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  • The Dark Knight Rises

    No thread for this great movie yet? Not as good as the second part of this triology. It's bit cluncly at times but a great watch anyway. I really liked Bane. Great accent and way of using his voice. Catwoman is good as well. Talia was a bit disappointing though. I think she is better in the comics. He she was pretty much a tool and not a character. The 'romance' between her and batman was meaningless while in the comics there is more between them.

  • #2
    I saw it last week and I liked some things but had a lot of problems with some other.

    Spoilers ahoy:

    I really liked Selina (Anne Hathaway has really surprised me in a good way!) and in her own way (more grounded and realistic and more of a snarky cynical pragmatist 'with a heart of gold) she's as great as Michelle Pfeiffer's version (very Tim Burtonesque, insane but in a cool way), which is saying a lot since I've adored the Michelle Pfeiffer version for 20 years. I liked John Blake - Joseph Gordon-Levitt has come a long way since 3rd Rock from the Sun! - and that he's going to become the new Batman, making it a role that different people can fulfill rather than one man. (A parallel to Ra's Al Ghul and a follow-up to the line that a man can be killed by the symbol can't.) I liked the scene between Albert and Bruce; the fact that the Lie (as a matter of fact, both big lies) from The Dark Knight was revealed to have been the wrong thing to do.

    I loved the ending Bruce got. I'm sick and tired of the "hero finds release only in heroic sacrificial death" trope (I would have hated The Gift if it had been the BtVS series finale); and it also wouldn't work as the end of Bruce's arc, especially with the way this movie sets it up. Much is made of Selina's desire to have a "clean slate" - which is something Bruce desires as well. Bruce "killing" Batman and his other created persona, "Bruce Wayne, the eccentric billionaire" and getting a clean slate and a new life (alongside Selina, who's also gotten her clean slate) is a much more fitting end to his arc. It means you aren't forever defined by your past; and that Bruce has finally found a way to move on from his fixation of his parents' death, his fixation on Rachel as the idealized figure of his childhood/romantic ideal, and his manpain and hero complex, and has gone on to have a life.

    However, I have a lot of problems with the movie as well, and in the end, it's a mixed bag. Here's a scathing review by one of my friends on LJ - I didn't hate the movie like she did (I kind of liked it but found it very flawed), but I had many of the same problems she mentions - and another, more moderate one.

    I never liked the exoticism in the portrayal of the League of Shadows in Batman Begins (though I really liked that movie), and this gets much worse in The Dark Knights Rises - I felt like rolling my eyes during all the Bruce in prison scenes with all its exotic cliches.

    Another big problems include the lack of exploration of the way that the people of Gotham reacted to the siege; the lack of explanations about the Dent law (it's hinted that human rights were abused under it but there isn't much info about it) - besides, I find it unbelievable that the streets were literally clean of crime; the plot holes with the cops (who are under the ground for months? Really?) and especially, the fact that the movie ultimately doesn't do anything with the themes it raised in its first third, about the socioeconomic differences and class strife. Instead, it all gets shoved aside, because Bane is a hypocrite and doesn't believe in anything he preaches to the masses but just wants to destroy Gotham.

    Which is why I'm torn on Bane - although he has a great presence, Tom Hardy did a great job and is really capable of amazing physical transformations (with the help of a few cinematic tricks!). Then there's Talia - one of the main things I had a problem in the movie. I did like that she was in it and was revealed as the main villain, but I didn't like that she was so underdeveloped, that despite being built up through her backstory as someone really tough we don't actually see her showing that she's tough, that her relationship with Bruce is so forced and underdeveloped (and probably exists only to reference the fact that she was one of his love interests in the comics, as well as to muddy the romantic waters a bit with the 'Bad Girl who turns Good'/'Good Girl who's actually Evil' dichotomy), that I don't even understand why she slept with Bruce (which she didn't need to since she already had his trust and since he was in a desperate position), and above all, that I find her poorly motivated.

