Then the next 2 hours and 45 minutes happen.
Following the movie, you may have been ecstatic like most other viewers. Maybe you were slightly disappointed. Maybe you are a contrarian who just needs to try their damndest to find fault in something everyone else loves.
The only thing that I know is that you're here, reading this article on "plot holes and problems" found in the movie. We're going to break this down into the following sections...
The Villains | The Heroes | Magical Healing | Plot Holes
You can quickly navigate this page by clicking on one of the section links above.
Anyways, back on topic - I don't think you'll be disappointed. If you are, feel free to tear me a new asshole in the comments.
Warning - Spoilers Ahead
Before getting into anything else, I think it is only fair to warn you that there will be MASSIVE spoilers in the following paragraphs and pages of this article. In fact, I would not be surprised if even those who have already watched the movie come away from this feeling as if they have spoiled a little something of their TDKR experience.
If you have already seen TDKR or care little about spoiling every significant (and insignificant) plot detail - read on. Otherwise it is probably in your best interest to hit the back button and forget this conversation ever happened. Don't worry, I won't tell.
You're still here? Good. On to the topic at hand!
If there was anything that could be said about The Dark Knight (we're talking about Heath Ledger and the Joker now, try to keep up) it was that if there was any weak point in the movie it certainly wasn't the fault of the villain. Unfortunately, Rises can't make the same claim.
But it's BANE, right?! How can that motherfucker be anything other than the back-breaking bad-ass that he was in the comics? I will say that for the first hour or so of the movie (really up until he started his whole overly-complex plan, but we'll get to that later) he didn't fail to impress me a few times. Unfortunately it came along with a myriad of issues that took away from the good moments.
We're first introduced to Bane after he's revealed on a CIA plane while in the captivity of the United States government. How did that happen, you ask? Well, apparently the CIA just lets these masked fugitives onto their plane without even checking them all the time. Or seeing if... I don't know, they're not 7 foot tall muscle-bound behemoths wearing an iconic facemask that perfectly matches the description who they're looking for. Yeah, I didn't get it either.
It didn't end there. Apparently being captured was all part of Bane's elaborate plan to steal some dude we don't know back from the CIA. Whatever, it's a comic book movie, right?
Then we learn the next stage of his plan involves flying a gigantic fucking commercial airliner 25 feet above and in front of the CIA jet. Am I supposed to believe that the Central INTELLIGENCE Agency with all of their sophistication and "intelligence," couldn't detect a damned Boeing 747 on their radar? Heck, forget it. Are you going to tell me that the pilots couldn't look directly out of their little port hole in front of them and see it?
Hot damn, this is just lazy and we're only 5 minutes into the movie.
The next scene features sky-ninjas with explosives parachuting down to blow the wings and tail off of the CIA jet. Yeah, it's pretty cool. However, instead of shutting up and leaving well enough alone, Bane opens his mouth and lets the audience know that the plan calls for the crash to appear as though it's an accident. How is he going to do that? He leaves one of his goons behind in the wreckage.
Wait. Again, the CIA is supposed to believe that this plane... Which was surgically split into about 4 separate parts that have to be dozens of miles apart... Went down in some sort of normal accident? Don't they have a black box? Hell, can't they look at the damn exterior?
Meanwhile, we're treated to the most prolific characterization of Bane, which is saying a lot considering his physical stature and ability. All he has to do is speak. Yep, it's his voice, and it sounds like a combination of Sheogorath doing his impression of Sean Connery through auto-tune. How did some guy from Pakighanizakistan or wherever come out sounding like this? I don't know, but it certainly drove me nuts throughout the movie because I couldn't understand much of his dialogue.
Quick test: what did Bane say to the Special Forces guy right before he killed him? I asked a good three people around me and not one person understood it. I did get some pretty hilarious guesses, though, so there's that.
Despite his questionable introduction, Bane does redeem himself as the story progress up until he defeats Batman. At that point, the characters in the movie (and the audience) are forced to respect - if not fear - the guy.
So here we are with a pretty cool nemesis for our caped hero. What's the problem? Oh, did I mention that Bane isn't actually the top baddie? I bet you're wondering who could possibly top some Scottish-accented steroid-infused freak that managed to top Batman in hand-to-hand combat easily. Well...
