Discussion in 'The Dark Knight Rises' started by Thread Manager, Jan 7, 2013.
Agreed; just look at those people in the montage celebrating and popping the bubbley.
That's what I love about the eight years without Batman between films and the state that Gotham is in at the beginning of Rises. It's almost asking what would happen if Bruce got what he wanted in Knight, which was Harvey Dent as the symbol of hope for the city and a life for himself without Batman. Granted, he gets it in about the worst way he could have but the answer given is clear. Bruce's life falls apart because without Batman he has no meaning. Rises is really about a guy finding the will to live again. It takes the whole movie for him to let go of his pain and the mistakes he's made so he can live his life in full (without the masks) and leave the city to the generation.
This is why I think the 8 year gap is brilliant. It harkens back to the spirit of the character from the comics yet it's a really bold and interesting way to conclude Bruce's arc.
Actually it was Rachel's death and the failure of his energy project that made him give up on life and become a recluse. He felt he had nothing left to do as Bruce Wayne ("There's nothing out there for me"). As Alfred reminded him, he used to talk about finishing being Batman and having a life beyond the cave, to which Bruce responded Rachel was his life beyond the cave.
Giving up Batman had nothing to do with it.
Well, Batman had something to do with it. He no longer had a good enough reason to be Batman and thus no longer had an outlet for his rage (however self-destructive it would become).
But, yeah, you're right.
I still haven't watched the trilogy back to back :/
It's pretty much in the order of this:
1.) The Dent Act went into action; Batman isn't needed.
2.) Bruce Wayne retired the cape and cowl but didn't move on because the one person he loved is dead.
3.) Bruce spent years on the energy project focusing all of his time and money but he mothballed the project after an article was released on how nuclear fusion can become a nuclear weapon; Bruce Wayne becomes a recluse for the next three years.
You're forgetting that Bruce was distraught over all the chaos Joker unleashed, leading to Rachel's death and Harvey's accident.
Its not so much just Rachel's death alone as it is what Rachel's death represents - Bruce's failure to protect Gotham's innocents, and the inadvertent rise of criminals due to Batman's presence.
He definitely blames himself for Rachel's death. Even when he looks to Alfred for reassurance in TDK, Alfred gives him none of it and tells him that he should have anticipated casualties in his war.
Agreed. Would it surprize you to know that some people think all that was due to his dead "girlfriend"?
And yet according to "some" people on Facebook Batman and the world around him suffered more during the Court of the Owls.
I forget none of that. That didn't make him quit.
What are you talking about? Did Bruce give up because he failed to save the Narrows in Begins? No. The casualties of the Joker's chaos was not why he quit being Batman.
"The Batman wasn't needed any more. We won". There was no more organized crime for Batman to fight. He was done. No more Rachel to spend his life with as Bruce, and his failed energy project is why he gave up on life as Bruce Wayne.
Please show where I referred to Bruce quitting in my post. I'm well aware Batman was no longer needed, but losing Rachel wasn't just about losing Rachel. It was the ultimate blowback from the escalation in crime that Batman inadvertently provoked.
You're misinterpreting my post.
Forgive me for misinterpreting your meaning, but since the topic was what made Bruce quit on life I assumed you were offering extra reasons for it.
You are forgiven.
But I certainly think part of why Bruce was depressed was the weight of the guilt from all the escalation, mayhem, death, etc. that he feels he caused from being Batman and provoking criminals.
It was too much for him, yet at the same time not being Batman meant that Bruce didn't have anything really driving him. The guilt became heavier and heavier. He was lonely. He felt like a failure. Eventually he hit absolute rock bottom.
This is what makes me appreciate Nolan's trilogy so much. The focus was always on Bruce's personal, emotional journey. That's one of the primary reasons why I love TDKR so much. It hit all the right emotional notes for me.
I agree, I'm sure he did feel guilty. After all he was feeling so guilty about it in TDK that he came within an inch to turning himself into the authorities at Dent's press conference before Harvey stepped in and beat him to it by offering himself up as Batman.
But in the context of TDKR and why he stopped being Batman, he outright says it's because he wasn't needed any more. Alfred accused him of not living and just hoping for things to go bad again in Gotham so he may have a purpose as Batman again.
Whereas with Bruce Wayne it's clearly said that between losing Rachel and his energy project going belly under, he felt he had nothing left to do or live for as Bruce Wayne either.
