Episode 153: The Dark Knizzle Rizzles

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Jakob, Mandi and Kathie discuss the Bane, the Bat and the Cat.

Since recording this episode, I’ve perused a few Internet forum threads regarding The Dark Knight Rises. They’re pretty very similar to the threads about the previous film, The Dark Knight.

They usually start with a few dozen variations on:

“OMG guys! It’s like the best movie EVAR. Nolan is a GOD.”

Then someone has the audacity to write something like:

“Honestly, I wasn’t that impressed. There were a lot of things that didn’t make sense. Like how did Bane’s mask stop his pain? What was that about?”

And then people reply things like:

“It was awesome. End of story.”

“Maybe you should go back to watching Avengers, asshole.”

And my favourite dismissal:

“Some people just like to go against the herd. This troll is just looking for attention.”

And then the guy says:

“No, seriously. I just want to know what why Bane had constant agonizing pain from being beaten up. I’ve never heard of that kind of injury before. And then why would a claw mask make that better? Did they explain that? Did I miss it.”

“You can’t expect everything to be explained. The movie was already three hours long.”

“Fair enough. But they explained what the Blank Slate was in detail. Actually Batman explains it to Cat Woman even though she obviously knows exactly what it is since it’s what she’s after. And every knows what it is just from the name Blank Slate. It was the worst clunky, expository dialogue I’ve seen in years.  So, if they’re willing to over-explain something that’s more or less explained by its very name, why couldn’t they spend two lines explaining Bane’s mask?”

“Hey asshole, no one cares what you think.”

“Whoa, chill. I’m just asking questions. Like if the whole plot is a suicide pact to avenge Ra’s al Ghul’s death, how is it going to benefit the League of Shadows if they’re all dead?”

“I hope your mother gets raped with a  hacksaw”

“Hey, guys. This guy’s clearly an idiot. Don’t feed the troll.”

“Yeah, guys don’t get the threat locked”

“I don’t understand why you’re so upset. Okay, riddle me this. How did the secret agent guys not figure out the ginormous guy in the hood was Bane?”

“Because he hadn’t talked yet. Duh!”

“Uh, okay. Well, thank you for not threatening to rape my mother. I just really want to understand this movie you guys all like so much. Okay, so then why were the prisoners even wearing hoods? So they couldn’t see they were in the middle of absolutely nowhere? And why wouldn’t the secret agent guys take their hoods off before they took off? Wouldn’t that be procedure? Or just natural human curiosity to see who they’d just taken possession of?”

“Because that was Bane’s plan to kidnap the scientist.”

“Yeah, I got that was how Bane planned it. But that plan is way to contingent on the government agents not taking his hood off as soon as they got in the plane or before. And why was Bane’s plan to kidnap the scientist in mid-air and not on the ground when it’d be much safer?”

“He needed to fake his death.Weren’t you even paying attention?”

“But why did he need to fake his death? How would the government knowing Bane kidnapped this guy change Bane’s ultimate plans anyway? The fact he’s thought to be dead doesn’t really come into play in any significant manner. And if Bane was worried about the governemtn lookign for him, apparently he’d just have to stick a black hood on him and they’d never bother looking under it.”

“Hey fucknuts, we were playing nice. If you’re just coming here to shit on Nolan’s masterpiece and the memory of Heath Ledger, you can go stick a shotgun up your ass.”

“Huh? I’m not shitting on anything. I’m just asking questions. Like why does Batman refuse to use guns by outfits all his vehicles with massive amounts of weaponry?”

“Mods, can you block this guy?”

“Why does Miranda Tate seduce Bruce Wayne? What was her goal there? So she loathes Bruce Wayne enough to blow up a whole city and also, what, get him off a few times first? For no real reason? He already gave her the reactor. She didn’t need to trick him into revealing its location or anything.”

“Spoilers dude. Not cool. You’ve got to STFU. Block this guy, mods.”

“Block me for what? I haven’t said anything offensive or insulted anyone. Less than this movie insulted my intelligence. Which obviously none of you have any of. And why didn’t Bruce Wayne say hello to Alfred in the last scene. He’s just that much of an asshole? Half a sideways glance his all he can spare for the man who raised him and thinks he’s dead? Why did he even need to fake his death when he has the Blank Slate?

And now that I think about it, how does the Blank Slate erase from existence things like every single copy of your high school yearbook or the hard copy of your birth certificate that the government keeps on file? Or newspaper clippings or little league team photos. Or even just peoples memories of you? Like Selina Kyle and Bruce Wayne can cease to exist on record but Alfred’s still going to recognize them in Venice. Can any of you brain surgeons explain that to me?

“Hey guys. Joker69 here. Sorry I was away for a few days and couldn’t moderate. Don’t worry I blocked that troll and deleted his account. He won’t be bothering us anymore. Remember, don’t feed the trolls.

ImTheBatFan emailed me and asked me to lock the thread and next time I will. TDK fans have gotten  bad rep lately since Colorado, so play nice. When in doubt, ask yourself: What Would Adam West Do?

“Adam West would do Robin in the ass.”

[Thread locked]

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14 Responses to Episode 153: The Dark Knizzle Rizzles

  1. 1. “Like how did Bane’s mask stop his pain? What was that about?” I just want to know what why Bane had constant agonizing pain from being beaten up. I’ve never heard of that kind of injury before. And then why would a claw mask make that better? Did they explain that? Did I miss it.”

