I Don’t Get It…: The Dark Knight Rises

“The Dark Knight Rises” is entertaining and full of great action sequences, but it’s also full of scenes and plot points that just make you wonder if Christopher Nolan was loaded up on OxyContin when he made the movie. Here, we RISE to the occasion and dissect it. GET IT???!!?!??!!!



Brian: Since we get paid to nitpick here, let’s start off with the most ponderous questions:

1. How could Catwoman get all of Bruce’s fingerprints from the keypad on his safe? Why would he use his pinky to punch in a number, or really any other finger but his index finger?

2. What was the point of the trucks? Why wasn’t the bomb just placed in a heavily guarded location?

3. So Bane gets smashed in the mouth by prisoners, and that causes him constant pain for the rest of his life?

4. Isn’t Bruce Wayne still broke at the end? Are he and Selina Kyle living off her stolen Catwoman money?

5. Why did Batman take the time to listen to Talia al-Ghul’s dying speech, then share two poignant moments with Catwoman and Gordon, before hooking up the ticking bomb and flying off? You’d think he would have shown a little more haste.

6. In three months, nobody else could have made a hole big enough to walk through in that pile of cars blocking the tunnel?

7. In three months, the cops couldn’t figure out a way to escape? Didn’t Gordon just float down the water and come out of a sewage pipe?

8. Why didn’t Gordon, Batman and the other cops get off of the highly treacherous ice before LIGHTING A FIRE on that ice?

9. Why wouldn’t Bane just put Bruce in a guarded room with a TV if he wanted to mess with him psychologically? Why the hell would he put him in a prison where inmates can help him and tell him key information, especially a prison known for the inmates constantly trying to escape?

10. Instead of waiting around for the fusion bomb to go off, why didn’t Bane’s crew just go around killing people and blowing up buildings themselves?

Brad: HAHA. He uses each and every finger to punch in his 5-digit safe code. And I’m sure Bruce Wayne has a lot of safes in the house but you’d think such a rich and secretive guy have a safe that opens with more than just fingers?

I was thinking why I didn’t LOVE TDKR like so many people did. I always knew it had a lot to live up to coming from TDK, that much is true, but this could’ve been a whole lot better. Bane was a horrible villain.

2. I thought they had a bunch of identical trucks driving around as decoys to elude the remaining detectives so they could never locate the actual truck with the explosive. Seems like a decent idea to have it on a moving truck, in case you do get attacked you can try to outrun them, however I didn’t see the truck (with the bomb especially) have any armed guards or protection other than the driver. Now that seems dumb.

3. Have you ever had a toothache? Bane had 24! It’s amazing he can still talk!

4. I thought of them being broke too. What money did she loot by the end of the film though? What was the point of the blank slate thing? They never really mentioned what happened or what became of that. I assume she used it. I’m still wrapping my head as to the real point of having her in the film. Nice ass though.


5. This film, like Batman Begins, used a lot of the old Hollywood hero vs. villain cliches, like listening to the villains plans or the villain placing the hero in an easily escapable scenario. The reason TDK transcends comic book films is that it never did any of those things. TDK is really a psychological thriller/horror film with Batman in it. I think this is the main reason why I didn’t like TDKR as much. Its a great comic book movie but surely not THE best of its kind. I heard from two separate people that this film was “EPIC.” I have to disagree.

6. The pile of cars was guarded before Batman returned, no? But yeah the whole cops trapped in the sewers for months thing was absurd. There’s manholes everywhere. Ban couldn’t have had snipers EVERYWHERE in the city watching each and every escapable route from the sewers. Even if 1-3 cops slowly left the sewers through manholes that at least wouldn’t helped there situation. AND I’m sorry but that final confrontation at the end with heavily armed thugs and baton-wielding charging EXTREMELY tired and malnourished cops was one of the laughable sights I’ve ever seen.

8. The ice scene was stupid as soon as Batman showed up. And I think I laughed out loud when they made the Bat signal on the bridge and Bane says, “That’s impossible” (or whatever he said). Why did he first assume Batman returned? Maybe the cops did that to fake Bane and his goons out. Whatever.

