In the weeks before The Dark Knight Rises came out, I rewatched the first two Christopher Nolan batman movies. It wasn’t specifically on purpose. I’m not one of those fans who worries that he’ll miss some reference or call back or restatement of a visual theme, it just happened that way. I had only seen Batman Begins once, in the theater, and felt like seeing it again. Once I’d done that, it just made sense to rewatch The Dark Knight. Right? It makes sense! Batman Begins is really good, by the way. It’s quick and fun and there’s Batman and a monorail and while it does do what every origin story does and spend a little too long worrying about HOW THEY GOT THEIR COSTUME, at least in this case the story has a mildly interesting para-military element and isn’t just Bruce Wayne up all night at a sewing machine by the light of his dead dad’s office lamp or whatever. But for as fun as Batman Begins is, it’s practically nothing in comparison to The Dark Knight, which stands out from all other superhero movies for being such a straight up GOOD MOVIE, superhero stuff aside. The acting is real good, the plot is clever and convoluted, and there are brief but plentiful moments of artistic beauty. Sure, the commuter ferry stuff is kind of boring, and the Harvey Dent plotline is rather thin soup, but for the most part it’s just great great great. All of this is to say that I was kind of prepared to be at least mildly disappointed by the new batman movie. And I was! But only mildly! Let’s talk about it.

When I was rewatching The Dark Knight I kept remembering how many great scenes that movie had. I would be watching the opening bank robbery scene, which is just incredible, and that is when I would remember the Shanghai building jump airlift scene, which is great, and during that scene I’d remember the chase scene, and the interrogation, and the hospital, etc etc. That movie was just wall to wall fun, exciting scenes. Wowowowow! It’s hard to do the same thing with The Dark Knight Rises. There’s, what, the plane crash scene, and the first fight with Bane in the sewer scene, and the football stadium, and what else? The motorcycle chase scene is so-so. The prison stuff is dull. The final fight between Batman and Bane and the criminals and the police serves an important purpose, but it’s not like, HECK YES! It’s like good, yes, good, punch him. On the one hand, from the perspective of a person watching the movie, this makes it less “fun” than the second movie and probably less fun than the first movie, too. But it’s too simple to say that this is because the movie is “worse,” it’s not. It’s because this movie is supposed to be less fun. This movie is dark and grim and scary! It is decidedly not “fun.” And that’s the whole point. I think. So let’s take the movie on its own terms.

As a culmination of Christopher Nolan’s batman trilogy, The Dark Knight Rises does what it’s supposed to–raise the stakes–to an almost comical degree. A STRAIGHT UP NUCLEAR BOMB? It’s just like Chekov said: if there’s a nuclear bomb in the first act, it has to go off in the third act, because of drama. (The movie also raised the where does he get such wonderful toys stakes with “The Bat,” which was kind of annoying looking and dumb, but anyway.) This is a culmination of the first two villains, both of whom to varying degrees were trying to accomplish what Bane almost accomplishes: the sowing of nihilistic, anarchic panic as some kind of…retributive cleansing ritual for the depraved society that created these monsters in the first place? Is that about right? But so now you’ve got the nuclear bomb, and Batman is an old cripple who can’t even do nothing, although that Ace bandage that he puts on his knee that allows him to kick through brick walls seems PRETTY DOPE. It’s not enough, though, because then he gets his back broken and his mask punched in. Ouch! Batman! Are you OK?!

In addition to the raised stakes, there is also the underlying (or is it overarching?) theme of economic inequality and Occupy Wall Street and chaos vs. order and violence begets violence and what have you that has been kind of running throughout the whole saga. Elmo Keep and Maria Bustillos had a discussion about the movie over on The Awl today in which they claimed that the movie’s depressing message was a defense of billionaires to whose economic control the only alternative is deadly chaos. Well, that’s actually not THAT FAR from the truth. Look, the capitalist system is FILTHY in its attempts to consolidate and preserve wealth at the expense of millions of human beings. Hopefully one day we will fix this. But the other result of the capitalist system is that Americans, all Americans, enjoy one of the highest qualities of life in the history of the known world. (And a few developed western countries have it even better than we do!) There’s also the complex and not-at-all-clear-cut problematics of the world’s economic engines that make it so, for example, the sweat shops we all decry and loathe are actually a quantifiable benefit to the people who work there. Should everyone in the world have fair working conditions? Oh God damn it, yes, and there is no clearer example of just how unfair this life can be than the fact that we are even talking about this on a blog that it is my JOB to write. What on Earth? At the same time, the world is a fucking nightmare game of Jenga at this point, and there was a real moment when Lehmann Brothers collapsed–just as an example–when it seemed like the world as we knew it was going to end. (You could make the argument that the world as we know it has to end in order to make way for a better world, and that’s cool, but let’s not pretend like the prospect and many of the variants for the new world that are not at all better at all aren’t fucking terrifying.) The system is stupid and broken and fragile, and for the moment, it’s the best we have.


But I disagree that The Dark Knight Rises is even saying that much of that. For one thing, it’s a goddamned comic book movie about a make believe guy who DRESSES UP LIKE A BAT AND SOMEHOW THAT IS COOL OF HIM. Of course, a superhero movie can and usually does have plenty to say about power and politics and race and nationalism. But the ultimate message of this movie did not, at least to me, seem to be some kind of coded defense of the 1 percent. For one thing, the 1 percent in the movie is not the real 1 percent. We should be so lucky as to have a 1 percent that in any way resembles Bruce Wayne, who dedicates his fortune to good works. Not that it mattered! Money did not solve any of his problems. It did not save his girlfriend. It did not save the city. It did not save the cartilage in his knees (or maybe it did, forget this last example). But when Bruce Wayne loses all his money you don’t feel bad for him. You do not feel bad for the rich people thrown out of their fifth avenue apartments. Fuck ‘em! And it’s the wealth of these guys, drained from their investment accounts and plucked from their private armories that leads to their own destruction. (The class warfare element doesn’t even make sense anyway. What is the difference between the police state of the capitalist system and the police state of Bane’s criminals?) That’s not the point. They aren’t heroes. Ultimately, what this movie was about was the fact that THE BOMB WILL GO OFF. For all of us. Maybe you can escape it for a little while, but ultimately you can’t. We’re all, in our own good time, done for. When Bane blows up the football stadium and the bridges and nothing that he says about giving the city back to its people makes any sense, you are filled with the same dread that you are filled with when you realize that absolutely nothing that you do in this life will ever keep you from dying. We are all just trapped on this island, wondering when the fire’s going to come. SUMMER BUMMER!

