The Dark Knight Rises: Plot Assessment by ThaMessenger
With the release of "The Dark Knight Rises" teaser poster & leak of the trailer, the films buzz is once again picking up. There has been a picture of Tom Hardy as Bane and the core Cast has been released. Beyond this we know little of the Plot. Well, lets take what we know and develop an educated assessment as to what the plot could be.
Most of us know how secretive Mr. Nolan is over the details of his films. Some would say not to ruin the plot but in my own opinion, he uses this as a part of marketing and as a way to make the film an experience, rather then a moment. This is why much of the news regarding his films get a lot of attention, yet very skeptical responses. Most can't believe the details and would much rather hear it from Nolan himself. Some people don't even dare to speculate what he intends on doing, as if it's impossible. Personally, I love the challenge.
In this Editorial I am going to do a breakdown of how I feel this films plot will play. I will use a combination of the rumors that have yet to be debunked, the previous films, the comic source material, and the little facts and details that we know. This will allow us to make an educated assessment and spark discussion & debate. I will also give a short education on the Comic Book lore and reference the possible Source Material.
The Franchise -
TDKR is said to be the last of the Batman films in the Nolan Franchise. While it is quite obvious WB will continue to release more Batman films that will more then likely be reboots of the story currently being told. Regardless, this is almost definitely the last Batman film in this franchise. Nolan has made many remarks stating that he is "ending his story" and that he has found the "right way to end it." This makes one wonder how he will finalize a story, that in wont end because Batman's fight will continue on after the conclusion of the movie. Batman is a never ending force, regardless of who wear the cowl.
This movie has to be one of, if not the most solid origin story given in a CBM to this point. We were given the motive for Bruce Wayne's transformation to Batman. We saw the task he took on to achieve Iconic status and to battle the forces of evil that plague his home town, Gotham City. He trained with a secret league that through the millenniums have trained to destroy evil in the worst cities in the world. While having a similar goal of justice, there way of going about the elimination of crime was to eradicate the city of source, much like the Burning of Sodom & Gomorrah. This causes Batman/Bruce Wayne to fight the The League of Shadows, lead by his mentor Ra's Al Ghul, who has orchestrated a plot to destroy Gotham City from within.
The first film establishes Bruce/Batman as a Hero and his personalty and personal moral code is brought to light. This sets the tone of his world and opens the possibility of greater threats in this world.
The Dark Knight:
The second film starts off by showing how Batman has inspired the people of Gotham. It starts by showing he has done so in both a Positive as well as Negative way. There are now men imitating him, wearing standard body armor and carrying high powered assault rifles. We also see that Johnathan Crane who was introduced in the first film, is now a masked drug dealer that goes by the name of Scarecrow. The standard criminals are scared but a new threat arises. This pits Batman against one of his all time greatest Villains The Joker. In one of the most mentally grueling Battle Batman under goes he finds victory but only at the loss of the woman he loves and the man he believed could take his place as the protector of Gotham. The film ends with Batman being an outlaw accused of the murder of multiple mob bosses, corrupt cops and DA Harvey Dent.
The whole theme of this film was set within the Final lines of Commissioner Gordon in "Batman Begins."
"We start carrying semi automatics, they buy automatics, we start wearing Kevlar, they buy armor piercing rounds, and *you're* wearing a mask and jumping off rooftops. Take this guy: armed robbery, double homicide. Got a taste for the theatrical, like you. Leaves a calling card."
The first 2 films in this franchise show that this is one single story that expands, evolves and are guided by cause & effect. It is safe to say the Third film will follow suit.
The Dark Knight Rises:
In this movie Batman is an outlaw and a criminal as a result to the end of TDK. The city will need a hero to rise up and take the role of Protector, a leader in the fight against evil. A leader can be a generous King or a Totalitarian Tyrant. While one man can wish to rebuild the rubble of a broken city, the other may intends to burn it to ashes and eliminate the Burden. This fits the characterization of the Hero and Villain from the Comics and truly seems like the direction of the film.
