Every hero has a journey. Every journey has an end.
Selina Kyle: You don't owe these people anymore. You've given them everything.
Batman: Not everything, not yet.
The Dark Knight Rises (2012) is the third and final entry in Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight Saga trilogy.Eight years after the end of The Dark Knight, Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) has retired from his work as the Batman and settled into an unhappy humdrum life as the CEO of Wayne Enterprises. The Dent Act has helped the police slow the spread of crime in Gotham to a controllable crawl. Commissioner Gordon (Gary Oldman), now resigned to paperwork instead of fieldwork, has to deal with attempts by other city officials to drive him out of office — all while he keeps the truth about Batman's disappearance and Harvey Dent's death a secret. The peace Batman has given his beloved city might fall apart, however, when a wily thief named Selina Kyle (Anne Hathaway) and a masked terrorist called Bane (Tom Hardy) both arrive in Gotham.When released, Rises was the longest (theatrically-released English-language color)superhero movie in history.
This film provides examples of:
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Absurdly Spacious Sewer: Bane's hideout. He uses Daggett's construction company to make it that way. Also, the hideout seems to be the storm drain system, and not sanitary sewers.
Achilles in His Tent: As Alfred points out, Bruce's reclusiveness has less to do with Batman and more to do with this.
In the comics, Ra's al-Ghul's daughter Talia is a gray-shaded character constantly going between Anti-Hero and Anti-Villain, and has sincere feelings for Batman. In the film, Talia is a flat-out villain with none of the moral conflicts she has in the comics, instead being just as much of a Knight Templar as her father. And her feelings for Batman are revealed to have been all an act: she never loved him, she loved Bane.
Bane himself, possibly, depending on whether you think the version that occasionally verges on Noble Demon but doesn't care about anyone but himself is more or less evil than the nihilistic destroyer with the bomb who serves the League of Shadows
Aside from the business of a child having to grow up in a Hellhole Prison and Gotham City being held hostage and thrown into anarchy, the movie also deals with the topic of a loved one turning out to be a Bitch in Sheep's Clothing and plotting against you the entire time. To be more specific, Miranda Tate is revealed to be the actual Big Bad Talia al Ghul, who proceeds to backstab Bruce in more ways than one.
A major metropolis is seized by a terrorist organization and held hostage for five months. The poor citizens are forced to eke it out, with the very possibility of being gunned down by terrorist goons at any minute. The police are trapped udnerground, cut off from the citizens that need their protection, and outside intervention, especially by military forces, and leaving the area is impossible due to the terrorist leader threatening to blow up the entire city if any of those things happen. Oh, and some of the people trapped? They were fans of a visiting football team, forced away from their loved ones with no way to contact them and inform them that they're at least alive.
Age Lift: Bane (Tom Hardy) was in his early thirties, but based on flashbacks towards the end of the movie, Bane is supposed to be in his late forties/early fifties, a 15 to 20 year age difference.
All There in the Manual: The novelization adds a lot of details, like giving characters full names if they only have a first or last name mentioned (even minor bit part characters), or adding extra clarifying details about the plot. Some examples:
Expanded continuity nods to previous films. For instance, the barriers in the stock exchange heist are said to have been installed after the Joker's attack in the second movie, and they were installed to deter truck bombs. The real barriers seen in the film are on Wall Street, and they had been installed for the exact same purpose and also following a terrorist attack: the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing.
Another example is that the novelization makes clear that Bruce hobbles on a cane because of a bad left leg, and that it's because of him spraining it in the same fall that killed Harvey Dent at the end of The Dark Knight.
An explanation is given as to how Blake was able to find the cement truck driver at the cement plant: he detected a familiar scent. This scent is not elaborated on, but we have to presume that either it was deodorant, or we go on the idea that the truck driver was wearing cologne (some colognes are pretty strong).
It is explained that the cops who weren't trapped underground were retirees, green cadets, or desk duty men.
The roof where Bruce parked the Bat is better explained to be the roof of the building where his penthouse apartment in The Dark Knight was.
The novelization is mostly based off of the script, but it also helps indicate what dialogue in the movie was ad-libbed.
It even indicates what dialogue was cut. One example: when the police first attempt to corner Batman during the car chase following the stock exchange robbery, a police officer on a megaphone orders him to step away from his bike, and he also tries to get McGarrity (the shoeshine henchman) to talk by asking him, "What were you stealing?!" before smashing his visor and taking the laptop.
The novelization also rearranges the order of some of the scenes.
In the novelization, the meeting Bruce has with Fox where the Bat is unveiled takes place before Bruce visits Gordon at the hospital and dances with Selina Kyle, where it happens after these scenes. The scene is also longer, as prior to Fox finding Bruce in his office, he's finishing up a board meeting and turning down a request by Miranda Tate to see Bruce. It is revealed that she is also aware of Daggett's attempts to take over Wayne Enterprises.
Anarchy Is Chaos: Exploited by Bane, anarchy as a tool to bring Gotham down, not something he himself believes.
Animal-Eared Headband: Selina's high-tech-looking "cat ears", which are actually something like goggles which she uses for cracking, but look like cat ears when pushed up on top of her head.
She's wearing a cat costume, complete with this headband, when Bruce finds her at the masquerade charity ball.
Apocalypse Anarchy: Invoked by Bane. He wants to show Batman how depraved his city can be, given the chance. Quite a few citizens step up to the plate.
Arbitrary Skepticism: Even after two major terror attacks in the past decade conducted by, respectively, an Illuminati-like society of ninjas and a flamboyant maniac in a clown outfit, the Gotham Police Department immediately dismisses Jim Gordon's tale of a mercenary army living in the sewers, led by a man wearing a strange mask. However, it's been eight years since the events of The Dark Knight, and Batman has been their primary target. The Congressman brings up that Gordon is a war hero in peacetime; no one wants the peace interrupted so he can feel useful again.
You would also think that perhaps the police would take Gordon's claims about Bane seriously after the Stock Exchange heist, given that Bane is seen, full mask and all, by hundreds of hostages on the trading floor, but there's no dialogue to imply that they came to their senses.
When Bane and his men attack the stock exchange, he fakes bogus trading in Bruce's name using the thumbprint Selina acquired from Bruce's safe. In reality, the NASDAQ and the NYSE have the ability to quickly cancel trades if necessary, and Bruce would have been easily able to get off the hook for those fraudulent trades, especially when he can show that the transactions were done during a robbery on the trading floor with multiple witnesses seeing Bane and the robbers using its computer system for something. This fact is acknowledged in the movie, with Fox mentioning that they would be able to prove fraud and get the money back soon enough, but in the short term Bruce is bankrupted.
It is never explained how this automatically gets Bruce thrown off the Wayne Enterprises board and hands control of the corporation to someone else. (Daggett's plan). See discussion on Law and the Multiverse.
Bane taking the entire city hostage and sending Bruce himself to a prison pit is what serves to keep Bruce bankrupt, rather than anything to do with the actual stock exchange attack. By the end of the film, most of his assets had been restored, though with him presumed dead those assets have been left to Alfred and Blake (the latter who inherited his Batman identity).
Artistic License - Nuclear Physics: To a certain extent, the fusion reactor acting as a bomb. Going by the real life principles behind how actual nuclear fusion reactors work, they can at worst make their containment vessels radioactive and expose people to the radiation - nothing could possibly have exploded. The film seems to implicitly handwave this by implying the device is so advanced and one-of-a-kind that no one in the world besides Dr. Pavel could do this.
Artistic License - Physics: Tension structures like the various suspension bridges shown in the film really don't take kindly to being cleanly severed. On suspension bridges, their stability is absolutely dependent upon the tension of the suspending ropes that stretch over the tops of the supporting towers (hence the name). Yet, the Manhattan and Williamsburg Bridges still seem to dangle out far beyond the towers with nothing to hold them up. With the cables cut, everything beyond the towers should have immediately fallen.
Also the smug and foppish CIA Special Agent Bill Wilson at the start of the film, who seems to be enjoying his High-Altitude Interrogation rather more than is seemly, if only for the fact that he's Littlefinger. This is why the audience is so happy when Bane punches him in the throat, and then, it's implied, crushes his neck by stomping on it.
The guys at the stock exchange probably count as well.
As You Know: Daggett explaining the function of the Clean Slate Drive to Selina (who is holding him at gunpoint) even though she obviously knows what it does. Mitigated in that, after Daggett explains its abilities, he adds, "Sounds too good to be true, doesn't it?", implying he had been lying about it all along.
A-Team Firing: In the climax, not many people go down despite the fact that two heavily armed masses of people are walking or running at each other in the open and at close range.
Attack Its Weak Point: Once Batman learns the purpose of Bane's mask, he holds his own much better in a fight.
Awesome, but Impractical: Bane's mask looks cool, but whoever made it had the stupid idea of putting the pain medication capsules on the mouth where someone could easily just punch them and thereby cause Bane immense pain. What they should've done is put the drug delivery system somewhere out of the way, like on his back.
Awful Truth: There are two: Harvey Dent's fall, kept from Gotham until Bane reveals it, and Alfred burning Rachel's final note to Bruce in order to spare him pain. Alfred finally breaks silence to try to save Bruce.
Alfred: Maybe it's time we all stopped trying to outsmart the truth and let it have its day!
Batman: WHEN YOU TELL ME WHERE THE TRIGGER IS... then you have my permission to die!
Badass Decay: Invoked. Bruce's deteriorating health and a prolonged retirement from super heroics really hurt his efficiency when he shoulders the mantle again. The fact that Batman isn't as effective a fighter as he was is constantly discussed in-universe, when Bane says, "Peace has cost you your strength. Victory has defeated you."
Badass in Distress: Gordon spends most of the first 90 minutes of the film in the hospital recovering from gunshot wounds he received during his escape from Bane's lair; Bruce spends much of the second act (Bane's takeover) disabled and thrown in a prison by Bane.
Badass Grandpa: Gordon's no slouch and this time he gets to show off his ability when he pulls his pistol and gets the drop on two mercenaries armed with submachine guns while hospitalized from a gunshot wound, no less.
Badass Longcoat: In the second half of the movie, Bane is wearing a thick fur coat with a massive shearling collar. It was specially designed and tailored exclusively for Tom Hardy, it took over two years to make.
Bad Boss: Bane kills several of his own guys throughout the film, either by necessity or for displeasing him. In spite of it all, they are all suicidally loyal to him.
Bad Guys Do the Dirty Work: Batman's efforts to defeat Bane are hamstrung by his one rule. Selina has no such problem, though she's more an antihero than a bad guy.
Bald Woman: It's used as a red herring to make the audience think they're seeing Bane's flashbacks when they're really Talia's.
Blast Out: Selina Kyle's fingerprint exchange with Stryver turns into one of these thanks to her tricking him into calling the SWAT team in
Batman Gambit: Bane's plan hinges on Bruce Wayne and a few other people responding exactly the way he predicts they will every step along the way.
His plan to trap the cops underground is reliant on Gordon deciding to send the majority of the officers into the sewers to search for his hideouts.
Bane and his men getting away after the Stock Exchange robbery has multiple instances.
Leaving Wall Street right after the robbery counts. Bane and his men being able to actually get out of the block despite all the police cars blocking the streets is dependent on a few things: first, that the police were going to raise the vehicle ramp barriers (which they use to leap over at least two police cars), and two, the police being unable to block the street in question. This second one, Bane creates himself by having a concrete worker station a cement mixer truck on the street corner (he's the truck driver that you see Blake arguing with before the ramps are raised). Third, it is dependent on the police cars being parked in a very certain way when they arrive to leave a clear escape route (with all of them facing inwards and in a position where they need to make a u-turn to move out).
Bane getting away is reliant on Batman showing up at a specific moment and the cops suddenly shifting their attention to trying to capture Batman instead of pursuing Bane and his men (in fact, Foley orders the officers not to pursue Bane when he peels away from the shoeshiner, for the reason being that he had no hostage on his bike).
Even Bane's introduction sequence is him pulling a Batman Gambit on the CIA. Bane knows the agent in Uzbekistan will be unable to resist taking three captured mercenaries who worked for "The Masked Man" onto the plane; thus Bane gets himself aboard the flight carrying Dr. Pavel, which he promptly hijacks.
Batman Grabs a Gun: Invoked during the climax, during which Batman implies that, for one of the few times ever in the entire trilogy, he's seriously considering making Bane the intentional exception to his one rule.
Batman: When you tell me where the trigger is, then you have my permission to die!
Beauty Inversion: Played with. While Bane's mask, bald head, wrecked skin, and grotesquely muscular body make him anything but attractive, Tom Hardy's naturally handsome face still allows us to immediately identify him in the last flashback as the prisoner who helps Talia escape.
Daggett falls victim to this twice: the first time he asks "Can we get some girls in here?" after Bane successfully destroys Bruce Wayne's fortune, only for Selina Kyle to immediately quote the trope verbatim and attack him. The second time:
Selina also gets this when she finally sees Bane's revolution play out. As much as she dislikes the upper class, what Bane and his men do take this a little too far (see Disproportionate Retribution below)
Berserk Button: Do not remove Bane's mask. Ever. As he tells the CIA agent, "It would be extremely painful." Literal truth! He immediately makes it a threat against he agent by adding an extra "For you." on to the end.
Bane is also set off by mentions of his excommunication. When Bruce brings this up in the first fight, this provokes him to start delivering much more powerful blows.
Also, Selina Kyle gets enraged when someone rips her off and doesn't follow through on a deal, as Daggett and Stryver find out the hard way when she confronts them upon discovering they lied to her about having the Clean Slate program to expunge her criminal record.
Betty and Veronica: Miranda Tate as the clean-energy pioneering Betty, Selina Kyle as the flirtatious cat burglar Veronica who steals a necklace belonging to Bruce's mother in her first scene.
Betty and Veronica Switch: Miranda reveals herself to be Talia al Ghul, aiming to destroy Gotham and avenge her father, whom she hates Bruce Wayne for killing. Selina reveals herself to be a Noble Demon.
Big Applesauce: In the first two films, Chicago stood in for Gotham City. In this film, New York City, Pittsburgh and Los Angeles stand in for Gotham:
23 Wall Street represents the exterior of the Stock Exchange, but the interior of the exchange and parts of the bike chase occur in Los Angeles. The vehicle crash barriers that get deployed are real and do exist. The area outside 23 Wall Street is also where Foley's death scene happens in the final battle. In a paradoxical way, the real New York Stock Exchange is right across the street from that building, and can be seen in several shots, such as when the police are arriving at the exchange. It's also visible in the background at the final battle.
Batman observes the city from atop the Queensboro Bridge (the New York skyline does not appear to be altered in any form here). This bridge is left intact to allow for relief supplies to enter the city, but Bane's explosives destroy the Brooklyn, Williamsburg and Manhattan Bridges.
Aerial shots of Gotham when the explosives go off are shots of Manhattan. The overview image of "Gotham Island" seen when the bridges are being blown is actually just an aerial view of Lower Manhattan with three bridges digitally added in on the Hudson River side.
Wayne Enterprises was headquartered in the Chicago Board of Trade Building in Batman Begins, and the Richard Daley Center in The Dark Knight. In this film, New York City's Trump Tower represents their headquarters.
In one of the scenes of the elite being removed from their houses, you can see that the people are being pulled out of apartments on Park Avenue around 84th Street on the Upper East Side.
A number of times, what are clearly New York City Subway station entrances without any form of disguise are seen. For instance, entrances with signs that say Wall Street Station (2 and 3 trains) are visible during the start of the climatic battle between the police and Bane's men. And entrances to the Broad Street station (J and Z trains) are located outside the stock exchange during that attack.
