HACKED TO PIECES: The Dark Knight Rises Special!

Finally having been the last of the HCF Crew to sit down and watch the film, I have now seen The Dark Knight Rises, a film that has been eagerly awaited in the film world ever since we saw our favourite Bat take the rap for the death of Harvey Two Face and good old Gary Oldman gave out that long rousing speech which made every fan not wanting The Dark Knight to end.

This is not going to be a review of the film, there is no point when the good old Matt and Doc have already given their views (and wonderfully as well – links below) but just a summary of the entire film. If you have not seen it yet then I advise you to please – STOP READING NOW- This Hacked To Pieces special is full of spoilers for the entire film so please if you carry on reading, no irate emails to the HCF Office bemoaning the fact that we have spoilt the film for you. Now that its been out for a few weeks and its now the second highest grossing film of 2012, those who really wanted to see it, should have by now! I am writing this in the safe knowledge that Bat fans should have seen this film now so I am going to share my thoughts about the film, what gripped me, what thrilled me, and what made me go “Noooooooooooooooooooooooo!”…………

So once again this is you last chance to stop reading now…..Here comes the spoilers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The Dark Knight Rises is everything you wanted in the film. I may cause a bit of a stir with fans because there has been a quite muddled response with the film, but I feel its the best film of the entire trilogy, yes guys, even better than The Dark Knight. While I can hear the shocks and gasps coming from those reading this feature, I have often thought that while the second film was a masterpiece, I felt and still do that the death of Heath Ledger gave the film this edge that it otherwise would not have, similar to what happened to The Crow when poor Brandon Lee passed away. I do not mean to be disrespectful and Ledger fully deserved his Oscar, but his sad and untimely death, somehow made The Dark Knight even darker that it was and because his portrayal of the Joker can now only be a “one-off”, its entered the vaults of a timeless show that can never be seen again.

Rises benefits because the shadow of Ledger is away from the production. It is hard not to wish that he somehow played a part in this film and the moment when the Scarecrow was playing judge was surely the moment of the Joker’s return, but that for me was the only moment I actually thought of the crazed clown and his ghoulish laugh.

With Joker gone in the memory and never to be forgotten, Rises works more because it has three standout performances. Tom Hardy excelled in the role of Bane, a powerful presence who had an outstanding introduction set-piece to introduce the viewer to his mad vision and surely in one swift kick, banished the memory of the Bane the film world saw in the terrible 1997 flick Batman and Robin! I must admit I had no problem with his voice, yes he did come across at times like a Darth Vader clone, but it was the closest we have ever seen to the Bane we all know and love from the comic book Nightfall!

Any Bat fan who have longed to have seen this comic book adaption hit the the big screen must have had an orgasm when we got to the Sewer scene of the movie. I sat there and not expected to get the perfect homage to the classic story but I was blown away when it happened. It was at this moment that I instantly fell in love with Rises and it was perfectly played out by Christopher Nolan behind the camera. It was a joy to see the once unstoppable Bat fighting this foe and starting to cry out in despair when he realised he was not getting nowhere with his punches. Ok Bane in this version did not actually break his back like in the original story, but what was played out in front of the viewer had an emotional punch that enthralled me more than any other film in this franchise and it was so good that even now I am desperate to see again.

The second character that makes Rises such a good film is of course Selina Kyle…….known to us all as Catwoman!

I had doubts when it was announced that the former Princess Diaries actress Anne Hathaway was cast and with Michelle Pfeiffer up there for me as the best of the lot, poor Anne I thought was on a hiding to nothing! But damn she pulled it off remarkably. Yes she was never called Catwoman once, but we all knew who she was and she was sexy….sassy…and downright purrrfect (sorry).

But the star of the show and this is hard to say for me because I am such a Michael Keaton fan, but finally Christian Bale nailed the role as The Caped Crusader! After three attempts, I finally “got him!”. He looked more comfortable now than he did way back in Begins and I had tears in my eyes when he flew off to his demise, saving the City he loves and finally giving Gotham the hero it needs!…….


The Opening Airplane scene was breathtaking….

The long wait until finally saw “The Bat!” I had shivers!!!!!!

Hardy looking the part of Bane…..like Ledger before him, just perfect casting!

The brilliant design on the cat goggles……….a brilliant creative decision!

That bomb American Football scene that was in the trailer….the franchise moment!

Michael Caine…….will there ever be a better Alfred!……

The Sewer fight, simply breathtaking!

The “Rocky inspired” comeback with Wayne desperate to get out of that pit!

William Devane as the president…24 Fans must have jumped for joy!

The arrival of the “risen Bat!” and the image of the fire Bat symbol on the building!. Reminded me of the return of Superman after he had his powers back in the first sequel!

