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The Dark Knight Rises – A breakdown of Why Christopher Nolan is a Bad, Bad Man (Contains Spoilers)

I want to start off by saying the Dark Knight Rises didn’t turn out nearly as bad as I thought it was going to.  Hallelujah for minor miracles, right? That’s not to say it was the amazing epic that I’m sure everyone around you is blindly prattling it to be. Seems too many people are still recovering from their raging fan-boners to be able to objectively look at the movie for what it was: wasted potential again and again and again.

Warning Beyond this Point is full of Terribly delicious Spoilers. Also, there will be comments to follow this post, I’m sure. They will also contain spoilers. Read at your own peril.

Spoilers

Let’s break it down, now, shall we, and you’ll clearly see that 100% of the problems with Dark Knight Rises come from Christopher Nolan being a bad, bad man.

LET’S DO THIS:

Batman has not been Batman for 8 years. At one point they even analyze that he is physically incapable of being Batman anymore. He can’t even freakin’ stand up without a cane anymore! So, yeah, Batman is broken and being a whiney bitch, which is what Batman does when he’s not smashing faces in with his foot. We all expected that. We’ve watched Batman Beyond, we know that Bruce Wayne is a whiney turd when he can’t be Batman. We know that he goes all recluse and gets mean. Okay, we get it. Fortunately, it doesn’t last long because Batman comes out of retirement for one reason and one reason only: To bang Catwoman.

That’s right, during a fundraiser for some charity foundation named after Harvey Dent, Catwoman breaks into Batman’s house for a pearl necklace. Yes, she tricks Alfred into letting her get a pearl necklace.

When Bruce Wayne catchers her with her neck covered in pearls, he doesn’t even really put up a fight because he’s too busy being an emo bitch. She just kicks the cane out from under him and he falls down. Which is a dick thing to do to a guy that can’t walk anymore, and further proof that he shouldn’t be Batman anymore. I’m pretty sure there’s even a point where Bruce is all, “I’m going to have to find this chick that stole my GPS laden pearls so that I can bang her as Batman,” and Alfred’s like, “You can’t even walk, Master Bruce, maybe you should an hero.”

It’s completely unexplained at this point in the movie, but Bruce and Alfred are all bitchy at each other. It comes to a head later and is one of the 3 scenes in the movie that proves someone on the writing crew had talent, but was kicked repeatedly in the balls by Nolan. Which is a person that hates anything clever, emotional, or well written.

Then, while hunting down Catwoman, who despite being a professional, international jewel thief didn’t even bother to try to hide her identity, he gets caught up in a plot to stop a mad man from destroying Gotham so they can show the world how wicked and evil it has become. Yes, it’s the same plot as the first movie. No, that doesn’t make it bad writing, just lazy. It actually works… it’s one of the few things that does.

Actually, I’m going to have to stop and give props to Tom Hardy, because Bane was brought hard. Just about everything about Bane was great. He’s a great character, and was the only character that was properly utilized in the plot.

Bane ruled this movie.

I was surprised.

So, while Bane is hanging out in the sewers, Gordon goes down and gets shot, and so now some new detective things Batman is a murderer again, because why not.

Oh, except Joshua Gordon Levitt, who inexplicably knows who Batman is because this one time, at orphanage, he met Bruce Wayne and just knew.

Another Point: JGL was good in this movie. I’m not a fan of his by far, but he did a great job in this movie. Actually, all of the not-batman characters were great characters. Too bad the whole “being in a batman movie” kind of sucked for them. After all, Christian Bale was phoning this one in, and sucked giant ballsacks the entire time. It’s a good thing that he gets the third least screen time of anyone in the movie. Only Alfred and the head bad guy get less screen time than him.

Trust me, that’s a plus.

I’m 99% sure that if they had cut Batman from this movie and made Gordan and JGL vs Terrorists instead, it would have been freaking awesome.

Ultimately, trying to put way too much into the movie ruined it. Nothing was as good as it could have been because there was too much flavor to it.

I’ve lost my train of thought, what was I saying?

Oh yeah, so basically that’s the problem with the movie: Batman sucked as Batman and everyone else was dragged down with it.

