Fifteen-minute Movie – The Dark Knight Rises

or, “Bat-psychology 301 with Bane, which is just 101 and 201 all over again”
or, “How to Not Believably Pull off a Batman Gambit

Uzbekistanian Airfield:
CIA Agent – Okay, load up the important scientist.  Who are these masked men?

Truck Driver – They work with the mercenary Bane.  You should let them on your plane.

CIA Agent – What?  No way!  Our job is to get this scientist to safety.  There is no way in hell I’m just loading up three dangerous criminals on to my plane without proper authorization or back-up!  That’s against all protocol and common sense.

Truck Driver – Um, it says in the script you load them up.

CIA Agent – Give me that! [[reads script]]  Fine, fine, load them up.  It’s a bad idea, but go ahead.

CIA Agent – So, who are you guys?  And tell me about Bane.

Bane – I’m Bane and we’re going to kidnap the scientist and kill everyone on this plane and crash.

CIA Agent – I’m sorry, what?  I can’t really understand you with that mask/respirator thing.

Bane – *frosty sigh*  Men, do the thing I said.  [[with the help of a large cargo plane the team of mercs does what Bane says although any forensic expert should realize the plane didn’t crash on its own]]

Gotham City, Wayne Manor:
Commissioner Gordon – So it’s Dent Day and I have the speech where I say all the nice things about Dent or the speech when I reveal the truth.  I guess I’ll stick with the lies this year.

Sleazy City Official – So, when are we getting rid of that guy?

Deputy Commissioner Foley – Soon.  With crime so low in Gotham, it’s not like we need this guy anymore.

Miranda Tate – Where is Mr. Wayne?

Daggett – He’s been a recluse for eight years.  Why do you care?  Not only is he anti-social, but he threw away your investment in that clean energy thing.

Miranda – You just don’t understand anything.

Wayne Manor, Back Rooms:
Bruce – *hobbling around on a cane* What do you think you’re doing?

Maid – I’m just bringing you dinner.

Bruce – And you just cracked my uncrackable safe and stole my mother’s pearls.

Maid – Did I?  Well, look at the time; I really must dash  [[kicks him to the ground, flips out a window, and makes her escape by allowing the sleazy city official to hit on her and give her a ride]]

Wayne Manor, After Party:
Alfred – Well, that was another boring party.

Bruce – A maid stole my mother’s pearls and apparently my fingerprints.  This worries me.

Gotham City PD, roof:
[[Gordon is standing on the roof forlornly when he’s joined by a rookie cop]]

John Blake – So, one of our sleazy city officials is missing.  By the way, I’ve been giving a lot of thought to Harvey Dent’s death and the identity of Batman, even though we haven’t seen Batman in like eight years.

Gordon – Whatever, kid.  It doesn’t matter now.

Wayne Manor, Batcave:
Alfred – You have odd hobbies, Master Wayne.

Bruce – I’m just finding out who the maid was.  She used someone else’s fingerprints when she cracked the safe, but luckily I am a paranoid bastard who stuck a tracking device in the pearls, so I found her name, Selina Kyle, and her address, and her criminal record.  She’s a cat burglar with a troubled past.

Alfred – Clearly, you should ask her out on a date.

Bruce – Um, what?  Okay, first of all I just said she was a criminal who stole my fingerprints, which is really worrisome.  Second of all, I still miss Rachel.

Alfred – Do you know all those years after you ran away from home I took expensive vacations to Italy and hoped I would run into you and find out you were happily married?  That’s what I want for you.

Bruce – You took a trip to Italy every year?  With my money!?

[[Blake and his partner find a body washed out of the sewer and Blake recognizes the kid from the orphanage he grew up in, which of course happens to be funded by the Wayne Foundation]]

Blake – So, something’s up.  You want to tell me anything?

Little kid – I miss Batman.  Also, lots of the older kids say there’s good work in the sewers.

Blake – Weird.  I’ll look into that.  And I think we’ll see Batman again.

