Tuesday, 7 August 2012

The Dark Knight Rises - WARNING SPOILERS!

It was opening week of the third installment of Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy, and there has been a lot of hype about the latest movie, The Dark Knight Rises.

So I walked in expecting a lot.

It came on the heels of a dreadful massacre in Colorado in the United States at the midnight screening of the movie.  12 people were killed, and 58 people were injured when he opened fire in the cinema spraying movie goers with bullets.  I am sure that everyone walking into the late night session of The Dark Knight Rises had that on their minds.


I hoped for a good ending.  I hoped for more of the darkness and depravity of the human soul.  I hoped for more of the despair and emptiness that vengeance can bring - as shown in the previous Dark Knight movies.

It's 8 years after the death of Harvey Dent, and his fall from grace has been continued to be covered up by the lie that Batman was the killer, the murderer, the bad guy.  In Dent's name, a new act to put violent criminals in prison and keep them there has kept the streets safer than they've ever been.  Commissioner Gordon has been keeping the secret all these years, and thought about revealing it, but didn't, putting the speech away in his pocket detailing the whole sordid affair.

High in the sky, a scientist is kidnapped from a plane by Bane - to what purpose, we divine later, and fake his death.

While attempting a VIP rescue, Gordon enters the sewers and finds Bane, and manages to escape, but is shot and nearly dies in the process.  He is rescued by Blake, a young police officer, idealistic who believes in the Batman.

Meanwhile in Wayne Manor, there is a party but Bruce Wayne is not in attendance.  Alfred directs one of the maids to take a tray to a deserted wing and leave it there.  She is nosing around at pictures when Bruce steps out and confronts her, and she is wearing his mother's pearls.  She taunts him, trips him and then escapes out the window.  We learn that she is Selina Kyle, a cat burglar and jewel thief.  Catwoman, though she is never mentioned as such in the movie.

Bruce Wayne has found that she was actually trying to steal his fingerprints, for what purpose he doesn't know.  Selina is trying to see Wayne's fingerprints to John Daggett, a rival businessman to buy some kind of master program to wipe her record clean, start over.  And Daggett, is working with Bane.  Bruce corners Seline at a function and asks for his pearls back.

Blake was an orphan and was in a home run by the Wayne Foundation, and he figures out that Bruce Wayne is Batman.  He visits him and asks him to return, to investigate Bane.

Bane starts his assault on the city at the Stock Exchange, using Bruce's fingerprints to bankrupt him.  He tells the world the truth about Harvey Dent, from the speech notes taken from Commissioner Gordon.  Now a pauper, control of Wayne Enterprises is about to pass to Daggett, but Bruce and Lucius Fox bring Miranda Tate, one of the attractive female Board members, into the secret about a fusion reactor that would have been a fantastic energy source, but could also be used as a weapon.

Alfred refuses to help Wayne with his constant life risking and resigns, leaving Bruce alone in the manor.  Miranda pays him a visit one day and they end up making out in front of the fire.

Bane has been using Daggett's construction company to do something in the sewers - forge his headquarters and digging around the city.  Batman enlists Selina to help him find Bane, only to have her double cross him and he fights Bane, but loses.  Bane tells him that he took over the League of Shadows after Ras al Gul's death.  Bane breaks his back, and throws him into a dungeon to watch the fall of Gotham.

Bane also digs into the armoury in Wayne Enterprises, taking all of the Lucius' creations for his own use.  Then, he reigns terror on the city.  After the famous football field attack, he tells them he has secured a nuclear device and it will detonate if anyone tries to leave the city or enter it to defend it.  He also managed to trap most of the police force in the sewers with the explosions.

But the nuclear device is a time bomb waiting to go off anyway, as the core is destabilising once it was removed from the cage.  Months pass.

Bane knows that Bruce Wayne is Batman.  And while Bruce is in pain, in this pit of a dungeon that is almost impossible to escape, he hears the legend, the story of a child, born in the pit of evil, who managed to escape.  He believes that child is Bane.  As he slowly recovers, he tries to escape, and eventually does.

Undercover, Gordon, Blake and a handful of other officers have been trying to track the truck containing the nuclear device.  When Batman returns to the city, he gives them hope, and tells them the truth about the bomb - that it WILL detonate soon.

Whilst Batman goes to confront Bane, as he is about to defeat him, he is stabbed by Miranda Tate, who reveals that SHE was the child who escaped from the pit.  Bane was her protector, and she was the daughter of Ras Al Gul.  She floods the chamber where the device could have been stabilised and the hunt is on to retrieve it.

Selina is given the choice to escape or stay and help, and riding Batman's bike, decides to stay and help.

Batman manages to get to his Bat, and now takes the bomb to the open sea, where it detonates.  At Bruce Wayne's Funeral, Blake wanted to tell everyone who Batman was but Gordon says it's best kept a secret.

Lucius finds that the Bat's autopilot was working, and he has a suspicion... meanwhile, Alfred, who inherited the whole estate goes on his yearly holiday and sees Bruce with Selina across from him.

Blake, resigns from the police force and discovers the Batcave.  It turns out, his other middle name, was Robin.

VERDICT: I liked it, it was enjoyable.  But to me it a bit hyped.  If nobody had said anything, I would have liked it more, I think.  The Dark Knight, was a better movie.  I didn't quite understand Bane.  He didn't seem to have enough substance, even though he spoke like a very learned person, rather than a meathead.  Perhaps it's because I'm used to seeing him in the cartoons.

I love the ending.  It was a good ending.  I thought he was going to die, and somehow living didn't seem right either.  This way, the legacy continues, and at least, Bruce Wayne has a life, and the romance that was between him and Selina is allowed some fruition.