Fun movie!

But, so, it was good. I don’t really like Anne Hathaway, but she was fine in this, very good at kicking. Joseph Gordon Levitt is a little bit self-righteous, but I’m sure we all forgave him because he’s the new batman now, dawg. Also, wasn’t Lucius Fox angry at Batman at the end of the last movie and says he won’t help him anymore but now he helps him some more? (If anything, the politics of power and control and money are way hazier in the second movie when Batman is basically a one-man PATRIOT ACT.) Fine. In any case, the final scene with Michael Caine and his tiny glass of Fernet Branca was great. Yay!

I do wonder why these villains are always stabbing the heroes in the side with tiny knives. It never seems to do anything! There’s always, like, two seconds where the hero gets stabbed in the side with a tiny knife right when you thought they were going to win and then you think they’re definitely going to lose but it’s always just a brief pause in the winning. That stab wound never stops them, villains! Shoot them in the face, maybe? On a similar note, why didn’t they just blow up the bomb right away? What were they really trying to prove by not blowing it up? That people would loot an apartment? We already knew that from every real riot this country has ever experienced. At the very least, why did they keep it a secret that the bomb was going to blow up no matter what? Wouldn’t that be part of the experiment? To see how people react to the total inevitability of their approaching doom? PLEASE ANSWER MY QUESTIONS BANE AND LADY BANE!

Guys? Yes or no, guys?

Comments (157)
  1. FUCKIN AWESOME! This movie WAS SUCH A masterful FUCKIN MOUNTAIN OF badassery THAT IT MIGHT as well been called AMERICA: THE Movie!

    Fuckin LOVED IT.

    • ALSO, GABE, in the last FILM FOX (Morgan Freeman) SAYS HE won’t work there ANYMORE SO LONG as the machine is there. THAT’S WHY Batman tells him to PUT HIS NAME in when he’s done and IN THE VOICE OVER later Batman says something LIKE “sometimes you deserve TO HAVE YOUR faith rewarded” while the MACHINE IS EXPLODING and Fox is walking AWAY WITH a smile.

    • I didn’t see it yet but the high energy crackling through this comment makes me want to more than I ever expected to. EXCELLENT.

      Now I’m getting out of here without reading Gabe’s review or any more comments. No spoilers for me!

  2. I personally can’t wait for the next trailer, how about you guys?

  3. Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see

    • I can barely see the review because it’s being blocked by that elephant.

    • THAT TRAGEDY was sad as shit BUT WAS the work of A TOTALLY CRAZY motherfucker and had NOTHING TO DO with the actual FILM we were all watching. THERE’S PLENTY OF other places to talk about IT AND GIVE that asshole the attention HE WANTS, but I don’t think IT WAS NECESSARY for Gabe to bring it UP OR ANYTHING.

      • Yeah, I think that’s totally fair and probably the best possible response. I still have a lot of uncomfortable, muddled feelings that I haven’t quite sorted out yet but my gut upvotes your sentiment.

      • Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see

        • I was thrilled to see Videogum not make one acknowledgement to the event. That morning was like the Twitter eulogies turned up to the extreme. Every site, regardless of the content they cover, had to post about it and it all came off insincere. It was just a race to be the bearer of bad news.

          Videogum did the right thing in not mentioning. It’s not the right forum. The only other way to handle it is how did:

          “There is nothing we at /Film can add to the conversation today. The core facts are widely known, and understanding of the situation is evolving as authorities perform their duties. Our thoughts are with the victims and their families. We ask that our readers keep those suffering from this horrific event in their thoughts as well.

          Please visit the Associated Press for full details on the incident.”

          And the comments were closed off. So, well done slashfilm and videogum.

  4. I thought this was a good movie! I wasn’t expecting it to be as good as the last one because it’s basically impossible for the 3rd movie in a trilogy to have the kinds of high stakes that the 2nd one did, so I wasn’t surprised that this one went to the SUPER APOCALYPTIC EXPLOSION THREAT end of the spectrum. We all know that Gotham’s not going to blow up. But I thought that it did a very good job of making it more about Bruce moving on with his life and all that fun stuff.

    Also, I loved Catwoman. She was like a badass lady version of Han Solo.

  5. ALSO I THINK the whole Occupy conversation is totally BULLSHIT as–if ANYTHING–it’s clearly a HEAVY HANDED French revolution metaphor with THE OCCUPY being the easy leap because we’re ALL SO familiar with it. The problem is THOUGH that like GABE SAYS this is a comic book movie. I DON’T CARE what your political beliefs ARE BUT A DUDE holding a city hostage with A NUCLEAR BOMB is not a fucking EXAMPLE OF anarchic communism in ANY FORM. It’s further bullshit TO TALK ABOUT this movie as a representation OF THE GOOD OF the 1% because half THE FUCKING BAD GUYS ARE LOADED. I mean, have these people watched any of the BATMAN MOVIES? Every fucking movie has multiple RICH DUDES WHO are totally ASSHOLES. It’s not A MOVIE THAT can be distilled so easily TO A BLACK/WHITE allegory because that ALLEGORY isn’t simply there.

    Plus ANY SUPERHERO movie is going to seem slightly FASCIST/RIGHT-WING by nature because it’s ALL ABOUT one dude doing the WORK THAT the many can’t accomplish. IF YOU PUSH that concept too FAR, YOU END up with Randian assholes. SUPERHEROES, by their VERY NATURE, represent a traditional RIGHT-WING way of thinking and social STRUCTURE. But WHO CARES because they are SILLY AND fucking AWESOME.

    • Well said, AnAmPat. I think the movie is a Rorschach test, politically. Whatever your fears are about society, you can see them in the movie, which is what I think makes it so effective.

    • Wasn’t this movie practically done filming before Occupy Wall Street even started?

    • THANK YOU for the French Revolution pick up. The kangaroo court looked EXACTLY like artistic representations of the Reign of Terror. And hell, they read Tale of Two Cities at Bruce Wayne’s “funeral.”

    • The Occupy ‘talking’ that Bane does is the equivalent of Hans Gruber being a terrorist. It’s all a cover.

