One of my biggest pet peeves in movies is dealing with crappy audiences, people who are either too lazy or stupid to figure out stuff that any intelligent person paying attention can figure out.
Even worse are the retroactive whiners, the people who desperately want to tear a movie down because everybody likes it and we all know that what everyone likes can’t be of any real quality.
So, here’s your guide to supposed plot holes from both camps, and why they’re largely a load of crap.
How Did X Know Bruce Wayne Was Batman?
This comes in two flavors: How did Bane know everything about Batman? And how did John Blake figure out Bruce Wayne was Batman?
To address the first: gee, I don’t know, how did the massive terrorist organization led by the antagonist of the first movie know who Bruce Wayne was? They only trained him and burned down his house. Similarly, it’s pretty easy with that information to put together that he’s Batman and that he has to be hiding all those heavy weapons somewhere. I can see this being a problem for people who didn’t see the first movie, but this is something professional film blogs were whining about.
To address the second: it’s not really a huge logical jump that the well-funded vigilante with all these advanced toys would have something to do with the local trillionaire. Blake’s entire speech was about how he saw right through Bruce’s routine about being a rich idiot with no day job, which is really the only thing that keeps people from realizing he’s Batman anyway. A better question is why Bruce didn’t establish that he and Batman are different people, like they did in the comics.
Batman Totally Heals Too Quickly For a Real World Back Injury
So, wait, you were OK with the constantly stoned body-builder, the decades-away fusion reactor, the insane helicopter, the city totally cut off from the rest of America by a terrorist, and the high-level jewel thief in a unitard on the motorcycle with the spinny wheel firing Howitzer shells, but the guy in the Batsuit getting over a broken back in a few months… that’s what bothers you, Captain Scientific Accuracy?
What bothers me about this crap is people whining about minor details in blatant fantasies. If you can’t roll with it, fine, but don’t act like it’s some sort of outrage that they glossed over medical science.
Bane’s Stock Scam Would Never Work In The Real World
It is true it’d be fairly easy to figure out that these trades were fraudulent, especially as they occurred during a massive terrorist attack.
Then again, it doesn’t seem unreasonable to assume that the kind of person who wants to commit securities exchange fraud under Bruce Wayne’s name would be aware of this. We’re talking about the kind of people who spend most of a decade planning revenge. They’re detail-oriented.
Bruce Totally Wouldn’t Have Boned Miranda Tate
Let’s review: Bruce is broke. He’s just lost his best friend and really the only father he’s had for most of his life. He’s just lost his family’s legacy. His car’s gotten repo’d. He’s at what has to be one of the lowest points of his entire life.
Then a woman he’s worked with before and has spent what little time she’s actually had in the movie blatantly hitting on him shows up and acts all interested. Also, she looks like this:
Factor this in too: he pretty obviously has not had sex in at least eight freaking years. Yes, he is a man of incredible self-control and mired in a deep mourning. But he’s not a robot.
The complaint is really that Miranda Tate is not a well-established character in the script, which is absolutely true. But to think this stretches the bounds of belief is to basically not understand people.
Batman Made a Big Fire Symbol In the Sky When The Clock Was Ticking
You know, because he wasn’t marshalling an army, so he didn’t need to inspire any morale. And he totally didn’t want to mess with Bane, either. That wasn’t one of his key objectives.
Seriously, was there something about this whole “inspiring fear” thing people don’t get?
Bruce Wayne Doesn’t Do Background Checks
This, normally, would bother me too, since this movie pulls this stunt twice, except for two things.
The first time it does it, it’s Selina Kyle. She needs the Clean Slate over time, yes. But for one night as banquet staff likely hired as a temp? She can probably gin up a good fake.
The second time it’s Miranda Tate, head of an enormous terrorist organization with complex ties and buckets and buckets of cash. Who, more to the point, was born completely off the grid. Does it look like there’s a Social Security office down in that hole? Faking an identity is easy where there’s no other identity to find.
Why Would Bane Ship Batman To That Prison?
Gee, I don’t know… he was following orders?
The objective is to break Bruce Wayne’s spirit, here. Yes, it was obviously time-consuming, but Bane obviously had some trusted lieutenants around. This isn’t a bank robbery, it’s a revenge plot. People getting revenge aren’t noted for their precise, rational actions.
More to the point, emotionally and intellectually, Bane is still down in that hole. Something the movie bears down rather hard on is spending a long time in that prison messes with you and this guy probably views being down this hole as his own special hell.
How Does Bruce Wayne Get Back to Gotham With No Resources?
He’s the f***ing Batman. Seriously, if any fictional character could pull this one off, it’s the f***ing Batman. Stop whining.
Why Does The Prison Have A Way Out?
Hey, you see the old guy? The one fixing Bruce Wayne? The one who does nothing but talk about the goddamn prison, why it’s designed the way it is, and its legends? The one who answers this question when Bruce Wayne asks him about it? THAT GUY?!
He wants you to hang up your cell phone and pay attention to the movie.
Why Isn’t Post-Isolation Gotham A Mess of Riots?
Generally when a bunch of guys with automatic weapons and Batmobiles are patrolling the streets killing anybody who pisses them off, city populations tend to stay indoors.
The Gotham Police Are Incompetent
Well, yeah. Gordon’s a good cop but he’s still cleaning up a corrupt department that suffered heavy losses during the events of The Dark Knight. Eight years is not a lot of time; some screw-ups are bound to slip through. Also keep in mind that we never see that there are any incompetent cops, just cops who aren’t privy to the same information the audience is and jerk cops.
A Non-Sarcastic Postscript
There’s nothing wrong with disliking (or liking) a movie. No movie fits everybody’s idea of a good time. And The Dark Knight Rises is far from perfect, even if it is an excellent movie. It amuses me that I went through pages of rants by professionals and not one asked, at any time, why Bane didn’t just kill all those cops trapped underground.
My problem with the articles I’ve been seeing is that they try to elevate personal dislike or minor errors into a gross artistic mistake. Just like Jim Emerson’s disgraceful video about how The Dark Knight had, like, totally crappy editing, this isn’t about the movies. It’s about appointing oneself the supreme arbiter of taste above all those disgusting little plebs.
It’s butthurt, pure and simple. Either Nolan isn’t living the artistic life that critics demand he does so they can vicariously live through him, or he didn’t follow up a classic with nearly freakish connections to the American subconscious with another one.
If you don’t like the movie, fine, but at least give it crap on its own merits.
images courtesy Warner Brothers