Looking Deeper into The Dark Knight Rises

[Spoiler Alert]

Last Saturday I watched The Dark Knight Rises, the concluding chapter of Nolan’s trilogy. The movie was painful for Batman. He watched everything he had built over the past two movies destroyed at the hands of Bane and the League of Shadows. His arsenal was stolen. His money was taken away. His back was broken. And then the criminals that he had sent to prison were released as Gotham was cut off from the world. The stakes were raised and Bruce underwent some major character development to bring closure to the franchise.

As soon as the movie ended, I felt that something was missing. The Dark Knight Rises is a decent movie. It’s just missing something to make it into a great movie. More than just one thing. Today I watched one of my favorite Batman movies, Mask of Phantasm to try and figure out just what was missing from The Dark Knight Rises.

It quickly became apparent to me the things that I didn’t find made sense in The Dark Knight Rises as I finished Mask of Phantasm. There were a lot of things but I’ll just mention one major thing.

  • Motivation

There are parts in The Dark Knight Rises where the characters do things that just puzzle me.

Bane

The villain of the film is Bane or so we’re led to believe for the majority of the film. Miranda Tate turns out to Talia Al Ghul who Bane is working for. Talia want revenge because Batman let her father die in the first movie. Bane is just a pawn in her scheme. The movie does a switcheroo in the last couple of minutes. It leads the audience to believe it was Bane who escaped from the pit and not Talia. Bane who was born in the darkness. Then it turns out that is not true. It’s Talia who escaped the pit. Bane was her protector in the pit. After Talia is revealed, Bane’s motivations become a mystery.

Talia’s plan involved them blowing up with Gotham to just torture Bruce Wayne. Why would Bane want to die when they could easily escape? He had no quarrel dying for Talia nor taking a beating for her in the pit. What is his motivation? What does he stand to gain from the plan? Ra’s Al Ghul cast Bane out of the League of Shadows. Why would Bane want to die just to torture his killer? I thought he and Talia became lovers but before she leaves him to fight Batman, she refers to him as a friend. Is he willing to die for a friend when they can both easily survive and complete their plan anyway? I really felt like there was a missing segment to the movie that was supposed to explain why Bane was doing everything he did. Is he just the best friend ever? Did I missing something?

The Mask of Phantasm also does a switcheroo at the end. The audience is led to believe that Andrea’s father was the Phantasm. Then it’s revealed later that it’s Andrea herself. She is taking revenge for her father’s death. There’s a scene that explains her motivation. This is missing from The Dark Knight Rises.

Miranda Tate/Talia

  What was the point of Talia giving Gotham five months and then blowing it up? If she was just blowing it up, then why not just do it from the start? Did she want Batman to escape and try to stop her? I thought she was getting revenge on him. I can understand her wanting Batman to watch his city collapse from a television screen. Five months is a long time for that.

I also don’t get why she had sex with her father’s murderer. If she was so angry to make a plan that took years to set into motion, why did she feel the need to have sex with him? He already trusted her with his big company. She came onto him. Did she want him to fall in love with her? Did she just find him really attractive? I could understand if Bruce was still on the fence and not wanting to give her the location of the fusion reactor so she tries to use her allure to get closer. But he already gave her all that she needed from him. I was a bit confused about this after the reveal at the end with her being Talia.
In the Mask Of Phantasm, the main antagonist shares passionate moments with Batman because she still loves him. It makes sense that she does this because of love and all. But Talia has nothing to gain from sexing her father’s murderer. It’s puzzling.

This was also this one cop who refused to listen to Commissioner Gordon in the beginning of the movie. Gordon was shot and two other cops were dead yet he refuses to believe Gordon’s story about some guys in the underground. Why was he so stupid? Why wouldn’t he investigate it?

There’s a scene where Bane reveals to everyone that Commissioner Gordon and Batman lied about Harvey Dent. John Blake’s character inexplicably gets angry at Gordon for lying. He has no problem earlier in the movie talking with Bruce Wayne about it. He requests Batman returns. But now he’s all mad at Gordon for lying to keep criminals in jail.

I had some other problems with the movie, there’s one other thing that really pisses me off.

Why did they leave out Batman returning to Gotham from the pit? He goes from halfway across the world with no resources to Gotham off-screen. Why? I would rather have seen how he accomplished that instead of the opening scene with the planes.

One Year Ago (Wrassling Related)

“Vince, John… sunday night, say goodbye to the WWE title. Say goodbye to John Cena. And say goodbye to CM Punk!”

