The Dark Knight Rises

August 29th, 2012

Hmmmm.  Good, but definitely not great would be my feeling, which I think is probably what I’d have said about all the entries in this trilogy.

It all looked cool, kicked along and had some great set pieces, a reasonable twist in the plot too.  It was pretty much all rosy up until about the half way mark.  Able support from Oldman and Hathaway and Tom Hardy was excellent as Bane (I seem to have seen him in a lot of things lately and he always brings some proper intensity to the table, he was awesome in Bronson).

Michael Caine more closely resembles a giant side of ham with every performance, though.  Given the huge buildup the resolution was rather anticlimactic, and the hand to hand action seemed somewhat ponderous, unconvincing and hard to make sense of.  It seemed shot and edited to obscure everything rather than to make it clear.  Worst of all, though, I dunno, for a film that presents itself as a gritty and realistic take on the subject matter it was pretty schmaltzy and predictable in the end, not to mention at times rather silly.  The world’s most terrifyingly horrible and awful prison in the world ever in the world didn’t seem that bad.  I can sure imagine worse.  And a huge phalanx of policemen charging down a big open street at a cordon of ultra-heavily armed and highly trained terrorists ending in a big formless punch-up?  Really?

And why is everything so ass-numbingly long these days?

Posted in film and tv by Joe Abercrombie on August 29th, 2012.

65 comments so far

  • Shahriar says:

    Have not watched this yet. Seeing your review though I might just hold off a bit. Now every time I see Sir Michael Caine in a movie I’ll be reminded of a ‘giant side of ham’ haha
    I have to say though, overall I much prefer the new batman films over the ones made between 1989 to 1997.

  • Joe Abercrombie says:

    I still feel fondly about the original Tim Burton one. I think in the long run I prefer crazy gothic Gotham to contemporary every-city Gotham.

  • ColinJ says:

    Michael Caine almost seemed to be doing an impression of himself. And his constant crying at the end of every scene didn’t help matters.

    Overall, I liked it. I think it has amazing stuff in it, but also really stupid stuff as well.

    THE DARK KNIGHT still smokes it. In fact, I think even BATMAN BEGINS was better in a lot of ways.

  • Patrick says:

    Soooooo long.

    My comment after seeing this movie was that it would have been greatly improved by cutting the whole prison sequence and replacing it with a 5 minute “get in shape” montage, set to music like a scene from “Rocky.”

    It would have saved me about 45 minutes and developed the plot just as well.

    My other gripe was that Batman didn’t have any “wonderful toys.” Sure he had a new flying thing and his cool vehicles but no “wonderful toys.”

  • Tommi says:

    The best Batman films were the first two that Burton directed. They had that delightfully twisted feeling that is lacking in all the subsequent films and a feeling that Burton sadly can no longer convey in his films.

  • Callum Fraser says:

    I loved this movie even with its flaws for one simple reason: comic book references (I had a nerd-gasm when I heard Bane say “You fight like a young man, with nothing held back” – Dark Knight Returns) and the first fight between Bats and Bane was brilliant – as it was downright distressing.

    I agree that Hardy was amazing as Bane – the chap only had eyes and body language to use and I felt that he was the most threatening character to date. Hathaway as Catwoman was a pleasant surprise (sneaky camera-angle shots and all) and sympathetic character.

    Major flaw – I guessed the whole movie plot, twist and all, before entering the cinema. And some things were just not… right and that bugged me. 4/5.

  • Jared says:

    Yes! To the above. The first two Burtons were amazing. And pretty much hit all the same philosophical points (nihilism! class war! etc!), but did so without being REALLY IN YOUR FACE AND NOISY ABOUT IT. And under 3 hours.

  • metzelfetz says:

    i must say i was extremely bored by the movie. the fist half hour was slow but quite ok – created some distance to the (in my opinion) much better dark knight.

