The Dark Knight Rises discussion (spoilers!)

How would you rate The Dark Knight Rises?


  • Total voters
    12

DIrishB

The Timeline Guy
I'm seeing it at the midnight showing tonight. Excited (and a bit depressed since it's the last hurrah). Can't wait.
 

DIrishB

The Timeline Guy
Just got home from seeing this. Fantastic.

While thematically The Dark Knight may have been a better film, this one I found more satisfying on both a plot and character level.

Definitely will be seeing this a couple more times in theaters because I loved the heck out of it.

Spoiler time - seriously, don't read this if you want surprises, cuz there's a big one at the very end:

As many predicted, Miranda Tate turns out to be Talia, though there was a nice twist earlier in the film where we assume Bane is Ras' son.

Batman survives, and there's a satisfying arc to his character finding "the right woman".

And John Blake is Robin... Not in the film itself, but we learn early on he was an orphan, had figured out Batmans identity on his own, and at the very end of the film we find out his first name is Robin (guess he goes by his middle name John because Robin isn't very masculine), and Bruce leaves him the coordinates of the Batcave, which he discovers at the very ending. Very well handled and in my opinion not cheesy at all, it works and comes off very well.

And Bruce finds some peace with Selina and leaves Gotham... at least until The Dark Knight Returns **wink wink**.

Great ending to the trilogy, though, harkens back to the previous films on several occasions, nothing too heavy handed so it stands on it's own merits, but definitely gives it a full circle approach.

Damn it was good.
 

DIrishB

The Timeline Guy
Oh, I also found the pacing much better in this movie than The Dark Knight.

It's a good 2 hours and 45 minutes, but I didn't feel it drag at all as I've seen in some reviews. Really cannot wait to see this again, I enjoyed it more than The Avengers, and I loved that movie, this one is just quality all the way through.
 

DARKKNIGHT

Well-Known Member
There are going to be spoilers here. So don't read if you don't want spoilers, obviously.

Just got done seeing it and I have to say that I am a bit disappointed. I'm really tired, so I'm going to keep my review short and expand later on it later. To begin with, there are too many minor characters that are either not needed or are not explained enough. Examples include Matthew Modine's character and all the people who Bane appears to be working for at the start. Bane's villainous plot didn't seem that well defined. Sure, there's obviously him wanting to complete the mission of Ra's, but why set the bomb to detonate 5 months into the future? What's the point of all the stuff about giving the citizenry of Gotham their freedom? Maybe I missed something which I will catch on a later viewing...as I said I'm pretty tired. Also, Bane's voice is an issue. There's nothing wrong with the accent that Hardy and Nolan chose to use for the character. The issue is that he IS fairly hard to understand at times, which is quite distracting. That should have been fixed in post. I'm not even going to touch upon the things that just seemed off. Alfred disappears for 4/5 of the movie after an awkward argument with Bruce, Bruce seemingly falls in love with Talia (oops I mean Miranda Tate) after hooking up with her once. I didn't quite understand the point of all of corporate espionage stuff toward the beginning of the movie...it seemed pointless and convoluted. Also, the prospects of Bruce escaping the nuclear bomb (with a 6 mile wide detonation radius) in his bat-helicopter seemed slight. And what was the deal with the thing which Selina needed to wipe out her entire past? It seemed as though it has no basis in reality.

That said, quite a bit of the movie works, particularly after Batman's first fight with Bane. After a shaky start this is where the movie really gets going. Also, Ann Hathaway was excellent as Catwoman. I would almost say perfect, but I didn't particularly like her costume. She's a cat-burglar. It would make sense for her to wear a cowl to keep hair from being left behind on a crime scene. But I digress. Although I have to say I was left disappointed, it was a fairly good conclusion to Nolan's Batman trilogy.

