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The Dark Knight Fails to Rise
The Le (08/26/2012)
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Related: Batman v Superman (extended) review
Related: Batman Classic HeroClix Spoilers
Related: Dawn of Justice Looks Awful
Related: Batman Arkham Origins HeroClix Spoilers
Goto Comments

The Dark Knight Fails To Rise: A critical look at the new movieThe Dark Knight Rises is an interesting movie. While there were many endearing moments, the movie ultimately fails to live up to the standards the first two Batman movies set.

It's not hard to pinpoint what went wrong with the Dark Knight Rises, but what's troubling is that there are a lot of issues. Head Honcho Christopher Nolan certainly made a definitive Batman Trilogy for himself, but he sacrificed storytelling to do it.

Let's take a hard look at all the problems with The Dark Knight Rises.

Warning: This article contains many spoilers for The Dark Knight Rises, so be warned. If you haven't seen the movie, this will totally ruin it for you.

The Dark Knight Fails To Rise: A critical look at the new movieBANE'S JOKE
As a villain, Bane isn't a bad choice. He's evil, he's physically strong, and he's got a plan. But look deeper at the character and you have some serious problems with him. He's intelligent. We get that. He pretended to be caught with a bag on his head so he can infiltrate his enemies. Cool. Wait, didn't the Joker do that in the second movie? Yes. Yes he did (albeit the Joker pretended to be dead).

Bane also did off-the-wall things that didn't make sense until after all the pieces came together. Again, he was exactly like the Joker. So rather than creating a unique character, Christopher Nolan simply created a clone of the Joker with less purple.

The Bane from the comic books is a powerful guy that uses drugs to enhance himself. Nolan's Bane had no such thing (as far as we could tell). Nope – Bane’s just a strong guy with an asthma problem (hence his Oxygen mask), yet for no reason he is able to take blow after blow from Batman (even though Batman has mechanically enhanced strength that allows him to kick through brick walls).

It just didn't make sense. Is Bane an intelligent villain or a super powered villain? Apparently he's both, but it doesn't fit into the Nolan trilogy at all. I understand the need to make a convincing Villain, but Bane doesn't fit in a trilogy that's featured a super intelligent Joker, smart mobster Falcone, psychotic-yet-sane Scarecrow, and master mind Ra’s Al Ghul.

As a villain, Bane felt cartoon-y when compared to the other villains in the trilogy.

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Your Comments:
They forgot one very important question: "Why were there zero attempts by the U.S. military to deal with the Gotham situation?" Maybe they were busy in the Middle East?

I love the RedLetterMedia guys, but I miss the character he did when analyzing the newer Star Wars trilogy. Anybody that has not seen those needs to watch!

Posted by: Kragnorak on 1/30/2015 10:37:09 AM
Actually the original/first bane in the comics does not have any strengthening drug/venom. Just a really strong wrestler.

Posted by: batdude26 on 3/5/2014 10:40:49 PM
The movie was awesome!

Posted by: Your all insane! on 8/24/2013 4:05:29 PM
You could summarize the Avengers' overwhelming stupidity with just one paragraph.

Posted by: B on 3/31/2013 5:07:20 PM
Movie sucked.

Posted by: Adam on 9/29/2012 4:12:50 PM
Brave... very brave, you just kicked the nolanite-nest my friend.
prepare for the worst kind of trolling known to man.
it was pretty poor though, its a sad day indeed that anne hathaway is the best thing about a comic book movie.

oddly my wife says that Banes voice was the best thing about the film because she found it both funny & sexy

Posted by: Ste on 9/10/2012 11:32:35 AM
Harsh words. As i stated in my review, i think this was my least favorite of the films. Not a total disapointment, but could have been so much more with a little more TLC.

Posted by: Slade on 9/7/2012 9:54:33 PM
Sorry that was supposed to be Blake ryhmes with Drake.

Posted by: Craig on 9/6/2012 2:51:31 AM
You nailed it. By halfway through this film I was furious and done with it. There was nothing Batman about Bruce Wayne or Batman himself. I was so bored that I figured out all the twists and "reveals" an hour or more before they happened (Robin or Talia).