    The last bit goes for both her and Bane (I'm not even getting into the henchmen, who are ready to die for the 'cause' to blow up Gotham). We get very tragic backstories that make them somewhat sympathetic, but the problem is, what did Gotham ever do to them? It would make a lot more sense to be angry at Talia's arsehole grandfather, at the people in power in whatever Middle Eastern (?) country that hellhole was supposed to be - heck, even to an extent to Ra's al Ghul himself. (Bane certainly had little reason to like him, and Talia could never forgive him for his treatment of Bane, until Bruce killed him, in her own words.) But instead, they're all about destroying Gotham. Whatever.

    Although, someone who likes the movie said on another forum that the movie shows terrorists who are basically people misplacing the anger and pain of their ruined lives and compensating for it with big destructive gestures - which is a fair point: most of the real life terrorists and suicide bombers act similarly absurd with their rants against Great Satan or whatever, and their willingness to die just in order to blow up some buildings and kill people to make a gesture. Still, the problem with having such villains is that they don't invoke any moral ambiguity in the story - all the potentially interesting issues regarding the human rights abuses and the socioeconomic inequalities get shoved aside. Two-Face worked much better as the villain because the viewers were put in the position of perhaps emotionally being on his side, before he decides to kill Gordon's son (and many were, judging by the Youtube comments); we don't just see a broken man, we see him going after the people who were to blame for what happened to him. On the other hand, when you have characters whose backstory is about suffering due to the people and institutions from some unnamed Middle Eastern country, whose main story is trying to destroy Gotham, the reaction is more like "You're just being stupid". There's no personal connection there. How many villains are there that want to destroy Gotham?

    The one thing that Talia does have a reason to get a revenge from - the fact Bruce left her father to die - still doesn't work as a motivation, to me at least. I can see how she's supposed to parallel Bruce and his loss of his parents and desire for revenge, but is it enough for Talia to make everything about and sacrifice everything for the goal of avenging Ra's and bringing his goals to life? She didn't idealize her father the way Bruce did Thomas, she had legitimate issues with him, but as soon as he's dead, that's enough for her to decide to completely dedicate herself to following in his footsteps? As cool as it may be to have the female main villain, she's basically just Ra's 2.0 in what she does, and her backstory is actually pretty pointless in explaining her motivation. She may as well have grown up living happily with her mom and dad, and still be the villain who comes to avenge her father's death and continue his work - and it might have actually made more sense.
    Last edited by TimeTravellingBunny; 02-08-12, 09:12 PM.
    You keep waiting for the dust to settle and then you realize it; the dust is your life going on. If happy comes along - that weird unbearable delight that's actual happy - I think you have to grab it while you can. You take what you can get, 'cause it's here, and then...gone.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by TimeTravellingBunny View Post
      I liked John Blake - Joseph Gordon-Levitt has come a long way since
      Only nitpick with him was him telling Bruce that he knew he was the batman and why instead of showing. It didn't sound convincing

      Originally posted by TimeTravellingBunny View Post
      IThe one thing that Talia does have a reason to get a revenge from - the fact Bruce left her father to die - still doesn't work as a motivation, to me at least.
      Revenge hadn't been her motivation. Though I have to say her motivation was somewhat unclear and her characterization in this isn't true to the comics either, it is the sole mission of the shadows to destroy Gotham so that it can be rebuild again. She's the head of the Shadows now and is simply doing her duty. To me this made Talia a tool in this movie to make the storyline work.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Koos View Post
        Only nitpick with him was him telling Bruce that he knew he was the batman and why instead of showing. It didn't sound convincing
        Yeah, I was going to say that, but I forgot. It's one of those times when the movie stretches believability. The other times were worse, though - things like the cops being underground for months, and Bruce's changing physical states - now he has a bad leg, now his back is broken, how he's completely OK! Not to mention that they show no particular chaos in Gotham apart from the kangaroo courts.


