The Dark Knight Rises
The Dark Knight Rises is a 2012 American superhero action film. It is the third and concluding sequel to 2005's Batman Begins and 2008's The Dark Knight, based on the comic book character created by Bob Kane and Bill Finger. This time, Batman is tested by the terrorist named Bane.
Talia Al-Ghul/Miranda Tate
- You have a practiced apathy, Mr. Wayne. But a man who doesn't care about the world doesn't spend half his fortune on a plan to save it, and isn't so wounded when it fails that he goes into hiding. Have a good evening, Mr. Wayne
- I honor my father by finishing his work. Vengeance against the man who killed him is simply a reward for my patience. You see, it's the slow knife... the knife that takes its time, the knife that waits years without forgetting, then slips quietly between the bones... that's the knife that cuts deepest.
- Oh, you think the darkness is your ally. But you merely adopted the dark. I was born in it, molded by it. I didn’t see the light until I was already a man; by then, it was nothing to me but blinding! The shadows betray you, because they belong to me!
- [as he meets Bruce Wayne] Uh, he doesn't know or care who you are; but we've met before. It was a long time ago, I was a kid. Saint Swithin's used to be funded by the Wayne foundation; it was an orphanage. My mom died when I was small; it was a car accident, I don’t really remember it. But, uh, my dad got shot a couple years later over a gambling debt. And I remember that one just fine. Not a lot people know what if feels like to, uh, be angry... in your bones. I mean, they understand, your foster parents, everybody else understands... for a while. But then they want the angry little kid to do something he knows he can’t do. Move on. So, after awhile, they stop understanding. They send the angry kid to a boys home. I figured it out too late. You got to learn to hide the anger. Practice smiling in the mirror. It's like putting on a mask. So, you showed up this one day in a cool car, pretty girl on your arm. We were so excited! Bruce Wayne; billionaire orphan! I mean, we use to make up stories about you, man. Legends. And, you know, with the other kids, that's all it was, just stories, but... right when I saw you, I knew who you really were. I'd seen that look on your face before. It was the same one I taught myself. I don't know why you took the fall for Dent's murder, but I'm still a believer in the Batman. Even if you're not.
- [eulogy at Bruce Wayne's funeral] I see a beautiful city. And a brilliant people, rising from this abyss. I see the lives, for which I lay down my life - peaceful, useful, prosperous and happy. I see that I hold a sanctuary in their hearts, and in the hearts of their descendants, generations hence. It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to, than I have ever known.
- [to Bruce] Remember when you left Gotham? Before all this, before Batman? You were gone seven years. Seven years I waited, hoping that you wouldn't come back. Every year, I took a holiday. I went to Florence. There's this cafe, on the banks of the Arno. Every fine evening, I'd sit there and order a Fernet Branca. I had this fantasy that I would look across the tables and I'd see you there, with a wife and maybe a couple of kids. You wouldn't say anything to me, nor me to you. But we'd both know that you'd made it, that you were happy. I never wanted you to come back to Gotham. I always knew there was nothing here for you, except pain and tragedy. And I wanted something more for you than that. I still do.
- CIA agent: If I take off that mask, will you die?
- Bane: It would be extremely painful...
- CIA agent: You're a big guy.
- Bane: … for you.
- Jim Gordon: What's your name, son?
- John Blake: Blake, sir.
- Gordon: You got something you wanna ask me, Officer Blake?
- Blake: It's about that night, this night, eight years ago. The night Dent died, the last confirmed sighting of the Batman. He murders those people, takes down two SWAT teams, breaks Dent's neck and then just... vanishes?
- Gordon: I'm not hearing a question, son.
- Blake: Don't you wanna know who he was?
- [Gordon looks at the broken Bat-Signal for a moment]
- Gordon: I know exactly who he was. He was the Batman.
- [In the cave, Alfred looks as Bruce Wayne prepares to go out as Batman once again after an eight-year absence]
- Alfred: If you're seriously considering going back out there, you should hear the rumors surrounding Bane.
- Bruce: I'm all ears.
