The Dark Knight Rises
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A Note Regarding Spoilers

The following FAQ entries may contain spoilers. Only the biggest ones (if any) will be covered with spoiler tags. Spoiler tags have been used sparingly in order to make the page more readable.

For detailed information about the amounts and types of (a) sex and nudity, (b) violence and gore, (c) profanity, (d) alcohol, drugs, and smoking, and (e) frightening and intense scenes in this movie, consult the IMDb Parents Guide for this movie. The Parents Guide for The Dark Knight Rises can be found here.

There are three: Batman Begins (2005), The Dark Knight (2008), and this film, The Dark Knight Rises. All three feature Christian Bale as Batman. Added to the films is Batman: Gotham Knight, a direct-to-DVD anthology film of six short animated films set in between Batman Begins and The Dark Knight.

Someone who watches The Dark Knight Rises first should be able to follow the overall story. However, this movie is the third and final in Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy and, as such, there are many story references to the first two films, Batman Begins and The Dark Knight. Important story elements like why Batman is in seclusion, who Harvey Dent was and what he did, and who Ra's al Ghul and the League of Shadows are, will not be understood by someone who has not seen the first two movies before this one.

Who is the villain?

Bane (Tom Hardy) is the primary villain. Other villains featured are Ra's al Ghul (Liam Neeson), his daughter Talia (Marion Cotillard), corrupt businessman John Daggett (Ben Mendelsohn), and Dr. Jonathan Crane/Scarecrow (Cillian Murphy), who makes a cameo appearance in his role from the first two films, this time as a hanging judge in a kangaroo court. Selina Kyle/Catwoman (Anne Hathaway), however, is portrayed as an antiheroine rather than a traditional villain, serving as a foil to Bruce Wayne/Batman.

Out of respect for the late Heath Ledger, no reason is given in the film for his absence. Christopher Nolan said, "We're not addressing the Joker at all. That is something I felt very strongly about in terms of my relationship with Heath and the experience I went through with him on The Dark Knight. I didn't want to, in any way, try and account for a real-life tragedy. That seemed inappropriate to me. We just have a new set of characters and a continuation of Bruce Wayne's story not involving The Joker." He is not seen, heard, or mentioned in the whole film. It's likely he was securely locked away in Arkham Asylum, as suggested in the novelization of the film.

In the very first moments of the film, there is a scene where Jim Gordon reads a eulogy about Harvey Dent, which setting is identical to a scene featured in "The Dark Knight" but in a different camera view and with different lines. It is not known if the setting was recreated for the new movie in order to seem identical or if it is unused footage from the previous movie. In the original script, though, there is an extended version where this scene is directly connected to the previous movie. That may indicate that they had shot an extended version of this scene in "The Dark Knight" and in the final cut of the film this shot was left out with the additional 'deleted' footage, featured in "The Dark Knight Rises".

Aaron Eckhart expressed interest in reprising the role of Harvey "Two-Face" Dent, but director Christopher Nolan has stated that the character is dead. Dent does appear in a flashback to the ending of The Dark Knight. Also, a holiday was declared in his honor, "Harvey Dent Day", which has been celebrated for at least 8 years. The cover-up of Dent's crimes also plays a part in Bane's scheme to take over Gotham. In addition, the Gotham government also implements the "Dent Act" ad memoriam to the District Attorney's legacy, which denied all prisoners incarcerated in Blackgate Penitentiary access to parole. Bane completely destroys Harvey Dent's legacy by revealing the truth of Dent's crimes to the city. He then tears up a picture of Harvey Dent and reads a written statement by Jim Gordon, the Police Commissioner.

The Dent Act is a law that was passed in honor of the late Harvey Dent commemorating his commitment to rid the city of organized crime. Though not much detail is given in the movie itself, its is implied the Dent Act allows the arrest and incarceration of any and all individuals who are found guilty of associating themselves with organized crime families or operating an organized crime ring. Sentencing for these individuals is implied to be swift (likely doing away with a jury). However, the movie does tell us the most important aspect of the act: there is absolutely no possibility of parole. Gordon tells Blake that rules like parole "aren't weapons anymore, they're shackles, letting the bad get ahead". Thus, without parole, the criminals are forced to serve their full sentence instead of taking advantage of parole and going on a crime spree again. This part of the act probably came from the fact the mob leaders in the previous film made parole after being arrested by Dent --thus, this allowed the mob to use the Joker to cause chaos in Gotham. The act was designed to completely eliminate organized crime and corruption by ensuring that criminals are taken off the street in for the long term and discourages any further organized crime. And this was made easier, since in the end of the previous film, the mob leaders were dead and most of their men were still in prison because of Dent's prosecution. Blake reminds the audience of this by saying "When you and Dent cleaned the streets you cleaned 'em good". All that had to be done was to keep them from leaving jail and capturing the rest that were still on the streets.

It has never been stated directly in this trilogy, but all of the license plates say "Gotham" on them, so it would stand to reason that it is located in the state of Gotham, because license plates have the name of the state and not the city on them. However, in the first two movies, which were filmed in Chicago, the plates had Illinois-style designs just in case Illinois plates slipped through in the background.

The CIA didn't because they didn't know Barsad, the driver who turned the hooded men in, was actually working for Bane. Barsad is shown to be Bane's right hand man throughout the movie. Barsad was working with the CIA before hand and captured the three men for the organization. Thus, the CIA didn't need to check them.

