"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. davejames

    davejames Vice Admiral Admiral

    Oct 6, 2001
    Sac, Ca
    I realize I'm in the minority here, but ugh. I really wanted to like this, but compared to the first two efficient, tightly-constructed movies, this one just seemed like a jumbled, unfocused mess. The story jumped around like crazy and didn't flow well at all.

    It started strong enough, but it just grew more ridiculous as it went along. You've got the fusion reactor-turned-nuclear bomb, which is as cheesy and cliched as it gets. You've got the people of Gotham, out of the blue, rioting and beating up on the rich, which I didn't buy for a second. There's the entire freakin police force marching into the sewers just so they can get trapped there. There's the goofy kangaroo court presided over by Scarecrow, which comes out of nowhere and felt like it was from a completely different style of movie.

    Then there's the "twists" involving Blake and Tate which you could see coming a mile away. There's the entire, tedious prison sequence that goes on forever (really, you make a big jump and you just get to walk free?). And the final act was almost impossible to follow, it jumped around so much.

    Oh and then there's the invincible, unstoppable Bane... who can be crippled by pulling a few hoses out of his mask (which of course Bruce only thinks to try at the very END).

    And the whole idea of Bruce sulking and going into hiding for 8 years because of Rachel's death, or because crime was magically wiped out because Harvey Dent was such an "inspiring example", is just absurd as hell and makes just as little sense as it did in TDK. And then he retires at the end again, I guess (Sure, that totally sounds like the Batman of the comics). :rolleyes:

    There were certainly some cool moments here and there, and I loved pretty much EVERY scene involving Hathaway's Catwoman. But the story as a whole was just silly and idiotic beyond belief. I almost have a hard time believing it came from the same guy who did Inception and TDK, in fact.
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2012
  2. Gepard

    Gepard Vice Admiral Admiral

    Oct 20, 2007
    That definitely fell into the "good, not great" category for me. I nearly voted "fair," but liked it a little more than that. It was an effective end to all the character arcs begun in the previous films, but didn't offer much more than that. The previous two Batman films felt like films, this one felt like a movie. A fun movie, sure, a silly popcorn movie, sure, but still just a movie.

    BB and TDK had subtext, and something to say about the times we live in. This one had some Occupy Wallstreet rhetoric grafted on to the middle act of a movie about a madman with a nuke. What's the relevance of this, and how does it relate to the real world? Hell, how do those things relate to each other? Why are they in the same movie together? This committed the cardinal sin of movies that try and fail to be About Something; it threw a bunch of half-thought-through thematic ideas at the screen, couldn't figure out how to connect them, and so dropped them in the third act for straight-up fantasy action. It's essentially what the Star Trek reboot did wrong, and I fucking hate that.

    There was also an enormous narrative flaw – which sounded like a poor idea from the moment they released an official synopsis – which the movie never won me over on: setting the story 8 years after TDK and making Batman retired. If the story were about the city and Bruce post-Batman, that would be fine, but it's a story about Bane bringing Batman as low as he can go and Batman rising from the ashes. So the movie spent the first half undoing its own premise by getting Bruce back in the game, only for Bane to take him right back out of it again so Bruce can...spend the second half of the story getting back in the game. Dafuq?

    I get that they wanted Bruce to be burned out and basically useless at the start of the movie, which makes sense after he threw his reputation under a bus at the end of TDK, but there must have been better ways to do that. For example, have the movie start X years later, with Batman reduced to a street thug who rides around a few nights every month to give the cops somebody to chase and keep the myth of white knight Harvey vs. dark knight Batman alive. And being reduced to a stooge like that has worn Bruce down without him even realizing it, so when Bane shows up, he's completely unprepared and gets his ass handed to him (and back broken). Carry on from there as the movie did.

    That said, the last half hour or so was perfect, and all the characters ended up where I hoped they would be. Gotta admit, the last shot of Blake literally rising just before the smash cut to the closing title had me giggling like a kid.