        Revenge hadn't been her motivation. Though I have to say her motivation was somewhat unclear and her characterization in this isn't true to the comics either, it is the sole mission of the shadows to destroy Gotham so that it can be rebuild again. She's the head of the Shadows now and is simply doing her duty. To me this made Talia a tool in this movie to make the storyline work.
        She says that revenge is one of her motives, the other being continuing her father's work. "I could never forgive my father - until you killed him." She was particularly resentful of Bruce for killing Ra's and wanted him to watch Gotham go to hell.

        But yeah, she and Bane in the end are just the new version of the Shadows, and bring nothing new as far as the basic 'destroy Gotham!' motivation goes. Which makes all their backstory pointless in a way as it doesn't actually inform their motives. You could have just had generic Shadows members wanting to destroy Gotham.
        You keep waiting for the dust to settle and then you realize it; the dust is your life going on. If happy comes along - that weird unbearable delight that's actual happy - I think you have to grab it while you can. You take what you can get, 'cause it's here, and then...gone.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by TimeTravellingBunny View Post
          Yeah, I was going to say that, but I forgot. It's one of those times when the movie stretches believability. The other times were worse, though - things like the cops being underground for months, and Bruce's changing physical states - now he has a bad leg, now his back is broken, how he's completely OK! Not to mention that they show no particular chaos in Gotham apart from the kangaroo courts.
          Other times were worse, but I didn't think anout it. It didn't really annoyed me. This did because it is vital to batman and his legacy. We are talking about the man who is following up batman. And I have never read a batman comic where his identy is so easily revealed. Another thing I didn't really is understand is how Batman still got is batmoibile and his batwing while bane took all of his armour.

          Originally posted by TimeTravellingBunny View Post
          But yeah, she and Bane in the end are just the new version of the Shadows, and bring nothing new as far as the basic 'destroy Gotham!' motivation goes. Which makes all their backstory pointless in a way as it doesn't actually inform their motives. You could have just had generic Shadows members wanting to destroy Gotham.
          Pretty much. But their backstory did explain why Bane put Bruce in the hellhole.

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          • #6
            I loved the movie, despite some issues like the pacing, mostly because of Bruce Wayne's arc and how that was the central focus of this trilogy. Nolan obviously sacrificed some elements of a great movie, to end Bruce's arc in the best way possible.

            By example John Blake, I wondered the whole movie why a new character had so much screentime, until the moment he stood on the rising platform in the batcave. The end would be less statisfying if we only saw a little of Blake, he had to show us (and Bruce) that he was worthy to be the next Batman so Bruce could retire without any feelings of guilt. Also in contrast to many comic purists, I loved the "Robin" reveal, not only is it clever because a huge part of the audience wouldn't recognize the names Jason, Tim, Damian or even Dick but it's also a nice tribute to the Robin role and John Blake is a comination of the most famous Robins; Jason (the anger), Dick (cop) and Tim (The Robin who became Robin because he figured out who Batman was). And those small Robin hints, very smart.

            Another sacrifice (I think) was the villain, no idea if it are rumors or facts but I've heard that The WB wanted the Riddler as the big villain (played by Leonardo DiCaprio) which would make a lot of sense since it's probably one of the most beloved and iconic villains of the Batman comics. But the choice of Bane was made for Bruce, since Bane is probably the closest to being Batman's equal. And because Bane (despite fantastic acting by Tom Hardy) doesn't steal the show like The Joker (or the Riddler) because he is less mad, there is more space for Bruce. I mean I love The Dark Knight as much as everybody else, but there was almost no Batman/Bruce in that movie and that couldn't happen again in part 3 of the trilogy.

