SPOILER ALERT: Five Things That Made ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ So Awesome

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bill-swift - July 26, 2012

From the early reviews, it was clear that Christopher Nolan had accomplished something good with The Dark Knight Rises.

Along with the rest of the audience, I gasped, I cursed, and I felt my eyes well up on several occasions. Christian Bale did a great job, Anne Hathawaywas amazing, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt surprisingly stood out. The Dark Knight Rises definitely kicked ass--and let me tell you why.

The Fall. So Batman disappears for eight years and decides to come back because of Bane. Batman doesn't stand a chance, but he believes he can defeat Bane and tries anyway. He fails, and thus, we have the fall of Bruce Wayne, shown so painfully and explicitly that people were left wondering how he could ever come back from all those injuries--both physical and emotional. Batman's fall set the stage for the entire movie and emphasized the human element of one of DC's most beloved superheros.

The Rise. Scene after scene of mass destruction plays out, and all we keep seeing is Bruce Wayne lying down on his back in pain or hanging from the rope after missing the jump to escape the prison. It's disheartening but it also builds us up for Batman's return. Then we see the power of words, which sparked a fire in Bruce Wayne and gave him the strength and the determination to get out and save the city which he has protected for years as Batman. He gave everyone in the theater a reason to cheer when he finally made the jump and climbed out of the prison.

The Twist. Miranda Tate is Talia al Ghul? Now who saw that coming? I know I didn't. She slept with Bruce Wayne, for crying out loud, and now she's stabbing him in the back with a knife and twisting it for good measure? Damn.

The Reveal. Let's skip to the part where Batman has saved Gotham City by riding out into the sunset in the Bat with the nuclear bomb in tow. Presumably, he dies. Bruce Wayne's will is read out, Alfred mourns his passing, and John Blake grabs the duffel bag that Wayne left him, which we later find out contains directions to the bat cave. But as he leaves, his full name is revealed: Robin John Blake. Whoa--John Blake is Robin? Holy bat!

The Conclusion. As the end credits neared, it seemed like Nolan really meant it when he said that the legend was ending. But then, two crucial scenes: Commissioner Gordon finding the bat signal all fixed up and Lucius Fox finding out that someone had resolved the Bat's autopilot issue--six months ago. And that someone was Bruce Wayne. It's the final scene that ties everything together: we see Alfred take a seat at a cafe in Florence, the same one he described to Bruce Wayne earlier during his monologue. Alfred looks up, spots someone he knows, and nods slightly. The camera then pans to who he's looking at: Bruce Wayne, alive and healthy, sitting across the table from Selina Kyle who looks just as happy as he does. Can you say perfect ending?

But weigh in. What did you think?

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