Can we talk about that scene? Jumping with 'no rope' in The Dark Knight Rises
'Can we talk about that scene?' is a periodic instalment where memorable scenes are discussed. Given the nature of these pieces, we will be entering major spoiler territory and the film(s) in question will be stated upfront. For additional entries, please click here.
SPOILER ALERT for The Dark Knight Rises (2012).
If ever the words 'no rope' come up in a casual conversation (not that it ever has), I would lose it. For a film as climatic and memorable as The Dark Knight Rises, this is the scene that personifies the cinematic genius of the entire trilogy. Unlike most comic book superheroes, Batman doesn't have any super powers. What makes him a superhero is the combination of his intellect, fortune, perseverance and drive as a human being. Bruce Wayne is almost driven to a fault, and it's this drive that really pushes him to go beyond the norms of expected human capabilities. And what better way to demonstrate that humanistic quality by having the man himself - without his cape and mask - attempt an impossible, and seemingly fatal leap, without any factitious supports. No superpowers, and more importantly, no rope. It doesn't get any more poetic than this.
This scene is simply perfect. In more simplistic terms, as a viewer, this scene is just beautifully intense and perfectly executed. It's a scene you can't help but watch over and over again, yet never lose that spark of excitement and satisfaction that comes with it. Christopher Nolan knows how to construct a scene to exact a specific emotion and reaction at just the right time, and it is my hope that Hans Zimmer continues to score every one of his films. The synergy of their creative minds is on perfect display here. I also can't talk about this scene (or trilogy) without accolading Christian Bale's performance. As unbelievable and outrageous as this wall leaping scenario might seem, he carries it with a sense of confidence and ease that lends a fine degree of plausibility to viewers. A combination of an amazing performance and masterful directing, I'm sure.
And that's the beauty of Nolan's creative choices in his Batman trilogy. Every choice is obviously still grounded on established characterizations of the cape crusader, but his execution of those choices are far more personal and measured than what most viewers thought they needed in a superhero movie. And since I kinda already set myself up here, I'll take the bait and also say that this is, however, the type of superhero movie that audiences deserve.