Good day all. Last night I went to see the final installment in the current Batman franchise. This was The Dark Knight Rises. As always, there will be spoilers, so if you haven’t seen it yet, stop reading.
So you’ve decided to continue reading? Ok, you’ve been warned. First, I hit my usual theater, Chunkys. I went to a late showing since I had to be up at midnight for other reasons. I did NOT anticipate the length of the movie. (2:44) I was a bit concerned I would have to leave early. As it was, Mrs. Webmaster returned home from her job and since I wasn’t there, tried to call me. (Cell phone on silent of course) I had a Chunky burger, salad instead of fries and a bottle of Sam Adams Lager. Normally I would have taken something on draft, but they were out of CO2. (I commented on how this was impossible considering the presidential race) Then I settled in for the movie.
The Dark Knight Rises takes place 8 years after The Dark Knight1. At the end of The Dark Knight, Batman is considered a villain and accused of the murder of Harvey Dent. In reality, Harvey Dent, who had been gravely injured by the Joker, snapped mentally and went on a murder spree.
In the 8 years that have elapsed, Gotham is at peace. Major crime has been pretty much ended thanks to a law passed called the Dent Act. Batman has not been seen in years. Batman’s alter ego, Bruce Wayne, has locked himself away in Wayne Manor and cut himself off from the world. Wayne Enterprises, Bruce’s company, is in major financial trouble due to a project to build a fusion reactor. Bruce found out that the reactor could be weaponized and turned into a large yield nuclear weapon. He then had the project shut down after pouring billions into it.
The film opens with a group from the CIA taking some terrorists into custody. It is here that the character of Bane2 is introduced. Bane’s men, traveling in another aircraft, lower themselves on winches and snag the plane Bane3 is on. They cut away the control surfaces and start towing the plane behind them. They board the plane and kill everyone on board except Bane and one other man. They transfer back to their aircraft and cut loose the remains of the first plane.
Next we have the introduction of “Cat Woman4” aka Selena Kyle5. Unlike previous versions, Kyle is generally not referred to as Cat Woman. She doesn’t have magical powers, as seen in the Halle Berry6 version7 or the over the top nutcase in 1992 version, Batman Returns8 played by Michelle Pfeiffer9. This version of Selena is a straightforward thief. She sneaks her way into a party at Wayne Manor, (Not attended by Bruce), and disguised as a waitress, is told to take a dinner tray to a certain room. Once inside, she breaks into a safe and steals some pearls. Bruce Wayne, now using a cane due to the damage done to his body as Batman, catches her.
There is the expected byplay between the two which ends when Selena kicks the cane out from under Bruce and escapes out a window. Alfred10 comes into the room as Bruce is dusting the safe for prints. He figures out that Selena was after his prints, and the pearls were an afterthought.
Jumping ahead a bit and ignoring a good chunk of plot, such as Commissioner Gordon11 getting shot, it turns out that Selena lifted Bruce’s prints and was selling them to one of Bruce’s competitors. He took them and gave them to Bane who then raided the Gotham City Stock Exchange. One of Bane’s men uploads some sort of program into the exchange and as it’s running Bane and his man escape on motorcycles.
This is when Batman makes a reappearance for the first time in 8 years. He comes along on the “Bat Bike” and starts taking down Bane’s men. Bane reverses course ans gets past Batman and escapes. The police, who have been chasing Bane and his men change course and go after Batman. He leads them a merry chase and goes into an alley. The police, thinking they have him trapped, are getting ready to rush him when Batman flies out in his new aircraft, “The Bat.”
When Bruce returns to Wayne Manor, Alfred12 is beside himself over Bruce becoming Batman again. Alfred starts yelling at Bruce, (In that stately way of all British Butlers), and tells Bruce that when he had vanished for 7 years, he had hoped he had found a new life. He told Bruce that each year he would visit a cafe on vacation each year in Italy, and he had a fantasy that he would see Bruce, possibly married and with children. He would look at him, but not approach him. He finally tells Bruce he can’t handle it any longer and that he is resigning and leaving Bruce’s service. Bruce just says goodbye and dismisses Alfred from his life. (Bruce, as you can see, is pretty far gone)
The next day, Lucius Fox13, who has been managing Wayne Enterprises comes to see Bruce to tell him that a number of trades happened overnight and that Bruce was basically ruined. Bruce and Lucius figure out very quickly that the trades were fraudulent, but that it will take months to straighten out. The problem is in the present with one of Bruce’s business enemies, John Daggett14, who is also the one bankrolling Bane, forces Bruce out of the company. Prior to that meeting, Bruce and Lucius Fox15 take Miranda Tate16 to the location of the defunct Fusion Reactor. Bruce explains why he stopped the project and tells Miranda that he is turning the project over to her. He then explains how the entire location is rigged to be flooded as a security measure.