After Batman tells Commissioner Gordon to pin Harvey Dent's crimes on him, Bruce Wayne hangs up the cape and the cowl and ceases to be Batman. Using small tidbits of information supplied in Lucius and/or Miranda scenes in The Dark Knight Rises, this is the story that can be reconstructed: After The Dark Knight, Bruce Wayne decided to "grow up" and actually start becoming a billionaire philanthropist, starting charities for various causes such as the Saint Swithen's orphanage and then placing his entire R&D budget into a clean energy project. The project resulted in the creation of a brand new, unique fusion reactor which was labelled as the first real hope for humanity to have a sustainable source of energy. Then, 3 years before the events of the movie, Dr. Pavel had released a thesis on how it would be possible to turn this exact same technology into a nuclear bomb. Upon learning this, Bruce feared that someone could turn the reactor into a bomb and effectively destroy Gotham with it (which just happens to explain the reason behind Bane's kidnapping of Dr. Pavel in the opening scene). Bruce stated that the reactor was developing problems and the project would be put on hold unless a solution to this possible problem is found. After this, he felt that he had nothing else left in the world and locked himself away in Wayne Manor, becoming a recluse, waiting for things to go bad in Gotham again in the hopes of once again becoming Batman and having a purpose in life, or as Alfred suggests, a reason to die. So, Bruce was active as a philanthropist and investor for 5 years, and became a recluse for 3 years.

The climax of Batman Begins happens on the eve of Bruce Wayne's 30th birthday. The Dark Knight was said to have taken place roughly 6 to 9 months later and The Dark Knight Rises takes place 8 years after The Dark Knight and 5 months pass within the film (11 if you count the prologue taking place 6 months before the remainder of the film). Therefore Bruce is 38 and likely turns 39 at some point.

Being Batman is a physically demanding job, Bruce Wayne had been shot, beaten, set on fire, gassed by weaponized hallucinogens, fallen from extreme heights, bitten by dogs, survived explosions, crashes, etc. While the Batsuit would offer him some protection, the physical trauma he had sustained would certainly take its toll on his body. As we see at the beginning of The Dark Knight, Bruce had several scars over his body and he had only been Batman for less than a year. In this film, 8 years have passed and Bruce has been locked away in seclusion. If he didn't stay in top shape, the previous injuries to his body would likely start taking their toll. At the end of The Dark Knight, Bruce can be seen limping after falling while running from the police, so the cane he has in this story is probably a result of the fall.

In his first conversation with Bruce, Blake reveals that he was also an orphan who watched his father's murder and that he understands what that does to a kid, how he, like Bruce, was trapped in his anger. He told Bruce, "You gotta learn to hide the anger. It's like putting on a mask." Blake recounts a visit Bruce made to the orphanage where Blake grew up. Blake tells Bruce, "We were so excited. Bruce Wayne --billionaire orphan! I mean, we use to make up stories about you. Legends. And to the other kids, you know, it's was all that was --just stories." Blake implies out of their fascination of Bruce, since he too is an orphan, Blake and the orphans made up stories and legends about him. One story was probably that Bruce Wayne was Batman. The orphans seem to be heavily fascinated by Batman, since they are, after all, kids (and shown by the orphan Blake talks to who draws bat symbols). Considering Bruce, the billionaire, probably is the only one with the resources to be Batman, it would be possible he is Batman. But to the other kids, Bruce's non-serious persona did not fit Batman --thus, the idea that Bruce is Batman was only just a story to them. But, when Blake saw through Bruce's face, he saw as more than a story. The moment Blake laid eyes on Billionaire Bruce stepping out of a fancy car with a supermodel on his arm, "Right when I saw you, I knew who you really were. I'd seen that look on your face before. It's the same one I learned myself." Blake wears his own version of the Billionaire mask to hide his own version of the Batman. Of course once Blake knows that Billionaire Bruce is a mask, he easily figures out what Bruce is hiding. Bruce finds comfort in confiding in Blake, and the end of Blake's journey is inevitable. He recognizes that Bruce is the mask because he wears his own.

Batman & Robin portrayed Bane very differently than other versions of Batman. In it, he was reduced to being a mindless henchman. In the comics, Bane was of Caribbean descent and uses a drug called "venom" to create his massive hulking size. The mask he wears feeds the venom directly into his brain. Bane is a highly intelligent, mostly self-educated, a cunning strategist and a skilled fighter. In The Dark Knight Rises, Bane is very similar to his comic book counterpart. One key difference is that he does not use venom. His mask holds an anesthetic to keep chronic pain at bay, which was caused by severe spinal and facial trauma. Also, Bane, while still very muscular and formidable, is a much more realistic size: His height is only about 6'2" and he weighs approximately 240 pounds. Most notably different is Bane's accent; Tom Hardy, who plays Bane, says, "The choice of the accent is actually a man called Bartley Gorman, who was a bare knuckle fighter, a Romani gypsy, which I wanted to underpin the Latin -- but a Romani Latin opposed to Latino. His particular accent is very specific, which was a gypsy accent. So that's why it was difficult to understand. But once you tune into it, you get it, I hope."

Bane transfuses blood from Dr. Pavel into the dead (or possibly comatose) body of a henchman dressed to resemble Dr. Pavel, to trick the CIA into believing the scientist has died in the plane crash. This is evident when a CIA operative says that Pavel was confirmed dead six months earlier in said plane crash after Bane introduces him at the football game. With Pavel's blood in the dead body, there would be DNA evidence for the CIA or other authorities to find in the wreckage. Presumably this only worked if there was no blood in the dead body prior to injecting Pavel's blood into the corpse.