Gotham cabs (see the one Selina gets into on her way to the chairty ball) have livery designs that reflect the appearance of New York's taxis prior to 2007. Likewise, in several scenes (Bruce's car being towed, and the elite being forcibly removed from their apartments), you can also see cabs with undisguised NYC Taxi logos (the variant used since September 2007).
As can be seen in thesetwo images, the GCPD's livery is actually the very livery that the NYPD fleet utilized in the 1990s. Similarities include the vehicle number being placed on the side of the unit just ahead of the taillights on both sides, a white stripe that runs along the side of the car originating from the headlights, the GCPD emblem is in between the words "GPD" and "Police". Those words are also reversed so that the word "Police" is painted on the rear passenger door on both sides of the car and "GPD" is on the front set of doors just below the rearview mirrors. The font used for the wording is even the same.
On the other hand, Gotham's football players are obviously expies of the Pittsburgh Steelers, with many actual Steelers playing themeselves on screen.
Big Bad: Bane is the lead terrorist and carries out the Evil Plan. In realty, he's either The Dragon or part of a Big Bad Duumvirate with Talia al Ghul (it's not clear which), but whatever the case Talia is the mole and Bane is the enforcer. If anything, Talia had the basic concept and Bane does about 99% of the work.
Bigger Bad: Ra's al Ghul, or rather his lingering legacy, living on in Bane and Talia.
Big Bad Wannabe: John Daggett schemes to take over Wayne Enterprises and believes Bane to be a mere attack dog for him to accomplish this goal. Bane disposes of him when he is no longer needed.
Big Damn Gunship: Though the Bat is more in the lines of a military-model attack helicopter than a gunship, this trope pops up around it several times. Particularly during the finale, when the cops stand off against Bane's army. It appears to disable the Tumblers.
Big Damn Heroes: The entire final act is one long Big Damn Hero moment for Batman to all of Gotham. Then he himself is saved by Selina Kyle.
Big Damn Kiss: After Selina declares that she and Bruce are both "suckers", they take a long moment to suck face.
Big "NO!": Bruce Wayne does one after he hallucinates seeing Ra's al-Ghul in the Pit.
Bilingual Bonus: A more obscure one then most - the "Deshi bashara" chant used throughout the movie? Its literal translation is rise up!
Blatant Lies: Blake and Gordon are driving through the city listening to the President's address on the radio, when he says "people of Gotham, we will not abandon you."
Det. John Blake: What does that mean? Gordon: (sighs) It means we're on our own.
Subverted: The proclamation is later shown to have contained at least a modicum of truth when the government slips Captain Mark Jones's team in with the supplies, in an attempt to get information to help save the city. Except that Bane manages to wipe them out before they can actually do anything.
And those thousands of cops that are heading down into the sewers? Nothing to worry about, it's just a training exercise!
Bond One-Liner: Selina gets one during the climax after blasting Bane with a single shot from the Batpod cannon: "About the whole no guns thing? I'm not sure I feel as strongly about it as you do."
Bond Villain Stupidity: Played with. Bane runs with it, dropping Bruce into the pit he and Talia came from. Later, after he returns and Talia reveals her true colors, she tells Bane to let him live so he can die when the city blows up, this time Bane waits until she leaves and attempts to avert it by preparing to kill him with a shotgun... and then Selina arrives to stop him.
The beginning and ending of the movie features Gordon at a public ceremony commemorating a fallen hero. The first time is for Harvey Dent and, knowing the truth about Dent's Face-Heel Turn and sickened by the lie he has to tell, Gordon is clearly conflicted and tormented by what he has to do. At the end, he's at the ceremony unveiling the memorial statue of Batman in City Hall, and seeing the real hero finally be recognised by the city clearly brings Gordon some peace.
Notice that Foley wears his ceremonial dress blues in both his first scene (at the Harvey Dent death day ceremony, when he's making small-talk with the Congressman) and his death scene (being shot dead by Talia's fleeing Tumbler).
Batman Begins and Dark Knight Rises both have storylines that revolve around the Al Ghul family (both pretending to be a side character as well) conspiring to destroy Gotham City and end up dying as a result of Wayne Tech technology. Batman must take up the call and in the process, learn something about himself. While in Begins, Bruce starts his career as Batman, in Rises he retires and allows Blake to become Gotham's protector.
Alfred tells Bruce that he needs to learn to make his own bed after Selina Kyle (impersonating a maid) steals Bruce's pearl necklace. The next morning, the first room Alfred checks in a search for Bruce before going to the Batcave is his bedroom—and we see that the bed is still made (i.e: not been slept in).
When Gordon is trying to convince Foley to join the resistance, he says, "Look, Peter, I'm not asking you to parade down Grand in your dress blues, but something has to be done!" At the final battle, Foley is leading the charge—in his dress blues.
Selina Kyle is seen climbing into the Congressman's car and asking him for a ride to seduce him. He is not seen for about twelve minutes of screen time. So when Selina goes to the bar where she meets Stryver, she mentions that every cop in the city is missing her date. We get a better look at the Congressman, now seen unshaven, haggard, wearing a bright Hawaiian shirt.... and clearly infatuated with her.
Even getting shot in the leg during the resulting blastout didn't stop his crush on her, for this comes up when Blake detains Selina at the airport:
John Blake: I showed your picture to the Congressman. Guess what?
Selina Kyle: Don't tell me. Still in love?
John Blake: Oh, head over heels. Pressing charges, though.
How does Blake get into the Batcave? Spelunking. You know, cave diving.
California Doubling: During Batman and Selina Kyle's fight on the roof with Bane's mercenaries, when Bane watches the Bat fly away, the Los Angeles skyline is clearly visible, including the U.S. Bank Tower and One Wilshire. In the chase following the Stock Exchange heist, you can see that it starts in New York City (the exchange exterior) but it continues in the streets of downtown LA, which is most noticeable if you are paying attention to the design of the traffic lights. Also, a shot of Selina Kyle driving the Batpod through empty streets on the morning prior to the final battle is filmed in downtown LA.
Additionally, while filming was done in New York City for the Stock Exchange heist and the first part of the getaway (Bane and his men doing stunts on the vehicle barriers), as soon as the police cars begin to move out, the rest of the chase clearly occurs in Los Angeles. This can be best be seen by looking at the style of the traffic lights seen around the exchange during the heist and the appearance of lights seen during the pursuit.
Call Back: The movie contains numerous intentional references to previous installments of the franchise (mostly the first one).
During the stock exchange robbery, a trader at the shoeshine stand is talking with his friend about how Bruce coming back could be good or bad, but he's convinced it's bad. "On what basis?" "I flipped a coin" which is a reference to Two Face.
When Batman is riding the Batpod during the Stock Exchange getaway chase, and rides past Bane, Bane does a double take over his shoulder, foreshadowing their first "fight".
When Batman walks on the ice to save commissioner Gordon, it is a technique he learned in the first movie from Ra's al Ghul.
Bane mentions how "theatricality and deception are powerful agents", a callback to something Ducard says to Bruce in the first. Presumably Ducard taught Bane the same lesson.
The scene where Selina takes Batman to Bane could be taken as a callback to the docks scene in Batman Begins. Right down to the whole "scare the dude by hanging upside down behind him and then overpowering him" sequence.
The climax of the movie shares similarities to Batman Begins. Both movies have a person reveal themselves to be a Big Bad, Henri Ducard/Ra's in Begins and Miranda Tate/Talia in Rises. Both Ra's and Talia tried to use a Wayne Enterprises device to destroy the city (Ra's used a microwave emitter to try to evaporate Gotham's water and release fear toxin into the city while Talia simply uses a nuclear bomb). Also, both Ra's and Talia die from being in a vehicle that falls down and crashes (Begins had the train crash and microwave emitter make an explosion that killed Ra's and in Rises, Talia dies from falling two stories in a truck without wearing a seatbelt).
The whole movie itself might as well be a callback to Batman Begins, down to the final shot of Robin John Blake spelunking in the batcave and holding a cylindrical torch, and being swarmed by bats like Bruce, before slowly rising to stand among the swarm.
In each movie of the trilogy, Batmans pulls an Ironic Echo on each villain's catchphrase when he gains the upper hand on them in the respective final acts. In the first film, he quips how Ra's al Ghul "never learned to mind his surroundings"; in the second, he adds some new scars to the Joker when he starts his "want to know how I got these scars?" routine, and in this film, he refuses to grant Bane a "permission to die" until he gives him some important info.
This goes all the way back to the 1989 Batman, when he asks the Joker "Ever dance with the Devil in the pale moonlight" right before punching the Joker in the face.
Bruce Wayne imprisoned in a faraway exotic country, like at the beginning of the first movie.
Both current and former Pittsburgh Steelers football players were brought in to cameo as the Gotham Rogues. The most notable of these cameos is former Steelers receiver Hines Ward. He's the player that outruns the imploding football field, then turns around and drops the football in shock. McFarlane Toys even made a special action figure of him in the Gotham Rogues uniform. In addition to Ward, other Steelers players who make cameos include Big Ben Roethlisberger, Brett "The Diesel" Keisel, Mike Wallace, Maurkice Pouncey, and Rashard Mendenhall.
Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl (a former college kicker) kicks off for the Rapid City Monuments.
Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT), who the Joker terrorizes in The Dark Knight, reappears in this film as a member of the Wayne Enterprises board. He can be seen when Bane takes the Wayne Enterprises board hostage.
John Nolan, Christopher Nolan's uncle, who played the cop in Following, reprises his role as Wayne Enterprises board member Douglas Frederics from Batman Begins.
Cillian Murphy as Dr. Jonathan Crane proves to be quite resilient in his three-appearance streak.
Batman/Bruce Wayne, continues the hero's symbolic journey; over the course of the film descending into darkness to undergo the same gruelling training which Bane went through before finally "Rising", a resurrected Batman able to defeat the man who broke him. His heart is also broken with Alfred's revelation of Rachel's true feelings, and his final admission that it's time for him to let Gotham go.
Selina Kyle: As mentioned above, she transcends her past as a criminal to become a saviour of Gotham and Batman's crime fighting partner.
The idea of an army of fanatical terrorists massing in the Gotham sewers and subways is a bit much to take in, yes, but you'd think after the events of eight years earlier, they would've taken it a bit more seriously. Granted, when they do, nearly all of the police force gets trapped underground. Not even Foley initially believes Gordon's claims about Bane and his men, so when he shows up to inform Gordon about Bane's abduction of the Wayne Enterprises board (which is in part what leads to the cops getting trapped in the tunnels), he says, "I'm sorry I didn't take you seriously."
Plus, Foley doesn't believe that Bane exists in the scene where Gordon promotes Blake. This happens after the Stock Exchange robbery, where there are several hundred witnesses who see Bane in full color, mask and all.
Also, when Alfred finally reveals to Bruce that he burned Rachel's letter, letting him know that she chose Harvey instead of him in order to spare him the pain. Bruce, at first, is outraged that Alfred would twist Rachel's memory to his own ends. It's not clear if Bruce actually believes Alfred or keeps assuming it's a trick.
Character Tics: Bane has a habit of holding the lapels of his jacket open like a very dapper gentleman, even when he's not wearing lapels or even a jacket.
Chekhov's Armoury: Wayne Enterprises' Applied Sciences Division contains all Batman's replacement gadgets, plus all kinds of unused prototypes, dangerous weapons and advanced technologynote In Batman Begins, Wayne Enterprises had started manufacturing heavy weapons. It's all been kept secret and off-the-books by Lucius Fox. Naturally, it's not all going to stay in that bunker until the end of the movie..
The concrete mixer truck driver that Blake is seen instructing to stay in his truck during the stock exchange heist turns out to be working for Bane, which Blake realizes when he runs into the driver at the Broucek plant, and the driver attempts to kill him with a switchblade.
The child's protector is revealed to be Bane.
The soldier who tells the CIA interrogator that the hooded "prisoners" worked for Bane is revealed to be Bane's right hand sniper Barsad.
Chekhov's Lecture: Once trapped in the Pit, Bruce learns that Bane's mask allows him to Feel No Pain. Bruce figures out part of why he lost his first match with Bane, and uses that knowledge to target Bane's mask in their rematch.
Classy Cat-Burglar: Selina Kyle, obviously. Her get up and poise are always elegant when snatching fingerprints or pearl necklaces. The grace with which she backfips out of Bruce's room is just one example.
Click Hello: Two. When Selina confronts Daggett in his penthouse:
Selina Kyle: I want what you owe me!
[*CLICK!* Stryver cocks his pistol and puts it to the back of Selina's head]
John Daggett: "Want" doesn't get.
The second time is when Blake rushes to the hospital to rescue Gordon. Two mercenaries are searching the hospital for him. As Blake is in the corridor, he suddenly hears gunshots. He rushes to Gordon's room, shotgun drawn, kicks down the door, and finds the two mercenaries lying dead on the floor. At this point, a hand puts a pistol to Blake's back:
Commissioner James Gordon: Clear the corners, rookie. [Blake looks at Gordon] Get my coat, son.
Closed Circle: Gotham in the second half of the film, as Bane cuts the island city off from the rest of the world and holds it hostage.
Cold Sniper: Barsad, Bane's Lieutenant, is mostly seen with an assault rifle, but during the gunfight before Gordon enters the tunnels, he's shown shooting three SWAT officers in the back with a large sniper rifle, while stationed on a fire escape.
Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Bruce and Selina are shown throughout most of the film in dark clothing, reflecting the difficult circumstances, bleakness and duality of their lives. At the end of the film in Italy, they are shown in lighter and softer colours, reflecting their mutual contentment.
Combat Pragmatist: Bane has no rules in combat. Meaning it's hard to figure out his weakness unless you get sent to the Pit to do hard time.
Combat Stilettos: Selina's heels are actual stilettos with serrated edges. She lampshades it:
Stryver: Nice outfit. Those heels make it hard to walk?
Selina Kyle: I don't know. [stomps on his foot, stabbing him in the instep] Do they?
Comic Book Movies Don't Use Codenames: Selina Kyle is never once called "Catwoman" onscreen. However, several newspaper headlines refer to her as "The Cat," which is the name she originally used in the comics before switching to Catwoman.
Commie Land: Terrifyingly, Bane implements a Reign of Terror that essentially turns Gotham into this trope, with cues from both the Bolshevik and French Revolutions. Bit character and thief Jen—who fervently supports this—coos that the fancy home that she and Selina are standing in at one point is "everybody's home now." Selina, who always thought she'd love the day when this would happen, realizes the horrific People's Republic of Tyranny implications and gradually turns to Batman's side.
Despite being an original character for the movies, John Blake borrows elements from a number of comics' characters. Namely the first three Robins. His full name is Robin John Blake, he became a police officer as an adult and is an orphan like Dick Grayson (who also shares "John" as a middle name), his street smarts and being an orphan who had to fend for himself long before meeting Bruce mirror Jason Todd, and he deduces Bruce Wayne is Batman like Tim Drake. Finally, similar to Dick, he takes up the mantle as Gotham's protector after Bruce's "death". Furthermore, he takes some inspiration from Batman Beyond's Terry McGinnis, taking up the mantle from an older, limping, retired Bruce, never having been a Robin, and being fed up with some of the secrets in the Bat Family.
Talia is a composite of the comic book Talia with a little of Bane's backstory of being born in and later escaping a Hellhole Prison thrown in.
For that matter, Bane is a composite of himself and Ubu, Ra's al-Ghul's rotating Dragon from the comics. This — and his exile — are also from the comics.
Continuity Nod: Many nods are made to the previous two movies, especially Begins.
