Originally Posted by the_scream
I'm a fan of TDKR but the biggest gripe I have is a serious issue with the film. In Batman Begins, it is clear that Gotham is corrupt and both Batman and Raas take different ideological approaches to the corruption. Batman thinks it can be saved. Raas believes it is for the good of the world to allow Gotham to perish as it is beyond saving.
Fast forward 8 years or so later. Batman was right. He managed to manipulate the system and work with Gordon and Dent to make a peaceful Gotham. It required Batman's sacrifice but it demonstrated Gotham was not beyond saving.
So, why is it the reformed League of Shadows cares to destroy Gotham? The film toys with the idea that there is still evil below the surface. But this evil is the League itself. The film also toys with the idea that Talia and Bane want vengeance for Raas death. But vengeance means destroying an entire city of people who didn't have anything to do with his death?
My biggest gripe with the film. Would welcome a rational explanation for what motivates the primary villains to want to kill millions of people.
I think there's this huge misconception about the city's behavior. I tend to see a lot of times people writing about Gotham like a monolith that acts uniformly. Gotham is a place full of different ideas , concepts , characterizations. Its not a single entity , that is easy to reshape. Its very important to distinguish this.
We also cant forget , like it as mentioned already , that Gotham is presented like the capital of western civilization. This is very symbolical , and adds to the actions and consequences the city suffers along the trilogy.
The director always toys with the same idea. He presents us always contrasts. Not a single place . A single character. Gotham is very differentiated. Different stratum's. He utilizes the basic storytelling tools. Visual clues about the place , and the operators that operate in that particular location (from the smallest role to the main characters). This adds texture to the diversity of the city. It doesn't mean that Gotham is absolutely represented by those people , but its enough to tell the story he wants to tell.
In Begins we are presented with very different ideas. Ra's defends that Gotham is beyond saving. The city is torn by corruption , and it cant get up by itself. It needs to be reseted. To get back to harmony. The new-man thinking. This is a conception postulated by ideologists of the communist social party. A different archetype of person would emerge under different social and economics conditions. Ra's believes he can only change those conditions by destroying them first. He tried something different before but it failed. He alludes that Gotham , contrary to what you might think , its actually limp. It is trying to rise by itself. He credits that to people like Bruce's father. This acknowledgment is very important , because it shows its not only Bruce that believes that there's another route....a lot of citizens also believe in that. Batman is shown as the symbol of hope. The beacon of light. He exists to break people out of the apathy they let themselves in. In the end of Begins , Ra's fails and the city doesn't disappear . Quite the contrary. Batman hard work is looking like to have some sort of result (at the surface....). The idea that the city was so corrupted that it was beyond saving , was false. From this perspective , the extremism of Los already clashes with reality in the first movie.
After TDK ends , they create a lie. Nolan says that the solution they arranged was papering over the craks. And its exactly like that. Why ? Because the city is still very much corrupted. Again , about the generalizations we make , the Joe Chill's are not the root of the problem. They are a consequence of it. They exist because of the system. They are a face of a society that has grown distorted. What they achieved by the end of TDK , was that they took this people out of the streets. They cleaned at the surface. No crime , doesn't mean an uncorrupted society. It is still very much a pollute city (at its core , visually and thematically this idea is presented us has the bubble up of evil in the sewers)
In Rises , its kinda crazy to think we are show an unpolluted society, when Nolan keeps showing us a Gotham with so many flaws and vulnerable. He tackles one of the most important aspects of modern civilization , the youths. This is a problem we share. With the slow down of human labor industrialization , we've started to create a big problem. The biggest. Inability to fit the younger generations in the mechanics of our society. A city without the prospect of the younger ones , is doomed. Doesn't exist. This is a very important idea to this particular trilogy , because this thing is all about Legacy. The ones who will take the mantle. TDKR also plays witht the orphanages , and Blake , the youngest character that Rises to the occasion. We see a city that isnt able to absorb young kinds , and they "migrate" to the underground. To the root of Gotham (the sewers). The corruption that never ceased to exist , and is ready to burst.
But he keeps going. John Dagget. An horrible man. Also a very important one. Member of the board of Wayne Entp. , an entrepreneur , he has been the main player in developing the infrastructures of Gotham in the last few years. He has also been dealing with Los for quite a while. Its funny Nolan resort to construction , and how they affect the foundations of it. It also very clear how they have , once again , "have infiltrated every level of its infrastructure".
It doesn't stop. Foley , the commissioner. The guys at the party , scheming against good old Gordon . This time its not low level agents like Flass , but upper tie. Foley the minute he sees Batman he goes in his pursuit , completely forgetting the major assault has happened. He only care for one thing , himself. His fame. Who cares about justice. The man gets completely frozen after the city is on siege.
The same city who after Bane's assault , stays in complete...apathy. The same apathy that existed towards the criminality , the corruption , the values. Everything Batman tries to fight and shake out of them. How the hell , is this city presented as "peaceful" and unpolluted , when the director clearly show us the other way.
So , i dont agree with you. They wanted to attack Gotham once again , because they believed the city itself was in the same sort of state. And there's a lot of it pointed to us in the Rises.