#12: The Dark Knight Rises

I cannot describe how great of an ending THE DARK KNIGHT RISES is to the contribution of the Christopher Nolan Batman Movies. I remember how Nolan said that the only reason he would make a third is because if he had thought of a fantastic story and a better way to top himself from THE DARK KNIGHT. For many, including myself, trying to top THE DARK KNIGHT seemed like a far away task that might have been deemed as “impossible”. However, I do believe that this movie has done just that. It has achieved the impossible. I LOVE. THIS. MOVIE.

Do you remember back in 2005 when BATMAN BEGINS came out? The feel of that movie set a whole new kind of style for Batman. It was realistic, dramatic, serious, and made it more about being sensed around real life instead of being purely stuck in the comics. People did not know what to think because there was no other Batman movie like it to compare. Some liked it and some preferred the old ways. For me I was mixed because I grew up with the whole “Tim Burton Style” that we had all gotten used to with Batman. A few years later, in 2008, Christopher Nolan returned with a sequel that would shake the foundations of storytelling and the standards for box office gross: THE DARK KNIGHT. Not only was this movie better than the first in almost every way, but it could have just ended right there. Batman saves the future of Gotham by feeding the citizens a lie (that same lie that would become an important structure for THE DARK KNIGHT RISES). He becomes something more than a hero. He becomes a villain in order to restore balance and peace into Gotham. Harvey Dent dies and Gordon is forced to keep the truth of Harvey Dent’s murder a secret. It really could have stopped right there. Honestly though I am glad that Christopher Nolan decided to return. It really is a spectacle because no one knew that almost a decade later, from BATMAN BEGINS, The Dark Knight Trilogy would be complete and would would be wondering … What will happen next? Will there be another Batman movie like these? Or will the future of Batman go back to being like something from Tim Burton and the stylistic side of Batman? And… the most important questions of all… How long until we get another Batman movie? AND Who will be the next Batman?

Well we don’t need to worry about these questions right now. Let’s just focus on the current shall we?

Ok. Here is the deal. I will reveal the plot and its entirely down below. I only ask of you to PLEASE not look and find out everything that I will post here (if you have not seen THE DARK KNIGHT RISES yet): the plot, easter eggs, and my nitpicks about it. EVERYTHING WILL BE SPOILED.

I am warning you please do not look if you have NOT seen the movie yet.

Ok. Here is everything. I hope you are proud of yourself:

Plot:

The movie has about 30 seconds worth starting from THE DARK KNIGHT in the beginning. The movie starts off with Gordon giving a speech at Harvey Dent’s funeral. The main thing to take away is that Gordon sells to the people of Gotham that Dent was a hero and he “believed in Harvey Dent”.

The movie then fast-forwards in time and takes place 8 years later. Bane, a brutal and vicious mercenary, is captured and taken aboard a plane with the intent of capturing a special nuclear physicist. Bane destroys the plane with the help of his henchmen and takes the doctor with him. Bruce Wayne is now older and more worn down from all of the past battles he had endured as Batman. He carries a cane with him and does not leave the house. Wayne houses a fundraiser for the upcoming “Harvey Dent Day” at his mansion but does not show himself. Gordon says a speech during this event and originally plans to tell the public the truth about Harvey Dent. Gordon decides that the public is still not ready and keeps quiet for now. Selina Kyle, a master thief, blends in as one of the party servers and breaks into Bruce’s room in order to steal things from him. Bruce corners her and he discovers that she stole his mother’s pearls, and, when she escapes, she took his prints from Bruce’s safe. Bruce intends to find out why she did all of this and learn more about her.

Since the events of THE DARK KNIGHT a new act was passed called “The Dent Act” which pretty much wiped out nearly all organized and violent crimes in Gotham. Gordon has made the city almost compeletely crime free but nevertheless knows that the only reason it is so is because of a lie. The lie about Harvey Dent’s murder.

Gordon recieves a tip that a congressman was abducted, and now spotted near a bar; he then follows that lead. Gordon, the police, and a cop named John Blake determine that the abductor may have gone down into the sewers. Gordon and a few others go down there but are cornered by Bane. He has made a hideout down there and shoots Gordon. He takes Gordon’s speech about Harvey Dent’s murder and stores it away for later. Gordon then falls down a sewer line and is washed down towards the end of the pipe. He is saved by John Blake and Gordon is admitted to the hospital. Gordon makes John Blake a detective.

John Blake goes to Wayne Manor to persuade Bruce to get out into the world again. He knows that Bruce is Batman and proves it by revealing a story from his childhood when he figured it out. Blake pleas that Bruce needs to be Batman again. Bruce goes to the hospital where Gordon is being treated and, while wearing a disguise, sees Gordon who also tells him that Batman needs to return. Alfred tries to tell Bruce that he cannot go on being Batman anymore. That time in his life is over. When Bruce dons the cape and cowl again, Alfred realizes that he cannot get through to Bruce. Alfred then leaves Bruce and hopes that his departure will show Bruce that he does care deeply about Bruce. Bruce is saddened by Alfred leaving but still remains as Batman.