      He doesn’t ACTUALLY want freedom, or an end to the rich or any of the BS that he is saying. He just wants to show Batman that the people will tear each other apart if they are given half a chance, and creates a situation where they can do that. He ultimately wants to put off the bomb, so all the stuff he does in the interum is equivalent to the ferry scene for the Joker. He’s going to kill everyone anyway, but before he does it, he wants to ‘prove’ to Batman that they deserve to die.

      Bane does sort of harness the sort of unrest of groups like OWS and the Tea Party, but in a totally self serving way that doesn’t really put forward their goals. So he might be an analogy for the Koch brothers instead of Bain Capital ;)

  6. So, what was the catchphrase in this one?

  7. I really liked how the final fight between Bane and Batman was like a straight up videogame boss battle. Bane unleashes a flurry of punches. Batman blocks them and gets in a couple of counter shots. After a few times of this Bane’s mask is damaged slightly, then he unleashes even faster attacks until the mask is damaged again. Finally after one final round of attacks and counterattacks the mask is basically destroyed and we enter a cutscene.

    • I wonder IF THEY SPED the film up at all BECAUSE HARDY was a fucking BEAST. He was moving SO DAMN fast in that scene.

    • It felt a LOT like Arkham City to me. While watching the sewer fight with Bane I kept thinking Batman would be okay if he just grappled up to some gargoyles and waited a few moments until Bane looked the other way.

    • Hello. I have arrived several days late to discuss the ending of this movie and specifically the last fight with Bane. (I also agree that the scene was very boss-battle-esque and I wish his mask had started flashing red or something after it had been punched.)

      I know this is an unfair criticism because it is a superhero movie and superhero movies have certain conventions, but I found myself wishing that some random, scared, ordinary police officer who has just run a gauntlet of assault rifle fire had put one of the handguns they were all carrying to the back of Bane’s head and evacuated the contents of his mask all over the portico. People might say that would be a kind of underwhelming ending for a supervillain, but the way he went out was kind of underwhelming too, for me at least. I sure hope someone went and checked he was dead (who am I kidding.)

      The reason why I would have liked to have seen him stopped by an ordinary person is that one of the “features” of the Batman concept is this democratic idea that he’s a human being. He’s not from Krypton, he doesn’t have a Power Ring, he doesn’t have an adamantine skeleton or psychic powers. He’s just an ordinary multi-billionaire martial arts master detective playboy engineer orphan like you or I. He’s the Joe the Plumber of the JLA. But even though the concept has this awesome democratic underpinning*, it seems to never quite follow through – nobody is ever actually able to solve the huge problems facing the characters unless they’re wearing a mask and have a secret identity.

      So, does this matter to anyone who isn’t secretly harbouring a dream that they can be a hero in some sense too? Well, maybe it doesn’t. Within the narrative of the story though, it should be cause for concern for two reasons – first, if Batman is going off to enjoy his well deserved retirement / death, what will Gothan do the next time a mass murdering supervillain rolls into town? I guess it’s Blake – if he had stayed a policeman at the end, he could have been an embodiment of that everyman ideal, but it now looks like he’s going to be taking up the cowl. I hope he can find the post-it notes with Batman’s computer passwords on them before Killer Croc shows up. Second, with the whole Bane of Terror thing also coinciding with the reveal that Dent was a fraud, the population at large may finally have lost faith in the idea of working inside the system too – he seems to have been a major role model. It would kind of suck if Gotham security policy degenerated from creating robust institutions into offering tax breaks to costumed heroes to get them to move into your borough.

      Well, those are my words, thank you for reading them!

      * It pops up in other places too, with the heroic cops carrying on against insurmountable odds in DKR, the old rich guy who tries to stand up to the Joker at the dinner party in TDK and even, if I can stretch out to another, less fundamentally democratic franchise, the German chap who refuses to kneel before Loki in the Avengers.

  8. This movie was BAAAAAAD-ASSSSSSSS!!!!! I used the EXACT same term, “raised the stakes,” when describing it to a friend. First half may have been a little slow, but Chris Nolan et al. brought it HOME in the second. And Anne Hathaway—whuuuuuuut???? You are amazing and I love how your goggles become your cat ears! So yes, it was definitely dark, grim, gritty, sad, hard core–and SUPER AWESOME because of that!!! LOOOOOOOOVED IT!!!!!!!!!!!!

  9. “On a similar note, why didn’t they just blow up the bomb right away?”

    Because Bane wanted to give them “hope,” by “torturing the city’s soul” ala Bruce trapped in the well and forced to watch it on TV. He wanted them to think for months they had a chance and then just be obliterated. What a mean guy!

    • YES! So mean! But Tom Hardy’s acting was legit! To be able to emotionally connect with an audience with a huge thing covering half your face while a perfect tear trickles down–SO GOOD!!!!!

    • And as to the stabbing comment, I feel for the most part villains do it as a small gesture of superiority; a taunt, if you will. Batman’s generally not going to give a shit about anything you say to him, so stabbing him is a good way to get your point across (no pun intended).

  10. Holy exposition, Batman! (not the first time I have made this joke this weekend) No but seriously, the action scenes and themes were good but wow were we really supposed to hear all that nonsense. Like in the end when JGL Beat Cop threw his badge dramatically in the river I was like, “Oh, I get it, he is eschewing the system for vigilantism just like his hero.” And then he went to Gary Oldman’s house and said that exact thing I had already been shown like four times.

    Honestly though, the plot and TDK make it seem pretty clear that we were originally going to have some take on the Joker/Bane comics storyline and this was like a scramble fix em ups. Good, but depressing.

    • Actually, originally Nolan didn’t want to do a third Batman movie at all. And the studio wanted The Riddler for the third movie.

    • I heard in some podcast that people are speculating that Nolan fed the audience the ending because everyone’s complaints about the ending of Inception. I liked and idea that one of the people said about there probably being a version of the ending where Alfred just smiles and there’s no cut to Bruce and Selina (?) at the end.

  11. Some questions:
    1. Just how much money did they spend on sound design? Could they have maybe spent just a few cents more so that we could understand more of the dialogue?

    2. Does the stock market really keep going when armed gunmen lay siege to the trading floor? I’d think/hope that maybe it trading would be immediately suspended rather than “whenever the police remember to cut the internet tubes” (which is so much time that night has fallen by the time of the car chase, just because it looks cooler).

    3. The Inception air travel transfusion callback was cute, but is a little bit of blood really how the Nolans think that charred remains are identified from air disasters?

    4. Long con or longest con for Marion Cotillard? Building up a philanthropic clean energy empire just to blow up an island to seek vengeance against a guy who killed the father that you hated. Cool story.

