"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. Lapis Exilis

    Lapis Exilis Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    The two scenes you cite aren't enough to justify the uprising. Selina is obviously a highly skilled thief - saying that she was forced into her life of crime by social inequality is not particularly convincing. There's no indication that she was ever starving - and if she was, when did she have time to learn how to crack uncrackable safes and do jujitsu in 4 inch heels? As for the kid and his talk - I would have very much liked to have seen more of that storyline, as it was his vague mention of lack of work for his brother as well as his faith in the Batman as a savior figure - a person supposedly considered by the entire city to be a ruthless murderer - seemed very out of left field with no follow up.

    Furthermore, if the power structures of Gotham were clearly corrupt and oppressive, who does it make Bruce Wayne for the story to begin with him hosting all of them at his home, apparently not for the first time. This is my very issue with the film - it's full of mixed messages.

    It's not at all clear that many had become desperate. That's why the "revolution" feels so bizarre in the middle of the story. A single scene of an orphan who lives in a boy's home saying his brother is having trouble finding work really does not go nearly far enough. The scene in BBegins when Rachel takes Bruce down to Lower Wacker drive and shows him people living on the streets did a much better job of creating the sense that the city was rotting from underneath. You don't get anything like that in TDKR.
     
  2. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    I didn't say they were enough to justify an uprising; I said they were enough to establish that Gotham is not "a-okay" just because the Mafia's fallen, and that it led many (but not a majority of) Gothamites to participate in Bane's uprising.

    That is not the same thing as saying that that uprising was actually justified.

    I don't know how you can say the mention of a lack of work for his brother was out of left field; the film very carefully set up the idea that the lower classes in Gotham were in trouble while the rich were living large. It's a theme that permeates much of the first third of the film.

    As for the idea that the kid's faith in Batman seemed to come out of left field -- I think the film made it very clear that the actual populace of Gotham was divided in their opinions of Batman, even if the city government was trying to propagate (with Bruce's tacit permission) the idea that Batman was just a murderer.

    Is it really so hard to imagine that Bruce is a good man but not perfect? Part of the point of his arc was that he'd become so disconnected from the people of Gotham that he really didn't know what was going on anymore -- that whole bit with him not realizing that the orphanage wasn't getting funded anymore.

    The dangers of income inequality have been a theme in this trilogy since Batman Begins -- as has the fact that Bruce's life as a rich man disconnects him from reality. "People in your world have so much to lose. You're Bruce Wayne; you'd have to go a million miles to find someone who didn't know who you were." There's nothing particularly new about the idea that Bruce was in the wrong there.

    That goes to the question of how effectively the film depicts what's happening to the working and middle classes in the post-Dent Gotham, not to the question of whether or not it actually establishes what is happening to them. Effectiveness is subjective; what is actually established is objective. The film objectively established that the lower classes were suffering, even if you don't feel it depicted that in the most effective manner.

    So the fact remains: At no point in The Dark Knight Rises was Gotham established to be "a-okay" just because the Mafia had fallen.
     
  3. Flying Spaghetti Monster

    Flying Spaghetti Monster Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Ok. I'm also in the camp that believed that Batman's story couldn't just "end' (particularly not after a mere three stories.

    But the film tried to end it anyway, by bringing back the basic themes from Batman Begins, particularly themes regarding fear. Normally, I wouldn't mind this but:

    It's a really simplistic theme. Seriously. It was nicely simplistic in Batman Begins, as it gave Wayne the start of a real arc, and it got the ball rolling.

    The Dark Knight is a flawed film, but I think its greatness is that it is built on more ambitious themes, becoming a crime drama, and it had the ability to stretch out the tension as never before scene in a superhero film. Almost none of what happened in The Dark Knight, from the coming of the White Knight, to the acquisition of Lau to the coming of the Joker would have happened at all had Batman not appeared.. this is all pa part of the idea of Escalation. That's just for starters. Things, had Alfred said, had to get worse before they got better, and The Dark Knight went on from there.

    In retrospect, the "fear theme" is so simplistic. The Dark Knight placed Batman in a crime drama. The new film reduces him to Batman Begins explorations while the rest of the audience is ready for something more.
     
  4. davejames

    davejames Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Well it's only natural that Bruce would have doubts or long to have a normal life with a girlfriend-- that idea has been suggested in the comics plenty of times-- but I never expected he would actually go THROUGH with the idea.

