Did Bruce Wayne Live & Superman Help in “The Dark Knight Rises?”

by on March 17, 2013

in Entertainment

'The Dark Knight Rises' character rundown

I happened to have slapped in The Dark Knight Rises in my Blu-ray player to kill some time. I had no ulterior motive but to pass the time. But then it being a Christopher Nolan film, that tends to make me watch with more of a keen eye than most movies.

But after watching the film, I indeed, had a few inquiries!

If you haven’t seen The Dark Knight Rises, and plan to, then either proceed at your own risk or go away. A few spoilers are likely to spill forth was I speak my thoughts here!

You’ve been warned.

The Dark Knight Rises spoiler conversation

We all love our “movie conjecture” games and we all love it when filmmakers create the kind of content that helps make these moments keeping us wondering long after the final credits have rolled on the big silver screen.

Such is the case with Agent Coulson appearing to die in The Avengers. Thus we wondered if Bruce Wayne survived the A-bomb explosion at the end of The Dark Knight Rises.

We all “knew” that this was Christopher Nolan’s last Dark Knight themed Batman movie. It was the trilogy-closing chapter. In it we saw Bruce confront Bane, get broken, and come back. We were introduced to “Robin,” of sorts, and we were also introduced to how the mantle of the Batman could be carried on.

But as the movie winds down, and Bane’s A-bomb threatens everyone in the city, it’s up to our hero to save the day.

But there were so many curious moments or mentions to distract us from a clean ending.

For one, was Alfred’s fantasy at the beginning of the movie. His hope of one day seeing Bruce in a cafe in Paris, living out his life. (In that scene, the seats were all dark red and there were dark red roses on Alfred’s table.)

Another point was the issue with the Bat. The autopilot was broken, per Lucius Fox. And as the movie was winding down, Batman even told Catwoman that the autopilot was broken and that he would have to pilot it manually while dragging the bomb out to sea.

And then we watched Batman fly the bomb out to sea and watch it explode.

But then we see Bruce’s private funeral. We watch Alfred at his favorite Cafe in Paris, seeing Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle at another table. And some workers letting Lucius Fox know that the autopilot was indeed fixed.

(The seat colors were a light red and the flowers on Alfred’s table were a variety, not red, like in his first vision. I have no clue if the different colors mean anything, but I had noticed them.)

So what was that? Was Alfred hallucinating? Did Bruce actually get out of the Bat on the way out to the explosion scene?

And most importantly to me, was a question posed to Bruce Wayne, by Selina, right after he broke back into Gotham City.

Selina: Do you have your powerful friend on the case?
Bruce: I’m trying but I need Lucius Fox.

What I find curious about this interchange was how Selina asked this question. Why would she phrase it that way? She already knew who Bruce was. They were alone. There was no need for hiding his identity. But then again, how did Bruce get out of the Bat in time to get far enough away from the blast? He was shown piloting the craft mere moments before the explosion.

Well, my only guesses I have for those last two points is this old marketing promo art that came out for The Dark Knight Rises early on in the marketing campaign… Look under the tip of the left wing, and my subsequent close-up:

"Dark Knight Rises" promo with Superman symbol"Dark Knight Rises" promo with Superman symbol - close up

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And if you look at the cover of your DVD/Blu-ray:

"The Dark Knight Rises" blu-ray

The Dark Knight Rises (Blu-ray/DVD Combo+UltraViolet Digital Copy)

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It could all be completely coincidental clues that I’m seeing. It doesn’t help my mental state, with Nolan producing the upcoming Man of Steel movie either!  (I’m secretly hoping to see some sort of nod in that movie.  Hey, we can all hope!  Can’t we?)

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I've been writing newsletters since 1999. I've worked for some great sites over the years and have had my work focused on by major networks and radio stations. Now I've been focusing on the entertainment consumer angle on mostly the sci-fi, fantasy and action genres of TV, movies and books. Mostly.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Peter Cawdron March 20, 2013 at 12:11 am

Well, you were right about Agent Coulson, but I can’t see Superman bailing out the Bat, as it would be a non-sequitur (it does not follow). It would be so utterly out of place in the story. But, then, we did have a bad guy who wired the city with explosives and then patiently waited for the good guy to (a) recover from a spinal injury (b) climb out of an inescapable prison and (c) infiltrate a locked-down island/city.

Apparently, for months, Bane was in no hurry to destroy Gotham, and then he changed his mind(?)

I think the nuke-at-sea is just more tangential story telling, ie, if we go off on this surprise tangent, it will really ratchet up the tension. To me, that (and Batman with a broken back) weakened would should have been a A+ story.

Bruce Simmons March 20, 2013 at 6:11 am

Peter, Nolan has always said that the characters in his movies are in their own worlds, and no other character (superhero-like) exists in the telling of his tales.

But with his producing MAN OF STEEL, the funky looking logo, the fact that the JUSTICE LEAGUE movie needs a boost to start building momentum, it almost makes sense that there be some introductory moment like this.

And the clues are rather contradictory. “Powerful friend” statement, autopilot broken, seeing him in the cockpit moments before the explosion, that the autopilot was fixed, and that pesky logo in the promo material are killing me!!!

But if it doesn’t come to pass, so be it. I’m fine with it, though I’d be curious about the logo, unless it was just Nolan’s paying homage to his (at the time) new movie he’ll be working on.

Peter Cawdron March 20, 2013 at 2:09 pm

Like you, I see no other way Batman could survive a nuclear blast with five seconds left on the clock, but I doubt Nolan was working in a superman play, as that would be even more disruptive than the already jarring tangent of fly-the-nuke-out-to-sea-and-survive. I think it was just lazy story telling.

If superman was in this fictional world, he could cleaned up Bane and his thugs in a matter of seconds at any point in the last 6-9 months of the movie timeline.

But as for the logo hidden in the poster, that certainly could be a nod to his superman movie.

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