Well, I didn’t think that I would talk about Live-Action films that much, but I need to get this off my chest. The Dark Knight Rises is the third and final film to the trilogy directed by Christopher Nolan. What did I think about it?
WARNING: MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD! Don’t click the Read More button unless you’ve seen the film.
Ok, so let me explain the plot a bit before I give out my thoughts: It’s eight years after the end of The Dark Knight. As you know, Commissioner Gordon and Batman prevented the citizens of Gotham from knowing the truth about Harvey Dent’s descent into evil by having Batman take the blame for Dent’s crimes. To the eyes of Gotham, Dent is a hero who gave his life to prevent criminals from running rampant on the streets, and the Batman is now seen as a vigilante who killed Dent and the people Dent killed. And now he’s gone; Gotham no longer needs Batman. And Bruce Wayne pretty much secluded himself into his mansion, having succumbed to the injuries he sustained as the Batman. That changes once Bane shows up and brings an end to Dent’s fabricated legacy.
This is where it all ends and as a finale, it didn’t disappoint me, aside from one or two ocassions, which I’ll get to. This is where Bruce Wayne/Batman meets his match. In Batman Begins, he took down his mentor Henri Ducard/Ra’s al-Ghul. In The Dark Knight, he faced off against two people that were opposite to him: The Joker, an agent of chaos who has no motivation and no reason whatsoever for his actions; and Harvey Dent/Two-Face, an agent of the wrong side of order.
And now in The Dark Knight Rises, we have Bane. Like Batman, Bane was trained under the League of Shadows (which is established early on, so that’s not spoiling much.), but unlike Batman, who has to adapt to the darkness, Bane doesn’t need to. He was born and raised in the darkness. In fact, the Batman is no match for Bane in their first fight. Every single punch he lands on him doesn’t faze him at all. And after his body and spirit is broken, he’s thrown into a hellish prison where he has to Rise from the morals that held him back and when he fights Bane once more, he’s still not a match for him, but he’s at least on equal footing with him.
Awhile back, I was thinking to myself “This is it, I’m thinking Batman will pull off some huge sacrifice.” And he did. When he went into his Bat, carrying the nuclear bomb and the thing goes boom, I was just speechless, thinking to myself “That just happened. Bruce Wayne/Batman is dead!” Of course, later he turns up alive. I’m thinking that the Bat had some kind of emergency escape pod that was probably obscured by the explosion. Who knows Some people will say that it was a cop-out ending, with Bruce calling it quits. But let’s put it this way. Batman was finally recognized by Gotham as the hero they needed at that very critical moment and died as that hero. That’s it. Everything he did these three movies is all done. And honestly, I’m satisfied. Even everyone that was in the same theatre as I was satisfied to see Bruce and Selina alive and having earned that happy ending the worked hard for.
So now onto Bane, the main villain (Or what we were led to believe until the last moments of the film): This guy is what I think a villain should be: Calculating, intimidating, strong, and he’s got resources. Like within the first hour and a half, he drives Wayne Enterprises and, by extension, Bruce into bankruptcy and has a completely one-sided fight with Batman. No question about it, he literally wrecks him. And let’s be honest, after knowing what Bane does in the comics, you’d be lying if you said that you didn’t see him dislocating Batman’s back coming. Aside from that, he plans all of his moves carefully, leaving no room for error. His only major screw-up was throwing an incapacitated Bruce into that pit instead of killing him. Now I’d better talk his voice: I think it’s fine even though it sounds Sean Connery-ish, but it’s too freakin’ loud. Compared to Batman and his growling voice, he’s the loudest character in the film. Most people say that he doesn’t have a motivation other than continuing what Ra’s al-Ghul started in Batman Begins, but I think his motivation was to show everyone a Gotham where everyone knew the truth about Dent, like what would happen if Batman didn’t have the blame pinned on him, right before destroying it.
Now, the true villain, the person who Bane works for, Miranda Tate/Talia al-Ghul, who might as well be the Final Boss of the entire movie trilogy. Holy cow, I didn’t see that coming at all!! I’ll say this about Transformers: Dark of the Moon too, but it does a very good job of keeping us in the dark about who the real villain is. But where Transformers fell flat is that unless you’ve read the side materials, you won’t really know how much of a threat Shockwave is. Now I’ve already mentioned Bane, and I think he’s a bigger threat than Talia. They both have the same intentions in mind, to avenge Ra’s by destroying Gotham, but between the two, Bane does the most damage.
Now the love interests to Bruce: Miranda falls flat, like there’s almost no chemistry between the two. Like, she’s staying at his place one night while it’s raining pretty hard, and then next thing you know, they’re already getting it on. Like, what?! Where’d this come from?! You could argue that she did it so as to get Bruce to have her run Wayne Enterprises in his place. I can see where they were trying to go with this since in one of the comics, Talia drops her getting revenge for her father and eventually falls in love with Bruce, even having a child with him. But here, not only don’t we even know that Miranda is Talia al-Ghul at that moment, but in this movie, she has absolutely no sense of morality about what she’s doing. She’s a straight-up villain. Not saying that’s a bad thing. Although there’s not much chemistry between Bruce and Selina, at least it’s there. I thought that last kiss before Bats did his big sacrifice was kind of a kiss for luck.
Now Selina Kyle/Catwoman: The film helps establish that she and Bruce aren’t on the same page when it comes to killing people. Batman won’t kill anyone; but he’s okay with indirect killing, especially shown when he leaves Ra’s to his own demise. Catwoman will only kill whenever necessary, like if those that are after her are trying to kill her. Her interactions with Bruce/Batman allows her to draw the line, but ultimately she still ends up having to necessarily kill Bane because if she didn’t, he would’ve killed Batman, who won’t even kill a twisted madman like The Joker.
And lastly, I must mention John Blake, an officer of Gotham Police. He instinctively discovers that Bruce Wayne is Batman due to their pasts being similar. At the end of the film, he’s seen inheriting the torch after Bruce retires it’s revealed that his real first name is Robin. I know Nolan never said he’d bring Robin into the story, but I didn’t mind Blake’s name being Robin because I saw it as maybe he won’t even become Robin. Maybe he’ll become Nightwing or the next Batman, kinda like Batman Beyond.
Well, those are my two cents. I’d say on the same level as Batman Begins; Great movie, but it didn’t have the same shock factor The Dark Knight had on me. Still a very well-done finale.