  12. Yay. Me and Gabe liked a movie at the same time!

  13. Minor squabble, but did anyone else find the first 40 minutes or so kind of exhausting? They sped through so much exposition and smash cut between characters so much, I found it a little overwhelming. Would it be so terrible to increase the 2hr 45 minute runtime by a few minutes if in exchange you let more of your scenes have a beat to breathe?

  14. The inclusion of Fernet Branca made the movie for me.

  15. 1) The underground prison works visually and thematically, and I’d love to love it. But it’s got a fucking pulley at the top of the shaft that would allow anyone with control of the rope to lift anyone else out of it. I understand that the jailers leave it slack when the prisoners get to the crucial jump, but the prisoners are allowed to crowd up to the jailer with the rope at will. If the prisoners revolt, they could lift each other out all day. I found that pretty distracting.

    2) There is simply no way that Bruce Wayne’s alleged “bet the company” trades would have been considered valid a) after a massive terrorist attack b) after the damn cable was cut c) in violation of insider trading laws. (I’ll give them partial credit: they tried to address is by saying that Wayne could have tried to prove fraud, but it would take months. But come on.)

    3) Bane’s takeover of Gotham was terrifying, and his ideological League of Shadows minions would presumably stay with him, but it’s pretty uninspiring for the common criminal, isn’t it? From the perspective of the criminals who were released from jail, or the kids who joined up in the sewers for lack of better options, it would probably be fun to raid some rich people’s houses, but a week into it, they’re trapped on an island and scrambling for rations just like the rest of the folks. Wouldn’t you be looking for some progressive new leadership?

    • 4) At the end, with the death of Major Strasser, Rick, Elsa and Victor Laszlo could have all gotten onto the plane, with no need for the transit papers out of the city, but Rick decides just to hook up with Louie?

      Wait, what are we talking about?

    • @Clambone, regarding Point #1). That wasn’t a jailer, that was another prisoner like the rest. THat pulley didn’t go all the way to the top, it went half way up. That’s why when people don’t make the jump they actually fall for a bit before the rope goes taut and swings them into the wall.

      Really, since it’s just a big climbing wall and when the characters looked up it, it looked like there were little grip holds leading all the way to the top, it’s curios that no one decided to just climb straight up without taking the jump in the first place.

  16. I dont expect I’ll like this but I have to admit the commercials and trailers for it are pretty pretty good

  17. That Awl post irked me in the way they took some of the simplistic political allusions at face value. Like in the other Nolan Batman movies, the cheap philosophizing of the villains is mainly a ruse – they are mostly just motivated by being psychopathic villains. (There was a lot of pointless fussing over the Joker’s “philosophy” because some people didn’t notice that he was lying to Dent in the hospital in order to manipulate him.) Maybe this is a flaw in the films, but it’s a flaw of a different order than the idea that Nolan is defending the wealthy.

    • Yeah that WHOLE “I’m like A DOG CHASING cars” shit was BULLSHIT. Like JOKER WAS saying that to RILE DENT up when IT’S BEEN CLEAR to us the whole TIME THAT JOKER has shit planned out LIKE CRAZY. That’s why HE WAS SO GOOD. He seemed unpredictable AND CHAOTIC but had also CONSIDERED ALL the options.

      • Yeah, and given how much the protagonists have wrestled with the primacy of TRUTH in the series, the Joker was a nice (well, not nice) contrast in his liberated disregard of it. Whenever he would make up a story about how he got his scars, he almost seemed to be caught in inspiration from some strange personal muse.

  18. Not enough JGL in a slim cut suit. Also, Dr. Tom Lennon? Anyone?

  19. not even a mention of marion cottiliard (ok I don’t know how to spell her name)’s character? At first I really liked her then she slept with bruce wayne and I was disgusted with how the movie makers had written an ostensibly strong female character only to have her randomly fall into our hero’s bed (floor) for no apparent reason except for the fact he needs to move on from his dead girlfriend but THEN she stabs him and turns out to be a villain and then I like her again. A great moment.

  20. Bane is a sort of utility monster to the OWS sentiment while Anne Hathaway is closest to an occupier. She believes in something and then sees what happens when that belief is taken to the nth degree. At first she’s into it and then makes out with Bruce Wayne and goes to Europe instead. Anyway, I don’t see how this is anti-OWS as Bane is more of a clear foil or cautionary tale for revolutionary ideas.

    • Catwoman is sort of similar to Bane. Bane is just spouting the OWS line as a ‘cover’ for his activity and to incite the poorer citizens of Gotham to take part in the violence and riots, etc.

      Catwoman, on the other hand, was mostly justifying her own behaviour. While she can easily say that she only steals because she needs to, and she steals from people who have enough, etc, etc, etc … when it came time for Batman to ask her to help save the city, her first reaction was “you don’t owe these people anything”. She did have her Han Solo moment, of deciding to do the right thing, but she was basically a selfish (not evil, just selfish) rogue. She did step up, but she needed to be pushed into it.

  21. Gotham always seems to be portrayed less like a city that is a part of a larger country, but than a city-state by itself. As in, the rules that apply to Gotham don’t work in Cleveland or Rapid City (the only not-Gotham cities i remember being mentioned in the film). Crime and the rule of law and the police aren’t connected to the laws and rules of the larger body politic of the United States in the same integral way that they are in, for example, real-life New York City.

    There is something jarring about seeing an armed group assault the stock exchange- the heart of a global interconnected network, not a local one- and then just take off on some dirt-bikes with stockbrokers holding on to the back. Not jarring-as-unsettling, but jarring-as-unrealistic. There is no way that an event like this happens that it doesn’t galvanize the nation around the stock-exchange, that politicians in Washington and the everyman, joe truck driver in main street don’t nationalistically rally around that space as we’ve seen in the past.

    This narrative improbability is only compounded when it comes time for the Banians to take over the city- something they might be able to accomplish as seen in the film quickly but that would not last long. The financial, cultural, and political capital of the nation that Gotham seems to represent would not be acquiesced by the rest of the nation so easily, even with the threat of the weapon. It wouldn’t be a month before special forces were in the city; they would have neutralized the threat within hours, days at the longest. The multi-month occupation stands out as another strange aspect to the film, as one could imagine the action playing out over the course of a shorter period, but several months (necessitated obviously by the need to repair Wayne’s back as well as moral authority, but cinematically unwieldy as filmed) seems too long to be realistically maintained.

