I know this is a game website, but I've seen movie blog posts before so, here's one of mine. Besides gamer culture and nerd culture go side-by-side anyway. Who here isn't interested in Batman? Anyway, suffice it to say this blog post has lots of >>>>>>>>>>> MAJOR SPOILERS <<<<<<<<< starting after this sentence. You have been warned.
Aaaand here... we... go! (By the way, forgive the ugliness of this post, but apparantly Destructoid blogs don't like bulletpoints or something.)
The Thematic elements are none existent or dubious at best. You could argue that it attempts to show the best and worst of both right-wing and left-wing politics whilst ensuing an agenda of open and transparent government (instead of one built on lies), but that's grasping at straws, and (even if it's the biggest) it's not like it's the only fault:
The movie presents itself as uncompromising but buckles under the pressure. (We'll come back to this later)
Selena Kyle's character never stops being established.
Despite eight years of isolation, a mere robbery is enough to get Bruce back in the suit.
The theft happens to coincide with Bane's attack on the stock market though, allowing Batman to return in the nick of time. What a coincidence.
Gordon survives an explosion that kills four cops, but is given an unspecific injury (to keep him out of the next portion of the film) from a mere punch.
Those rigged explosions are the only thing keeping the cops out of the sewers, yet Bane's only held in the sewers because of a ridiculously convoluted plan to use Dagget's construction company to break into the Applied Sciences of Wayne Enterprises.
This plan included planting Bruce's fingerprints on the Stock Exchange. I guess the political implication of that scene was just trailer bait.
Those fingerprints were taken by Selina in a way that's supposed to mask the attempt, but only draws attention to it, considering that she was already disguised as a maid, who (by chance) managed to gain access to Bruce Wayne's apartment.
More trailer bait includes the scenes of Selina telling Bruce to 'batten down the hatches' despite the fact that nothing thematic come from the whole 'rich' versus 'poor' thing. Bane may as well have been using dial-a-henchmen.
As well as the fact that the equipment gained from the Applied Sciences division is never really used, save from the Free Energy device, which is stored elsewhere and taken during a different ploy. Why did they take the Tumblers and other equipment? Why wait for their attack at all? Keep in mind that they couldn't have used the equipment to take over Gotham, since they rig the sewer charges for that before hand. (Psst. It's because it's filler to spread the plot out.)
and of course the combat Jets which are featured in the trailers in literally the only scene they have in the movie where they do a quick meaningless pass-over.
As well as Gordon, Alfred finds himself missing from the second two-thirds of the plot, and apparently decides to render no assistance, when Bruce's company goes under, he has a fling with Miranda Tate (despite his lack of companionship being one of his stated reasons for leaving) and Bruce's fears of Bane are confirmed and Gotham is rendered a No-Man's Land. As if his reasons of leaving made any sense to begin with. Nice to know you care, Alfred.
John Blake happens to have figured out Bruce's identity based on nothing but a mutual feeling of hatred towards crime. Well... fuck. Let's hope his enemies never feel that way.
Bane and Batman have no repoire. They meet once before their final confrontation, where Bane clearly expected not to see Batman again.
The second half of the film clashes with and undermines the first half...
...due to the Nolan's crowbarred-in Howard Hughes plot, which is only tangentially related to the rest of the film.
Bane and Batman's final fight is one of many scenes that are underwhelming after build-up including:
The moment where Bane breaks the Batman
Bruce Wayne's 'escape' from the Lazarus Pit. Where a big jump magically turns in to a small ledge near Bruce's head. Is Nolan trying
to make people disappointed?
The Miranda Tate/Bruce Wayne romance scene comes from absolutely nowhere, as are the hints left by both Lucius and Alfred.
Crime-family element is no longer represented, creating a disconnect from previous films.
Other things not brought back from the previous films include the entire Ramirez plot, despite her being one of the only people who know the truth of what happened.
As well as the Batmen, despite them seemingly being a reference to a similar group in The Dark Knight Returns, which would've presumably been relevant to this plot.
When in the Lazarus Pit, Bruce it told a critical piece of information by a freaking hallucination of Ra's Al Ghul: That Bane is apparently his son. When he wakes up he finds himself listening to a story of a boy who escaped the prison, which he just assumes is Ra's' son. This of course is true (but not really), as this lays the seeds for a plot-twist despite the only plot being twisted is based on these assumptions, that happen to be related by sheer coincidence. Speaking of which, it's lucky that Bruce was in that cell.
How does Bane get Bruce into the Lazarus Pit? I thought they had Gotham City locked down? Actually, how does Bruce get back in for that matter? 'Console: Teleport 0,1,1 npcselena_kyle'?
The Bat and the Batpod are both locked down despite a 5-month period of anarchy and "everything belongs to everyone" mentality, protected by a high-tech security system: an easily removable tarp. Keep in mind that Bane was actually seeking out Batman's equipment.
Actually, why didn't Bruce put the Bat or Batpod in the Batcave like everything else?
Batman's role is questionable in a conflict of this scale. He's a crime-fighter, not a soldier. Realistically he'd be shot half to hell, except that...
Inexplicably, the cops and 'people' fight each other hand-to-hand despite the easily available resource of guns.