            But okay Bruce's arc, fantastic. I don't think I ever saw a superhero getting such a well written arc before in a movie (series). Learning to fear death again (because he wants to live), rising out of the Lazerus Pit (how clever by the Nolans to create a pit like that) as a newborn man and losing the anger (in favor of fear, his power)... it's very well thought out. Must say that I was indeed scared it would end with his death while Batman would live on. I'm so glad Nolan went for the happy ending, mostly because it really shows growth. By leaving Gotham and starting a new (happy) life Bruce showed he was ready to move on, to live again. It's all about that one line;

            "You either die a hero or live long enough to see yourself become the villain."

            Bruce found the third option, the one Harvey couldn't find. Batman lives on as a hero but Bruce didn't have to die or become the villain. And that's a good thing.

            And Christian Bale was great, I don't understand the many complaints about him playing Bruce or Batman. And that voice is no problem for me, give me that voice over Clark Kent's glasses any day. He does action, drama and comedy well, and I believe in his Bruce when he is alone and broken, when he is doing push-ups but also when he is the playboy. I'm glad he agreed to do this trilogy and I feel sorry for the actor who has to play Batman in the next movies.

            All the acting was great with the sad exception of Marion Cotillard's Talia, which suprised me because I know her as a well respected and Oscar winning actress. Her death scene was the only time I lost the movie for a second. I actually wondered if it was an inside-joke or something, because how is it possible that such a great director can't get anything better out of such an actress? (Batman's crooked head and open mouth didn't help that scene either. It was the most hilarious thing ever...)

            Other things I liked (or disliked):

            -Yay Selina Kyle, I'm one of the people who liked the casting from the moment I heard it but I feared Nolan's treatment of her. But I like it, she gave the first hour life and I'm glad to see an actual Selina Kyle on the big screen and not Burton's own version of catwoman. Yes she was a bit of a random addition who was obviously not in the original plans, but she was fun and certainly didn't harm the movie.

            -The humor, humor is so much more fun when you don't expect to laugh. And the running joke where everybody knows that Bruce is Batman except Gordon made me giggle. I liked it that people figured it out, mostly because I dislike it when it's really obvious and nobody figures it out.

            -So many small roles played by famous faces, it's a bit distracting but also fun.

            -First hour was slow, I didn't really mind because I really went to see the end of Bruce's journey and the first hour did a good job with Bruce. But I understand that it's too slow for an comic movie. Although the second half made up for it I think.

            -Too many characters, I think we could live without Talia despite the clever connections with the first movie. It felt often more like Gotham the movie.

            -Alfred almost made me cry and I'm so glad that we finally saw Alfred as a desperate father and not just as the sassy butler.

            -It looked really pretty and the score was beautiful.

            -But my favorite scene had no music, the first Bane/Batman fight... so brutal. That moment Bane just lifted Batman above his head and 'broke' his back.



            So yes I'm really happy with the movie, It worked better as a sequal than as an independent movie, but that was not a problem for me. And because Bruce's story is told so well I can live with the pacing and the plotholes. But I must say that I'm more a Bruce Wayne/Batman fan than a superhero fan, so that's perhaps why I'm more forgiving of some elements. I really watch it for Bruce Wayne.
            Last edited by Nina; 02-08-12, 11:31 PM.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Nina View Post
              So yes I'm really happy with the movie, It worked better as a sequal than as an independent movie, but that was not a problem for me. And because Bruce's story is told so well I can live with the pacing and the plotholes. But I must say that I'm more a Bruce Wayne/Batman fan than a superhero fan, so that's perhaps why I'm more forgiving of some elements. I really watch it for Bruce Wayne.
              I was thinking at the end of the movie that TDKR works wonderfully as the end of Bruce's arc, but isn't that good as a movie in itself (for reasons I explained above). Therefore my mixed feelings.