One more Thing

Catwoman was an awesome character. She had hints of a kickass back story, some awesome international femme fatale motivations going on, and other than some ridiculously long knife heels and unnecessary kicking of inanimate objects she wasn’t covered in cheese the way you might have expected. There was no cat connection to her other than being a cat burgler, and even her cat ears were actually the flip up cameras on her google-glasses.

Which sounds like it would be awesome, if it wasn’t for the fact that she randomly changes all of her character motivations so she can get some Bat-sex.

There is no reason for Catwoman to still be in Gotham after she turn Batman over to Bane, and there is less reason for her to randomly turn into a super hero. Oh, and there is absolutely no reason an intelligent, independent woman would suddenly start begging a dude to run away with her and keep her safe.

Everything about it pissed me off. They had an awesome character and the used her in the same way that so many comic book writers use female characters, as throwaway romantic interests and motivation for the hero.

You didn’t even need it!

If JGL’s fanworship and Gordon’s getting shot hadn’t been enough reason for Batman to get his shit together, all that time spent in torture prison would have been enough. He didn’t need Catwoman hanging around to be his reward for saving the day.

Batman don’t need no rewards, he’s the God Damned BATMAN!

 

 

Side Note: I really think everything that was bad about this movie comes from bad writing and Christian Bale not giving a crap anymore. The characters are great (other than Batman himself) but they’re not allowed to be awesome in the canned terrorist plot. Maybe I’m comparing it too harshly to the first two movies in the series. That could be. It doesn’t even come close to being as good as they were. It’s about on par with a movie like, “Volcano: Los Angeles.”

 

Also, Nolan, you should never allow batman to be seen during the day. In the light of day, he’s less scary and more hilarious.  You might as well put nipples on the bat suit.

 

If you disagree with me you can comment below. Remember, all of this is purely subjective from your perspective because I’m never wrong. So there’s that.

I’m looking forward to the conversation.

Published by M.A. Brotherton

M.A. Brotherton is a writer, blogger, artist, and fat-kid from the suburbs of Kansas City, Missouri. He’s tasted a little bit of everything the Midwest has to offer, ranging from meth-tweaking rednecks in massive underground cave complexes to those legendary amber waves of grain. When he’s not writing, he spends most of his time screwing around on the internet.

20 thoughts on “The Dark Knight Rises – A breakdown of Why Christopher Nolan is a Bad, Bad Man (Contains Spoilers)”

  1. Brandee Baltzell says:

    Preeeetty sure old Selina Kyle is hanging with Brucie for the money. The would have to be an ulterior motive.

    1. Lithium Ion Junkie says:

      Well, remember he was broke at the end of the movie. Even if Bane hadn’t stolen it all in that stock market heist, Bruce is technically dead. He has no access to his fortune, even if someone did get it back for him. If anything, he’s living off of her money.

  2. Marshall Edwards says:

    I have a blazing analysis of TDKR that I will post here after Chris does his, since he’s a whiney Bat-bitch and he started first.

