"The Dark Knight Rises" Review and Discussion Thread (spoilers)

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by JacksonArcher, Jul 10, 2012.

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How do you rate "The Dark Knight Rises"?

  1. Excellent

    147 vote(s)
    58.3%
  2. Good

    61 vote(s)
    24.2%
  3. Fair

    26 vote(s)
    10.3%
  4. Poor

    12 vote(s)
    4.8%
  5. Terrible

    6 vote(s)
    2.4%
  1. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    Why do the B-2 and F-117 planes still look futuristic?
     
  2. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    In the lap of squalor I assure you.
    Two lines I doubt we'll find in Greg's Book about Gotham's subterranean police force maintaining three square meals a day.

    "If there's one thing my cops know, it's how to take advantage of a glory hole."

    "After three months under the city living like mole people, you'd be surprised how little there is which you can't make a donut out of."
     
  3. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    In the lap of squalor I assure you.
    But didn't Liz Hurley look fantastic in that silver minskirt?
     
  4. Admiral_Young

    Admiral_Young Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I finally saw it last night...voted excellent. Like JacksonArcher I'm in the process of compiling my thoughts and digesting everything, and plan on seeing it a couple more times before the week is over. I thought it was beautiful though. I also bought Greg's novelization as well so I look forward to reading that.
     
  5. Trekker4747

    Trekker4747 Boldly going... Premium Member

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    Nuclear devices don't work that way. Blowing one up won't cause a nuclear explosion (a specific reaction that must take place.)
     
  6. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    C4 won't make a bomb go boom.

    but this is an active generator continuously processing controlled implosions.

    C4 can't (without a stupid amount of luck) create a reaction, but it can surely frack with an existing controlled reaction into an uncontrolled reaction, and even multiple uncontrolled reactions.

    Then the point of fusion, supposedly is no radiation, so it's a green WMD... Whoopee?
     
  7. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    Damn! I should have thought of those! :)
     
  8. Agent Richard07

    Agent Richard07 Admiral Admiral

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  9. Agent Richard07

    Agent Richard07 Admiral Admiral

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    And for those who wanted to see the Joker...

    [​IMG]
     
  10. Lapis Exilis

    Lapis Exilis Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I just saw it again and I'm afraid that it really is just not a very good ending to the trilogy. I mean, it works well enough in a sort of self-contained summer blockbuster comic book sort of way, but the leaps of logic required to sustain the suspension of disbelief seemed more glaring this time around. And its biggest flaw is how it wraps up the whole story.

    Mostly what's bugging me is the whole general direction the thing went after TDK. I feel like the story had some pretty tortured convolutions in order to accommodate a few key ideas that the filmmakers obviously wanted to get into place - the biggest being that Bruce retires (twice). I've said before that I think the retired badass coming back is a rather tired trope and it was here as much as anywhere else. The sad part is, it just didn't have to go that way. The story could have easily continued with Batman an outlaw vigilante, which is where I felt like the ending of TDK was headed - and I thought it had all sorts of intriguing possibilities for Bruce's journey and his relationship with Jim Gordon.

    If they just had to continue with the Harvey Dent, martyred savior of the city tale - which always felt a little far-fetched because Dent wasn't exactly shown to be MLK or anything - it could have gone the way of a law passed which "gave law enforcement teeth", leading to the corruption of power in Gotham. That is, instead of the bizarro unjustified people's revolution we got, the story could have gone more to power structures out of control - a clean city, but at the price of freedom. Batman stories tend to work best in a highly corrupt world so I'm sort of astonished that this story possibility was passed up in favor of a Red October scenario.

    You want Bane in this story? He's a terrorist run by someone who seems a legitimate leader of power (Miranda Tate), to keep the people frightened so that tight laws can be kept in place. Her secret plan is to destroy the city? Then she unleashes Bane, whose activities lead to even stronger laws going into place, special vicious police teams being set up rounding up everyone in sight - this gives plenty of opportunity for action and fisticuffs as Batman has to battle these forces of tyranny, and in the end Miranda says, hey, I'm Talia - I've been wearing you down to take my revenge and now I'm going to blow up the city you've been working so hard to save.