Grade: B
 

DIrishB

The Timeline Guy
As for Batman surviving, he used the autopilot, set a course, and jumped out or ejected long before the bomb went off. It was mentioned early in the film that the Bat (plane) didn't have an auto pilot yet, and if I recall correctly Bruce even mentioned it to Gordon or Selina just before taking the bomb out to the water, even though at the very end it's specifically mentioned to Luscius by the Wayne techs that Bruce had indeed installed an auto pilot. I assume his mention of it not having one was done to help reinforce him being dead in the eyes of the world so he could go off with Selina and live his life.

It comes off a bit cliched, sure, but it capped the film off with a nice emotional undercurrent, something I think Nolan often lacks in his films (sometimes he sacrifices emotional attachments to his characters for a more cerebral approach, in my opinion). More often he uses emotion as a plot device or way of explaining or establishing his characters, but sometimes falls short of actually allowing that to resonate with the audience. I noticed this in the previous two Batman films and Inception.

However, I think there's more of that connection in this one, least it worked for me. I don't mind a bit if fudging in this case for that happy ending.

I plan on seeing it at least a few more times and will likely break it down further for it's strengths and faults, but still feel it's my favorite of the three.
 

DARKKNIGHT

Well-Known Member
I mean I understand the point about him fixing the autopilot, but I also thought it showed him in the cockpit with only seconds left on the timer. What I'm saying is that he still would have been within the blast radius of the nuclear bomb. That may not be true though. After thinking about it, my initial reaction may have been a shade too harsh. While I think it was the worst of the trilogy, it was still very good. I think I'm going to have to see it again to get a better grasp.
 

DIrishB

The Timeline Guy
DARKKNIGHT said:
I mean I understand the point about him fixing the autopilot, but I also thought it showed him in the cockpit with only seconds left on the timer. What I'm saying is that he still would have been within the blast radius of the nuclear bomb. That may not be true though. After thinking about it, my initial reaction may have been a shade too harsh. While I think it was the worst of the trilogy, it was still very good. I think I'm going to have to see it again to get a better grasp.

You may be right about there only being a few seconds left. I'll also have to rewatch it (no arm twisting needed).

And it did have it's problems: the generic doomsday device, for one. The cliched revenge motivation for the villains.

But I honestly felt it did a great job of overcoming it's shortcomings and delivering the most emotional range and impact as opposed to the previous two (TDK's main emotion was depression, which fit the tone and plot so I'm not complaining--I love that movie).

TDK as I said really is a better film, but Rises had a hopefulness that even Begins ending couldn't match (and shouldn't have, since Rises us the end), and TDK went a completely different direction, again as it should have.

I guess I was just elated at the little nods to Batmans history (remember the line about the cop not wanting to go into the sewers because "what if there's a giant alligator"--Killer Croc reference for the win). The Robin reveal at the end was great, and set in motion a sort of "Robin/Nightwing Begins" situation as a parallel to the first film. I loved Hathaway's dry delivery of her lines and competence. I loved the few emotional moments between Alfred and Bruce, especially Alfred conveying his hopes for Bruce's future (which is realized at the end). Corny, maybe, but it worked for me.

After the ending on the drive home I had a huge grin on my face, and couldn't go to sleep due to the pure overload of awesome I got from the flick.

So yeah, the movie critics may not like it as much as TDK (fairly so), but some of the harsher reviews I've read are just a perfect example of a critics inability to recognize the audience certain films are made for. After all, if every movie was a critical darling art-house film, there wouldn't even be a movie industry because most normal folk, ie, those of us without a Masters in Film Theory, wouldnt spend $10 a ticket to see those art house films.

Yes, Rises had it's issues, but overall I was entertained and happy with the end product. I doubt it'll hold up as well in subsequent viewings, but that's ok. This trilogy as a whole and as it's individual parts was altogether amazing.
 