It was not explained in the film, but he may have some sort of mechanism that allows him to suck in liquefied nutrients through his mask. It's also possible that he simply removes the mask while eating, and endures the pain. He may also inject himself with painkillers before taking off the mask. There may also be a nose piece on the mask or a separate one that he can detach and connect to the mask so he can still breathe in the anesthetic through his nose while leaving his mouth free to eat and drink. Bane might also have developed a technique or had been instructed in one that would allow him to temporarily wean himself off the pain medication before removing the mask, say, by lowering the dosage in the minutes before he would remove it, so he could take care of daily habits like shaving or eating. There might also be control settings on the mask that allowed him to do this as well. Some viewers believe that Bane felt a sudden shock of pain after Batman damages his mask, while others interpreted Bane's reaction more akin to panic of trying to fix the mask before the pain set in. A few seconds after Batman damages the mask, Bane is able to throw Batman against a column and deliver a few more blows. Two of them don't connect & he punches the column, perhaps reinforcing the idea that the pain hadn't set in yet & begun to cripple him.

The flashbacks set in the Pit are roughly 20 years before the events of Batman Begins, and it is assumed that Bane was in his late teens to early twenties. This would put Bane somewhere roughly between 40 and 50 (counting the approximate nine months between Batman Begins and The Dark Knight, as well as the eight years in between The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises) during the events of this film, although this is speculation because we are never told the ages of other parties involved.

Selina is a professional cat burglar; it's likely that she buys the equipment she needs using the proceeds acquired from robbing the rich. It's also possible that she designed and constructed some of the items herself, or that she could have struck up business relations or friendships with the types of people who would sell or design the type of equipment she uses.

'Pavane pour une infante dfunte' (Pavane for a Dead Princess) by Maurice Ravel.

When Bruce Wayne is in the Batsuit, he takes on the persona of Batman, so the gravelly, intimidating voice he uses can best be described as part of the outfit. Always keeping his voice altered while in the suit makes it harder for him to slip up and talk in his normal voice to the wrong person. He may also have equiped his Batsuit with a voice modifier microphone/speaker in order to digitally alter his voice so he cannot speak with his real one when in his suit.

For the same reason he didn't let the Joker keep falling after he threw him off the building in the previous film; Batman is not an executioner. That is his "one rule". People might die as a result of his actions (such as the driver of the bomb truck at the end of the film who is killed when Batman is firing rockets at it), but he will never be the one to purposefully take their life. Batman's adherence to this rule is shown in the rooftop scene when he knocks a gun out of Catwoman's hands and says "No guns, no killing". It would've been hypocritical for him to later shoot down Bane and his men with the Bat. In Frank Miller's graphic novel, The Dark Knight Returns, there's a similar theme when Batman confronts the leader of a notorious and vicious gang called The Mutants. Batman has a moment where he can simply fire a powerful cannon on the latest version of the Batmobile (which resembles a tank) and destroy his enemy with one shot. He chooses to fight the Mutant Leader hand-to-hand because of personal principles he'd adopted years before that prevent him from being an executioner.

We don't see Bane enter the building, but when he approaches the metal detector, he is still wearing his motorcycle helmet. It's possible that he and each of his men arrived separately, to avoid suspicion, and are perhaps allowed to park their bikes in the front entrance of the building. Then, after Bane took the exchange hostage, his men could have easily took the bikes in before the police arrived. Also, even if that didn't happen, considering his men worked as the maintenance and operators of the exchange, they could have previously sneaked the bikes in when the building was closed.

Lucius Fox told Bruce the following day that they could prove the transaction as fraud. But, Bane took Bruce out of Gotham before the transaction could be reversed. With Bruce missing and the city being held hostage, there would have been no point in reversing the transaction. We also don't know how sophisticated the program Bane and his men uploaded was. The program could have created a false paper trail that lead back months. So even if any and all transactions on the day Bane attacked the exchange were voided, nobody would be the wiser to the fact that the fraudulent reports actually went back much longer than the day in question. Besides, Bane didn't need the plan to work long-term. Only a couple of days to ensure that Miranda Tate was given control of Wayne Enterprises.

The rifle was presumably an EMP blaster that he aimed at the motorcycle to prevent it from getting away. The same technology could have been in a device that would have shut the lights off temporarily while Batman rode the Batpod toward Bane's henchmen on the motorcycles. Bruce Wayne uses some form of disruptor when he shuts down the paparazzi cameras when he arrives at the ball -- the same technology could have been used in the tunnel chase.

It is speculated to be the Dell XPS Duo 12

Alfred is speaking to the gravestone of Thomas and Martha Wayne, Bruce's parents. Alfred is overcome with grief because he had been Bruce's caretaker since Bruce was born, mostly on his own after Mr. and Mrs. Wayne died. A line Alfred says to Bruce in the trailer but was omitted from the film helps shed some light on this: "You're as precious to me as you were to your own mother and father. I swore to them that I would protect you, and I haven't." Alfred tried to convince Bruce that there was more to life than being Batman, but he wasn't getting through to Bruce. So Alfred decided to leave, and his fears were realized at the end of the film. Consequently, he felt he failed Bruce's parents.

Bane was involved with the League of Shadows - the same organization that trained Bruce Wayne - and so if Bane took over the League of Shadows after Ra's al Ghul's death, he likely would have learned this from existing members. Another possibility is that he figured it out on his own, just like Bane did in the 1990s comic series Knightfall.