    *** SPOILERS ***

    but afterwards everything went terribly wrong:

    plot twists were there just for the sake of having a plot twist, not as a logical consequence of interests. e.g. at first the evil guys were some manipulative stockholders, which try to take over wayne enterprises with bane’s help by causing a panic and by cracking the wallstreet’s information systems (which is completely unrealistic, but heeey). in order to not being taken over by those bastards, bruce wayne sells a major part of his stock to miranda tate who is the daughter of ra’s al ghul and the puppeteer behind everything. at that point she has already won everything – she got the bombastic reactor and the ability blow up gotham anytime. which makes the rest of the movie kinda unnecessary…

    banes following occupation and the weird terror regime of gotham makes absolutely no sense to me. i mean – they already have what they wanted, are they just waiting for batman to climb from that “terrible” prison which seems more like weird retirement home…

    why is bane able to defeat batman? at first, the movie explains it by the hinted fact, that bane was born and spent his childhood in the prison without daylight etc etc
    then, the movie overthrows this argumentation by the last plot twist that miranda is actually talia al ghul…

    generally a big problem was that the movie didn’t “feel” right. there was a lot of talking, of explaining of plot twists – you didn’t see it from characters’ actions or deduce it from their interests which weren’t always logical… e.g. when miranda at a certain point explained 2 min she was talia, and why she got into that prison and blabla the whole cinema hall in helsinki started to laugh because everybody kinda agreed that this was a little too much at that point…

    *** SPOILERS OVER ***

    i don’t understand why the movie got excellent ratings all over the internet… it really has serious flaws and is much too long. it reminded me a lot of the awful star wars prequels were everything is unnecessary complicated and riddled…

    OMG this got long – i probably had the digest the whole thing ^^

  • metzelfetz says:

    btw i love your movie reviews, joe! keep on doing them 🙂

  • Frank Fitzpatrick says:

    See the thing about being a writer is, you see things that a lot of people do not. Personally I had the whole thing worked out immediately, but my girlfriend and friends did not, and told me they were surprised by the multiple endings (Return of the King style).

    So blame your genius Joe.

    I did however like the Attack of the Working Class theme going on, Margaret Thatcher would have a breakdown if she saw it…

  • Soteris says:

    Keaton is the ultimate batman. They even moulded the mask around his actual brow arc. The last bits not true but, I did enjoy the latest trilogy, although somebody needs to give bats some strepsils.

  • Joe Abercrombie says:

    Bane gave some nonsensical explanation that he wanted the people of Gotham to be taunted by false hope rather than just blowing them up. But yeah, there sure was a lot of nonsensical plotting. It is rare in these type of films that the villain’s master plans make any sense when you think about them for five seconds. Why did Talia just want to leave Bane to be blown up, after all? It seemed just as easy to take him with her. Suicidally loyal right hand men don’t just grow on trees, do they? And there seemed no particularly compelling reason why Bane was so awesomely powerful that he utterly handed Batman his ass one moment, then was suddenly a bit crap and got beaten rather easily when the plot required it…

  • Phil B-W says:

    Yes. The result of a bunch of guys with pistols and batons charging down a street towards a similar sized bunch of guys with assault rifles is not a brawl, its a massacre.

  • Bill says:

    Pretty much my thoughts on it. Good but not great.

    You bring up an interesting point on the hand to hand. This has been the weakest part of the whole trilogy in my opinion.

    I’d imagine its difficult to translate the physicality and fighting prowess of Batman convincingly to the big screen, but for Batman supposedly being the one of the greatest martial artists on the planet, he sure throws a lot of telegraphed hay makers.

    And how come Batman adversaries come at him one at a time, whereas the Police decide to charge en mass?

  • Joe Abercrombie says:

    Phil B-W,
    An awful lot of very old-school action film baddies who are extremely dangerous, committed and highly trained one moment and can’t organise or hit the wide side of a barn at ten paces the next. And the annoying thing is that, if you want to end up with a spectacular fist fight between batman and bane surrounded by loads of other fighting guys, you’d think you could find a way to get there while making both sides behave in a less ridiculous fashion. The cops could have had a plan of some kind, maybe?

    For such a long film, batman wasn’t really in it much, it was mostly Bruce Wayne being emotional. But when he was fighting, it tended to be lots of unspecific waist-up mid-shots, some biff baff sound effects, then his adversaries would all have been felled. Rose-tinted glasses, maybe, but I remember the Burton/Keaton version being way more impressive in terms of the martial arts action.

  • metzelfetz says:

    @joe about nonsensical plotting: but in some movies like the dark knight that works. there the villain was the joker who was utterly insane and didn’t have another goal besides chaos. whereas bane was always a very calculating, extremely intelligent villain and talia had her plan. its like the screenwriters wrote their scrips and inserted the characters afterwards

    @phil yeah that one was extremely pathetic and ridiculous…

  • thorne says:

    The cops were too busy shaving to come up with a plan!!