    These issues dissipate to some degree if we imagine Gotham as a City-State like Hong Kong or Singapore, but come with their own problems.

    • so you’re saying its not realistic. yeah sure everyone involved with the movie is worried sick over that

      • My theory on action/thriller/superhero movies is that nobody – critic or average moviegoer – really cares or complains about realism unless there are some deeper structural issues in the script bothering them.

        In Dark Knight, for instance, nothing about how the Joker continually evades arrest (while planting massive amounts of explosives all around the city, kidnapping major public figures, etc) makes any sense if you stop to think about it. But that movie never really did stop to think about it – we were always swept right on to the next insane, tension filled plot he had in store. Not a perfect movie, but still a masterclass in pacing the action, building a sense of chaos, etc.

        Rises, though, hinges its entire plot/themes/final 90 minutes on this occupied Gotham revolution concept. I’m not sure calling it “unrealistic” highlights the issue I had, but it did ask you to accept some huge new assumptions about a world they had spent 2 and a half films building.

        All in all, an interesting way to raise the stakes, explore a couple “big ideas,” but jarring nonetheless. And I’ve talked with people other than foucauldian who, despite going in accepting on its own terms as a superhero movie, had simliar complaints.

        Still, a very solid movie. There are very few action movies that need to go past the 2 hour mark, but overall this one seemed to fill the long runtime well.

    • I HAVE points to MAKE ABOUT what you SAID, but your AVATAR AND NAME just makes me WANT TO HEAR your opinion on the PRISON IN the film as A SYSTEM of power and DISCIPLINE.

  22. I really enjoyed this movie! It was such a (scary) pleasure to watch. We also got to see our old friends Tommy Carcetti and Detective Joseph Quinn!

    • Carcetti was a highlight for me, because again (and I hope not to offend any Wire fans as I am one myself) his role was to be a bitch of a man again. I love that about him, that smirk, that greasy politician hair, even in a gritty Batman movie, works. In that I just could not take him serious as a criminal or as being “hard” as one might say. He’s just a nice-looking, kind-hearted, gentleman. Hopefully his next role will be in a romcom where he falls in love with a girl and she’s like “he’s too nice” and tangent and tangent.

  23. Let me preface this by saying that I did really enjoy the movie and I understand that it’s a superhero movie so who cares etc. etc. but one thing that really bothered me was the climax. Batman’s in the batplane with the bomb and leaves the center of town with a minute and change left before it explodes. Let’s say he clears the city with a minute left, to be fair. The bomb has a 6 mile explosion radius! That would mean that he would have had to have gotten at least 6 miles away from the city in one minute. Meaning he would have had to travel at over 400 mph! Which is basically the average speed for a commercial JET PLANE. Not a one man fancy helicopter.

    I know it’s dramatic and everything to have the timer going down, but if you’re going to do that give the bomb a radius of 3 miles. Or 4 miles! That’s still scary!

  24. Although this is a comic book fallacy, I was kind of mad at the fact that Blake Johnson’s real name is “Robin.” Never in the Batman books has the Robin, Nightwing, or the Red Hood character ever had the real name of “Robin.” That’s just dumb. Like, I think it would have been cooler if at the end when he goes to the home for boys/orphanage place to pick up that bag, the lady says something like: “Why don’t you go by your real name, Richard Grayson?” Because then Batman comics fans would be like all giddy, and the rest would be like, “who da eff is dat?” and then go home to discover who that character is.

    And next point is, are we going to get another movie where JGL is a version of Batman? I mean, if that’s the case, then everyone just watch Under the Red Hood. It’s great. Gritty and great.

    • “Because then Batman comics fans would be like all giddy, and the rest would be like, “who da eff is dat?” and then go home to discover who that character is.”

      I imagine THAT’S EXACTLY why they just NAMED HIM Robin. PLUS ALL THOSE other characters have THEIR OWN backstory and BAGGAGE THAT would’ve been brought to the TABLE AND SHIT, so I think THEY JUST DID Robin as a little joke/NOD.

      • Yeah, I mean I agree. Sometimes after watching a nearly three-hour movie, you gotta give your audience a freebie.

      • I did goran at the Robin, but I’m glad they didn’t make him Dick Grayson. In fact, when he first introduced himself to Bruce, it was nice that he basically took a mix of Jason (Robin II) and Tim (Robin III) as his backstory. He was an angry street kid, who lost his parents not exactly like Bruce, but instead because of their own vices. Similar to Tim, he was able to piece together Batman’s identity on his own. Mixing the brains of Tim with the anger of Jason makes for a more interesting character, instead of just an acrobat in pixie boots (Dick gets more interesting, but that requires a lot of time to get to his later career, while Jason and Tim were more interesting right away).

    • When she was like “why don’t you go by your real name?” I turned to my friend all excited and giddy and whispered “Dick Grayson! Dick Grayson!” and then she was like “Robin” and my face was all

      • LOLZZZ (three Z’s representing the snoozefest after that scene)

        I had the same expression. But I was with a new girlfriend who didn’t get it. New girlfriends, man.

        Though, now that I think about it, old girlfriends wouldn’t have gotten it either. Girlfriends, man.

    • I liked it, because the way I took it was, he wasn’t a “real” Robin, like Grayson or Drake or whoever, but the embodiment of what Robin is. He basically did everything a Robin would’ve been doing, but it’s handled without him putting on a ridiculous red and yellow suit, and at the end of it when he says his name’s Robin you realize Nolan slipped one past you and you actually got a movie with a Robin in it. TADA!

      • Oh nice point. I was originally thinking, well they could have used that “real name” moment to throw out one of the many Robins’ names, but now I’m glad they just made him embody them all, without the, “What do you mean he’s not X?! Obviously Y’s personality is way closer to him in this movie!” (Which definitely would have been how I reacted. Lawblog’s gif is me.)

    • I’m with you on that. That lines pretty much shoves the idea that he will become Robin down your throat. Had he been named Dick Grayson and left it at that, it leaves more to the audience’s imagination as to who he becomes after his training. Batman, Robin, Nightwing, Bat-mite. The possibilities would be endless!

    • Regarding Detective Robin John Blake and people on the internet saying he’s going to be Nightwing or Robin or whoever:

      John Blake is a nod to the Robin sidekick Batman trope. JGL’s cop had sidekick nuances, but Blake was definitely his own man, and a police officer and then detective, doing stuff not for Bruce, but because he’s a cop upholding the law.