    Bane’s mask delivers the morphine that numbs his constant pain. Bane had constant agonizing pain from being beaten up because the prison doctor botched his medical treatment. The guy in the prison cell with Bruce explained all of this. You did miss it. There’s a lot of exposition in this movie, and some of it was clunky, but it was explained.

    2. “Like if the whole plot is a suicide pact to avenge Ra’s al Ghul’s death, how is it going to benefit the League of Shadows if they’re all dead?”

    Suicidal terrorists aren’t a new thing. 9/11 comes to mind.

    3. “Okay, riddle me this. How did the secret agent guys not figure out the ginormous guy in the hood was Bane?”

    There are plenty of ginormous guys in the world. A ginormous guy doesn’t necessarily have to be Bane. Every WWE wrestler is now Bane?

    4. “Okay, so then why were the prisoners even wearing hoods? So they couldn’t see they were in the middle of absolutely nowhere? And why wouldn’t the secret agent guys take their hoods off before they took off? Wouldn’t that be procedure? Or just natural human curiosity to see who they’d just taken possession of?”

    Prisoners wear hoods all the time. I’m sure prisoners in Guantanamo Bay had to wear hoods at times. You see hooded prisoners in movies all the time. I’m not sure what your point is. The CIA guy didn’t take their hoods off before they took off because he was cocky and didn’t think to do it. He had them as prisoners, so why worry. I’m not sure if that’d be procedure or not, because I don’t own the CIA standard operating procedures manual. But since I don’t, I’m willing to say that it’s not necessarily so.

    5. “Yeah, I got that was how Bane planned it. But that plan is way to contingent on the government agents not taking his hood off as soon as they got in the plane or before. And why was Bane’s plan to kidnap the scientist in mid-air and not on the ground when it’d be much safer?”

    The plan wasn’t contingent on the CIA agent not taking his hood off. If the CIA agent took off his hood on the ground… then he discovers that he’s got Bane. Then he’d take Bane and the 2 prisoners into his plane and they’d take off. The same exact sequence of events would play out. And Bane’s plan wasn’t to kidnap the scientist in mid-air, it was to find out what he’d told the CIA guy.

    6. “But why did he need to fake his death? How would the government knowing Bane kidnapped this guy change Bane’s ultimate plans anyway? The fact he’s thought to be dead doesn’t really come into play in any significant manner. And if Bane was worried about the governemtn lookign for him, apparently he’d just have to stick a black hood on him and they’d never bother looking under it.”

    He needed to fake his death so there wouldn’t be a threat of someone using him to build or jury rig a fusion reactor and turn it into a weapon, which is exactly what happened. The fact he’s thought to be dead is why Miranda mentions to Bruce that there’s no longer any danger if he turns on the fusion reactor.

    7. “Like why does Batman refuse to use guns by outfits all his vehicles with massive amounts of weaponry?”

    He refuses to use guns to shoot people. He outfits his vehicles with weaponry to do other things, like blow up obstacles. Or to force trucks to change directions or go off of overpasses.

    8. “Why does Miranda Tate seduce Bruce Wayne? What was her goal there? So she loathes Bruce Wayne enough to blow up a whole city and also, what, get him off a few times first? For no real reason? He already gave her the reactor. She didn’t need to trick him into revealing its location or anything.”

    I think she was trying to seduce Bruce so she could actually get him out of the country and into that pit. When they’re kissing, she talks about taking her plane and flying anywhere in the world. He says “Someday. Not tonight.”

    Or, it could just be to sap his energy.

    9. “And why didn’t Bruce Wayne say hello to Alfred in the last scene. He’s just that much of an asshole? Half a sideways glance his all he can spare for the man who raised him and thinks he’s dead?

    Bruce didn’t say hello because Alfred’s fantasy said that they just exchanged looks. “You wouldn’t say anything to me, nor me to you. But we’d both know, that you’d made it. That you were happy.” He’s fulfilling Alfred’s fantasy.

    10. “And now that I think about it, how does the Blank Slate erase from existence things like every single copy of your high school yearbook or the hard copy of your birth certificate that the government keeps on file? Or newspaper clippings or little league team photos. Or even just peoples memories of you? Like Selina Kyle and Bruce Wayne can cease to exist on record but Alfred’s still going to recognize them in Venice. Can any of you brain surgeons explain that to me?“

    The Blank Slate doesn’t erase every single copy of your high school yearbook or hard copies. They never said it did. It erases you from any online database, I imagine. People will still remember you, which is why Bruce went away to Florence. I don’t imagine Italians would actually know what Bruce Wayne looks like, since I don’t know what any Italian billionaire playboy looks like.

    • nerdhurdles says:

      Thank you Delta Assault for taking me to task on this. I will now attempt to address each of your points.

      1. I will admit, I may have missed the actual explanation about the mask being a sort of morphine drip (this could quite easily have been when I went to the bathroom). But the two people I went with also missed it as well as several other people who I’ve talked to. I think this means it needed to be clearer. Though, if you’ve ever known anyone managing pain with morphine, you know they’re completely out of it most of the time. Bane would have been in a bumbling daze the whole film. So I’d rather the mask was just magic (or a made up drug) because that’d be less of a strain on the suspension of disbelief. Or even don’t explain it. Because “how” the mask works wasn’t our real question anyways. It was “why” he needed the mask. What kind of injuries did (could) he sustain that would necessitate such a device? I felt this was glossed over. Especially when they explain in too much detail the Blank Slate which didn’t need to be explained at all—its very name and Kyle’s desire for it explained that nicely.