    Did anyone else think that Bane was hilariously similar to Shinzon? He:

    -Was born in darkness.
    -Grew up underground in a big prison pit (or maybe not; it wasn't clear how old he was when he got there)
    -Escapes, rises to a position of power and overthrows a legitimate government with his fellow former indentured buddies
    -Does so under claims of revolution and equality, both of which are just a pretense for using a giant superweapon to kill everyone
    -Is a thematic and conceptual mirror version of our hero
    -Is played by Tom Hardy

    The only thing that's missing was for Bane be be dying and needing a blood transfusion from Batman to survive. Though come to think of it, he was mortally injured and would die without the batman-like mask. Hmm...
  3. Flying Spaghetti Monster

    Flying Spaghetti Monster Vice Admiral Admiral

    Jul 18, 2006
    Flying Spaghetti Western
    Now you've overreached. I added a vote to the second worse vote the film could have. No way a Nolan Batman movie should fall back on all the things that make a normal "horrible" movie. He should hav me thinking of the "Sometimes there no way to get rid of the bomb" scene from the 60's film. No way should there be some much clunky exposition in the last few minutes.

    This movie did have a lot of things that I liked but it fails to coalesce at all, which is what a film has to do in order to be a film.
  4. Dude

    Dude Vice Admiral Premium Member

    May 21, 2004
    I really struggled with this film, but then again I didn't realize just what an extraordinary film that TDK was until my second viewing. I saw a review that referred to Rises as a "superhero film without a superhero" and saw it the same way. This is a movie about Bruce Wayne, not Batman.

    My biggest issue with this film is that it sets in concrete the concept that Nolan's Bruce Wayne spent somewhere between six months and a year as Batman. That's it. He is an intermittent hero for Gotham City, not a part of its fabric.

    It also disturbed me that he was just too physically capable after a 8 year layoff. The scene in the hospital just bothered me and seemed far too out of place. When he did don the cowl again, unlike Begins, he was too comfortable the first time. It was like there was no layoff at all.

    I really liked Bane and thought Catwoman was pretty good. The main plot of the second half was preposterous and didn't fit the Nolan universe. Five months this went on? Really?

    Beyond that, Rises once again solidifies the concept that Jim Gordon is a horrendous police chief. None of the movies has ever portrayed Gordon as a competent leader, although Begins certainly showed him to be a great cop. But seriously. He sent the entire police department into the sewers after Bane? At the same time? Every last one of them, except a dozen or so?

    In the end, Rises followed on what I thought was a terrible last minute of the TDK. The end, where they decide to blame everything Dent did on Batman never made any sense to me. Why not blame what happened on the Joker? The decision to ostracize the Batman carried over into this film and provided its weakest points.

    I didn't vote in the poll. I would really like to watch the film a second time before finalizing my opinion of it. At the least, the previous work done by Nolan (not just in the Batman movies, but elsewhere) has earned him a second viewing before settling on an opinion, at least from me since I have so enjoyed his previous works. I will say that what I am hearing from mainstream folks is that they don't like the film. At all. For point of reference, that's about a dozen or so folks who are not genre folks like those of us who posted here, but who enjoy the occasional genre film.

    We'll see how things turn out over the weekend.
  5. Set Harth

    Set Harth Vice Admiral Admiral

    Mar 10, 2010
    Some mainstream folks clapped at the end.
  6. Corwwyn

    Corwwyn Vice Admiral Admiral

    Aug 31, 2002
    So...what you're both saying is that it's spelt "Throatwarblermangroveswamp", but pronounced "Luxury Yacht"?

  7. Relayer1

    Relayer1 Vice Admiral Admiral

    Aug 21, 2011
    The Black Country, England
    I agree with the proviso that I got TDK on first viewing (I've only seen it twice).

    'Rises' isn't bad, but like 'Begins' it's NOWHERE near as good as The Dark Knight. I think the weight of fanticipation (did I just invent that word ?) has skewed some peoples judgment a little.

    Just as an aside, wouldn't Till Lindemann have been perfect as Bane ?
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2012
  8. indianatrekker26

    indianatrekker26 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Oct 8, 2006
    i saw it last night, i loved it. I dont know though if it helped that i had watched batman begins wednesday night and TDK thursday night, but as a finale, TDKR was a terrific finale to this particular batman story.
    I loved it as a batman comic fan, and all the callouts it had from Knightfall, No Mans Land and The Dark Knight Returns.
    Alot of you seemed to miss the point, that Bruce was not on his A game when he put the cowl back on. Which is why bane beat him so easily. It was the entire point of the scene between Alfred and Bruce earlier in the film. Alfred knew that was going to happen, because bruce went in over his head, trying to get back into the game before he was ready.
    i couldn't believe they actually showed Bane break batman's back, right out of Batman #497.
    I will say my only negative point to this entire trilogy, was that Bruce really didn't have much of a career as Batman.
  9. JRoss

    JRoss Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Dec 19, 2010
    *Typed in the Bane voice* You're saying that this film is not a film, then.
  10. Admiral2

    Admiral2 Vice Admiral Admiral

    Sep 14, 2004
    Dude, it's spelled "Ra's", but it's pronounced "Resh." In the Nolan movies they pronounce it "Roz" as if the name were English, which it is NOT. This is not a hard concept to figure out.

