Let me start off by saying that I loved The Dark Knight Rises. It was brilliantly paced and written with extraordinary insight into the themes and symbols of the Batman mythos. It also gave viewers a profound portrayal of what Gotham and its residents are made of. All that being said, there were mistakes in the film that need to be addressed.
Certainly, nitpicking over mistakes does detract from the fun of watching the Batman franchise as it defeats the entire reason we suspend our disbelief for a man who dresses up as a bat to fight crime in the first place. However, there’s no denying that there were noticeable flaws in Nolan’s latest work. They’re not the sort of problematic situations that would bother you upon initial viewing, but rather the stuff you would search up online, joke about among friends and ultimately shrug off by saying “Because he’s Batman”.
It’s with that mindset that I hope readers consider the following, and please note that there are spoilers for those who haven’t seen the film.
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10. The Dent Act
In memory of Harvey Dent, the Dent Act is put in place to deter organized crime. Eight years after its implementation, organized crime has disappeared from Gotham completely.
Now, there are a few things that should be noted here. Firstly, this is Gotham we’re talking about. Organized crime is practically its primary industry. Even if the time frame was lengthy, Gotham’s intricate ties to the underworld run deeper than stricter punishments, a thousand-strong police force and a tough-as-nails Commissioner.
Secondly, corruption within the Gotham City Police Department is all but forgotten in the movie. With so many cops hired, there are bound to be a few bad eggs willing to help criminals in exchange for bribes. Right? The Dark Knight featured a lot of corruption, through Harvey Dent himself and officers like Anna Ramirez. Does Nolan really expect us to believe that there’s not one bad cop left in Gotham?
I’m sorry, but I just don’t buy that Gotham is nearly crime-free thanks to one Act. Even if it is the Harvey Dent Act.
9. The Absence Of Blood
This one can be easily explained by the PG-13 rating, but given the amount of violence throughout the movie, it’s hard not to notice the lack of blood. People get shot, punched, brutally beaten, thrown into heavy objects etc. In particular, scenes where people were shot point-blank are visibly missing indication of bleeding.
Personally, I don’t think its necessary to see bleeding, but there are those who would consider the trade-off between gritty realism and letting families see The Dark Knight Rises a flaw. Plus, Nolan is going for a grittier feel with his films and adding in some blood here and there would help to achieve that to a greater degree. I’m not saying the turn the film into the Saw franchise, but a bit of blood here and there wouldn’t hurt.
8. How John Blake Figures Out Batman’s Identity
As an amalgam of Robin, Blake works. The orphan speech he gave was excellent and carried remnants of Dick Grayson, the first Robin, whose parents were also dead. Furthermore, his street smart hot-headedness all but shouts Jason Todd, the second Robin. Only the third Robin, Tim Drake, was able to figure out Batman’s identity and unfortunately, the way Blake did it wasn’t as logical.
We aren’t given much information on John Robin Blake, other than that he’s a gutsy orphan cop. He demonstrates superb deductive skills throughout the movie, but the reasoning he gives behind how he figured out Bruce Wayne was Batman is a bit far-fetched. Blake cites meeting Bruce and seeing anger over his dead parents masked beneath a façade.
Mentioning Bruce’s mask-like facial expression as evidence is hardly persuasive, but the speech is emotional enough to convince viewers. We can only assume that Blake had carried out previous investigations before visiting Wayne Manor (perhaps he noticed the 8 year absence link).
As it stands though, the movie fails to really shed much information on this plot point and for me personally, it didn’t satisfy.
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7. Magic Brace
During a visit to see Jim Gordon, disguised as a hospital check-up, a doctor tells Bruce that cartilage in his knees is non-existent and that his health is deteriorated. He ends his speech by recommending that Bruce not go heli-skiing. The billionaire playboy chooses to ignore him and though he doesn’t go heli-skiing, let’s just say that what Bruce does go on to do for the rest of the movie probably would’ve disappointed the doctor.
It’s possible that Bruce could have planted fake X-Rays, but there really wouldn’t have been a point to that. We do know that Bruce is somewhat in shape, due to an earlier archery scene with Selina, but his leg brace appears painful, so not all of his deterioration was feigned.
It’s hard to believe that this “magic brace” got him in working condition, to the point where he demolished bricks with a roundhouse kick, in such a short period of time.
Now, that being said, I’ve read reports that this technology does exist for military use, but only in prototype form. While it’s likely that Bruce could have access to it, it’s still a bit of a stretch.
6. Talia’s Death
While racing to Jim Gordon, John Blake’s car rolls over. He emerges from the wreckage completely fine and continues his journey. Bruce’s failed attempts to climb out of the Pit end with him falling from a jump, causing the rope to drop his body in a motion that implies agony or death. But, just as Blake did, Bruce appears relatively uninjured from the experience.