10. Bane’s plan really made zero sense. First he cripples Gotham’s economy and makes the lower-class people revolt against the rich. He then sets the prisoners free to join his army. Then he isolates Gotham and cuts them off from the rest of the country and threatens them with a nuclear device which is going to blow up in a few months regardless of any demands he makes. WAIT A MINUTE, he didn’t make any demands!!! And how did he know that the freed criminals would willingly join his army and not fight him for superiority. You know because criminals are very reasonable people. If the rich were cut down to economic size with the rest of Gothamites and the economy is basically broken what’s the point of the bomb and the upheaval of the city. Why did people listen to Bane who says he’s a liberator when he looks like a monster and killed the football team AND obviously NOT from Gotham? I hated this plan. The more I think about it I think its half-assed. The Joker was a WAAAAAAAAAAAAY better villain and his plans were way more thought-out.

11. If its been 8 years since Harvey Dent died, why is Gotham just getting around to eulogizing him? And why was Bruce Wayne basically a crippled old man? At the end of TDK, he seemed fine riding away. What the hell happened to him to get that decrepit?

12. Wasn’t John Blake a lot shorter than Bruce Wayne? How will he fit into the costume? And with Wayne enterprises and Lucius Fox gone Blake’s Batman will virtually run on empty. I guess he’s just going to be a symbol.

Brian: 1. Why couldn’t Catwoman (or really, anyone) have gotten Bruce’s fingerprints from the glass she brought him on the dinner tray?

2. But they also made a point to say that the sewer system was very vast, so why couldn’t they have hidden the bomb there so Gordon and his crew couldn’t find it, and even if they did, they’d be shot? But instead, they give Gordon like a 1 in 8 chance of finding the correct truck. (The trucks were always followed by Tumblers for protection, by the way.)

3. Who gave him the mask? His dentist?

4. You’re right, I didn’t even remember the Blank Slate thing. I assume she just used it and that’s how she could live with Bruce at the end (who you’d think would be easily recognized in public). But yeah, she didn’t really do much for the plot, except save Batman’s skin at the end, but they could have had Blake do that, which would have made more sense if he was supposed to be Robin/Future Batman. But yes, exquisite ass.

5. Yeah the plot was a little too broad. TDK was much tighter.

6. In the final showdown, why didn’t Bane’s guys just run all the cops down with a Tumbler and end it in three seconds? I know Batman shot the one when it was about to fire at them, but there was another one right next to it.

8. Again, why did he think it was “impossible” when he put Batman in a prison that had a known way to escape?

"IMPOSSIBLE!! ... Oh, right, the hole, damn..."

“IMPOSSIBLE!! … Oh, right, the hole, damn…”

10. His plan was for the world to see Gotham being plunged into ruin. But that doesn’t make a ton of sense, because it was due to a terrorist act, not what they were doing to themselves. They seemed to be doing just fine. But “The Dent Act” was supposed to be some moral quandary, but it accomplished… locking up criminals?

11. I think the Harvey Dent remembrance thing was like an annual charity event or something like that. But yes, I do not understand the crippled thing either. I know that doctor said his knees were shot, but like you said he was doing just fine in TDK, so his knees just disintegrated over 8 years?

12. The entire point of the film was that Gotham needed to “rise” on it’s own without Batman’s help. So why put Blake in a position to be Batman again and negate that?

Brad: And how did Bruce Wayne get back to Gotham? Obviously he was in Asia… did you hitch a ride back to America? And how did he sneak into Gotham?

Brian: I honestly have no f-ing idea where that prison was located. I didn’t understand if it was on the other side of the world or a couple miles outside of Gotham. But yeah, how did he get into Gotham if all access was cut off?

Brad: Another nitpick of mine I finally remembered to mention was what was up with that Stryver guy with the rubbery frog face. Before he exiled himself in his icy watery grave I literally thought he was going to rip off his fake mask face like Mission: Impossible and reveal himself as someone else. That’s how disturbingly fake his face looked… I literally thought it was bad makeup.

