Dark Knight Rises begins with Gotham city in relative peace. Batman no longer saves the city after the city believes Batman killed Harvey Dent, the beloved district attorney, and took blame for the murders Dent committed. If you have not seen the batman movies then you may not know that (according to the movies) half of Dent's body is burned after he is held hostage in a building set to blow up. The oil for the explosion soaks half of his body. After that be became insane with rage over the death of his girlfriend who died in the explosion Batman saved Dent from. Dent seeks revenge and is encouraged by The Joker. Dent picks Jim Gordon and Batman as victims of his rage. Long story short. Dent tries to kill Gordon's son by pushing Two-face over a ledge, sending him to his death. After this Batman takes the blame for all of the murders Two-face committed. This kept Harvey Dent's name in tact.
"The Batman didn't murder Harvey Dent, he saved my boy then took the blame for Harvey's appalling crimes so that I could, to my shame, build a lie around this fallen idol. I praised the mad man who tried to murder my own child but I can no longer live with my lie. It is time to trust the people of Gotham with the truth and it is time for me to resign." - Jim Gordon
Many people have been incredibly critical of the movie because the story line was weaker than Dark Knight. That there was no character development. I fully disagree. There is something about this trilogy that is different then all the rest. I love that each movie is unique in the story line. I love that the cinematography is purposefully different. I love that in each one there are personal challenges that Batman faces. It isn't an Ironman movie. These challenges have deep historical significants in his life. He has to deal with his parents death in the first one. In the second he deals with his role as batman. In Dark Night Rises he has to deal with his role as the ultimate savior of Gotham city. Each movie's story-line builds on the others. Each one is inseparable from the others. And if you exclude the last five minutes of DKR, it is the most incredible ending to one of the best superhero movies series.
"A hero can be anyone. Even a man doing something as simple and reassuring as putting a coat around a little boy's shoulders to let him know that the world hadn't ended." - Batman
"Suffering builds character" - Miranda Tate
Three times in DKR Batman is told that he shouldn't give up everything to save Gotham city. He is told that by three people closest to him. Alfred, Miranda and Catwoman. Thank goodness Batman is a bigger man. Thank goodness he understands (to an extent) his role in the story. He understands that Batman is the only thing that can save Gotham city. He is the only thing that the people actually accept.
Bruce Wayne: If this man is everything that you say he is, then this city needs me.
Alfred: This city needs Bruce Wayne, your resources, your knowledge. It doesn't need your body, or your life. That time has passed.
Bruce Wayne: You're afraid that if I go back out there I'll fail.
Alfred: No. I'm afraid that you want to.
"We could leave, tonight. Take my plane. Go anywhere we wanted." - Miranda Tate
"Someday, perhaps. Not tonight." - Bruce Wayne
Catwoman: Come with me. Save yourself. You don't owe these people any more. You've given them everything.
Bruce Wayne: This city needs me.
Bruce Wayne: Why didn't you just... kill me?
Bane: You don't fear death... You welcome it. Your punishment must be more severe.
Bruce Wayne: Torture?
Bane: Yes. But not of your body... Of your soul. Bruce Wayne: Where am I?
Bane: Home, where I learned the truth about despair, as will you. There's a reason why this prison is the worst hell on earth... Hope. Every man who has ventured here over the centuries has looked up to the light and imagined climbing to freedom. So easy... So simple... And like shipwrecked men turning to sea water from uncontrollable thirst, many have died trying. I learned here that there can be no true despair without hope. So, as I terrorize Gotham, I will feed its people hope to poison their souls. I will let them believe they can survive so that you can watch them clamoring over each other to "stay in the sun." You can watch me torture an entire city and when you have truly understood the depth of your failure, we will fulfill Ra's al Ghul's destiny... We will destroy Gotham and then, when it is done and Gotham is ashes, then you have my permission to die
Blind Prisoner: You do not fear death. You think this makes you strong. It makes you weak.
Bruce Wayne: Why?
Blind Prisoner: How can you move faster than possible, fight longer than possible without the most powerful impulse of the spirit: the fear of death.
Bruce Wayne: I do fear death. I fear dying in here, while my city burns, and there's no one there to save it.
Blind Prisoner: Then make the climb.
Bruce Wayne: How?
Blind Prisoner: As the child did. Without the rope. Then fear will find you again.
Deshi basara! Deshi basara!
Now if only the movie had ended there. I can't believe that the writer would actually save him. It was beyond annoying to see the perfect ending ruined by an uncharacteristic story-line. Not to mention that Catwoman is bad! She isn't redeemable.
I can't talk more about this now but I have to do more productive things. I'll be back to talk about the characters themselves. And maybe more notes about the movie.