      2. Fair enough. But in 9/11 it was a small handful of terrorists who died, not every last member of Al Qaeda. But, you know what? I can go with R’as Al Ghul being so charismatic that he inspired this kind of devotion in his followers. I would just have liked to have been shown. Though this might have actually been in Batman Begins, which I haven’t seen since its theatrical release, so I’m willing to (tentatively) concede that as well. But as a stand alone film, TDKR should have made this devotion a little more clear. Even if just in some of that expository dialogue Nolan is so fond of.

      If TDKR should be taken as a stand alone movie is another debate, of course.

      3. Yeah, there’s big guys out there. But when you’re taking into custody some fellows who know the location of a certain big guy you’re looking for and one of them is huge… wouldn’t you be a little curious? Just a little? Especially if the huge guy you’re looking for is known to be cunning.

      4. I’ll accept your reasoning that CIA guys were just cocky and that’s why they didn’t remove the hoods. But the hoods were clearly there only to drive the plot. There was no reason for them to be there other than to disguise Bane’s identity. The film isn’t full of plot holes so much as extraneous elements which serve only to drive the plot.

      5. So here’s another thing I clearly missed. Why was it important for Bane to find out what the scientist told the CIA guy? How would that affect Bane’s plans if the scientist told the CIA everything or told them nothing? And Bane’s plan was clearly to kidnap the scientist because that’s exactly what he promptly did using a whole other plane. I still say all this could have taken place on the ground (though less dramatically).

      6. Fair enough. But I found the injecting of the scientist’s blood into another body an unlikely method for faking his death. If the body was so damaged they couldn’t use dental records, then surly all the blood would have been burned up too. I wouldn’t have questioned it at all if they just said, “The plane went down, no bodies were recovered but the doctor is presumed dead.” It’s a fuselage plummeting through the air, the bodies would have been spread over miles and miles of wilderness anyway.

      7. But why does he refuse to use guns to shoot people? I mean, yeah, I get it, this is what is supposed to set him apart from the bad guys. But it’s such a hamfisted conceit. And, again, feels like it’s only their as a means to drive the plot from time to time. Psychologically, the character of the Bale/Nolan Batman feels a little arbitrary. He’s gloomy and nihilistic when the plot calls for it, vengeful when the plot needs it, noble when the plot needs a hero with high moral fiber and he’s ruthless when he needs to drive the plot to a conclusion. But it fails to solidify into a complex, nuanced, believable portrait of a human being.

      8. In retrospect, knowing who she turns out to be, you’re probably correct that this is what was supposed to be going on. But she didn’t need to seduce him (at least not all the way) as soon as the were in his house she could have gassed him (old school Batman villain styles) or done the old sleeping powder in the champagne trick. Or shot him with a dart gun. Or had a bunch of League of Shadows guys kidnap him when he was moping about downtown. She only seduces him so there’s a bigger betrayal at the end. It was another piece of plot-driving ephemera. It was a completely superfluous event which should have had a specific, relevant outcome.

      9. Hmm. I still think it’s a dick move. In Alfred’s fantasy, Bruce never died. He was living his life to the fullest. That was the point of Alfred’s fantasy. Here Alfred thinks Bruce is dead. We’ve just seen Alfred lose his shit at the funeral. If someone I care that deeply about fakes their death and then a few grieving months later I see them sitting across a café… they better not just smirk at me. I’m going over there and smacking that smirk off his damn face. If Alfred was trying to help keep Bruce’s identity a secret, then the very point you make in #10 negates that. I’m willing to accept the next thing that happens after the cut was one of them went over to the other’s table and they have a joyous reunion. Where there’s a top spinning indefinitely beside the cappuccinos.

      10. I know they didn’t say that the Blank Slate destroys any hard copy evidence of your existence. But that’s why it’s pointless. Government and police records are still archived in physical form. Unless they’re all online in this alternate universe. Except it’s shown paper is still a part of the legal system in Gotham by in the Johnathan Crane court scenes. So, no. And the criminal underworld wouldn’t have any online information on her anyway. Or hard copy, for that matter. Anyone looking for Selina Kyle, police or criminal, only needs a print out of a surveillance photo to keep looking for her. It doesn’t matter if her name is on a file, they just need to keep asking, “Have you seen this girl?” It’s not like suddenly she’s going to be forgotten by whoever she’s trying to make a new start from. It’s another element that is only there to drive the plot. Selina needed a goal that wasn’t just pure avarice to make her a sympathetic character and Bruce needed a way to escape at the end. It’s just, as a technology, not convincing.

      • 1. I thought it was perfectly clear. The old man explains it’s delivering the morphine to take away the pain. I think your companions just weren’t paying close enough attention, which is common with Nolan films. A lot of people didn’t get aspects of Inception, even though it’s all explained.

        2. The film never makes it clear that every last member of the League of Shadows is in Gotham with the bomb. There might have been more members lurking elsewhere in the world.

        And the film makes the devotion clear right from the beginning, when one of the members stays with the plane to die. He just wanted the Fire to Rise.

        3. Bane didn’t even seem all that huge sitting with the two other prisoners. His size didn’t scream out that he was the one and only Bane.

        4. No, I thought the hoods were there because prisoners getting renditioned by the CIA have hoods put on their head. I actually just read “No Easy Day”, the book by the Navy SEAL who killed Bin Laden, and he talked about putting hoods on Taliban prisoners as well. So it’s something you do to all prisoners. It’s not just to drive the plot.