That makes two lizard villains in superhero movies last summer.

That makes two lizard villains in superhero movies last summer.

Brian: Yeah I was thinking the same thing. Totally looked like some kind of lizard. I guess that’s why they cast him. That reminds me, the other washed up scrubs Nolan cast in the other Batman pictures were Rutger Hauer and Eric Fucking Roberts. Now Matthew Modine in TDKR and Tom Berenger in Inception.

By the way, what was the point of Catwoman’s assistant?

Brad: Also Anthony Michael Hall in TDK. And I agree, what was her lover/assistant for?

Brian: And that hack David Bowie in The Prestige.

Miranda Tate/Talia al-Ghul was also pretty unnecessary. Having her be the mastermind made Bane weaker.

Brad: Yes, as soon as she revealed herself as Talia, Bane was just a minion to me. And if Miranda was so intent on revenge and destruction for Gotham why did she bother sleeping with Wayne?

And is there anyone on Earth that can possibly punch a vertebrae back into place even if they DID have medical or chiropractic skills? I can’t believe I forgot this retarded scene until now. Man, I really really hated this scene. Besides the medical unbelievability of this scene, but it was in a dungeon deep in a pit with some old peasant who even assumes he can simply punch a spine to fix it from being fucking broken! Furthermore, in the beginning of the film, Wayne had supposedly had bad knees and needed a leg brace for one night’s worth of vigilantism but after he breaks his back he does some pull-ups and push-ups and he’s good to go defeat Bane.

This movie is bugging me more and more I think and nitpick about it. I can barely think of anything to nitpick about TDK. Can you?

Brian: Yeah I’m pretty sure punching his vertebrae would have done a lot more harm than good. There would have been a 92% chance that he’d be paralyzed.

Again, they never explained why Bane was in constant pain. Just because those inmates gave him a beat down? It would have been better if they had the mask give him strength for fights like the comic, then maybe in the nonfighting scenes he could have not worn it and he wouldn’t have been as ridiculous. That voice over was so jarringly out of place every time he talked.

The only problem I had with TDK was when the Joker called Maggie Gylenhall beautiful. And Gordon’s fake death didn’t make a ton of sense.

Brad: This is a complete nitpick but love how no one in Gotham put together the notion that the same amount of time Batman was gone was the same amount of time Bruce Wayne became a recluse.

Another thing I laughed about was even when someone knew Batman was Bruce Wayne, like Catwoman towards the last act, he still talked in that deep Batman growl.

Brian: And then that Bruce Wayne and Batman died at the same time.

When Batman was beating up Bane, right before Talia shivved him, and he was growling, “WHO HAS THE DEVICE?!” over and over it was laughably horrible. They really phoned it in with a lot of the script this time.

"Change the word 'bananas' to 'device' and you've done it!"

“Change the word ‘bananas’ to ‘device’ and you’ve done it!”

Brad: Hahaha! Right I think we were both laughing out loud at that point.

Fox told him his new armor would be more susceptible to knife wounds. But the fact that the cut was ignored after Bane was killed still stands as a plot-hole. Which is quickly forgotten about when Bane is blown away by the very quiet Catwoman on the Batpod.

Brian: Yeah he was completely incapacitated by that for a few minutes but after Catwoman showed up he appeared to be fine.

The more I think about this picture the less I like it. It’s not Green Lantern-bad but I’d put it just above Spider-Man 3.

Brad: They completely dropped the ball on this one. I’m still baffled at how some people and critics liked this better than TDK.

Brian: For some reason a lot of fanboys view Christopher Nolan as infallible. He’s a great filmmaker but that doesn’t mean he can’t produce a turd just like every other director.

90% of the blame lays at Matthew Modine’s feet.

Brad: Mathew Modine is a major flaw to this film for sure.

Shortly after seeing TDKR I said it was the Return of the Jedi of the trilogy but now I’m thinking its more Godfather III.

