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

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


How do you rate "The Dark Knight Rises"?

  1. Excellent

    147 vote(s)
  2. Good

    61 vote(s)
  3. Fair

    26 vote(s)
  4. Poor

    12 vote(s)
  5. Terrible

    6 vote(s)
  1. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

    May 12, 2004
    Lancaster, PA
    Watched the movie today. It was remarkably (and unusually) close to the script I saw way back when. Usually, when I finally get around to seeing a movie after novelizing it, I'm like "Hey, where is the farm scene? And why did they move those other scenes around? And what happened to the subplot with the gorilla?"

    As far as I can tell, they made the movie they wanted to make, without the usual last-minute changes and rewrites.
  2. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Commodore Commodore

    Sep 2, 2008
    Are you in a cafe in Italy with Anne Hathaway, Jackson?
  3. roliver

    roliver Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Feb 13, 2002
    Portland, Maine
    True, I've heard many attempts to explain the mountain of problems with Prometheus, but no one has come close to doing it, and the movie just doesn't have enough to overcome any of it.

    There's no emotion, or heart, or anything to get behind in that film. Just dumb people dying. Michael Caine did with a few lines what the entire cast of Prometheus couldn't do in two hours--make me give a damn about something.

    It does, as it's the type of plan where everything has to go perfectly. But, it is executed extremely well, and certainly sets the tone for the type of villain we're going to get.

    Bane's plan may have been risky and nutty, but I can understand the motivation behind it. Could they have come up with a simpler, less dangerous plan to grab the scientist? Probably.

    TDKR has bits that might not make sense, but Prometheus has two solid hours of it. There are more than enough scenes in TDKR to make up for some stumbles here and there, but Prometheus never delivers anything to redeem itself.
  4. throwback

    throwback Captain Captain

    May 27, 2011
    I haven't seen the film; however, I have read the plot summary on Wikipedia. I am assuming the plot summary is accurate.

    I think that our contemporary developed world cities are not conducive to the story told in this film. If a major city is experiencing a severe disturbance, such as a riot, the national government will send in military units to quell the disturbance. We have seen this multiple times in our country's history, most recently being the Los Angeles riots in 1992. I don't know of any incident in our country's history in which Special Forces are sent in to restore order. I could be wrong, and, if so, can someone name at least one incident?

    A situation in which a modern city's government could be overthrown and the rabble seize control would be in a developing country, such as those in Africa and Asia.

    I think if Christopher Nolan wanted to depict the United States losing control of one of its major cities he should have started in the first movie, and build it from there. The director could have depicted the decay of a great nation set in the near to far future with Batman being seen as the symbol of order over the chaos. The director could have introduced a military leader siding against Batman, and this military leader rallying soldiers who have defected to his cause. From there, it could have depicted the people rallying behind Batman and overthrowing the leader. I think there are approaches that could be tested to introduce the classic villains into this setting, and make it believable. This is not inconceivable - it has happened before.

    I expect people to tell me that this film is based in alternate reality; however, one of the purposes stated by Christopher Nolan is to depict Batman in a realistic setting. The setting for this third film is not realistic. It is preposterous.
  5. Kegg

    Kegg Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Sep 24, 2009
    And no one can explain Bane's plan in the opening movie as anything other than a spectacularly absurd and mind-boggingly stupid idea that succeeds mostly through a colossal amount of dumb luck which he is gifted free of charge by the screenwriters (and I considered that your explanation acknowledges the problem with the scene rather than justifies it).

    And understand I'm using this scene as an example. I could talk about the general stupidity of Bane's plans regarding Batman or Batman's inexplicable and completely unearned decision to trust Catwoman a second time etc. (and I'm not even touching the prison hole, which could be given a couple of paragraphs), but it's easier to needle in just one logical problem the film has.

    I can roll with these flaws (and did) because Comic Book Movie, but that doesn't mean they're not there.
    While I found what made a number of the characters in Prometheus tick was an interesting question that it probed pretty well, was gifted with some strong performances mixed with a genuine sense of dread and a sweeping space opera scole, and also of course local-boy-done-good Michael Fassbender in particular knocking it out of the park. There was simply a lot to like about Prometheus, in spite of plotting issues or the fact the main mysteries are apparently punted off to sequels that may or may not ever happen.

    And while I did like Michael Caine's performance here and have thought the Bruce/Alfred stuff the emotional heart of the film trilogy, I had pretty dry eyes throughout.

