Top 5 Favorite Moments From: The Dark Knight Rises

This is the first entry to my new editorial series: Top 5 Favorite Moments From (or T5FM). I think the title is pretty self explanatory but I basically take a movie and pick my personal five favorite scenes from that movie. Then, you can go into the comments and say why you either agree or disagree with me. For the first one ever, the movie I am doing is The Dark Knight Rises. Warning- there are spoilers!

The Dark Knight Rises:

Let me start with a quick little review of the movie, so you can see where I'm coming from. I love this movie. It's not as good as its predecessor, The Dark Knight, but it is still an incredible film. Bane is one of my favorite villains I have seen on screen and overall it is a great experience. So let's get into my Top 5 Favorite Moments from The Dark Knight Rises:

#5 Stock Exchange

I said before that Bane is one of my favorite screen villains of all time and this scene really shows why I love him as a villain. He has strong views of what's wrong with government and class oppression. He's an advocate of the 1%, a liberator, despite the fact that his methods are brutal and violent. While Bane is strong and a physical threat, he is also extremely intelligent, calculating and a master planner. This scene shows his ability to plan. We start out by seeing the rich, wealthy stock brokers getting their shoes shined by a lower-class worker, who, after having a dollar bill thrown at him like a dog, grabs a machine gun. Bane has men inside the system; moles in the infrastructure. Bane walks into the building with a motorcycle helmet on. He is asked to take it off and goes off on these people, He rips through them with such ferocity that you immediately think "Oh Sh*t! Batman doesn't stand a chance against this guy!" 

Bane then takes over the room. His men shoot down the screens with all the stock figures on them. You can hear the wealthy people in the room scream out in anger as their money is taken from them. And just from a few lines, we can see Bane's intentions. A man yells at him "This is a stock exchange! There's no money you can steal here!" Bane responds "Really? Then why are you people here?" Just from that, we can see Bane's views about class and his hatred for the wealthy, especially because of how he was raised in "hell-on-earth" as we learn about later in the movie. Bane hacks the system and, though we don't know it at the time, he is actually taking Bruce Wayne's money. At this point, the police are outside the building, waiting for Bane. They know he has hostages and they are trying to figure out their plan. That's when Bane decides to "go mobile".

The doors open. Hostages begin pouring out. Suddenly, motorcycles burst out, with hostages strapped in, screaming. The police can't take any shots because they might hit a hostage. Bane and his men ride off, dropping hostages along the way. They use the police barricades to their advantage, using them as ramps to escape. What I love so much about this is that director Christopher Nolan knows how to up the anti. He knows how to take, what could have easily been a mediocre scene and really make it intense. He has them getting away, on motorcycles, with hostages strapped in for the ride. 
The scene is not just overly badass, it gives us a true sense of what kind of villain Bane is. He's calculating, cold, ruthless and a real threat. 

#4 The Final Battle

After having his back broken by Bane, Batman finally gets to fight back. He, in ever sense of the word, has been broken. Physically, mentally, emotionally and now Batman is back to take on Bane and win the fight for Gotham. But Bane isn't going down easily. I love how this fight starts. All the cops line up, ready to fight. All of them. All of Bane's men, the mercenaries are lined up. The two sides are ready for battle. The cops screaming "We're the only police of this city!" Batman soars in on the Bat, fires at a Tumbler, and the battle begins. The cops rush in and it's full-out mayhem. The reason this epic fight works so well is because it was entirely practical. The cops and mercenaries weren't digitally enhanced to make more of them: everyone was really there.

It's full out chaos. We keep getting glimpses of Bane in his individual fights, brutally taking down cops. We can see in his eyes the pure anger building up and his fighting gets more and more vicious. We see Batman taking down mercenaries. They both near each other. Then, they see the other. They get ready for the fight. 

The fight choreography is fantastic. We see Bane start out slow, not taking his opponent seriously. But as soon as Batman damages his mask, Bane becomes enraged and that's when we see him in all his glory. My favorite shot of this whole scene is when Bane is punching Batman and Batman moves to the side, but Bane is so worked up that he doesn't stop and tears apart a pillar, breaking chunks off. Just in that moment we see the raw power of Bane and it's incredible. It would be kind of cheating to include the reveal of Miranda Tate as Talia al Ghul in this scene, but I just wanted to comment on something that happens to Bane in that moment (which would probably have to be #6 on a total list). Talia is telling the story of how she was the one in the pit, and Bane was her protector, and a tear runs down Bane's cheek. I don't think I have ever seen a villain like this cry. We just saw how powerful and brutal Bane is and now he's crying. It just added another whole dimension to his character.

