The Dark Knight Rises: Top Five Movie Mistakes

According to the popular website Movie Mistakes, Marvel's The Avengers is the most mistake-filled movie of 2012 so far--but that doesn't mean we can't take a look at some of our other favorite films to see where they stack up.

Since the "mistakes" are user-generated on the site, a lot of the time things will be tagged as problems with the film, when they're really problems with the viewer's comprehension, and those we're not interested in--but the ones that appear to have some merit? Those are worth looking at, and seeing what, if anything, they say about Christopher Nolan's final Batman film.

The Stadium Scene

According to one viewer, the play clock at the Gotham Rogues game is moving throughout the terrorist attack (no great surprise, right? I mean, who would take the time to turn it off?)--but very slowly. "During the stadium scene, the clock shows 15:00, then, just before Bane kills the doctor, you can see the clock in the background show 14:44," claims one user.

But that's not the only complaint people had with the scene, with the "packed" stadium appearing empty in certain shots, particularly some solo shots of Bane, where empty seats can be seen behind him. Might this have been a case where there just wasn't the time or money to fill up the stands behind him a second time during reshoots?

Where was Miranda Tate?

This one plays into one of the big complaints I've heard from people who didn't like the movie--that Miranda Tate's actions and whereabouts leading up to the big reveal that she's actually Talia al Ghul made less and less sense throughout the first act.

Says one user, "After Scarecrow exacts punishment on Gordon and crew, Miranda Tate is taken by Bane. The next shot she is with Fox when Bruce Wayne is brought in and Catwoman fights off a couple of the mercenaries. At the end she is held captive once again with Bane."

That's the same problem that a friend and fellow comics writer had when he discussed the film with me on Facebook just after its release. According to him:

When Gordon and Miranda Tate are trying to find the bomb, they are captured by Bane's men, and taken to Scarecrow's kangaroo court. They are sentenced to death, and Bane says, "Bring the woman to me," and Miranda Tate is taken by Bane's goons. Immediately afterwards, Wayne re-enters the city, and goes to Wayne Enterprises, where he meets with Lucius Fox and... Miranda Tate. Then, later, when he rescues Gordon on the ice, he says, "Where's Miranda Tate?" even though he just saw her, and Gordon answers, "She's with Bane," which Batman doesn't even question.

So, either there was some dumb editing that put her at Wayne Enterprises when she should have been with Bane, or she came and went from Bane's custody, and Batman couldn't put it together. Either way, terrible storytelling.

There's more, but far be it from me to take away his story idea in case he wants to use it. In any case, I wasn't put off by the sequence of events in revolving around Talia, but I think it may be a question of a minor continuity issue that seems bigger if you're already not impressed. His rating of the film was 6 out of 10 while mine was 9 out of 10, so even if we both noticed the same continuity issues, it's likely they would have bothered him more.

Is John Blake Superman?

There does seem to be some weird invulnerability happening to John Blake and the people immediately around them, we'll give you that. There are two separate items that seem to question what's going on around Blake at different times in the story, both of which revolve around this notion that things seem to go mysteriously, randomly well for Blake.

  • Joseph Gordon-Levitt commandeers a car to rescue Commissioner Gordon, he drives through exploding streets, falling debris and smoke, but when he arrives at the hospital the car's exterior appears in pristine condition. Looks like he stopped to have the car detailed between shots.
  • When officer Blake faces the cops on the bridge and forces them to shoot at his feet to scare him off, the ricochet line to the fired shots would all have pointed to the orphans standing behind officer Blake.
Sure, these are both grasping at straws and they're really minor issues--but it's interesting that when you put them together they paint a picture of a character who may have been a little bit of a Mary Sue for Nolan.

The Ticking Clock Doesn't Tick

...Or maybe just that it doesn't track. According to one poster, there's a point in the film where the characters reference having only eleven minutes left--then, after that statement, the bomb is shown onscreen with seventeen minutes on the counter, which then changes to ten minutes when the camera goes in for a closer look.

This one's a little harder to explain, other than to say that this kind of thing is a minor error that's often not caught in films. The problem? This is a $300 million movie with a ton of scrutiny directed at it, and the "ticking clock" is a major part of the plot throughout the film's third act, meaning that the kind of simple gaffe anyone could make at any time turns into a problem.

And I'm no physicist, but really: Did anyone buy that we'd know exactly when the core would collapse and explode, down to the second? Remember that we're not talking about a real bomb here, that's been set to detonate. It was only ever going to explode because being removed from its housing had made the core unstable. Instability is rarely predictable down to tenths of a second.

What Time is It?

This is a recurring question that people have raised, epitomized by one observation: "The scene in which commissioner Gordon is being sent to death by exile the shot of him from behind walking onto the ice is daytime, the next shot he's walked two steps and it's night time."

That's not the first or only time I've heard someone talk about that particular problem with the film's timeline. Batman has a similar beat, where suddenly it's dark without real explanation. It's a cinema move, I think--Nolan's films took place almost completely in the dark, and for the last scene of the finale to happen during the day would'nt have fit the look of the trilogy. Doesn't mean he couldn't plan ahead a bit, though...!