  • Jonathan says:

    Bane had the same goals as Ra’s Al Ghul- destroy Gotham city to make a statement about how corrupt civilization is (or something like that). He was more extreme in that he wanted Gotham to suffer first, publicly, and then destroy it utterly rather than just symbolically.

    If you take his goals to be the same as Ra’s, then he’s basically saying that if Gotham was “sensible” and executed every one of its criminals and other such stuff, his plan wouldn’t work since he couldn’t hand the city over to armies of criminals if all the criminals are dead. If he told everyone he was going to set off the bomb no matter what, they would all try and stop him- but if he pretends that he isn’t, then they have false hope. Bare in mind too that part of the motive was that he thought Bruce was watching the whole thing, and he and Talia wanted revenge on him by making him see.

    As for Talia, she was going to kill herself too, you know. They were basically suicide bombers, except the bomb in this case is a nuke.

    Still, not a perfect film- I enjoyed it, but they should have made it more of a Batman movie, and made it less melodramatic.

  • Joe Abercrombie says:

    They were all planning to blow themselves up? Huh. I’m even more baffled than before. I mean, suicide bombing is what you do when you perceive yourself as having no other recourse, no? With all their considerable resources and supposed expertise, not to mention legions of unexplainably fanatical followers, Talia and Bane surely could have easily engineered an escape route and, er, lived to further whatever madcap ends they thought they had in mind with this scheme. Why the suicidal obsession with Gotham in particular, the League of Shadows is surely an international organisation with worldwide goals? Deal with this troublesome bat, then we hold Stockholm to ransom! Or whatever.

  • JonathanL says:

    Unsurprisingly, I agree with Jonathan about the movie and the motivation of the villains. As you’ve said, Joe, too often villains exist more as an obstacle to the heroes and plot device more than as characters with their own motivation. For example, I don’t understand why The League of Shadows, which has got to have the most serious and dedicated employees of any company or group EVER, is basically going to lose its top two to take down Gotham City.

    The movie really reminds me of Temple of Doom in some ways, where Lucas and Spielberg wanted to fit in set pieces removed from Raiders of the Lost Ark. Nolan wanted to blow up a football stadium. He wanted Batman to fly around. He wanted a giant fist fight between two groups of armed persons. He wanted spectacle, and he kind of made a plot that went from spectacle to spectacle. I liked the movie because it was generally well-crafted, and the ending was one scene removed from being pure joy for me (I could have done without seeing Bruce with my own eyes – Caine’s were enough).

    The whole point of the movie is what ultimately saved it for me. Batman’s path is dark and he lost to Bane early on because he wasn’t afraid to die. It’s when he gave in to his mortality, gave in to the idea that life was something worth pursuing and protecting for himself, that he was finally able to move on.

    Which worked out, because the guy really had to get that will and autopilot together in time to suddenly retire.

  • Remi says:

    Dark Knight Rises felt less like a Batman movie and more like a movie with Batman in it, because it seems to me that Batman didn’t use any of his cleverness at all and could have been replaced with Detective John McClane and gotten similar results. At the end of the day it felt like Batman was out of his depth and was only saved by his ability to punch stuff better than most.

  • AJ says:

    For all of the build-up and hype for this flick, I haven’t talked to one person who came out of it who was willing to see it again.

    Oh well. I’m a bigger fan of the Burton films. I like my Batman with a chuckle and a side of cheese.

  • Josh says:

    I agree, it was ass numbingly long. I think the makers’ problem lay in the fact that they were grabbing from a huge goodie bag of material for the last movie in their trilogy, and came away with more than they could handle. This movie seriously takes elements of Knightfall, No Man’s Land, AND The Dark Knight returns, and in turn does none of them well.

    I was also kind of twirked at how it treated Gordon. He was seriously the last person in Gotham to know who Batman was, despite supposedly being a pretty savvy cop. I would’ve preferred them to give him the Lucius Fox treatment of plausible deniability.

    On the bright side, though, I really liked Bane (Sean Connery style voice aside) and Catwoman.

  • Joe Abercrombie says:

    A little raised eyebrow here or there certainly can help. Dancing around machine-gun fire is less worrying when the tone’s a little less solemn, but these films just take themselves so seriously, it makes the silliness in plot and event that much harder to swallow.

