Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy has established itself as an integral part of the cultural zeitgeist. The villains in particular have been widely praised and immortalized through memes, parodies, and GIFs.
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However,the last part of the trilogyis somewhat controversial and has polarized fans. Some love the film, others hate it. To be fair, both have good reason for their feelings. The film got many things right, but it also fell short in many ways, and those problems have only become more apparent as time has gone on.
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10/10Aged Well: Bane is a memorable and unforgettable villain
Bane is one of themBatmanThe Biggest Villains. He's also a guy with incredibly big muscles, a head stuck in the middle of his shoulders, and a luchador mask. At least that's how he was portrayed in the comics.
Such qualities don't easily translate into a live-action film. Despite this,the representation of Bane by actor Tom Hardy is now infamous. Some fans love him, others despise him, but either way he's a living meme now.
9/10Didn't: Detonating a nuclear bomb over water is not a solution
At the end ofThe dark knight risesBatman gets on his plane and flies a nuclear bomb out of Gotham City. It detonates over the harbor.
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While Gotham wasn't wiped out in a single explosion, nuclear radiation doesn't just go away. Now all of Gotham's water is poisoned. All waters and fish on the East Coast of the United States are irradiated. In fact, the oceans would be poisoned, affecting the entire globe. Even so, flying the bomb over the water is presented as somehow a solution.
8/10Aged Well: The opening scene is brilliantly shot
The very first scene inThe Dark Knight risesshows a CIA agent boarding a plane with a nuclear scientist and some recently arrested men who work for Bane with bags over their heads. It turns out that one of those men is actually Bane, who intended to be captured. While handcuffed and surrounded by armed CIA agents, the villain fights his way out while another larger plane carrying his own men attacks the CIA's smaller plane.
This scene is absolutely brilliantly shot, with dramatic reversals and revelations that make Bane a great villain. It could very well be the best part of the whole movie.
7/10Didn't: The ending makes absolutely no sense
There is a montage at the end of the film that tries to tie all of the different storylines together. There is a monologue commemorating Bruce Wayne's death which Commissioner Gordon reads at his funeral as those who knew him gather.
ThatCharacter who is most affected by his death is Alfred, crying at Bruce's grave, then travels abroad, where he mysteriously sees Bruce and Selina Kyle. But Bruce was on a plane that exploded with a nuclear explosion. Even if he had jumped out of the plane, he would still have died. Additionally, Officer John Blake is set to become both Robin and the next Batman, although there's really no reason for that.
6/10Aged Well: The Bat Wing was a great addition to the lore
Each of the films inChristopher Nolan's Dark Knight Trilogyadds a classic vehicle from Batman's arsenal. The first movie gave him the Batmobile (or as the movie called it, the Tumbler). In the sequel, Batman rode a motorcycle (the Batcycle). At the conclusion of the trilogy, he was given access to his famous plane, the Batwing.
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By making the Batwing a vehicle specifically designed for dogfighting in urban environments, the film brings gravity and believability to this classic vehicle.
5/10Didn't: Defense of the rich is numb in the face of growing economic inequality in the real world
One of the biggest issues inThe Dark Knight risesis a dialogue about wealth and privilege. Selina Kyle tells Bruce at a partyfor the super richthat her time is coming. Similarly, Bane plays into populist rhetoric with both anarchist and socialist elements.
Director Christopher Nolan turns these people into villains and has constructed a story that justifies the rich having their hoarded wealth, while all villains are those who denounce such an oligarchy. But Gotham is a city of widespread poverty. Its high crime rate is the direct result of people in desperate situations committing desperate acts to survive. The message was completely deaf at the time of its release from one wealthy Hollywood director in particular — and the gap has only widened over time.
4/10Aged Well: Batman's Prison Escape soundtrack is inspirational
The followers forThe Dark Knight risescontain three unique songs based on the trailer you watched. One was thatDark Knightscore, a second showed a little boy singing the US national anthem, but the third was a truly epic song.
This is the chant the inmates cheered when Bruce Wayne escaped from the prison Bane had thrown him into. It's the kind of soaring chorus that gets the soul singing.
3/10Didn't: His idolized portrayal of the GCPD is nonsensical
Batman beginsshows that Gotham's police force is almost all corrupt, with Jim Gordon portrayed as the only notable exception. in thethe dark knight,The cops are also portrayed as murderously corrupt, but somehow also treated with almost idolatrous reverence in scenes like Harvey Dent's self-declaration or during the police parade.
The Dark Knight risestakes this idolatry to new extremes. Along with Batman, the police are portrayed as Gotham's only saviors, and Bane only takes over the city after overpowering the cops and trapping them underground. In both previous films, the villains literally used the police as their henchmen to kill people for them. Whatever the reason, the last installment inNolan Trilogybreaks its own internal logic to glorify cops, making the film uncomfortable for modern audiences.
2/10Aged Well: The first Catwoman scene is a great introduction to Selina Kyle
Catwoman is a difficult character to film. She's been so many things at various points in comic history that it's difficult to strike a balance between grounded realism and the sensationalism of a character leaping across rooftops in a skin-tight leather catsuit while brandishing a physics-defying bullwhip .
Actress Anne Hathaway almost strikes a good balance (although she clearly leans towards the more informed interpretation). Her infiltration of Wayne Manor is brilliantly executed, making her a believable but exceptional intruder.
1/10Didn't: The stock market crime makes no sense
The scene where Bane and his cronies show up at the Gotham City Stock Exchange to crash the economy doesn't make any sense. For one thing, financial crimes happen all the time. They don't require an armed takeover, and as reporting has shown time and time again since the 2008 recession, financial crimes are almost never enforced when committed by the super-rich (like Bane's ally Daggett).
There's also no reason Bane would need to be on-site for a digital crime (as evidenced by the fact that he and his men complete their hack from motorcycles). After all, Bruce Wayne is financially ruined for clearly illegal transactions he didn't commit during this very public crime.