        5. Well, if the scientist told the CIA details about Bane’s offer, then the CIA would know more about what Bane was planning to do, and might actually try to stop him. That’s why it was a concern. And yeah, Bane could’ve just kidnapped the scientist on the ground, but it would’ve made for a rather dull scene, instead of a really exciting and dramatic action scene, which was good because this is a huge blockbuster film. With a 250 million dollar budget, you want to see huge extravagant setpieces, and that’s what Nolan gave us.

        6. The bodies wouldn’t have been spread out over miles and miles of wilderness, because they would’ve all been contained inside the fuselage of the plane. If the blood burned up, then they’d have no way of ascertaining who was in the wreckage, and they’d just have to assume that the doctor was in there. But if the blood didn’t burn up, they’d be able to test it and see that it was the doctor’s. Win win in either scenario.I guess the League was showing how thorough it was.

        7. Batman refuses to use guns to shoot people because his parents were killed by a mugger’s gun. So he hates guns and he won’t kill. This was all explained in Batman Begins. It’s not a hamfisted conceit, it makes sense given what happened in his past. I felt it all worked well. He’s gloomy at the beginning because he’s dwelling on Rachel’s death. Then he feels the urge to come back out to stop Bane, but he’s not fully healed inside, so he gets broken and beat. Then he finds himself spiritually revitalized inside the pit and becomes whole again. This allows him to let go of his pain and he’s able to move past the Batman persona and lead a new life.

        8. I’m not sure that she could’ve done all of those things you just listed. I mean, I didn’t see any champagne anywhere. And he’s still Batman, so he probably would’ve knocked the dart gun out of her hands. If it’s between Talia and Batman, fighting inside his mansion… I’m gonna bet on Batman. If he had gone to sleep beside her, I guess she could’ve stabbed him. But he didn’t go to sleep, did he? He waited until she went to sleep, and then went down to the Batcave.

        And if she had had a bunch of League of Shadows guys ambush and kidnap him, that would’ve sent the police after them before their master plan was ready. They needed all the police trapped underground. Exposing yourself by kidnapping Bruce Wayne would just lead to the police hunting you down before you were ready for them.

        9. In Batman Begins, Bruce Wayne went away for 7 years without telling Alfred, so everyone thought he was dead. Dude’s done this kinda thing before.

        10. Sure, government and police records are still archived in physical form. But who is actually going to go searching in the archive warehouse in this day and age? Public libraries still have card catalogs somewhere, but does anybody actually use those anymore? Most databases are digital in this day and age, and they’re all connected online so they can be readily accessed and amended. She won’t be forgotten by people looking for her, but that’s why she also… moves to Florence. That’s real far away from Gotham City.

        It’s not the most convincing technology, but let me remind you that this is in a trilogy where we have had a Microwave emitter that can blow water mains across a city, accurate reconstruction of a thumbprint from bullet shards embedded in a brick, and a sonar machine that sources information from every cell phone. These are all implausible. Nolan’s not doing anything out of the ordinary here.

      • nerdhurdles says:

        1. As I said, not just my companions, a few other people who saw the film at different viewings.

        But the fact remains, a constant supply of morphine would make Bane’s head foggy and him incapable of any of the actions he undertakes in the film. It’s too absurd.

        Also, I don’t know anyone who missed any aspects of Inception. That film was quite well put together.

        2. That’s true. The film doesn’t make it clear at all how many members of the LoS there is in Gotham or elsewhere in the world. Maybe there’s a thousand in every city in the world. Maybe this is the last of a dying desperate band. My point is this is a pretty important piece of information to omit just from a storytelling perspective.

        It would be like going through “Raiders of the Lost Ark” unclear if every Nazi in the world was in Africa or if those few troops were part of a bigger army. Raiders has the benefit of history to fill us in, TDKR does not.

        Yes, I agree, the level of devotion is clear. I wanted a reason for the devotion. It was just too extreme and complete to be accepted like the usual Batman villain henchmen’s devotion.

        3. I thought he did. When they were outside the plane it seemed that the prisoners were all the same size. Then When he says “You shouldn’t kill him before he answers” or what ever I burst out laughing because I thought, “WTF? This guy just trippled in size!” That was my impression anyway.

        4. It might be something that happens in real life, but if you’re going to put it in your film, it needs to serve a purpose. Hopefully, a purpose that is seamless and not there to drive the plot which, I’m sorry, this very much did. Or, if not drive the plot, then to allow for a “big reveal”. I wouldn’t have questioned the hoods or any of this if the scene had started on the plane. If Bane has actually been captured and the second plane had been his rescue. That might be a little more cliché, but it would have flowed better and, frankly, made more sense.

        Why would the CIA interrogate the prisoners mid-air anyway? A gun to the head is just a threatening as the threat of plummeting, and easier to do. I think there was some dialogue about being on a tight timeline, but that timeline was only imposed to get the agents and prisoners in the air. It was a plot-driving timeline. Again, just starting the scene in the air would have made more sense.

        5. The audience basically assumes that’s why Bane wanted to find out what the scientist told the CIA. But the audience should never have to assume anything. The audience should be told, or given enough information they can deduce motives. I have no problem with huge action set pieces, but get us to them in a smooth, plausible way.