  3. Lithium Ion Junkie says:

    Oh, shit son. I told you it was gonna be on. And now it is. Like Donkey Kong.
    I want this comment to be titled, “The Plot Holes in Your Plot Holes.”
    Allow me to deconstruct your fevered hallucination of what you thought was something less than pure gold nuggets wrapped in chocolate and wrapped again in a golden foil.Your first paragraph is basically spot on. Though, I’m sure his own internal motivations weren’t, “To bang Catwoman,” but, “Oh my god, I used to jump off buildings and get set on fire and I’ve been bored as SHIT for 8 years and now SOMETHING IS HAPPENING!”Alfred was right to be concerned about Bruce returning to the cape and cowl, because he’s addicted to it. Alfred was dedicated to taking care of Thomas, Martha and Bruce Wayne, and they were all murdered in a back alley. All that survived was a wretched little ball of hate, pain and rage. Alfred lied to himself for basically all of Bruce’s life that some day he would flee the dark shadows of his past and venture into the sunlight where he could feel love and happiness. He wanted it. He loved Bruce like a son, and he acted exactly how you might if your own son were infected with zombosis. You don’t crush his head with a shovel, even though that’s the most humane thing to do. You try your best to corral him to keep him from hurting anybody else, or himself.And he failed. In Batman Begins, Bruce only stayed in Gotham long enough to try to take vengeance on Joe Chill, and as soon as he failed, literally the instant he failed, he attempted to drown himself in the underworld.Alfred didn’t see him for, what was it? Seven years?And then he came back, but he didn’t have anyone to take vengeance on anymore, so he decided to take vengeance on everybody. And Alfred helped him. Because what the fuck else can you do?The second movie basically three hours of gratuitous awesome that only wanted to tell us, “The world is unpredictable and cruel, and sometimes even the strongest of us lie to those we love because we can’t bear seeing them in pain. That plot wasn’t even resolved until the scene in TDKR with Bruce and Alfred on the stairs. You know which one. The scene where Alfred tells Bruce he’s leaving, tells him about Rachel’s letter.Christ, I’m almost in tears again thinking about it. Because it was beautiful. Because Christopher Nolan is an artist, and he employed some of the finest actors in the industry to breathe horrible, tragic life into one of the most painful stories ever told.Moving on.Catwoman didn’t bother to conceal her identity to the guy who hired her to be a cat burglar because why the fuck would you do that? If you were Steve Wozniak, and you were seeking employment as a hardware/software engineer you wouldn’t go by the pseudonym Dicks McSucksthose. She concealed her identity when she snuck onto the catering staff. Alfred called her Emily or some shit. She didn’t conceal her identity in real life because she had a MEGA HUGE RAP SHEET WHICH WAS HER CHARACTER’S PRIMARY MOTIVATION FOR THE ENTIRE MOVIE. She was a criminal, and a convicted on, at that. You’re PO might start looking at you funny if you rent an apartment under an assumed identity. So there’s no reason for you to find that perplexing.Next point.Bane ruled this movie.About this, you are absolutely, 100% iron-clad correct. The movie could have ended with him twisting Batman’s head off and wearing it as a cod-piece, and then the credits roll and The Dark Knight Rises is scratched out and Bane Is Fucking Awesome is the new title, and I wouldn’t have had a single complaint. In fact, if anything negative can be said about Bane it’s that Tom Hardy stole the show. Maybe I wasn’t supposed to like him as much as I did. When he was preaching to the people of Gotham that they should rise up, I was ready to do so myself right from my theater seat. And I was fully aware that he planned on killing everyone no matter what.Joshua Gordon Levitt inexplicably knows who Batman is.You of all people should have caught that as a Tim Drake reference. And to anybody who grew up in the 90s, Tim Drake is The Real Robin. But, really ‘Robin John Blake’ was a reference to at least Tim and Jason. Regardless, I felt they gave a good enough reason for his revelation, especially combined with the fact that there is only one in-shape, wealthy-enough-to-afford-a-tank, has-a-good-reason-to-obsessively-hate-crime guy in Gotham….if they had cut Batman from this movie and made Gordon and JGL vs Terrorists instead, it would have been freaking awesome.If the previous two movies hadn’t established Gordon as the bumbling but brave, competent, incorruptible (except for that one time when Joker broke literally everybody) hero of Gotham City, then I don’t think that would have been awesome, but Nolan could have directed it and it would have been good enough.There is no reason for Catwoman to still be in Gotham after she turn Batman over to Bane, and there is less reason for her to randomly turn into a super hero.
    You’re absolutely right on that first point, and that’s why she TRIED TO FLEE ON AN AIR PLANE. JGL used his master detective skills (because he’s a Tim Drake reference) to track her down to the airport and bring her into custody. He attempts to offer her protection in return to information on Bane and the League of Shadows, which offer she declines and ends up in jail. Did you even watch the movie?As to your second point, her randomly turning into a super hero. It is shown multiple times prior to her joining Batman’s war on the LoS that she’s a badass with a heart of gold. She saves Nameless Blond Girl at least once, arguably twice, and then she saves that little kid who stole an apple. She isn’t a criminal out of pure self-interest. She makes it clear that she was merely using her unique talents as a matter of survival, and that perpetuated a cycle of petty theft and larceny. Consider the line, “Once you’ve done what you have to do, they’ll never let you do what you want to do.”So her character shift is no so huge a shift after all.Also, you seem to be neglecting one of Bruce’s main motivations in the movie. In The Dark Knight he wanted to just finish the battle that only he could fight so that he could put Batman behind him and be Bruce Wayne with Rachel. She died, and that’s why he lost all meaning for eight years. In this movie he meets Talia, the perfect woman for him. Literally, she is everything he wants because she has engineered herself to be that. Her motivation is Ultimate Vengeance on Bruce, her father’s protege-turned-Judas. And she knows the best way to attain that is to hold all of his desires, his every chance for happiness, under his nose and then snatch it away as she slides the blade between his ribs. “It is the slow knife that cuts the deepest.” This shit is genius. Christopher Nolan is a GENIUS!Are there problems with the movie? Yes. The entire time, we are sold Bane’s back story only to find out it’s actually Talia’s. This means we no longer know fuck-all about Bane.Like, ‘How the fuck does he eat if he can’t take that thing off his mouth?’You know what? One of the tubes connects to a straw and he can have protein shakes. Problem solved.I would also like to point out that Selina Kyle’s and Bruce’s relationship is only implied to be more than platonic. It’s never explicitly stated that he’s found anything more than a powerfully kindred spirit in that final scene in the cafe in… Europe Place. I don’t remember where it is, I’m an American. Italy, maybe?Sure, they kiss one time during the heat of war, but afterward they will by default have cooler heads and groin-regions. I like to think they help each other work out their issues.The End