Thing is Robin was in it. All he needed was a damn costume. I was pleading by the midway point he just put on any costume (having concluded by his actions, character, and purpose in the story he was our Robin analouge... Drake also ryhmes with Drake) and I would have been happy. A way better story would have been to have Bruce train a replacement after his back is broken (in a way more logical fight than the dumb one we got... I'm going to rush the guy surrounded by his thugs, and JUST punch him. No smoke bombs, throwing bat-stars, or other gizmos on my belt!) It made a great story in Prodigal Son, Batman Beyond etc. Why not here. The only part of the movie where I got a rush like the first two films was the brief Robin "teaser" at the end. That is NOT a good thing to happen in a film. I felt cheated and depressed by the crap that was this film, when an amazing implied sequel is revealed at the end (why not just make the amazing sequel?!?).

On the prision you didn't even touch on the dumbest part. They all had ropes tied to them when they climbed... Why not just climb the bloody rope?!? There was no explanation for the reason they needed to jump those stupid rock steps in the wall! I don't really recall (as I was really bored and not paying attention) but I seem to remember Bruce untied the rope at the top and threw it back down into the prison... Just climb the damn thing to that top point already... Who builds a prison you get multiple chances to attempt escape from?!? Who builds a prison you can escape from on purpose at all?!?!?!?

Further building on your brilliant insight of Bane=Joker, my thoughts were that Bane kept saying he was honouring Gul's plan, but all I could think how? You're honouring the

Posted by: Craig on 9/6/2012 2:50:11 AM
I honestly disagree with this article. I think Nolan did some brilliant storytelling in this film. The idea of Bruce Wayne bankrupting himself because he wouldn't follow through with a world-changing project after spending half his fortune on it because he didn't want it to be turned into a weapon is not only the epitome of heroic sacrifice, but it is a unique approach that turns the Batman world onto such an extreme edge, that no one could anticipate where it would go. The child of Ra's Al Ghul line was so well done, that even I - an avid Batman fan- was so willingly suspended into the story that the whole fact that the Demon's head had a daughter (and not a son) completely slipped my mind while watching it -- almost to the point of feeling embarrassed for not seeing it coming. It was a well-done twist to catch me, and I have to give Nolan credit for that. The movie did a great job crafting the best parts of three different story arcs into a wonderful movie. We should be grateful for the legacy Nolan leaves comic filmmakers.

Posted by: Fox E. on 9/1/2012 7:58:19 PM
The Le... you are so brave to have written this article. Websites and critics that are giving this film a negative review are being threatened by fans. That was the reason why this film had generally positive reviews.

Posted by: JLDark9 on 9/1/2012 10:01:21 AM
Wow The Le! Congrats on creating the most controversial column I've seen on HCW in a long while. I enjoyed the movie hugely, I'm not a massive Batman comic fan but new enough to go "cool bane's broke Waynes back, that's supposed to happen" or "Ah that's a bit like that no-man's land thingy". I appreciate the comic references that were 'supposed' to happen. I agree with you that it wasn't the best of the trilogy but it did END IT! So many films wuss out and leave a sequal almost inevitable. They could continue the series with 'Robin' but it felt like they were leaving that to the imagination. Bane could have been better or a heck of a lot worse "WATER FLOWERRRRS" (cringe!) and as you say catwoman was pretty spot on.
Anyway loved the article, agree with some of it and it's nice to see the hornets' nest stirred up sometimes on these forums isn't it!

Posted by: MantisWarrior on 8/31/2012 7:51:20 AM
Does the Joker break batmans back? Nope. So how are they the same then?

Posted by: Sam on 8/29/2012 4:12:46 PM
Without over analyzing, I just want to say that I hated that Bane didn't use strength enhancing drugs. What's so unrealistic about that?