Which makes the Bane vs Batman fight at the end seem utterly ridiculous. Batman was only ever one dodgy scene away from looking too stupid to work properly. It was always about context and this scene drops the ball. Batman just looks daft fighting in a crowd of cops. Not to mention...
Bane's look and abilities aren't tonally justified, despite Nolan's prior attempts to keep things from getting unrealistic. It would have been better if Bane's mask was just a theatrical ploy to induce fear ala the League of Shadows teachings.
The predictable and cliche fight scene itself lends to the overall 'reality-clash' of the whole surreal scene. It's like somebody got some Schumacher in my Nolan. The fact that fight scene itself is arguably the worst in any Batman movie doesn't help. Bane should've just lay down for Bruce. Speaking of which...
Bane has a lot of bare skin showing. Doesn't Batman have tranquilizers or something in that Utility Belt? Or anything at all really. What about the flying fin things he fired at the Joker? No, nothing?
Then comes the plot twist of the movie: Talia fucking al Ghul. I admit, as a fan, I fangasmed a little when it happened (and it was well executed) but that doesn't stop the plot-twist from being batshit retarded (see what I did there?), and a big wad of fanwank:
Firstly, the reveal that the boy in the flashback was Talia leaves several bus-sized plot-holes. Foremost amongst them being: What about what Ra's said? Never mind the hallucination. I'm talking about the flashback that the hallucination was built on? Are we supposed to believe that Ra's didn't know the gender of his own child?
Isn't the presence of somebody like Bane one hell of a coincidence? Just how old is Bane anyway? Considering the age of the boy/girl versus the flashback of Bane, he must've stopped aging at some point, or at least aged very well. It's convenient for Talia that he ended up the way he did though, right?
Accept that the past of Bane is the entire focus of his character. Both the fact that Lazarus Pit was supposed to act of a catalyst of his rebirth, (being helped out by Ra's men) as well as the source of his abilities and the whole "Born in Darkness" dialogue. Perhaps Bane was just breathing in gas-based steroids or some shit like that.
And of course there's the classic of plot-twists like this: Why didn't Miranda Tate just kill Bruce when she had the chance? Bane (and presumably Talia) knew Bruce was Batman from the start afterall. It was key to their plot of taking over Wayne Enterprises. Why could Tate merely catch him unaware (when he wasn't wearing protective armor) after he shows her the Free Energy device? How about faking his suicide, whilst they're having sex? You know, just after the presumed-instable recluse has just lost his fortune and only known associate: the only legacy of his murdered parents.
Lastly, there's the simply fact that the plot-twist adds nothing to the plot and only takes away from it. Bane is promptly killed (by a Deus Ex Machina-riding Catwoman) and after a crappy chase sequence (usually something Nolan excels at) Talia dies (believing her plot has succeeded) and Batman flies the easy-bake nuke into the sunset and faked martyrdom.
Since nothing is thematically tied together in this film. A question needs to be asked: Why exactly did Bruce give-up being Batman? Apparently his entire crusade (and the basis of the entire series) was just given up, just because he had an opportunity. If at first you don't succeed, stop trying kids.
In fact Bane is (by the end of the movie) so unrelated to anything else that the entire takeover operates as essentially 'just another madman' plot, that has no relationship with Bruce's decision to leave. This undermines the entire story of the movie.
The relationship with Selina is a complete last-second asspull, for the sake of the mega-happy ending. (Party on Bruce!)
This is despite the fact that Gotham is arguably worst off than it's ever been: It's infrastructure has been completely destroyed, it's economy is in ruins (remember how that acted for the catalyst of crime in Begins?) and the world has just lost a working Free Energy machine, which also means that Wayne Enterprises (which bet the last of it's fortune on it) is about to go bust. I hope Lucius doesn't mind dying a pauper.
We only know Bruce survived because the Bat apparently survived a FUCKING NUCLEAR EXPLOSION intact enough for them to be able to tell that Bruce fixed the autopilot with a 'patch'. Well, shit, now I know that next time I spill something on my laptop all my data should be juuuuust fine.
And now John Blake is Batman (which nobody saw coming), despite the fact that he lacks the years of training, League of Shadow expertise, and personal fortune that allowed Batman operate as more than just a man in a suit. Oh and his base (which bad guys will be attempting to locate and target) is now below an orphanage. Remember that bit in Begins when the mansion burns down? Yeah... Which reminds me...
"The world is too small for someone like Bruce Wayne to disappear."
BONUS!!!: Silly fan-theory to explain all this nonsense.
Ra's al Ghul survived the monorail crash. That's why his ghost/hallucination/whatever looks noticeably older than his living self. He told Bruce about his 'son' because everything that's happened in all three Batman movies was planned from the start. When he told Bruce that he would do 'What was necessary' he meant providing the crime and villainy (including the Joker) to act as a catalyst for Bruce's potentially world-changing crusade. But the Joker went too far, corrupting Dent and causing the lie that undermined the Batman's effect on the world. Thus Bane came to be the symbol that Batman couldn't, and now Batman's defeat of him (and his own selfishness) has doomed the world to corruption and the further division of rich and poor. Makes more goddamn sense than the actual movie at any rate...