  4. Marshall Edwards says:

    I hope you didn’t read Passive Mervert’s whole spiel. Not because he is not an awesome guy, but because he is wrong and I am right.

    Here goes:

    So if
    Batman’s the protagonist, Bane would be the antagonist, right? I think there’s
    a better answer.

    The antagonist is Wayne’s unhappiness after his lady died in the second movie.
    It keeps him from wanting to be Batman and from wanting to participate in
    ordinary life.

    So Bane comes along and Wayne has to be Batman. But
    he’s still not happy. He doesn’t want to be Batman, he wants to live the
    life he’d envisioned having with his lover.

    So he sucks at being Batman and truly does want to fail.
    And of course he doesn’t fear death, as they explained in the prison.
    He has nothing to live for – what is death to him?

    Eventually the fear of death does come back to him, because
    he doesn’t want to die in the prison. It’s implied that this new will to
    live comes from wanting to stop Bain, but all he really says is “I don’t
    want to die here, like this”.

    By this time, he has met Catwoman/Selena Kyle. She is
    as determined and skilled as he is, and leads a double life just like
    him. And, since she’s doing what she does to pay off debt, she’s not
    really happy living that life. Just like him.

    The story is not really about overcoming Bane or G’hulette,
    but about Wayne healing himself and finding something to live for again – and
    that thing is not being Batman. The movie ends with him and Catwoman
    leaving their old lives behind to live for themselves. That’s why Wayne
    covered his tracks so completely and played up the messiah act, with the whole
    “Hey Commish, guess what? I, Batman, am Bruce Wayne. I thought you
    should know that just before I most certainly die in an impossible to escape
    explosion. Kbai”

    Bane and Al G’hul Jr. weren’t the main antagonist: they were
    just another barrier to him being happy. Wayne’s solution: rescue the
    woman he loves/lusts for; eliminate the need for Batman; and kill Batman.

    So, the obvious conlusion is…

    TDKR is a
    ROM-COM IN DISGUISE.

    You are welcome!

    1. M.A. Brotherton says:

      You have some decent points, but I still feel like you’re trying to give waaaaaay too much credit to the writing in this movie.

      Here is the formula they used for this film:

      Step 1 – Find an old copy of the script for a movie called “The Siege”
      Step 2 – Find a copy of the “No Man’s Land” novel
      Step 3 – Put them both in a blender and pull out random pages to create a plot.
      Step 4 – Unlock Christian Bale’s Cage and say, “Here Batman” whenever he’s in a scene.
      Step 5 – Anything that resembles actual film-craft must be cut from the final draft.
      Step 6 – It’s Batman, they’ll buy anything Batman… even Schwarzenegger as Mr. Freeze, Bwa ha ha ha ha!
      Step 7 – Be hunted by the spirits of all that is good and pure in the world for making another bad batman movie.
      Step 8 – Turn that idea into the Batman Reboot.

      For added Bonus: Rip as much as you can from the other two movies in the trilogy so people remember it’s batman. Recycle footage if you can, it’s cheaper that way.

      Double Bonus: Flying Batmobile will distract people from extremely boring and predictable plot.

      1. Marshall Edwards says:

        I really don’t disagree with any of your points. I’m just saying that TDKR is a romance movie disguised as ageneric action movie plus Batman. I had fun watching the movie, and that was cool. It doesnkt stand up to analysis, though.