      Dick Grayson, Jason Todd, Tim Drake and Damien Wayne are the only male Robin sidekicks out there in the comics, video games, cartoons, etc. Dick became Nightwing. Jason died and came back as the Red Hood. Tim is now Red Robin. Damien Wayne is the bastard child of Bruce and Thalia Al Ghul and is the current Robin. Robin John Blake is not one of these people. Apparently John Blake turned up in a single Batman story several decades ago as a police officer (news to me). Ostensibly, he exists only in The Dark Knight Rises.

      The audience is left to ponder what Blake is going to do with his inheritance, but to immediately look to the comics for an answer seems besides the point. He’s not in them.

      If one were to ponder what Blake does after the end of TDKR, he will most likely be Batman (considering Bruce’s comment about how Batman is just a symbol and anyone could be him, Bruce only ever made Batman suits, and Commissioner Gordon unwrapped a nice new Bat-Signal at the end of the flick), or he’ll be something else. He could name himself Nightwing or whomever (probably not Robin, because that makes zero sense seeing as his Christian name is Robin, and also the name Robin makes zero sense anyway, seeing as Robin was named after Robin Hood, but now after 70 years of continuity and retconning and new ideas and blah blah blah, he’s now more closely associated with the bird, hence, Red Robin, so if John Blake were to take Batman’s gear and think to himself, “I’ll call myself Robin” he’d be really really dumb to think up that gem). But that’s all left to the viewer to imagine. I personally saw JGL armor up, run out into the moonlight to fight crime with all his cool gear and then immediately get taken out by some nervous crook with an itchy trigger finger. I cracked up at the idea of such a tragic fate for Blake. Way to go, Bruce.

  25. SO I understand that it’s a superhero movie so who cares etc. etc. but one thing that really bothered me was the climax, physics-wise. Batman’s in the batplane with the bomb and leaves the center of town with a minute and change left before it explodes. Let’s say he clears the city with a minute left, to be fair. The bomb has a 6 mile explosion radius! That would mean that he would have had to have gotten at least 6 miles away from the city in one minute. Meaning he would have had to travel at over 400 mph! Which is basically the average speed for a commercial JET PLANE. Not a one man fancy helicopter.

    I know it’s dramatic and everything to have the timer going down, but if you’re going to do that give the bomb a radius of 3 miles. Or 4 miles! That’s still a lot of dead people!

    • Not to mention the fallout! A smaller radius would still have had insane lasting effects on the population. Also, I’m very worried about the underwater ecosystem in the Gotham City Bay, you guys.

      • So science nerding out time: technically since it was a fusion bomb and not a fission bomb (like Hiroshima or other nuclear weapons) the amount of fallout would be significantly less.

        • Ah ha! Thanks.

          • No prob! The bomb in the movie doesn’t exist (pure fusion) and the closest we have are hydrogen and neutron bombs, but even they emit radiation due to fissile material used. The only pure fusion that exists in our area of the universe is that big ole light in the sky we call the sun. Hence, the reason why in the movie a pure fusion power plant would be such a ridiculously big deal…if it worked.

          • Oh! Sheesh, I missed all of that. You’re like a kooky Science Guy who doesn’t know what he’s talking about Google search result!

      • I know! I hate being so nitpicky, but, fair or not, I definitely hold these movies to higher standard than the average superhero/action movie. Like, I don’t care that it was basically impossible for batman to eject from the plane before the bomb exploded. That’s just superhero stuff. But if someone who is terrible at math and physics (me) is like “wait a minute…” about such a crucial thing, it bugs me, since it strives so hard for gritty realism in every other way and should have been noticed and fixed.

        • I think it’s fair! I loved the movie overall, but it really bothered me that Bruce Wayne had spent the past three years developing a clean and sustainable energy model, and then at the end was just, “Fuck the ocean!” and dumped that environmental nightmare in the bay. I was also not reassured that just because the bomb went of six miles offshore that Gotham was entirely safe.

          But it’s also make-believe, so I think I can let this one go.

        • My friends and I were discussing this after the film this weekend and we came to the conclusion that Batman had fixed the autopilot and thus ejected well before the bomb exploded. This was because of the scene at the end in which a Wayne Enterprises employee tells Fox that the autopilot had been fixed 6 months ago by Bruce Wayne.

      • At this point, I was yelling for all the kids to get back on the bus so anything released by the explosion wouldn’t sink directly into their little bodies. Gotham is going to have one hell of a cancer cluster in a few years.

  26. Bat-meh

  27. When the reactor room flooded with Morgan Freeman still inside, I almost shouted, “DON’T YOU DARE TOUCH MY MORGAN FREEMAN.”

    Seriously though, awesome film. Did anyone catch Mike Judge as well? I was hoping for an “Indeed.” but that likely would be one too many sci-fi references.

  28. And some good laughs too! Anne Hathaway’s brilliant “crying girl who just witnessed a shootout” red herring as well as Wayne’s “No pictures please” device. I liked this movie.

  29. I liked it, but I did find myself thinking “Nolan! Show, don’t tell!” a lot. Like when Catwoman is all mad at that guy who hired her in the beginning, and he spends A LOT of time explaining the thing she wants directly to her, even though she’d be like “yeah, duh, that thing. I know what it is.”

    Also, I really hated the big switch for Marion Cotillard’s character in the end. I felt like it made Bane less awesome to have him be a thug, rather than the mastermind. I honestly felt like the film would have been just fine–better actually–if they had not written her character in. Before her big switch, she was a very empty character, and after her switch, she was a very lame villain who hijacked a lot of Bane’s bad-ass character development.

    UGH. Just too many things going on, I think.

    • Although I could see her betrayal coming, during the flashback sequences I thought Bane was the child who escaped from the prison and that somehow Bruce Wayne was the guy who protected him and helped him get out, which would have been the second time (well, first time) he saved someone who would later try to kill him. I don’t know if this would have been better, but I was a little annoyed at having multiple twists (that one + the broken autopilot ruse) at the end of the film.

    • I mostly agree, but I think the thing about Bane having been her protector and Bruce having sex with her does give Bane a very clear motivation for wanting to punch Batman.

  30. I should probably be honest as well as see the movie again, because throughout the flick I imagined Pee Wee Herman saying all the lines. “This isn’t a car.” actually had me bust out laughing. Which, I mean, yeah it’s funny for those of us who have seen the Jimmy Fallon parody trailer, but that line is really snarky, and only Pee Wee could turn it into a redeemable line.