    What it probably doesn't allow for is 1) Bane breaking Batman (which would have been no tragedy to me - I thought the whole Knightfall/ Death of Superman/ Artemis replacing Diana extravaganza was a bunch of stunt story-telling when DC went after it in the first place) or 2) Bruce happily retiring at the end of the story. Now, in theory I don't mind Bruce retiring except that this story seemed to want to predicate it on the idea that Gotham was fundamentally changed as a result of Bruce's activities as Batman. And I just don't feel like this was established in the course of the trilogy. The whole Gotham sucks because it's a mob-rub town never quite played out convincingly for me, so it is equally hard for me to buy that Gotham is now a-okay because the mob got put away. I think the overall story ends up feeling very simplistic for asking you to accept that premise in order to have it end happily.

    Which brings me back to my original point - TDKR seems to have been written this way: we want to have Bruce retired, and he comes back to fight Bane who breaks him so he can return (again, as someone else pointed out), and Bruce retires (again) but this time for good and with a sexy companion. Now how can we make that happen? Instead of saying - here's the ending of TDK, what happens next? and then figuring out what compelling things might come out of that they had to twist and turn to work around some beginning assumptions about what the story just had to include. When really, it didn't have to include those things at all.

    In the end, it just didn't feel like what was really engaging about the the trilogy - Bruce Wayne's journey from revenge-driven youth to idealistic, ambitious vigilante to discredited hero - was played out in a compelling way. TDKR starts with Bruce essentially having failed (Gotham's clean but it's all based on a lie) and ends with him stopping the destruction of the city and retiring but it didn't feel like his goals were fulfilled. It seems like the point of the story is that his goals change, but, if so, there wasn't enough character development for him in TDKR to make that feel like a particularly compelling story.

    All that said, there are some really nice moments in the movie. Selina Kyle is really fun - so much so that she pretty much upstages Batman. And I have to give it to Christian Bale for the first fight scene with Bane - he does a really tremendous job of bringing intensity to that scene. You can feel how hard he's having to work for every blow, how frustrated he is at his loss of physical prowess, how much the whole thing hurts. In general the performances are great, and the very, very end, with Blake in the cave did work quite well.

    But, a great story has to have a great ending. This one doesn't, unfortunately. It's hard to do with a superhero. B+ to the whole trilogy and E for effort - Nolan tried hard and succeeded about 75-80%.
     
  11. Scroogourner

    Scroogourner Admiral Admiral

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    Nope, fusion reactors still don't work that way. You literally can't turn one into a WMD. All the c4 will do when triggered is shut doen the reactor and blast it into pieces. At best you've created a slightly dirty bomb by spreading the radioactive internal components around with the c4 explosion.
     
  12. Kosh Naranek

    Kosh Naranek Captain Captain

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    I gave it an Excellent. Granted I have never read the comics. However, I felt that Nolan made 3 good movies and a great trilogy.

    I could see Bruce taking himself out of the action for eight years due to the events of TDK. Rachel (other than Alfred) was his only family left. He had made Rachel his hope for a normal life. (Something that she pointed out to him.) Her loss simply gutted him. Because Alfred burned her note in TDK, Bruce did not know that Rachel had chosen a life with Harvey. Bruce had seen Rachel as end all be all, and she died tragically and horribly. He was powerless to stop that. Along with what transpired with Harvey, he began a downward spiral that lasted for years.

    Alfred's words to Bruce rang true. Gotham had never brought Bruce happiness. Gotham was where Bruce's parents died; Rachel died, and Alfred feared that Bruce would die.

    To me this movie was not so much about an awesome super hero, but a man that had tried to live up to an ideal, while being drained by life's events. The Bruce we meet in TDKR, was a broken man, a husk.

    Alfred sees a man/boy/baby that he loves dearly careening headlong to his death. And up until Bane sends him down that hole/prison (highly reminiscent of the well he fell down as a child) Bruce is just that.

    The movie tells the story of how Bruce accepts that Gotham will not bring him happiness. Granted he does want to fight for the citizenry, and why not? He feels that his own actions have brought this upon them. He believes Bane to the be son of the man that he killed.

    Some of the occupy WallStreet rhetoric fell flat. But I took that as Bane just mouthing words to justify his actions. He did not have a greater political agenda. He said what he thought needed to be said to keep up the smoke screen that hid Talia.

    I loved JGL in the movie. He rang true in every scene.

    As to the 2nd half of the movie spanning months, I was not bothered by it. Would not any government be stymied/paralyzed by the threat of a nuclear detonation within its borders?