        6. I questioned whether the bodies would have been contained in the fuselage. But even if the body is recovered with some of the scientist’s blood in it, how is that going to be proof of identity. I pictured the forensic investigator saying something like “Well, there’s this one body with 99.9% one person’s blood and about a syringe full of another blood type. Weird.”

        7. Yeah, everybody knows the literal “why” he doesn’t use guns. It’s just not believable in this film. He’s a masked vigilante who beats people into pulp, perhaps into comas and to death. His moral stance about not using guns doesn’t hold water. He uses bat throwing stars. He will cause high speed auto accidents with zero concern for public safety. This all could be an interesting dichotomy, except it’s never explored. It’s just that it’d make for a short film if he could just shoot his adversaries in the first scene. It’s a clumsy plot device. And it didn’t have to be clumsy.

        8. There may not have been any champagne the scene, but that was only a few screenwriter’s keystrokes away. Of course she could have pulled something out of her purse and stuck him with it. He showed zero signs of not trusting her in that scene. That’s whole point of a seduction plot, to catch someone off guard. Which is what she does when she sticks a knife in him later.

        If the League of Shadows are supposed to be these amazing mystical ninjas, then kidnapping one lone broken man without anyone knowing shouldn’t have been a problem at all. I thought that was the whole point of who they are. Shadows.

        9. He did go away before. Very true. But with the emotional set-up in this film, he owed Alfred more in that final scene. In the context of the events in this film, be acted like an ass.

        10. I envision the scene like this. Cop working on the Kyle case goes to open up his computer files on her. Weird, it’s gone. Someone’s thoroughly hacked the Selina Kyle files. Well, it’s down to the archives then to retrieve the hardcopies. Opens a new computer file, has an assistant enter in all the information from the paper records. Better send copies to Interpol in case she’s skipped to Europe. And the hunt for Kyle continues.

        Ultimately, I wouldn’t have had a problem with the Blank Slate in any of the Batman films previous to Nolan’s. Or even in something like X-men or Avengers. Silly comic-book technology is part of the fun. Especially set in a comic book world. But Nolan goes out of the way to create a more realistic, more naturalistic setting in which things like the Blank Slate simply don’t fly.

      • 1. Well, this wasn’t any ordinary morphine drip. This was a scifi-looking mask specially designed to deliver morphine to Bane so he wouldn’t be constantly foggy. This is not the real world, it’s a world where a guy is dressing up as a bat and fighting crime, while using his cape as a memory cloth glider. If you can believe that, it’s not that hard to believe that a special mask can relieve pain. It’s not absurd because it obviously did not look like any mask we have in real life.

        2. We don’t know how many members there are, and that’s okay, because it’s supposed to be vague. They’re called the League of Shadows, so how exactly would we know how many there are around the world? They’re in the shadows. Nazis were an army fighting a war, while the LoS is an organization of ninjas. Ninjas are a lot harder to ascertain then a national military.

        And the devotion is shown right from Batman Begins, where part of the initiation is killing a man. They’re a group of psychopaths dedicated to “true justice.”

        3. The guy didn’t triple in size, you just saw that he was a bit larger. Still nowhere near Hulk sized or anything.

        4. I thought it served a purpose. The purpose being that this was a CIA rendition, and that’s what the CIA would do in a real rendition, putting hoods over the prisoners. It’s establishing a real world tone, before converging it with the more fantastical exploits of Batman’s world. You’re suddenly taken from the normal and ordinary to the extraordinary, and it’s very effective.

        And yeah, it allowed for a big reveal, which is nice because this is a movie and we like big reveals. The Joker in TDK also had a big reveal in the prologue. What’s wrong with a big reveal?

        Personally, I don’t think it’s as scary if you just hold a gun to someone’s head. Hanging them off of a plane in midair is a lot more torturous, which is what they were going for. It was supposed to be akin to torture, like waterboarding. After all, why do they waterboard people, when they can just hold a gun to someone’s head? I would certainly be terrified if someone threatened me with being dropped out of a plane. I don’t see what the problem with this scene is. There is nothing logically wrong with choosing to interrogate them in midair. Sure, they could’ve done it on the ground. There’s plenty of could’ves you can throw at just about any movie. Just because you would’ve done something one way doesn’t make another way wrong.

        5. The audience is given enough information for the scene at hand, which is at the beginning, where the true plan has not been unveiled. We find out that Bane wanted to know what the scientist had told the CIA. Then as the movie progresses, we find out what was so special about the scientist. Then the beginning makes sense and fits with the revelation in the middle. There’s no assuming, because the information is there. And there’s nothing wrong with an air of mystery at the very beginning.

        6. I think it’s obvious that the body they introduced had had its blood drained, which is why it was so pale. So it wouldn’t be the scientist’s blood mixed with the new body’s blood. It would only be the scientist’s blood.

        7. I don’t see why it’s not believable. He goes right out and says “No guns. No killing” in the movie. It’s established in Batman Begins and continues through all the movies. It’s a core part of Batman’s mythology. He beats people, but not to death. He just pummels them until they’re knocked unconscious or crippled. That’s quite believable in comic book movies. He uses bat throwing stars, but only in Batman Begins, and only to knock out lights. He never uses them to slash people’s throats or anything. He uses bat darts in this movie, but they’re obviously tipped with some sort of poison to, again, knock people unconscious. And it’s explored, mainly in the second movie. That’s when they talk about his one rule, and how he won’t break it. So they don’t talk about it much in this third movie, because it was the focus of the previous one.

        8. Well, Bruce doesn’t drink champagne anyways. Remember in TDK, when he tosses it off the balcony? It wouldn’t have worked.