    Yeah, Hathaway was good cast against her usual twinkly wholesome type. I thought Bane’s voice was great, though. ‘Do you feel in charge?’ had to be the best line in it. In fact I found it interesting how vastly more scary and impressive Hardy’s careless, sing-song delivery was than the rather silly Batman rasp.

  • Josh says:

    That’s a fair point. Maybe I’m being a bit overcritical of the voice. He easily had all the best lines in the movie.

    “Search him, and then I will kill you.” And the henchman just shuts up and does it anyway.

  • Sara says:

    I loved The Dark Knight because it turned the strengths of the characters against them.

    The other two movies haven’t been nearly as interesting, IMO. Batman is the least interesting character in the movies to start with (too stereotyped), and the villains in The Dark Knight Rises seemed to be in the same vein. Tim Burton’s Catwoman was infinitely more interesting.

  • Tom G says:

    Agree on all points except on sir Michael Caine. He was the highlight of the film for me.

  • AD Forest says:

    I never got why the League of Shadows purposefully turned Gotham into a shit hole, so that they could later say it was corrupt and try to destroy it.

    They flat out admitted to tanking its economy in the first film.

    I wish Batman had called them on it, and shouted some abuse at them, like “You did this to Gotham in the first place, you fucking fucks!”

  • Chevi77 says:

    I just have to say something. The first Tim Burton was very good, but the second??? Really??? I remember coming out of the cinema thinking it was rubbish, and my money wasted, so much, I even thought: “Batman returns…? Please don’t!”. Hystrionic penguin (DeVitto) trying to reach the genius of Nicholson in the previous one and a plot quite poor and predictable.

    Regarding the new trilogy, the first movie was amazing, the second very good but a tad too long (they kind of pushed it in to give importance to Two Faces by including an extra hour of film) and this last one was a tad more flash than mettle. But Bane and Catwoman were extraordinary (and Hardy had a really high standard set by the previous Joker, though) the plot had holes, yes, but let’s remember that although this trilogy is more realistic and gritty, it is a comic they are based on.

    And after Inception, I think the twist of a twist of a twist concept still persists in Nolan story-making at a high dose (which actually, is what made him break through with Memento). I guess it sticks.

  • Jonathan says:

    Suicide bombing is not just about last recourses- there are lots of different reasons. Some are forced into it (families hostage and stuff like that, or matters of shame / honour). Others are more like certain types of spree shooters who want to be famous by taking a whole lot of people to Hell with them. There are a bunch of different types of suicide bomber.

    In the case of Talia and Bane, it was a combination of agreeing with Ra’s Al Ghul that the world was screwed up and needed a kick up its own arse every century or two via taking its best city and wrecking it, coupled with a desire of revenge against the man who killed Ra’s Al Ghul.

    The thing with Talia and Bane is they grew up in the worst place on Earth (metaphorically, I presume). They think the world is an even darker place than Ra’s Al Ghul ever did, and the example that needs to be made should be a lot more spectacular. It’s a combination of a depressingly bleak worldview of people who don’t think they have anything to live for (and that any hope is false, so hoping for better is self-delusion) and the loss of the only person / people you care about. That and power, since their whole lives in prison and elsewhere people or circumstances had had power over them, so now they were going to excercise it themselves, in the most extreme way possible.

    As for the League of Shadows, they are a group of fanatics trained to fight and die at the will of their leader; plus, Banes group might not be the real League or was just a faction thereof- the real League might have been disbanded due to a bad case of Batman. They were already finished, so thats another reason to go out like this- they can at least smake sure they and their message are remembered forever.

  • Chad says:

    Apparently, sticking a knife to the hilt through Batman’s rib cage buys you enough time to monologue, but has no other effect.

  • Joe Abercrombie says:

    For sure, the first Burton is the only one I’d hold up as any kind of exemplar. Did Inception actually have any twists, though?

    Wow, man, you explain it a lot better than the film did, but that strikes me as really not a very convincing and rather contradictory set of motivations. If you feel the world is going to be somehow corrected by blowing up Gotham, surely that implies the world is a place worth correcting and continuing to exist in, and perhaps guide toward whatever style of glory you envision. If you’re keen to exercise power, why stop with one city when you could easily destroy it and move on to another? Killing yourself unnecessarily would seem to be the ultimate surrender of power. If you’re basically nihilist and suicidal I’m not sure you’d have the wherewithal for such an elaborate and long-term scheme involving the manipulation of so many individuals.

