredibly weak, and while I appreciate some misdirects, overall the script seemed lazy. Though I am interested to see what follows.
Rewatched it today.
Paid a lot of attention to the ‘Occupier’ elements again. Bane explicitly sez right before the arena speech that he would manipulate Gotham into destroying itself. I was incorrect and there are ‘typical Gothamites’ that get in on the fun — one single shot of a marching group of about fifty people, followed by a shot of houses being raided as a variety of Gothamites of various persuasions (not all rich, you see old people and like young couples in hoodies and such) suffer the consequences, followed by the part of the speech where Bane discusses the rich and you have the people getting pulled from under the bed. So in a city of 12million (stated something like three or four times in the movie), some get worked into the fervor and many are the victims, but Reign of Terror style the focus of the victimization is certainly on the rich. From there Bane’s army is typically organized by the recognizable League of Shadows crew and the ‘regular Gothamite’ disappears, essentially. They’re all indoors or in the invisible extras ranks of Bane’s army.
But at the end during the bridge with the children, there aren’t just the bus and the children. Behind Blake is an entire roadful of Gothamites attempting to leave the city, where previously they kept hiding. So Nolan is most definitely not insinuating that the average person just goes along with Bane’s football field speech, but that Bane’s football field speech directs some elements toward the victimization of targeted classes. That class can be full of Foxes and Tates, Waynes and Taggerts, as far as burden of representation goes. One fun noteworthy aspect, though, is that when the statue to Batman is unveiled, it is in a crowd of completely suited upper class people!
Looked a LOT into what has been discussed re: Bruce Wayne and trust. First night out as Batman he ends up in a position to have to save Catwoman’s life, which starts the beginnings of their allegiance after they’ve already started flirting as Wayne/Selina. NEXT scene Alfred reveals the truth. Next scene Wayne loses all his money and his position. Tate is shown the core and Wayne insists she’s his only option to keep it away from Taggert. Taggert dies by Bane’s hand. Wayne is taken home by Blake, he’s lost everything, so he tells Blake explicitly that Batman is meant to be a symbol, replaceable. So within the last few scenes Wayne has been cornered and now has to work with the allegiances he thinks he has, which is the same way Dark Knight operated. Then Tate and Wayne meet at the manor and the important line is given:
“Alfred left and took everything with him.”
Alfred took away Bruce’s dependence on the Rachel illusion, which was Alfred’s specific stated intention when he leaves. Bruce acknowledges that once Tate picks up the picture of Rachel. So with that line is when Bruce decides to move on. Immediately after sleeping with Tate is when he decides to meet up with Catwoman to take control of this Bane situation. So every scene of ‘trust’ flows from each other causally. When Catwoman traps him with Bane, she says outright, “I had to to keep them from trying to kill me.” He says, “You’ve made a terrible mistake” and what he means is that she isn’t going to be let loose so freely, and after she sees what they do to him, she realizes the same and tries to escape via plane. Gets captured by Blake.
Skip past all the Hell hole stuff and Selina Kyle walking the streets, discovering the effects of her storm, and she’s the first that is approached by Wayne after he comes back. 1) He hasn’t yet discovered the breach of trust with Tate. 2) He is still operating on what he knows of Selina’s desperation and philosophy of trying to get by and protect the weak (she shows this to him at least three times previously: 1) the dance; 2) her room; 3) their dialog after the rooftop fight). She’s still putting on airs but at this time he’s grown as a character, she’s grown as a character, and her facade gets quickly broken down. THEN he gives her the bike, and she still says she’ll leave, THEN she comes back for him right after he’s sold out by Tate revealing herself to be Talia. So again it follows. He is still using Catwoman as someone helpful to dance around just like he does as Batman in The Dark Knight with other characters (Dent, Gordon, et al), while trusting Tate, and then at the climax learns the true nature of what both women feel for him — one wants him dead, the other alive. So he goes with the one who wants him alive.
Thirdly, and this is harder to break down scene by scene so I just leave it to whomever wants to rewatch to notice, how much dialog in many cases is full of double entendre and innuendo, in the sense that one character is talking about one thing and the other character has something else in mind that they hear, based on the context of preceding scenes and so on. It’s really worth watching through a second time knowing ’what’s going to happen’ in terms of events in order to focus more on what’s happening inside the heads of the characters.
Only thing I liked about this movie is that I only paid four dollars admission. In the Strates people are paying up to fifteen dollars. Ouch..
Saw it twice. Total cost to myself $6.
(I would say this movie is worth $10 admission for one admission. I wouldn’t have joined my friends for the second viewing if I had paid for the first, which I didn’t have to. I’ve never even gotten around to buying any of Nolan’s Batman movies because so many people own them, it’s just a matter of borrowing them if I want to rewatch them, which most of the time I don’t really feel the need to.
