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    Default How the Dark Knight Could Have Been Better (SPOILERS!!!)

    Things That Would Have Made “The Dark Knight Rises” Better


    As we all know, one of the most anticipated movies of the year was “The Dark Knight Rises”. The whole world was just dying to see how the journey of Batman would end and to see if it could possibly top its predecessor. There were some questions that popped up as more info about the movie began to leak out. Questions like “How will Bane be portrayed in Nolan’s realistic world of Batman” or “How does Catwoman figure into all this and why was Anne Hatheway cast?”
    Needless to say, with all the hype it was virtually impossible for this movie to not be disappointing to the general public. The movie has divided fans and critics. Some saying it was awful, some indifferent, and some enjoyed it greatly. I had tempered my expectations about The Dark Knight Rises, knowing that Threequels tend to fall short in many series (Spiderman 3, X-Men 3 and many others that are too numerous to list here). The most apt comparison could be that The Dark Knight Rises is Return of the Jedi to The Dark Knight’s Empire Strikes Back. This is because the sequel was phenomenal and the third part was good enough to satisfy the need for closure but suffered from some major flaws and things that could have been better if done just a little differently without changing the story. For example, originally it was going to be Wookies in the climactic final battle instead of Ewoks. Look me in the eye and tell me you prefer how it turned out.
    I enjoyed the Dark Knight Rises. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that there were some changes that could have been made that would have made for a more satisfying experience without affecting the ultimate outcome of the movie or even the story. Now obviously I’m not a film expert and I don’t claim to be smarter than the director or writers (there’s a reason they are famous and I am not). However, I will say that it seemed to me that Nolan only made the movie because he felt like he had to. My opinion and that’s all. I am writing this assuming that whoever reads it has seen the movies and knows what I am talking about so I don’t have to go through every detail of the original plot. There are major spoilers, so those who have not seen the movie should look away I will now list the things I would have liked to see done differently to conclude this trilogy.


    1. No Batman for Eight Years?
    I have no problem with this movie jumping ahead in time. Its necessary to show that Gotham has changed and that Bruce Wayne is very weary of the world that he lives in. The problem I do have with this is that Bruce Wayne hasn’t been Batman for 8 years since the death of Harvey Dent. So why is he so weary and struggling with the fact that he wants to be Batman but knows that he can no longer be Batman? He was retired longer than he was actually active.
    This is how I think it should have gone down. Instead of Batman being inactive for 8 years, how about he continues to act as Batman for some arbitrary amount of years (lets say six years) after taking the heat for the death of Harvey Dent. This would have been more of a sacrifice for Bruce Wayne and making his retirement more of a personal struggle because he would have been fully consumed by secrecy and the added stress of having crime and the law against him would have taken a greater toll on him. Also it opens up the possibility in the audience’s mind that Batman probably faced the Riddler or the Penguin or even the Joker again some time during that time span. This could play out easily. First, open up the movie with a really awesome sequence that shows Batman busting some bad guys. Throw in a cameo from one of Batman’s lesser know villains. During this scene we see him injure his knee and beat the crap out of some people. At this point we understand that he knows that he has to hang of the cape and cowl. Then jump to where the movie originally starts a couple years later with Bane hijacking the plan and then the scene at the banquet at Wayne Manor. See? The basic plot is the exact same to this point. The only difference is this: “Master Wayne, you haven’t been Batman for eight years” to “Master Wayne, you haven’t been Batman for two years.”
    Another interesting point: Why the hell would Bruce have even bothered to improve the Batcave if he stopped being Batman since the end of the previous film? Food for thought.