    Also, slightly off-topic, why the obsession with the fusion reactor? Fusion reactors are hard to make, but fusion bombs are pretty easy. They’ve been around since the 40s. I seem to recall someone in the film saying it would be a 6 megaton explosion? That’s actually pretty pathetic by the standards of a modern warhead. If you wanted to nuke Gotham you could do it WAY easier.

  • Jonathan says:

    We are all going to die; if we are, maybe we should die for something worth dying for. In their case, they think they are dying fighting for another man’s cause (Ra’s Al Ghul’s), and for personal vengeance. They don’t their lives in very high esteem already, since they have been pretty hellish, but they are both pretty angry about that so they still want revenge on somebody, or everybody.

    Basically, what they are REALLY after is revenge and to hurt somebody for all the crap they have been put through, and in Talia’s case kill the man who killed her father, but they still want to honour Ra’s Al Ghul and at least pay lip service to his philosophy and memory, which they sort-of agreed with to some extent already. His death was both the straw that broke the camels back and the excuse they needed to give themselves a target for their anger.

    Being nihilistic and suicidal doesn’t really have much to do with planning or foresight (or lack thereof), but in their case they aren’t exactly nihilists since they have found a cause, even if they are sort of reinterpreting it.

    Also, on a more practical note, if you take over a city, run it into the ground, and then blow it up with a nuclear weapon in a mad terrorist scheme, you can’t really expect to repeat this plan again. If everyone thought they were alive after all that, they probably would have been hunted down and executed anyway, plus it must have took years of planning and millions of dollars to pull off. Can’t really expect to do it twice.

    Its not about holding power- its about excercising it.

  • Jonathan says:

    As for the reactor, well I imagine its just pretty hard to get your hands on a nuclear bomb. But Bruce was nice enough to build one for them right in the middle of the city.

    Just safer and easier.

  • Jacob says:

    Someone told me “there is a hidden villain in there”. Commissioner Gordon was down in the sewer. Someone mentioned something about alligators in the sewer.

    I was sadly disappointed as this was no foreshadowing for Killer Croc’s appearance. My biggest complaint was the death scene of the real hidden villain in question. So sudden, so unconvincing.

    And yes, the fight scene with Bane was one of those “get ready to throw a punch” scenes. Wait for it…wait for it….block.

  • Jacob says:

    Also, what with his back breaking every ten minutes, then waiting a month for it to heal? Thought there was going to be a Lazarus Pit mention.

  • Adam A. says:

    Gotta disagree on Hardy as Bane. Made me think of a cross between Humungous from the Road Warrior with the vox of someone doing a comical impression of John Rhys-Davies. Which to me is a damn shame, because I like Hardy and have generally seen him as someone to not overplay, but I really did get a sense of him trying too hard for this role.

    I will agree with you on the prison though. Maybe Nolan never saw Midnight Express? The Shawshank Redemption? American Me? All far more threatening prisons than the “Oh noes, we’ll never climb out of this prison that we have a huge f’ing rope for!” Typical comic villain folly. “Curses! Who’d have thought that really determined, athletic guy would ever be able to climb out of a hole?!”

  • Joe Abercrombie says:

    Well we are all going to die, of course, but that doesn’t stop the enormous majority of us exerting every effort for an extra instant of life regardless of how hellish our lives have been, and I’d say that’s particularly true of people driven, intelligent and coherent enough to plan and execute such an elaborate scheme. Especially when, after all, there was no real necessity to kill themselves, they could easily have planned an escape. They held all the cards.

    Safer and easier? This plan necessitated Talia spending years of time and billions of money inveigling herself into Gotham society, hacking into the stock exchange, bankrupting Bruce, trapping Gotham’s entire police department underground, etc. etc. compared to which shit like hijacking a CIA plane in the air seems quite a minor detail. You telling me you can’t get an ex-USSR warhead, or for that matter a current US one more easily in invented terrorist film world?

    Still, I guess you either find their motivations compelling and their plan eminently reasonable or you find your suspension of disbelief a little heavily loaded…

  • Storm in the High Places says:

    I thought Bane sounded like Falcore from The Never Ending Story. Although he was a badass. Just couldn’t get over it.