While this is going on, John Daggett, a rival businessman of Bruce Wayne and Wayne Enterprises wants to take control over Wayne Enterprises and merge it with his company. Bruce had made a bad investment with clean energy in the past years and has put Wane Enterprises in a crippling state. The reason why he pulled the plug is because he learned that the reactor that could make clean energy, could also be used as a fusion bomb and go nuclear. John Daggett siezes this opportunity and uses Selina Kyle to get Bruce’s fingerprints and Bane to destroy the Gotham Stock Market. This leaves Bruce broke and he entrusts his company to Miranda Tate to ensure that Daggett does not take over Wayne Enterprises. Bane then double-crosses Daggett and kills him in order to gain control of his infrastructure company.

(the rest of this is copied from Wikipedia because I feel like this is taking too long to explain. Sorry for being lazy.)

“Following a trail left by cat burglar Selina Kyle, Batman confronts Bane, who says that he took over the League of Shadows following Ra’s al Ghul’s death. Bane reveals that he was using Daggett’s construction firms to stage a heist on Wayne Enterprises’ Applied Science Division, before crippling Batman and placing him in a prison from which escape is virtually impossible. The other inmates relate the story of the only person to ever escape the prison: a child driven by necessity and the sheer force of will.

Bane lures most of Gotham’s police force underground and sets off explosions across the city, trapping the officers and turning Gotham City into an isolated city-state: any attempt to leave the city will result in the detonation of the Wayne Enterprises fusion core, which has been converted into a bomb. Bane publicly reveals the cover-up of Dent’s death and releases the prisoners locked up under the Dent Act. The rich and powerful are forcibly brought before a show trail presided over by Jonathan Crane / Scarecrow. After an attempt to use Special Forces soldiers in the city fails, the government blockades Gotham and the city regresses into a state of lawlessness.

Meanwhile, Wayne recovers from his injuries and retrains himself to be Batman. He successfully escapes Bane’s prison to return to Gotham, enlisting Kyle, Blake, Tate, Gordon and Lucius Fox to help liberate the city and stop the fusion bomb before it explodes. Batman confronts and subdues Bane, but Tate intervenes, revealing herself as Talia al Ghul. It was she who escaped the prison as a child, before returning with her father and the League of Shadows to rescue Bane, the one person who aided her in prison. She plans to complete her father’s work by destroying Gotham and avenge his death at Wayne’s hands.

Gordon blocks the bomb’s ability to be remotely detonated while Kyle saves Batman by killing Bane, allowing Batman to chase Talia. He tries to force her to take the bomb to the fusion chamber where it can be stabilized, but she floods the chamber. Talia dies when her truck crashes off the road, confident that the bomb cannot be stopped. Using an aircraft developed by Fox, Batman hauls the bomb beyond the city limits, where it detonates over the ocean and apparently kills him.

Batman is later praised as a hero and Wayne is presumed killed in the riots. Alfred witnesses Wayne and Kyle together alive at a café in Italy, while Blake enters the Batcave.” ~ Wikipedia

That’s it. That is the plot of THE DARK KNIGHT RISES. It was all revealed for you now and I hope that you watched the movie FIRST before reading this.

Now I will talk about what I liked and didn’t like about the movie.

Dislikes: I will have to say that there are very few. The biggest one I can think of is that there is no mentioning of The Joker from THE DARK KNIGHT. I mean I get it and all that Nolan wants to respect the memory of Heath Ledger but honestly it seems out of place when we hear absolutely nothing about The Joker but hear about Harvey Dent throughout the entire film. The biggest thing that comes to my mind is what would this movie be like if Heath Ledger had not died? To which I say … I have no idea. But I am guessing that Heath would reprise his role as The Joker in some way. I just was hoping for something… hell… ANYTHING that would let me know what direction was taken in describing the past events of The Joker. But no. Nothing. That kind of pissed me off a little. But again I understand that Nolan is doing it to respect Heath.

The next one I have is about Batman. No no I am not going to do anything drastic here. The complaint is about how much screen time he gets. I think that we really do see a lot less of Batman in this movie because … well … he is not shown that much at all. This story is about rising up from the depths. Bruce goes through what he went through in BATMAN BEGINS again and I am sitting here thinking… “Why?”. We already went through this in the first movie. Why are we repeating it here??? It made not a lot of sense! … Anyways … I think Batman shows up once in the beginning, once in the middle, and once in the end. I will say that when he shows up it is for a long period of time. So it’s not like he shows up and then is there for 30 seconds. No no no… like I said it is long periods of time. However I just love seeing Batman on the screen. So whenever he is not present I am just waiting around for him to show up again.

