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  • Writer's pictureThomas Duncan

The Dark Knight Rises (2012) ft. Robb Conlon

Guest: Robb Conlon, Founder of Westport Studios


  • Christopher Nolan, Writer/Director

  • Jonathan Nolan, Co-Writer

  • Hans Zimmer, Music

  • Christian Bale as Bruce Wayne / Batman

  • Michael Caine as Alfred Pennyworth

  • Gary Oldman as James Gordon

  • Anne Hathaway as Selina Kyle / Catwoman

  • Tom Hardy as Bane

  • Marion Cotillard as Miranda Tate / Talia al Ghul

    • Joey King as young Talia al Ghul

  • Joseph Gordon-Levitt as John Blake

  • Morgan Freeman as Lucius Fox

  • Matthew Modine as Peter Foley

  • Ben Mendelsohn as John Daggett

  • Burn Gorman as Philip Stryver

  • Nestor Carbonell as Anthony Garcia

  • Juno Temple as Jen

  • Alon Aboutboul as Dr. Leonid Pavel

  • Aidan Gillen as Bill Wilson

  • Brett Cullen portrays U.S. congressman Byron Gilley

  • Chris Ellis as Father Reilly

  • Tom Conti as Prisoner

  • Daniel Sunjata as Mark Jones

  • Liam Neeson as Ra's al Ghul

    • Josh Pence as young Ra's al Ghul

  • Cillian Murphy as Dr. Jonathan Crane

  • India Wadsworth as the wife of Ra's al Ghul

  • John Nolan as Douglas Fredericks

  • William Devane as the President of the United States.


  • The Dark Knight Rises was released on July 20, 2012.

  • The film grossed over $1 billion worldwide, making it the second film in the Batman film series to earn $1 billion, and the highest-grossing Batman film to date. In addition to being Nolan's highest-grossing film, it became the seventh-highest-grossing film of all time at the time of its release, as well as the third-highest-grossing film of 2012.

  • It was named one of the top 10 films of 2012 by the American Film Institute.

  • The Dark Knight Rises currently holds an 87 on RT among critics, a 78 score on Metacritic, and a 3.7/5 on Letterboxd.

What is this movie is about?/Elevator Pitch: The price of apathy, rising above our adversity, and moving on after we complete long-term goals.

Plot Summary: "The Dark Knight Rises" is the epic conclusion to Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy. Eight years have passed since the events of "The Dark Knight," and Gotham City enjoys a period of relative peace thanks to the Dent Act, which put away numerous criminals. However, this tranquility is shattered with the arrival of a formidable new adversary, Bane, a physically imposing and cunning mercenary, who emerges with a diabolical plan to bring Gotham City to its knees.

As chaos engulfs the city, Bruce Wayne, who has retired as Batman and become a recluse, is forced to confront his past and rise from the shadows once again. Stripped of his resources and physically and emotionally shattered, Bruce Wayne finds himself in a dark and desolate prison. There, he must find the strength to overcome his fears and pain and rise as the hero Gotham needs once again.

In a heart-stopping climax, the Dark Knight faces his greatest challenge yet, leading to an unforgettable showdown between good and evil. With the fate of Gotham City hanging in the balance, Batman must rise above adversity, confront his own limitations, and make the ultimate sacrifice to save the city he loves.

Did You Know:

  • The Dark Knight Rises is something of an amalgamation of three Batman stories from the comics. The Dark Knight Returns sees Batman return after a 10-year absence. No Man’s Land is about Gotham City being cut off from the rest of the world. Knightfall is probably the quintessential Bane story arc from the comics, and much of his presentation in this movie is based on that.

  • About a year before this movie's release, writer, producer, and director Christopher Nolan mentioned he was considering using a mixture of CGI and deleted scenes from The Dark Knight (2008) to have the Joker appear briefly. He ultimately decided it was disrespectful to Heath Ledger.

  • Tom Hardy, standing at 5'9", had to wear three-inch lifts to make his character Bane appear as tall, or taller than co-stars Christian Bale, Morgan Freeman, and Sir Michael Caine.

  • Hardy was cast as Bane, and he did what he could to become physically imposing. The actor put on 30 pounds to bulk up to 200 pounds. And, of course, Hardy put together his distinct voice he used for Bane as well. Part of his inspiration there was the bare-knuckle boxing legend Bartley Gorman.

  • Hathaway really wanted the role of Selina Kyle, but she had some stiff competition. Several actresses auditioned for the role, and Hathaway, Jessica Biel, and Kate Mara all had screen tests for the role before Hathaway won out.