Bane hitching into an airborne plane is very similar to Batman's Hong Kong stunt in The Dark Knight and is shot in the same way.
Jonathan Crane/Scarecrow being one of the prisoners released by Bane. He later runs the Kangaroo Court Gotham's rich and powerful are put in front of.
Gordon's still broken bat-signal on the top of the Gotham police station. Which leads to an awesome moment later when Gordon is seen grinning next to the signal after it's been repaired.
Upon his return to Gotham, Bruce grabs a Batsuit from the underground bunker he operated out of in The Dark Knight.
The scar on Miranda Tate's back is the same as the League of Shadows brand seen early on in Batman Begins.
Talia stabbing Batman through his armor during The Reveal. Lucius warned Bruce in The Dark Knight the increased flexibility of the new suit also made it more vulnerable to knives and bullets. Also, Ra's told Bruce that when someone gets in your way, you walk behind them and stab them in the back.
After stealing the necklace, Selina looks at a family photo of Bruce and his parents that shows damage from the fire in the first movie.
When Selina and Batman are making their way through the sewers, Batman takes out a gunman from behind while hanging upside-down, similar to his first deployment of the Batsuit in the first movie.
Cool Plane: Batman finally takes to the skies in the Bat, an agile helicopter vehicle specially designed for the military to use in tight quarters of urban environments. And yes, Mr. Wayne, it does come in black.
Corrupt Corporate Executive: John Daggett. Also, Miranda Tate is technically one as well, though with different motives than most examples.
Cowardly Lion: Foley folds it when Gotham falls to Bane's hands, even when Gordon is chewing him out in front of his wife. He comes around in time for the climax.
Crazy Enough to Work: The only way to escape an inescapable prison is to make a death-defying leap without a rope. The doctor theorizes that the fear of death due to having no safety line gets enough adrenaline going for the jumper to make it farther than usual. The only one who had succeeded was a child fleeing from a riot. Bruce is the only adult crazy enough to willfully decide on jumping without the rope. It works.
Exploited. Bane presents himself as an ominous quasi-messianic figure that would free the people of Gotham from capitalist bondage. It's all an act. He told Bruce that 'true despair' is impossible without hope so he plans to feed Gotham hope in order to poison it and further break him.
Harvey Dent is painted as this by Bane to the people of Gotham. We already know it, but the Gothamites are only now finding out about Harvey's dark end as Two-Face and the cover-up that Gordon and Batman engineered to hide it. Before his fall Dent was a legitimate 'White Knight' but Bane tells Gotham that this was a lie as well.
Dark Secret: Bane exposes Harvey Dent's crimes to the public after eight years of secrecy.
Dateless Grave: Thomas and Martha Wayne's graves are near the Wayne mansion, without any dates. Bruce's Dateless Grave is beside theirs, but to be fair, a date of death would have been inaccurate.
Dating Catwoman: Batman and Selina, as always, have sexual tension while on opposite sides of the law but they don't start dating until both of them have retired from their alter egos.Batman/Talia also applies, though in this case, Bruce was attracted to Talia's persona as Miranda without knowing she was Ra's al Ghul's daughter.
Daydream Surprise: While Bruce Wayne is in Bane's prison, Ra's al-Ghul once again appears to him, but it's just a hallucination, or his mind trying to work who and what Bane is and using Ra's as a cypher.
Death Faked for You: Bane fakes the death of his "associate-against-his-will" Dr. Pavel by taking a blood transfusion and injecting it into a corpse that is then mangled and burned beyond recognition in a plane crash.
Death Seeker: Alfred is afraid that Bruce has become this and the Pit's doctor says this weakens him mentally. That's also implied when Bane tells him, "You don't fear death. You welcome it. Your punishment must be more severe."
Decoy Damsel: Miranda Tate is captured by Bane in the third act of the film, leading Bruce to rescue her. Miranda is later revealed to be Talia al Ghul and working with Bane.
Delivery Guy Infiltration: Bane dresses as a deliveryman with a motorcycle helmet to get into the Stock Exchange, while his henchman Petrov disguises himself as a food deliveryman to sneak a pistol onto the trading floor.
Dented Iron: Due to the accumulation of injuries during his career as Batman, Bruce Wayne has been reduced to hobbling around with a cane. When Bruce visits a doctor (as a pretext to see Gordon, who's in the same hospital), the doctor rattles off a long list of damages to his body, including the near total lack of cartilage in his knee joints (explaining the cane), which is why he cannot recommend that Bruce go heli-skiing.
Despair Gambit: Bane is all about these, most of them targeted at Batman. In this case, it's not about making Batman give up, but just rubbing salt in the wound of his failure.
Determinator: We learn early on that Bruce's body has quite a few chronic injuries from his exploits as Batman, yet spends the rest of the film apparently ignoring them.
Ordinarily, when a crime fighter who's badly out of shape and still in deep mourning over the death of the woman he loves..fights a near invincible beast of a man, gets his back broken, then gets tossed into a pit to watch the city he dedicated himself to defending; that crime fighter will simply give up and accept defeat. Seeing as to how Bruce Wayne is no ordinary crimefighter, he simply climbs out of the inescapable pit, kicks the ass of the guy who put him there, saves his city, and then retires to Florence with his new girlfriend.
Disproportionate Retribution: Selina Kyle ultimately feels that this is what happens when Bane takes over Gotham - making it all the more ironic that she wanted to see the spoiled, wealthy elite suffer for their hubris. Just not to the extent that Bane makes them suffer.
Distant Reaction Shot: When the games begin and Bane sets off the explosives, we are shown several aerial flyover shots of explosives ripping through Manhattan, and overall, the noise is actually very quiet, intercut with some shots of Blake driving down one street trying to outrun charges being detonated on either side of him until one explosion flips his car over. And all Foley sees is a large dust cloud emerging from the tunnel portal he is stationed at and a couple of officers choking on kicked up dirt particles.
Bane's is John Barsad, a sniper with a bandolier full of what look like .50 caliber bullets. He's in nearly every scene Bane is in (a few exceptions occur, though, such as the entire scene in the Pit, and the Stock Exchange robbery).
Dragon with an Agenda: Daggett does not know that even though he's paid a small fortune to Bane, Bane has other goals in mind. As noted by the novelization, he does realize this, but only once it's too late, as the narration notes: "Daggett stared in horror at Bane’s grotesque countenance. He had thought that the infamous mercenary was merely another hired gun—somewhat more expensive than most, yet nothing more. But as he peered into the masked man’s pitiless orbs, he finally realized that Bane was working for no one but himself. And he was no mere soldier of fortune."
Dramatic Drop: When the games begin, Bane sets off the detonators, and collapses most of Heinz Field in the middle of a game. Hines Ward makes it to safety in the endzone, score the touchdown, then looks back on the gaping hole in the ground, dropping the ball in shock.
Dramatic Unmask: Bane unmasking Batman as Bruce Wayne in their first fight. Unlike normal variants, he does this by saying, "Let's not stand on ceremony here.... Mr. Wayne."
Drives Like Crazy: After Bane's bombs, Blake comandeers an SUV while rushing to the hospital to save Gordon. He drives pretty recklessly through the freshly bombed-out area for one shot. He's forced to use a vehicle without a bubble light or a siren, so he compromises by laying on the horn.
Eat the Rich: Bane's appealing message to the people of Gotham. Although this is part of a hidden agenda, Bane is also openly disdainful of Gotham's wealthy elites throughout the film. Such as this dialogue when Bane storms the stock exchange trading floor:
Trader: This is a stock exchange! There's no money here you can steal!
Bane: Really? Then why are you people here?
Elopement: We don't know if they marry, but the movie ends with Bruce and Selina running away together after he fakes his death and she gets her clean slate.
End of an Age: Gotham is going through a Ragnarok in many respects: the end of an eight-year mostly crime-free period, the decline of Wayne Enterprises, the end of normal life as we know it during Bane's takeover, and, finally, the end of Bruce Wayne as the city's protector.
Engineered Public Confession: Bane reading out Gordon's speech where he reveals the conspiracy to protect Harvey Dent's good name. Inverted, as here it's the villain enforcing the hero's confession than the other way round.
Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Regardless as to whether it's a platonic relationship or a romantic one, Bane and Talia clearly love one another, enough for Bane to rescue Talia and keep her safe in the Hellhole Prison and help her in her plan, and enough for Talia to stand up to her father when he wouldn't accept Bane.
Part of Bane's mystique is that Ra's excommunicated him from the League of Shadows for being too ruthless. Talia confirms that her father saw Bane as a monster because his behavior reminded him of the prison he was condemned to and that his spouse and daughter were subjects to such a place unbeknownst to him.
Bane also counts as this seeing as how he protected Talia in the prison.
Selina Kyle, despite having no compunctions against stealing, robbing, and sometimes shooting people, is thoroughly horrified by Bane's methods and goals.
Everything's Better With Motorcycles: Bane and his men escape from the stock exchange on motorcycles they apparently snuck in to the building, with hostages strapped to the backs of each bike for the purpose of keeping the police from shooting their tires. The added benefit of the motorcycles as they escape from Wall Street is that they can use the crash barriers as stunt ramps, plus the motorcycles can navigate the narrow streets more easily.
Also, the Batpod, which has some improbable navigating skills.
Selina Kyle says, "There's no fresh start in today's world. Any twelve-year-old with a cell phone could find out what you did. Everything we do is collated and quantified. Everything sticks," in justification of wanting a "clean slate" computer program to wipe her criminal record clean. Daggett cons her with this, but Bruce goes through with it.
Inverted during the stock exchange heist — Bane and the three-man attack team he recruits for the job apparently need to be inside the physical building housing the trading floor in order to run the fake trades (or, at the very least, get jacked into the system to start the application, as it still runs during the car chase that follows).
Traditionally for the villains in this series, Bane for Batman: both are orphans with tragic origin stories, both were trained by (and expelled by) the League of Shadows, both adopt masks and larger-than-life personae to become symbols, both can inspire other people to remarkable deeds, both are Genius Bruisers and finally, Batman's mask leaves only his mouth exposed. Guess which part of Bane is always hidden by his mask?
Bane's sewer lair resembles the Batcave in more than one way and gets unpainted Tumblers.
After The Reveal, Talia also becomes a fitting evil counterpart to Bruce.
Evil Gloating: A classic example of a villain gloating about the advantages of a slow, subtle revenge just long enough for the heroes to put a spoke in the Evil Plan. Batman lampshades it, remarking that a slightly faster revenge might have been in order.
Evil Is Petty: Bane does a lot to Bruce Wayne: he attacks the Stock Exchange to steal Bruce's money, breaks his back in a fight, takes him to the Hell on Earth, and forces him to watch Gotham tear itself apart under his quasi-anarchistic Reign of Terror before blowing it up with an improvised thermonuclear bomb solely to break his spirit. Extra points for locking himself and all the other League members in the city with the bomb just to ensure the plan works.
Evil Sounds Deep: Tom Hardy has a fairly nasal and high-pitched voice, naturally. When playing Bane, his anasthetic mask deepens his voice a bit, especially his sotto comments. Some foreign dubs, such as the French Canadian one, have Bane use a very deep voice (possibly due to his Vocal Dissonance in English), though in this particular dub the final film toned it down a bit.
Exact Words: Bane proclaims that the person who holds the trigger to the bomb is a citizen. When Batman confronts Bane on this, as he believes Bane would never give the trigger to an "ordinary citizen," Miranda Tate is revealed to be the triggerman, and though she's not ordinary, she is still a citizen of the city.
Faceless Goons: Bane and his men all wear full motorcycle helmets complete with chin guards when they are escaping from the stock exchange. Which therefore means that Foley and Blake have actually seen Bane out of mask, but the first time they get to see him for themselves, he's wearing a helmet.
Bane himself was kind enough to protect a child at great personal cost. After the torment he endured for his selflessness, he was ruthless enough to be shunned by Ra's al Ghul himself, and was willing to destroy millions of people, including the child he once protected, to prove he is a worthy student of Ra's.
Famed in Story: Batman finally gets his good name cleared in this movie. Naturally, it takes him far more work and sacrifice than it reasonably should.
Faking the Dead: Batman fakes a Heroic Sacrifice at the end so that Bruce Wayne can live life over with a clean slate.
Bane: You don't fear death. You welcome it. Your punishment must be more severe.
In flashback, it's revealed that Talia's mother suffered this. If it wasn't for Bane, Talia would have suffered this as well.
Faux Affably Evil: Bane, who sounds incredibly jovial about everything he says even when those things are blowing up bridges, torture, or even beating someone to a pulp. Some viewers attribute this as being a side-effect caused by the anasthetic gas going to his mask.
Feel No Pain: The effect of Bane's mask is necessary to overcome chronic pain caused by a serious injury early in life. This is what allows him to withstand all of Batman's attacks - it's not that Batman isn't damaging his body, he just doesn't feel it. Until Batman breaks his mask at the end.
Flaming Emblem: When Batman returns to Gotham, he sets a bat-shaped fire on top of a bridge to let everyone know he has returned.
Firing in the Air a Lot: When Bane and his men attack the stock exchange, notice that only two people are shot when the takeover begins: one that Petrov (the delivery man) shoots with his pistol, and another hit by a bullet from the janitor's submachine gun. At the start of the attack, the henchmen shoot their weapons at the ceiling to order hostages to the ground, and the janitor does the same as they prepare to escape to force the hostages to stand up.
One henchman can be seen firng an automatic into the air during the shootout with Captain Jones and his team.
Another henchman shoots an automatic into the sky when Gordon and his captured colleagues are stalling while crossing the ice.
Flashed Badge Hijack: When Bane sets off the explosives, a series of explosions go off on the street Blake's unmarked police car is traveling down. He manages to outrun them until one blast causes his car to flip over once before landing on its wheels, but with a damaged front bumper. Realizing that Bane's men will go to the hospital to target Gordon, Blake grabs a shotgun from the trunk and uses his badge to requisition an SUV to get to the hospital.
Given that when Bane is releasing the prisoners several scenes later, he tells the hoodlums of the city to help themselves to Gotham's spoils, it's rather ironic.
Forced to Watch: Bane wants Batman to know Gotham has been burned to the ground before he'll give Bruce permission to die, even going so far as to set up a TV feed for the hero so he can watch the end unfold even in exile.
Here's one combined with Rule of Symbolism. When Bane first fights Batman, in part of his Break Them by Talking to him Bane says, "Oh, you think darkness is your ally? You merely adopted the dark. I was born in it, molded by it. I didn't see the light until I was already a man. By then, it was nothing to me but blinding! The shadows betray you because they belong to me!" This first one-on-one battle takes place in Bane's barely lit underground base beneath Gotham, ending in Bats getting absolutely curb-stomped. Then, near the movie's end when Batman returns the favor and defeats him in a rematch, it happens out in broad daylight on Gotham's streets.
He's also letting us know that he wasn't the child who escaped from the prison, as he was "already a man" when he first saw the light.
To Miranda Tate being Talia al Ghul:
When Bruce runs into Miranda at the party, she mentions the importance of bringing "balance to the world". She also appears wearing a mask to hide herself, then removes it.
Miranda has a mysterious scar on her back similar to the League of Shadows brand seen early in Begins.
When told that Batman can't evacuate her just yet, she says "Do what's necessary."
Bane disposes of Daggett immediately after Tate gets on the board at Wayne Enterprises. In fact, Daggett enters the scene where he dies complaining about precisely that.
After sleeping with Bruce, she has a monologue about how much she loves fire and what it means to her. This follows a good hour of fanatical terrorists using fire as a metaphor for their Evil Plan.
