I finally saw The Dark Knight Rises from director Chris Nolan. This is Nolan’s final film in the bat franchise, and I think he ended it well. I enjoyed watching the film, and think it blends a lot of genres, like disaster, crime/caper, superhero, and a great bit of noir. I do think I need a second pass at the film to incorporate more elements into my brain. I’m sure I missed a few things. There’s a hardness, ugliness and bleakness of society and living in the Batman films that reminds of noir films. Money and finance is both a price and a game as a lot of people movie into cooperate espionage, financial fraud, theft, terrorism, and anarchy with the ultimate goal to destroy Gotham City on principal.
Gotham City gets sacked so many times and the level of destruction really gets heavy and expensive. I notice in every Batman film since Batman in 1989, someone always discovers Batman’s secret identity, or he reveals it, which makes his identity Gotham’s worst kept secret. Another parallel to at least Batman Returns (1992) is the appearance of Catwoman, and her relationships with Bruce Wayne and Batman. This is a different version of the character, and I’ll expand on Catwoman in a separate post. Just know that she’s got more of a grifter/thief persona and her own duality mirrors Bruce Wayne/Batman’s. Selena Kyle is the femme fatale and anti-hero of this story. She’s also wrapped in an alluring package so she fools a lot of people into thinking she’s soft and vulnerable. She’s as dangerous as the men in this film. She’s also good at playing others, and she in turn get’s played. Double and triple crosses in The Dark Knight Rises is a vicious cycle.
The major antagonist in this story is Bane, who’s calculating, cold, intimidating, and evil. Bane’s own history and membership in that exclusive League of Shadows makes him quite formidable. He posses a “been there done that” to the Batman tactics. In a twisted way, Bane mirrors Batman’s desire for justice with a complete perversion of justice and law. His hardened nature and desire to “break” the Batman makes him the foe Batman clearly underestimates. Bane goes after Bruce Wayne’s money and Batman’s back. He’s quite the bastard and states outright he wants to break Batman’s spirit. He has to do that by destroying Gotham. His acts appear personal, and we realize how connected Bane’s connected to the League of Shadows and Ra’s Al Ghul.
Money, finances, and well-being plays a big role in this film. Bane not only cripples Gotham, but he bankrupts Bruce Wayne as well. It’s part of his plot, and it works. Wayne’s interest in financing others or lack of financing changes how Gotham operates. The man’s ability to give or take away funding was a lifeline for others. Losing that money meant Wayne lost a lot of control of his life as the billionaire status which exuded some coolness, like shutting down the paparazzi’s cameras, or able to buy out companies as he pleased
With Dark Knight Rises it’s been a few years since since the death of Harvey Dent, and
Batman’s “disappeared” from the public eye and as far as the public knows, he killed Harvey Dent. Bruce Wayne lives in misery, still mounring the loss of Rachel, and somewhat a recluse. No more billionaire playboy. He’s hit a low. A sad factor to Bruce Wayne is his deteriorating relationship with Alfred Pennyworth, his butler and surrogate father. It’s painful that all Alfred wants from Bruce is his happiness and Bruce is so far removed from being happy. Note that the second mentor, Lucius Fox is clever with a lot more gadgets and resourcefulness. I love his calm, reserved nature.
One thing I loved about the film is seeing Dr. Crane again. He’s gone from prominent psychologist, to drug dealer, and now a twisted judge. He’s such a deviant, and reminds the viewer that insanity and brilliance combined proves to be fatal. His idea of justice makes him more of a small time hood, but helps tie elements from the Batman Begins to The Dark Knight Rises. I wonder why he didn’t he use more of his fear toxins, since it’s his love. It does bring him back to the League of Shadows affiliation, and that evil mind of his.
There are a lot of ideals spouted in this film, and more characters to discuss. For example, Jim Gordon lives with the fact that he knows what Harvey Dent did to his family in The Dark Knight, and allowed Batman to take the blame. His guilt ultimately provides Bane with some ammunition to rally imprisoned criminals who saw a harsher side of the law.
I did feel the editing was rough in several places (hence the need for a second and third pass at watching). I did think some of those cuts were cruel, or too fast for my eyes. I hate those kind of shifts because for a moment I’m playing catch up when I’d like to feel that flow in movies. There are some points I do think seeing the film again may or may not make clear. I’m looking to updating this post when I do see the film again.