Like the first two installments, Batman Begins & The Dark Knight, Christopher Nolan takes us to the final chapter of the Dark Knight Trilogy, this time for a whopping 165-minute finisher! We're about to take a look at many aspects of the movie, including previous tie-ins, plots, reveals, and some character bios. Naturally, there will be spoilers, so if you want to find out anything on your own, don't continue reading.
Let's start with the basic plot- Batman is no more. Bruce Wayne has given up the cowl, and isolates himself from society while his business crumbles. Bane, a monstrous being, takes over the city's crime from the sewers. After many threats to the city, Batman resurfaces to stop the new threat to Gotham City. Batman enlists the help of a local cat burglar to find Bane, but is tricked into to being cornered by him instead. Batman tries to fight but is severely beaten by Bane and thrown into a prison underground. Bane threatens the city with a nuclear bomb, having trapped the entirety of the police force in the enclosed sewers. Without Batman to stop him the city is overrun by criminals. Batman eventually escapes, climbing out of the prison with a new sense of spirit, and defeats Bane. The bomb is set to go off, and Batman decides to fly the nuclear bomb out into the bay and presumably dies in the process.
There you have it- the entire plot in 165 words.
Next I want to dissect the main characters.
First off, we'll start with Batman. This man, Bruce Wayne, is a god. He is introduced crippled, having leg problems, invents a brace for his leg, and still fights as Batman. When he is beaten by Bane, he trains his body to escape and reface him. In this movie we still have that theme that Alfred gave us in the first movie- "Why do we fall down? So we can learn to pick ourselves up." After watching the first two movies, you know a majority of this character already, and truthfully not much has changed. He is still the same caped crusader who feels that Gotham city needs a hero, a symbol if nothing else, to get Gotham on its feet and where it needs to be.
Lucius Fox is sort of the opposite of Alfred. If you follow his role in the movies, you see the opposite progression. In the first movie he is a mere employee, coincidentally filling a role in a department that Bruce Wayne has taken interest in. His interests lie in Wayne, and it's not until the end of the movie that he makes it clear he has interest in what Bruce has been doing. In the second movie, you see the progression of the Batman favoring, while still conducting business deals for Bruce, he also comes up with ideas for Batman. At the end of the second movie, we see him say that he is resigning from Wayne Enterprises if the Batman contraption is still in the building. In this last installment, we see a Lucius loyal to Batman. Still holding a position at Wayne Enterprises, he still builds the gadgets that Batman uses, including the new "The Bat" hovercraft.
Catwoman/Selina Kyle- Catwoman plays the same role that she does in anything else you've seen her in. She's a cat burglar, making a quick steal for a quick buck. We're introduced to her as she first steals Wayne's fingerprints; a plot tie-in to the take-over of Wayne Enterprises so ultimately Miranda Tate can be in control of the nuclear reactor. She's in this movie as her usual expected anti-hero, ultimately after the goal of a program that will wipe her crime history slate clean. Unfortunately, this incarnation of Selina Kyle doesn't sport her collection and infatuation with felines, but rather just jumps on the moniker of Catwoman with her reflexes and goggles, which form cat-ears on her head when not in use.
Miranda Tate/ Talia Al Ghul- Miranda Tate is a brand new character introduced to this movie, much like Bane, but has a dual identity that reveals into a well-known character. For the first segment of the movie, Miranda is a business woman interested in taking hold of Wayne Enterprises reactor as an energy source. After the reactor gets stolen so Bane can threaten Gotham with the nuclear explosion, Miranda sits on the sidelines, appearing in scenes with Lucius and throwing out hints and minor conversation. It's not until Bane's life is threatened that she surfaces to reveal herself as Talia Al Ghul, the daughter of Ra's Al Ghul (the main villain in Batman Begins) and the child that escaped from the pit the first time. It was Talia's plan to destroy Gotham, not Bane's, as Bane is merely her protector and has been pulling the strings from the get-go, using her business to get close enough to the reactor.
John Blake- John Blake is also a new character to the series that, much like Miranda Tate, assumes one identity and then becomes a well-known symbol towards the end of the movie. Blake is a police officer and an orphan. Being an orphan and understanding the facial expressions and feelings of Bruce, he approaches Bruce with an assumption and deduction that Bruce Wayne is Batman. Blake plays the role of the detective cop in this movie, where he does his own work outside of the main force and is recognized by Gordon early on. This recognition merits conversation with Batman, which by the end of the movie Batman recognizes Blake as a hero. The identity switch happens at the very end of the movie, where not only does Bruce leave Blake with the Batcave, but it is also revealed that Blake's real name is "Robin".
Then of course there's some return characters. There's The Scarecrow in this movie, playing the role of the judge in Bane's twisted rule of the city, determining the fate of Gotham's heroes to choose between death and exile. There's the return of Ra's Al Ghul, and although Liam Neeson doesn't have a ton of screen-time, his only appearance gives Bruce the inspiration necessary to leave the pit. And lastly, of course we have Gordon, who spends most of the movie recovering in the hospital after being shot in the sewer.
My thoughts: I felt the movie was very long. I didn't particularly enjoy an almost 3-hour movie minimal action versus the massive amounts of dramatic threats, but there were some neat scenes. The football stadium sequence was fantastic (When bane takes the football field out from underneath a game; you saw it happen in the trailer!) and the overall effects were done really well. Even outside of my comic knowledge, I felt there was some major cheese moments, and the movie's closing sequences could've been cut out (particularly Robin). Finally, I propose a perspective posed to me recently from a friend, Bill- Did Alfred see what he saw, or saw what he wanted to see?
On behalf of the staff here at Geek Asylum we just want to say we are horribly saddened by the tragedy that befell the community of Aurora, Colorado on the night this movie was released. It pains us to see this type of tragedy and acts of pointless violence committed against any innocent people. This type of violation of human rights and safety will always stay in our hearts. The families and friends of victims of this tragedy are in our hearts and prayers. Whether you were watching an excellent film, reading an amazing comic, or simply enjoying an epic trilogy, we hope that you can find the time at the beginning, time in the middle, or even a moment at the end to be thoughtful of people who were only looking to find the same enjoyment that you were. Stay strong.