It's very easy to overlook, but Bane tells Bruce during their first fight that he did not see light until he "was a man". We are then treated to what we are led to believe is his story, about a child escaping the prison. This might not foreshadow Miranda's true identity, but it does allude to the fact that the child is not actually Bane. Also, in prison, the doctor explains that he treated Bane and the purpose of Bane's mask. The child did not look in pain, and had no mask, at the time of her escape.
To Bruce Wayne's "death":
Alfred's conversation that he's already buried too many members of the Wayne family and will not bury Bruce.
Blake mentioning that he might not get a chance to thank Batman later.
Batman telling Selina that he hasn't given the people of Gotham everything yet.
The positioning of the bat symbol behind Batman's back on the poster evokes angel wings.
To Bruce Wayne surviving: the official toy made for The Bat has the gimmick of launching Batman from the cockpit.
The Clean Slate program. Designed to allow all kinds of records concerning a person's life to be altered, destroyed or made anew entirely, allowing that person to begin with a new life (hence Clean Slate). This foreshadows Bruce Wayne "dying" and beginning a new life separate from his past as both Bruce Wayne and Batman.
Blake being the one to put together John Daggett's connection with Bane's construction work throughout the city.
Blake figuring out on his own that Bruce Wayne is Batman; and Gordon's acknowledgment of Blake as a detective.
Batman giving Blake the curious advice of wearing a mask.
Batman showing Blake how to use his smoke bombs.
Bruce telling Blake about Batman as a symbol, telling him that "anyone can be Batman, that's the point."
When Gordon chews Foley out, he says "Look, Peter, I'm not asking you to march down Grand in your dress blues, but something has to be done." Guess what Foley wears for the final battle.
At the beginning of the film, on the airplane, CIA Agent Wilson asks if removing Bane's mask would kill him. Bane replies that "It would be extremely painful." Literal truth! Then he adds "... for you" to turn it into a threat.
Bruce Wayne notes early on that "One man's tool is another man's weapon" regarding his own armory. Bane seizes it, and puts it to good use terrorizing Gotham.
That Miranda was the child and the protector was Bane.
Look closely at the way the protector moves and fights. He does many of Bane's moves before the child could be trained. Some of the moves are strikingly similar to the moves he performs when disarming the lobby guards during the stock exchange robbery.
Both Miranda and Bane give similar "money does not equal power" lines to Daggett. Miranda says to him, "You only understand money and the power you think it buys." Bane says to him, "And this gives you power over me?"
"I didn't see the light until I was already a man."
Whenever they speak of the child, the prisoners use that specific phrase: "the child". Any event which undoubtedly refers to Bane uses his name, and the prisoners never speak of the two as if they're one and the same.
In the beginning of the film Mayor Anthony Garcia tells the audience gathered around Wayne Manor on Harvey Dent Day, that the Dent Act (which at the time made certain that over 1000 Gotham criminals stayed locked up without parole) won't be repealed as long as he's still around. He's blown up during the attack on the football stadium, and among the first of Bane's actions afterwards is to expose the truth about Harvey Dent.
The little device Bruce used to disable paparazzi cameras foreshadows one of Batman's new toys, an EMP gunnote which renders all electronics useless.
Selina pretends to be Bruce's wife in order to steal his car. At the end of the movie, we see she's more or less become so for real.
Forgot to Pay the Bill: After Bane ruins Bruce's fortune, electricity to Wayne Manor is shut off not long after, because he can't afford it anymore. "From Billionaire to Bum," indeed.
Freudian Excuse: Talia al Ghul was born and raised in an underground prison. Her mother was raped and killed and her father also had a turbulent life.
Fruit Cart: In the novelization, as Bane and his men are escaping from the Stock Exchange, a taxicab swerves and knocks over a pretzel stand trying to get out of the way.
From Bad to Worse: The second act, instigated by Bane, is a vertiginous downward spiral for both Batman and Gotham City.
From Nobody to Nightmare: "Nobody cared who I was until I put on the mask." This is another lie, of sorts. Talia cared plenty. It's just that until he put on his mask, others didn't see him as much of a threat.
Bane when he's taking over Gotham. His first public appearance is when he and his men rob the Stock Exchange. The general reaction seen by Foley and most of the pubic is that Bane and the team are just a group of rather ambitious and pretty skilled submachine-gun-toting bank robbers (assuming that there never had been a gang before in history that actually had tried to take the Stock Exchange floor hostage), not cold-blooded mercenaries attempting to destroy the city. Notice that after the heist, he doesn't make another public appearance until the football stadium bombing.
Fulton Street Folly: The exteriors for the Stock Exchange robbery are represented by 23 Wall Street at Wall Street and Broad Street in Manhattan (amazingly, the fictional exchange is directly across the street from the real-life New York Stock Exchange, which can be seen in the background in a few shots, such as when Foley's police car arrives). Also, the final battle between the police force and Bane's army happens on Wall Street in this exact same area (as evidenced by the appearance of a specific flashing traffic light seen as Talia's Tumbler is driving away after running over Foley).
Futurecopter: The Bat. It will likely be decades before technology reaches the point that such a craft can
When Bane enters the Stock Exchange and is attacking the guards, you can see three people on the stairs running for their lives.
Inversion: When Stryver is on "trial", when Crane says, "Bane has no authority here. This is merely a sentencing hearing." Bane is standing in the foreground, and knitting!
Fun with Acronyms: During the stock exchange robbery, Bane wears a motorcycle uniform that says "DCS Courier Services". This movie is based on a DC Comics superhero.
Gangsta Style: Stryver holds his pistol in this way when he's preparing to shoot Selina in the bar.
Gender Neutral Writing: In order to hide that Talia, not Bane, was the child that escaped the pit, every conversation about Talia only refers to her as "the child."
Genius Bruiser: Bane is both highly intelligent and a hulking mass of muscle. This is in contrast to previous adaptations where he was just a dumb brute, but actually in line with his original comics incarnation.
Bane sticking Bruce into a Hellhole Prison. Bruce comes out stronger than ever. Though to be fair, he had broken the man's back. Justified as well: Bane's assumption that Bruce wouldn't be able to climb out after that wasn't terribly unreasonable given Bruce's injuries and the fact only a single person (Talia) had ever escaped.
Talia al-Ghul taking her time to explain everything to her nemesis instead of, you know, quickly killing him and triggering the bomb is something that Bond villains would be proud of. Bane appears to recognize this, but Selina takes him out before he can act.
Genre Savvy: A minor example. Miranda Tate easily connects the dots between the "fusion reactor becomes bomb" theory and Wayne Enterprise's sudden shelving of said reactor as a failure. She just didn't have any way to call Bruce on it until he revealed that he'd actually made one.
Valet Attendant: Your wife said you were taking a cab home.
Bruce Wayne:[confused] My wife?!
[Cuts to Selina Kyle grinning as she speeds through the streets in Bruce's Lamborghini]
Blake appears at Wayne Manor after rescuing Gordon:
Officer John Blake: I need to see Bruce Wayne.
Alfred Pennyworth: I'm sorry, Mr. Wayne doesn't take unscheduled calls. Even from a police officer.
Officer John Blake: And if I go get a warrant for the investigation of Harvey Dent's murder? Does that still count as "unscheduled"?
[Cuts to Blake sitting in the drawing room as Bruce hobbles in]
Glory Days: Alfred believes Batman's return is merely Bruce trying to recapture this, and that he's not really Batman anymore.
Glory Hound: The first thing that comes to Foley's mind when Batman re-emerges to take down Bane and his men during the getaway from the Stock Exchange robbery is to capture him "and do what Gordon wasn't able to do," even while Blake points out that they're still chasing Bane's men. Foley's justification is that Batman is still a mass murderer who killed the city's true hero, while Bane and his henchmen are believed to be just glorified bank robbers. Indeed, Blake has a point about pursuing the robbers. It's likely a real police department would split units into two teams - one to chase the robbers and another to chase Batman. It's because of Foley's zealousness in part that Bane is able to escape and accomplish all of his further goals.
Glory Seeker: Alfred accuses Bruce of this after witnessing his return to form on the news.
Bruce: The police weren't getting it done!
Alfred: Perhaps they might have, if you hadn't made a sideshow of yourself.
Bruce: You thought I didn't have it in me.
Alfred: You led a bloated police force on a merry chase with a load of fancy new toys from Fox! What about when you come up against him? What then?
Go Out with a Smile: Talia al Ghul dies with a smile, satisfied that Gotham will be destroyed because the heroes can't reattach the nuke to the reactor.
Gone Horribly Right: Selina's reaction when her "coming storm" finally arrives. Her line "This was someone's house," says it all.
Good Old Fisticuffs: Compare and contrast Batman's choreographed martial arts with Bane's seven-ton kidney punches. Bane even struts like an old timey pugilist with his thumbs hooked into his vest as if he were wearing suspenders.
Good Scars, Evil Scars: Talia's shoulder scar, the origin of which is never explained and gives audiences a signal that she isn't all that she seems.
Good Wings, Evil Wings: In the poster, Batman is positioned in front of the flaming bat symbol, making the bat wings seem to protrude from his back à la angel wings.
We don't get to see what Bane does to Daggett, but it sure sounds and appears from the position of Bane's hands right before we cut to Stryver reacting from outside the room, that Bane either strangles Daggett or breaks his neck.
Also used when Bane breaks Dr. Pavel's neck at the football stadium. The camera cuts to a distant angle from the viewing stands and we get to hear the horrified screams of the crowd watching.
Bane has been re-imagined as one of these. After receiving a serious injury in his backstory, he gets through the pain by wearing a mask that constantly supplies him with anesthetic gas. It also looks like a pair of fangs, to make it creepy.
Bruce can't even get around without a cane due to his ruined knee, and he gets a powered leg brace to replace the cane, though he stops needing it halfway through the film.
Hand Signals: During the stock exchange robbery, Bane does a small motion towards the janitor henchman as a signal that they are going mobile.
Hannibal Lecture: Bane's introduction shows him demeaning his supposed captor/interogator before turning the tables on him.
Heartbroken Badass: At the movie's beginning, we see that Bruce has been grieving over the loss of Rachel for eight years.
The Heavy: Bane runs the whole plot, even with the small fortune Daggett paid him.
Heel-Face Revolving Door: Selina, true to form, regularly switches from unwitting accomplice of Bane's to Batman's ally. At the end of the film she soldifies as a face by blowing Bane away with the Batpod cannons.
"Hell Yes" Moment: Batman stops the Tumbler gunfire from hitting the police in the Bat. Once it flies off, the cops start cheering loudly and Zerg Rush Bane's mercenaries.
Hero Killer: Bane is rightly feared by Alfred and his appareance constitutes a Godzilla Threshold for the return of The Batman. Like his comic book counterpart, Bane is the first opponent Batman faces who physically overpowers and breaks the Bat.
Hellhole Prison: Bane's prison. There is a reason the Pit is called the worst Hell on Earth.
Hidden Supplies: A major plot point involves Bane requisitioning the hidden Wayne R&D warehouse with Tumbler-like vehicles at his disposal. The final act also involves Bruce going to various supply depots he had around Gotham to get the ordnance he needed, including the stand-in batcave that was used by the previous movie.
Not only does Bane use many of Batman's own methods and moves against him, but he also steals most of his armory, including a small fleet of unpainted Tumblers upgraded with various heavy weaponry (cannons, machine guns, missile launchers).
One of Bane's henchmen launches a Macross Missile Massacre at Batman's plane. Batman takes the heat-seeking missiles on an intense chase through the Gotham skies... and right back to the guy who fired it.
Holding Out for a Hero: Defied at last. Though they needed heroes like Harvey Dent and Batman to get them there, organized crime in Gotham has ground to a standstill thanks to better policing and new laws like the Dent Act, which is intended to strangle crime at the root.
Hollywood Healing: Bruce has no cartilage left in his knee and requires a cane or a motorized brace to walk around (the doctor therefore cannot recommend that Bruce go heli-skiing). Later, he gets his vertebrae dislocated in the first fight with Bane. His spine is popped back into place and his knee heals while in the pit prison. He also gets over a severe stab wound in pretty short order (this could be a case of I Ain't Got Time to Bleed).
Hollywood Tactics: Apparently the best way to attack a group of trained mercenaries armed with automatic weapons and backed by what are essentially tanks is for the Gotham Police to group up in a large blob, Foley to lead the charge from only ONE direction, and charge into hand-to-hand combat - double straight in that Bane's mercenaries shoot for a second, cause FAR less casualties than they should have, and then charge into hand-to-hand themselves. Although Batman did take care of the tanks, Bane's mercenaries should have taken out the police with the amount of firepower they had (and automatic weapons are NOT close combat weapons).
Hope Is Scary: Invoked. Part of the sadistic design of the Pit is it gives its prisoners a very small chance of escape. Because "There is no despair without hope."
Hope Spot: A big part of Bane's M.O. of breaking people's spirits is to offer them false hope. One example is when the US Special Forces sneak into the city to assess the situation there. Only someone within Wayne Enterprises namely Talia al Ghul has tipped off Bane to the team's meeting with Fox and Blake, so when the team leaves to call in their analysis, Bane's men ambush them and shoot all of them down. Bane then appears and crushes Captain Jones's neck, then orders the soldiers' bodies hanged from the Brooklyn Bridge where the world can see.
I Have This Friend: In the first half of the movie, Bruce Wayne refers to his Batman persona as his "powerful friend" whenever he talks with Selina Kyle, to keep her thinking that he and Batman are two different people. Selina, however, learns about the deception at Batman's first fight with Bane, when Bane says, "Let's not stand on ceremony here.... Mr. Wayne."
Idiot Ball: Gordon really should've known better than to send nearly all of Gotham's police down to raid Bane's headquarters.
I Have Your Wife: Bane makes a comment to Pavel about how he hopes something happens "for the sake of your children," implying that he threatened Pavel's family to coerce Pavel into working for him.
Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: Not a single one of Bane's soldiers manage to hit Batman or Selina when they open fire as they flee from the rooftop to the Bat. Subverted, because Bane doesn't want Batman dead just yet.
Impoverished Patrician: Bruce spends a lot of Wayne Enterprises' profits on the reactor project, but what really ruins him is Bane staging the entire stock exchange robbery to enter worthless futures under his name (which is what the application on the shoeshiner's computer is doing during the robbery and the car chase) and deplete him of his money.
Inspector Javert: Foley, whose priority is clearly to arrest Batman rather than stop the madman who is terrorizing Gotham. His priorities during the heist escape are clearly out of line and he is called on by Blake, who says, "Sir, what about the armed robbers?"
Instant Sedation: The metal batarang/dart devices knock out their targets pretty quickly when used on the goons at the river. Granted, the first one took a few seconds as the guy looks at it in confusion, but his friends drop like flies after that.
In the Back: Barsad shoots three SWAT officers in the back as they fire on his fleeing comrades during the alleyway shootout.
The entire second fight to the first. Who attacks first, who fights with nothing held back, who defends and picks their punches and the outcome of the Punch Catch are all different.
Talia has a monologue regarding a slow knife that symbolizes her revenge plot on Bruce for her father's death. When she presses the trigger and it doesn't work thanks to Gordon temporarily preventing it, Bruce replies, "Maybe your knife wastoo slow."
Gordon tells Blake, upon promoting him to detective, "You're a detective now, son. You're not allowed to believe in coincidences anymore." When Blake spots the truck driver from the stock exchange at the cement plant and confronts him, just before the truck driver and his colleague try to kill him, Blake says, "As a detective, we're not allowed to believe in coincidences."