Dive Bar:
[[Selina slinks in with a very drunk date whom she parks at the very empty bar while she sits down at a table with a well-dressed mook]]

Selina – I got the goods.  You got the payment?  [[another mook locks the doors]]  This will really be easier if you pay me, especially if you want the thumbprint.

Mook – You give it to me, or I shoot you in the head right now.

Selina – Here, dial the number.  It’s ready.

[[the Mook dials the number and a young woman walks in, hands Selina the package, then leaves, looking confused]]

Mook – Okay, now I’m totally going to kill you.

Selina – Really?  When all the cops are looking for my date, the sleazy city official?

Mook – What?  Hell.  Well, they won’t look here.

Selina – Then maybe you shouldn’t have dialed that number with his cell phone.  [[cue the screeching tires and loud bellowing of the cops]]  You should have just paid me.

[[thus starts the bar room brawl in which Selina manages to defend herself, pass herself off as a screaming hostage at least twice and casually saunters away; things don’t go so well for the cops as they follow the mooks down into the sewers, which leads to Gordon getting taken prisoner]]

Mercenary Lair:
Bane – Why in the hell did you idiots bring him down here?

Thug – Um, we panicked.  But hey, look, he’s got all this stuff on him, including an incriminating speech about Harvey Dent.

Bane – Why are you still carrying this?  Dent Day was like a week ago.

Gordon – Um, what the hell is that convenient distraction?  [[escapes through the sewer tunnels although he’s shot first]]

Thug – Oh well.  No big deal, right boss?

Bane – I’m going to kill all of you for this.  [[does so]]

[[And luckily for Gordon, Blake finds him at the same sewer drain and saves his life]]

Wayne Manor:
Alfred – Oh, police.  Can I help you?

Blake – I have terribly important news for Mr. Wayne that must be told in person.

Alfred – Right-o.  Master Wayne!

Blake – Commissioner Gordon has been badly injured by the mercenary Bane’s men.  He says that Bane has a whole army in the sewers but that jack-ass Foley refuses to believe him.

Bruce – I’m really sorry to hear that, but why couldn’t you have called or something?

Blake – So I could ask you to be Batman again.

Bruce – What?  No, no way, I am totally not Batman.

Blake – Riiiight, and there’s no big reveal at the end of the movie about my real identity either.  Listen, someone needs to stop Bane and right now the cops really can’t do it.  Later.  [[he leaves]]

Bruce – Who the hell is Bane?

Alfred – A mercenary with no other name or alias but has ties to Daggett.

Doctor – Your body is in terrible shape for a man so young, Mr. Wayne.  I recommend against any strenuous physical activity or you’re going to cripple yourself even more than you already are.

[[Bruce dons a mask to go talk to Gordon]]

Bruce – I heard about Bane.

Gordon – Is that still your Batman voice?  Honestly, you couldn’t have gotten some voice-acting lessons at some point after the last movie?

Bruce – Do you want my help or not?

Gordon – Yes.

Charity Event:
Bruce – So, Selina’s wearing a domino mask with cat ears.  Cute.  Oh, and the pearls she stole from me.

Miranda – Bruce Wayne?  What are you doing here?

Bruce – Trying to get out and about.  How about you?  I thought you hated fat-cat events like this.

Miranda – I do, but I have to get people with money together somehow so I can find investors to work on that clean energy project you ditched.

Bruce – Um, yeah, that.  Listen, I’ve got to go.  [[cuts in with Selina]]  So why do you steal stuff?

Selina – Because once I started, I couldn’t find a way to stop.  I want a fresh start.  I also want rich bastards like you to get what’s coming to them.

Bruce – I really think you’re too hard on me.  By the way, those are mine. [[takes the pearls; Selina kisses him and runs off]]  Okay, that was odd.  Well, time to go.  Valet, hey, I can’t seem to find my ticket…

Valet – Oh, your wife took the sports car.  She said you’d take a cab home.