Several factors come into play: (1) He fights more strategically in their second battle by going for what he now knows is Bane's weak spot, the mask, taking blows in order to expose Bane's vulnerability. Batman eventually damaged the mask with the blades on his gauntlets, which leaves Bane severely weakened and distracted as he needs an anesthetic pumped into his lungs continually to dull the pain from injuries he suffered in prison. (2) Batman's mental training and fear of Bane may have also driven his survival anger to a higher level, as is common for trained combatants in life-threatening situations. (3) Bruce worked out extensively in prison to get himself as close to the physical prime he had 8 years earlier. (Bruce is noticeably exhausted rather quickly in his first fight with Bane) (4) When Batman first faced off with Bane, he had seriously underestimated Bane as a threat. (Remember what Alfred told him while viewing the footage of Bane in the stock exchange? He told Bruce that Bane was faster & more agile than Bruce's condition after 8 years of solitude.) (5) Bruce had simply put the Batsuit on for the first time in 8 years; he wasn't in his top physical condition, which would have at least have allowed him to pose a threat to Bane if not defeat him.

Batman did try to focus his punches to Bane's mask. But, each time he did that, Bane would grab his fist after a hit or two to prevent him from punching it more. (Bane did the same thing in the 2nd fight until Batman managed to overcome it or figure out a new strategy to get around Bane's defense.) So, Batman would just hit everything else since Bane would let him. Batman didn't have the same knowledge of Bane's weakness in the first fight that he did in the second. While he's trapped in the prison, he finds out from the doctor that Bane's mask suppresses the constant pain he'd feel from his injuries. Armed with that knowledge, Batman is able to fight Bane more strategically, rather than just physically. Being an extremely tough opponent in hand-to-hand combat, Bane could also have, during his lifetime, developed or learned more effective ways to protect his mask against opponents. Those techniques could be distractions or defensive moves, much like real-life martial artists are trained in. Another possibility is that Bruce was already emotionally broken the first time he faced Bane and his ability to concentrate was compromised in such a way that fighting with Bane was like an act of self-destruction. This seems a likely scenario: normally, Batman uses stealth and misdirection, playing into his opponent's fear, confusion and disorientation to get the upper hand. However, in the first Bane fight, Bruce was unexpectedly led into a trap by Selina Kyle, and Bane also knew his identity. So Bruce was ill-prepared to fight Bane man-to-man, without being able to make proper use of his surroundings and normal strategies, and without the ability to hide behind his anonymity. In the second fight, however, Bruce had recovered his will to live and his self-confidence. He had time to adapt to a more direct style of combat, and was able to more effectively study his opponent.

Another theory is that, as Alfred said, Bruce Wayne wanted to fail. He was careless going up against Bane and either subconsciously or deliberately underestimated Bane in the hopes of dying in combat. Hence his asking why Bane didn't just kill him and even suggesting to his cell mates that they let him die for the pleasure of it. Bane actually allows Batman to strike him in the face/mask several times during the fight as if to taunt him. So Batman may have just not been bothering to hit him in the face, knowing that hits to the body can often prove more effective and the fact that Bane didn't seem too concerned about getting hit in the face.

Technically neither. In the film, the prisoner who looks after Bruce tells how the blind prisoner in the next cell was once the prison's doctor, but also a morphine addict. Bane was attacked and severely wounded. The doctor did what he could to save Bane, but with his addiction he botched the surgery, leaving Bane in constant chronic pain. The mask Bane wears "keeps the pain at bay," as Bruce's prison caretaker says, so it holds an anesthetic likely stored on his belt or in his flak vest. The mask may also hold small compartments in the back of the mask in case he needs to remove the vest. There is no mention of "venom" in the film, though the anesthetic could be nicknamed thus. Bane simply keeps himself in excellent shape. There is an interesting article where actual medical professionals are consulted and asked how Bane's mask may work in the real world: here.

It is stated in the film that Bane has some type of anesthetic (most likely morphine, as the prison doctor is stated to have been a morphine addict) continually pumped into him through his mask. This presumably resulted in Bane being at least partially, perhaps even fully, insensitive to Batman's attacks. Alternatively, as Bane says to Batman when they first face off, "Peace has cost you your strength. Victory has defeated you," meaning that Batman's 8-year absence from training and fighting left him in a weakened state, so his hits had little to no effect on a seasoned combatant like Bane.

Bane had access to the underground sewer system and so purposefully built it underneath Wayne Enterprises' Applied Sciences Division. Quite possibly he had access to schematics of the sewer system and thus could ascertain the location of the off-limits area. (John Blake was also in possession of such documents.) Given the history of Bane having men undercover for him, he probably had someone undercover at Wayne Enterprise that would have secretly informed him where Wayne's possible armory was. With regard to the fusion core, Bane was affiliated with Miranda Tate, who had previously visited the chamber with Lucius Fox and Bruce Wayne, so it is highly likely that she informed him of its presence to advance their plans.

In the comics, Bane was in fact born in a prison and spent the first part of his life there, forced to serve out his father's prison sentence by a cruel dictator who had decided to punish the family. In the movie, Bane gives a speech to Batman about being born in darkness and not seeing the light until he was a man. It is unclear where Bane is born, so he could have been speaking metaphorically, such as being "reborn" in the pit, starting his new life with a new purpose. Regardless, we know that he spent most of his life in the prison, as he refers to it as "home." It is incredibly likely, however, that he was born in the prison, considering his protection of Talia. Both of them being born in the Pit may have made empathy the driving force for Bane to protect Talia.