Again with Gordon and Blake; at different points both men have a conversation about Batman's identity. The first time, Blake is poking holes in the lie that Gordon and Batman built around Harvey Dent and wonders whether Gordon ever tried to find out who Batman was. Gordon wearily replies "I know who he was. He was the Batman." After Bruce Wayne's memorial, Blake expresses frustration that no one in Gotham truly knows who saved the city. Gordon, knowing that the truth about Batman's heroism has been revealed either way and sounding a lot more satisfied and at peace, replies with "They know. It was the Batman."
After the stock exchange robbery, there's:
Stryver: Bane says the Batman interfered, but the task was accomplished. John Daggett: And what about the men they arrested? Stryver: He said, and I quote, "They would die before talking."
Later, when Captain Jones and his men are shot down by Bane's mercenaries. Bane appears over the wounded Jones:
Captain Jones: I'll die before I talk. Bane: I'm on your schedule, Captain. [leans down and crushes Jones's windpipe, choking the life force out of him] Barsad: There were people living upstairs. Bane: Round them up for judgement. And hang them [points to the Special Forces' bodies] where the world can see.
While confined in the Pit, Bruce asks "Has anyone made it?" when inquiring about how escape is impossible. Later, when Stryver is being sent into "exile", as he is being pushed out onto the ice, he asks the same question to a thug who tells him he'll be dead in minutes.
It's All My Fault: Alfred blames himself for Bruce's self-imposed exile from the world because he let Bruce believe that Rachel would've been there for him, leading Bruce to avoid moving on after her death. He also blames himself for Bruce's death, not being able to save him from the life he chose.
One of Bane's henchmen poses as a janitor with a water bucket to sneak a submachine gun into the stock exchange.
Selina Kyle poses as a maid to steal Bruce's fingerprints and his mother's pearls.
Joisey: The scenes where Selina takes Batman to Bane were filmed in the Newark City Subway's tunnels near Military Park station. This system was also used in some of the scenes of police officers going into the tunnels - the shot where characters are seen at a tunnel junction appears to be near Newark Penn Station (to be fair, the reason they filmed in these tunnels instead of New York's subway tunnels may have been because Newark has overhead catenary and New York's systems have third rail that would need to be de-energized).
Joker Jury: Bane's tribunal. The presiding judge is the Scarecrow.
Just Following Orders: The cops guarding the Queensboro Bridge have orders to forbid anyone from crossing because of Bane's bomb threat. When they continue to insist on their orders after Blake explains that the bomb will go off anyway, he realizes how rules can becomes shackles and quits the force.
Bane, mainly when he gives his public speeches. An example is when Bane first introduces the football stadium hostages to the nuclear bomb and refers to it as "the instrument of your liberation". In the kind of voice you'd expect from one about to perform a striptease.
Bruce Wayne/Batman himself gets delightfully hammy when he finally gains the advantage in his second battle with Bane. The best part is that it's suspiciously identical to his scene with the Joker in the last movie when he was interrogating him on where Harvey and Rachel were, so it could possibly be a Call Back to that.
Law of Conservation of Detail: Blake gets more screen time than Batman's other allies (Gordon, Lucius, Alfred, etc.), suggesting that he's more than just another police officer. It's all setting him up to inherit the Batman legacy at the end.
Legacy Character / Legacy Immortality: Hinted at in the finale. Bruce Wayne and Batman are both presumed dead, but Robin finds his way into the Batcave while Bruce and Selina move on.
Legendary in the Sequel: When Bruce makes his return in the cowl, the cops, who are sworn to bring him down, are so awestruck by his return that he walks over to his bike without even sweating, gives a Death Glare that makes the one cop who shoots at him apologize, gains the entire police force on his tail during the chase scene, and his return earns a double-take from Bane, a little thrill from Selina, and absolute bloody panic on the part of any bad guy he runs into, even if they're members of the League of Shadows.
Letting the Air out of the Band: When Bruce falls in his second failed attempt to escape the Pit, the triumphant background music slows down and fades out.
Light-Flicker Teleportation: That one henchman repeatedly fires an automatic assault rifle at Batman in the dark, and each time, the muzzle flash created by each individual bullet discharge provides enough light to show Batman jumping closer and closer.
Besides their first fight, there's also Bane's entrance to the Stock Exchange while posing as a delivery man. He sets down a package, then he sets off the metal detector and a female security guard tells him to remove his helmet so that the cameras can see his face. Bane slowly takes off his helmet, and then he immediately smacks the female guard in the nose. Within two seconds, he's knocked out a second guard. A third guard tries to draw his pistol, but after a struggle in which a fourth guard is shot (it's hard to tell, though), Bane swings his helmet and knocks him out as well. All of this happens in under 10 seconds.
The Lost Lenore: Bruce Wayne has spent eight years mourning Rachel's death.
Ludicrous Precision: Somehow the characters are able to predict to the second when the nuclear reactor core will go critical, five months in advance. To be fair, Fox was there when it was activated, so he probably was able to get a pretty close-to-accurate prediction as to when it would happen.
Lured Into a Trap: Batman is lured by Selina into Bane's underground kingdom. Later, by kidnapping Fox, Miranda Tate and another member of the Wayne Enterprises board, Bane is able to lure most of the police force underground so he can trap them there with the explosive charges he has lined the tunnels with. After shooting the truck driver, Blake even says into his radio when trying to reach Foley, "They're heading into a trap!"
Made of Iron: Justified. Bane can easily tank Batman's blows without breaking a sweat and without any armor since it's really his mask letting him Feel No Pain. Once his mask is damaged, all bets are off.
Magic Countdown: Subverted when Batman chases down the data pad that Bane uses to steal Bruce Wayne's stock money. The loading bar says "90 secs remaining" during the chase; when Batman holds up the pad at the end of the chase more than 90 seconds later, the screen says "Application Complete". Meaning that perhaps the progress time may have slowed temporarily.
Played around with the countdown on the fusion reactor. Sometimes the timing's exact, sometimes the bomb takes 2 minutes to go down 30 seconds. This might be attributed to intercut scene overlap.It exploded anywhere from exactly on time to 4 minutes early, depending on which shot of the countdown you use.
Bruce Wayne is this throughout much of the film. His refusal to move on from the tragedies of the past film and actually start living some kind of life is part of it, and virtually all of his interactions and arguments with Alfred play out like a parent trying to discipline an uncooperative child who doesn't want to go to bed.
Daggett spends most of the film acting like a spoiled, whiny, nasally child hellbent on getting his way, even having Bane and his men rob the Stock Exchange for the purpose of bankrupting Wayne Enterprises. Then Bane breaks his neck.
The guys at the stock exchange complaining about Bruce coming out of seclusion act like spoilt children, albeit fairly composed ones at that.
Rise of the Black Bat, based on the public domain character and released to cash in on this film's success.
The iOS tie-in game is developed by Gameloft. Yup, you know what that means... it's a Batman: Arkham City clone set in a different universe.
Modesty Bedsheet: Played straight. Miranda is securely wrapped in a blanket while she and Bruce are relaxing on the floor after sex.
The Mole: One questions Miranda Tate's loyalty because anytime she is involved in an attempt to stop Bane and the bomb, Bane gets word of the resistance's move and responds accordingly.
Moment of Silence: As the cops head into the tunnels, the shots are silent, with the exception of communications between Blake and Foley over the radios and Bane arriving at the football stadium, all overlaid by the boy singing the National Anthem.
There's a second one, although it is downplayed due to only lasting a few powerful seconds; Batman taking the bomb to detonate safely only has a One-Woman Wail accompany him until the last shot of Batman's face before the explosion. After that brief shot, sound resumes to help give more impact to the remaining five seconds until the explosion goes off.
Money Is Not Power: Corporate mogul John Daggett gets hit in the face by this trope when Bane stops doing what he's told.
Monumental Damage: Bane's bombs destroy bridges that are represented by the Williamsburg, Manhattan and Brooklyn Bridges, Heinz Field, and more.
Mood Whiplash: An in-universe example for Alfred. Each step Bruce takes towards the outside world fills him with joy... only for fear to flood back after each step also takes him closer to Batman.
Mook Lieutenant: Bane has his mercenary officer Barsad, and Daggett has his company flunky Phillip Stryver.
Moral Myopia: Bane is dead set on nuking Gotham including the thousands of children living there, despite the fact that his whole reason for joining the League of Shadows was to follow and protect the woman he rescued because she was an innocent child at the time.
More Dakka: Bane is plainly a believer in this trope. His plans are big. Very big. They all involve explosives. Lots of explosives. Guns. And Tumblers, the strongest tanks you can imagine.
Morton's Fork: The guilty in the Kangaroo Court are given a choice between two punishments, death or exile. "Exile" is the chance to escape Gotham across the thinly-iced East River, which you will fall into and die of hypothermia. If you choose death, you're sentenced to death by exile.
Musical Spoiler: One of the first hints that shows that Miranda Tate might be up to no good is when the music shifts ominously the moment the camera shows her right after Bruce tells her that the fusion reactor could be turned nuclear.
When Blake meets Bruce, he mentions that when Gordon told the other police officers about Bane's hideout in the sewers, they mocked him, asking if he saw any giant alligators as well - a nod to Killer Croc.
Upon seeing Batman's return to action, an older cop in a cruiser excitedly tells his younger partner that they're "in for a hell of a show tonight", mirroring a scene from Batman: The Dark Knight Returns.
Bane taking over leadership of the League of Shadows after Ra’s apparent death and threatening to destroy Gotham with a nuclear device is taken from the graphic novel simply titled Bane.
One track on the film's complete score soundtrack is given the title "Batman Returns."
Similarly, Bruce and Selina dance at a Masquerade Ball, just like in Batman Returns. However, unlike that one, Selina does wear a costume (her Domino Mask and safecracking goggle "cat ears").
Dr. Jonathan Crane has straw sticking out of his suit during the Kangaroo Court scenes - the one subtle clue (at least in this movie) that he is the Scarecrow.
The Pit bears a resemblance to the Lazarus Pit: used by Ra's al Ghul in the comics to extend his life by several centuries, it has the power to heal the sick and dying, but kill the healthy. The ordinary criminals, who would otherwise be able to live a normal life, will never leave their prison, while Bane, Batman and Talia emerge beyond all hope. In other words, they rise again. The resurrection metaphor can be extended to Ra's al Ghul himself: he exacts revenge on the warlord who imprisoned his wife and daughter, by revisiting the pit (diving into and re-emerging from it), and thereby his legacy lives on in the form of a daughter who is more than willing to do her father's work.
At the end, Bruce and Selina are living together as a happy couple, like their Pre-Crisis Earth-Two counterparts in the comics.
John Blake: He's a composite of the first three Robins.
A subtle nod back to The Dark Knight, specifically Two-Face: right before the stock exchange heist is executed, we see two traders getting their shoes shined (by a mercenary), and arguing about whether or not to short-sell Wayne Enterprises stock. One says, "Wayne coming back is change. Change is either good or bad," on the basis of a coin toss. Two-Face's way of choosing whether or not to let a victim live was based on coin tosses.
One nickname for New York City is "Gotham", which was coined by Washington Irving in his satire Salmagundi. Parts of this movie were filmed in Manhattan. Not to mention that in the trilogy as a whole, the paint scheme on the GCPD's police cruisers is based on the paint scheme of the NYPD from the 1990s, only with a much darker shade of blue.
When Batman damages Bane's mask, Bane's fighting style and shattering the walls with his fists, mirrors his comic book counterpart's Berserker Mode which is a result of the Venom pump being damaged and contantly overflowing Bane's system. This turns in turn makes Bane into a mindless superstrong monster.
The film's ending seems to reference a notorious scene in Batman: The Movie - Batman just can't get rid of a bomb!
The scene where Batman and Catwoman are fighting a group of thugs, jumping from one to the next, and the thugs getting back up for another round, is very similar to the combat of the Batman Arkham Series, the second of which had both Batman and Catwoman playable.
Hell, even the title of the film counts as one: it's a reference to "The Dark Knight Falls", the title of the final chapter of The Dark Knight Returns (one of the film's primary inspirations). Both of them end with Bruce Wayne faking his death and going into seclusion while a successor (an army of successors in Returns' case) prepares to carry on his work.
The variations to Bane's character from his comic counterpart are all traits of Mr. Freeze: He's bald, he is weakened or even pained by the removal of his suit mask, and his motivation is to to appease a woman he cares about.
The statue of Batman at the very end has a streamlined neck and shoulders, just like his previous incarnations and his future one.
My God, What Have I Done?: Selina Kyle has this reaction after she walks through the home of a family in Gotham. Her quiet, "This was someone's house..." sends a clear picture that this is not how she thought everyone being equal would play out. She also has a horrified look on her face upon realizing she's just led Bruce Wayne to Bane, and sees Bane beat Bruce to a pulp.
Near Villain Victory: Starting with the second act, Bane is in the speed lane for victory and he almost has it this time.
Neck Snap: Seems to be Bane's favoured method of execution, and he does it completely effortlessly. Executed in this way are the first of the two thugs who deliver Gordon to him, Daggett, Dr. Pavel, and Captain Mark Jones.
Dagget's Neck Snap also subverts the "dying instantly" section of the trope. He is clearly heard screaming for some time afterward when we cut from Bane putting his hands around Daggett's neck to Stryver's Reaction Shot.
Bane is certainly Genre Savvy enough to not consider Gordon dead prematurely. Which would explain why after blowing up the bridges, he sends two men to the hospital to assassinate Gordon. Unfortunately, Gordon jumps them before they can shoot him.
Batman's apparent Heroic Sacrifice. Naturally, there wouldn't be anything left of him after being at the center of a nuclear explosion.
The dramatic exchange between Bruce and Alfred regarding the latter swearing to protect Bruce and failing does not come up in the actual scene. Alfred utters similar lines, though, at the film's finale.
Also, trailers make it appear that Selina and Bane are close allies, but in reality she's more or less blackmailed and intimidated into giving him occasional help.
One trailer has Selina's line "You don't owe these people any more. You've given them everything!", which she says when she is mounting the Batpod. Given the above lie, you'd be forgiven for thinking she utters the line in defiance. In fact, she is pleading desperately for Batman to not potentially risk himself in vain. That said, Batman's line "Not everything... not yet" carries the exact same meaning in both the trailers and the final product in that he knows the people still need a true legend.
In an example of Never Trust A Leak, one of Selina's lines, when leaked out of context, made fans assume that she'd be allied with Bane. In reality, she says the line to deceive the actual flunkies of Bane.
Hines Ward, when outrunning the imploding field, doesn't drop his football in shock in the movie.
Bane doesn't say "Let the games begin" when he's about to fight Batman, but actually when he's about to press the detonator to blow up the city's bridges and football stadium.
The shots of the Bat and placement of Selina's and Bruce's banter inside it make it seem as if it's involved only in the climax of the film. It actually debuts very early, when Batman is rescuing Selina from Bane right after the Stock Exchange attack.
Bane's "when Gotham is ashes" line is said more slower and has a word or two added to it.
One scene from the trailers portrays a Tumbler firing on the battle between Bane's forces and the police at city hall. This never actually appears in the movie, although a similar scene appears in the script and novelization.
New Era Speech: Bane gives two chilling speeches; one at the Gotham football stadium, and another later on TV after his plan is set in motion.
When Batman suddenly reappears from hiding to stop Bane during the stock exchange heist, the police suddenly make catching Batman their priority, completely ignoring Bane and allowing him to escape. In particular, Officer Simon Jansen uses his pistol to shoot the EMP device Batman is using to try and stop Bane's bikes. If he hadn't, Batman would've probably stopped Bane, Bane's plan would've failed, and at the very least he would need a new one. Batman proceeds to give Jansen a dirty look, even though he weakly apologizes.