    2. Is He Robin or Not Robin?
    Ok this change is a little more radical but bear with me and hear me out. The plot deviates a little here but once again it does not changed the ultimate outcome. First, a bit of a preface. Since the casting of Joseph Gordon-Levitt, there was a lot of speculation on what his role would be. He’s kind of big name to be just some cop in the new Batman movie. This is where rumors went wild. Well he’s got to be Robin. I was fairly certain that his character was not Batman’s sidekick. First of all, from the beginning Christopher Nolan and Christian Bale denied that Robin would ever be a part of this series. Secondly, there is no version of Robin that I know of that (A) Wasn’t a kid (B) Was a Cop (C) Name was John Blake or (D) Actually had Robin in his name. For these reasons I was very confident that the character played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt was not Robin and would be just one more actor fighting for screen time. But lo and behold! Who else was he but the boy wonder? Why didn’t they just come out and say it? Ok he’s Robin.
    Everything I listed above makes the filmmakers look like they were forced to include Robin in the story by the studio and that they didn’t have the balls to even try to make Robin work in this world and be cool. Hey Nolan, ever played Batman: Arkham City? They managed to make Robin not lame. Why couldn’t you? I understand that movies have to be self contained and can’t completely adhere to the continuity of comic books but to completely ditch everything that makes a character and conjure up something entirely different out of the blue is a little ridiculous.
    There are plenty of talented young actors out there. And when I say young here, I mean someone under the age of twenty at least. Find someone you like and cast him as Dick Grayson instead of “John Blake”. Here is where you are now given some liberties to make the character work in the world of the movie. He’s a kid and his parents are dead in the comic books. It would have worked in the movie too. Maybe he’s even a part of that youth center for young boys or whatever. Hey his parents are dead and he’s kind of on his own so it would make sense. Already I’m bringing back some of the original plot. And instead of him being just some regular punk kid with a troubled life, make him have a gift or a skill that sets him apart. Not gymnastics like in the comic books. But you know what else involves flipping and jumping and great acrobatic skill? Parkour! Why not? It’s a comic book movie so its not that insane to think that a kid with nothing better to do in a big city with tall buildings would do something dangerous like that. It’s a skill that translates into who Robin is.
    I’m going to start connecting it a little more to the original plot and talk a little bit about why it makes more sense. In the original plot John Blake somehow “just figured out” that Bruce Wayne was Batman and pretty much confronts him about it. In a more faithful rendition maybe the trouble seeker Dick Grayson sneaks onto the property and somehow meets Bruce Wayne and says that he suspects that he is Batman only to have these suspicions confirmed when he stumbles upon the Batcave. I don’t know why he would have snuck onto the property. There is a connection between Bruce Wayne and the youth center plot. I’m not a writer; the filmmakers should have figured something out. Ok now at this point, while everything else is pretty much occurring about the same way as it would have in the original plot, Bruce takes the kid as a disciple of sorts and plans on training him and instilling in him the values that Batman represents. This subplot would have taken up just as much time and the original one. We will come back to Robin in a later segment because we have to move on to other things but we covered the basics on why the final result was flawed and how it could have been better.

    3. Remember when I told you I would never give up on you? I lied
    Alfred, a great character that ultimately goes to waste and as a result Michael Caine is hardly in the movie. In the original plot, Alfred basically decides that it hurts him too much to see Bruce destroy himself by being Batman again and leaves. What happened to the whole “You haven’t given up on me” and “Never” schlock. Never say never. Anyways, what should have happened is that Alfred expresses his grievances and get emotional and breaks our hearts like in the original plot except he sticks around afterwards. This would show that he is sacrificing something and even though it hurts him to see Bruce put himself in harm’s way, he is NOT GIVING UP ON HIM. It would also have proven to have been an important relationship for Dick Grayson. It honestly felt like he was written out to make room for all the other characters that have been stuffed into the movie. He has a few poignant moments but is largely absent.