Bruce – Argh!  She just stole my car!  And I am totally turned on by that!

Wayne Enterprises:
Bruce – Lucius, why don’t we have any money?

Lucius – We do, at least enough to keep Daggett from taking over.  But that clean energy project you mothballed years ago really drained the R&D budget.  By the way, are you interested in one-man VTOL craft called the Bat?

Bruce – Sweet!

Wayne Manor, Batcave:
Bruce – Okay, time to strap on some motorized leg braces that will never be mentioned again in this movie.

Alfred – I found out more about the mercenary Bane.  He escaped the worst prison on Earth, joined the League of Shadows as a mercenary, and was kicked out for extreme behavior.  Now he works as a mercenary for hire.

Bruce – That’s great.  I wonder what his scheme is?

Alfred – Well, I don’t know that because he’s just a mercenary.

Bruce – The way you keep repeating the word “mercenary” makes me think there’s more to this.

Alfred – Listen, Master Bruce, if you want to die, there are really easier ways than to go up against a mercenary a cult of assassins thinks is too extreme.

Gotham City Stock Exchange:
[[Bane carries out a carefully orchestrated plan to hack into the stock exchange that is not thwarted even when the cops cut the fiber-optic lines and eventually escape the cops by fleeing on motorcycles with hostages]]

Foley – Un-#$%&ing-believable!  How did they hide motorcycles in the Stock Exchange!?  Go after them!

[the cops give chase but finally Batman actually shows up in his own movie!]]

Foley – And arrest Batman!

[[Batman manages to retrieve the mercs’ laptop, although not until the program was completed, and save the hostages]]

Daggett’s Place:
[[Selina is seen calmly cracking into a safe that turns out to be empty and she is clearly very upset by this turn of events and accosts Daggett]]

Selina – Give me the thing to expunge my criminal record!

Daggett – My guys will kill you.

[[Selina defends herself and takes Daggett hostage and up to the roof]]

Selina – Okay, now give me the thing and I let you go.

Daggett – I, um don’t have anything like that.  I made it up.

Selina – Damn it.  I’ll still kill you if those guys don’t back off.  Wow, they are totally not backing off.  I think we both ought to be worried.

Daggett – I’m sure it’s fine.

Batman – I’ll save you!  Even though it’s not very well explained why I’m doing this! [[saves her]]  So, do I get a thank you?

Selina – No.  I don’t need your help.

Batman – Oh, come on.  Can you at least provide relevant plot information?

Selina – Fine, fine.  I sold the prints to Bane’s goons and Daggett was interested in the exchange robbery.

Wayne Manor, Batcave:
Bruce – Alfred, have Fox decode this hard drive.

Alfred – Please stop trying to kill yourself.

Bruce – I’m not trying to kill myself.  I’m doing what I have to.  I have to make it up to Rachel.  We were going to get married you know.

Alfred – You remember that note I burned at the end of the last movie?  Yeah, Rachel was going to marry Harvey, so you don’t have to do this for her.

Bruce – Damn it, Alfred!  I’m not quitting.

Alfred – Fine, then I am.  If you’re going to kill yourself, I’m not going to watch.

Wayne Enterprises:
Fox – We’re bankrupt and Daggett just bought controlling shares.

Bruce – What?  How does that even happen?

Fox – That hard drive reprogrammed the stock trades and made it look like we lost a whole bunch of money.

Bruce – But-but that doesn’t even make sense!  The stock exchange was attacked by terrorists!  Every transaction that went through that day should have been voided or frozen!  I mean, otherwise every single transaction is going to be tied up in the courts for years!

Fox – I’m sure that makes sense in the real world, but in this one you’re bankrupt.

Wayne Enterprises, R&D:
Bruce – Okay, Miranda, remember the clean energy project?  I’ve still got it.

Miranda – Why aren’t you using it?

