Silverwolf: Hello everyone! Silverwolf here with another exciting edition of Objection! One of the big buzzes on everyone’s mind is the film The Dark Knight Rises, the final chapter in Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy. Judge and I both had the chance to watch the film recently, and we’re here today to discuss our differing viewpoints. I for one thought it was a stellar film.
Judge: And I thought it was just a good film, definitely not a masterpiece and definitely the weakest of the three.
Silverwolf: I agree it wasn’t the best of the series, but it wasn’t the weakest either in my eyes. What are some of the problems you had with the movie?
Judge: Haha many things. A jumbled mess of a story, terrible pacing, some really disturbing plot holes, and fail character development, to name a few.
Silverwolf: Well, I guess let’s start small and work our way up. How would you define the character development as “fail”? I didn’t think it was stellar, but I think Bruce Wayne had a good arc. I believe Bane deserved more, but I don’t think he was shafted.
Judge: Everyone likes to talk about how TDKR focused on Bruce Wayne. I don’t really see any reason why I should care about him. Basically, he’s been moping for 8 years. People love going on and on about Nolan remaining faithful to the comics with slight alterations. The Bruce Wayne I know and love wouldn’t sit around on his ass moping; he wouldn’t forget his purpose. And a big thing that annoyed me was Alfred ditching him. I’m sorry, Alfred would NEVER in a million years ditch Bruce. And here’s a plot hole: where the hell did Alfred go after he left? And how does Bruce magically find him when he returns to the city?
As for Bane, I thought Nolan did an OK job with this iteration. To be honest, I still would have liked a hispanic actor to play Bane, since that’s a big part of who he is. Nolan did capture his menacing attitude and intellect, but a big thing that also annoyed me was his back story, and how he was nothing moar than a pawn in the end. It didn’t feel right or satisfying in the slighest. Also, there were times I had a hard time understanding what he was saying.
Silverwolf: Fair point about Alfred, I was rather unhappy with the actions his character took in this film. Alfred is always known as the man who sticks by Bruce through thick and thin; I think Nolan was going for a “look how far Bruce has gone, even the people closest to him are alienated angle” but even if that was his intention it didn’t sit right for me. I think Bruce moping is a different take on the character, and I can’t blame Nolan for wanting to try out something else.
I was also impressed with his handling of Catwoman. Anne Hathaway was a real surprise choice, and she nailed the part in my opinion. Obviously, she didn’t get to have much of a fleshed out backstory, but I can’t blame Nolan given the time constraints and the fact it wasn’t really necessary.
Judge: Hathaway was probably the best part of the film for me. Although, I couldn’t really comprehend many of the motivations for the characters. Selina flip-flops what seems on a whim. And as I said before, Bane was nothing moar than a pawn. His motivation for doing everything was weak at best. For Talia? Seriously? And speaking of Talia, her inclusion was pointless. Nolan would have been better of leaving her out. She shows up for like 10 minutes and then dies.
Speaking of Talia, why the hell did Bruce randomly sleep with her? Another “wtf” character motivation fail. Talia supposedly wants to finish what her father started and for revenge. It seems awfully moar the latter than the former. Gotham has been crime free essentailly for 8 years. Why the hell would she want to destroy it now? Doesn’t make sense at all to me.
Silverwolf: I think it’s less about destroying Gotham, and moar about destroying Batman. If you think about it, Bruce was trained to succeed the League of Shadows, but the fact he left and “betrayed” Ra’s basically made him a target. I think Talia’s inclusion was ultimately unnecessary but it did have the nice feature of harkening back to Batman Begins (which, in my opinion, is better than The Dark Knight but that’s a discussion for another time).
As for sleeping with her, I think that has to do with Bruce’s lonliness: he’s been by himself for nearly a decade, with only Alfred for company. Suddenly, in comes this attractive woman who is paying attention to him and I think most men would probably act on their instincts in that situation; in my eyes, it was more a humanizing move, to show that Bruce has needs and desires like normal guys and being Batman doesn’t mean he’s perfect.
Judge: Yet he’s a rich billionaire playboy who can get any woman he wants, and we see him sleep with this particular one. Still weak and pointless to me. As Starshine pointed out, a problem with TDKR is perhaps it references Begins too much. It’s as if TDK was unnecessary in many ways. I don’t need to see the League of Shadows again, I’m sorry. That story is done with. Move on to something new. Also, going back to destroying Batman, it would seem Bruce had already done that to himself, so I also don’t buy the angle that Talia wanted to destroy Batman.
Silverwolf: Again, this woman came to him (for once) since just about everyone else seems to think he’s insane at this point, which isn’t exactly far from the truth. I also think this movie gave a decent amount of reference to TDK: we had some talk about Harvey Dent and Comissioner Gordon’s guilt about condemning Batman and all that. Even so, I don’t think such references were needed, and was probably partially hurt by the fact that Heather Ledger’s death prevented them from bringing in the Joker at all (which I’m sure everyone would’ve loved). This movie also did include quite a number of new elements, especially the whole Elites vs. Lower Class struggle, which could’ve been explored more but still had a decent impact.