Yeah, I think part of the idea is that when Bruce is left with no way to be productive and fight his demons, he's forced into a corner with all these unresolved issues eating him up inside. I think that's why a lot of people mistakenly believed he quit simply because he was sad about Rachel.
It's kind of interesting, cause Bruce has been known to brood a lot in the comics (in the Burton films as well), but the Nolan films never depicted him as someone who would ever really take the time to brood, cause he was always keeping vigilante and furthering his mission. But when he's rendered useless, he's left with all the time in the world to slide into an extremely broody, depressed state. Hence the reclusive, bedroom archer we see at the beginning of TDKR. Bruce Wayne didn't let himself go simply because his energy project failed. Everything finally caught up with him.
Exactly. I remember all the comments of people saying, "WHAAAAT!?!?!? HE QUIT BECAUSE RACHEL DIED!!?!?!??!!" No, he quit because Batman took the fall for Harvey's murders, and because he wasn't really needed anymore.
But left to face his demons alone, without the cowl, Bruce fell into despair. And that was the beauty of TDKR. Breaking Bruce down to his core, then putting him back together.
It's such a beautiful arc through the three films. It genuinely saddens me that a lot of Bat fans didn't enjoy TDKR. I have a long post I'll save for another day, but what I think people miss is that these films were always about Bruce. He says in BB that he wants to fight the criminals and leave a legacy. He always had an end game in mind, unlike perhaps the Batman of the comics which endlessly fights crime because it is necessary.
There is no vast rogues' gallery in the Nolanverse. It's the organized mob with a few outliers such as the Joker (internal threat), and it's the League of Shadows (external threat). It never made sense to me that the ending of TDKR should be about Bruce still being Batman. It was always about Bruce dealing with the grief of his parents' deaths, cleaning up Gotham, and leaving a legacy of justice so he could move on. It's the same idea in the comics, but the sandbox there is infinitely larger in the number of challenges that can be thrown in Batman's direction. I'm so glad Nolan dared to give Bruce an outlet from being condemned to investigating and fighting criminals night after night.
Again, the emotional arc for Bruce is the heart of the trilogy. TDKR nailed it. TDKR nailed many other things, too, but the personal journey of Bruce Wayne is what made TDKR so affecting. It's the best of the three. It wraps up all the threads. It's completely gripping, both viscerally and emotionally. I hope that in time more people come around on the movie. What Nolan did here, the epic scale of the film and the intimate story with Bruce, melded together into an unforgettable experience for me.
There's no reason for anyone to think that because the ACTUAL reason is spelled out in the movie:
Gordon: "We were in this together. Then you were gone"
Bruce: "The Batman wasn't needed any more. We won"
Rachel never came into the Batman equation. If you're talking about why did he give up on life as Bruce Wayne, they do hammer the Rachel point home more than anything else on that score.
Alfred: "You hung up your cape and your cowl but you never moved on. You never went to find a life. To find someone"
Bruce: "Alfred, I did find someone"
Alfred: "I know, and you lost 'em. But that's all part of living. But you're not living. You're just waiting around hoping for things to go bad again"
Alfred: "You used to talk about finishing. About a life beyond that awful cave"
Bruce: "Alfred, Rachel died knowing 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"
Can't get more clear than that. Facts are facts. The energy project sounds like something he tried to bury himself in as an alternative to helping the city since he wasn't needed as Batman any more. When that fell through he just threw in the towel altogether.
You're a man after my own heart georgec. It kinda bums me out too to that some fans were disappointed, and I agree with everything you said regarding Bruce's arc and the beauty of how it is expressed and wrapped up in TDKR.
What's interesting is I believe Bruce's arc is sort of the litmus test for how people tend to fall on TDKR. I would say that most people I've talked to who liked the 8 year gap/Bruce as a recluse, and liked how he cements his legacy/retires at the end generally love the movie. And it's no surprise because Bruce's arc is clearly the most important factor in the movie. I would have to imagine it'd be really hard to invest emotionally in a movie if you're just sitting there thinking, "Batman would never do that". Bruce retiring after TDK was a bold creative choice, but unfortunately it hit a false note for a lot of fans and started them off on the wrong foot for the whole movie. If you go with it though, it's an extraordinarily satisfying journey for Bruce, and coming out of retirement is definitely a huge part of it.