        Again, I don’t think Talia doing anything would’ve been enough of a guarantee of victory. Talia only managed to sink her knife into Batman at the end because he was preoccupied with Bane at that moment. Bane was the muscle, while Talia was the brains. So it makes sense that Talia would leave the dirty work to Bane, as far as subduing Bruce. They had already gained Catwoman’s cooperation and knew she would lead Batman into the trap, so why risk showing your hand too early? She’d apparently already been waiting 8 or 9 years to exact revenge.

        9. I disagree, I felt that he gave Alfred exactly what he wanted. He knew he’d finally made it, and could rest easy. Michael Caine’s performance also sold it really well.

        10. Yeah, I suppose they might do that. But what would they really be able to use from those paper archives? Just a photo? So you’re gonna go looking with a photo for a white woman somewhere in Europe? What’s that gonna accomplish?

        And I disagree that the Clean Slate technology doesn’t fly. Let me remind you that this is in a trilogy where we have had a Microwave emitter that can blow water mains across a city, accurate reconstruction of a thumbprint from bullet shards embedded in a brick, and a sonar machine that sources information from every cell phone. These are all implausible. Nolan’s not doing anything out of the ordinary here.

      • nerdhurdles says:

        1. Oh yes, it’s a definitely a sci-fi looking mask and I completely accepted it worked via the magic of science (though I questioned exactly what his injuries were that necessitated such a mask) before I learned about the morphine element—something my brain apparently refused to accept while watching the film. If it had been “Unobtanium” in the mask, again, no problem. But when I have to compute that the mask is somehow transmuting the very nature of morphine to being a more reasonable painkiller, then my suspension of disbelief starts to breakdown. Why not just make it Unpainathol? That sounds good to me. Probably doesn’t have the side-effects of nausea like morphine does (which would be bad news in a mask).

        Anyway, you bring up what is basically my main beef with the Nolan Batman films. It’s a guy dressed up like a bat fighting crime. Which, in the “real world” setting Nolan creates, seems silly. Unlike it did in Burton’s gothic wonderland version or even that horrible one with Schwarzenegger. I feel like in this world, Batman should have dressed more like the Punisher. I felt this even more so in TDK, but in both films, I continually feel pulled out of the story by the silly characters or pulled out of the action by the setting being too obviously supposed to be the world we actually live in.

        Some people criticize how Gotham is too much “just New York” in this film, but I actually appreciated that. It said “this isn’t our world, this is an alternate universe where New York was named Gotham.” I did appreciate that.

        2. At the very least, the whole upper management of the LoS seemed willing to kill themselves off in this singular revenge plot. Or we can assume there’s whole board of ninja directors to take over in her’s and Bane’s absence. Had she gone rogue or did the League actually think committing all these resources to making one dude sad really worth it? Bottom line is, for me, the vagueness didn’t work as a way to build a sense of mystery around the LoS. Actually, their name provides enough mystery on it’s own. I didn’t need a spread sheet of their numbers and locations, but a general sense of what kind of peril the world is in because of them. Seeing as this is supposedly the final film in a trilogy (though the Robin angle leaves that open-ended) the audience should have a feeling of conclusion. Whether it’s that the LoS is now completely destroyed or Bane and Miranda have been killed but there’s a bigger storm brewing…

        Also, for a highly sophisticated, centuries old, organization of assassins, their philosophy of “true justice” seems monumentally naïve and untenable. What do they really hope to accomplish? Again, if the setting wasn’t so “real world” these are cartoon villain goals are something I wouldn’t question for a second.

        3. I wasn’t being literal with “triple” in size, I said that was my “impression.” Which it was. If you look at Bane in any scene, he is a massively imposing figure compared to everyone else. I’m merely saying he should have been massively imposing when outside the plane.

        4. I actually think water boarding would have been a way, way, better scene. And more topical. Yes, being dangled from a plane would be viscerally terrifying. Personally, I don’t know how many guns you had to your head, but that would scare the shit out of me. I think in the context of well-established film-shorthand, the audience would buy a gun to the head as a threat enough. You could then say “Wouldn’t dangling out a plane be more scary” and people would say probably say, “Yes, that’d be scarier. But why would they risk their own lives by opening a plane door at 10,000 feet instead of water boarding the guy safely on the ground?” Well, at least, that’s what I would say.

        Nothing wrong with big reveals. I love a big reveal. When they don’t instantly make me think, “Oh this whole scene has only been a set up for this big reveal.” It felt contrived and clunky. A big reveal should be smooth and seemless. Obviously, like all our differences in opinion regarding this film appear to be, this was just my own impression—you clearly didn’t feel it was clunky, or if you did, that didn’t bother you.

        5. I didn’t find it to be an air of mystery. I found it to be an air of “this guy’s actions don’t make sense” which is a very different thing. I would have preferred a good old fashioned, actually mysterious, air of mystery. I also didn’t feel like when the turn-around plot is revealed that it shed light on the previous scenes. It wasn’t like one of those films where the audience realizes they’ve misinterpreted a character’s actions all along and there a montage showing what was really going on. Instead I was just thinking, “Why the subterfuge? Why the secrecy? Why the ruse? Why not just be upfront with his goals from the beginning since the LoS seems to be this unstoppable juggernaut who face no real opposition.”

