Christopher Nolan’s superb The Dark Knight Rises has been simmering in my brain since watching the trilogy on July 19 and experiencing the final film at midnight, unaware of the tragedy unfolding in Aurora, Colorado. I have held back the following thoughts out of respect for the victims of that sad madman, but they persist, in part because one intriguing problem in the film was echoed in that event.
There seems to be a huge plot hole in the film. (SPOILER ALERT: don’t read any further is you are one of the 17 people who still haven’t seen the film) The problem emerges as we watch a significant number of the citizens of Gotham revolt, seemingly joining and/or following Bane’s call to “take back Gotham” from the rich and corrupt and greedy and powerful. Okay, in today’s economy, in the politically fractured atmospheres in many countries, we can recognize a rising desire to see some sort of revolutionary justice take hold.
However, the plot hole exists because Gotham’s citizens do this after witnessing Bane blowing up their beloved Gotham Bandits football team, field, opponents and all. Worse, they embrace Bane’s message after witnessing him snapping the neck of the one man who identifies himself as being able to dismantle a nuclear weapon ticking towards detonation.
A reasonable thinker must recognize that no right-thinking society would ever follow such madness, and so … huge plot hole. How could Nolan make such a disastrous mistake? How could a genius filmmaker miss this gigantic flaw in logic, this monstrous lack of common sense?
Because it is all around us.
Let’s just use American society as an example. Look at Facebook, where every day, that’s right every day people we are friends with post outrageous exaggerations or downright lies about the President of the United States and his political opponent. According to posts by supposedly sane people, President Obama is a do nothing, greedy, wasteful, lying, corrupt, terroristic illegal alien who lies about his true religion, and his opponent Mitt Romney is a spoiled, incompetent, stupefyingly ignorant robot who sends American jobs abroad, hides billions in offshore accounts, ripped off his own fortune, and plans to do the same to this country. Are these the arguments of a rational populace? If any of this was actually true, what kind of a society would seriously consider such villains as viable candidates?
Worse, we accept outrageous behavior from our elected officials on both sides of the aisle, abide by a journalistic climate where “the truth” is sculpted by corporate policy, embrace an advertising climate that urges us to eat and drink to excess until we damage our health, at which point we consume copious amounts of drugs to at least cosmetically address the problem, spend more than we can afford, drive vehicles much bigger than we need that guzzle a resource which is quickly running out, adding to a poisoning of the air we breathe and blowing holes in the atmosphere that protects us from bursting into flames … all while allegedly intelligent leaders of our country actively deny any of this is actually happening.
Additionally, we live in a society where a sizable portion of our allegedly right-thinking people insist that we have an inalienable right to own assault weapons, even after catastrophes like the Aurora tragedy. And millions of dollars of lobbying money will be spent in the coming weeks to get politicians to publicly agree with this madness.
In a very real way, we are the citizens of Gotham following Bane after he has committed mass murder and doomed us all.
Plot hole or sharp social/political commentary? What do you say?
Christopher Ryan is author of City of Woe, available on Kindle and Nook, and in print. For more info, click here.