- Alfred: There is a prison in a more ancient part of the world. A pit where men are thrown to suffer and die. But sometimes a man rises from the darkness. Sometimes the pit sends something back.
- Bruce: Bane.
- Alfred: Bane. Born and raised in hell on earth.
- Bruce: Born in a prison?
- Alfred: No one knows why, or how he escaped. But they do know that once he did, he was trained by Ra's Al Ghul, your mentor.
- Bruce: Bane was a member of the League of Shadows?
- Alfred: And then he was excommunicated. And any man who is too extreme for Ra's Al Ghul is not to be trifled with.
- Bruce: I didn't realize I was known for trifling with criminals.
- Alfred: That was then. And you can strap up your leg and put your mask back on. But that doesn't make who you were.
- Bruce: If this man is everything that you say he is, then the city needs me.
- Alfred: The city needs Bruce Wayne. Your resources, your knowledge. It doesn't need your body, or your life. That time has passed.
- Bruce: You're afraid that if I go back out there, I'll fail.
- Alfred: No. I'm afraid that you want to.
- [A masked Bruce Wayne visits Commissioner Jim Gordon in the hospital]
- Gordon: We were in this together, then you were gone.
- Bruce: The Batman wasn't needed anymore. We won.
- Gordon: Based on a lie. And now there's evil rising from where we tried to bury it. The Batman has to come back.
- Bruce: What if he doesn't exist anymore?
- Gordon: He must... He must...Batman must come back...
- Selina Kyle: You think this can last? There's a storm coming, Mr. Wayne. You and your friends better batten down the hatches, because when it hits, you're all gonna wonder how you ever thought you could live so large and leave so little for the rest of us.
- Bruce: You sound like you're looking forward to it.
- Selina: I'm adaptable.
- [Bruce Wayne leaves a party and the valet seeks his ticket]
- Bruce: Must've lost my ticket.
- Valet Attendant: Your wife said you were taking a cab home.
- Bruce: [surprised] My wife?!?
- [Cuts to Selina Kyle driving away in Bruce's car; Alfred fetches him]
- Alfred: Just you, sir? [Bruce remains quiet] Don't worry, Master Wayne. Takes a little time to get back in a swing of things.
- Alfred: I'll get this to Mr. Fox, but no more. I've sewn you up, I've set your bones, but I won't bury you. I've buried enough members of the Wayne family.
- Bruce: You'll leave me?
- Alfred: You see only one end to your journey. Leaving is all I have to make you understand. You're not Batman anymore. You have to find another way. You used to talk about finishing, about a life beyond that awful cave.
- Bruce: Alfred, Rachel died knowing that we had decided to be together; that was my life beyond the cave. I can't just move on. She didn't, she couldn't.
- Alfred: What if she had?
- Bruce: She didn't, I can't change that.
- Alfred: What if, before she died, she wrote a letter saying she chose Harvey Dent over you? And what if, to spare you pain, I burnt that letter?
- Bruce: How dare you use Rachel to try to stop me?
- Alfred: I am using the truth, Master Wayne. Maybe it's time we all stop trying to outsmart the truth and let it have its day! I'm sorry.
- Bruce: You're sorry? You expect to destroy my world, and then think we're going to shake hands?
- Alfred: No... no, I know what this means.
- Bruce: What does it mean?
- Alfred: [voice breaking] It means your hatred... and it also means losing someone that I have cared for since I first heard his cries echo through this house. But it might also mean saving your life. And that is more important.
- Bruce: Goodbye, Alfred.
- [Bruce goes to Selina's place, telling her that Batman wants to meet tonight]
- Selina: Mr. Wayne? I'm sorry they took all your money.
- Bruce: No you're not.
- [Bane brings Bruce Wayne to his old underground prison]
- Bruce: Why didn't you just... kill me?
- Bane: You don't fear death. You welcome it. Your punishment must be more severe.
- Bruce: Torture?
- Bane: Yes. But not of your body... Of your soul.
- Bruce: 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 rotted 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 clambering 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.