Cillian Murphy……nice to see you back fellow!

The score of the entire film…….stunning!

Nolan also has improved as an action director!


Marion Cotillard….not the performance but that I felt she was underused….the twist did not get the heart felt pull it deserved because there was hardly no build up for the emotional punch!

The daylight fight scene between Bane and Batman! It was here that the Dark Knight looked restricted in that heavy suit and it was no where near the quality of the sewer scene!

Hated the cheap throwaway “Robin” line at the end. Should have called Joseph Gordon-Levitt character Dick Grayson from the off…and not relied on a cheap twist!

And of the course the last but one scene of the film………..


Yes I did! Now I am not talking about the final shot where Officer Blake aka Robin wanders into the Bat Cave to become either Batman or Nightwing…….but of course the final shot of Wayne and Selina sitting in the cafe with Alfred looking on. What I loved about Nolan and his vision of Gothan is that he has not once sold out to the audience. He has built a franchise to make us think and not once insulted our intelligence. Its a franchise for those who wanted to be tested, full of grit and bleakness and I was proud that not once he resorted to spell out things to those who watched! Why then did he ruin it at the final scene. Now I am not talking about how the Bat somehow survived a nuclear blast, for those who are paying attention, the clue was there when Lucius Fox discovered that some extra work had been done on the Bat Plane, but I am on about that awful restaurant scene. Alfred sits down and looks up and sees Wayne alive and well and sitting there with Selina???????????? Oh come on! For a start why would Selina be with him…..but importantly why did we have to see that moment. I would have loved it if we saw Alfred look up and smile to the camera and the film ended right there. Can you imagine what fans would be talking about now. “What did he see?!” they be crying…..”Is Bruce alive?”…… it would have offered years of debate but instead the only time Nolan treats the viewer as dumb and it left a real sour taste in my mouth!

Some of commented that what Alfred saw was a figure of his imagination…..many have put to the clues into what Selina is wearing and that Nolan goes all Inception on us……..but the fact we get that scene with Fox proves that what Alfred saw was real and not even Nolan had the courage to kill this franchise off dead……is he leaving it open for the chance to return one day???????????????


Matt’s review of The Dark Knight Rises


The Doc’s Feature on The Dark Knight rises


Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn decide to go rob a bank.
“Now, remember the plan,” Ivy tells Harley.

“Yeah, yeah, no problem!” She says, and walks into the bank. Ivy waits in the getaway car.
Time passes. Five minutes…ten…Ivy starts getting worried…fifteen…
Suddenly Harley comes rushing out of the bank, dragging a safe behind her all tied up in rope. Behing her, the guard comes running out…with his pants down!

Ivy groans. “Harley, you idiot! I said to tie up the guard and blow the safe! NOT THE OTHER WAY AROUND!!!”


Batman and Robin are camping in the desert, set up their tent and are asleep. Some hours later, Batman wakes his faithful friend. “Robin, look up at the sky and tell me what you see.”

Robin replies, ” I see millions of stars.”

“What does that tell you?” asks Batman.

Robin ponders for a minute.

“Astronomically speaking, it tells me that there are millions of galaxies and potentially billions of planets.

Astrologically, it tells me that Saturn is in Leo.

Chronologically, it appears to be approximately a quarter past three.

Meteorologically, it seems we will have a beautiful day tomorrow.

What does it tell you, Batman?”

Batman is silent for a moment, then speaks:

” Robin, you idiot, someone has stolen our tent.”


Early word is that the new film will be released in 2016 and its going to be all new. Sources say that its going to be called “The Batman!” and thankfully it will not contain an origin story. We start with Bruce already in the role of Batman with rumours that he be a 26 year old and has been doing it for the last two years. Of course this is just rumours and not the official word but with Nolan saying no more and with Warner Bros probably too scared to go down the path of Joseph Gordon-Levitt….it seems that a Spider-Man reboot is in order!

Whoever takes over the reigns are very brave people but before we embark on a new path and different direction. Even though Bale has said he is finished in the role…only in May this year he commented that he would be interested in a 4th film, if the script was good and Nolan was involved. With Nolan himself not killing off the character of Batman when he could have……is he being careful and not really saying goodbye to a film franchise that he has created to such a fantastic effect…….

Like all Bat fans, we wait with eager breath……

Until Next time guys!


Ross Hughes

About Ross Hughes 1929 Articles
Since my mother sat me down at the age of five years of age and watched a little called Halloween, I have been hooked on horror. There is no other genre that gets me excited and takes me to the edge of entertainment. I watch everything from old, new, to cheap and blockbusters, but I promise all my readers that I will always give an honest opinion, and I hope whoever reads this review section, will find a film that they too can love as much as I do! Have fun reading, and please DO HAVE NIGHTMARES!!!!!!

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