I see this franchise coming back around full circle and ending with Bane, as the current leader of The League of Shadows and finishing what Ra's had started. This would give him all the same training as Batman except he would have been raised as a member of The league, thus believing there way to be just. There are also rumors of him being Resistant to pain, which I could believe. If this is the case, Bane would be subject to some toxin that allows him to have this immunity keeping his "Venom" a key part of the film and explaining the Face mask in the picture that had been released. It would make sense for the League of shadows to attempt to finish what they started as there Ideology was embedded in them and the death of Ra's is further motivation. Especially if Bane sees Ra's as a Father figure because he grew up feeling abandoned by his own father.
It is very likely that they go the route of having the League burn down "Santa Prisca" island and "Peña Duro" prison. This has come up in rumors and makes sense as to how they function and there philosophy. In doing this they may find Bane(as a again rumored). The inclusion of Catwoman is to have a new female love interest. The difference is that this time it's not Bruce Wayne's Love interest, it's Batman's love interest. With a Romance like hers the film can end with Batman not needing to end, she will accept if continues his crusade for justice. I feel it will end with him continuing his duty as Batman and becoming a permanent force, not with him dying or having his back broken. Unless there is someone to replace him.
The Villains -
The choice of villains for this film is honestly the most interesting detail. While this left many confused and some outraged, I was delighted. Reason being, in my eyes it clarified where the story of this film is headed. I will describe each villains Comic persona and significance then follow it with there relevance to the film.
A woman that had a similarly tragic life to that of Bruce Waynes. Her Mother committed suicide and her Father was an alcoholic that eventually died from his addiction. She was later separated from her younger sister and raised in an Orphanage that she eventually ran away from. She was forced to live and survive in the streets of Gotham, where she became an amazing thief and gained all her street wits. She trained in combat to hold her own and eventually grew from petty thief to accomplished cat burglar. Using her skills she was able to gain wealth. She used her wealth to provide to the poor very much like Robin Hood. One night she saw Batman on one of his first outings and was inspired to take up a costume of her own. She has always played on both sides of the fence. She conducts in criminal activities while still playing the role of Hero when called for and generally within the crime there is a positive goal.
Catwoman is such an Important part of Batman's lore. Batman sees the world in Black and White format, so much so that he would place himself in the Black. Catwoman is the shade of gray he is willing to accept. If she crosses a line he would always draw it a little further back for her. His fascination with her is in the fact that he sees himself in her. Her love for him is the inspiration and hope he brings to someone who had little hope left and no one to ever be inspired by. They epitomize the concept of one completing the other and she represents The Batman's True love.
In The Dark Knight Rachel Dawes dies and leaves Bruce Wayne to mourn. The reality is she knew his identity and did not approve of his Batman persona but accepted it as a necessity for Gotham. In her final letter she essentially let Bruce knows this, though he never had the chance to read it himself. Selina Kyle is a woman that will accept who he his but also support it and push him forward. It is also very plausible that she was inspired by Batman and is somewhat of a Vigilante herself in the film. The need for a new female role is very important and there is not a female character that has a greater connection to Bruce then Selina.
A young child was forced to do prion time for the crimes committed by his Father on the fictional Island of "Santa Prisca." He had to serve the time in a prison called "Peña Duro," literally translating to Hard Rock. In prison he was able to learn from other inmate many unique skills and educate himself to the highest degree. He learned of the hard knock prison world as well as received a classical education from an Inmate that happened to be a Priest. He committed his first murder at the age of 8 and would carry around a teddy bear he called "Osito" that inside hid a Knife. By the time he was a young adult he had been established as the King of "Peña Duro." Those in charge of the prion took note of this and used him for experiments with a Steroid/Drug know as Venom. The drug provides low level super-strength and durability but causes the individual to become dependent of the Venom. He later uses the Venom and his skills to escape the prison and become a mercenary for hire.