    If you want to hate Prometheus and love Dark Knight Rises, fine, excellent arguments have been presented to do either. But if you want to insist they cannot be compared in the belief Dark Knight Rises doesn't have majorly dodgy plotting, well, that doesn't follow.
  6. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

    Aug 3, 2003
    Brockville, Ontario, Canada
    When all is said and done it's still just fiction. It will not ring true in a lot of details. Nolan tells this story in broad strokes and more than a few elements are simplified to get on with the story and make it pretty easy for practically anyone to get. That isn't to say it couldn't have been more nuanced (it certainly could), but it works sufficiently to tell the story he wants to tell.

    One of the points I got out of this is that it's not really about just one city. To me Gotham represents America and western civilization as a whole. And any man can be Batman even if they're just trying to comfort a child in pain. And a lot of the stuff spewed by Ras al Gul, Bane and Talia is familiar terrorist speak.
  7. Agenda

    Agenda Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Jul 28, 2009
    Wow, the DKR novelization? How do you get a gig like that, Greg? That's like the creme de la creme.
  8. sidious618

    sidious618 Admiral Admiral

    Feb 21, 2005
    I'm with Greg, I was pretty sure it was Bane's people who were doing the looting, not the people of Gotham.
  9. JacksonArcher

    JacksonArcher Vice Admiral Admiral

    Aug 16, 2001
    Pretty much. :techman:
  10. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Commodore Commodore

    Sep 2, 2008
    The idea of leaving the past behind has been on my mind lately. I am moving from Nowhereville, WI to Las Vegas this week. Leaving my old life and painful memories behind. So the ending had a personal connection. Not Italy but there is the Italian themed casino Bellagio. There are a lot of bad girls in that town... That will work! ;)
  11. sidious618

    sidious618 Admiral Admiral

    Feb 21, 2005
    Leaving your past behind you again, Mr. Draper? Will you never learn? ;)
  12. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Commodore Commodore

    Sep 2, 2008
    I did choose that name for a reason. :)
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2012
  13. Trekker4747

    Trekker4747 Boldly going... Premium Member

    Jul 16, 2001
    Kansas City
    The Dark Knight Rises

    My Grade: A

    Ever since Nolan's stunning near-masterpiece of bringing a comic book character real, gritty, life in "Batman Begins" we've seen probably the best interpretation of the famous DC super hero on screen. Whomever goes on with things from here will have quite the task ahead of them. Batman Begins is, overall, a decent movie that I think is bogged down by some details that don't make sense and a pretty weak villain (Scarecrow) but it climbs out of it and really sets the stage for the trilogy of films. The Dark Knight is pretty much a masterpiece when it comes to superhero movies and making "not like a comic" and deeply engrossing. Mostly helped by Heath Ledgers often lauded performance as The Joker.

    TDK: Rises I would place between the two movies, I don't think it has as many struggles with growing pains and overcoming the previous set of movies but also has a LOT to live up to when it comes to the previous movie.

    Eight years have passed since Batman took the blame for the death of Harvey Dent allowing his legacy of imprisoning Gotham's toughest criminals to stay intact along with a bill in his name making it easier to keep them imprisoned. In the intervening time Batman has been in "retirement" simultaneously a legend in getting the people of Gotham to have a symbol to stand behind and also a fugitive from the law. Bruce Wayne has retired to the reconstructed Wayne Manor and become a recluse entrusting the operation of Wayne Enterprises to the board and Lucius Fox much mystery surrounds what is happening with him and it's apparently done neither his personal reputation any good nor his business interests.

    Meanwhile a foreign criminal, Bane, has escaped captivity with the help of some allies and is making his way to Gotham in order to fulfill the League of Shadow's goals from the first movie to destroy Gotham -now standing as a symbol of wealth, power, and prosperity. Wayne is eventually lured back into the game when a cat-burglar posing as one of his maids robs him of both a treasured necklace and his fingerprints (wanted by a criminal organization related to plans of bringing Gotham to its knees.) Wayne learns of Bane and in spite of having serious medical issues with his movement (requiring the need of a cane) redons the Cowl and tries to take down his new foe.

    There's other threads in the movie too that all lead to interesting developments (one in particular I saw coming a mile away) and while it's pretty rocky to get there the events of last 30-45 of the film did leave me wanting more which then left me disappointed that this is the last Nolan's personal take on Batman and the last we'll see of these characters with these actors and in this form.

    Honestly, this movie ends like a sequel is on the way and, sadly, there just isn't one.

    Christian Bale continues to put on a good performance as Wayne only this time the edgier/reclusive burnout crippled type rather than the smug, clueless, playboy type. His Batman... Still left much to be desired though he's not quite as intense in this movie when it comes to the voice. (Or atleast it wasn't AutoTuned as much.)