        Even Batman isn’t even in the game to be an obstacle for most of the film. Bane could have walked into Gotham with any nuclear bomb (I’m sure the LoS could dig one up somewhere, what being the LoS), without all the hoopla. I know all the hoopla is what makes it a Batman film, but the tradition of the supervillain having an ulterior, secondary goal felt really stretched thin here.

        6. All his blood? The guy was alive asking why Bane was doing it and Bane tells him there needs to be a body found. Plus, I don’t think that’s how forensic identification works. Either the body would be charred beyond recognition and the blood would be burned away or the body would clearly be that of a healthy young man in his 20s, not a 40+, hunched up scientist. It seems too implausible.

        7. Like I said, everyone knows about his one rule. My problem with it is that doesn’t follow with the brooding, nihilistic character he’d become in these films. It doesn’t feel natural psychologically. He seems like a man well past the point of breaking this one rule. And if he had, that would have been an interesting character study. He doesn’t seem morally righteous so much as pedantic.

        8. So, he’s too clever for the champagne trick. I still think she could have shot him with a dart gun on his doorstep. Or a hundred other things.

        9. I don’t believe that’s what Alfred really wanted at all. Alfred quite clearly wanted to be a part of Bruce’s life. A happy Bruce with a girlfriend, yes, he did get that at least. But I don’t for a second believe that after the “I f-f-f-failed you” scene at the funeral, Alfred would be satisfied with his fantasy any longer. I’m still going with the spinning top theory. It’s the only way the scene makes sense.

        10. The microwave emitter also didn’t fly. That was also implausible in the “real world” setting Nolan created. Nolan didn’t do anything out of the ordinary in this film, true. The “ordinary” in these films is to put the implausible in a plausible setting. Which, in my opinion, just does not fly. Implausible characters and technology need a slightly implausible, surreal backdrop to be believable. For myself, at least.

        In a nutshell, the feeling I get from the (second two) Nolan Batman films is I’m watching Hamlet, but during the duel at the end they’re holding lightsabers instead of swords. And half the monologues have been cut out so you’re not quite sure what the characters’ motivations are, though you can kind of assume enough to follow the story.

        Clearly not your experience, which is totally great. I’m glad you were able to gleen more enjoyment from the films than I was able to.

  2. JonnyT23 says:

    Yup, totally agree with you, good points Delta Assault. It seems like the author wasn’t even paying attention, or has the IQ of a cockroach. Your attempts at nitpicking the plot are quite futile and sad, you didn’t once point out a plot hole.. instead pointed out holes in your own logic, and abilities to reason. Must you be spoon-fed every minutiae of detail when watching a movie. Nolan, a cerebral director, is totally not the director for you, I can see why.

    • nerdhurdles says:

      JonnyT23, thank you for illustrating the stereotypical Dark Knight fan I was satirizing. I was afraid no one would “get” it.

      I would however suggest that Nolan isn’t a cerebral director. Not really.

      I enjoyed Inception quite a lot. It was nearly perfect. But it also was only cerebral on the surface. It approaches the big questions about the nature of reality and the meaning of life but it never really asks them.

      There’s nothing to take away from the film afterwards other than to debate if the top stops spinning after the cut or if it keeps going. For a film that deals with the human condition, it doesn’t really say much about the human condition; it doesn’t inspire you to ask questions about how to live a life or how to deal with grief and death.

      Similarly, I found The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises to be pseudo-cerebral in tone. Neither film explores the theme you’d expect them to: the morality of vigilantism. For films that set them selves up to be deeper explorations of the superhero myth than normally get churned out by Hollywood, everything is still very black and white. Batman = good; Joker/Bane = bad. Even when Nolan hauled out the unjustified heroic status Harvey Dent as a theme, it wasn’t explored—it was just a device to drive the plot. It was only an excuse for Batman to go into retirement instead of cerebral exploration of what it means to be a hero. And why society needs heroes or does it in fact need heroes?

      Nolan does a great job of suggesting these themes in his films to give what are basically action romps a feeling of depth, but it’s surface gloss.

      There isn’t anything to take away from these films in the way the films of directors such as Lars Van Trier and Terrance Malick tend to. Those are cerebral directors who make films that cause you to question your own beliefs and the beliefs of society.

      Nolan makes thrillers dusted with a patina of gloom and the Coles Notes of various philosophers.

      • Yeah, nothing much to add nerdhurdles except you’re right on all accounts. Delta Assault tried to defend the movie with rationale which I guess we all used but the truth is, we were looking to be entertained so we glossed over the fact that many of those events were plot-driven rather than realistic or rational. Also, about Inception, spot on. All the post movie-debates were about the spinning top and which dream he may have remained in or who else knew about his totem and whether the final scene could possibly be someone else’s dream rather than the protagonist’s.
        I’m not saying Nolan movies aren’t entertaining, they really are and usually avoid such glaring Michael Bay/Amazing Spider-Man-esqe blunders but he dropped the ball on TDKR.

      • nerdhurdles says:

        Thanks for reading, Mel. I enjoyed your “Amazing Spiderman” Review though I haven’t seen the film. You describe it as pretty much exactly as I expected it to be (why I didn’t see it). I also enjoy there’s another blogger using the word “douchebaggery”… there’s not enough of us.

      • You did yourself a great service by not watching Amazing Spider-Man. I don’t usually write reviews but I’m a BIG Spider-Man fan & it was hard not to vent after everyone was social-networking about how “awesome” it was.
        It was douchebaggary personified. Hahaha.