              The Dark Knight, on the other hand, is brilliant as a movie - not necessarily a superhero movie, just a movie, period. It's a great dark crime drama. You could be watching it having no idea who Harvey Dent or the Joker or even Batman are, and I think you'd still be blown away (actually, it would work even better if you had no idea who Harvey Dent is, since his transformation into Two-Face would then come off as a real shock and surprise; particularly since someone who had no idea about the Batman comics would probably think early on that he's just supposed to be the movie cliche 'annoyingly perfect romantic rival' character).
              You keep waiting for the dust to settle and then you realize it; the dust is your life going on. If happy comes along - that weird unbearable delight that's actual happy - I think you have to grab it while you can. You take what you can get, 'cause it's here, and then...gone.

              Comment


              • #8
                I don't know, I love TDK and I agree that it's a great movie and probably the best movie ever made in it's genre. But I also believe that it suffers from the same as the Burton and Schumacher movies; it leans too much on the villains and forgets Bruce. Two things happen in that movie with him, both at the end of the movie; Batman takes the fall for Harvey and Rachel gets fridged. And both are only set-ups for TDKR. So where TDKR doesn't work well enough as a movie on it's own, TDK is too much of a movie on it's own. And for a trilogy about Bruce's journey, I think TDK lacks character development. They could've shown Bruce falling into Batman's darkness better, instead most screentime went to the Joker and Harvey.

                Somebody on Tumblr said that it was like BB was the beginning and TDKR the ending, and TDK was a random day in Gotham. And it indeed feels a bit like that, interesting choice made by Nolan for a real trilogy and I'm not sure if it was the right call or not. It's great that the second movie was that good, instead of the usual dragging mid-piece of a trilogy. But it did disturb the flow, set the bar too high for the last movie and made people forget that it's a trilogy about Bruce and not just 3 awesome movies with Batman in it (sometimes).

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                • #9
                  I enjoyed the movie but I have to admit that it didn't live up to my - admittedly very high - expectations. When I saw TDK in the cinema I had visceral reactions to what I was watching and I was utterly captivated by the story and it's characters. However, TDKR felt a lot more like BB than TDK to me and as one of the few people who don't really enjoy that film (I find it really tedious) I was pretty disappointed by that. The trailers were really promising and gave me the same kind of goosebumps that I had when I watched TDK, but the actual film just failed to truly grip me in the end.

                  I really disliked the twist in the end regarding Bane's character. Turning him into nothing but a lackey was pretty disappointing and I hated how the motivations he had throughout the film turned out to be a lie. I found the conflicted he created really interesting and was underwhelmed that, no, it was really about avenging the death of a villain who I already found dull the first time round. Although, I have to admit that as someone not all that well-versed in Batman mythology I had never heard of Talia so a lot of the significance is bound to be lost on me. I also think that Tom Hardy's talents were pretty wasted here. He was good, I guess, but you could have cast a few more inferior actor in the role and they would have been just as good. There's just not a lot to work with other than Banes physical presence as its hard to convey much behind the mask and voice. It'd be hard to top Heath/The Joker though.

                  Some plot holes did bug me. I'm not usually one to care about them but it just made some of the film a bit confusing for me. For example, they never bother to tell us where The Pit was, but it looked like a foreign country, but then how did Bruce get back to Gotham? And I thought his body was destroyed and he needed mechanical inventions to be in fighting shape again but then, not only does he seemingly get over a broken back, but they're no longer a problem for him either. And we're the cops really underground for months 'cause I have to say they looked in really good shape for the big battle? As I said, I'm not usually one to gripe about plot holes but these ones just left me genuinely confused and disrupted the flow of the film for me. I was left doubting myself a lot of the time and became preoccupied trying to work out if I was just stupid and had missed something - which distracted from the story.

                  Batman being able to escape the bomb in time is far less of an issue for me.

                  That said, I DID enjoy the movie. It was perfectly entertaining, was beautifully shot, well-acted and the final few minutes were very touching. I thought Anne Hathaway did a marvelous job as Selina and thought she added a lot to the movie. The way she could switch from damsel to BAMF in the blink of an eye was amazingly done and she oozed intelligence, charisma and sexiness. My only regret is that we didn't see more of her.