  • Writer, producer, and director Christopher Nolan said that this movie's theme deals with "pain". For Batman Begins (2005), it was "fear", while The Dark Knight (2008) dealt with "chaos".

Best Performance: Tom Hardy (Bane)/Anne Hathaway (Selina/Catwoman)

Best Secondary Performance: Christian Bale (Bruce/Batman)/Anne Hathaway (Selina/Catwoman)

Most Charismatic Award: Tom Hardy (Bane)/Anne Hathaway (Selina/Catwoman)

Best Scene:

  • In Air Kidnapping

  • Batman Returns

  • Batman v. Bane #1

  • Opening Kickoff

  • Escaping the Pit

  • Kangaroo Court

  • On Thin Ice

  • Batman v. Bane #2

  • Talia al Ghul

  • Final Flight of the Bat

  • Epilogue

Favorite Scene: On Thin Ice/Stock Exchange/Escaping the Pit

Most Indelible Moment: Final Flight of the Bat

In Memorium:

  • Nick Benedict, 77, American actor (All My Children, The Young and the Restless, Days of Our Lives)

  • Daniel Goldberg, 74, Canadian film producer (The Hangover, Stripes, Space Jam, Old School) and screenwriter (co-wrote Meatballs and Stripes)

  • John Nettleton, 94, English actor (Yes Minister, Black Beauty, A Man for All Seasons, Oliver Twist)

Best Lines/Funniest Lines:

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 that the world hadn't ended.

Selina Kyle: Never steal anything from someone you can't outrun, kid.

Bane: ...peace has cost you your strength; victory has defeated you.

Bane: ...There's a reason why this prison is the worst hell on earth... Hope. Every man who has ventured 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 clamoring 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.

Bane: I broke you. How have you come back?

Bane: The shadows betray you, because they belong to me. I will show you where I have made my home, whilst preparing to bring justice. Then, I will break you. Your precious armoury, gratefully accepted. We will need it. Ah yes, I was wondering what would break first. Your spirit, or your body.

Bane: Oh, you think darkness is your ally. But you merely adopted the dark; I was born in it, moulded by it. I didn't see the light until I was already a man, by then it was nothing to me but BLINDING! [grabs Batman from the shadows and continues to beat him]

John Blake: I figured it out too late. You gotta learn to hide the anger, practice smiling in the mirror. It's like putting on a mask.

Crowd: [chanting] Deshi basara! Deshi basara!

Bruce Wayne: What does that mean?

Prisoner: Rise.

Jim Gordon: [reading from the book "A Tale of Two Cities" by Charles Dickens] 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.

Catwoman: My mother warned me about getting into cars with strange men.

Batman: This isn't a car.

Alfred: ...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.

Bane: Speak of the devil and he shall appear.

Selina Kyle: 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.

Miranda Tate: Feel the fire of the twelve million souls you've failed.

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. Start by storming Blackgate, and freeing the oppressed! Step forward those who would serve. For and 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!

Bane: No one cared who I was until I put on the mask.

John Daggett: What. The hell. Is going on?

Bane: Our plan is proceeding as expected.

John Daggett: Oh really? Do *I* look like I'm running Wayne Enterprises right now? Your hit, on the stock exchange, it didn't work, my friend! And now you have my construction crews going around the city at 24 hours a day! How exactly is that supposed to help my company absorb Wayne's?

Bane: [to Stryver] Leave us!

John Daggett: No! You stay here, I'm in charge!

Bane: [puts his hand on Daggett's shoulder] Do you *feel* in charge?

Talia al Ghul: 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.

Trader #1: This is a stock exchange! There's no money you can steal!

Bane: Really? Then why are you people here?

Bane: I am Gotham's reckoning.

The Stanley Rubric:

Legacy: 6.83

Impact/Significance: 7.33

Novelty: 5.75

Classic-ness: 7.83

Rewatchability: 7.67

Audience Score: 8.7 (84% Google, 90% RT)

Total: 44.11

Remaining Questions:

  • Why stick in the Robin ending?

  • How long does the Bruce Wayne/Selina Kyle relationship last?

  • Where did Batman jump out of the Bat?

  • Wouldn't there be radiation for years after the blast thus putting everyone at risk?

  • How did the Bat cover over 6.5 miles in less than 30 seconds?

  • Why did they send every cop into the sewers?

  • How was Batman allegedly murdering Ra's Al Ghoul the thing that made Talia forgive him for such a mortal blow as casting Bane out to then carry out his life's mission on his own?

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