        1. M.A. Brotherton says:

          Now that you’ve pointed all of that out, it has clicked in my mind that generic action movies ARE Rom-Coms with explosions….

          This changes everything for me.

      2. Marshall Edwards says:

        Ikll put it this way: I thoroughly enjoyed the amount of bullets, punching, and scawwy masks in this romance movie :3

        1. M.A. Brotherton says:

          Haha… I’m a fan of Rom-Coms… maybe I’d have enjoyed it more if I’d realized it for what it was.

          New Alternate Ending: Selina lets the entire Italian Restaurant in on her O-Noise.

  5. Lithium Ion Junkie says:

    I feel like you’re both ignoring Bruce’s relationship with Talia pre-betrayal. Which was, I have to say, a pretty good twist. I did not for even a second think that that was going to happen.
    Bruce wanted to break out of the prison because 1: His current love interest (Not Catwoman) was in danger. 2: His friends (Gordon and Fox) were in danger. 3: He wanted to save Gotham. 4: He didn’t want to die in there.
    And even his fear of death was motivated by the war. He knew no one could win that fight but him. I think one of the lessons the movie was trying to teach him was to trust people, and he didn’t learn it. It probably didn’t help that one of the people trying to earn his trust ended up literally stabbing him in the back.

    1. M.A. Brotherton says:

      If you’re right about ANY of that, then you’re the only person that saw it, because it wasn’t anywhere in the movie. You know what would have been a good place to put any of that?

      During the endlessly repeated exposition on Bane (Talia’s) Backstory.

      That would’ve been a good place for it.

    2. M.A. Brotherton says:

      Also, implying that there is a lesson to be learned from this movie is just foolish, or maybe it’s a lesson that re-enforces sociopathic behavior and only sociopaths learned it.

  6. Lithium Ion Junkie says:

    Also, I like how there’s no formatting in my long-ass comment for some reason, making it virtually unreadable.
    Do I have to or something?

      1. M.A. Brotherton says:

        You shouldn’t have to do anything but hit enter.

        You just probably didn’t do that because you were drunk as a skunk.

        Although, some html works.

  7. Stereo.* says:

    JESUS H, YOU GUYS, GO OUTSIDE, TAKE IN SOME SUNSHINE, EAT A TWINKIE AND MOVE ON.

    I love you all dearly but it’s a film. That’s where it ends. It’s entertaining but deeper meanings are moot…because he is a vigilante wearing a batsuit. I have a feeling that having you guys over for DVD night would result in eye-gouging and crowbar wielding.

    *hugs you all tightly*

    1. M.A. Brotherton says:

      *sigh*

      You just don’t understand… this issue is of overwhelming and vital geek importance!

      Actually, now that I think about it… All issues are of utmost and vital geek importance.

      Guys… I think she’s right… we might need hobbies.

  8. M.A. Brotherton says:

    Here is a message I received on Facebook with my friend Nick’s thoughts on Dark Knight Rises:

    “I can see some of the point brought up in the post you shared about the Dark Knight Rises. Christopher Noland’s take on Batman is one that you either like or do not like for various reasons. I think the reason I liked it was because even though I am a nerd, I am definitely not a super nerd. Nor am I a hardcore fan of any DC or Marvel comic character. Most of my knowledge of the Batman comes from the cartoons and older films, as well as what has been told to me by friends. Because of this it’s easier for me to look past any of the flaws that were mentioned in the post.

    Still, I would like to point out the reasons why I like this movie and the series as a whole. It is the most “realistic” take on the Batman. Pretty much everything that is in the movies could actually happen in real live fairly easily. Even Bane is shown in this light by taking away his venom he becomes a more realistic character. It shows how much Bruce Wayne gets in the way of the Batman. Many people said that this series is more about Bruce Wayne but I think it went farther in that it showed people that to have a true Batman Bruce Wayne had to die. This leads to the climax in the third film. These movies all take the idea of the first in that it is how “Batman Begins.” This trilogy is a creation story, as all comic movies should be. It isn’t a movie about one of the epic adventures of the Batman but how the Batman was forged. That my friend takes blood, sweat, death, mistakes, as well as redemption.

    I understand if you are still upset with the movie but I just wanted to say my take on the film.”

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