Then we come to another scene in the film. During a car chase for the fusion bomb, Batman forces Talia’s caravan off the road. It crashes and Talia dies moments after. Now, I’m not saying that a car crash can’t kill someone and yes, I know that it’s just a movie but still, to kill off one of the film’s main villains in such an insignificant way seems a bit careless to me.
Compared to the death-defying actions of Bruce and Blake, Talia shouldn’t have died from a mere collision, her death should have been more fitting and more believable. Her reveal as a villain only came shortly before her death and it would have been nice to of seen her face off against Batman in another setting, not just a car chase.
5. Prison Inmates Are Supportive And Care About Your Well-Being
While it’s described as hell on earth, with prisoners who are horrifically brutal, instead, we get a prison of nice, old people who are willing to fix you up, talk to you, and cheer on your escape. There’s also free TV.
We can assume that since Talia last visited, she implemented rules and restrictions, but making the inmates almost benign in comparison to Gotham’s ilk does detract from the Pit’s reputation.
It’s clear that its inhabitants are vicious and savage with their treatment of others, as seen by flashbacks, but that’s not how it was when Bruce was there. Despite the horrid descriptions we hear about the Pit, I don’t think Bruce would agree with them.
4. Bruce’s Back Was Fixed Medieval Prison Medicine Style
This is probably one of my bigger gripes about the movie.
Bane broke Bruce’s back in a brutal fashion and despite what you may choose to believe, in no way does hanging out in a rope cure those injuries. Exercising afterwards would have only exacerbated his recovery and what he was eating and drinking wasn’t nearly nutritious enough to help his body heal or rebuild protein.
In the Batman comic there’s a story arc titled Knightfall, during which Bane broke Batman’s back to the point where recovery through conventional means was nearly impossible, despite the fact that Bruce had the support of his technology and was still living in Gotham. Numerous rehabilitation sessions and ultimately, an encounter involving superpowers, fixes Bruce’s spine. But even with his back fixed, Bruce had to undergo training from one of the world’s greatest martial artists, Lady Shiva, in order to return to his former physique.
The Dark Knight Rises had a common theme of surpassing limitations, but the quick fix rope tug isn’t a plausible option for even a short-term recovery.
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3. How Bruce got back to Gotham
After climbing out of the pit, the ID-less, penniless and phone-less Bruce Wayne somehow snuck into the United States and better yet, the heavily guarded Gotham. I know he’s extremely wealthy and well connected but still, it does cause for quite a few plot holes.
In Batman Begins, Bruce was in a similar situation, except he had Alfred to bail him out. Plus, Gotham wasn’t under intensive scrutiny by Bane and his army.
Bruce’s return is also questionable when time duration is taken into consideration. He essentially had to leave a foreign country, enter America, and slink into Gotham undetected, within the span of a few hours. It’s a situation that can either be explained through an extensive array of failsafe entries into Gotham, or contacts around the world who had their own private means of hyper-speed transportation.
Knowing Batman, this does make sense. Prep time is his speciality and planning for worst-case scenarios had to have included a “stranded in a foreign country, enter Gotham discreetly” strategy. Conversely, knowing Batman, he isn’t one to team up with others.
Without the Bat-Jet, the fastest he could have gone solo would be by commercial flights – and we all know how long those take.
2. Bane’s Men vs. The Cops
The Gotham Police Department were trapped inside a closed off sewer for three months and given rations to survive. When they emerged, their weaponry was lacking. Bane’s terrorists had the advantage of heavy machinery, lethal training, and enough space and food to keep themselves in decent condition. Although the police emerging from their trap was a surprise, both sides were essentially on par with one another, which doesn’t make a whole lot of sense given the circumstances.
The theme of beating overwhelming odds plays a role in this, but seeing tactics other than run into each other and shoot would have been more convincing. On Bane’s side, we could have seen snipers scoping officers. The police could have been seen using the pent-up frustration of being locked up manifesting itself in more aggressive blows, or being forced to make smarter strategies when faced with tanks and greatly armed men. Also, watching how common criminals might have taken advantage of the police department’s underwhelming forces to join Bane’s side would have added to the unpredictability.
Seeing the two forces just clash head-on didn’t make for a very engaging or believable battle.
1. The Ending
For a few days now fans have been arguing over how the ending seemed a tad bit ambiguous. Alfred seeing Bruce and Selina in Florence could be his imagination, but the general opinion is that Bruce survived.
How Bruce escaped at the end though is something we are unlikely to ever find out, and is yet another moment that can be chalked up to “Because he’s Batman.”
There are a number of different theories as to how he ditched the Bat at the end but the fact of the matter is, the chances of him actually being able to escape and get outside the blast radius, in that short amount of time, are very slim. If I recall correctly, we saw the countdown on the bomb enter into its final minute as Batman is still in the cockpit. Did we not?
It’s a feat that does seem impossible considering the time span, but if anyone can do it, Batman can. Right?
So there you have it, 10 flaws in The Dark Knight Rises. If you think the list is lacking or that the caped crusader’s film had no hitches, tell us down below in the comments section.Previous