#3 The Prologue

As you can probably tell by now, Bane is one of my favorite, if not the favorite, parts of the movie. This plane-jacking scene has badass written all over it. It's flawless, in my opinion. From its set-up of Bane, to its dialogue, to its music. Bane was perfectly set up. We see nuclear expert Dr. Paval brought onto a plane by a few of Bane's henchmen, with a few masked prisoners. The guy running the show, the owner of the plane, threatens these prisoners for information on Bane, when none of them talk one of the prisoners speaks out: "Or perhaps he's wonder why anyone would shoot a man, before throwing him out of a plane!" The bag comes off and it's Bane. Our first look at him. This leads me into the scene's dialogue. Every line Bane says is a memorable quote. From "No one cared who I was before I put on the mask" to "Calm down, doctor, now is not the time for fear. That comes later." to "Yes, the fire rises!". I can literally recite all of Bane's dialogue from this scene, it is that memorable.

The action in this scene is great. We have Bane talking to the owner of the plane, distracting him. Then, the owner says "So what's next of your master plan?!" and Bane responds "Crashing this plane!" That's when we see an even bigger plane fly over the one they're in. Men repel from the plane on ropes. They attach the ropes to the plane and suddenly, as you can see in the picture above, the larger plane overtakes the smaller one. One of the reasons why this is so awesome is because how much practical effects Nolan used. It wasn't just a green screen and digital effects. They actually had planes up in the air and set pieces on rotates to simulate the plane shaking. It's beautifully executed.

The music in this scene is eerie and suspenseful. It's the first we hear Bane's theme, the "deshi basa" chanting, which I have to admit, trumps the Joker's theme in The Dark Knight. There's just this commanding presence from the music and has you on the edge of your seat.

#2 First Fight

Batman's first encounter with Bane is perfect. Batman has just resurfaced after not being Batman for eight years and is now ready to take on Bane. But Bane is an even greater threat than Batman suspected. First off, the action is fantastic. There's no music in the background, which just shows this scene in all its glory. The action is so well directed and choreographed. There is no shaky cam or quick editing. There's long, wide takes that exactly show you what is going on and you can physically feel every blow Batman takes. 

Similar to the prologue sequence, all the dialogue in this scene is highly quotable. From "Let's not stand on ceremony here." to "Theatricality and deception. Powerful agents to the uninitiated, but we are initiated, aren't we Bruce?" When Batman is fighting Bane, we slowly begin to realize that maybe Batman isn't going to win this one. It's his first big fight since being back as Batman, and we can see how out of it he really is. Bane says to him of this "Victory has defeated you." and "You fight like a younger man with nothing held back. Admirable but mistaken." Lastly, about dialogue, I wanted to point out probably my favorite line from Bane out of the whole movie. Batman shuts down the lights and it is almost pitch black. Bane actually laughs, saying "Ah, you think darkness is your ally. You merely adopted the dark. I was born in it. Molded by it. And I didn't see the light until I was already a man and by then it was nothing to me but blinding. The shadows betray you because they belong to me!" That has to be my favorite line of Bane's out of the whole movie. 

And, of course, Bane breaks Batman's back. Since I heard that Bane would be the villain of this movie, I was always wondering whether Nolan would mirror the comics and have Bane breaks Batman's back over his knee. So when I saw Bane lift Batman over his head, my mouth literally dropped in the theater. I was so excited. Then Bane threw Batman down and you hear the crack. Even though I knew it was going to happen and had anticipated it, I was shocked.

Before I get to my number one pick, here are some honorable mentions: Talia al Ghul reveal: I mentioned it earlier about no just being a cool reveal, but the depth it added to Bane's character. Gotham's Reckoning: when Dagget confronts Bane, screaming and yelling at him, Bane scares him so much he practically begs for mercy right before Bane snaps his neck. Bar Shootout: when Selina Kyle is betrayed and she lures the cops to a bar she's in, we see her instantaneously turn from an evil criminal to playing a helpless, screaming girl. How she's able to manipulate everyone is fantastic. Permission to Die: When Bane leaves Wayne in the pit, he talks to him about hope and how it can be used as a weapon. Football: Bane destroys parts of Gotham and then threatens the world at Gotham's football game.

#1 Black Gate Prison Speech

This scene was the highlight of the movie for me. Bane pulls up in front of Black Gate prison with his men, ready to free the inmates. Here, he gives a whole speech about freeing the oppressed and letting the poor rise up and taking down the wealthy by "tearing them from their decadent nests and casting them out into the cold world that we know and endure." Everything Bane says in this movie is just beautifully written, but having an entire speech by him. 

Bane breaks the inmates free and gives them weapons. We then see them, as Bane speaks, terrorize and kill the wealthy and the rich, taking Gotham for themselves. The music rises in intensity and there is just such an awesome feeling as we see these events play out, the total chaos that is ensuing. I love this scene for both the dialogue and for how these events were shot, showing just the perfect amount without going over the top. It is without doubt my favorite scene from the movie.

What do you think? Did you like The Dark Knight Rises? What were some of your favorite moments? Do you agree with my list? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.

Written by: Nate
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