Talia al Ghul infiltrated Wayne Enterprises some time before the events of the film. Talia manages to keep herself plugged in to a lot of the resistance movements in the city after Bane takes control, so she'd be able to tip Bane when there were people ready to make a move. For example, when the Special Forces team manages to infiltrate the city, Blake takes them to where Lucius, Miranda and others are hiding. Bane shows up and kills the Special Forces team, having heard the news from Talia.

It was never stated where the prison was. So we have no idea how long it takes to get there. When Alfred mentions it to Bruce early on, he says in an "some more ancient part of the world." (The filmed fort is in Jodhpur, India, but the chant is in Moroccan Arabic, so it could be possible the pit is in Morocco). It is also revealed that Miranda/Talia has a plane, when she says to Bruce: "We could leave. Tonight. Take my plane. Go anywhere we wanted." When Bane seized the reactor, it was mentioned that they had about 5 months before it blew up. That gives Bruce enough time for a return trip from anywhere in the world. Wayne also took supplies for his trip home from the prison, giving him some food to start his journey back. The film does not visually show how Bruce got back to Gotham, because it is already established that Bruce had the skills to do it in previous movies --especially Batman Begins. Thus, it wasn't necessary to show it and the visuals after rising from the pit of a simple clothed Bruce walking on tough, exotic terrain alludes to this previous film. In Batman Begins, Bruce traveled the world for 7 years in poverty and no other resources --sneaking and stealing his way by-- to understand the minds of criminals. Then, when he was trained by the League of Shadows, he mastered the use of theatricality, "invisibility", and other ninja skills. It is obvious Bruce could have just got back to the U.S. by sneaking in a plane or boat. In terms of getting back to Gotham, Gotham wasn't technically quarantined, as food shipments were allowed in. Citizens just weren't allowed out. That's how the Special Forces team managed to get into the city. So Bruce could have easily sneaked back in that way, or by sneaking on ice, using the Underground Railroad by the Bat Cave, ninja skills, etc.

One possible theory is that he can walk on ice with 'sure-footing' as shown in his training with Ra's al Ghul in the first film, Batman Begins . This is actually confirmed visually when Batman meets Gordon halfway along the ice, walking effortlessly towards him. Another idea is that as Wayne Manor is said to be located outside the city limits (and perhaps off the main island of Gotham), he could have gone back to his home and taken the Bat and flown to the bridge or just beyond it. This last theory is supported by the notion that Wayne Manor is not shown to have been looted and occupied by the Blackgate Prison escapees. It is also shown in a Map of Gotham city produced as part of the viral marketing, similarly to other known maps of Gotham from comics, that Wayne Manor is outside of the main set of islands that were under Bane's martial law. The film itself establishes direct explanation for getting onto the island, with the CIA agents sneaking into Gotham undercover as men delivering supplies. This may not have been the route Wayne took to get back, but it proves that other people were also successfully sneaking into the city during Occupied Gotham. In the end a guy like Bruce Wayne, while living a double life as Batman for a few years, probably learned of several or many different ways to gain access to a city that could be so easily cut off from the outside world, i.e., as Batman, he'd have to know alternate routes and access points to track criminals and find their hideouts, etc.

The prisoners chant deshi basara, Moroccan Arabic for "He rises." It's also used in Hans Zimmer's score for the film.

In the dream scene, Ra's disappears after talking with Bruce inside a cell. The scene carries a striking resemblance to the first meeting of Bruce & Ra's in Batman Begins. Keep in mind a few things: Bruce had just undergone serious physical trauma (getting his broken back reset without painkillers). Bruce had been strung up to straighten out his back; while the scene transition is instant, he had clearly been in that position for weeks. When Bruce's vertebra is put back into place, he had minor stubble on his face; when he looks up to see the apparition of Ra's al Ghul, he has long facial hair, almost the same as what he had at the beginning of the film. Bruce already had all the information that Ra's discusses with him. Learning about the fabled mercenary and knowing Ra's in person simply meant putting two and two together. By this time, Bruce had thought of the young child as the young Bane. In his dream, Ra's supports Bruce as he thinks Bane is the heir of Ra's al Ghul. If it was Ra's in reality, then he'd correct Bruce about his child. In the end, both Talia and Bane effectively confirm that Ra's was killed by Batman in the first film. It's pretty safe to assume that the Ra's in this film was just a hallucination, nothing more. Alternate meaning: Ra's mentions how immortality comes in many forms. Being alive in Bruce's mind provides him a form of immortality, and syncing up with Batman Begins has made him a sort of legend, even if it is only in Bruce's mind. Additionally, Ra's al Ghul can be seen as immortal through his legacy. In the comics Ra's al Ghul is literally immortal via use of the Lazarus Pit. He is also obsessed with his legacy...finding a suitable successor to his position of 'Demon's Head' (the literal meaning of 'Ra's al Ghul'...the head or leader of the League of Shadows). So to translate that to film, Nolan made Ra's al Ghul immortal through his legacy...through his heir (whether that be Bane or Thalia). Bane's (and eventually Bruce Wayne's) prison in the film (a pit) acts as a literal interpretation of the Lazarus Pit from the source material...Ra's al Ghul's legacy rises from the pit to take over his task...making the position of Ra's al Ghul and his mission immortal.

He is killed during Bane's attack on the football field. After the field starts imploding, there's a brief shot of a second bomb going off inside his viewing box.