Posted by: Licensedhero on 8/29/2012 3:39:44 PM
number 1) Bane is in no way the same as the joker. Your points were so vapid and vauge in thise regard. You may has well have said "Bane kills people and so does the joker so they are the same:
Number 2) You then moved on to say the Joker had no backstory so neither should Bane. Contradicting your first point.
Number 3) The league of shadows re encacting itd plsn from Batman Begins was the point. They were finishing Ra's Al Ghul's work LIKE THEY SAID!!!!!!!
Number 4) The police were fed when they were in those tunnels were you too busy thinking up this vacuous horse s**t to notice that
Number 5) More than one film have motorcycle chaces
Number 6) It WAS BASED on No mans Land not ripping it off
Number 7) The whole prison thing was relevant! It served the purpose of developing Batmans character Arc
Number 8) Batman can fix his back in 3 months cause hes not a whinny little bitch. Why should everyone heal at the same rate as you? Are you the definition of peak physical condition?

Posted by: Kick-Ass on 8/29/2012 8:42:18 AM
Overall the movie was not comic book accurate. I can deal with 40% inaccurate, but when it is 100% inaccurate I get ticked. It ruins the whole reputation when they are not accurate. I could deal with batman not dying or having his back broken and writing it off as nothing. But, Alfred getting fired/quitting. BULLSHIT!!!!!!

Posted by: theo on 8/28/2012 11:09:36 PM
Wow...Really?? I thought the movie and Bane in particular was AWESOME!! You can't expect all the movie's to be perfectly comic accurate. Also, Bane's voice? Loved it...

Posted by: Owlman166 on 8/28/2012 6:35:14 AM
@bobby "Fine cinema"? Dude, take a class or something. If this movie represents fine cinema to you then I feel sorry for you. I bet you were really upset when the Fatboys movie wasn't nominated for an Oscar, huh?

Posted by: Fanboyest on 8/27/2012 6:07:58 PM
A lot of these articles reflect unfamiliarity with comics and overall lack of appreciation for fine cinema. Bane is like the Joker? The Joker seems to care about nothing except child like self fulfillment. Bane cares about Talia, who wouldn't be a surprise to those of us who actually like Batman or who happen to look at the clix we've played with. Bane uses a pseudo-Marxist philosophy to ignite Gotham's lower class. The Joker plays on human fear, rather like Dr. Crane did. The Joker despite his scars seems removed from pain emotionally, yet remains clever, if a bi unstable. Bane is physically removed from pain only by an external device yet mentally is beyond that. Bane is an important antagonist to Nolan's Batman as like Wayne, Bane was trained by the League, yet left them, and like Wayne is both a deeply flawed yet particularly heroic character at times. When did Crane or Joker ever sacrifice themselves for another? Never. Ra's maybe would have but short of him rising from the grave, a new type of villain was needed to end the Batman trilogy. I think if anything Bane is more like a grown up Alex from Clockwork Orange. He's been the bad a** punk and screwed around, he's learned his lesson, and finally he has the drive to overcome almost anything.

Posted by: bobby on 8/27/2012 2:53:34 PM
@Black Mask, why would I be kicking myself for that? I stopped reading the new Batman comic because they were terrible. It was slow, and poorly "modernized" Batman. My take on the Dark Knight Rises has nothing to do with those comic book reviews.

Posted by: The Le on 8/27/2012 2:08:30 PM
Well this another reason for me to not read reviews on your site, first you did a real bad review on the batman comics from the new 52, I hope your kicking yourself now at how popular the comics are.

But now this? seriously? you just dont get it do you? stick with clix mate its better for all of us.

Posted by: Black Mask on 8/27/2012 1:31:04 PM
Suspension of belief

#1 If I had been in the crowd and noticed this, I would just think that he had had a prepared speech, or notes for topics. And that once he looked at it, he memorized his talking points, or decided to just wing it.

But just about everytihng else in the movie baffled me.

What were the regular citizens of Gotham doing in that time? How many were raped and murdered? What kept the average joe from descending into depravity, if they didn't? What about the downtrodden poor? Did they take this chance to rise up, or were they just further victimized? What about families that were separated by the collapse of the bridges? Wouldn't some parents do anything to get to their children trapped in their schools in city?

