Over the weekend, many of you saw the most anticipated movie of the year, The Dark Knight Rises. A lot of you seemed to enjoy The Dark Knight Rises. If you are one of those people, then, I am in agreement with you. But, that doesn't mean that there weren't parts of the movie that I found particularly confusing. Here are seven lingering questions that I still have about The Dark Knight Rises.
(Spoiler alert, obviously.)
What exactly happened at the stock exchange?
For the life of me, I can't wrap my head around this one. OK, I get it, Bane and his crew burst into the stock exchange and use Bruce's fingerprints to make risky stock transactions that bankrupt the company. Now, wouldn't this work better as some sort of covert plan, rather than one that draws a lot of attention to itself? I know Lucius explains to Bruce that they can most likely prove it's fraud ... well, yeah. I mean, how hard would that be? "Hey, remember when those armed thugs took over the stock exchange? You probably saw it on television? I rest my case."
What caused Bruce to lose all of the cartilage in his knee?
When we first meet Bruce in The Dark Knight Rises, he's walking with a limp and using a cane. After a trip to the doctor, it's discovered that Bruce doesn't have any cartilage in one of his knees -- not to mention other assorted degenerative injuries. How did this happen? Was this a direct result of the events that happened during The Dark Knight? Would those injuries have led to cartilage loss? He hasn't been Batman in eight years, could this just be a degenerative issue? Or perhaps atrophy?
Why does Selina Kyle trust Bane a second time?
Selina Kyle lures Batman into a trap set by Bane. She explains doing so was the only way to prevent Bane and his henchmen from killing her. Because, earlier in the film, after securing a set of Wayne's fingerprints, Bane's people did try to kill her after her usefulness had expired. So, why is this time any different? As soon as Kyle delivers Batman why (A) didn't Bane try to kill her again or (B) Kyle realize, "You know, I'm not falling for this one again."
Quick travel plans.
I'll accept that Bane, somehow, made a round trip flight to deliver Bruce Wayne to the foreign underground prison. I mean, we did see that he clearly has a private plane during the opening scene of the movie. Now, yes, the editing was a bit odd: One second Bane is in Gotham, the next he's at the prison, then he's right back in Gotham. Fine. But once Bruce escaped from this so-called hell hole (I understand the reasons, but after so much buildup about how hellish this prison is, it was a little disappointing to discover that the prisoners can roam free throughout the prison and that it's wired for cable television), how does he get back to Gotham? He has no money or identification. Not to mention that Gotham is shut off from the rest of the world -- no one is to be let in or let out. Yes, I assume Batman has his ways, but I would have liked to know what the way was.
When did the rivers freeze?
I have lived in New York City for eight years - which include days with some very cold temperatures -- and the East River has never come close to freezing solid. From what I can find, this has happened before, but not since the 1800s and this was under severe blizzard conditions. In The Dark Knight Rises, convicted "criminals" (at least defined that way under Bane's rule) are exiled from Gotham by forcing them to walk across the now frozen river. When did this happen? When the bridges are destroyed, the rivers are clearly not frozen. Again, it is possible that rivers can freeze over in the Northeastern part of the United States, but this would also mean that the characters would probably be wearing slightly heavier jackets.
Why didn't the police use their weapons?
Yes, it made for a visually pleasing scene -- there's no doubt about that. But when the showdown happened between Bane's followers and the recently freed Gotham police force, why did it result in a series of one-on-one fistfights? We saw that at least some of the police officers still had weapons, why not use them on Bane?
What happens to John Blake?
To be fair, this was intentionally left up to the audience to decide on their own. So, Bruce leaves all of his Batman gear to Blake. But Gotham has already honored Batman who, the residents think, sacrificed his life to save the city. The built him a statue! So, now, can Blake just show up on the streets of Gotham as Batman? (Plus Joseph Gordon-Levitt is three inches shorter than Christian Bale, this is probably something people will notice.) Or does he have to use a different name? (Robin or Nightwing?)
Mike Ryan is senior entertainment writer for The Huffington Post. You can contact him directly on Twitter.