    the original post was too long so part 2 is added below

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    Continued from above


    4. When this movie is ashes, you have my permission to inexplicably kick my ass
    I personally thought Bane was the best villain of the series. A lot of people would disagree with me and I understand. I think many were confused when Bane was announced as the villain instead of popular choices such as the Riddler or the Penguin. As more and more came out about the movie, I became more and more intrigued by Bane. It also made the most sense as it turns out because he was representing an archetypal villain that tested Batman physically and pushed him to his physical limit whereas the Joker pushed him to his moral limit. The difference is Bane had an objective and he was ruthless and relentless in achieving it.
    Scream 3 (another bad threequel) taught me one thing and that is that one of the rules of trilogies is to bring things full circle. The movie gets an A+ in this area. Nolan went back to Batman Begins. Bane, as a member of League of Shadows, comes back to finish the job that Ra’s Al Ghul started. He fights Batman, breaks his back, and banishes him to the same prison that he himself was a citizen of before. He takes over the city and becomes the fucking King of Gotham. This is actually one of my favorite parts of the whole series. I love the fact that The Dark Knight Rises plays a bit more like the classic 90s animated series without completely betraying the tone of the previous movies. When you think about it, The Dark Knight was actually the oddball tonally. I like everything that Bane does in this movie. Up until the end.
    Ok so Bruce retrains himself after being lead to believe that Bane is the only person to ever climb out of that prison. Bruce escapes and returns to Gotham only to find that it is a military state under Bane’s complete control. There’s a big battle with the police and Bane’s army and the showdown between Bane and Batman begins. Batman completely dominates Bane in hand to hand combat and when he has him on the ropes, that chick who he had been handing his company over to turns out to be Talia Al Ghul. She stabs Batman, reveals that she is the one who escaped the prison and Bane was her protector. She pretty much lets Bane know that he served his purpose and she has no use for him and then she then leaves to set off that bomb or whatever. You can tell that Bane really cares about her. I start to feel bad for the guy. Then all of a sudden Bane becomes a petty little bitch and is about to kill Batman and then BOOM. He’s dead. Catwoman shoots him with the batpod and he’s gone just like that. The guy who kidnapped another guy from an airplane in midflight, held Gotham hostage with a giant bomb, killed the Steelers, and broke Batman’s back just suffered the worst and most unbelievably stupid death in the history of cinematic villainy. Need I remind everyone that Bane completely and utterly overwhelmed Batman in their initial encounter? I understand that when they first fought Batman underestimated his opponent and blah blah blah. But that wouldn’t explain how Batman just beats the bejesus out of him.
    Having Bane as a villain was about pushing Batman to his physical limit and it didn’t look like he had to exert himself too much in that final showdown. How it should have happened is that Batman and Bane should have had a brutal and sustained knocked down –drag out. Then once Batman gains upper hand, Talia Al Ghul comes in and does her song and dance, stabs Batman and leaves Bane heartbroken. Batman leaves Bane because he’s beaten and Batman is not a killer and he chases down Talia Al Ghul, she dies. Now Batman is faced with a decision. He must use “the Bat” (I’m not sure why they didn’t just call it the batwing) to carry the bomb away from Gotham to save everyone. How about this? Bane shows up, wounded and heartbroken, and offers that he flies the bomb away. He can redeem himself and Bruce can stop being Batman because people will think he died in the explosion. This way there is no confusion about whether or not Alfred actually sees Bruce and Selina Kyle at that restaurant. It’s logical.

    5. Don’t forget about Robin and Alfred
    Alrighty, we’ve talked about a lot. What I haven’t discussed is what exactly is Alfred doing during all this and how does Dick Grayson become Robin. Basically, Dick Grayson begins to learn to take over for Batman but Bruce makes a rash decision and ends up in a giant inescapable prison and Bane starts taking over. So why can’t Alfred teach the kid a few things. Remember in the Dark Knight when he talked about being in Burma and looking for some guy who had been raiding villages? Who or what was Alfred before he came into the service of the Waynes. I’m not saying that we have to delve into an Alfred Pennyworth back-story, but it wouldn’t be too much to assume that he knows how to handle himself and has some wisdom to share. And if you were wondering why the citizens of Gotham started their underground rebellion, we now have an answer. Aside from the obvious reason of not wanting to be enslaved, they become inspired by a new symbol to rise up and fight for their freedom. This symbol is none other than Dick Grayson, who has now assumed the identity of Robin. He forms a relationship with Commissioner Gordon and the rebellion starts. In a nutshell, Robin is now acting as Batman did in his early days by “rattling the cages”.
    Now what role do Robin and Alfred play in the climax of the movie? We’ll start with Robin. As those who have seen the movie know, John Blake rescued those kids on the bus and was trying to get them out of the blast radius of the bomb. Robin should do the exact same thing since it’s a noble enterprise to save the kids.
    I’ve thought about it a lot and this one might be a stretch but I think it would have been appropriate to have Alfred included in the climax in someway. I’ll start with the fact that Bane knows that Batman is Bruce Wayne and maybe since the Scarecrow (who has been in all the films) is kind of one of his lackeys now, he sends him to destroy Wayne Manor just for a symbolic kind of middle finger to Batman. So the Scarecrow and some fear toxin induced crazy people hop over to Wayne Manor and are about the burn it to the ground and who is there ready to fight them off with a shotgun other than Alfred. Before you say how dumb that is, let me explain. This idea isn’t wholly original. It came when I was watching Batman/Superman: Public Enemies. At some point in the movie, Superman gets hurt and Batman is carrying him to a secret entrance to the Batcave. Guess who answers the door? Alfred…with a shotgun. I thought about it and it actually makes a lot of sense. Someone has to protect the house during a crisis when Bruce is gone. So Alfred gives some bad guys an ass kicking. He did it in Harry Brown. I could buy that. And we get the added bonus of the Scarecrow coming back and actually doing something.