    Michale Cain and Morgan Freeman both return as Alfred and Lucius Fox (respectively) but in slightly diminished roles than from the previous films. They're still fantastic actors who are great to watch whenever they're on screen.

    Anne Hathaway turns in probably the best portrayal of Catwoman since the Adam West TV series. She plays it just right, I was never a fan of how Catwoman was used in the Burton movie. Here she's not strictly a villain but more of the "anti-hero"/cat burglar out for her own good that she is in the comics. She happens to meet up with Bruce Wayne (and Batman) and proves to be an ideal distraction for him in more ways than one. Great, great, use of her. Loved every moment she was on screen.

    Tom Hardy as Bane... This one is a toughy. His performance is mostly good but he's less "Bane" and more "ADR Man." After the poor reception of Bane's voice in an early release of a segment of the movie Nolan and Hardy went back, had Hardy re do his lines in a clearer manner and they're looped onto the film and, well, it shows. Whenever Bane talks there just seems to be a "disconnect" between him speaking and what's going on on screen. Though this could mostly be due to not being able to see his lips, jaws or anything like that which can do a lot when expression comes in. Physically though he was great, the first battle between Bane and Batman is just brutal and you can feel every punch Bane lands is just reverberating through the bones of the out-of-his-game (and league) Batman.

    The movie has good action scenes but the key part of the plot is... a LOT to take. I don't normally do this in my "reviews" but I'm going to get into heavy-duty spoilers now.

    Bane's plan is to cut Gotham (a city apparently completely on an island much like Manhattan) from the mainland save for one bridge. He's managed to trap all of Gotham's police force inside a maze of underground pipes and tubes save for Gordon (who was laid up in the hospital) and an ambitious young detective. He tells authorities that he has his hands on a nuclear device capable of destroying Gotham that he will use should anyone leave the island or should any show of force be brought upon him. He manges to inspire the citizens of Gotham to, in some order, rise-up against the wealthy who control the city and to seize things. In essence, Bane manages to make Gotham -a city of 10 million people- an Apocolyptic noman's land.

    The police, US forces and military just sort of roll with this, and Gotham apparently stays under this rule and control for a course of months. The single bridge left intact is used to bring in supplies which, apparently, the government totally does with seemingly nothing in return other than "not blowing things up." (Of course all this time Bane has the nuclear bomb set to go of automatically at the end of six-month time frame these events take place in. (All of this while Wayne is recovering from a broken back (but uninjured spinal cord) in "The Pit" in another part of the world.)

    This, honestly, strains a bit more "realism" than does the microwave device in the first movie (which instantly vaporized the water in Gotham's pipes but not the water in every organic being in the device's influence.) The country, President, military and the millions of people living in Gotham just seem to go along with what Bane proposes, a seemingly large number of Gotham's citizens even going along with Bane's idea of anarchy where the rich are put on a sentencing "trial" for their greed.

    After six months of having pretty much no organized government or maintaining of infrastructure (I doubt Bane was allowing or ordering Public Works crews to go out and maintain water pipes and gas lines) and a rebelling public how is it even possible for Gotham to go back to anything even resembling "normal" after things are cleared up? Hell, all of their bridges and tunnels in and out of the city have to be rebuilt!

    It's when I'm asked to suspend my disbelief that much where a movie can start to fall apart.

    No, real, explanation is given as to why Wayne's body is in such poor shape at the beginning of this movie. Sure he took a beating in the months to year he was Batman but in this movie he's told by doctors his body is completely FUBAR and he shouldn't consider doing any daredevil stunts like skydiving. Yet he goes through a lot in this movie and apparently his body is able to handle it and he's able to recover enough from a broken spine inside of six months to take on Bane.

    I suspect that maybe those with comic book lore knowledge are supposed to "assume" certain things are happening that we're not told about as it'd break the "real world" tone the movies try to present. I mean perhaps even though we're not directly told this Bane's strength and power does come from archaic forms of steroid use (Venom), there's scars and a veinous look to his body that might suggest this. Maybe climbing out of "The Pit" acted (something) like the "Lazarus Pit" from comics and it healed Bruce Wayne completely. (The Lazarus Pit is very different in the comics, though, and even has side effects to using it.)

    The break in time between TDK this movie also seems odd as it suggests Wayne not having much of a Batman Career where we can presume he faced off against other rogue gallery foes in the intervening time. Hell, in this movie he even has an operational Batcave that he doesn't apparently need anymore.

