The Dark Knight trilogy is pretty much my favorite thing to ever happened to comic book movies. The Avengers was awesome and everything I wanted from it, but nothing can ever top Christopher Nolan's epic trilogy. Every movie felt bigger than itself, bigger than some comic book. It felt like real life only if real life was freaking terrible and there were all these people trying to destroy our city. I love the Dark Knight trilogy.
The Dark Knight Rises came out a week ago and was basically the perfect end to the series. There are people who will say that they like The Dark Knight better than they like Rises and that's fine. Heath Ledger put in one of the all time tour de force show stopping acting performances of all time and it's hard not to like that. Me? It's too early to tell. I think Batman Begins might be my favorite because the truth of the series is that Bruce Wayne, not Batman, is the very best character they created for the series. Dark Knight is awesome, but it is the Joker show and Bruce Wayne is hardly a thing in it. A part of me likes Rises the best because the Bruce Wayne stuff is top notch. As is the Alfred part, JGL's character and the awesomeness of Anne Hathaway's performance. The truth is that I really want Rises to be my favorite, but I can't because there are just too many glaring plotholes that take me out of the movie and now I am going to talk about them.
(Just in case you are really dumb. The rest of this post is spoilers.)How did Bruce Wayne get back from the jail pit and into the city where nobody is allowed in or out?
Remember that part in the movie where Bruce Wayne lost all of his money in the stock market? Yeah, that would probably make it difficult for you to get back from India or wherever. The deep loving Batman apologist in me justifies it though. I can say "Well, just because Bruce Wayne lost all his money doesn't mean he still doesn't have friends with money" and it somehow makes sense to me. This is something where I can look at the entire universe that they created and make sense of something without it being laid out for me. I can convince myself of this and move on, but then all of the sudden he is in Gotham with no explanation and I can't handle it. How? He didn't have a suit. He didn't have "the bat." (btw, really Lucius? You can't call it the Batwing? Just "the bat"? Seriously, you are some super genius and that's the best nickname you could come up with? Was "a helicopter like thing that Batman could fly around" taken?) Did he hide on a food truck like those Army guys? No? Maybe? A secret underground railroad thing from Wayne Manor? Oh right that's a no too because then he would have a suit. To me this is a much bigger question than "Did the top stop spinning at the end of Inception?" and should be asked of Christopher Nolan in every interview until the end of time.
You know what's even more frustrating? The fact that nobody asked! Really Selina Kyle you saw this guy get his back broken a few months ago by Bane and he just shows up to the terrorist warzone and you're not a little curious? All it takes is one line. ONE. It doesn't matter if it is super implausable either. Just one line where Bruce says "yeah I bumped into Richard Branson and hitched a ride to Miami and then swam the rest of the way. Only took me like three hours all together. Good thing I made it here on the exact day before this bomb goes off, huh?" I could accept that. Without it? Vince is getting frustrated!
Did Bane and Miranda have a suicide pact or what?
The idea that Miranda and Bane are cold, calculating terrorists who want to see Gotham city burn to the ground is an easily acceptable idea. Batman killed Miranda's father, Bane would do anything for Miranda. Simple, effective storytelling. What I can't understand is why they would want Gotham to burn so bad that they are willing to die for it? Like, what's the point of exacting revenge on someone if you die too? How are you supposed to enjoy it? If they are still League of Shadows (a point I was unclear on) then it goes against their entire MO to kill themselves. There are plenty of more civilizations to destroy in the future. Chicago would be a great start.
Also, what is the deal with the people willing to die for the cause? That dude on the plane seemed happy that he got to die on it. Why? At least with the Joker's crew they were all crazies so you could accept a crazy guy sewing a bomb into his stomach. Bane's crew is made up of homeless and/or poor people who want to see the class structure destroyed and will die for it? I've seen those Occupy Wall Street guys (that this was allegedly based on) and the only thing they'll die for is Phish tickets. Or maybe some really good weed. I don't get it.
Miranda can stab Batman? Really?
She weights like 95 pounds.
When did Batman set the auto-pilot/jump out?