  • Jonathan says:

    Plenty of intelligent, driven people decide to kill themselves, or think that life is not worth living, for far less extreme reasons than being born and raised in a hellish prison. Plus plenty of real-life suicide bombers or other suicidal maniacs who want to take a lot of people with them put a lot of time and effort into their plans (not THIS much, true, but to be fair they were trying to live up to the legacy of a man who was fond of epic, convoluted and arguably pointless terrorist plots). The reason they dont pull of something like this isn’t because they don’t want to, but because they would have been stopped long before it happened.

    Yeah, they could have made an escape, but it isn’t unrealistic that they didn’t want to, and after pulling off something like that you probably aren’t going to get away with it even if you do escape. Wanting to die carrying out an evil plan to murder millions of people after making them suffer is saner than wanting to make them suffer and die in the first place. Sanity has nothing to do with intelligence or rationality.

    As for the bomb, well yes in movie land getting your hands on a nuke is relatively easy, but Bruce was building the thing anyway. Maybe they would have just built or bought or stole a bomb otherwise, but no real reason to if one was right there. If it wasn’t, the rest of the plan and the amount of money and effort that went into it would still have made sense; they would have just had to find another means to destroy Gotham. But this way, they get to do it with Bruce’s own toy, and stick the knife in it deeper.

  • Joe Abercrombie says:

    You know what, that’s actually another recurrent motif in films that I actually don’t find particularly convincing, the old – death for you would be too simple, I will concoct an incredibly grandiose and eminently fallible plot for my revenge in which you will see the destruction of all you love BEFORE you die! You shall suffer as I have suffered! Mwa ha ha hah!

    Just bury ’em alive and move on, man.

  • Jonathan says:

    That just means you are a nice person.

  • Jon says:

    I had the same issues. Here’s the best (and funniest) review I’ve seen.

  • Adam A. says:

    RE: “Just bury ‘em alive and move on, man.”

    Didn’t help David Carradine solve his Uma Thurman problem.

  • Jonathan says:

    That was Michael Madsen.

  • Robb says:

    Maybe its just me, but when I heard Bane speak for the first time I swear it sounded like Patrick Stewart. I couldn’t take him too serious after that, but I thought he was the best character in the whole movie.

  • Dangerous Jim says:

    I’m glad I’m not the only person that gets turned off by the lack of explained baddies motivation in the Batman films.

    Haven’t seen the knew one, but I still can’t work out what the Joker was trying to achieve apart from keeping Bats busy in the second one.

    So Joe, does this mean your next novel won’t be a gritty fantasy take on the comic book hero genre?

  • Jonathan says:

    The Joker was trying to create chaos and undermine or destroy all the authority of Gotham. He thought everybody, deep down, was as rotten and screwed up as he was, and wanted to prove it, thinking that if people were pushed far enough everybody becomes a monster.

    Plus, he enjoyed it. Pretty standard motivations for the character, really.

  • Zafri Mollon says:

    To be honest, I found the movie to be a complete mess (oh sure, parts of it were entertainingly done, but it was overlong, the plot stretched in a hundred directions that barely made sense, and seemed meant more to display epic-ness and special effects)

    The opening scene basically served no purpose except to show off some cool special effects. Sure, it introduces Bane as a badass with lots of henchmen and shows us the (kinda) loaded gun (the scientist).

    Why does Bruce Wayne stop the fusion program? Because it can be turned into a bomb? So what? So can practically everything else on the planet. Tighten up security. Don’t reveal the schematics. The details are irrelevant. A fusion reactor could do a huge amount of good and to bankrupt your company for no reason other than worries about someone using it as a bomb (ironic considering you’re batman) is just dumb. Batman is not dumb.

    Selina Kyle betrays Batman because she thinks Bane will Triumph? If she could have just set up a backstab on Bane she’d have made a new friend, her records would be wiped, and she’d be good to go. This isn’t really much of an issue though.

    Bane’s motivations were completely ridiculous.

    He beats Batman up and sends him to his old prison just to see if he can recover? If he can conquer his fear? Why does he care? As far as the plot of the movie is concerned, this is a sideplot that adds very little (except making comic book fans happy).