    It just seems like something is "missing" between the first movie(s) which seemed to want to set a "status quo" for Wayne's life as Batman only for this one to suggest that, yeah, the Batman thing never really worked out, Wayne -the richest man in the city with near limitless resources and compassion in foundations and stuff just went reclusive and let his parents' company go bankrupt/the Wane Legacy to get tarnished. (Something Alfred chides Wayne about in the second movie.)

    There's a lot to like about this movie, I highly enjoyed it but it just leaves me with a ton of questions, scratching my head, and thinking it doesn't fit well with what was established and built in the other two movies.

    Everyone still turns in a great performance, the movie is certainly entertaining to watch with good action and drama scenes but the scrutiny of it just doesn't hold up very well, which is why I had to undergrade it so much.

    The use of Bane and the "Knightfall" nods were nice (I actually wanted to clap when we got the iconic image of Bane breaking Batman's back over his knee) but damn this movie has some holes in it.
  14. Samurai8472

    Samurai8472 Vice Admiral Admiral

    Mar 27, 2007
    The ending is on youtube. FYI I already saw the movie in theaters BEFORE it was posted

    But I saved it because it's just so good! It will tide me over till the blu-ray hits stores.

    I loved when people clapped at Bruce's reveal in the youtube clip.
  15. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

    May 12, 2004
    Lancaster, PA
    I was very lucky.
  16. davejames

    davejames Vice Admiral Admiral

    Oct 6, 2001
    Sac, Ca
    That would make more sense, but then why does the movie waste so much time showing Bane calling on the people of Gotham to rise up and "take back their city" from the rich? If they all just IGNORE those speeches he gives at the stadium or in front of the prison, then what's the point of them?

    It doesn't exactly prove Bane's point that Gotham is decadent and worth destroying if it's only him and some prisoners that are really making it that way.

    Maybe the prisoners helped fuel the riots, but I still think we're meant to believe that much of the general population helped out as well.
  17. Mr Light

    Mr Light Admiral Admiral

    Dec 7, 1999
    Well it was an excellent movie, but I had a few complaints.

    --Bane's voice was really, REALLY bad. He sounded like someone doing a cartoon Sean Connery impersonation. And I only understood him half the time. That was a serious misstep. Really ruined the character. Also, the way the voice is strengthened to be "clear" over the rest of the soundtrack makes it sound like some extremely artificial voice over and not a part of the narrative.

    --Shoulda been two movies. Too much going on.

    --Batman is barely in this movie, even moreso than Dark Knight.

    --Batman gets his spinal injury, but all they have to do is pop a vertebrae back in and that's it? Really?

    --In the big battle at the end, why does Bats take out a single tank with the Batwing, then land and join the battle on foot? Why doesn't he use the Batwing's weapons to level the Shadow army? Surely he had non-lethal ordinance installed.

    --I'm very disappointed Ra'sh didn't come back for real. I was really hoping he would be revealed to be behind everything.

    --Did I mention how silly and bad Bane's voice is?

    --Something tells me if Heath Ledger was alive, when the prison broke open they would have set the Joker the free and had an extended sequence with him on the loose causing chaos in No Man's Land.

    --What was the point of Bane staging a people's revolution against the rich when he was going to kill them all with a nuclear bomb after five months no matter what?

    --I love that the Gotham PD is aware there is a terrorist army living in their sewers but all they ever do is send a few patrols down there, always coming up empty :wtf:

    --"Robin"? Really? Couldn't they have just said his legal name was Dick Grayson?
  18. davejames

    davejames Vice Admiral Admiral

    Oct 6, 2001
    Sac, Ca
    Yup, that was my reading as well.

    I had forgotten about that. The movie states pretty clearly that Bruce went into hiding immediately after the events of TDK, and yet somehow his body is a complete wreck and he can barely walk??

    I don't remember him getting any severe beat-downs in the first two movies, although I suppose it's possible he still snuck out afterwards and did some crimefighting without the batsuit...
  19. Admiral James Kirk

    Admiral James Kirk Writer Admiral

    Feb 5, 2001
    Tucson, AZ

    Shit, I thought I was the only one who felt that way. :lol:
  20. Gepard

    Gepard Vice Admiral Admiral

    Oct 20, 2007
    That was my impression as well, and it's bothersome. Not only is it unmotivated within TDKR itself (we don't see any indication that people are unhappy until everything goes to hell), but it blatantly contradicts one of the points of TDK, that the people of Gotham are basically good and willing to do the right thing. In showing them as willing and even eager to tear apart the city, TDKR spat all over that ideal.