THE DARK KNIGHT RISES: SPOILER Discussion
Christopher Nolan's final Batman movie opened yesterday and the big mysteries were finally revealed. We will discuss them all here, so obviously if you haven't seen the movie yet, DON'T CLICK!..
I don't think a CBM has ever been more shrouded in secrecy before, and even with plenty of rumors and speculation flying around, nobody really quite knew what to expect when the curtains opened. Here we'll discuss the major plot points and reveals in a bit of detail, so it goes without saying..
MASSIVE SPOILER WARNING
He Hasn't Been Batman In 8 Years! Whaaaaaaaaaaaat?
We'll start with Bruce Wayne hanging up the cowl for 8 years. In the beginning we find him a broken recluse, hiding away from the world. When fans heard that this would be part of the plot, there were mixed reactions. Some felt that Wayne would never give up being Batman for any reason, and that it was extremely out of character. Well, he doesn't decide to stop being Batman only because of Rachel's death. It is a combination of many things, including the fact that Gotham no longer needs the Caped Crusader now that organized crime is all but eliminated thanks to the Harvey Dent Act -- also something weighing heavily on Wayne's conscience as it is all built around a lie. This is clearly taken, in part, from Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Returns, and in the context of this particular story I think it works brilliantly. What about you guys?
Bane Is Big
There was a lot of controversy surrounding the big fella, primarily because fans thought he wasn't big enough. Well, rest easy. As any reasonable minded person probably already guessed they would, they make him look much bigger than Tom Hardy actually is -- the magic of movie making eh? But one thing that isn't really expanded upon is the mask. We already knew it was going to be used to provide him constant anesthesia against terrible pain, but aside from that just being mentioned once and us finding out what caused his injuries, it's pretty much left alone. No, we never find out how he eats! So there are a lot of changes made with this character no doubt, but the movie incarnation is so effective I really don't think many -- aside from the real hardcore purists -- will mind too much. His dialog is fantastic, and he definitely get some of the best lines in the movie -- " "You merely adopted the dark. I was born in it. Molded by it", "What a lovely lovely voice" etc. The one issue I had was not with the character, but how he checks out in the end. After being set up as such an unstoppable force, a plot twist (more on that later) kind of reduces him to henchman status, before he is dispatched far too unceremoniously by Catwoman. I just think such a great villain deserved a better send off. That being said, by that point the movie was racing towards its climax and there was SO much going on, to drag it out any more may have felt over indulgent.
Surprise Surprise, Anne Hathaway is Great As Catwoman
"She'll suck, she's terrible, I hate her!" She didn't, she isn't, and there's no accounting for taste. Seriously though, Hathaway pretty much steals the show as Selina Kyle. It seems Nolan finally managed to give us a n interesting, fully developed female character. Kyle is never referred to as Catwoman, but honestly was there a point in the movie when she could have been without it sounding forced? She never dons a cowl, never uses a whip, and doesn't have claws - and it makes not a lick of difference because the essence of the character is 100% Catwoman. My one complaint is that she kinda disappears for a good chunk of the movie when she's sent to prison, but with so many characters and plot-lines being juggled that's understandable. Her presence is missed though.
Marion Cotillard Was Fibbing, Miranda Tate Is Talia Al Ghul (Of Course)
This was probably the worst best kept secret. They may have gotten away with it if not for those set pics of Cotillard hanging out with the bad guys looking like...Talia Al Ghul, but I think most of us fanboys and girls knew what to expect. But, remember that most cinema goers probably wouldn't have, and in that respect her reveal works as a great twist. There are only a couple of hints that Tate may not be all she seems, and for the most part I think the majority of the audiences I watched it with (both times) were genuinely shocked.
John Blake IS Robin. Sort Of
This is the one that most fans will have a problem with I think. It turns out that idealistic young rozzer John Blake's real name is Robin, and he does indeed take over the mantle of Batman in the wake of Bruce Wayne's "departure". The reveal will either excite and delight you, or have you rolling your eyes. Obviously "Robin" is an alias adopted by several of Batman's sidekicks over the years, but here we are told it is actually Blake's real first name. Surely having his actual name be Richard Grayson would have been better? Well yes, except I understand why they didn't do that -- too many people wouldn't have a clue who that was! Plus, Blake could be seen as an amalgamation of Grayson, Tim Drake, and Jason Todd so pinning one of those names on him wouldn't have completely matched up with his back-story. I liked the reveal for the purpose of the story, it was a great way to end the movie, but I do think it might have been handled better.
Batman DOES Die. Sort Of
At the end we do get the big emotional payoff, as Batman sacrifices himself to save Gotham, as well as a heart breaking moment with Alfred at his graveside (though a bit more time spent here wouldn't have hurt). But then there is the big reveal that Bruce Wayne actually survived and finally began his life with Selina Kyle. Or did he? Many people seem to have missed this but myself and a few others I have spoken too believe this MIGHT have simply been all in Alfred's head, as he finally spots his beloved friend and surrogate son happy for the first time in the little cafe he always imagined him in. Obviously the "Bruce Wayne fixed the autopilot on The Bat" reveal and a few other things suggest that he did in fact escape the explosion, but I dunno. I think Nolan may have chosen to leave this part ambiguous, bringing us back into Inception territory. Thoughts?
So that's about it for the biggest discussion topics raised in the movie, obviously there are more so feel free to bring them up in the usual place.
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