Lucius Fox has been recollecting the Tumbler prototypes and various other tech to Wayne Industries's storeroom to keep them from falling into the wrong hands. Then again, storing them all in one room makes it very easy to lose them all in a flash, as happens when Bane and his men blow up the floor of Applied Sciences to "acquire" these resources.
Gordon getting hospitalized protects him from ending up trapped underground.
At the beginning, the cops are torn between chasing Bane, who'd attacked Gordon and had just shot up the Stock Exchange, and Batman, a fugitive who (they believed) killed Dent eight years earlier. Then Bane exonerates him. When he comes back, he's a hero.
Instead of killing him, Bane throws Batman in a pit and puts the TV on so he can watch Bane oppress Gotham, giving him the rage and motivation he needs to get out of the pit. Bane also releases all of Blackgate's inmates, including Selina, who becomes vital to defeating Bane and saving the day
No, Except Yes: The President says in his address following Bane's takeover of Gotham, "We do not negotiate with terrorists! ... But we do face reality."
The events that happened in the coup pulled off by Bane and his men to secure Daggett's diamond mining operations. We don't really know much about it, but the events appear to have been what enabled Daggett to get his board seat at Wayne Enterprises.
Selina once broke out of a women's correctional facility when she was 16, according to the Blackgate warden. Additional details (how was it done, and what she was in jail for) are not mentioned.
Bane's henchmen getting their weapons into the stock exchange in the novelization is just said to have been difficult.
No Plans, No Prototype, No Backup: Invoked and inverted. After collapsing Heinz Field, Bane conducts an "interview"/"interrogation" of Dr. Pavel over the loudspeakers in full view of the gathered crowd. He asks about the bomb and its capabilities, and Dr. Pavel explains that it will level the city, should it detonate. Bane asks who built it. "I did." Bane asks who is capable of disarming it. "Only me."
Bane: Only you. Thank you, good doctor! [breaks Dr. Pavel's neck]
Batman throws League of Shadows-style smoke bombs around Bane, which if Bane were a normal person would make him flinch. Bane doesn't even blink, and he notes that it would work on people who aren't familiar with the League's tactics. He also knows that Batman doesn't kill.
Bane Feels No Pain due to his anesthetic gas mask and deliberately lets Batman hit him a few times with no reaction, intending to draw a Punch! Punch! Punch! Uh Oh.... He's trying to break Batman's will, and few things are quite as demoralizing as punching someone as hard as you can and not provoking a reaction.
Not Afraid to Die: Bane tells Bruce that this is why "your punishment must be more severe." Later when a fellow inmate tells him that the fear of death is the oldest animal instinct that compels people to fight on and succeed, and that Bruce will never escape unless he fears death again. Bruce still doesn't fear death; he fears dying in that pit while Gotham is torn apart.
Not His Sled: The basic outline of the story is based on the Knightfall arc from the comics, but the movie changes a few things up to keep fans of the comics surprised: Bruce is seriously injured in his fight with Bane but doesn't wind up paralyzed and Bane is eventually revealed to be a pawn of Talia al Ghul.
Not So Different: Keeping in line with the saga's most salient themes, Batman's supporting characters have a lot of things in common with him while putting them in friction with him:
Bane was trained by the League of Shadows, apparently by Ra's al Ghul himself like Bruce/Batman (even proclaimed by the former as he utterly trashes Batman). Moreover, he had a more heroic streak in him in the beginning by helping the young Talia al Ghul escape the prison pit.
While Selina Kyle believes she is far above the pettiness of Bruce Wayne when he is himself, she finds a kindred spirit in Batman's honor and desire to give everyone in Gotham a fresh start.
Talia al Ghul expresses how she is as driven by the death of her father Ra's to complete his destiny of destroying Gotham as per the mandate of the League of Shadows, in the same way Bruce is driven to fight crime via the death of his parents.
Selina Kyle and Miranda Tate both have secret identities and are perfectly willing to kill if necessary, with the only difference being scale - Selina generally tending to shoot only if in self-defense.
Blake tells Bruce that they actually met years before, when he was just a child, but even then he immediately knew he was the Batman. Despite all the masks he wears, Bruce can't hide the pain of losing his family and the Unstoppable Rage that it gives him. Blake knows this because he went through the same thing (losing his mom to a car accident while his father got shot dead in a gambling dispute).
Not the Fall That Kills You: The "safety rope" secured to prisoners attempting to climb the pit is just tied around the waist, with no padding or harness to spread the load. It does nothing to actually slow their descent, just snapping taut to keep them from hitting the ground. The results would be extremely painful... for you. They might as well not use the rope at all; death would arguably be preferable to the paralysis that would surely follow from dropping at the choke point. There is no way Batman would be in any fit state to try again after falling once, especially considering how much damage his spine took already.
Stryver after Selina subtly reveals that he just used the congressman's cell phone and the police are on their way. Cue the sound of tires screeching to a halt, a fight breaking out in the bar, and a SWAT team raiding the place.
When Bane is entering the Stock Exchange, a guard stops him and tells him to take off his helmet so that they can see his face. Bane complies with her, and as he takes it off, you can see the guard's face turn pale for a split second before Bane strikes her over the head. The novelization adds in that she instinctively is reaching for her taser when Bane attacks her.
Blake's reaction to discovering that several thousand cops are about to be trapped underground because Bane's been rigging explosives all across the city.
Daggett's reaction when Bane reveals his true intentions. You can tell from the tone of his voice he's practically shitting in his pants.
Daggett: No, you stay here. I'm in charge.
Bane: Do you feel in charge?
When Bane sees the bat-signal burning on the Brooklyn Bridge.
Gordon, veteran of at least 20+ years, and Blake, who has only a single year of field experience as an officer. Nonetheless, the reason Gordon fast-tracks Blake to a detective rank is Blake's hardworking efforts to dig up dirt on Bane's plans.
There were also those two cops in the car chase following the Stock Exchange attack who were among the first to witness Batman's return to action after 8 years.
Older than They Look: Bane. Due to Talia being a small child in the pit, where Bane was at least a teen to early twentys, and the timeline is roughly 25-30 years later, that would put Bane in his mid 40's to late 50's.
See Bilingual Bonus, as it may simply be an imaginary language from Nolan. Still ominous though.
Once More with Clarity: Bane was born in a hellish prison and escaped it by climbing a well when he was a kid, right? Wrong. It was Talia. Bane was another prisoner who assisted her escape. The second time, we see the child make the jump and finish the climb, then she pulls a scrap of cloth over her head into a shawl, and suddenly we're looking at a girl.
One True Love: Bruce is certain that Rachel was his, and so he doesn't even try to move on in the eight years since her death. It's clear there that he loved her in one way or another since they were children, so her death was probably going to shake him severely regardless.
When Bruce is dancing with Selina Kyle, the close-up camera shots are filmed in this way
Bane's "I was born in the dark" line during the first fight, after Batman tries to throw out the lights to distract him, is an orbital shot
Out of Focus: Because Blake gets so much screen time, this happens to some degree to Gordon, Alfred, and Lucius Fox, all of whom had larger roles in the first two movies. Gordon's role was largest in the second movie, while Fox and Alfred had their largest influence in the first movie.
The football player (played by Hines Ward) does this when the field blows up behind him. In an odd variation, he doesn't notice the destruction behind him until he reaches the end zone and scores the touchdown.
In the regular variant, at the moment Bane and his men the detonators, explosives start going off under the street Blake is traveling down in his unmarked squad car. Despite his best efforts, the explosion catches up and flips his car, destroying it. Fortunately, he's wearing a seatbelt, so he's uninjured.
Paper-Thin Disguise: Subverted: As a part of her Spy Catsuit, Selina wears a Domino Mask that doesn't really conceal her features (you can tell it is Anne Hathaway under the mask). However, it is not meant to hide her face, being a high-tech cracking tool.
Bruce angrily reproaches Alfred when Alfred finally reveals that Rachel chose Harvey over him, and that he kept it all these years, in a vain attempt to dissuade Bruce from becoming Batman one last time.
Talia reveals she was unable to forgive Ra's for excommunicating Bane from the League of Shadows until Bruce killed him.
Passing the Torch: It is hinted that John Blake inherits the mantle of Batman from Bruce Wayne. His legal first name, "Robin", is an allusion to this.
While Bruce is only in his late-thirties, his accumulated injuries mean he is not nearly fit or strong enough for his first fight with Bane. Why else would the doctor not be able to recommend he go heliskiing?
Alfred: You can strap up your leg and put your mask back on, but that doesn't make you what you were!
And when the first fight begins:
Bane: You fight like a younger man! With nothing held back. Admirable, but mistaken.
Bane's backstory, especially his treatment of young Talia, makes him much more sympathetic, if only for a moment.
Likewise, Talia fixing Bane's mask and farewell scene to each other can come off as sympathetic as well.
Playing Gertrude: The thing about the entire Talia and Bane relationship is that Talia is supposed to be in her thirties and Bane is supposed to be at least 20 years older than her, putting him in his fifties. This gets very weird when you look it up and discover that Marion Cotillard is actually two years older than Tom Hardy.
Prison Rape: A female example. One of the reasons Talia Al-Ghul became so messed up was because she saw her mother be captured and raped by a group of prisoners who escaped their cells, began a riot, and broke into Talia and her mother's own cell. She escaped, but the result was that Bane gets bad facial injuries and hence gets the mask he wears for the movie.
(to the external police at the bridge) "YOU IDIOTS! YOU SONS OF BITCHES!''
When Bane attacks the security guards as he enters the Stock Exchange, the third one clearly says "Fuck!" when Bane grabs his gun hand with his left hand, then punches him in the waist with his right arm and motorcycle helmet.
Delta Airlines, Bentley, Lamborghini, Saks Fifth Avenue, Greyhound, the "Heinz" signage on the facade of Heinz Field. The sign for UPMC that is seen on the scoreboard behind Bane is for the neighboring University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. In a rather awkward case, during most of Bane's speech, it's kind of distracting to have a Doritos sign on the scoreboard behind him.
Oshkosh's logo is easy to spot on the front grille of one of the SWAT trucks responding to the Stock Exchange heist.
When Blake is confronting the two construction workers at the cement plant, a freight train of auto carriers goes by. You can see that it has CSX locomotives on it.
The police fleet is probably largely made of Ford vehicles.
Real beer brands can be seen in neon signs in the background when Selina is meeting with Stryver at the bar.
Dell computers are very prominent during the Stock Exchange heist - you can even see the logo very blatantly on the backs of many of the trading monitors on the exchange floor, while some viewers speculate that the computer tablet used to run the trading program is an XPS Duo 12.
Gordon and some of the cops try using a Greyhound bus to stop one of the decoy trucks carrying the nuclear bomb by t-boning said truck.
They aren't really subtle about showing us that the TV in Gordon's hospital room is a Samsung, even showing the logo where it is very visible.
Properly Paranoid: Bruce mothballs a fusion plant because Dr. Pavel figured out how to turn such a device into a weapon. While Fox feels it was foolish, we already know that Bane has kidnapped Dr. Pavel and plans to do just that. Further justified because Talia, as Miranda, helps pay for the plant so it could be used to destroy Gotham.
Protagonist-Centered Morality: Bruce argues that all the Wayne Enterprises tech he uses as Batman could be turned into weapons against the cause, even if he were to supply the police with it. Alfred points out that Bruce is very good at imagining anything can be turned into a weapon, and is using it as an excuse to keep the burden of saving Gotham on his own shoulders. Bruce's argument comes true after Bane captures the Applied Sciences division. "Your precious armory! Greatly accepted! We will need it."
Pummel Duel: The two climactic fights between Batman and Bane. Especially the first fight.
Punch Catch: Bane does this to Batman during their first fight and hits him with the fist to break him. He tries the second time but Bruce gets his hand free and connects.
Punch! Punch! Punch! Uh Oh...: Present in the first fight between Batman and Bane. Bane seems amused when Batman opens with his hardest hits. Because he can't feel them.
Daggett's "What. The hell. Is going on?!" when Bane appears.
When confronting Daggett, Selina does emphasizing pauses when she jams a pistol into Daggett's neck and says, "Where is it?!"
Put on a Bus: Gordon's family. Officially, Mrs. Barbara Gordon leaves her husband in the 8-year gap since The Dark Knight and takes both children to Cleveland. This removed both characters, who may have been young teens, from the potential of complicating matters as Batgirl and James Gordon, Jr.
Bruce's failing health due to leading a highly injury-prone life of superheroics. Unlike the comic books where Bruce has been Batman for decades, the film acknowledges that rather like a heavyweight boxer (or any other athlete who endures abuse regularly like a football player), a flesh and blood human being couldn't fight crime for many decades without destroying themselves. Bane exploits this easily.
Bruce's condition is not helped by the fact that he clearly hadn't been taking care of himself. It's never addressed as to whether or not he'd ever even tried to get surgery for his knee prior to the events that set the events of the story in motion.
Selina's take on the "no guns" rule. See, no matter how Badass you may be, Bane, no one's survived being shot at point-blank range. With bike cannons that are designed to blow up cars.
Talia's death. Rather than a big dramatic death sequence, she dies from her injuries in a crash just like any other person whose vehicle had fallen about two stories while not wearing a seatbelt. Contrarily, Gordon is just fine although since he was at the back of the truck, and the front of the truck (with Talia in it) was what took most of the force of the crash, that may be why he survived.
When Alfred points out the combat skill and strength of Bane to the just-came-out-of-an-eight-year-retirement Batman, Bruce says he will just fight harder. This earns him the worst beating of his life.
Bruce points out that despite Selina's skill, "the ground is shrinking under her feet" and she's close to being caught. Which is what's likely to happen when you specialize in stealing from rich, powerful people. She is caught by Blake the day after Bruce gets beaten up by Bane.
Reality Is Unrealistic: One criticism some viewers have expressed about this film and the previous is that the GCPD uniform and police car paint scheme are inconsistent with displaying "GPD" or "GCPD". But the truth is that real police departments in the United States have been known to change their paint schemes or uniform appearances from time to time, with new vehicles receiving new paint jobs, while pre-existing police vehicles will maintain the older paint job to maintain cost-effectiveness.
Real Men Wear Pink: Bane is fond of knitting, and can be seen doing this at Stryver's "trial", a reference to Madame Defarge in A Tale of Two Cities, which could also be a reference to the "knitting ladies" at the kangaroo courts in the Reign of Terror.
Several current and former Pittsburgh Steelers players subbed in for the Gotham City Rogues. Also, their former head coach Bill Cowher stepped in to coach them.
The kicker for Rapid City is, according to his uniform, Pittsburgh's own mayor Luke Ravenstahl.
U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy cameos as a member of the Wayne Enterprises board.
"The Reason You Suck" Speech: When Bruce is in the pit, strung up so his back can heal, he hallucinates seeing Ra's Al Guhl, who proceeds to rip into Bruce by emphasizing his worst fear - that his whole quest to save Gotham by being Batman was was a failure and a waste of time since in the end despite his best efforts the only victory he could achieve "was a lie."
Reed Richards Is Useless: Wayne Enterprises has invented nuclear fusion, but won't release it because Bruce is worried that it might be used as a weapon.
Reluctant Mad Scientist: Dr. Pavel wants nothing to do with Bane, attempting to make a deal with the CIA instead. Bane eventually finds he has to threaten to kill Dr. Pavel's children to gain the doctor's cooperation.
Reign of Terror: Bane's 'liberator of the people' rhetoric inspires the people of Gotham to start one of these.