                  And I agree with Nina that Bruce was totally overshadowed in TDK and he got a lot of great development. To be honest, I could take or leave Bale's Bruce Wayne (and for the record there's no portrayal of him by any of the actors that has ever stood out to me) but this was a good story for him.

                  It certainly had a more comic-booky feel, didn't it? It's probably just because of the Bat's aircraft because, frankly, it's rather impossible to ground it in reality. Not that I mind!

                  So overall it was a good movie but, yeah, it just didn't meet my expectations. If they hadn't added the twist to Bane's motivations and turned him into such a generic villain I would like it a lot more. I'll definitely watch it again and I vastly preferred it to BB but TDK remains the shining star of this franchise, IMO. And I respect Nolan's talents as a filmmaker and believe the the respect is well-earned but as someone who didn't love Inception, or BB, I don't think we quite click.

                  ~ Banner by Nina ~

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by TimeTravellingBunny View Post
                    Yeah, I was going to say that, but I forgot. It's one of those times when the movie stretches believability. The other times were worse, though - things like the cops being underground for months, and Bruce's changing physical states - now he has a bad leg, now his back is broken, how he's completely OK! Not to mention that they show no particular chaos in Gotham apart from the kangaroo courts.
                    He was in the hole for about 5 months, and his back did not receive a full break so it's entirely within the realm of possibility for him to recover in that time. And the device he used on his leg was designed to be worn for a short period of time and then taken off, it wasn't permanent.

                    Deducing Bruce Wayne was the Batman wasn't so hard to buy either, IMO. I think you have to have gone through something really traumatic in order to understand where Blake was coming from. And honestly, the list of suspects who possessed the amount of resources necessary to be Batman would not be very large, especially if narrowed down to people who live in or near Gotham. I actually like that for once a character in a super hero story wasn't a complete idiot and was able to figure out something that should be obvious to anyone.

                    SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS


                    Actually, the parts I have the biggest problems with would be seen as fairly minor by people who even picked up on them. 1: When the bomb went off no one bothered shielding their eyes. Several people stared straight into it. 2: Talia stabs batman in the side with a knife but in TDK Lucius Fox tells him that his armor will stop a knife thrust. Perhaps she got him in between the plates but it seems likely even that part of the armor would provide a good degree of protection. 3: Bruce leaves the batcave to Blake in the assumption that he would take over as the cites protector, but how he is supposed to accomplish this without Bruce vast fortune is a bit puzzling, IMO. 4: The idea that the United States would stand by and do nothing simply because there was a bomb somewhere in the city under the control of a terrorist is laughable. That is why God created EMP.
                    Last edited by PointMan; 04-08-12, 09:09 AM.
                    “The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it.” -- Albert Einstein

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                    • #11
                      Actually, in "Batman Begins", Fox says the suit will stop a knife, but when Fox modifies the suit in "The Dark Knight", he explicitly warns Bruce that it will be more vulnerable to bullets and knives.

                      I have a lot of love and thoughts about this movie, it was exquisite. There is not actually the contradiction people think there is between "I'm not wearing hockey pads!" and "Batman can be anybody, that was the point". Two different, non-reciprocal notions are "Anybody can be Batman" and "Batman can be anybody". Rectangles and squares, people.

                      Anne Hathaway is the definitive Catwoman performance on screen now. And holy crap, Nolan manages to JUSTIFY THE EARS, it's just sort of a trick of the eye.