The bomb has a six mile blast radius. With less than a minute to go before the bomb explodes Batman makes his way over the bay. The music plays and he looks at the sun and it's a moment of peace and tranquility, the end of Batman is here. He accepts this, finally Bruce's soul is at peace. (The theater got really dusty during this part for some reason. I could barely see.)
Only he didn't die. At some point he set the auto-pilot and jumped out. I went to see the movie a second time and spent the whole scene squinting my eyes trying to see if I could see a little black speck drop from the bat and fall into the ocean. No dice. You couldn't have given us this Christopher Nolan? Most people will just accept that he did, but what about us? We want the minute detail that makes us think Batman is the greatest and smartest and coolest by escaping at exactly the right time. Like what if you paid really close attention and he actually got out right when he hit that building? Wouldn't that be the coolest? Throw me a bone, Nolan. I am glad that Bruce is alive and well, but I still need to have an idea of how that is remotely possible.
Why is everyone so accepting of Bruce Wayne being dead? He just lost a fortune in the stock market and disappeared with no body and everyone is cool with that?
Danger Guerrero summed this up the best when he said:
if our country’s biggest city (New York) had gone through everything Gotham went through, and one of its most famous billionaire/philanthropists (pick a Rockefeller) was nowhere to be found after it was saved, that would have been a big deal, right? Of course. His picture would have been all over the world’s newspapers and 24-hour news networks, which would make it pretty hard to enjoy a nice cup of cappuccino in an outdoor cafe with your sticky-fingered girlfriend. That clean slate program he gave her could have wiped their records (I guess), but unless he also had one of those silver mind-wipers from Men In Black, and a way to broadcast it to every set of eyeballs in the world, he’s got bigger fish to fry. A facefish, to be specific.
Seriously. Why couldn't he have just given the bag to Robin and the GNN station to be like "Bruce Wayne remains missing after eight months and is presumed dead, but actually he was missing for like seven years once so who the hell knows?" That would be far more believable.
(That Danger Guerrero post is awesome though. Read it.)
Does everyone know Batman is Bruce Wayne except Jim Gordon?
Sure, Bane and Miranda figured it out from the secret League of Shadows files. (While we're on the LoS subject how the hell does Alfred have inside information on this super secret society that nobody knows about?) And Bruce was super duper obvious with Selina in regards to it. Oh my friend in the mask who has also been reclusive for eight years is going to come see you, but I can't be there. I'll be, uh, busy. But the deal with Robin figuring it out based on a smile when he was just a little kid? Come on. I get it, he's the heir apparent and is a super awesome detective too, but come on. Jim Gordon being an awesome detective, but somehow not caring who Batman is seems a bit out of character. There are no coincidences, right Jim? How about the coincidence of there being a Batman with super expensive advanced weapons at the same time a billionaire returns from a seven year hiatus who just so happens to have his name on a company that makes super expensive advanced weapons for the military? I lovelovelove Batman's line about the coat to Gordon at the end and it makes me get goosebumps just thinking about it, but I can't believe that Gordon didn't know. Gordon knew all along, but didn't think it mattered because that was kind of the point. Gordon shouldn't want to know who Batman was, he should want to know if Bruce wants him to tell the world who Batman was.
Is Alfred really that mad at Bruce?
Despite all of these flaws I really did love this movie and will probably catch it at a theater a couple more times before it's all said and done. So much great acting, great action and some really excellently written characters. I loved the way that Bruce/Batman is the only person who ever believed in Selina and that it scares her. I love that Blake has the morals and conviction that Jim and Bruce used to have when they were younger. I love that Alfred makes me want to cry/wish I had a cool English butler. I love that Bane scares the absolute shit out of me in a way that the Joker could never have dreamed to. Despite the holes it's the kind of movie that makes me realize how much I really love movies, but also the kind of movie that makes me think about never trying to be a screenwriter again because I'm not sure I could ever write something half as good as that. I'm sad it's over, but at the same time I can't wait to see what Christopher Nolan does next. Long accused of being too cerebral he made a movie about a guy who dresses up in a cape that made me cry. It was his most emotional movie yet and I love him for that. I can't say where these movies rank in the grand scheme of things, but I can say that the world is a better place with this trilogy in it. That I know for sure.