Judge: Oh I’m glad you mentioned that last part. I didn’t really understand this at all. It was out of the blue. I’m sure if it was explored moar as you said it would have been better especially for me, but there just wasn’t enough there to make me care. About the Ledger thing, I’m sure his death threw a wrench in Nolan’s plans. The reason why TDK despite its flaws is the best in the series for me is because of the Joker himself; chaos is the theme in TDK and because of that, you can get away with some crazy shit without many questions. The Joker is THE perfect foil to Batman, and that dynamic was far moar interesting than anything else in the trilogy.
Silverwolf: Yeah, I feel like Nolan’s plan definitely changed after Legder’s passing, which is a shame and will lead to endless “what could’ve been” scenarios. I even remember hearing rumors over a year ago about Nolan somehow using unused Joker footage in DKR…but obviously that didn’t happen.Even so, did you find any other faults with the film?
Judge: Well I’ll just touch on them. For pacing, the beginning arc was awfully boring. Lots of exposition and introduction of new characters. It seems a good majority of people were magically swayed into thinking this movie is the best thing since fried rice because of that epic finale (I did find this part to be the best part as well). Then we have other plot holes. The 5 month thing especially. So basically, Bane is just sitting around for 5 months doing what exactly? Why didn’t he just blow Gotham to kingdom come? I mean c’mon.
Then Bruce magically goes from the middle of nowhere back to Gotham how? When apparently there was no way of getting in? And as I said earlier, he magically finds Alfred, along with Selina, Gordon, and Lucius? And nothing in Gotham seems to have changed. You’re telling me the country was just like, “Eh we tried to infiltrate it, now we give up and we’re just going to let Gotham sit there.” Then we have the “oh so stupid” epilogue. How the Hell does Bruce survive? I’m sorry, that a-bomb was supposdely 4 megatons; think about this: the bomb that dropped on Hiroshima was .02 megatons. There is no way in hell anyone would survive that.
And then there’s John Blake as Robin. Bleh. (For the record, I thought Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s performance was good; I just didn’t like that Robin reference. It felt forced.)
Silverwolf: Yes, there were some continuity issues that bothered me too; I’m surprised you didn’t mention the one that ticked me off the most: at one point Bane mentions the bomb will explode in 45 minutes and he says this in pitch black night. The next scene is the charge of the Gotham cops…in broad daylight! Though maybe he said 45 hours…or 45,000 minutes…I couldn’t always understand him either.
As for Bruce surviving, I’m actually of the opinion that the ending may have been Alfred’s idealized hope: maybe he DID actually die, though that could just be wishful thinking on my end since it’d make the ending stronger (and I really did expect and want Batman to die).
And the Robin thing? I didn’t mind so much, I thought it was kind of a cute throw in to make the audience smile/chuckle. I knew he’d succeed Wayne already from the trailers, whether or not he became Robin/Batman 2/Owlman or what have you.
Judge: I suppose. I thought it was weak easter egg. Definitely not on par with Marvel’s easter eggs. After all, WB has already targeted 2015 for a Batman reboot for there liittle Justice League project (which I hope does well, in all seriousness). Overall, if I had to grade this movie, it gets a 6/10. 7/10 on a good day. I went to go see it again, and even watched some poor rips of it just to see if I missed anything.
Funny thing is, with TDK, it took me a dozen times at least to start piecing together and getting annoyed with some plot holes. With TDKR, not so much. As I said, the whole chaos theme in TDK worked brilliantly, and the audience was taken on an incredible ride. For me, this trilogy will still go down as one of the best, but it’s unfortunate that the finale sucked in comparision to the first two. TDK only slightly > Begins > Rises.
Silverwolf: Honestly, I hope the Justice League movie does well too. I do have some thoughts on that, but they’re probably best saved for another article. For now I’ll just say I’d rate this movie an 8/10: it really did impress me and I enjoyed it quite a bit. I don’t think it was perfect, but I honestly enjoyed it better than The Dark Knight. Maybe it was just the fact that I liked the more broody Bruce, and perhaps it’s connected to the fact that Begins is still my favorite of the trilogy.
Judge: That’s fine, and that’s why having opinions is a wonderful thing. I just wish people understood that these are opinions, and that doesn’t make me or you any moar right than others. Of course, you can’t ignore technical flaws like plot holes, but that doesn’t me it should detract from your personal enjoyment. For some like me and Starshine, it absolutely did. Nonetheless, thanks to Christopher Nolan for bringing us a memorable trilogy. And I just want to say I was right in that TDKR wouldn’t surpass Avengers in terms of box office gross