All we saw were a few orphans, what about the several thousand other kids? Did they become street gangs like the dispossessed youths in other countries?

Posted by: This Guy on 8/27/2012 11:59:05 AM
Superman III.
The Godfather Part 3.
Alien 3.
X-Men Last Stand.
Spider-Man 3.
Dark Knight Rises is a very good end to a very good series.

Posted by: Boelabaal on 8/27/2012 11:55:07 AM
I felt bad for Gordon in this movie, as he had Lois Lane syndrome. Everybody including a random orphan has figured out that Bruce Wayne is Batman and he was WAY late to the party and had to have it spelled out for him.

This type of thing does not make a character look intelligent.

Posted by: Kragnorak on 8/27/2012 11:46:05 AM
better title: "The Dark Knight Rises Twice and Quits"

Posted by: Kragnorak on 8/27/2012 11:44:35 AM
@Seth: I thought Batman Begins was a brilliant piece of work that was only good BECAUSE it was about Bruce Wayne. The Dark Knight was also very good because it was about Bruce Wayne and Harvey Dent (not about the Joker as people claim). Yet for the third movie it really isn't about Bruce Wayne anymore -- again, the movie focused way too much on the mythos of Batman and the idea of finishing the trilogy.

The lack of character building is something that is sorely missing with the Dark Knight Rises and is just another reason why the movie was so incredibly weak.

Posted by: The Le on 8/27/2012 10:01:46 AM
Seth, please don't flatter yourself that this movie is a precious puzzle that only the beautiful people can appreciate. The "it's a Bruce Wayne movie" is a pathetic figleaf for a poorly paced, sloppily written, uninteresting film. You like it? Fine; everybody likes what they like. Don't go about telling people they "fail to understand" anything. It makes you sound liken a pretentious little rump swap.

Posted by: Boggy Man on 8/27/2012 9:33:52 AM
my conclusion of all the movies as whole, is that batman was treated like a living cudgel and not a detective.

Posted by: ? on 8/27/2012 9:26:57 AM
What you, and most other people I have noticed complaining about this movie, seem to have failed to notice is that Nolan didnt make a movies that told a story about Batman. He told a story about Bruce Wayne. And in all honesty, this is among the best stories I've ever seen/read for the character.

Posted by: Seth on 8/27/2012 9:07:17 AM
The whole series has been fun visually but less so in the story telling when has the worlds greatest detective detected in this series? I don't remember him figuring anything out relay?

Also since when is Batman a burden on Bruce Wayne isn't the other way around?

Posted by: E on 8/27/2012 7:50:13 AM
"a strong guy with an asthma problem".

seriously? they ref the fact that he has pain killers pumped thru there like 80 bajillion times. Nolan took out the whole "venom" part of him because he made Gotham as real world as possible,hence no vat of chemicals for the joker to fall in to, no lazarus pits for Ra's to come back from death in, and no super human strength for Bane. Also, Batman's leg device doesn't enhance his strength. That wall was old and crumbling, and asking for it.

Posted by: rick leo, awesomesauce on 8/27/2012 7:40:03 AM
I actually liked the movie. There were problems that I agree with, but some of this felt overly critical, and other parts just outright wrong.

This seemed to completely miss that Banes mask isn't providing Oxygen, but rather it's providing pain killers because he's in chronic (and supposedly excruciating) pain. This is why in the first confrontation he's able to shrug off Batman's attacks; he just doesn't feel the pain. Obviously he's still taking the damage, but he's not showing the effects of it, which is immensely demoralizing I'd imagine. This is also why Batman was able to defeat him the second time around because he knew the weak point. As for his nefarious plots, there is nothing wrong with the method he was using that seemed like The Jokers, because it was effective. What would you rather have him do? Announce his plans, and then do them?

That being said, I am agreeing 100% about the voice.

Posted by: Night_Writer on 8/27/2012 12:19:57 AM