Not every cop was sent. There still is a significant back bone of the force remaining on the street. This is shown in the scene where the Special Forces talks to Gordon, Foley and Blake behind the butchery. Gordon says there are "dozens of us but [he] preferred not to say." And we can see a good number of the other cops standing behind Gordon in the scene. Unfortunately, these cops were out numbered by Bane's men.

He had no reason to. In fact, doing so may have impeded Bane's plans. People wouldn't be able to hate the rich and powerful if the richest man in Gotham, Bruce Wayne, was the one who risked his life for them.

One of the Blackgate ex-cons tells Stryver (Daggett's assistant) that if he tries to "swim" across the ice, he will be dead in minutes. It's a very long way across, and crawling would cause the body parts exposed to the ice (even through clothes) to become extremely frostbitten and result in hypothermia and death. Stryver is also wearing only the suit he had on during his "trial," which offers him very little protection from the freezing temperatures. Walking is his best bet. Furthermore, the ex-cons and Bane's men were probably under orders to shoot anyone not walking on two feet. The point isn't to let exiles cross the ice safely; it's to give them the "false glimmer of hope" (similar to what Bane talks about earlier) before the inevitable fall and death.

There's a scene in the film that the cops were getting provisions, which were sent via the bridge and then distributed to them. Those provisions probably included mostly the food, but it isn't hard to think that they were also getting razors, perhaps bedpans and other basic hygiene equipment in order to keep illness from spreading. Something to support this theory is the fact that Bane had said in his speech outside of Black Gate that the police would survive and he told Bruce Wayne that he'd continue to feed the people of Gotham hope. So if Bane was taking the time to keep the officers alive in the tunnels, he would likely want them to be as comfortable as possible to give them true hope that they'd be rescued. The officers in the sewers were also in contact with John Blake and possibly other family and friends on the surface that would be able to provide them with razors and other amenities that Bane may not have supplied. Transporting them to the officers would have been as simple as tying them to a string and dropping them down a manhole/storm drain.

Batman has always been more than just a man, an icon of fear among Gotham underworld, a beacon of hope. The mere presence of his sign provided the hope to all Gothamites that their valiant knight has returned to their side. This is the very reason that inspires the massive number of cops waiting the next morning (Foley being an example of many unknown): The symbol of Batman gave them the spirit to stand up against a superior force. It can also be said that symbol was made years before in case of a threat like that of Bane ever arose and that Batman only needed to position it & ignite it.

Due to Bane wearing his flak jacket when Selina blasts him with the Bat-Pod cannon, some viewers speculate that Bane could have survived the blast. However, if we're going with realism here; even if the round didn't pierce his armor, the impact trauma alone would have likely been enough to break his ribs and sternum & pulverize his internal organs and stop his heart. If there was ever a sequel, it may be possible to bring him back. But due to this being the end of the trilogy, one can more or less confirm that he died from the forces brought on.

It's heavily implied they were on a suicide mission from the very beginning. In the opening prologue, Bane tells one of his men to stay in the plane because the CIA expect to find one of them in the wreckage. The man complies unquestionably and seems almost proud that he could die for Bane's cause. This is to showcase that all of Bane's men were fully and completely committed to Bane and fulfilling his mission of destroying Gotham, perfectly ready and willing to sacrifice themselves to see it through. At the end of the film, when Talia reveals herself to Batman, as being a co-conspirator with Bane. she, without hesitation presses the trigger to detonate the bomb while her, Bane and all their men are still in the city limits. The bomb fails to detonate however they try to do whatever they can to see that it goes off. It seems they had no intention of evacuating themselves before the bomb went off. They likely knew that if they wanted to completely take control of Gotham for any length of time, they wouldn't be able to get very far before the National Guard captured or killed them, so the only option was to occupy the city until the very end.

An alternate possibility was that they had planned to evacuate shortly before the bomb went off. The bomb had a blast radius of six miles, which wouldn't take very long to get to a safe distance from. It's possible they could have cleared the tunnel or flown out and escaped . When the bomb went off, the military would likely be in a state of shock trying to figure out what happened and the League of Shadows could make their escape relatively unnoticed as the military would likely assume something went wrong and the bomb went off accidentally. This plan being foiled when Batman and 3000 police officers overran their base of operations. Another element that makes the possibility of them planning to escape likely is that Talia desired revenge against Bruce. Her speech about the slow knife she delivers after stabbing Batman supports this. It's possible they planned to evacuate before the bomb exploded so Talia could return to the pit, reveal her true identity, and kill him.

No. In nuclear explosions tested at sea there were no reported tsunami. Potentially there would have been higher waves but nothing significant. Tsunamis are generally caused by earthquakes and/or volcanic activity, and these have the potential to be much, much more powerful than any nuclear weapon. For example, the 2011 Tohoku Earthquake and subsequent tsunami that devastated Japan is believed to have released energy equivalent to 9,320 gigatons of TNT - several orders of magnitude more powerful than the 50 megaton Tsar Bomba (the most powerful nuclear weapon ever built), and certainly more powerful than the 4 megaton nuke featured in this film. When a tsunami is formed, it happens because of seismic activity deep under the ocean's surface. When tectonic plates shift you either have volcanic activity or earthquakes. Because it happens deep below the surface of the water, much more water is displaced than would be by a nuclear blast.

