A Couple of Reasons Why “The Dark Knight Rises” Wasn’t Perfect

When you enjoy a film this much, it’s easier in some ways to point out it’s weaknesses rather than it’s strengths.  Here are some that came to my mind:

1. Batman, frankly, should be a smarter fighter.  In his first fight against Bane, he does the opposite of what you’d expect this seasoned crime fighter to do:  instead of pacing himself, getting a bead on his opponent and trying to determine his weaknesses – he just lumbers in, grunting battle cries and flailing his fists around.  Even after it becomes apparent that he is no physical match for Bane, he doesn’t really change his approach.

And later, when Batman “rises” and returns to face Bane once more, he basically attacks him more or less the same way.  It seems like it’s just a bit of luck that he eventually disables his little breathing apparatus and begins to get the better of him.  Overall, the movie would have been (even) stronger if Batman’s initial defeat came in spite of him giving it his smartest and its best, and his eventual victory came as a result of a deliberately more intelligent approach to taking down his enemy.

2. John Blake gets a bit too morally indignant with Jim Gordon.  Maybe I missed something, but other than praising Harvey Dent as a saint and allowing Batman to take the fall (something that was Batman’s idea) what did the guy do that was really wrong?  It’s not like they imprisoned a bunch of innocent people or anything.  I can understand that Bane’s audience would get all riled up by it, but Blake’s criticisms seemed just a shade beyond appropriate.

3. Bruce should have reconciled with Alfred before the movie ended.  When the movie ended, I felt I wasn’t entirely satisfied with the ending.  I wasn’t sure why, but upon reflection I think my uncertainty would have been largely dealt with if Bruce and Alfred had reconnected sometime at the start of the third act, after Bruce returned to Gotham but before he met up with Selina.  I wasn’t crazy about the way that Alfred and Bruce’s “break up” was handled, which meant that all the more I felt like I needed them to see them patch things up – it was a story beat that felt missing.  Bruce could have acknowledged the fact that Alfred was right about him not being ready to meet Bane, Alfred could have apologized properly for burning Rachel’s letter.  Or whatever – without this scene or its equivalent, one feels that Alfred’s reaction to seeing Bruce alive in Florence would have been different than what we got.

4. Speaking of that ending, why did Bruce have to fake his death?  He could have easily faked Batman’s death, and nobody but Gordon, Alfred, and Blake would have been the wiser.  I don’t have big problems with this, but I can’t help but to wonder what on earth Bruce is going to do with his life now.  He doesn’t have any money, presumably.  Is he going to just live off of what Selina steals?

Anyway, actually I loved this movie and was impressed by the way that each of Christopher Nolan’s Batman movies stand alone but together tell a grand, even epic, story.  So these comments are not meant to be serious critiques – rather just nitpicking from a fan who wishes The Dark Knight Rises was even better.

4 Faces

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2 thoughts on “A Couple of Reasons Why “The Dark Knight Rises” Wasn’t Perfect

  1. Agree with all points, wholeheartedly. some added comments:
    – batman not fighting smart, and just the lack of batman fighting like batman would fight is something this movie and even TDK missed. Could be something a batman “justice league” revamp could capitalize on. When you spend time trying to “ground batman into reality” by giving him stiff body armor, its kind of hard to then focus on him being this fast, ninja like warrior in the shadows. batman begins did this much much better, if only for a few awesome parts (the docks scene and escape from arkham scene)
    – i’ve read online that apparently the “dent act” made it hard to impossible for criminals to plead insanity. okay, I get that for the movie’s sake, but isn’t that a bit of huge political statement to slide into your movie? i don’t know…probably reading too much into it…but….
    – you and I talked about this, but I’ll mention is here…John “Robin” Blake? Nolan really really doesn’t get Robin…..thanks Mr. Richard Grayson.
    – I really think it wouldn’t have been too hard to establish some more relationship between Bruce Wayne and…….I don’t remember her name before the reveal….Talia. I had a fanbay moment when the Talia reveal came, but more of a “it she isn’t Talia, why do we need this character???” feeling. I didn’t think Bruce knew her before the whole takeover bit. I got a bit lost there (course, I had to run out to the bathroom at one point….)

    Looking forward to see it again.

  2. “Miranda Tate” was her name. She was there, ostensibly, to represent the “normal life” that Alfred wanted Bruce to have, especially in their romance. Bruce did have a connection with her prior to meeting her at that party (a shared interest in renewable energy), but I don’t recall if they’d actually met before. Although if she is on Wayne’s board, one assume they must have met. Um…what was going on there again?

    I didn’t catch that about the Dent Act – so I’ll be curious to find out if that’s in the film or not. As someone familiar with the Batman comics, you’d think this is exactly the sort of thing that Gotham City needs, as Arkham Asylum always seems like a greenhouse for lunacy and serial killers.

    And I guess his name was actually Robin John Blake. Apparently, Christian Bale pre-emptively refused to appear in a movie with Robin in it. Which is okay by me. All I said about it in this film is that it would have been a more effective wink to the fans if his name had been Richard Grayson.

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