    Except maybe, if you're the type of person who writes "spelt" instead of "spelled"...
  11. The Evil Dead

    The Evil Dead Vice Admiral Admiral

    Oct 20, 2003
    1123, 6536, 5321
    The Dark Knight will be remembered as one of the greatest films of all time. The Dark Knight Rises will be remembered as a really great one, maybe one of the best of 2012.

    It felt a little bit like Return of the Jedi to me. A mostly really good movie with a few things that hold it back from being as amazing as it's big brothers.
  12. sonak

    sonak Vice Admiral Admiral

    Jul 13, 2007
    in a figment of a mediocre mind's imagination
    Hmmm... oddly underwhelming. It was good, but not great. It was the least of the trilogy. Three stars for me.

    On to specifics:

    -Nolan clearly abandons even the faux-realism of the previous two here. This movie was way over the top in terms of its plot. Clearly into comic book territory here, rather than the almost "crime drama" feel of TDK.

    -That first fight between Batman and Bane:wtf:
    I know the outcome had to be what it was for the plot, but how does Batman lose to Bane? In "Knightfall" Batman was physically and mentally exhausted when they fought, and Bane was much bigger.

    Here, a much fresher Batman loses to basically a... really strong guy in a mask. Why would Bane have better fighting skills than Batman if they received comparable training? Also, why does Batman turn into an idiot during the fight? He has a UTILITY BELT. When he first realizes that he's overmatched, he should pull out his batarangs, concussion grenades, shurikens, whatever he's got. Instead, he weakly pulls out some flashy things at the very end that just fizzle and make bright lights.

    And yet later, after being "broken" and in a prison for a while, THEN he comes back to fight Bane more effectively. Sure.

    -for a Batman movie, there's not a lot of Batman in it.

    -Anne Hathaway was great, Michael Caine was terrific, as was Gary Oldman. I like that Gordon got let in on the secret finally.

    -Bane was very menacing and effective. I still missed about 20-25% of his dialogue, though.

    -For all the rumors about the political undertones, Bane turns out to be a nihilistic terrorist thug. What if they'd skipped the bomb plot and made his "revolution thing" genuine instead of a lie to make Gothamites dance for his amusement?

    -ok, that end scene. Is that supposed to be Alfred's fantasy, or did Bruce really escape? And if so, how?
  13. CaptainCanada

    CaptainCanada Admiral Admiral

    Mar 4, 2004
    Charlottetown, PEI, Canada
    Being bigger and stronger with comparable fighting skills and much more recent practice would put Bane at the advantage.
    It's real. He set the autopilot and got out of the plane before the explosion.
  14. Samurai8472

    Samurai8472 Vice Admiral Admiral

    Mar 27, 2007
    The movie had some fun "Stargate SG-1" things in it.

    -Christopher Judge as Mercenary number 3

    -William Devine as the president

    -Stretching things here but Michael Shanks was rumored to play Shinzon but Tom Hardy won the role.

    What we should have seen was Alfred taking out a top and placing it on the table

  15. Kegg

    Kegg Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Sep 24, 2009
    Quinn from Dexter was in it too! He was the cop who blew out the bridge.

    Which come to think of it sounds a lot like the kind of sensible call Quinn would make...

    But it's Liam Neeson. So in this vaguely defined probably-central-Asia backstory of this film an Irish actor plays a mercenary whose daughter is French and whose protector is English.

    Honestly I always assumed that Duncan was Ra's al Ghul's real name, and the latter (which even in Arabic is a little ridiculous, it'd be like a German with the surname Totenkopf) was just a nom de guerre.

    So he doesn't get his Arabic right, nobody said Duncan was a language scholar.