He ejected from the Bat before it flew out over the Bay. Immediately before he boarded the Bat, Selina Kyle suggested that he would eject, but Batman said he could not because the plane had "no autopilot." It turned out, however, that the plane did have autopilot - Bruce Wayne had fixed the autopilot through a software patch, as revealed in Lucius's Fox later scene. Batman evidently ejected from the plane sometime between boarding it and when the bomb detonated. We actually see him push a lever while in flight, but the scene cuts away before revealing this lever's effect. John Blake and the orphans then view an explosion near a building, followed by the Bat flying over the bay. This explosion would hide Batman's ejection from the public's view. We do not see Batman in the Bat between the explosion and the bomb's detonation. We do see one shot of him, but it is a close-up that does not show the larger Bat. This closeup shows him turning another lever, as though piloting an aircraft, though the Bat traveled a straight path at this point. This shot therefore depicted the ejected cockpit rather than the entire Bat aircraft. Similarly, in The Dark Knight, the Batmobile ejected a self-contained vehicle (the Batpod). Also, if you listen carefully the sound of the engine of the Bat in the scene which was previously mentioned, sounds no mechanical at all (we just hear an electric buzz) although in the following exterior shots, the propellers of the Bat are clearly heard which might indicates that Batman boards a different vehicle with electric engines -different than the propeller-powered Bat- thus proving that he had indeed ejected.

Dr. Pavel specified to the public in the stadium that it was a fully primed neutron bomb. Scientifically, neutron bombs are nuclear bombs that leave little to no fallout, because of the radiation's very short half-life. The bomb also came from the brand new technology for sustainable energy --the fusion reactor-- thus, can be considered a pure fusion bomb if not a neutron bomb. Miranda Tate mentions that the reactor uses "No radiation, no fossil fuels." Normal nuclear power and bombs split radioactive elements into highly radioactive elements because they use fission. The fusion reactor only uses fusion. Fusion still has radiation i.e. heat, gamma, etc., but it has no radioactive waste - the only radiation of sorts would be fast neutrons which would be absorbed by the water with no ill effects.This would also be in keeping with The League of Shadows' motives. Their intention is to destroy Gotham and its corrupt inhabitants in order to restore order. However, if they set off a nuclear bomb that produces significant fallout, this could spread far beyond Gotham, crippling far more of the country than intended. To have a bomb that has the effects of a nuclear blast but little to none of the fallout, this would be perfect for their intentions.

Bruce Wayne's last public appearance was about two or three days after the stock exchange robbery. He disappears shortly afterwards due to the fact that he was crippled by Bane and taken to the Pit. Since Bruce is not seen in public after this, he is assumed to have been killed in the city-wide riots that followed the League of Shadows' takeover. He returns to Gotham less than a day before the bomb detonates, and the only people who see him out of the Batsuit are Selina, Fox and Miranda, plus the few other henchman and hostages present. Batman is then believed dead after he apparently sacrifices himself by flying the bomb out to sea. Since Bruce was believed to have been killed by the League of Shadows months before, a small funeral is held after the detonation attended by those who knew his secret, with the public having no knowledge of this funeral. Hence, people do not connect the two deaths.

Bruce Wayne disapproved of the copycats because they were simply vigilantes dressing up as him, going around town with no training and attempting to kill criminals. Bruce said, "That isn't exactly what I meant when I said I wanted to inspire people," because he didn't want citizens to go attack criminals themselves, which would likely result in the amateur vigilantes getting killed.

In Batman Begins, Bruce said, "I'm gonna show the people of Gotham their city doesn't belong to the criminals and the corrupt.... People need dramatic examples to shake them out of apathy, and I can't do that as Bruce Wayne. As a man, I'm flesh and blood. I can be ignored. I can be destroyed. But as a symbol...I can be incorruptible. I can be everlasting...something elemental, something terrifying." Bruce became Batman to inspire people to fight against Gotham's corrupt and criminal. He became a vigilante since the legal system was too corrupt to be used effectively against the evils. Bruce wanted to cleanse the legal system of the mobs' control.

In The Dark Knight, Bruce Wayne and Commissioner Gordon put all their faith in Harvey Dent, because he was the beacon of hope that Gotham City needed. Bruce wanted to inspire people that had a face that used legal means to fight criminals, not vigilantes themselves. Batman said to Dent, "You are the symbol of hope I could never be. You are the first legitimate ray of light in Gotham in decades." This is exactly what Bruce Wayne had intended in the first place: to show the truly good people that it was okay to stand up to criminals. The problem with having a public face, is the criminals know who to attack. Harvey lost Rachel and his own sanity because he was such a public figure for hope. After Harvey Dent became insane and goes on a killing spree, Batman told Gordon to pin Dent's crimes on him because "I'm whatever Gotham needs me to be. Right now, it needs its true hero, [Harvey Dent]."

In The Dark Knight Rises, Bruce Wayne tells Blake to wear a mask when fighting criminals in order to protect the people he cares about. Bruce also states that he became Batman in order to inspire people to do good and stand up to criminals and the corrupt in some small way. He then explains that he became Batman as the symbol of standing up to crime. Nobody knew who Batman was; therefore, Batman could literally be anyone who was sick of the corrupt getting away with their crimes and decided to make a stand. He wasn't saying that everyone should dress up as Batman and go fight crime on the street level.

Yes she was. It was mentioned by Wayne's lawyer after the will reading that a string of pearls was missing from the manifest.

No, Alfred is not dreaming. Early in the film, Alfred tells Bruce about a fantasy he had back when Bruce had originally ran away from Gotham for 7 years. Alfred would be on a holiday in Italy, and going to a cafe by the Arno River in Florence every day at noon, and order a Fernet Branca. Every day he would be hoping that he would just happen to come across Bruce there, possibly now with a wife and children. Alfred wouldn't say anything to Bruce, and vice-versa, but Alfred would know that Bruce had made it and started a new life, free from the death, pain and misery that Gotham held for Bruce.