  3. […] worst fandoms: It’s not the fandoms, it’s the fans. […]

  4. jennifer says:

    well the bottom line is Nolan didn’t want to make this movie. The third movie was suppose to be a joker movie and ledgers death let the steam out of nolan. This movie was made because someone dropped off a truck load of money on Nolans yard and said okay will foot the bill for inception – you make the dark knight rises.

    the plot point arguements again vary. i can say for myself i did not love this movie – i saw it three times, well technically 2.5 times as the FIRST time i FELL asleep partway through. That is enough for me to know it had major flaws.

    I did hear someone on another podcast (maybe doug loves movies or indoor kids?) say “well what did you expect, realism in a movie where a dude has to put on black make-up on his eye before he puts on a mask? you’re pissed cause there are story flaws?”

    and then i saw the movie again and i can say i enjoyed it more, but do you need to be told to get over it to enjoy a movie? nah (i went for my job the third view). but i did want to put in the things i found most annoying. spoilers may happen but come on if you havent seen it yet.

    1. Bane really isnt that bad of guy. When all is said and done, he was a pretty good guy who ended up in constant pain to protect some kid. He was so devoted that yeah he wanted to end gotham, but unlike the joker who was actual chaos and anarchy, Bane didn’t really bring chaos. he was about punishment for the 1%ers and the movie didnt really bring that focus in.

    2. The scientist was Russian? I read this was was to avoid the ‘arab’ racism but they sure made ALOT of the bane followers, the jail, and outfits to seem very eastern.

    3. I found Miranda FAR more the plot hole in this whole movie! The point about sleeping with Wayne is silly beyond silly. She loved Bane – Bane was caste out by her father and she still wants to pay tribute to her dad? i mean in a twisted way okay – but the devotion seems a little unbalanced and how much training did bane really get then if he was cast out of the league for being too much of an eyesore? i just think his skills couldnt be so masterful if he was kicked out for being a painful reminder and miranda is like okay that sucks ill be here with these dudes till my dads dead then me and bain will go get vengence? there’s a whole lot of forgiveness going on to be so angry you want to blow up gotham cause some guy killed your dad.

    4. who are the people in the jail still? i see wayne throws down the rope once he gets out of there, but why are they still there? are they supposed to be the same dudes who beat bane up? why would they still help bane?

    5. alfred. i will say i am very happy he didn’t die. i was so scared he was going to die that the time i fell asleep i woke up and said ‘ did alfred die?’ i mean alfred has ALWAYS been there for wayne. i get that it was a fantasy to see him later and the joy he got to but that was the point of the movie where you see nolan just made a happy ending for the masses. This guy got the emotional shit kicked out of him. He raised this kid, protects him emotionally, and stands by him through it all till alfred realizes waynes on a suicide mission and leaves in an ultimatium and then get what alfred gets..to come to his funeral…yeah right alfreds just like ‘oh tip of the hat’ when he sees wayne.

    6. i will concur that the plane scene was extremely flawed and hard to understand as well. i get that it was there to be all action-y and to see how badass bane was. but the rest really doesnt make sense.

    7. my last thing i will say is….did you notice how worried people were in the stands for the football player with the football? dont you think people would be losing their shit about all the players dying behind him? or trying to run out since the ground below them is falling in? While that kid was signing the anthem they put in a scene where bane is watching the kid and he says to himself ‘what a lovely voice’.

    • nerdhurdles says:

      Oh, boo-hoo Nolan. Whether he really wanted to make the film or not, his multi-million dollar dream job is to make the best movie possible. He’s not some convenience store clerk who gets to slack because he got called in on his day off. If he didn’t want to make it, hand it off to someone who did.

      I don’t expect realism from a movie where a dude has to put on black make-up on his eye before he puts on a mask. Tim Burton’s films, the Joel Poomacher film, the old Adam West show… no realism needed. In fact, please check the realism at the door. I demand realism from the characters when the rest of the film is hammering in that it’s set in the real world, devoid of cartoon surrealism that all allows for a dude who has to put on black make-up on his eye before he puts on a mask.

      1. I agree and disagree. I think Bane *could* have been “not that bad of a guy”, but the way they portrayed him in the film, he really was. He was a random, rage-oid, murderous villain. He could have been a fantastic everyman anti-hero, who was sticking it to the 1%ers with misguided methods. Instead, that aspect was merely all a ruse and not his goal at all. In fact, the 1%ers are pictured as being sympathetic victims of the League of Occupy. Which is a subtext that makes sense since Nolan is probably part of the 1% now.

      2. He’s played by Alon Aboutboul who is Israeli. So, yeah, white washed while still maintaining an “evil Middle Eastern” vibe. Though, he’s a green energy scientist and not an Iranian nuclear weapons scientist. Though I feel like we’re meant to have that in the backs of our minds.

      3. Yeah, I find her motivations tenuous. Far enough though, she’s probably completely from that childhood. She just never seemed insane. I wanted to see her be more batshit crazy.

      4. Precisely. I really don’t believe they couldn’t get out of there WHEN THEY HAVE A ROPE or by working together. There’s no guards. There’s no cages they could break into ladders… They had decades to do it…

      5. ‘Nuff said.

      6. Ditto.

      7. They also stayed IN THE STANDS. People would have been streaming over the walls at that point in total panic. I also didn’t get why the football player stops running. He had no way of knowing the ground was going to suddenly stop collapsing at that point. He should have kept running until he hit Jersey. It was, really, one of the most absurd scenes in a film, ever.

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