Yep. Turns out that woman who you don't know or care about actually has a purpose besides railing Bruce because he has issues with doors.
The whole character is as forced as that smile.
Everything about this just sucks. The very moment Talia al Ghul (yeah, she actually has a name or something) is revealed as the real top dog, Bane is instantly thrown away. 2 hours of previous badassery is chucked out of the window and he's killed off within 30 seconds. After all of the emotional investment we've put into Bane, we're just suddenly supposed to drop it and move on to some previously minor character? I don't know about you, but I didn't feel the same animosity towards a woman whose most menacing feature is her ability to be Bruce's easy hook-up groupie.
But I bet she at least had a fantastic death, right? Nope. She dies in a car accident. More on this later, I promise.
It's been around 8 years since we've last seen Bruce Wayne, and boy has he let himself go. TDKR catches us up on the life of the playboy billionaire we've missed, and it essentially amounts to this: he's locked himself in a wing of his mansion and never leaves. Why? Because fuck you, that's why.
Later in the movie (too much later), Alfred does us the honor of giving us a bit of an explanation - he's sad because of Rachel. Yeah, we get it, you're sad because your ex-girlfriend was killed by
Anyways, Bruce is a hermit, yadayadayada. Eventually he's robbed by Selina Kyle, a loose interpretation of Catwoman. She steals his finger prints. Apparently after 8 years of seclusion, this of all things makes him want to head out for a night on the town. Why? Because fuck you, that's why.
This leads to another run-in with Selina, who once again betrays him and steals his lambo. Fast forward another hour into the movie and Selina has stabbed Bruce in the back a good 2-3 more times, even turning him over to Bane to die. This final betrayal seems to finally hit home with old Brucie, who glares at Selina from behind bars and mutters, "You made a serious mistake." Oh, goodie, maybe he gets it and things can finally move forward.
Bane goes on to break Bruce's back and send him off to Pakighaniwherever for 5 months of torture in some prisony hell hole. Boy, I'm sure he's going to be pissed when he gets back to Gotham and finds Selina. Is this what happens? No.
Bruce, in all of his infinite wisdom, instead decides to entrust Selina with his life and that of thousands of others. Why? Because fu-, fuck it, you get it by now. The point I'm trying to make here is that Bruce has absolutely no reason to trust Selina, and she has absolutely no reason to do anything he says, come back, and fall in love with him. Yeah, there's that sexual tension because she's wearing spandex without a bra, but really?
While all of this is going on, we have a young police officer (John Blake or Robin or something) running around Gotham discovering things by accident. His biggest discovery is that Bruce Wayne is batman. How'd he figure that out, I wonder? Bruce hasn't donned the bat suit since he was about 12, nor have they ever met. Fortunately he offers us an explanation... "I saw the look on your face. The same one that's on mine." I'm paraphrasing, but you get the idea.
What. The. Fuck. So now there's some sort of orphan-brotherhood telepathy that allows people to see things on the faces of people they've never met? The whole story Blake gives as an explanation is just lazy and none of it makes any sense.
The Magical Healing Abilities of Christian Bale
Okay, we're going to back track a little bit. When Bruce is first introduced in the movie as a recluse, it's also revealed that he has developed a severely debilitating limp to the extent that he requires a cane to walk. A quick trip to the hospital reveals that almost all of the cartilage in his joints is completely gone. So what does he do? He jumps out of the fucking building! Was there any reason the elevator wouldn't have worked?
Even worse, he doesn't limp around at all or show any sign of immobility for the rest of the movie. A lot of people seemed to think Bruce was just doing it for show in the theater I was in. A few problems with that...
[*]Why go through the trouble of visiting the doctor and putting an x-ray diagram of cartilage up so we could visually see there was an issue?
[*]He limps even when he's just around Alfred.
[/list]All of this would be forgivable, except...
Bane breaks (or at least dislocates a disc) his back later in the movie. He can't even move without being in excruciating pain. Apparently this is easily rectified by having some prison yoda punch you hard in the spine and then tying you up straight with a rope for months. Oh, and then falling off of a cliff with nothing but a rope tied around your chest right after this? No injury, no problem.
