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.


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 thought on “Looking Deeper into The Dark Knight Rises

  1. Overall, you are correct! Motivation was missing. What was so good about Gotham that was worth saving?
    A scene which explained plots from the previous movies would have been brilliant.
    Example 1, Bruce remembering how he was about to kill the man responsible for his parents murder… This would lead to Harvey dent’s line of “die a hero, or live long enough to become the bad guy”.
    Bruce could say he died that day, before becoming the bad guy, then say he has lived from then on becoming the symbol of the bat.
    Example 2, Bruce has a flashback at all of the good people in Gotham, and realizes that just because the bad outweighs the good, doesn’t mean it should be burned to the ground.
    These motivations, in conjunction with tdkr plot would lead to Bruce being able to make the leap (a better line than “don’t use the rope” would have been “you need to be something other than just a man to make the leap…” woul have been brilliant, leading to the twist later, other than just a man, batman is a symbol and can make the leap, and Talia is a woman).
    Intertwining with the flaming bat symbol later and the change of heart I those who didn’t wan to fight would have completed the movie.
    As to your issues with Bruce and talia sleeping together, it is just what happens, she is not a ‘sane’ person, not to mention she wants to destroy Bruce, what better way than letting him trust her unconditionally, only to watch him fall at your hands, it is brilliant.
    The cop who wouldn’t listen to Gordon was perfect for the movie, as well as the line about Gordon being good while in war-time, but this is peace-time. Bane and ra’s al ghul were right, Gotham had become weak, and ultimately corrupt. Not corrupt in the way we think cops accept money to let people off, bit in the perception that people are becoming weak during times they are not required.
    Bane wasn’t angry at all about the lie of dent from Gordon. He was only getting the people of Gotham worked up, as well as giving the inmates the absolute motivation of ‘martial law’

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