  31. Also, did anyone think it was interesting how it was sort of an open secret that Bruce Wayne was Batman in this movie? I thought it served to destroy the distinction between Bruce Wayne being Batman even more than the other movies.

    • It was definitely weird how so many people seemed to figure it out the second they met either one of them. Except for Gordon, professional detective, who has apparently only comforted one child in his entire career?

      • I also really enjoyed how even when he was talking to somebody who already knew he was Bruce Wayne, he still talked in the Batman voice.

    • Can someone explain how JGL knew Bruce Wayne was Batman? Cause that whole scene I was listening, waiting for him to say something where I’d be like, “Oh, yeah, that makes sense,” and it just never happened. Was it that Bruce Wayne was all scowly from being an orphan, and so, duh, he must be Batman? Because that is what I got from that conversation.

      • It was because Bruce Wayne was the opposite of scowly, which is impossible because JGL knew that orphans had no logical reason to smile so he must have been faking it. What I want to know is why JGL was still living in a children’s home as recently as 8 years ago. The man’s 31!

      • Because orphans

      • He was all scowly because he had seen his parents killed in front of him like JGL’s character who saw then same thing happen to his father.

  32. I wanted to love this movie. I love the first two Nolan Batman films so much. I think they’re just purely great and I have no problems with them – it’s all just happy amazement at how great they are to behold. I have a huge soft-spot for all superhero movies, and Batman is especially high up there with Spider-Man as a childhood love. Unfortunately, I thought this movie was bloated and confusing so my enthusiasm fell quite a bit throughout. The story and villain weren’t nearly as tightly and well crafted so it was a bit anti-climactic.

    I could discuss this for ages, but in the interest of not writing a doctoral thesis, I think one thing that made it seem, to me, not as tightly focused was the fact that they wrote this originally hoping to write a new Joker film seems really obvious. The pointless anarchy Bane cultivates and the Scarecrow kangaroo court – a lot of Bane there felt very Joker. I wish they could have thought Bane out a bit more as his own character, rather than trying to hastily re-write a Joker themed plot with a new villain or two.

    Maybe I need to watch it again.

    I was very excited about Talia and Robin (though he’s obviously more suited to be Nightwing) even though I already saw them coming a mile away before the film even started. It was still fun to see them on screen.

    • BANE WAS not Joker at ALL. HE WAS acting as a dark reflection OF BATMAN–not his opposite. FOR BANE, the chaos and destruction was SUPPOSED TO start the FUCKING FIRE that would spread out and cleanse the entire WORLD. MUCH LIKE RA’S, he wanted to HAVE GOTHAM tear itself apart, yet here he did it through the MANIPULATION OF hope (though that too was A FACADE AS he was going to blow that shit up). It’s not pointless ANARCHY AT all: it’s meant to be an EXAMPLE TO the entire world and to WOUND the fuck OUT OF Bruce. He’s DOING WHAT others can’t do (much like Batman), but to a far darker end. He sees himself not as some relentless force but as “NECESSARY EVIL.”

      I think Bane is EASILY the most complex villain OF THE trilogy.

      • Given that the final mask Bane dons within the film is of the nature of, doing it for out of devoted love of Talia, wouldn’t Talia be the one behind most of what you are crediting to Bane? Wasn’t she the one who wanted to tear Gotham apart like Ra, since she even said she spent all this time trying to finish her father’s work? Maybe I am misinterpreting the end, but it sure sounded like Talia was long-conning Gotham all this time for her own master plan and Bane just helped execute it.

    • Heath Ledger died months before the second movie came out. I doubt they already had the script for the third movie written at that point. Especially considering that Christopher Nolan didn’t even want to do a third one for a long time. And Warner Brothers actually wanted The Riddler as the villain of the third film.

  33. I thought this movie was ok. Loved the first half. Very entertaining, loved Bane’s story and his voice/style. But the second half was pretty boring action wise, and pretty cluttered story wise. And I wanted more of exactly what Gabe was talking about. I thought this movie might have more to say the way The Dark Knight did. Instead Bane really didn’t have much of an ideology and he was just another League of Shadows lackey. It was too empty. The twist with Marion Cotillard was dumb too. Worst death scene in a while, btw. The last movie had all sorts of interesting ideas with the nature of power, and this movie had a bunch of dumb ones. Had a chance to be amazing. Was instead ok. Oh well, I still enjoyed it, and am working on my Bane impression.

  34. I find it hard to believe that Bruce Wayne spent all of those years, physical damage, and millions of dollars to fight crime in Gotham, only to then completely give up and mope around Wayne Manor for eight years over MAGGIE GYLLENHAAL.

    • Someone also brought this up but he wasn’t only moping… he had to stop fighting crime because of the Dent situation and also because of the Dent thing that removed all the organized crime. Peace era. Also he put Fox in charge of the company.

    • If you’ve seen “Secretary,” you’d know why he’d be upset about that.

  35. I really, really did not like The Dark Knight, but even I thought this film was amazing. Easily the best of the series. I have this one friend (ONE OF MANY) who I’ve been discussing ideas for this film with for the past year and a half, and somehow Nolan managed to implement every single one of them, right down to JGL being Robin. A very rare case of expectations and reality lining up perfectly. Also, heli-skiing sounds rad, I’d never heard of it before. I’m not going to Google it out of fear of being wrong, but that’s when you turn your helicopter engine off and Tokyo drift it down a mountain, right? I’ll start planning the Monster heli-skiing meetup right away.

  36. … well, can we talk about how straight up the best at acting Michael Caine is now? I’m not sure i can ever watch an elderly person drink fernet branca without bursting into tears again.

  37. Side question: How hard is it to make a freakin’ decent Superman movie trailer?!

  38. My biggest issue with the movie was that nobody sentenced to Exile seemed to understand the concept of weight distribution. See if you can slide across on your bellies, guys! Made me feel puuuurdy smug.

  39. Did anyone else have a problem keeping track of time in this film? First, there is the 3-month jump that is like, well, okay. In one scene, a character says “23 days until the bomb explodes” and then like, action sequence action sequence, and then someone says “only 5 days until the bomb explodes”, but I thought we were still in the same afternoon or whatever? And then the countdown on the timer is, like, rushed and oddly jumpy? The pacing didn’t jive with me.