    6. The End?
    Here we are at the end. And the ending of this movie was weird because it was ambiguous and also kind of hard to believe. First of all, as I mentioned before, there was some confusion as to what Alfred was seeing at the end of the movie was real and if Bruce had died. The autopilot of the Bat being repaired indicated that he lived, while the fact that they actually showed him in the cockpit seconds before the explosion indicates that his is dead. Now some people tried to explain to me that what we were seeing in the cockpit and the moments before the explosion were not simultaneous. Huh? Listen; if it was straightforward with no confusion intended, then there is no way he survived. If the autopilot was repaired why wouldn’t he just say so and then let the thing fly away without him. The citizens of Gotham would still think he was dead right? Instead they should have just left out the auto pilot detail all together, let Bane fly off the bomb and die, and Bruce can live and the audience knows he lives and the citizens of Gotham believe Batman to be dead. Problem solved.
    Now for Robin. In the original ending John Blake inherits the Batcave and then in a conversation with some lady, the fact that his first name is Robin and she notes that he should just go by than name. This possibly means that he just becomes Robin after he enters the Batcave. I’ve already stated why this whole aspect of the story was seriously mishandled. If they changes I suggested were made, then he would have already assumed the Robin identity. And with Batman gone, Robin is on his own, and when Robin is on his own…Nightwing. The end.

    You now know my thoughts on what I felt could have made the Dark Knight Rises a much more satisfying conclusion to a good trilogy. Everybody comes full circle and Bruce finally gets to leave Batman behind. The ending leaves it open to a lot of possibilities. Not that there should be a Nightwing movie but it gives the audience a better glimpse into the future of the characters after the credits start to roll. All that being said, this was based on my personal preference. I wasn’t looking to overhaul the movie and start over from scratch. I enjoyed what I saw but I recognized that there are things that I didn’t really care for and how I wish it would have happened.
    Thanks for reading. This was my first forum post ever! Share your thoughts.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Statham's Avatar
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    1) I think you're underestimating just how psychologically damaged Bruce was by what happened in The Dark Knight. He doesn't harbour a desire to still be Batman because he believes he no longer has any purpose as Batman; The effects of the law he and Gordon helped push through by using Harvey as a martyr seem to mean that the police can basically put away whoever they like in far easier circumstances than usual; It rendered the former untouchables of Gotham's crime world touchable. So there was no need for Batman any more. As for the 'improved' Batcave, I personally think it's especially likely that, given it's all submerged underwater, the idea is that it is hidden. Bruce might have had it restored hoping he could return to the role one day, but otherwise, it's a very efficient hiding place for all that gear.