    Bane captures all the police officers underground and seperates Gotham from the rest of the world. Then he starts doing mock trials against the rich. If he has that much of a problem with the rich, why didn’t he ransom the city of gotham. Give a list of billionaires and say each one must give up 25% of their wealth in the next 24 hours to a given bank account or else (insert threat> letting criminals loose outside gotham, blowing up gotham, taking over other cities, etc). What’s the point? Killing all the rich people in gotham serves no purpose. Other opportunists will just take their place once the status quo is returned to normal.

    If his goal is to blow up the city, then just blow it up. If it’s to torture the population, why bother? What does it accomplish? Jesus he could have made a reality tv show out of the horrible crap that went on and gotten money streaming it and spent that money on terrorist organizations or something.

    If Talia wants to destroy the city or finish her father’s work, just do it. (and as Joe has already pointed out, there are many hundreds of thousands of easier ways to do it than stealing a top-secret fusion reactor from Bruce Wayne in a city where Batman used to operate).

    Joe already mentioned the scene where a bunch of cops that had been stuck underground for quite some time charge and fight a bunch of criminals hand to hand. If you know the cops could be coming out, wouldn’t you be ready? I could swear I saw enough guys with guns earlier that could mow the police down until they were nothing more than meat and bloodstains on the ground. But hey, maybe I imagined those guys with guns being in the movie. Why would Bane allow any minions to have guns if you’re expecting some kind of resistance.

    So beyond the utter stupidity of the villains (if they’re going to hold a city hostage they better at least have some goal in mind as they’re supposed to be intelligent evildoers and not JUST psychopaths like the Joker) was the ending. I can’t believe how frustrated the ending made me. If you’re going to create a movie that is dark, gritty, demoralizing, real (Abercrombie-like) then you can’t have an ending like the one that happened in the movie. If I could have gotten up and punched the movie screen in the mouth, I would have.

    That’s all for now folks.

  • JenMo says:

    Does anyone else feel like this wasn’t a Batman flick, so much as it was a Gotham movie? The Batman storyline seemed secondary to all that was going on in Gotham. I want to see Batman über detective, flushing out baddies, using extreme interrogation techniques, and doing deductive legwork. Instead we get a crippled recluse pulled out of his baffling funk for a pearl necklace?

  • Jonathan says:

    I don’t think any of them were Batman or Gotham films; they were films with Batman in them. Gotham wasn’t Gotham at all, except in the first one (almost). They took a lot of plots from certain Batman stories, but excercised too many characters and the gothic tone of the city.

    Just…and very enjoyable waste of time, since I’m still waiting on a proper Batman film series.

  • Jordan says:


    This is why the film should have been titled Gotham, rather than The Dark Knight whatever… I heard someone mention Gotham as a possible title years ago and it just would have made more sense.

    My two cents: I enjoyed it. Yeah it was full of holes, but damnit, it was Batman. We all knew it would be impossible to top The Dark Knight anyway. It was still better than the majority of super hero movies out there.

  • Dogman'sBladder says:

    I agree about films being unnecessarily long these days. It makes sense for the genre “epic films,” but for most it is excessive. The worst is Judd Apatow comedies that are two and a half hours long.

    I remember when the brilliant Terminator 2 was considered long, but that was a movie that had all that fat trimmed off.

  • Elfy says:

    Your view of it largely mirrors mine, except I thought Joseph Gorden-Levitt deserved a mention, he was the best thing about the film for mine, it could have been improved by a more ruthless cut, although I am certain the DVD will have an extended directors cut for the fans.

  • Kreso says:

    Honesty, while the trilogy was very good, and the first movie was great, when you think back on it 20 years from now, everyone will be about thinking Heath Ledger’s Joker rather than anything that has to do with Batman or Gotham.

    Whether that’s good and a tribute to Heath’s Joker, or bad, and a sign that Batman himself was a bit “meh”…
    I dunno.

  • David says:

    I couldn’t agree more. I may be the only person among my friends who wasn’t a huge fan of this series. I suspect when time passes most folks will fall out of love with the nostalgia of Batman and see this film for what it is. An uneven, plot hole filled silly conclusion that doesn’t abide by the rules it setup for itself.

  • Chevi77 says:

    Joe, I reckon two or three twists in Inception at least, although I have not seen it properly since I went to the cinema, I might be wrong. But it felt definitely a twisted plot. To my humble eyes it did, at least. The majority of people I know over 40 got lost after 30 mins.