That scene where Lucius is taking Bruce to the Bat...so good. The longing and nostalgia in Bruce's voice ("But all this new stuff?). It has such a bittersweet quality to it. Both phases of Bruce's journey are essential (pre and post back breaking). The first phase is a hero rising from the ashes of a broken man. The second phase is a man rising from the ashes of a broken hero. Some found Batman having to come back twice to be structurally odd, but it's about what's at stake for Bruce Wayne each time. The movie is very much about second chances, so I thought Batman having two big returns was a great way to illustrate what Bruce had learned 5 months later.
Oh, I agree. But for whatever reason, a lot of people either missed or ignored that and seemed eager to reduce Bruce's behavior to dead girlfriend syndrome. *Shrug*
I'm loving this thread. You guys are spot the hell on.
*reads all of this while eating popcorn*
No, really, I literally have popcorn at 10 in the morning. 'Cuz I'm a boss.
Are you a "Bane" type boss or just a boss?
Nah. I'll never have the swag like that.
The feeling is mutual.
Yes, this is an excellent point. Almost every criticism I've read or heard from friends contains those words - "Batman would never do that." Well, he did. The entirety of TDK built up to those last few moments, when Batman realized he simply couldn't be the hero he wanted to be for Gotham. He decided his presence was only causing more problems, epitomized by the Joker's rise and Harvey's fall, and that the best he could do was to take the blame and preserve the mission Harvey had begun.
Yup. And the negative mindset some people had going in simply prevented them for experiencing the movie as it should have. We all had ideas for what might happen in the film, but many were quite resolute in what SHOULD happen. That's why I always come back to the Blake is Robin discussion. There was so much anger and vitriol on these forums at the mere suggestion of Blake being a Robin-type figure. Many of these people simply refused to accept what was kind of obvious to some others. It made perfect sense for the story. But what made sense for the story took a backseat to what people felt should happen based on preconceived notions or favorite Batman stories.
Then of course the movie came out and people were angry that it didn't end the way they envisioned. This spread to nitpicking various details of the film. I avoided these threads for a couple months because every time someone explained or refuted certain criticisms, others lashed out at them as if their right to complain had been infringed.
One example was people complaining that Batman had killed the driver of the truck with the bomb (just before it crashes on the level below). "Batman would never kill." Well, if he's going after some bank robbers, no. But when there's a bomb set to detonate in a matter of minutes, Batman had to stop the truck at all costs. The "no killing" of one man takes a backseat to saving millions of lives. I don't see how this would even be a point of discussion. That's just one example of the many, many nitpicks and silly complaints that proliferated as people had to find every possible way to rationalize why they didn't like the film.
TDK was the best live action Batman to date. It featured the best live action depiction of the Joker, Batman's ultimate nemesis. After TDK we were all rightfully blown away. At this moment I think that people confused Nolan's movies, the best depiction of a certain take on Batman (namely the focus on Bruce Wayne), with the entire Batman mythos from decades of comics. I believe this slightly jumbled some people's expectations for TDKR.
I love Batman as much as anyone. I think I understand the character pretty well. I grew up loving Batman: TAS. I haven't read nearly as many comics as most Bat fans, but I've read the major or most popular ones. That said, I always looked at Nolan's work as a certain interpretation of Batman. That's not to say it isn't pretty damn accurate with what the comics are about. But like I said in a previous post, this trilogy was always about encapsulating Bruce Wayne's story.
When people saw the trailer shot of Batman standing on a tall structure, overlooking the city (the shot from before he goes into the sewers to confront Bane), many thought it would be one of the final shots of the movie. Batman standing victorious with implications that he would continue to protect and serve Gotham as their Dark Knight. I'm not saying the trailer shot misled people or influenced their views. Rather, some of the comments about that shot channeled the desire people had for Bruce to stay as Batman because "he would never quit or retire".
I could go on and on about this, but it all comes down to a resistance to accept what the Nolan Batman trilogy was really about. And quite frankly, I don't understand how some people could have enjoyed BB and TDK so much since those films laid the groundwork for what TDKR wrapped up.
Beautifully put. The first time Bruce comes back he's simply not ready. Alfred points this out to him. A friend of mine didn't like how Bruce made stupid decisions because "he would never do that". I think he missed the point that he made stupid decisions precisely because he was out of the game for so long, lost in his own depression, grief, guilt, and isolation. He lost touch with what made him fearful, what guided him, what defined his remote limits. People who weren't strictly attached and limited to a very specific definition or idealistic expectation of Batman were able to appreciate and understand things like you mentioned. And these aspects made Bruce's arc so much more powerful.
I've rambled enough for now. I'm just so damn happy that we can now talk more about why we loved the film and what was great about it.