Not seeing the issue, yet? How about when Talia stabs Bruce in the abdomen. It's clearly meant to be a severely debilitating blow, and Bruce is instantly immobilized and diminished to a gasping heap of bat suit. After a long monologue, Selina shows up, kills Bane, and Bruce hops up and starts running around again.
Last but not least, the guy survives the fallout from a nuclear blast. I don't know what multi-vitamin he's on, but I want some.
Plot Holes and Issues
We have a lot to cover here.
The Wall Street Heist
I understand the purpose of this was to steal the Wayne fortune and slow Bruce down, but a lot of it just seemed odd and confusing.
[*]Where did they get the dirt bikes? Did they store those in some cabinet under the stock ticker?
[*]During the following chase, it goes from daylight to complete darkness in about 2 minutes.
[*]They really couldn't prove that the theft of the Wayne fortune was fraud amidst an unprecedented terrorist attack and heist? Really? I guess Bruce "doubling down" all the billions he has seems more likely.
[/list]It was never really explained what they did there besides the "Your fortune is gone!1" dialogue. Weird since it was such a long scene.
The Relationship with Talia
Surely I wasn't the only one wondering where this came from. Here we have a character that, up until this point, is pretty minor and insignificant. There's little to no chemistry between Talia and Bruce. The only real moment of one-on-one interaction they have at all is when Bruce realizes he doesn't know how to open the door to his own mansion (gee, smooth buddy). Then they get caught in a cliche rainstorm, strip off their soaking clothes, and get it on in front of a fire place. What is this, the Notebook?
The fact that she ended up having sex with Bruce really made it obvious she was going to play some role later in the story. I wasn't sure whether or not she was going to get killed off or betray Gotham, but I knew something was coming. I didn't like it.
Did the whole sub-plot with Dagget really add anything to the story? He had quite a bit of screen time for something that ultimately amounted to Bane getting a shot at being a malicious bad-ass. Yeah, I get it that Dagget had to supply the little underground infrastructure or whatever, but I was disappointed when I discovered they didn't do anything else with it.
The other issue I had was with Selina Kyle's blonde friend/sidekick, who despite being shown in about 4 scenes never did anything to add to the plot whatsoever. She was involved in the now infamous around-the-back hug that she strangled Selina with, which quickly raised questions about whether or not they were a couple. I understand that the character (who was so insignificant as to go without a name, apparently), was meant to portray Holly Robinson, one of the openly lesbian characters that associates with Catwoman in the comics. So what are we supposed to take from this? Is Selina bisexual? I don't know, and I don't know if Nolan does, either.
Bane's Trip with Bruce
After Bane critically injures and captures Bruce, he personally brings him to the prison in the middle of nowhere. Why? To personally get in a few snide remarks before leaving? You'd think the massive undertaking he had going on in Gotham would be more important than turning Bruce Wayne into a sad prison panda.
Nothing the police do in this movie makes sense. Nothing.
It begins when Gotham's ENTIRE police force is sent into the tunnels at once. For one, who's out there patrolling the streets when this is going on? Did the media believe that sending literally hundreds, if not a few thousand, police officers into the sewers could have been a legitimate training exercise? Under no circumstance could an entire police force of that size be mobilized and moved to one location, even if someone wanted it done.
Surprise, it's all a trap and thousands of officers are stuck underground for almost FIVE MONTHS. Think about that. These people are trapped underground with no change of clothes, sunlight, and only marginal amounts of food and water for five months. That's nearly half a year. Yet when they're released, they simply walk out of the tunnels as plump and happy as can be. There's not even any sign of dirt or ware on their clothes, which they've been forced to wear down there the entire time with no opportunity for showers or dry cleaning. Ignoring that, why did Bane use time and resources to feed all of the trapped cops when he was going to blow up Gotham and kill everyone regardless?
Okay, okay, whatever. Now they're out. What's the first thing they do? They all line up in a line and charge... Yes, literally charge... A gang armed with tanks and automatic weapons. Why? Wouldn't it make more sense to make use of their much higher level of training and do something that's actually tactical? The hilarious thing is that even though the gang is armed to the teeth, it all turns into nothing but a hand-to-hand brawl in the streets.
Whatever looks sexy on the big screen, I guess.
The Special Forces
I was extremely disappointed in these guys. For "Special Forces" they sure didn't manage to accomplish a whole lot. Even worse, the government only thought to send THREE in the entire 5 month occupation of an entire city? Your tax dollars at work.