    By the end of TDK it seemed Bruce had fully re-commited to being Batman and doing what had to be done to protect the city of Gotham. Even if it meant becoming a hated fugitive. Him immediately going into hiding in his mansion and sulking for 8 years is the last thing I expected from the ending of that movie.

    And I never got the sense in Begins or TDK that this was only about taking on the mafia or corrupt polititians. They were obviously the main target, and the first people to go after, but it's not like the other criminals and abusers were just going to get a free pass from him after that.
     
  5. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    As much as I liked TDKR this was something I didn't care for. In the least I think they could have taken a middle road to this by having Bruce continue for a few more years before pausing as The Dent Act really began to get traction. It would have seemed much more like the Batman we're familiar with. Hell he didn't need to be retired for the rest of the story to play out as it did.
     
  6. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    Bruce was in much worse condition at the beginning of The Dark Knight Rises than he was at the end of The Dark Knight, and several characters refer to him as having fought "for all those years" (whereas The Dark Knight was only set a year after Batman Begins). And the news reports only referred to his return after the Gotham Stock Market attack as the "first confirmed sighting of the Batman" in eight years" (emphasis mine). So I think the implication is that Bruce did indeed continue fighting for at least a few years after The Dark Knight before abandoning the mantle of the Bat.
     
  7. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    Just got back; thought it was excellent. I wish it was longer. A couple of weak scenes and lines here and there, but no major problems. A fine end to the trilogy.
     
  8. davejames

    davejames Vice Admiral Admiral

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    That would make more sense, but the movie certainly isn't very clear about it.

    And Alfred pretty much gets him to admit that's he's just been sulking over the death of Rachel the entire time anyway. And he sure came up with that fancy leg brace pretty quickly, so obviously he could have gotten back out there sooner if he wanted to.
     
  9. DevilEyes

    DevilEyes Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Just came back from cinema. Well, I ended up liking it better than I thought during the first half, but I don't think it's great. I was in two minds between rating it "good" and "fair" and I decided to be more on the critical side and give it "fair". I liked the way it developed Bruce's story and rounded up the trilogy in the end, and the way it introduced some familiar names Nolan-style.

    However, I thought the villains were poorly motivated (and in Bane's case, I'm not even sure which one of the possible motivations was supposed to be his) and rather one-dimensional (two-dimensional at best), "Miranda" was underdeveloped (which made her motivation even harder to buy) as was her romance with Bruce which I didn't quite buy (why was he so quick to trust her? Unless it was just about trying too hard to move on after Alfred's words), and there was something incredibly cliche about all the prison scenes and generally all the foreign-sounding characters. All in all, I think that the movie works well as a Batman movie ("Hey look, it's Talia! Of course, it had to be! And they managed to work up Robin into the story without making it silly and campy!") and the conclusion of the trilogy, but it doesn't work as well as a movie on its own, the way Batman Begins and especially The Dark Knight did.

    That said, I did like Selina (Anne Hathaway pleasantly surprised me!), the way they used Joseph Gordon Levitt's character, and all the scenes between Bruce and Alfred. And I won't lie, I cannot ever not enjoy the ending in which Bruce and Selina end up together. ;)

    Now that you mention it, something that The Dark Knight had and The Dark Knight Rises didn't is that awesome "ordinary people (including prisoners) prove Joker wrong" moment.
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2012
  10. Set Harth

    Set Harth Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    So much for "the Nolanverse is realistic".

    In the real world, the prisoners would have nuked the other boat, and the "regular people" probably would have done the same thing.

    They're hardcore convicts for a reason. They didn't get there on a jaywalking charge.

    They're not nice people.
     
  11. DevilEyes

    DevilEyes Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    There are people who think it's realistic?

    Nolan's films are full of characters who are symbols more than flesh and blood humans and tend to repeat lines that encapsulate the film's themes. I love Nolan's films but they have little to do with what people usually call realism. His Batman films are only called "realistic" because people are comparing them to Burton's (which were great in their quirky Gothic Burtonesque way) and Schumacher's (which were, of course, awful).
     
  12. Trekker4747

    Trekker4747 Boldly going... Premium Member

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    The Nolanverse is certainly more realistic/naturalistic than most interpretations of the character and universe.
     