Relocating the Explosion: Batman hooks the ticking nuclear time bomb to his flying Bat-vehicle and carries it out over the bay where it explodes, apparently killing him with it.
Repeat Cut: The shot of police cars coming to a stop outside the Stock Exchange and officers drawing their weapons that comes right after Bane is told that the cell line has been cut: the units are coming to a stop on the corner facing each other head-on. Based on the motions of one police officer climbing out of the shotgun seat of the unit on the right side of the shot, and the police vehicles in the background it's the same take as the wide shot of police cars initially arriving at the exchange, just from a slightly different angle.
The Remnant: Bane's army represents whatever remains of the League of Shadows.
Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: In-universe example. In Gotham's eyes, Batman goes from a widely hated madman to the hero who finally gets the respect he deserves.
La Résistance: Exploited by Bane, who presents his army as freedom fighters. After Gotham is sealed off, this role is fulfilled by the remnants of the police force and the old high society.
Retired Badass: Bruce Wayne, who's hung up the cowl for 8 whole years. He later fakes his death so he can retire permanently.
Retirony: Inverted twice. Gordon gets shot before he was retired, not fired, and getting shot while escaping from Bane's lair actually saved his job, since being hospitalized kept the mayor from doing anything to him, further helped because the mayor, the person who was planning on firing him, is blown up along with some of his aides in his private viewing box during Bane's raid on the football pitch at Heinz Field.
Miranda Tate: And though I'm not ordinary, I'm a citizen.
Revenge Before Reason: For nearly the entire film, both Bane and Talia are very Dangerously Genre Savvy. The only place where they falter is in how they deal with Batman with both wanting to keep him alive to see the destruction of his city before giving him permission to die, feeling that plain death is too light of a punishment for him given that he doesn't fear death. Bane eventually learns from this and realizes that Batman is too dangerous to let live, even if just for a few more minutes and decides to simply shoot him. Selina intervenes, however.
Taken Up to Eleven when you remember that they're both killing themselves by staying in the city where the bomb is, just to ensure that it will detonate as planned and destroy Bruce's spirit. All to avenge the man who excommunicated Bane.
Riches to Rags: A major plot point is Bruce Wayne going "From Billionaire to Bum", as a result of Bane's attack on the Stock Exchange.
Ripped from the Headlines: Even though writing and production took place well in advance of the headlines in question, a very common reaction to the promotional material is that Bane and Selina sound like they're organizing an Occupy Gotham movement. Nolan even thought about filming footage of the Occupy protests for Rises, but ended up not doing so.
Rule of Scary: Bane's anasthetic mask would be impractical in real life but it looks damn scary and it would be very awkward for Bane to be dragging a gas-filled tank around, so it gets a pass.
Rule of Symbolism: Bruce's arduous climb out of the prison is meant to evoke his fall down a well as a child, and is intercut with flashbacks of that event. There's even a burst of bats that fly out of the prison during his successful escape.
Sarcastic Confession: While Bruce and Selina are dancing, she asks him who he is pretending to be. Bruce responds "Bruce Wayne, eccentric billionaire." Admitting that all of her preconceptions about him are flat out wrong.
Save the Day, Turn Away: Bruce Wayne fakes his and Batman's death so he can start a new life with Selina Kyle, continue funding the orphanage, and give Gotham the hero they deserve.
Say Your Prayers: Blake appears to begin to do this when Bane's men take him hostage after thwarting his attempt to rescue a couple of cops through a sewer manhole cover.
Scary Black Man: The captain of the team of mercenaries who take Blake hostage while he's making a solo attempt to grab a few cops through a manhole. It's Teal'c from Stargate, if you were wondering.
Screw the Money, I Have Rules!: Bruce bankrupts Wayne Enterprises over the eight years since The Dark Knight to build a working fusion reactor to solve the energy crisis, then shelves the project because the reactor could be turned into a bomb if it fell into the wrong hands, something that Dr. Pavel had discovered. Bruce does not know at the time that Bane has kidnapped Dr. Pavel for that exact purpose - turn the reactor into a bomb.
Scully Box: In the comics, Bane towers over Batman. But Tom Hardy is shorter than Christian Bale, so he had to wear high heeled boots and camera tricks were also used so that Bane would be equal on height with Batman during scenes where they are both on-camera.
Sealed Good in a Can: Bane lures most of Gotham's police force underground, and then detonates bombs to trap them in.
Secret Identity: Deconstructed; Batman cannot keep his secret from everyone, which sometimes leads to problems. In addition to the ones who found out in the previous two movies, several people find out who he is in this one:
Selina Kyle, the new Love Interest, discovers Batman's identity as a result of being forced to watch Batman's first fight with Bane.
In the end, Batman finally lets Gordon know who is under the mask.
Secret Keeper: Gordon goes from keeping the secret of Harvey Dent's death to keeping the secret of Batman's true identity.
Secret Secret Keeper: Much to Bruce's surprise, John Blake has deduced that Bruce is Batman. Technically, Bane is one as well: he is very well aware of Batman's true identity, and doesn't divulge it, despite having more than one perfect opportunity. He does call out Batman's real name while surrounded by his own soldiers during the first fight ("Let's not stand on ceremony here, Mr. Wayne"), but those have been established as being loyal unto death, so they can certainly be trusted not to spill it.
Self-Disposing Villain: In the same fashion as Batman Begins. Talia dies from a fatal injury in a truck crash, but Batman is directly responsible for causing it because he killed the driver with cannon fire from the Bat. In Batman's defense, he was trying to force Talia into turning, but she was too damn determined and he had to stop her.
Sequel Escalation: The film trumps up the action scenes, the magnitude of the threat, and, most importantly, the amount and quality of the physical and emotional ordeals that Bruce Wayne goes through.
Shipper on Deck: Alfred and Lucius try to persuade Bruce into going after Miranda Tate. Or Selina Kyle. They're not picky. They just want the boy to leave the house. Ultimately, it's the latter that comes out on top.
Shirtless Scene: Played with: Bane is shirtless when the two sewer goons bring the semi-conscious Gordon to him, but it's played less for Fanservice and more for giving us that "Holy crap, that guy is enormous" feeling. Honest Trailers even uses it in their parody trailer for this movie.
Shoe Shine, Mister?: Bane's henchman McGarrity poses as a shoeshiner to smuggle a submachine gun into the stock exchange stashed in a gym bag.
Shoot The Builder: Bane kidnaps Dr. Leonid Pavel and forces him to modify the fusion reactor which he built for Wayne Enterprises into a bomb. Bane presents his plan to the people of Gotham in the city stadium and breaks Dr. Pavel's neck after he confirms that he's the only one with the knowledge to defuse it.
Gordon reads the ending of A Tale of Two Cities. Bane's Gotham Revolution mirrors that of the French Revolution as depicted in the novel. Bane's second-in-command is John Barsad, and there is a Corrupt Corporate Executive named Phillip Stryver, both named after characters from that book.
Also, Wayne Enterprises's people hide in Tellson's Bank, according to the script.
Bane knitting in the courtroom is probably a nod to Madame Defarge and the "knitting ladies", and "The fire rises", which he says to the henchman on the plane that he orders to stay behind and die, is the name of a chapter in it as well.
The speculations by the maids about Bruce Wayne's mental health at the start of the film call to mind Howard Hughes, especially the bit where Daggett comments how he must be growing out his fingernails and peeing in mason jars in the isolation of his private wing.
Nolan's use of the Pittsburgh Steelers to guest-star as the Gotham Rogues, besides the practical fact that they were filming in Pittsburgh, is also a tribute to their Batman fandom. During the 1966 season, when the Adam Westseries was airing, the Steelers wore uniforms inspired by Batman.
Three trucks are driven around by Bane's soldiers. One truck contains the nuclear device and two of the trucks are decoys. This is much like the 2003 remake of The Italian Job, where the antagonist hires three armored cars to fool the main characters, with two of the armored cars being empty decoys and one carrying all of the gold loot (in that case, though, they were able to isolate the real truck from the decoys by using computer hacking to determine which one was weighed down).
The national anthem being sung right before Bane blows up several buildings via explosives built into the foundations is a nod to Arkham Asylum A Serious Houseon Serious Earth. In Arkham Asylum, Amadeus Arkham sings the anthem while musing how America is a nation built upon madness and chaos.
Sickbed Slaying: Tried and spectacularly failed on Gordon, who gets the jump on Bane's goons right before Blake arrives.
:"Clear the corners, rookie. [Blake looks at Gordon] Get my coat, son."
The Siege: Inverted - the National Guard encircles and quarantines Gotham when it is captured by Bane (who threatens to set off the bomb if anyone makes it out). The siege happens from the inside, therefore.
Skewed Priorities: Despite Bane and his men shooting up the stock exchange with submachine guns and escaping with hostages on motorcycles, Foley decides his officers are better off ditching Bane mid-chase to pursue Batman and one of the mooks. Somewhat justified in that Bane specifically did not have a hostage and he assumes Batman is in league with them. Yet, at the same time, this would likely render them liable if doing so increased the chances of the hostages' lives being endangered.
It's even noted in the novelization, which reads, "Blake just remained silent. Batman wasn’t a danger to Gotham, no matter what people said. He was more worried about the felons who had just pulled off such an ambitious strike on the stock exchange."
Slap-Slap-Kiss: Selina and Bruce; the former betrays and the latter tracks her down and takes back his pearl necklace from her, and then they're kissing. Which she then uses to steal his car.
Sliding Scale of Villain Effectiveness: High. Bane and his men are constantly one step ahead of the heroes. In fact, that's Bane's M.O. from his very first scene; he knows exactly what you're going to do and lets you think that it's going to work before turning the tables on you.
It's a Small World After All: Bruce Wayne, somehow returning to closed-off Gotham, manages to find Selina Kyle while she's in the act of beating up two gangbangers harming an innocent child.
Bane: [places hand on Daggett's shoulder] Do you feel in charge?
Bane himself counts, being supremely confident in his abilities and plans. When things go bad, it triggers a Villainous Breakdown.
Snark-to-Snark Combat: Bruce and Selina do not hesitate to rip each other new ones, but it's not surprising. Their dance at Miranda Tate's charity ball is made entirely of snark lines:
Bruce Wayne: You wouldn't want any of these folks realizing you're a crook, not a social climber.
Selina Kyle: You think I care what anyone in this room thinks of me?
Bruce Wayne: I doubt you care what anyone in any room thinks of you.
Selina Kyle: Don't condescend, Mr. Wayne. You don't know a thing about me.
Bruce Wayne: Well, Selina Kyle, I know you came here from your walk-up in Old Town, a modest place for a master jewel thief. Which means that either you're saving for retirement, or you're in deep with the wrong people.
Selina Kyle: You don't get to judge me just because you were born in the master bedroom of Wayne Manor.
Bruce Wayne: Actually, I was born in the Regency Room.
Selina Kyle: I started out doing what I had to. Once you've done what you had to, they'll never let you do what you want to.
Bruce Wayne: Start fresh.
Selina Kyle: There's no fresh start in today's world. Any twelve-year-old with a cell phone could find out what you did. Everything we do is collated and quantified. Everything sticks.
Bruce Wayne: Is that how you justify stealing?
Selina Kyle: I take what I need from those who have more than enough. I don't stand on the shoulders of people with less.
Gotham's Darkest Hour is during the winter months, with many characters dying on snow or on ice. At the moment Blake watches the bomb explode, snowflakes start to drift across his face.
Also the Kangaroo Court's penalty for its defendants. You are not given a trial, but a choice of sentencing: Death or Exile. If you pick Exile, you are forced onto the frozen East River near the Brooklyn Bridge, which is a death sentence anyway as the ice will crack under your weight, you will fall in, and you will die from drowning or hypothermia. Choosing Death just gets you sentenced to "death by exile". It's the same as picking Exile, except that when you pick Death, the "executioners" won't warn you not to tread on the thin ice.
Society On Edge Episode: This installment involves a far more significant threat to Gotham than was presented by the villains of Batman Begins or The Dark Knight. Things also get dire much more quickly; the worst of the chaos in Batman Beginswas resolved before most Gotham residents were even aware of it and the worst of that of The Dark Knightwas fairly gradual due to the continuously worsening nature of the Joker's actions. Things get far more dire more quickly in TDKR.
So Cool It's Awesome: Can be either in-universe or meta, but the veteran cop's line, "Oh boy, you are in for a show tonight, son..." when Batman returns probably enters this.
Songs in the Key of Lock: Just like the first film, Alfred plays a few notes on a piano to open the secret Batcave entrance.
Spanner in the Works: Bane and Talia's plan would have worked perfectly... they just didn't count on Selina.
Also plays out when Bane and his men ambush Captain Jones's Special Forces team. During the conversation, Fox explicitly mentions Bane's name twice. Less than two minutes later, Bane's men are shooting down Jones and his team. Then Bane shows up to crush Jones's neck.
Storming the Castle: During the climax, Batman and GCPD launch an attack on City Hall, which Bane has taken as his headquarters.
Suddenly Shouting: Gordon loses his calm in the hospital and angrily sends every cop to the sewers when he's talking to Blake and Foley shows up unexpectedly.
Survival Mantra: "Deshi deshi! Basara basara!" Chanted by the prisoners whenever someone tries to escape.
Suspiciously Small Army: Gotham, explicitly stated to be a city of at least 12 million, loses most of its police force when merely 3,000 officers get trapped underground? Sure, it's a dramatic loss, but the GCPD ought to be much larger than just barely over 3,000. The New York City Police Department, for instance, holds 34,000 uniformed officers for the only 8 million inhabitants of the five boroughs, for an average of 6,800 cops per borough. Even if Bane only imprisoned the equivalent of a single borough of Gotham, that's still a small police force. Fridge Brilliance could explain it: If Gotham was in a period of "peacetime", and if the Dent Act was truly effective, a greatly shrunken police force may have been a result of that.
The film closes with Detective Robin John Blake swinging into the Batcave with a handheld light, being welcomed by a swarm of bats like Bruce in Batman Begins, and accidentally activating the computer system/launchpads. The visual of Blake being lifted by the platform (i.e. rising) is the last image in the film before the title card.
Talking Is a Free Action: Averted during the final battle, where the villain's gloating to Batman about how he will suffer before seeing Gotham destroyed gives Gordon just enough time to block the signal to the bomb.
Tattered Flag: A tattered American flag can be seen as the police force gathers on Wall Street for the fight with Bane's people.
Tempting Fate: Gotham's mayor plans to fire Gordon, given the decorated hero cop who made his name fighting crazed terrorists isn't really necessary in the now-peaceful climate. Then Bane executes one of the most devastating terror attacks in United States history.
Thanatos Gambit: Bane and his compatriots seem fine with the idea of letting the bomb kill them too.
Theme Music Power-Up: Hans Zimmer's pounding "Dark Knight" theme commands the scene whenever Batman is doing something awesome, but the most significant example is during Bruce Wayne's final climb out of the pit. The prisoners' chant backs up Bane's theme ("The Fire Rises"), but as Bruce reaches the leap and bats swarm out of a crevice in the wall, his own theme rises to drown out Bane's. Silence falls when he makes the leap, then the "Dark Knight" theme thunders as the prisoners cheer and Bruce escapes.
There Are No Coincidences: Gordon tells Blake that, as a detective, "[he's] not allowed to believe in coincidences anymore". Blake repeats this line verbatim when he arrives at the Broucek Cement Company plant and recognizes the truck driver he met during the stock exchange heist.
Theres No Kill Like Overkill: Selina shoots Bane with the Batpod's main guns. The same guns that are used to blow up blockades of junked cars and destroy Tumblers.