    CatWoman worked on all levels for me. She was a woman placed within a certain lifestyle by need. Once she was free from that need she wished to start fresh. The movie shows that she was not one to be unkind or even unjust (if that is not stretching it too far.) She took what she needed from those that had more than enough. Granted she does "dishonorable" things but they are dictated by circumstances rather than character.

    I quite enjoyed myself.

    I did not even mind all the Dent business. Though said out loud "Harvey Dent Day" sounds funny. Gordon allowed the laws of the land to be built upon a falsehood. Therefore, any good the "Dent Act" did was negated by its less than savory backstory.
     
  13. davejames

    davejames Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Yeah I never bought that either. The whole idea of Gotham finally being cleaned up once and for all-- so Bruce can be free to retire and sip drinks in Italy-- just seems silly as hell to me.

    In all my years of reading Batman comics, that's never even ONCE felt like it could be a possible ending to the character's story.

    You've got to cut an awul lot of corners to make that happen, and unfortunately that's exactly what this movie does.
     
  14. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    Except the whole idea was that Gotham was not a-okay just because organized crime had finally been tamed. Gotham's wealthy elite may not have been breaking the law, but they were oppressing the people of Gotham just as surely as Carmine Falcone had, once upon a time. That's why Bane was able to take advantage of the pre-existing social tensions to bring about his reign of terror; his solution was wrong, but the problems that led to his ascension were very real. Wealthy plutocrats had just filled the power vacuum left by the fall of the Mafia.
     
  15. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    But except for the crooks and malcontents the citizenry as a whole certainly didn't look ready and willing to rise up and turn everything upside down.
     
  16. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    Well saying "except for the malcontents" is a meaningless statement; by that definition, anyone who thinks there is a problem is a "malcontent" and therefore can be ignored.

    And your statement is questionable. Clearly most Gothamites didn't seem to believe that a violent revolt was the solution -- but we saw from scenes at the orphanage (where even kids were talking about needing to run away and join an underground economy just to find work), and from Selina's statements about the desperation that drove her to take a job from Bane's group, that there were some very, very serious problems with wealth inequality that were hurting most Gothamites.

    Bane's "revolution" was clearly able to garner a significant amount of support, even if it didn't have the support of a majority of the people; the sheer numbers of people participating in the expulsion of the rich from their homes and taking over their dwellings demonstrates that. Even if a majority of Gothamites didn't support Bane's "revolution," it's clear that many had become desperate. And as the Joker put it in The Dark Knight, "Let's see how loyal a hungry dog really is."

    A majority of Gothamites did not support a violent revolt, but that does not mean that Gotham was "a-okay."
     
  17. CaptainCanada

    CaptainCanada Admiral Admiral

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    That was built into the series from the start, though. Bruce returned to Gotham to take on the mafia and the corruption in the city's power structure, and that remained his mission in TDK, where he was talking about a time when the city wouldn't need Batman.
     
  18. sonak

    sonak Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I think your taking the political commentary of the movie too seriously. At first, watching the trailers and reading about the film, I thought it was going to borrow some OWS ideas, but as it turned out, that wasn't the case.

    Bane wasn't a left-wing revolutionary, he was a nihilistic terrorist thug. His "rhetoric" was crap designed to trick gullible Gotham citizens. I don't think he took it seriously for a second. His "solution" wasn't an actual attempt to deal with the problems you mentioned.
     
  19. Set Harth

    Set Harth Vice Admiral Admiral

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    To be fair, something like this outcome was set up throughout the trilogy, starting way back in BB.
     
  20. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    It would be chronologically impossible for it to have borrowed from the Occupy Wall Street movement; OWS began in September 2011, well after the script had been completed and filming began.

    You're talking about a completely different topic. Whether or not Bane actually believes in the ideas he espouses to justify his takeover of Gotham has nothing to do with whether or not the problems he identifies are real, or with whether or not those problems motivated some Gothamites to join his revolt.

    Bane is not a true leftist; he doesn't actually believe in social justice. But he's taking advantage of real problems to play Gotham's divided classes against one-another, in order to facilitate his take-over, and in order to provide false hope for a better future to Gotham's oppressed masses -- hope he'll then squash by detonating the bomb. Remember, he talked about the need to give people hope before you crush them in order to truly break their spirits.