If I rewatch this movie again, it’ll probably be in second run. $2 for this type of flick is a great deal.)
They still have have second run there? Wow.
Thing about those recent Batman movies and most Superheroes movies of the last dozen years or so is that I dont find them fun at all, never re watch any of them. Raiders of the Lost Ark I saw 25 times in theaters. Now that was a comic book movie.
Wasn’t aware second runs were going under or rare; figured just the opposite, in fact, considering economy recession and so on. But these days there seems no accounting for theatre:audience ratio, considering I’m talking to some of you Mubians from cities bigger than mine that don’t seem to have even a one-screen indie theatre. Oh well.
Anyway yeah, my city has two second run theatres and two single-screen arthouse theatres; it used to have a multiscreen arthouse theatre but that closed down due to embezzlement from the franchise owner, not actual lack of audience, and now a few guys I know are trying to buy the real estate to open up a Alamo Drafthouse like boutique. Then there’s the student union building theatre, the cultural center theatre, and the IMAX theatre which have their respective special interest midweek movie type events and so on. I don’t know if this comes down to my awareness of them, or if I’m just really lucky. At any rate I’m rarely short options for theatrical entertainment if I had the money and time to go more often.
Lucky you. The last second run theater here closed in 1992.
Excellent post POLARISDIB. Lots of food for thought there.
TDKR > TDK
I don’t like comic book films. Nolan made me a believer in how interesting they can be.
For those of you that felt it was too grim, I would point to the scenes with batman and catwoman. I can’t think of another relationship batman has where he (including Bruce W) shows a real sense of humor. I find most comic book hero love interests to be pretty bland. There is little spark there. I enjoyed the wry humor that they shared.
Just saw Dark Knight rises, and I thought it was terrible. I can’t understand the positive reviews. Anne Hathaway was excellent as Catwoman, she seemed to really enjoy her role. All the other actors were terrible. Christian Bale was wooden and seemed in pain. Tom Hardy’s villan was obnoxiously boring. I don’t remember who played Alfred, but he came off a a bossy meddler.
The plot was a mess, editing was a mess, characterization was off. I walked out at the two hour mark. Ridiculously bad, even worse than Wrath of the Titans, and that was pretty lame.
Oh, and the soundtrack – trite and silly.
I just watched this today and here’s a summary of my thoughts, both during and after:
What the hell…? But why…? How come…? How did that happen…? Why is he saying that when…? But what about…? Why are they…? But I thought he couldn’t…? If that’s the case then surely…? What the fuck…?
I don’t mean to suggest that it was so complicated that I couldn’t follow it, rather that a lot of it made no logical sense. Considering the resources that were poured into this I was disappointed by the general incoherence and lack of focus. That said it was a modicum of fun in a thoughtless kind of way. As for re-watching I think I’ll stick to the first two re-boots.
Unpopular opinion: This is the best of all three, and the best Batman movie. I mean, did any of you even see the football stadium scene? This is so much more epic and thrilling than the first two put together. Almost every scene is memorable and fascinating. The Joker is nothing on Bane and Catwoman.
Catwoman is my favourite comic book character, so I guess it fits that I’d prefer this by far to the first two movies, but even if there was no femininity in this movie to justify my bias, this would still be a better movie.
The Dark Knight and Batman Begins were self-important, cold, remote crime thrillers. They have no re-watch value.
This film has so many ideas thrown in one. It’s emotional, it’s dark, and it has the best villains out of any predecessor. I get the argument about the Middle-Eastern terrorist ending, but it’s not relevant. It doesn’t draw away any of the thick core that this film has. I connected so much more to this than the previous entries. At least this has a heart. The first two films are just testosterone.
Nolan’s first two films in this trilogy were as cold as Mr Freeze’s ice. This movie takes the darkness from the Burton movies and adds humanity, humour, morale and creates a near-perfect Batman movie. I was entertained throughout. It didn’t feel like 160m to me at all. I’m shocked that I re-watched this finding it the best film I’ve seen in a long time, and by far the best Batman movie… then came on here and so many were disappointed.
This surpassed the first two movies in so many ways. Here, we have great villains, we have emotional warmth, depth and humanity. The beginning is amazing. The soundtrack is amazing. The end is satisfying, exciting and I’m still in awe.
Nolan knew the first two movies were cold and detached. Everything that was missing in Batman Begins and The Dark Knight is here. This is one of the greatest action films I’ve seen, and by far the best Batman movie. Better because it’s more personal, much more exciting, more moral, more emotional, more rich, epic and much more intense.
I loved it.
All the hate on Bane is understandable, but I found him quite frightening. I guess it’s subjective in this case.
I’d like to recant some of my earlier praise for Nolan’s efforts on this and I do feel there is definitely something wrong with this film. Technically, possibly, ethically and philosophically, definitely.