On the last RAW before Money in the Bank 2011, CM Punk uttered these words to close the show. He was going to take the WWE title and leave the WWE in total chaos. He was ruthless and the biggest thing in professional wrestling. He was going to defeat John Cena and show everyone that he’s the best in the world. Now CM Punk is involved with a love triangle between himself, Daniel Bryan, and A.J. The last thing seen on the RAW before Money in the Bank 2012 was AJ slapping Punk and Bryan before yipping out some Yeses.

Huh? What happened in the past year? I like Bryan. I like Punk, but I don’t like this absurd storyline. It looks even shittier when I look back at what was happening a year ago. I hate to call it a shit storyline. These two are my favorite wrestlers. Years ago I would begged and pleaded to see them wrestle for the WWE title. Now I have it and I don’t like it. Their matches are fantastic, but this storyline is just so disappointing. CM Punk is so lame now.

He used to be the guy who sent the WWE into chaos because they didn’t appreciate him. His character is a shell of what it used to be now.  He doesn’t have that fire in his eyes anymore. Tonight for the first time ever, I groaned when CM Punk picked up the mic. He used to be the absolute best, but now he’s just saying the same thing over and over. “AJ, you need real help. I’m not going to take advantage of you.” What happened? Is it just because he’s face now?

Bryan is still entertaining. He’s fleshing out his character. I want more for him than this storyline. He needs something more serious.

The worst thing about this storyline is how the WWE title is in the background. CM Punk’s last storyline rose the title up. It put the title at the center of everything. AJ is at the center of this feud. She’s not bad. She’s done quite well in her role, but I want more. The PPV isn’t here yet, but I’ve watched the build to it. It doesn’t even come close to last year’s Punk storyline. I know the WWE can do better than this. They did it last year.  Is it that hard to recapture just a part of the magic that was last year’s Money in the Bank event?

One Year Ago

I make an effort to review the quality of my life and its direction when I get the chance. I do this by comparing where I was a year ago to where I am now. I ask myself these questions; What was I doing last year at this time? Am I happier than I was a year ago? Did I reach the goals I set for myself? What did I want last year at this time? Do I still want it? Do I have it?

In July of 2011, I knew that I wanted to be a screenwriter. I didn’t know how to do it. I didn’t know how I could accomplish it. I didn’t think that completing college was going to help me towards that goal. I wanted to leave college. I didn’t like the debt that I was getting into. I felt like I was being scammed.  Outrageously priced books, mandatory waste of time classes, and other issues made me really regret going to college at all. My college wasn’t a bad one, but I didn’t think it was worth the price I was paying. Last year at this time, I wished I had never gone to college. I wanted to go back to when I hadn’t made the choice. I felt like college was going to keep me from doing what I really wnated to do.

Now, I’m still in college.   I’ve stopped caring about my grades completely. (Yet they are at the same level they’ve always been) I just write whatever I want on my papers and tests. I keep myself entertained by seeing what I can get away with. I try to have as much fun as possible in my life at every second. I’ve stopped stressing about the debt I have to pay off. I still don’t know how I’m going to become a screenwriter, but I’ve been reading about the lives that these people lead. I know now more than ever that it is what I want to do.

As much as I hate to say it, I have a more positive outlook on life now. I don’t know what happened over the past year to cause this, but I am happier.

Parenting License

You have to get a license in order to drive a car. You must pass a test to show that you are good enough to safely operate a vehicle. There are so many things you have to prove that you’re good enough before you’re able to do it. Parenting isn’t one of them.  You don’t need to prove that you’ll be a good parent before you pop a kid out. You have to prove this when you’re going to adopt, but not when you bring the child into existence. Atrocious stories fill the columns of newspapers detailing child abuse and neglect. Not everyone out there is fit to be a parent.

Bad parenting sullies our society. Children who are abused in turn abuse their own children leading to a cycle of pain. These children can grow up to become abusive adults. These abusive adults fill roles in our society.

Should parents have to prove themselves before they’re allowed to have children? Logically a parenting license is the way to go, but in practice it would never work. How do you teach parenting? Is there a surefire correct way to raise a child? Unlike driving a car, parenting isn’t simple. What would you put on the test? What would be the test? Spending a day with a child? And what about those who fail.  What would be done to people who want to have kids that don’t pass the parenting license test? Do we stop them from having kids? How? Sterilize them?  It becomes very messy. Implementation of a parenting license is impossible.

Raising a child is an immensely important and difficult task. Not every person is going to be good at it, but what can we do about that? Is there a way we can minimize the damage that bad parenting causes?