    2) Because the point of Levitt's character isn't that he was just some kid who Bruce Wayne recruited and made a crimefighter, which has some very unfortunate moral implications about Bruce Wayne, especially in a more realistic take like Nolan's. That take on Robin fits Nolan's universe because it's someone who understands Bruce Wayne's perspective, whereas the argument with a child is that Bruce could be manipulating them or throwing them into unfortunate situations; Levitt's Blake is someone who understands the weight of what Bruce Wayne has taken on, and understands what it means to inherit that legacy and to be considered good enough to carry it on. If you made Robin a kid in Nolan's universe, it wouldn't fit, because Nolan wanted the spirit of the character, but never intended to adhere to it to the letter. A character like Blake makes more sense in Nolan's world. I mean, you cite Robin appearing in Arkham City as a way the character could 'work' in a semi-serious setting, but.. What does Robin actually DO in Arkham City? He appears for all of five seconds when you're chasing Talia's henchwoman. That's it. It's not nearly enough to judge whether or not the creators actually got what the character was about. Also, your proposals for Dick Grayson make the character sound more like a Jason Todd, which, to most fans, would be more insulting than the notion of Nolan taking the character and concept, and making it fit his world.

    3) Alfred says that he'd stand by Bruce years ago. At this point, the fact that he has lied to Bruce himself is weighing heavily on his heart. Bruce has suddenly decided, despite the fact he's really rather severely injured, that he's going to throw himself back out there as Batman despite the danger to his health. He doesn't want to see Bruce destroy himself, so he leaves. Simple. Alfred's smaller story in TDKR is entirely justified by his scene in front of the Wayne's graves, where he clearly regrets leaving Bruce like he did and couldn't do more. He was meant to protect Bruce, but if Bruce won't listen to him and insists on throwing himself into danger, what's the point?

    4) No real answers here as to Bane's really poor dismissal, but I still don't get where everyone seems to think he's 'in love' with Talia in the usual sense; I still think they're more like brother and sister, personally. And Bane isn't 'heartbroken' when Talia leaves him to make sure the bomb goes off; He isn't some toy that Talia's playing with, because he's clearly as dedicated to making sure that bomb goes off as she is.

    5) Nope. To me, the film was already kind of cluttered enough with all the other stuff we had going on without dedicating time to Levitt becoming a vigilante himself. To me, Levitt's course through the film works because we leave him just as his legend, his story, is about to begin. People were already complaining about there 'not being enough Batman' in TDKR without there being another major plot going on. As for Alfred and the finale - I don't think that works. It takes the focus away from the city and the final battle - which was already cluttered enough what with that guy Gordon kept on ragging on to man up - in a way that Blake trying to get the kids out of the city does not.

    6) Eh. I can't even be bothered to answer this one because I'm still astonished that people think there's any ambiguity to this final sequence with Alfred and that Nolan himself would be enough of a one-trick pony to recycle his ending from Inception in this film; It's not like Nolan has a reputation for 'mindfuck' endings. Inception's the only one - and even THAT isn't ambiguous, according to something I read recently on Tumblr. I just.. I don't get this desire to be spoonfed everything. That the autopilot gets mentioned enough times is a big enough clue that somehow, Batman made it out of there alive.

  4. #4
    Senior Member AJM's Avatar
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    Too many words

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    Shut up, Leonard FHIZ's Avatar
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    Wall o' Text


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    1). Have Joker in it.

    2). Have Batman in it.

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    Hey thanks a lot for responding. I completely get where you are coming from on all your points. I'm just glad you agree that Bane's death was really anticlimactic. And I agree with you that Bane was not in love with Talia and that he felt a big responsibility towards her as an older brother of sorts. I enjoyed reading your post.

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    Supervillains suffering anticlimactic deaths just happens sometimes, even in real life. Bane's death reminds me of another internationally known foreign terrorist who killed thousands in an American city by blowing up buildings and became public enemy number one to the whole world, but then ended up with his brains blown out while peeking out his bedroom door in his pajamas.

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    Another observation on Bane- Did anyone notice that a tear actually ran down his cheek while Talia was reconnecting the tubes on his mask and telling the story of their past? "His only crime was loving me," she says, and I agree it is like the love of a brother for a little sister. I think hearing her tell the story reminded Bane that he still thought of her as that little girl he used to protect and the tear was because he just feels so bad about everything that happened back then. You have to watch closely, though. I didn't notice it the first time I saw it. Many probably missed that little indication that there is actually a human being behind that rough exterior.