                      EDIT: There was chaos shown in Gotham. In Bane's speech about the end of personal property and "lies of opportunity", people are being literally yanked out of their homes and thrown into the streets, some even by their own doorman. That would be 'chaos'. Selina and her friend meandering through the wrecked family home that now belongs to "everyone". That would also be 'chaos'. And the scene that segues into Bruce's return, where Selina rescues that kid, meant to portray a "might makes right" city, sort of the natural destination of cities run under the rules Gotham was given. And pretty much anyone who ever had wealth of note or public servants having to hide out to avoid those same kangaroo courts.
                      Last edited by KingofCretins; 04-08-12, 01:51 PM.
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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by vampmogs View Post
                        I really disliked the twist in the end regarding Bane's character. Turning him into nothing but a lackey was pretty disappointing and I hated how the motivations he had throughout the film turned out to be a lie. I found the conflicted he created really interesting and was underwhelmed that, no, it was really about avenging the death of a villain who I already found dull the first time round.
                        I don't think he was just a lackey, Talia may be the person in charge but they're clearly very close, and he was in the League of Shadows and there's no reason to doubt that he was born and grew up in that prison (especially if they're keeping comics Bane origins - I believe he was, I supposed to have been born in a prison in some fictional Caribbean country because his father was a revolutionary, and was sentenced to serve life sentence instead of his father who escaped). He just wasn't Ra's Al Ghul's son, which is an idea that Bruce came up with and that Bane never claimed to be. Apart from avenging Ra's' death, which I'm sure Bane doesn't care about apart from as much as Talia wants to do it, none of this really changes anything about Bane's motivation. My problem with Bane's motivation is that it was always generic League of Shadows crap (plus some "I was born and grew up in a hellhole" which is true but never had anything to do with Gotham). We always knew that he wanted to destroy Gotham with all its inhabitants, rich and poor, and that he didn't believe in any of the social justice, revolutionary rhetoric he was spewing to the public, the only times he was telling the truth were when he was speaking to Bruce.

                        And I agree with Nina that Bruce was totally overshadowed in TDK and he got a lot of great development. To be honest, I could take or leave Bale's Bruce Wayne (and for the record there's no portrayal of him by any of the actors that has ever stood out to me) but this was a good story for him.
                        I think Bale's Bruce is miles better than any that came before, which, granted, isn't saying much, since Keaton's Bruce was kinda dull and really never seemed like someone angry enough to go out and beat up criminals every night (even though Keaton was good as Batman), I don't even remember Val Kilmer's Bruce, and the less said about Clooney the better - he wasn't even playing Bruce Wayne/Batman.

                        But I don't have any problems with Bruce not being the main focus of attention in The Dark Knight - though I don't think that it's not his story as well, it just wasn't primarily his story. It's the only one of the movies that genuinely feels like it's about Gotham - unlike TDKR, where the people of Gotham don't even seem to exist (except for the orphans), which is ironic considering the themes raised in the first part of the movie (but then quickly forgotten). I don't agree with people who say that TDK was about the Joker, though. Joker was, no doubt, the flashiest and most fascinating character, he was a force of nature - but you couldn't have a movie be about him, since he has no arc and never changes, and there's no conflict to play within him. He is the catalyst who creates chaos and conflict within Gotham, and the movie is really about the effect Joker has on other characters and city as a whole. If anything, if I were to say that TDK was any specific character's "story", I'd say it's Harvey Dent's story - he's the one who gets an actual arc (which culminates in the ending of the movie), and a really heartbreaking and tragic and shocking one (or it is/would be shocking if you watched it without prior knowledge who Dent is that he's going to turn into Two-Face eventually, but it hits pretty hard even when you do know it) that represents the duality and fallibility of human nature.
                        Last edited by TimeTravellingBunny; 04-08-12, 02:00 PM.
                        You keep waiting for the dust to settle and then you realize it; the dust is your life going on. If happy comes along - that weird unbearable delight that's actual happy - I think you have to grab it while you can. You take what you can get, 'cause it's here, and then...gone.

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                        • #13
                          Comic origin Bane was born in a prison, just not the same one. They retconned his and Talia's origin somewhat, but the characters are still very authentic. Bane here was completely authentic to the comic version, although I do wish they had given him a bit more of the quasi-religious awe/obsession with the Bat that he has, the Bat that tormented his nightmares in prison that he associated with Bruce. Bruce was more of an obstacle to him here, where in Knightfall, Bruce was the point.