Captain Canuck

The poster formerly known as captaincanuck65
Just got back. So this is now my favourite Batman movie. I know I'm in the vast minority on this but TDK is actually my least favourite of the trilogy. Don't get me wrong, i like it, but I find it depressing and sort of convoluted - Empire Strikes Back is my least favourite ofthe original Star Wars trilogy too... I guess dark sequels just aren't my thing.

I really liked how Nolan was faithful to the comics without being restricted by them. Everything in this was recognizable but fresh, and even though I wasn't surprised by any of the twists, I was unsure enough about several things that the payoff was still exciting.

Spoilers follow

I love that John Blake was Tim Drake (with a little Jason Todd), but he wasn't really either. He was his own character. I wish his full name had been Grayson or Drake at the end instead of Robin though, that was a bit of a letdown.

I love that Nolan combined the prison of Peña Dura with the Lazarus pit. I love that they took elements of Bane's origin and gavel them to Talia. I LOVE that she was Talia! As soon as she talked about wanting to save the world through clean energy at the beginning of the movie, I was convinced, and there were several little hints along the way, but let's be honest every comic fan who knows anything about Batman knew she was Talia. I didn't figure out she was the child who escaped until just a little before the reveal at the end though, that was tricky.

I love that Bane doesn't have Venom to make him stronger, but when Batman breaks his painkiller mask he goes crazy and does seem to get stronger.

I love that this movie was Knightfall, The Dark Knight Returns, No Mans Land, and Daughter of the Demon among others, but isn't really any of those stories. It's it's own tale.

Anne Hathaway's Catwoman was purrrfect. She's the best Catwoman in any adaptation of Batman I've seen. She played the part wonderfully, and was written well as a character. She's also beautiful, which didn't hurt.

The shot where Bane breaks Batman was so awesome. I'm so glad Nolan included that.

And yeah, that Batman was able to eject and get six miles away in five seconds is unthinkably far fetched, but I'm willing to over look it for a satisfying happy ending.

This film was the perfect conclusion to the Dark Knight trilogy. It served as a bookend to Batman Begins by completing the themes of "becoming more than a man, becoming a legend", and "falling so we can learn to pick ourselves up." But it also brought resolution to the ending of The Dark Knight. The message at the end of TDK was "'the bad guy wins and hope is a lie.". The Joker was caught at the end of the movie, but he won. And the only way Gotham was able to survive in his wake was to cover up the truth about what really happened. TDKR addressed that, showed that the lie worked in the short term, but ultimately lead to misery, and then redeemed Gotham and its citizens by revealing the truth (the truth about Dent to the public and the truth about Rachel to Bruce) and dealing with the consequences, eventually rising above the circumstances. The reviews I read all missed that second part.
 

DIrishB

The Timeline Guy
I enjoyed the parallels this movie offered between itself and the previous two:

Talia died in a very similar manor to Ras, with both their vehicles plunging to the depths (though Talias wasn't quite as spectacular but that was due to needing her to survive long enough to explain her motivations just before she died).

I also loved the implications of the Robin or Nightwing Begins ending. And I liked that he wasn't named Grayson or Drake, as that would've given away the surprise (and it was a pretty great and well handled surprise).
 

Captain Canuck

The poster formerly known as captaincanuck65
I also loved the implications of the Robin or Nightwing Begins ending. And I liked that he wasn't named Grayson or Drake, as that would've given away the surprise (and it was a pretty great and well handled surprise).

I wish that the last reveal of his name actually being Robin had been something more along the lines of "I changed my name when I joined the police force, my real name was actually Tim Drake" (or Richard Grayson). Finding out his name was actually Robin was a little too on the nose for me.
 

DARKKNIGHT

Well-Known Member
I watched it again this afternoon. I have to say, I liked it a lot more after a second viewing. While I still think it's the weakest of the 3 Nolan Batman films, it is still very solid and much better than I felt it was after my first viewing. There were still issues (a fairly convoluted and boring first act, too many minor characters, the impossibility of Bruce escaping the atom bomb) but overall the problems don't weight down the film too much.