- [Gordon and Blake watch Bane appear before Blackgate prison]
- Bane: [addressing media at the gate] Behind you stands a symbol of oppression. Blackgate Prison, where a thousand men have languished under the name of this man, Harvey Dent, [holds picture of Dent] who has been held up to you as the shining example of justice!
- Blake: Commissioner, we need to keep you moving until we can get you in front of a camera.
- Bane: You have been supplied with a false idol [tears up picture] to stop you tearing down this CORRUPT CITY! Let me tell you the truth about Harvey Dent from the words of Gotham's police commissioner, James Gordon. [reads text of speech] "The Batman didn't murder Harvey Dent. He saved my boy, then took the blame for Harvey's appalling crimes so I could, to my shame, build a lie around this fallen idol. I praised the madman 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." [calls to prisoners] And do you accept this man's resignation? [prisoners roar with approval] And do you accept the resignation of all of these liars?! Of all the corrupt?!?
- Blake: Those men locked up for eight years in Blackgate and denied parole under the Dent Act, based on a lie?
- Gordon: Gotham needed a hero.
- Blake: It needs one now more than ever. You betrayed everything it stood for.
- Gordon: There's a point, far out there, when the structures fail you. When the rules aren't weapons anymore, they're shackles, letting the bad guy get ahead... One day, you may face such a moment of crisis, and in that moment, I hope you have a friend like I did! To plunge their hands into the filth, so that you can keep yours clean!!!
- Blake: [disgusted] Your hands look plenty filthy to me, Commissioner.
- Bane: We take Gotham from the corrupt, the rich, the oppressors of generations who have kept you down with myths of opportunity, and we give it back to you - the people. Gotham is yours. None shall interfere, do as you please. [one of Bane's captured Tumbler Cannons blows a hole in the prison's gates, allowing his followers inside] But start by storming Blackgate and freeing the oppressed! Step forward, those who would serve! For an army will be raised. The powerful will be ripped from their decadent nests, and cast out into the cold world that we know and endure. Courts will be convened. Spoils will be enjoyed! Blood will be shed! The police will survive, as they learn to serve true justice. This great city... it will endure. Gotham will survive.
- Selina: I blow that tunnel open, I'm gone.
- Batman: There's more to you than that.
- Selina: Sorry I keep letting you down. [pause] Come with me. Save yourself. You don't owe these people any more. You've given them everything.
- Batman: Not everything. Not yet.
- [Selina and Gordon watch as Batman climbs into the Bat to carry the nuclear bomb out over the harbor.]
- Gordon: [To Batman] I never cared who you were...
- Batman: And you were right.
- Gordon: ...but shouldn't the people know the hero who saved them?
- Batman: A hero can be anyone. Even a man doing something as simple and reassuring as putting a coat around a young boy's shoulders to let him know the world hadn't ended. [flies off with the bomb under the Bat]
- Gordon: [Looking at the Bat as he remembers putting coat around a young Bruce Wayne; catches on] Bruce Wayne?
- Gordon: I can't change your mind about quitting the force?
- Blake: What you said about structures becoming shackles...you were right. I just can't take it. I mean, nobody will ever know who it was that saved an entire city.
- Gordon: They know. It was the Batman.
- [Blake is claiming his bequest from Bruce Wayne's estate.]
- Blake: Blake. John.
- Clerk: [after checking a list] Nothing here.
- Blake: Ah. uh, try my legal name. [hands her an ID card]
- Clerk: [gives him a suitcase] You should use your full name. I like that name. "Robin".
- Blake: Thanks.
About The Dark Knight Rises
- And with all of its themes of masks, and legends, and the relationship between the hero and his city, Nolan's trilogy is both a powerful myth and a great commentary on myth-making.
- Charlie Jane Anders, “Nolan's Batman Trilogy: A Unique Achievement in Myth-Making”, IO9, (7/20/12).
- What passes for a right-wing movie these days is The Dark Knight Rises, which submits the rather modest premise that, irritating though the rich may be, actually killing them and taking all their stuff might be excessive.