Bane shows up at the board meeting and takes Fox and Tate down to the Fusion Reactor. He forces them to activate the reactor and then Bane has a scientist, who was on the plane at the beginning of the movie, convert it into a 1 megaton Bomb. He kills Daggett, who has served his purpose, and proceeds to blow up Gotham Stadium during a football game and tricks the police into going into underground tunnels which he then seals, trapping almost the entire force underground.
After the explosions stop, Bane walks onto what is left of the football field with the bomb. He announces he is taking over, all the bridges and tunnels have been cut with one exception. Bane announces that the city is now under control of “The People” and that the rich will be put on trial. He releases all the criminals, including Selena Kyle, who had been captured earlier and announces to the world that if anyone leaves Gotham, he will set off the bomb. He also demands that supplies be sent into the city. What know one, other than Bruce and a few others know, is the reactor will decay in a few months and detonate anyway unless stabilized.
Bruce, as Batman, use Selena to lead him to Bane. Bane knows who Batman is and tells Selena that he is Bruce Wayne. Selena had fallen for Bruce, but didn’t know that he was Batman until that moment.
Batman and Bane, both trained by the League of Shadows17 start fighting. Batman is out of shape after years of not being Batman and Bane cripples him.
Bruce wakes up in an underground prison, in terrible pain and unable to move. Bane has left him with a television so he can see Gotham destroyed, at which point Bane will allow Bruce to die. Back in Gotham, two of Bane’s henchmen go to the hospital where Commissioner Gordon is recovering from his gunshot wound. He hears them come in and is able to ambush them. A rookie cop, John Blake18 who figured out who Batman really was, races to the hospital to rescue Gordon. The two of them go into hiding and start gathering the remaining cops and trying to find the bomb.
Bruce, who has been healing and rebuilding his strength, learns that Bane was once in that prison and was the only one to ever escape it. He also learns that Bane is the son of his original nemesis Ra’s al Ghul19.
Bruce manages to escape the prison and returns to Gotham. He enlists the help of Selina, Blake, Tate, Gordon and Lucius Fox to help liberate the city and stop the fusion bomb. Batman and Blake first free all the trapped police officers while Selena takes the “Bat Bike” and blows the tunnels clear of the wreckage blocking them. Gordon and a few others start tracking down the bomb with the goal of defusing it.
Batman confronts Bane and beats him to a pulp. As he is finishing him, he is knifed in the back by Miranda Tate. It turns out that Bane wasn’t the son of Ra’s al Ghul20. It was Tate, who’s real name is Talia al Ghul.21. She was the one who escaped the prison and Bane was an inmate who protected her. She is the one holding the detonator and is going to complete here father’s work of destroying Gotham. While she is gloating at Batman, Gordon finds the truck with the bomb and puts a jammer in place that prevents Talia from triggering the bomb. She leaves a critically wounded Batman to Bane and heads off to set off the bomb. Bane decides to kill Batman and as he is pointing a shotgun at Batman’s head, is hit by a cannon round fired by Selena.
Selena helps Batman get to his aircraft, “the Bat,” and takes off after Talia and the bomb. Selena uses the cannon to destroy the escort vehicles and shoots up the truck, forcing it to stop. Commissioner Gordon climbs out the back, somewhat the worse for wear. Batman hooks a cable to the bomb, which has only a couple of minutes left before it detonates to the Bat. He drags it clear and flies out over Gotham bay where it detonates.
Now if you want to know if Batman made it, you’re going to need to go see the movie.
Now a few quibbles. There have been a few comments about the sound quality of the film. I have to agree here. The sound balance in a few scenes made it impossible to actually hear the dialog. Tom Hardy’s masterful voice skills were hard to understand due to the mask he was wearing throughout the film. The cinematography was excellent however. The ending, (Which I’m not telling you), was an ending. This series is completed.
So, do I recommend this film? Oh HELL YES! I think it’s a great movie, if a bit longer than I expected. I’m sure the sound issues will be addressed in the DVD release, whenever that occurs.
That is all
~The Angry Webmaster~
- The Dark Knight [↩]
- Bane [↩]
- Actor Tom Hardy [↩]
- Cat Woman [↩]
- Anne Hathaway [↩]
- Actress Halle Berry [↩]
- Movie Catwoman [↩]
- Batman Returns [↩]
- Actress Michelle Pfeiffer [↩]
- Alfred Pennyworth [↩]
- James Gordon [↩]
- Actor Michael Caine [↩]
- Lucius Fox [↩]
- Actor Ben Mendelsohn [↩]
- Actor Morgan Freeman [↩]
- Actress Marion Cotillard [↩]
- The League of Shadows [↩]
- Actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt [↩]
- Ra’s al Ghul [↩]
- Actor Liam Neeson [↩]
- Talia al Ghul [↩]