    And, frankly, thanks to you all for making me sleep sound nicely while you are assuring it is so easy to get your hands on 50 megatons nuclear bombs these days. Makes me wonder why it doesn’t happen more often, though…

    I admit I raised an eyebrow when I heard only 5 or 6 megatons, but seeing the ending it kind of made sense…

    Regarding suicide bombers, and suicidal tendencies in general… how can we try and put some rational structure on those people minds? If anything, I’d struggle to put myself there, let alone reasoning why they do it. Any of the examples given through the discussion makes me cringe, honestly: how twisted have you got to be? And I think that is why it is a movie. If we use logic, why a nearly 3 meters tall monster creeps through ventilation tunnels in a spaceship to kill 8 members of its crew? Why giving the job to kill ilegal cyborgs in futuristic LA to a guy who is retired, full of issues, outpowered by them and and possibly one of them too…?

  • This is my sort of breakdown of the series by film

    1. Ehh, not that bad

    2. Pretty cool/intense

    3. I’m confused. Cool parts mixed with stupid parts. Meh?

  • Gary says:

    With the recent Batman films, I am of the opinion that they are all fairly good, but not as amazing as lots of people make out. I suppose it boils down to the majority of crap that comes out of Hollywood and anything that is remotely good being blown up out of all proportion. Of course it’s going to look good next to a crop of rubbish.

    My favourite Batman film still has to be the 1989 one with Keaton as Batman and Nicholson as the Joker. The ones that followed were utter garbage mind, but at least that first one was half decent. I preferred Nicholson’s Joker to Ledger’s one mainly because he was a lot more colourful and flamboyant and actually all the more sinister for it.

    Not really sure what future Batman films can be made now by other directors and crews that offer something new. I personally think Batman could work quite well as a gritty tv series with live actors. 1 hour episodes to fully tell the tale rather than cramming as much into long stretched out ass-numbing films..

  • Ayaaki says:

    All I can say is I left and said it felt like Batman of The Caribbean 3.

  • JMa says:

    I liked the end when Batman blew up South NJ/Philadelphia.

  • Set says:

    Personally I thought it was a 6.
    I really didn’t care about any of the main characters. Even Batman was getting on my nerves after all his emo-ing during the first 2/3 of the movie. All the great past characters (Batman aside) were slotted into bit parts (Alfred and Fox).
    The main bad guy didn’t do much other than stand around striking a pose while garbling his lines.
    What few fight scenes there were were pretty meh overall.
    A couple scenes were just “ok, that’s just stupid”. The gang of cops with 9mm pistols charging a gang of bad guys with semi/full auto assault rifles scene stands out still in my mind.
    Guess I was just hoping for more. Especially after the 2nd one, which was just damn amazing (even without Heath’s fantastic performance, it was still a great movie). Ah well. 2 out of 3 is better than most trilogies of late.

  • Set says:

    btw, I try to ignore plot failures/silliness in these kinds of movies. They are, after all, based off comic books. If you’re going to get all twitchy over that, you might want to back up and re-evaluate the situation lol.

  • metzelfetz says:

    @set i don’t think that the fact that a movie is based on comic books justifies a weak plot. this kind of argumentation could apply if we would talk about bugs bunny…

  • Scott says:

    Quick list of things that ruined this film for me

    -Batman inexplicably escaping the blast radius of a nuclear explosion with a window of 20 seconds.
    -Bruce Wayne was a pity case
    -Bane dies like a nameless thug. Quick cannon shot followed by a one liner from cat woman? He deserved better.
    -We find out in the last 20 minutes that all along the mastermind puppeteer was the unassuming forgettable what’s her name again?
    -Batman was in the film for all of 20 minutes
    -Alfred leaves. Bruce lets him???!!!
    -The fighting: Haymaker, Haymaker, Haymaker, Head Butt, Haymaker…
    -How did ‘Robin’ know Bruce was Batman after essentially no history of interaction? Oh, right, by the look on his face..
    -How did Bruce get from the deserts of Agrabah, into downtown Gotham? Few details missing in there. Airfare. Passport. Proper travel attire. Sneaking into a city who’s borders are locked down by the military on one side, and a well armed terrorist army on the other. Things of that nature.
    -Bane’s man boobs

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