Bruce's Return from Exile
Bruce is back! After several long and gruesome months of training, batman is here! We're saved!
The first thing he does is spend days intricately designing a bat-signal out of gasoline so he can make a sexy fire symbol. There's a timed nuclear bomb that needs to be defused. Let's just have art class instead. My God, really?
That's not even getting into the fact that it's never explained how, exactly, he got back from the middle of nowhere with no money, identification, or knowledge of his whereabouts. Even after getting back to the States, how did he get onto Gotham's island? It's a mystery that we'll never know.
Talia al Ghul's Death
See? I told you we were going to come back to this.
Talia's death scene is horrible on many, many levels. Besides the fact she's dying from what essentially boils down to a car accident, she gets a good three minutes of dialogue before she kicks the bucket. The worst part is that all three of our heroes... Bruce, Gorden, and Selina... just sit there and listen to it all, nice and quietly. Isn't there a nuclear bomb in the back of the truck that has something like 3 minutes left on the timer? Then again, I guess those stupid things called "priorities" aren't as important as giving a bit of screen time to someone who has had 0 character development throughout the movie.
Oh, and another thing... Wasn't Gorden in the back of the truck the entire time the chase/crash scene was happening? How did some old man who was rolling around unsecured in the back of a truck with a nuclear bomb jump out without a scratch, while the seat-belted driver is killed? Hm...
Post-Death Will and Affairs
When did Bruce manage to get all of these affairs in order? After all, he apparently managed to...
[*]Call his lawyer to get his will in order. I doubt he made a special arrangement for John Blake years in advance without meeting him.
[*]Run around Wayne Manor trying to find the GPS and coordinates for Robert Blake.
[*]Travel down to the police station and hammer away on the bat signal until it's as good as new.
[/list]... All either during his final batcopter flight, or directly after it. I don't know, it seems like most of those things would be pretty conspicuous and garner attention from a few casual onlookers.
Maintenance of the Bat Toys
Bruce sure is lackadaisical with his million dollar weaponry. For one, the "batcopter" or whatever is always parked on the roof of a building under a tarp. Under. A. Tarp! C'mon, man, that's not exactly the forefront of security technology. The least he could do is install one of those automatic lock buttons to carry around on his key chain.
I don't know who else noticed this, but right before the end of the movie Fawkes approaches a tech crew working on a batcopter. He demands to know "what had to be done" to fix the auto-pilot that had indirectly killed Bruce. To his disbelief, it was fixed the whole time; Bruce had patched it and signed off on it.
The problem? The thing was fucking destroyed by a nuke. What the hell were they checking? Yes, I know that there may have been more than one... But why did Bruce bother patching the others? If it was in the armory, why didn't Bane or Talia use it to counter Bruce's?
The Final Scene
Alfred sees Bruce and says nothing, just like he mentioned in his dream. I'll just say that this movie used a lot of foreshadowing, and some of it did work well. The whole "dream in Florence" concept was interesting and I enjoyed it.
However, are we supposed to believe Alfred wouldn't say anything? This is after he had a major falling out with Bruce, and the two parted ways on the worst of terms. A teary Alfred is then present at Bruce's funeral, reflecting on how it was all his fault for pushing him away.
Looking past the whole Alfred thing, there is absolutely no way that no one would recognize Bruce Wayne in a city as well-traveled as Florence. We're talking about one of the richest men in the world. A cultural icon. A man who, after 8 years of exile, was immediately recognized after stepping out of his car.
The whole scene is so eerie that half of the people in the theater thought that Bruce was actually dead, and Nolan was trying to channel his inner Inception.
My Main TDKR Complaint
Just blow the fucking bomb! Your only goal is to destroy Gotham. Why the elaborate five month long plan? Why drive the bomb truck around trying to avoid Bruce and Selina? Hit the button, crash the truck, do whatever the hell is necessary - just blow up the bomb! Mission accomplished. Movie over.
Seriously, do you know how many times in the last 15 minutes Talia thumbed over the bomb button, only to pull it back and give batman another chance to thwart her? There are hours of moments like that throughout the movie. Talk about a gaping plot hole.
Well, that's it! If you have any additional issues with the movie that I failed to address, mention them in the comments!
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