My last complaint is about the last few scenes with John Blake. We find out that *SPOILER ALERT* his first name is actually Robin and he inherents batcave…. Why name him Robin??? I mean it was so obvious at that point that he would become the next “Batman” or become “Robin” or maybe even “Nightwing”. I just felt that his name could have not been Robin but still have been given The Batcave anyways. I don’t know I am just trying to find dislikes here… it’s hard right now because dammit this movie is pretty damn near perfect for being a Batman movie.
Likes:
Oh come on seriously what’s not to like? It’s a Christopher Nolan Batman Movie. If you don’t like them now then you never will. I love damn near everything in this movie. I could go on and on about why I love it but really it comes down to this: great story, great acting, great cast, great effects (most of them, if not all, are real and not digitally enhanced), fantastic music, intense drama, and a superb ending for the trilogy.
Easter Eggs:
For this movie I want to list a few easter eggs I saw in order to let people know anything that they might have missed while watching this movie:
  1. The Red Hood: There is a point in the movie where Bane rides on a motorcycle into the Gotham Stock Market and wears a red helmet that is significant to Jason Todd’s helmet when he is “The Red Hood“.
  2. Killer Croc: I don’t remember where this is in the movie, but there is a point in the movie where someone mentions alligators in the sewers and it reminded me of Killer Croc.
  3. Knightfall: Bane breaks Batman’s back during one of their fights and this is completely straight from the Knightfall storyline in the comics. This one is obvious because it was implied in the movie trailers! However I just wanted to mention it anyways.
  4. Robin/Nightwing: again this is obvious from when we find out that John Blake’s name is really Robin. Just stating the known facts again. Perhaps Joseph Gordon-Levitt will get his own spin off from this movie and become either Robin or Nightwing? I really do hope so even though it seems unlikely.
  5. Roland Daggett/Clayface: In BATMAN – THE ANIMATED SERIES, there is a character on the show named Roland Daggett that shows up from time to time. He tries to take over Wayne Enterprises on a number of occasions like in this movie, even though the character’s name is John Daggett in the movie instead of Roland Daggett from the tv series. Whatever. On that tv show, there are two episodes where we see the development of Clayface due to a drug that Daggett creates called “RenuYou”. This drug was supposed to immeditately restore youthful looks compared to several years of plastic surgery. An actor named Matt Hagen needs tons of this drug because he has a rare skin disease that renders his face ugly and disfigured. Long story short, he has an overdose of RenuYou and is turned into Clayface. Hagen tries to get his revenge on Daggett whenever possible from that point forward. Too bad Daggett dies in this movie because it cuts off the possibility of Clayface ever showing up… DAMMIT!
  6. John Blake/Tim Drake: perhaps another easter egg is the fact that John Blake’s and Tim Drake’s names rhyme? (In case you didn’t know, Tim Drake was one of the Robins in the Batman comics) Maybe it was to try and give the audience a teaser for what was to come? I don’t know I just noticed it is all.
  7. The Scarecrow: he shows up towards the end as a judge who determines who dies or who is exiled out of Gotham. He is not in his costume/mask. However we do see him in a suit with pieces of straw coming out of it on the sides. It really awesome to have him back again. Scarecrow RULES!!
  8. R is for ROBIN: this is ONLY in the second trailer for THE DARK KNIGHT RISES. This is really a shame because I was looking forward to this scene in the movie and geeking out a bit. But that never happened. If you look at the trailer, at the 0:13 second marker, you will notice there are 6 people holding up the letters R-O-G-U-E-S. The fan that made the R is actually the symbol for Robin. This is completely made by an extra in the film and not Christopher Nolan. Pretty cool huh? (look at the trailer below to see what I am talking about)
  9. Put On A Mask: Again this is another Robin reference. There are a few points in the movie where Bruce keeps mentioning to John Blake about wearing a mask in order to protect the ones he cared about. Whenever this is mentioned, I always felt that this was the closest we would ever get to seeing Christopher Nolan’s version of Robin on the Big Screen. In a way, this foreshadows what will be coming soon. But then at the end my suspicions are confirmed. Just pointing that out.
  10. Villain Court: There a few parts in the movie where Scarecrow is the judge of Gotham and decides people’s fates whilst they are on trial. The only two options are death or exile. This is based on a scene in BATMAN – THE ANIMATED SERIES where The Joker is the judge in Arkham Asylum, Two-Face is the attorney, and all of the rest of the super villains condemn Batman. I thought this was interesting to note because the events are very similar.
  11. Two-Face: No I am not referring to the very very beginning of the movie where you see him. I am referring to the part where Bane attacks the Gotham Stock Market. Right before all of that goes down, there are two guys talking about the return of Bruce Wayne to Wayne Enterprises. One of them thinks that his return is a good thing while the other doesn’t believe so. The non-believer asks the other guy why he thinks Bruce Wayne returning to Wayne Enterprises is a good thing. The other guy says “I flipped a coin”. This refers to Two-Face and him having to flip a coin to make any kind of decision. Almost missed that one!

Ok that’s everything I have on THE DARK KNIGHT RISES. I felt that this movie was amazing and brilliant in every way. I would DEFINITELY go see this movie NOW or AGAIN if at all possible. I know I will see it really soon again! IT WASAMAZING!!!

IMDB Score: 9.2

My Score: 9.5

Here is the second trailer. Remember to look at the 0:13 mark to see what I am talking about!

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