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    It might have come off as being contrived and I don't know how well it would have worked in the context of the movie, but it might have been a neat idea if John Blake was revealed as the son of Joe Chill. He was trying to atone for his father's crimes by becoming a cop and logically extended that by eventually becoming the next Batman as a means of protecting the city from the biggest criminals of all. It may have gone well with the whole theme of parents and children.
    The two most powerful warriors are patience and time - Leo Tolstoy

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kensei View Post
    Another observation on Bane- Did anyone notice that a tear actually ran down his cheek while Talia was reconnecting the tubes on his mask and telling the story of their past? "His only crime was loving me," she says, and I agree it is like the love of a brother for a little sister. I think hearing her tell the story reminded Bane that he still thought of her as that little girl he used to protect and the tear was because he just feels so bad about everything that happened back then. You have to watch closely, though. I didn't notice it the first time I saw it. Many probably missed that little indication that there is actually a human being behind that rough exterior.
    There was the odd touch of humanity which went well with his brutal hard-charging. He obviously had a sense of humour, decked out the dewer hide-out to make it more homey, seemed pretty sincere in his appreciation of the kid's singing of the national anthem and even said thank you to the hostage who was holding on to his motorcycle helmet.

    He enjoyed his work and the theatricality that went with it.
    The two most powerful warriors are patience and time - Leo Tolstoy

  12. #12
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    After revealing that she was the child that escaped I would have liked to have seen some impressive physical stunt from Talia, even just taking out a couple of policemen with her fists.

    More importantly, more of what Gothamites were going though and thinking during the occupation.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sunofdarkchild View Post
    After revealing that she was the child that escaped I would have liked to have seen some impressive physical stunt from Talia, even just taking out a couple of policemen with her fists.
    True, it would have been nice to see her fighting skills. However, when she was twisting the knife and about to pull the nuclear trigger and Batman groaned "Please...", Talia did become the only villain in the trilogy to make him BEG.

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    Junior Member TheDarkNut's Avatar
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    How it could have been better?

    More scarecrow.

    The end.

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    Honestly, I wouldn't have wanted to see ANY of the changes you mention here. You seem to have missed the overall theme of the movie, which was hope.

    John Blake wasn't meant to be any of the comic book characters "Robin". He was a representation of the idea behind the character, and much more importantly, the hope of the future. That even without Bruce Wayne, Gotham still had a protector. If I would have liked to see any change in the character, it would be to include that little Robin line from the end, and disconnect him from the specifics of the character entirely.

    Even Bane was a figure of hope, even if it was a false hope. And lets not forget, Bane, in the scope of this film, represents everything that Bruce Wayne might have been, had he gone along with the true ideals of the League. You make no mention of that in your analysis, and so I must assume that you also missed this.

    Alfred was most likely written out of the middle of the film for one reason. When the entire city turns on the wealthy and well off, Alfred would have most likely met one of three fates. He either ends ups dragged into the streets my a mob as we see happen to other wealthy families, he hides away in the Batcave for safety, or he ends up with Fox and the Wayne execs. In any of those situations, his inclusion adds nothing to the primary plot of the movie.

    As for Bane's finish, yeah, I suppose it was kind of anti climactic, but with the movie already pushing three hours, they needed to wrap that up. Besides that, once Talia is revealed and the bomb plot becomes more pressing, Bane is basically is reduced to henchman status almost immediately. Also, lets be clear. Both Talia and Bane intended to die when that bomb went off, too. They were saying goodbye to each other either way.

    As for the ending, it wasn't ambiguous at all. Bruce Wayne survived. Period. End of discussion. Again, this ties in to the theme of hope within the movie. Not only does the ending give Gotham and Batman hope with John Blake, but it gives Bruce Wayne hope of having a future that doesn't require locking himself away from the world. He has been freed of the burden of Rachel dying, and he has been freed of his responsibility as Batman. He accomplishes his mission and gets to move on.
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