- Chait, Jonathan (August 19, 2012). [ http://nymag.com/news/features/chait-liberal-movies-tv-2012-8/ "The Vast Left-Wing Conspiracy Is on Your Screen". New York. Retrieved December 28, 2012.
- …a quite audaciously capitalist vision, radically conservative, radically vigilante, that advances a serious, stirring proposal that the wish-fulfilment of the wealthy is to be championed if they say they want to do good.
- Johnson, Ted (July 21, 2012). "Blockbusters can't escape politics", Variety, (Thursday, July 19, 2012).
- All superheroes are black sheep. But the Dark Knight has always been murkier than most. His superpowers are not an accident of birth, or of stumbling into the wrong lab at the wrong time. They're not powers at all, simply a simulation made possible by good fortune and the leisure that accompanies it. Bruce Wayne can splurge on the kit and cars to set himself up as a crime-fighting Christ substitute, plus power and glitter enough to hide his hobby. He's always been a curious idol: within aspiration because he's flesh and blood; beyond it because he's the lucky recipient of inherited wealth.
So it should be no surprise that The Dark Knight Rises so firmly upholds the financial status quo. Christopher Nolan's film indulges in much guttural talk of the gap between the 99% and the 1%, but it is the former who are demonised, whose revolting actions require curbing and mutinous squeals muting. Your average Joe, it turns out, requires a benevolent, bad-ass billionaire to set him straight, to knock him sideways, if necessary.
The Occupy Gotham movement, as organised by gargly terrorist Bane, is populated by anarchists without a cause, whose actions are fuelled by a lust for destruction, not as a corrective to an unjust world. Such self-made characters as we meet in the film are, by and large, fishy – power-grabbers hiding behind a fig-leaf of philanthropism. Even someone who earns their crust nicking other people's stuff looks agog when the masses storm posh apartments to try and redistribute a bit of bubbly.
Batman's butler-crush and bells and whistles feudalism is swallowable – it's a cartoon, right! Likewise the free pass that Wayne's Rowntree-ish gestures, disapproval of criminals and general tortured grizzling seems to allow him. But The Dark Knight Rises is a quite audaciously capitalist vision, radically conservative, radically vigilante, that advances a serious, stirring proposal that the wish-fulfilment of the wealthy is to be championed if they say they want to do good. Mitt Romney will be thrilled. What's strange is that quite so many of the rest of us seem to want to buy into it.
- Catherine Shoard, "Dark Knight Rises: fancy a capitalist caped crusader as your superhero?", The Guardian, (July 17, 2012).
- You say you want a revolution? Well, you know, there’s a comic-book movie for you. The Dark Knight Rises concludes the trilogy of Batman movies so distinctively rebooted, reimagined, and reinvigorated over the past seven years by director Christopher Nolan at the helm and actor Christian Bale in the Batsuit. And the highly anticipated project arrives with outsize political and cultural ambitions. Theme-wise, Nolan tackles nothing less than societal upheaval, urban unrest, class warfare, personal sacrifice, and spiritual salvation, with some nuclear brinkmanship thrown in for timeliness. That’s epic stuff, as grounded in serious social commentary as the literature of Charles Dickens that the director and his coscreenwriter brother, Jonathan Nolan, have cited as inspiration. This is a Batman narrative for a post-9/11 age of anxiety, morally split between the best of times and the worst of times.
- Lisa Schwarzbaum, “Dark Knight Rises Review”,Entertainment Weekly, (August 01, 2012).
- The Legend Ends
- A Fire Will Rise
- Every Hero Has a Journey. Every Journey Has an End
- The Epic Conclusion to the Dark Knight Legend
- The legend ends. The Dark Knight rises.
- Christian Bale - Bruce Wayne/Batman
- Michael Caine - Alfred
- Gary Oldman - James Gordon
- Anne Hathaway - Selina Kyle/Catwoman
- Tom Hardy - Bane
- Marion Cotillard - Miranda Tate/Talia al Ghul
- Joseph Gordon-Levitt - John Blake
- Morgan Freeman - Lucius Fox