Brian: Or Superman III. But at least that had Richard Pryor.

I wouldn’t say it’s a bad movie, but it has a lot of bad parts where TDK didn’t, so it’s just a severe letdown. So really it’s more like Spider-Man 3. I think it’s a little better than that, but not much.

Brad: After seeing The Amazing Spider-Man, I’m not sure Spider-Man 3 is as bad as I remember it.

Brian: There aren’t too many good third movies in a trilogy. The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, Army of Darkness, Return of the Jedi, Back to the Future Part III, Toy Story 3, and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.

Brad: Strictly speaking trilogies then yes you’re absolutely correct. Some second sequels are better than some others like Alien 3 and Last Crusade.

Brian: Right, but Kingdom of the Crystal Skull revoked Last Crusade’s trilogy status.

Another thing I thought of, if Talia was a kid when she escaped the pit prison, it looked like Bane had to be in his 20s, and they said it was 30 years ago, so Bane is in his 50s??

Brad: And, if Talia escaped the prison and hated her father, how did she survive outside the prison? And how did she free Bane? GAAAA, this films plot is so frustrating and I think its partially because of the weak-ass twist at the end with Talia.

Brian: I guess she didn’t hate her father and went to go find him, because remember he came back and got Bane (although, ummm, there were still prisoners there when Bruce went, so maybe his liberation of the prison wasn’t so successful…)

Brad: Who ran that prison?! Bane? So he frees Gotham’s criminals but leaves old peasants and doctors to rot in his prison? What a dick. And how did Bane manage to get cable TV in that pit?

"Bro, we've got the Spice Channel, too."

“Bro, we’ve got the Spice Channel, too.”

Brian: I guess it was a satellite dish? So he had time to fly Bruce to wherever the fuck that was, set up a dish and a TV, all before he woke up from a sore back? Unless the TV was already there, but I thought it was supposed to be hell on earth? I think the whole prison thing was definitely the worst part of the picture.

Brad: The movie just showed that one big guard that helped Bruce with the rope…a rope that reached all the way to the top…and out of the prison. Couldn’t all the inmates gang up on the guard to kill him. Then climb up the rope. You’re right…I think the dungeon/prison is where the film really fell apart for me.

Brian: Why didn’t they all just go up there, work together to take a long ladder or something to cross the part where you have to jump, and everyone escapes?

Also when I was watching it and Bruce didn’t make the jump the first time and fell from a great height only to be violently stopped by a rope tied around his waist, I thought, “Oh, he’s f-ed up his back some more.” But no, his previously broken back was perfectly fine.

We could probably go on forever picking the nits out of this turd. I’m still not sure if it’s necessarily “bad” but rather a potentially good movie full of plot holes and nonsense sequences. But wouldn’t that make it bad by definition? I’d have to see it again, but I’m in no real hurry to do that. Right now I’d probably give it a 5.5 or 6 out of 10.

Brad: If TDKR came before TDK I don’t think we’d care so much about the flaws. But when the same filmmakers make such a phenomenal film then a make this sequel its a shame. I still enjoyed it more than say, Super 8.

Brian: Well Super 8 was just bad, no question. And that’s from a guy who loves Cloverfield.

Too bad Nolan and company can’t just say, “You know what? We f-ed up. We’ll try that again…” Kind of like Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. Those two pictures are pretty close in how I feel about them.

15 thoughts on “I Don’t Get It…: The Dark Knight Rises

  1. I finally got around to watching this last night so I finally got around to reading your spoiler-full post. This thing looked good but, as you guys fully detailed, had a TON of problems. For one, I almost laughed every single time Bane talked and yeah – who uses their thumbs and pinkies when opening a safe?? This was a total let down after the second one. Did the initial screeners even watch the movie or just assume it was THE BEST. Like everyone does with LSU football every year. Suckers.


    • And there’s a lot more that we didn’t even mention, like I’m pretty sure acts of terrorism on the stock exchange aren’t put into the books as acceptable trades.


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