I agree about the reveal that his name is Robin is a bit too much. Not only does it not make very much sense (he's pretty much set up to become Batman, not a Robin type character), but that scene is fairly eye-roll inducing. Although Bane's lines would have benefited from being clearer, the character sill works very well in the movie. In general, the plot and ideas that Nolan chose to use to bring his trilogy to a close were spot on. While I had no problem with the reveal of Miranda Tate as Talia, and felt that her back story was handled well, the reveal does kind of reduce Bane to henchman status from that point on. Additionally, the unceremonious way in which he is killed by Catwoman felt hurried. Speaking of Catwoman, she was done almost perfectly. While I still think she should have had a cowl, this is a nitpick and I can't fault Hathaway for this regardless. Her romance (or lackthereof) with Bruce did seem odd, especially in light of their relationship at the end of the film. In fact, Bruce's relationships with Selina and Miranda/Talia make him look fairly clingy and desperate for a relationship with a woman. Maybe this was a decision make by the filmmakers to showcase Bruce's state of mind in light of Rachel's death.

What does everything think WB should do with the Batman franchise after the dust from Rises settles? I hope that they don't decide to have Blake be Batman in future films. While this was a fitting end to Nolan films (the idea that Batman is a symbol, and Bruce never wanted to be him forever), I really think Batman is strongest when he is Bruce Wayne. So, what does everyone think? Will they reboot or follow the Nolan films? Will we even see Batman solo films in the next few years or will he be included in some sort of DC universe/JL film before that?
 

Captain Canuck

The poster formerly known as captaincanuck65
DARKKNIGHT said:
What does everything think WB should do with the Batman franchise after the dust from Rises settles? I hope that they don't decide to have Blake be Batman in future films. While this was a fitting end to Nolan films (the idea that Batman is a symbol, and Bruce never wanted to be him forever), I really think Batman is strongest when he is Bruce Wayne. So, what does everyone think? Will they reboot or follow the Nolan films? Will we even see Batman solo films in the next few years or will he be included in some sort of DC universe/JL film before that?

I think they should wait a few years and start releasing a series of one-off Batman movies with loose continuity ties à la James Bond. No need to reboot or explain whether or not they take place in the Nolan-verse, just make some cool movies.

However, if they wanted to continue the story, they could come back to Gotham a few years later w/ Blake established as Batman and then invent some reason for Bruce to return and reassume the mantle and demote Blake to Nightwing. That could work, but it would probably feel disrespectful to Nolan's conclusion in TDKR and who knows how many of the actors you'd need to replace.

TheManWithoutFear said:
How does Bane eat?

He only drinks protein shakes.
 

DARKKNIGHT

Well-Known Member
I think they should wait a few years and start releasing a series of one-off Batman movies with loose continuity ties à la James Bond. No need to reboot or explain whether or not they take place in the Nolan-verse, just make some cool movies.

However, if they wanted to continue the story, they could come back to Gotham a few years later w/ Blake established as Batman and then invent some reason for Bruce to return and reassume the mantle and demote Blake to Nightwing. That could work, but it would probably feel disrespectful to Nolan's conclusion in TDKR and who knows how many of the actors you'd need to replace.

I kind of agree with your take. I do think that not being clear about whether any future movies are in the Nolan-verse could cause problems for the general audience, especially if any possible future storylines contradict anything from the Nolan films. There is also the issue of what to do with 4 of Batman's important villains being dead (Two-Face, Ra's, Bane and Talia). If any future filmmaker wants to use one of these characters in the future, I feel as though how the films will have to address their relationship to the Nolan films.

If I were in charge at WB, I would advocate a 'reset'. Set future Batman films in a universe where he is already Batman (no need to reboot ala Amazing Spider-man), but allow filmmakers to change the style to their preference and use characters and storylines without fear of it contradicting the Nolan films.
 

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