    • I had a problem with how with less than 4 minutes to go on the timer, Batman was straight-up dicking around about flying the bomb into the bay. “It can be as simple as a man, putting a coat on a child’s shoulder, to let him know that everything will be –BOOOOM!”

  40. “…the plot is clever and convoluted” No and yes. I can’t stand these movies. Those convoluted plots don’t hold up under examination. The movies look all right, but they put me to sleep every time by not making any sense.

    • Same. I have trouble getting into superhero movies in general because they require so much suspension of disbelief, despite trying to take place in “the real world”. I tend to see most action films as set-pieces strung clumsily together, where problems are introduced and solved immediately thereafter.

      “He will explode the bomb with this remote detonator.”
      “Oh, well use this signal jammer I’m holding to avoid that.”

      “This bomb is very dangerous. Only one person can disarm this bomb.”
      “Oh, hey, I’m that guy so I’m sure I’ll be alright.”

      “There’s no way to escape this prison except for this one plausible way.”

  41. wait, nobody’s talked about bane’s venom-less-ness yet?
    not sure what to think of it as compared to the comics…but bane was certainly awesome nonetheless. I wasn’t entirely clear on his whole backstory though, like what happened to his face and why he needed that mask to breathe and were there any experiments done on him? hm.

    • Considering I just finished the entire run of Secret Six where Bane rarely, if ever, is on Venom, but does have a very weird relationship with women (wanting to be surragate father’s for them, and not in a “whose your daddy?” way), I was fine with the portrayal. He’s still a powerhouse, and I don’t think “super steroids” was really something they wanted to introduce to the Nolanverse.

    • I agree with Ryan, the “Nolanverse” is trying to be as ungimmicky as possible. Therefore all the villains don’t have superpowers, they are all just crazy, and crazy smart to boot! Ra’s Al Ghul, Scarecrow, The Joker, Two Face, Bane — they can all be very realistic villains if someone wanted them to be. Nolan, I think, was trying to stray away, like I said, gimmicky schtick like in Batman Forever and Batman & Robin where you would cringe with all the fake (and gay) colorfulness of Gotham, when in reality is best portrayed through the noir lens. If Bane had venom or super steroids, we would’ve have a different impression of him and think less of the Nolanverse.

      Similarly, going into the explicit details of the past of each of the villains is removed from the films which is just great. I don’t want to know why the Joker is so freaking smart and also why he’s so utterly scary if that character was in the real world, his unpredictability made him the scariest villain in ANY OF THE BATMAN movies. If we had known more about his past, I think it would have spoiled the shear terror of a man who could not be outsmarted. And when he is outsmarted, he outsmarts us yet again.

      And lastly, we saw our old friends, Scarecrow and Ra’s, but The Joker didn’t die at the end of TDK, I wish there was a mention like a cop talking to another cop about Bane and saying something like “This guys the new Joker, good thing that guy’s locked up at Arkham.” I wouldn’t want them to recreate him, I would’ve just liked a little mention of the whereabouts of that character.

      • I’m pretty sure that Scarecrow’s cameo was originally meant to be the Joker’s, since it sort of fits him a bit better to be in charge of the kangaroo court. [Had they not killed off Harvey, it would have been a perfect role for him, but too much of the plot hinges on Harvey's death for that to have ever been a real possibility]. It probably would have just come across as awkard to mention it. They pulled it off in the Avengers with the “don’t worry Thor, your girlfriend is safe even though she isn’t in this movie” scene, but it would be a bit more awkward with name dropping the Joker since it’s not keeping him in people’s minds to be included in a sequel.

      • I would have liked for someone to establish that Arkham is in the Narrows (mentioned in Batman Begins) and that it’s on another island connected by a bridge what with Gotham being modeled in part on New York City and most of it’s burroghs being accessed by bridge. Because my theory is that the Joker is still locked up in Arkham (possibly seducing a certain psychologist by the name of Dr. Quinzel). but i would imagine that Scarecrow would be a patient at Arkham as well, unless being caught for selling drugs (at the beginning of TDK) was enough to put him in Blackgate prison.

  42. Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see

  43. Watching this movie while slightly hungover was a terrible idea but it made everything 10x more funny.

    Laughable moments
    1. The CIA guy’s over-the-top physicality on the plane. He was overacting to the nth degree, it was a goofy way to start a tense scene.

    2. Bane’s voice was bad enough, but it made me laugh when everyone is yelling over the engine noise of the plane and his voice came in crystal-clear. It was too much, I feel like they boosted the audio too high to deal with the awkward accent and lack of visual help from seeing his lips move.

    3. The rope guy at the prison who just stands there and hands the rope to whomever wants it. Those scenes were hard to watch, especially with the corniness of the chanting and happy faces.

    4. That prison seemed really tame. Bruce is just hanging out and no one messes with him or anyone the whole time. Also… what was the deal with Bane being born in the dark? The prison has a giant hole above it.

    5. The exposition. They explained everything a mission times over. I hate when movies show you something and then have other characters slowly learning what you already know. Go into the sewers already, but don’t send 3,000 police officers casually down in a line!

    6. The length of the movie made me feel crazy. I was expecting a “too be continued…” at 2 hours in, because it seemed like a million threads needed to be wrapped up. Luckily it only took him 3 excruciating tries to get out of that prison.

    7. “I call it ‘The Bat’”. He could have called it anything, why did they even include this line? It also looked like flying shingle.

    8. The football player reacting to massive tear in the earth. There’s no way he was that focused on scoring a touchdown.

    9. Blake’s deduction of who Batman was seemed like a huge leap, especially with the flimsy explanation.

    10. Bane didn’t change his outfit for the 5 months that he held the city hostage, popped collar and all. I loved how it would cover his face in the shot half the time.

  44. So, I’m sure I’m not the first to point this out but the building jump in The Dark Knight was from the IFC2 building which is in Hong Kong NOT Shanghai. They are very different places.

    Otherwise this review is perfect, probably the best I’ve read (I loved the film myself)

  45. How come no one called out Gordon for his dick move of sending all the cops into the sewers?

  46. or how about how perfectly posed Matthew Modine was when died?

  47. The only beef I have is with the bomb timer at the end. Why does it always have to be 4 minutes or 3 minutes until the bomb explodes in a movie? I think 10 or even 15 minutes would have been equally frightening amount of time to harness a huge object, gain proper altitude and fly a safe distance from the city before it explodes. Movies don’t follow real time anyway so whats the harm?

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