What’s Wrong With Movies: The Dark Knight Rises (Now With Spoilers)
10 days ago, The Dark Knight Rises was launched to the acclaim of millions of viewers around the globe. Nerds and Batman enthusiasts lined the streets at a chance to see the Caped Crusader’s final hurrah in the last installment of the Christopher Nolan trilogy. It was a fantastic wrap up to the reboot, being equal parts emotion and action. It took watchers to the edge of their seats with excitement, and into the depths of despair and empathy. It’s an amazing film, written and directed by a very talented Chris Nolan, and acted out by very talented actors. If you haven’t seen the movie yet, I wrote a spoiler-less post here. If you have, let us begin.
TDKR had everything, the metaphors, the sub-plots, and the epic dialogue. We feared Bane not only for his physical strength, but at his menacing intellect as well. We saw Bruce Wayne as a recluse; bearded and walking with a cane, living as the byproduct of a heroic career. He wasn’t the Batman that took down the Joker eight years ago. He was a shadow of his old self. Frail.
But lo and behold, the cries of Gotham did not fall upon deaf ears. For as the need manifested, Bruce Wayne donned the black suit and became the hero they needed once again. If only to fall. Bane, as in the comics, was the only villain that “broke his body.”
There was a collective swell in our hearts as the broken Batman recovered (I’ll turn a blind eye on the fact that the doctor explicitly said the he had no cartilage in either knee, which means he was doing literally everything bone on bone.) He realized the necessity for fear of death and leapt to freedom.
Insert long action scene.
For me, and thousands others, the last half hour of TDKR was glorious cinematic gold. I’m not going to make any outlandish statements but it was definitely top ten endings. Or should I say, would have been top ten endings hadn’t Nolan succumb to the pressure of delivering what he knew the audience wanted. A storybook happy ending.
I’ll say it right now, I wanted Bruce Wayne to die. The whole movie played on the theme of sacrifice. Bruce Wayne has sacrificed his illustrious life in the public eye to become a recluse receiving food on trays. He’s given up on finding a wife and a family. He has committed to something of a higher order and has paid the price. To draw from the dialogue.
Catwoman: “You don’t owe these people any more! You’ve given them everything!”
Batman: “Not everything. Not yet.”
Those are the words of the man ready to give his life for the safety of the people of Gotham. You can even go back to The Dark Knight when Harvey Dent (Two-Face) goes on to say.
“You either die a hero, or live long enough to see yourself become the villain.”
So when Batman gets into “The Bat” and flies off into the horizon, he should have died. Here’s how it goes.
Batman’s final conversation with Commissioner Gordon before flying off is about how the man behind the mask isn’t important. It’s the idea of having a man for the people. It’s the idea that never dies while the body fades away. It was about how Bruce Wayne could die but Batman would remain.
So now, instead of forcing the Robin line, have the movie reveal that Josephy Gordon-Levitt’s character is actually named Terry McGinnis, the name of the man behind the mask in Batman Beyond.
Stay Thirsty My Friends,