    Anyway it was a good film. I've liked the past two Batman films, and I largely liked this. Sure, there were some groaners in the plot development - Bane's opening capture of Pavel is eyebrow-raisingly silly, even by the loose standards of Nolan's Batman films - but the movie juggles its various plot points pretty well and goes through the rigours of punishing the characters and concluding the third act of the Batman franchise in a pretty invigorating fashion.

    And I thought Bruce Wayne did survive the movie. The point the film kept driving home was tht Gotham was only something that consumed Bruce Wayne: It kept taking and taking from him, requiring every sacrifice and there was no joy in it. If he was ever to be happy, truly happy, Batman needed to retire and Bruce needed to leave the city for good. And I think that's where we left him.

    Retiring is both an unexpected turn for the character but one that the film laid the emotional groundwork for pretty well, I thought. Gotham doesn't have Batman to kick around anymore... they'll have do with this Robin character.

    Oh, yeah, and Michelle Pfieffer is my standard by which I judge Catwomen. Anne Hathaway was no Michelle Pfieffer, but then she didn't seem to have half as much material as Catwoman did in Batman Returns. She's almost Rachel Dawes only a jewel thief instead of whatever Rachel Dawes was again.
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2012
  16. Lapis Exilis

    Lapis Exilis Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Dec 20, 2004
    They did? Could you fill me in, because apparently I missed that.

    Ha! Too true.

    Ducard, not Duncan. Neeson's character was an amalgam of a character from the comics named Henri Ducard and Ra's al Ghul. And Ra's al Ghul has always been a fairly ridiculous character, from name to Ming the Merciless goatee to just about everything else about him.

    That only matters from a comic book perspective where you have to publish ongoing stories every month. These aren't comic books. And it's unclear at best how long he operated - that is, it's never stated how much time passed between BB and TDK, but apparently it was a substantial enough period of time for the various mobs to develop a working relationship and all agree on an accountant to handle their money (one of the more outrageous ideas TDK pivots on), and for a DA campaign and election to occur, and for that DA to do some fairly substantial work. All we know to time out the period between stories is that the Joker had pulled a job or two at the very end of BB, and was still pulling jobs at the beginning of TDK. That could be any amount of time from a year onward.
  17. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Commodore Commodore

    Sep 2, 2008
    I knew but forgot that Dick Grayon's father is named is John. Never realized that Dick's middle is John. Makes sense my father's first is my own middle name.

    Oh and fun fact my dad's first and middle name is Richard Bruce.
  18. indianatrekker26

    indianatrekker26 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Oct 8, 2006
    So many people overlooked the scene between Bruce and Alfred, earlier in the movie. Alfred said bruce wasn't the batman he used to be, that he had been out of the game for 8 years, he wasn't the same man, couldn't just throw the suit back on. So Bruce went anyways, in over his head, and was owned by Bane. Then during his time in the prison, bruce gets his A game back, not only physically but mentally, he "rises" from the depths of where he'd been. It was such a powerful point in this movie, and seemed to go over alot of peoples' heads.
  19. doubleohfive

    doubleohfive Fleet Admiral

    Aug 17, 2001
    Hollywood, CA
    I don't see how it could be Alfred's fantasy. We clearly see Bruce seated at a table with Selina; when did Alfred ever meet her?

    Too, even if Alfred did see her photo on a computer screen in the Batcave, he has no way of knowing what Bruce's relationship with her would be like as Alfred spends most of the film out of the action.

    Lastly - did anyone else notice that Alfred's line from the trailers - "I promised your mum and father I'd take care of you, and I've failed." (I'm paraphrasing) was absent in the film?
  20. Kegg

    Kegg Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Sep 24, 2009
    Point. It's clearly been too long since I've actually seen Batman Begins (last time was... 2007 or 2006, I think).

    To be honest one of the reasons I can never get my head around the idea of American superheroes is that they exist in a fluid, Bond movie like continuity where the same person can do the same job for decades and never age out of it and yet simultaneously continuity is really important to the point of publishers issuing comics that rotate around major continuity course corrections.

    Obviously this is an impression I have picked up almost entirely from staying on the internet far too long as opposed to reading said comics, so I'm sure there's some major salient issues I simply don't grasp and so on.

    Still, the idea that Nolan's Batman has a beginning, middle and end and the guy didn't Batman for decades without greying his hair is something I'm pretty comfortable with.