Bane is a solid choice of villain and really works well with the chemistry of Catwoman and Batman. He represents a sort of anti-Batman. He is not the anarchy but the complete control. In the comics he is also looked at by Ra's Al Ghul as the Perfect Predecessor to be leader of the League of Assassins, next to Batman. If Batman is the one seeking the White light and Catwoman is the Shade of Gray, then Bane is the one consumed by a Black Heart. They have all had similarly tragic childhoods and similar motivation of Self improvement for a greater cause. Yet they have all strayed down different paths.
Possible Plot Points used directly from the Comics -
The Lazarus Pit, Venom & Ra's Al Ghul:
There have been rumors of the Lazarus Pit being in the movie. I would imagine this is what they use to create Banes Venom and to link the stories. This would be what he uses to give him a heightened endurance.
Batman Year One:
In this story Selina Kyle is a Hooker working the streets of Gotham. While I doubt she will be a Hooker, she may use her looks to trick men into picking her up or taking her expensive places, there homes, & etc.... In doing this she could pull off successful heist.
The Dark Knight Returns:
In this story Bruce Wayne retires as Batman. Gotham goes to all hell and the Villains take over again. The villains are lead by a Large Mutant leader. Bruce Wayne has a conversation with Commissioner Gordon and tries to explain that Batman is no more. Gordon argues that he can't be and that he MUST return. This is very similar to the scene in the Teaser Trailer that has been leaked and the descriptions that were given before the leak occurred. Another detail that was rumored is that Bane is in fact immune to fire or has no pain Receptors. This would make him somewhat of a Mutant and be this stories version of the Mutant leader.
This is the Arc that introduces Bane. He finds himself infatuated with Gotham and Batman. The Idea of an entire city ran by fear reminds him of prison and he sees this as an opportunity to once again Dominate. He heads to Gotham with the intention of Breaking the Bat. He knows he can not face Batman one on one and be guaranteed Victory but if Batman is exhausted it will come with greater ease. He devises a plan to release all the prisoners of Arkham Asylum, which forces Batman to chase them down and bring them back. After Several months Batman is drained and at this moment Bane ambushes him and breaks his back, putting the Bats out of commission for a while. From the Chanting in both the Trailer and the Website it is almost clear that Bane has a massive following. It's most likely the escaped Prisoners and The league of Shadows. Another Key point is this is again a story that leaves Gotham absent of a Batman.
No Man's Land:
In this story Gotham gets hit by a Magnitude 7.8 earthquake which destroys much of the city and has all the inmates of Arkahm on the streets. In Batman Begins the League of Shadows had a device that emits radio waves which cause all water to Vaporize. The crumbling buildings in the Poster, as well as the Leaked Trailer Released seems to be an Earthquake happening in Gotham. I find it likely that Bane has seized control of Gotham by using a Earthquake Machine. There have been many conspiracies of Earthquake machines being used by shadow governments in real life, so this sounds highly plausible. Commissioner Gordon stays behind in this story as well and this causes his wife to get killed by the Joker. Another point is this story also has Batman Absent from Gotham. In this arc he leaves to plead with the government to Lift the Quarantine from Gotham and to provide assistance. He returns after 100 days. It is clear that the film will start with Batman being absent from Gotham.
In conclusion, I personally Believe this film can be the best out of the Franchise. It has the most potential for elements of the comics to truly shine through, not to mention the inclusion of Hathaway & Hardy. These 2 can bring real conflict and will test Batman in a way we have yet to see in any film Bat prior too. I would also predict a longer running time for this movie.
Please share your opinion below in the comments and thank you for your time!
Oh, what awaits us Fanboys & Fangirls come 2012!
Starring Christian Bale, Anne Hathaway, Tom Hardy, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Marion Cotillard and Morgan Freeman, The Dark Knight Rises is set to hit theatres on July 20, 2012!
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