                          And, Vengeance of Bane does get to a point where Bane is the chosen heir of Ra's al Ghul, replacing Bruce, and therefore intended to be wed to Talia, so I don't feel like they made him a lackey so much as honored that part of comic continuity.
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                          • #14
                            Regarding the movie version of Bane's origins - I was just thinking, we hear two versions of why he was excommunicated from the League of Shadows by Ra's - the first one, that he was too extreme even for them, and the second, that Ra's was uncomfortable with Bane as a reminder of his past, his wife dying in prison and his daughter spending her childhood there - but the latter is Talia's interpretation of events, so it may not be completely true. Maybe it was a bit of both - Ra's might have been uncomfortable with Bane. especially if looking at him made him feel guilty that he left without learning what happened with his wife and child and failed to do anything to help them - but it's not hard to believe that Bane was extreme even by their standards. I imagine that growing up in a hellhole surrounded by violent ruthless people (I'm not going to assume that all of them were criminals, since obviously people were thrown in there for all sorts of reasons, but quite a few of them probably were) and getting disfigured/mutilated while trying to protect a little girl from getting gang raped, wouldn't help one develop a lot of respect and faith in humanity in general; and getting rescued by Talia's dad and his people may have made Bane very loyal to the first people who seemed to give a shit about him, and become a little bit too invested in their cause, especially if the cause is about destroying the scum of the Earth.

                            I feel that the Talia/Bane backstory would be a really interesting story - much more so than them trying to destroy Gotham, which, however, is not very interesting. As selenak, who wrote the scathing review of TDKR that I linked to in my previous post, said:

                            As for why Talia and Bane want to destroy Gotham to avenge Ra's to begin with, I utterly agree with you. Bane if anything has reason to celebrate Ra's death, and as for Talia - again, you can extrapolate Daddy issues, and "see, I could do it when you couldn't", but as you say, it would be the same had she grown up in a safe home. Would have made far more sense if it had turned out that, say, Gotham's rich industrialists dump their toxic waste in precisely the hell hole she grew up in. Something like that to give her a personal motivation for the standard "must destroy Gotham" villain's goal and to give all the rethoric employed by Bane at least a touch of sincerity instead of being presented as completely hypocritical.
                            ...Or, maybe that the rich industrialists of Gotham have some financial/political connection to people in charge of the country where the hellhole is; say, that they have financed a coup that brought whoever is in authority there in power because of their business arrangements.

                            The movie would have been much better if they had given a more compelling reason why the villains carry a grudge against Gotham.
                            Last edited by TimeTravellingBunny; 04-08-12, 04:31 PM.
                            You keep waiting for the dust to settle and then you realize it; the dust is your life going on. If happy comes along - that weird unbearable delight that's actual happy - I think you have to grab it while you can. You take what you can get, 'cause it's here, and then...gone.

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                            • #15
                              While I'm also in favor of better explanations, I must say that Gotham is seen as the worst city on earth in the DC universe. One of the comic writers said: "Batman's Gotham City is Manhattan below Fourteenth Street at eleven minutes past midnight on the coldest night in November." It's unpleasantness is part of Gotham's identity in general, with it's many crazy villains, gangsters and corrupt cops and judges. The city is as dysfunctional as it's hero. So Gotham existing is already enough to want to get rid of it. So I can forgive them for not giving the villains a better explanation to eliminate that city.

                              But I find it a pity that Gotham got less dark in the last movie, but it was also pretty clear that Nolan tried to make a point by making Gotham look more and more like any big city in our own world, in contrast to the more fictional city it usually is. Gotham and Arkham Asylum are two of my favorite things of the Batman universe, the madness and the darkness surround Batman and Nolan's movies lack that a bit. (Although I prefer Nolan's more realistic take on it more than Burton's insane and over the top fantasy version.)
                              Last edited by Nina; 04-08-12, 04:13 PM.

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