  13. Lapis Exilis

    Lapis Exilis Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I didn't get that from the film at all so I'd be interested to hear what scenes you think very carefully set up the idea that the lower classes in Gotham were in trouble. All I heard was a thief who self-justifies by saying I only take from people who can afford it and who delivers a fairly standard criticism of rich people being out of touch with the concerns of poorer people, which doesn't go far to establishing what's actually happening - it only establishes how she rationalizes her own illegality.

    Again I'd ask how you feel the movie establishes this divided opinion - because the only people I saw sharing it were that kid and Blake. Blake reveals his very personal reasons for having faith in Batman, but the kid's interest seems to just kind of hang in the air.

    OK, I can see that, given how it plays into the orphanage funding going away.

    Except that Batman Begins spends a lot of time establishing that Bruce overcame this issue after that conversation with Falcone - that he in fact spent years learning to "taste desperate". It's a little odd for him to lapse back into that state, even understanding that he has been devastated by Rachel's death.

    I feel you are splitting hairs here - obviously I was saying that I did not think the film effectively established these points.

    I think you are misinterpreting what I meant when I said a-okay - I wasn't saying that anything was perfect. The Mayor says in his first couple of sentences that crime has by no means been wiped out completely, but the implication of the rest of his speech and what Blake says to Gordon on the rooftop in his first scene is that Gotham is a wildly different place than it was at the beginning of Batman Begins in terms of crime - and I found that hard to swallow based on the events shown in the movies and the idea that organized crime had been removed from the city. The idea that organized crime could be completely removed from any major city is hard enough to buy into, much less the thought that follows it.

    My point, ultimately, is that the movie tries to capitalize on dramatic payoffs for which it does not build a convincing foundation. It either fails to establish its early set up in a resonant way, or it presents muddled points so that the audience isn't sure how they're supposed to feel about what's going on.
     
  14. DevilEyes

    DevilEyes Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Exactly, it's more realistic than most interpretations of the story about a billionaire who secretly single-handedly fights crime by night, dressed in a bat suit. ;) You can hardly expect it to be The Wire.
     
  15. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Bruce Wayne gets locked in a cave for 3 months and some dirty old man feels him up till he can walk again.

    Tony Stark gets locked in a cave for 3 months and he builds flying battle armour with repulsor weapons.

    Green Arrow gets trapped on a tropical island for three months, finds a pot plantation, smokes that pot plantation and then learns how to use a bow.

    Superman gets abandoned in the boondocks never to see home again and becomes a god.

    Superhero trope.
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2012
  16. JD

    JD Admiral Admiral

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    First of all, I think it's worth remembering that this is not necessarily supposed the be the exact Batman from the comics, so I think we should look at this from the perspective of the movies along.
    And I don't think Bruce left because he thought Gotham didn't need him anymore. He left because he didn't need Gotham.
    And it's pretty clear he didn't think things were that great in Gotham now, he did leave Blake in charge of the cave. I think if he really thought Gotham was going to be fine without a guardian he would have destroyed the cave, not left it active with a new person in control.
     
  17. Saul

    Saul Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I really liked the film. Not the best of the trilogy but that's not to say it's not good.
    Thought Alfred knew a bit too much about Bane. His street sources on the league of shadows???

    Bane's voice I could understand but it stood out too much and sounded unnatural in the film. I had thought this viewing the trailer and had hoped they'd make it more natural sounding.

    The ending I loved, really loved.
    As for Bruce Wayne's final fate I believe it's up to how you interpet it. I first saw the happy ending and thinking about it later wondered if Nolan had left it open for the audience to decide. It's something you could only do visually. There are arguments for and against it. But honestly it's really up to the viewer to believe what he wants. They include the scene about Alfred imagining seeing Bruce with some lady and at the end that's what he sees. Did he imagine that? Or really see it? I don't think there is a right or wrong answer.
     
  18. Venardhi

    Venardhi Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Seems like it might have originally been intended to be a "leave it up to the audience" moment, but in the context of the rest of the epilogue, it really only makes sense if it is real.
     
  19. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    Given that the autopilot is repaired and that Bruce says the clean slate program is real, I think it's pretty clearly implied that they're together and really there, for Alfred's benefit.
     
  20. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    And somebody repaired the Bat-Signal . . .

    There's nothing ambiguous or implied about it. Every one of those epilogues, with Blake, Gordon, and Fox, exist to set up the punchline: Hey, Bruce is still alive.

    There's no point in including those scenes otherwise.
     

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