These Hands Have Killed: Blake's reaction to shooting the truck driver and the foreman at the Broucek Cement plant.
Think Nothing of It: After two movies of playing this straight with Gordon, and later in the same movie playing it straight with Blake, Batman sarcastically tells Selina she's welcome for a rescue that she never thanked him for.
This Cannot Be!: Bane looks at the burning bat symbol and says, "Impossible!" Later he tells Batman, "I broke you!"
The Gotham Police. After two films of being an ineffective nuisance riddled with corruption, they really step up their game by the end of the film to the point that whether or not any of them are corrupt, they all rally in for the last battle with Bane's forces.
Batman regains his former fighting skills by the end of the movie. Exemplified in a very specific shot in both fights with Bane: The first time, Batman is shown retreating from Bane, climbing up a set of steps onto a catwalk in the dark, dank underground, panting, injured, and shaking, and when he attacks he does so with a shout that is equal parts desperation and fear. The second time around, there's a shot from the exact same angle, with Batman retreating up the steps onto a stone platform in broad daylight, but when he turns to face Bane, he is rock steady, calm, and silent.
Blake repeatedly takes these throughout the film but particularly so at end, when he's inherited the Batcave, with the implication that he's going to don the mantle of Batman. It helps that his legal first name is "Robin".
Daggett mouthing off to Bane ends the way you would expect (and hope).
The CIA guy at the beginning (played by a much lessmagnificentLittlefinger) apparently doesn't believe that getting caught really was part of Bane's plan, despite the fact that he has quite blatantly and obviously been double-crossed by the guy who handed over people he said worked for Bane, without mentioning that one of them was Bane. invoked
Too Powerful to Live: Not a person, but if Jansen didn't damage Batman's equipment while he was trying to stop Bane in the stock exchange attack, this would likely have been a very short movie.
Too Soon: Apart from the obvious Real Life examples listed on other pages, an in-universe example happens early in the film when Commissioner Gordon is fully prepared to reveal what really happened on the night Harvey Dent died but then, partly out of respect for the holiday he was about to make the revelation on, he decides that it isn't the time or place for such a shocking announcement to be made. Whaddaya know, Bane steals the speech after the wounded Gordon is brought to him.
Training from Hell: In Batman's first encounter with Bane, Batman's combat performance has clearly suffered from eight years of inaction, and Bane easily curbstomps him and then breaks his back. Bane then drops Batman into a seemingly inescapable prison which is repeatedly referred to in-universe as "Hell on Earth." There Batman gets his back fixed and starts strength training again, and during the final battle, Batman shows Bane how much he appreciated the exercise.
Bane and two of his men get themselves "captured" so they can find out exactly who Dr. Pavel has cut a deal with.
Bruce lets himself get captured by Bane's men so that Fox can get him to his backup Batsuit. Selina helps him by pretending to be the one who captures him. Then she declares to the mercenaries that Bane wants Fox and Bruce isolated. Once they are up the stairs, Selina attacks and overpowers the mercenaries and undoes Fox's handcuffs.
Two First Names: This is shared in common between Bruce Wayne, Jim Gordon, Selina Kyle and John Blake.
During the CIA skyjacking, Bane sees one mercenary attempting to attach a harness to himself:
Bane: NO! They expect one of us in the wreckage, brother!
Hooded Man 2: Have we started the fire?
Bane: Yes. The fire rises.
After killing the first of the two thugs who have delivered Gordon to him, Bane tells the second one, "Search him. Then I will kill you." The henchman obeys, searches Gordon's pockets, and then is shot dead by Bane after Gordon escapes.
Later still, we learn that Bane himself has this quality with Talia al Ghul.
Bruce spent years morbidly mourning over Rachel because Alfred let him live with the delusion that Rachel was his one true soul mate and that they would've lived happily ever after if it hadn't been for that damned Joker and, to a lesser extent, Harvey Dent. Giving Bruce the unwanted wake up call that Rachel wasn't the one for him did not go over well, to say the least. Good thing Selina was there at the end.
Bruce underestimates Bane early on in much the same fashion that he underestimated the Joker in the previous film, dismissing Bane as nothing more than another mercenary, just as he'd dismissed the Joker as just another criminal, believing that all he had to do was "fight harder" to beat him. This blows up in his face when he fights Bane the first time, which ends with Bruce being thrown into the Pit with a broken back.
Daggett also makes the mistake of underestimating Bane - or rather overestimating his own control over Bane (he never had any to begin with). See where that got him.
Bane underestimates Bruce after leaving him in the Pit, believing he'll never get free and will therefore live with the shame of his failure for the rest of his life. Naturally, this doesn't work out for him.
Unholy Matrimony: Whether or not their relationship crossed that line, Bane declared himself as Talia's protector when she was just a child, and their relationship has been one of absolute loyalty and mutual trust ever since.
Talia spends a couple of minutes monologuing to Batman about her childhood while holding the detonator instead of pressing it, giving Gordon enough time to temporarily disable the bomb. Batman immediately lampshades this, turning Talia's words right back and saying that the "slow knife" was, in this case, too slow.
Bane spends much of the movie being Dangerously Genre Savvy, but still makes the cardinal villain mistake of leaving Bruce locked in an Oubliette and assumes he'll rot in there until Bane's plan is complete, rather than escape and return for the final battle. Bane even tells Bruce his entire plan after dropping him off in the pit! This is Talia's villain ball as well, since it's her plan too. When given a second chance, Talia makes the same decision, but Bane decides to disobey.
Villains Never Lie: Subverted. Although Bane reads Gordon's speech that reveals the truth about Harvey Dent on the air, he never provides proof that it's genuine or that the information in it is at all true. The subversion, however, comes from the fact that Bane is lying to Gotham about his intentions the whole time and is only reading the speech to sow discord.
Villain Opening Scene: Just like The Dark Knight opens with the Joker and his clowns robbing the bank, The Dark Knight Rises with Bane and his men using a Trojan Prisoner ploy to skyjack a plane and kidnap Dr. Pavel.
Bane has a minor one when he finds out that Batman has returned, which culminates in an extended one over the entire return.
Bane: I broke you!
Villainous Friendship: Jumps between Type I and Type IV between Bane and Talia. In the past, Bane saved her life, and Talia mentions that they loved one another when they were in the League of Shadows; in the present, however, they have seemingly reverted to friendly partners in crime working towards avenging Ra's (with Bane disregarding her wishes and attempting to murder Batman before the detonation).
In absentia, as Two-Face is now hailed as Gotham's greatest public servant, the anti-crime legislation that has apparently helped destroy the local crime syndicates has been named the Dent Act in his honor, and the movie opens with the Mayor declaring it Harvey Dent Day in honor of the city's fallen hero.
Bane gains a large following of Gothamites who follow his bogus revolutionary claims.
Visionary Villain: Bane believes, as the League of Shadows did, that destroying Gotham will benefit the rest of the world, and will fulfill Ra's al-Ghul's destiny.
Visual Pun: John Blake is implied to be the heir to the mantle of the Dark Knight and as he stands on the platform in the Batcave, he rises.
Waif-Fu: Selina Kyle. The disarming front she presents is more psychological than physical, given that Anne Hathaway is 5'9", so it's not so much that she's tiny as it is her ability to come off as meek.
War On Cops: Multiple examples, including Bane trapping most of the police force underground, while the ones left on the surface are being actively hunted down like dogs by the radicals and mercenaries that Bane has put in charge.
Well-Intentioned Extremist: Bane casts himself as one of these when he locks down Gotham, claiming that he's starting a revolution to end the corruption of the rich. In reality, he just wants to bring the worst of Gotham into the public eye.
Selina Kyle escapes an attempt on her life in the bar by tricking Stryver into using a "kidnapped" congressman's cell phone to call a SWAT team . After she shoots two of the mercenaries dead by herself with Stryver's pistol, the SWAT team barges in, and Selina screams like a distressed hostage. While the SWAT team chases Bane's men out the back door and engages them in a shootout, Selina calmly strides out the front door and passes herself off as an innocent bystander to Blake.
After the stock exchange robbery, Bane manages to escape from the police cars chasing him when they are suddenly distracted by Batman's appearance and Foley ordering them to switch their focus from the madman who just shot up the trading floor to the guy who supposedly killed Harvey Dent eight years ago.
In context, one believes that the police force going underground to smoke Bane out may have been timed around the football game because they wanted the media to be focused on something other than the "training exercise" the police were carrying out.
Wham Episode: This movie has multiple scenes that the film as a whole is one.
Early on, it seems John Daggett has hired Bane for his plan to drive Bruce bankrupt and take over Wayne Enterprises. But eventually Bane points out to Daggett that he doesn't need Daggett's patronage when he can just kill him and seize his resources—which he does (Bane needs Daggett's construction crews to rig building sites with explosive charges).
Soon after, Batman confronts Bane and gets his ass kicked. Things go extremely downhill from there, with Gotham devolving into chaos and anarchy due to Batman being put in a prison far from Gotham. Without Batman, many people in Gotham follow Bane as a Dark Messiah, Bane holds the city hostage with a nuclear bomb which he secretly wants to detonate regardless, and almost all of Gotham's police are trapped underground. Even the military and the US government are powerless to stop Bane, due to the bomb threat.
Then it is revealed that Miranda Tate, who was seemingly a nice and helpful Love Interest for Bruce, is actually Talia al Ghul, mastermind of the whole plot. And then it seems that Batman actually dies saving the entire city. This also means that letting Daggett take over Wayne Enterprises was never the plan; Bane always intended for Talia to be the boss. Daggett was Plan B at best.
Finally, Bruce faked his own death, ran off with Selina, and seemingly passed the Batman legacy on to Blake.
Despite the night of Harvey Dent's death 8 years earlier being a major plot point in Rises, the Joker is never mentioned. This was a decision on Christopher Nolan's part after the passing of Joker's actor Heath Ledger. However, the end of The Dark Knight has The Joker being arrested by SWAT teams. In the novelization of Rises, it is revealed that Joker was made the sole inmate of Arkham Asylum (since it is abandoned after the events of Batman Beginsdue to being in an area that was flooded with Crane's fear toxin).
Selina Kyle's friend, Jen, disappears in the third act and is never mentioned again.
The Scarecrow's fate is never revealed, though presumably he escaped yet again in the aftermath of all the chaos. There is a shot where police have captured city hall after the big bomb is detonated, which implies that Crane may have been recaptured at last.
Also, the fate of Hines Ward, the sole football player to survive the field implosion at the stadium. As soon as he's seen looking back, we cut to shots of the bridges into Manhattan being blown up, then Bane's men storm the grandstands with rifles and take the spectators hostage, and then we see Bane, Barsad, and a third mercenary march onto the remains of the playing field to address the crowd...but Ward is not seen. The novelization says he quickly fled, shitting his pants, while the stadium is off-camera.
What Have I Done: Selina's face when she gets to observe just how terrifying Bane is after she leads Batman to him.
What Measure Is a Mook?: Blake is noticeably shaken after he shoots the truck driver and the foreman at the cement plant. Given that he states he's only been a cop for about a year, we can safely infer that this is his first on-duty use of lethal force.
Bane: I'm Gotham's reckoning, here to end the borrowed time you've all been living on.
What the Hell Is That Accent?: Bane's accent, according to Tom Hardy, is supposedly based on an Irish Traveller. In Bane's first fight with Batman alone, it seems like Hardy's voice does a full tour of Europe.
Blake calls Gordon out after Bane divulges his confession of the Harvey Dent cover-up. It is also implied that at least part of the reason why Gordon's wife left him was because she was disgusted with how he was cynically glorifying Dent, the man who had tried to kill their son.
Blake also calls out the armed forces who decided to implode the Queensboro Bridge, having ignored his warning that that the bomb is going to be detonated anyway and thus stranding the bus full of orphans he was trying to rescue inside of the blast-radius.
When You Snatch the Pebble: The Hellhole Prison has no guards or locks. It's just buried ten stories underground at the bottom of a giant hole open to the sky, with seemingly more than enough handholds on the walls... but it's false hope. Most lack the physical strength to climb it, and those that do fall for the hidden trap—a jump from one ledge to another that is just slightly too far for most people to make, meaning that escape is utterly impossible unless you are willing to risk certain death by making the jump without the safety rope. And if you miss it, the results will be extremely painful....for you.
Where The Hell Is The Pit?: The Pit is... somewhere hot and sandy. The chanting is Moroccan Arabic, but that's about the only hint we get. For all it's worth, the exteriors of the prison were filmed in India. Maybe it was there, or it could have been in Morocco (which would be more likely the case given that that is Ominous Moroccan Arabic Chanting we hear down there) or even Algeria, given that Ras and Talia seem to be French.
Whole Plot Reference: A balding, Death Seeker foreign mercenary-terrorist deemed extreme by his own group, who Feels No Pain after a rescue of a young girl gone wrong, comes out of the shadows after several years to wreck havoc either because he has been hired or to enact his revenge scheme against the heroes; in fact, he is working for / with the Love Interest of the hero, who was posing as an Honest Corporate Executive but is in fact a vengeful Diabolical Mastermind with daddy issues plotting to set off an atypical nuclear bomb in a major city - using a plot to revolutionise the fuel market as a cover. The hero must overcome a crippling injury (that actually doesn't bother him as much as it should) and team-up with another Love Interest (who gave him up to the vilains earlier, albeit because she didn't know the full story) to save the day. Why do I get the feeling that apart from names, this film is a remake of The World Is Not Enough?
Wife Husbandry: Bane and Talia, depending on your interpretation. Talia says that he 'loved her'.
Woman in Black: Selina Kyle wears black outfits in practically all of her scenes
Worst Aid: Spine out of alignment? There's a fist for that. Particularly jarring, since Bane breaks Batman's back from behind him, and the punch is from the same spot, rather than the opposite one. In reality, it's far more likely that the punch would, if anything, make the problem even worse.
Wouldn't Hit a Girl: Selina claims Bruce follows this trope, however she does not have the same standards when it comes to cripples and points this out while kicking a cane out from underneath him.
Despite Selina's comment about Bruce following Wouldn't Hit a Girl, Batman would hurt women if it is necessary, and indeed, in the end he's forced to.
Bane demonstrates during the Stock Exchange robbery that gender is not a factor in who he chooses to atack. His first combat action once he walks through the metal detectors is to use his motorcycle helmet to disarm three security guards. The first one, the female, he smacks in the nose so hard that you can feel it in the movie theatre. Ouch. Also, the hostage he has on his motorcycle when escaping is female.
Wounded Gazelle Gambit: During the bar shootout, Selina goes from master thief when shooting two of Bane's henchmen, to screaming damsel-in-distress in the blink of an eye when the SWAT team breaches the bar. She drops this façade after Blake takes her to safety.
Xanatos Gambit: It doesn't matter whether via Daggett's takeover operation of Wayne Enterprises with Bane or by helping out Bruce's company in their time of need, Miranda Tate/Talia Al Ghul will get the fusion reactor as her nuclear bomb.
You Can't Go Home Again: Bruce, in a metaphorical sense, feels this way about being unable to move on after Rachel's death. As Alfred points out, Bruce chose to stop being Batman but he didn't even try to become Bruce Wayne again in the intervening years. In a literal sense, Bruce later fakes his death to start a new life with Selina.
This appears to be the retirement package when you work for Bane. Curiously, you'll find that his men are still fanatically loyal. At one point, he tells a guy he's going to shoot him in a minute, but the henchman still follows orders.
Stryver and Daggett's men are planning to do this to Selina Kyle when she hands Bruce's fingerprints to them in the bar. Selina happens to be aware of that and she's prepared for it.