At the end of the film, Alfred, believing Bruce to be dead, continues with his tradition of going to the cafe in Italy during his holiday. On one particular day, he sees Bruce sitting at the table across from him with Selina Kyle. Alfred nods at Bruce and Bruce nods to Alfred. This might seem too coincidental, hence the suggestion by some that Alfred is simply dreaming it. However, as pointed out a few scenes back, Martha Wayne's pearl necklace (the one Bruce used to find Selina in the beginning of the film) is missing from Bruce's possessions. Selina can be seen wearing the necklace in the cafe scene, implying that the scene is intended to be real, something which has been confirmed by several sources. Another possibility is that Alfred could have found them by using the tracking device on the necklace to find Bruce.

But the most simple and logical explanation would be that Bruce found out when Alfred would be on holiday, and which cafe he always visits. He then went there with Selina to make sure that Alfred would see him, alive and well. It is Bruce's way to make Alfred's wish of seeing Bruce alive and happy come true, as Alfred had been such an important person in his life that he deserved this peace of mind.

Due to this film being the end of the trilogy, it can only be speculation. The theories are;

Robin: At the end of the film, Blake reveals that his first name is Robin. Therefore it would stand to reason that Christopher Nolan was hinting that he would become the Superhero named Robin. However this is the least likely out of the scenarios. After all, becoming a superhero with your first name probably isn't the smartest way to keep your identity secret. After all, Bruce Wayne didn't dress up as a giant bat and call himself "Bruce". Also, Robin was always Batman's sidekick and different people took on the persona over the years in the comics; Dick Grayson, Jason Todd, Tim Drake, etc.. John Blake basically acts as Batman's sidekick throughout the film and at the end we find out that his name was Robin.

Nightwing: A likely possibility. Nightwing is the persona Dick Grayson took after he became too old to continue on as Robin and went solo. So when John Blake finds the Batcave, he could alter any gadgets or uniforms to his own specifications to become his own superhero. Moreover, the outfit that Blake is wearing at the end of the film, when he enters the cave, is reminiscent of the Nightwing costume from the comics.

Batman: Often accepted by fans as Christopher Nolan's most likely intention at the end of the film. Throughout the film, Bruce Wayne explains to Blake about how Batman is a symbol, the mask is simply to protect those he cares about and that Batman could be anybody. We are also shown Gordon's surprise that the Bat Signal had been mysteriously repaired; meaning he'll have use for it. Also, the final shot of the film shows Blake looking at the Batcave and when he stands on the platform hidden in the water, it rises up and then the film ends. This was likely an allusion to the title of the film, The Dark Knight Rises.

No. It's been stated that the next Batman film will be a reboot, possibly with Christopher Nolan as producer. However, Christian Bale has said that he would be willing to return for a fourth Batman film if Nolan came to him with a script (though Bale reportedly turned down $50,000,000.00 to return as Batman in the Nolan-produced Man Of Steel sequel). There are, of course, rumors of a spinoff about Catwoman. Anne Hathaway has said she is open to such a film, but only if Nolan directs it. As for any rumors about a Robin film, Joseph Gordon-Levitt has also said he is willing to reprise the role on the grounds that Nolan directs.

Some people who have seen this film have speculated that Christopher Nolan originally planned for Bruce Wayne to die but that Warner Bros. forced him to write a different ending. However, David Goyer, who wrote or co-wrote the stories for all three films in Nolan's Batman trilogy, said in an interview, "The final scene of The Dark Knight Rises is exactly [the] scene we talked about [when Christopher Nolan and I started the trilogy with Batman Begins]. It remained completely unchanged." And Nolan himself, in an interview with MTV, said, "One of the first things I knew about the project is how we were going to end the story." The film is also partially based on the series of Batman comics The Dark Knight Returns, in whose finale Batman fakes his own death, and there is even a funeral for Bruce Wayne, much like the film.

Christopher Nolan decided this chapter should end rather than expand the series. As he only makes room for one film at a time, he wasn't sure he wanted to return to direct a third Batman film, as The Dark Knight was immensely successful and critically acclaimed, so expectations for a third film would undoubtedly be extremely high. Nolan himself said he would not direct a third film unless the script could match or top The Dark Knight. Ideas started to come while in production of Inception, and Nolan made the decision to end his Batman legacy as a trilogy, closing all loose ends with a definitive conclusion. However, Christian Bale has said that he would be willing to return for a fourth Batman film if Nolan came to him with a script.

No. Christopher Nolan addressed that rumor in an interview for Empire Magazine: "No, it's not true at all. You read a lot of crazy things. I don't think I'd want to sit through a four-hour version of this movie! As a writer-director, it's pretty easy for me to be rigorous and precise about the running time of the film...and I think with each film I've told the studio exactly how long it was going to be two years ahead of time." The rumor apparently came from what the editors of MTV's website later described as "a humorous exaggeration" in a March, 2012 article on their site; before the article was revised, it referred to a "four-hour rough cut" of the movie. The rumor is also debunked, because the film's shooting script is relatively the same as what was shown in theaters. In terms of what was cut out of the movie, only redundant dialogue was cut out. In terms of Bane's backstory, only a short scene of Bane training out of Ra's Al Ghul was cut out. Everything else in the script is relatively the same, although the film changed the last fight between Batman and Bane to be longer and for epic than the script's.

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