Bruce – It’s a nuclear reactor.  I’m afraid some scientist will figure out a way to weaponize it.  I mean, there’s only one guy, actually, but why take chances?  Maybe he got kidnapped by a group of mercenaries and I just don’t know it yet.  Anyway, I want you to be the CEO so Daggett can’t get it.

Miranda – Wow, you’re placing a lot of trust in me.

Bruce – Yeah, I’m sure that won’t horribly backfire on me.

Miranda – Nope, not at all.  How about we go back to your place and have sex?

Bruce – Really?  We haven’t really shown that much chemistry, so it doesn’t make a lot of sense.  But hey, who am I to argue with sex?

[[the lights go out at Wayne Manor]]

Bruce – What the hell?  I went broke like five hours ago!  There’s no way the electric company cut me off now unless Alfred spent the bill money on trips to Italy.

Daggett’s Place:
Daggett – Bane, I’m mad!  I still don’t control Wayne Enterprises!  And I’m tired of you working my construction crews around the clock like this!  I demand more money!

Bane – I only worked with you for the construction crews, and now I don’t need you anymore.

Daggett – Damn, the cat burglar was right.  I should have been more worried when my goons seemed so willing to kill me when she was holding me hostage.

Bane – Yep.  Too late now. [[kills him]]

Blake – Commissioner, we found Daggett’s body.  His companies have apparently been doing a ton of construction work around the city, including in the sewers.

Gordon – See, this proves my story about the army in the sewers!  Blake, I’m promoting you.

Foley – But sir…

Gordon – Hey, I’m still in charge here.  He’s promoted!

Gotham Sewers:
[[after Bruce asks Selina to help his ‘powerful friend,’ she agrees and leads Batman into the tunnels where he is promptly trapped by Bane]]

Batman – What the hell?

Selina – I had to turn you over to Bane so he wouldn’t kill me.  See, having the information about Daggett and your fingerprints means I’m a loose end that could conceivably ruin his whole plan.

Bane – Well, Mr. Wayne, shall we fight?

Batman – Bring it!

[[they fight during the course of which Bane reveals he somehow knew exactly where Wayne Enterprises stash of bat-gear could be found and by the end of the fight he of course breaks Batman’s back and Batman passes out]]

Selina – Hrm.  If I had to turn over Batman to keep Bane from killing me because I knew too much, then watching this fight and learning Batman’s secret identity surely makes me even more of a liability than I ever was before.  But apparently I’m going to just be able to slink away.

[[it doesn’t quite work as Selina is arrested at the airport by Blake and ends up telling him Batman was hurt and might be dead; she’s sent to prison but at least Bane isn’t trying to kill her anymore]]

Foreign Prison:
Bane – I’m going to leave you in this god-forsaken hell-hole to watch your city burn.  Luckily, even god-forsaken hell-holes come equipped with satellite dishes these days.  Laters!

Bruce – Oh, I am in such pain!  How do I escape?

Prisoner – You don’t.  No one has.  Except for a child, long ago.  It’s a really sad story.

Bruce – Is it relevant?

Prisoner – Unbelievably so.  Anyway, a mercenary dated the warlord’s daughter and the warlord sentenced the mercenary to be imprisoned here.  The daughter changed places with mercenary, who was exiled instead and never knew what happened.

Bruce – Dude, the warlord imprisoned his own daughter?  Didn’t he know that was a death sentence?

Prisoner – You don’t get to be a warlord by showing mercy.  Worse, the woman was pregnant and had the child here in prison.  And, as you said, being here was a death sentence and one day the woman was left exposed and well, yeah, horrible death.  But the child was protected by one of the other prisoners until the child was old enough to climb the walls and escape.

Bruce – That child must have been Bane.  But then why not just say, “boy” or “son?”

Prisoner – Yeah, you think I would have said that if the child was Bane…  So, if you want to escape, you need to climb up that wall, which looks a lot like the well in your backyard from the first movie.

Gotham City, Hospital:
Foley – Commissioner!  Bane just took hostages at Wayne Enterprises!  It looks like you and the kid were totally correct this whole time!

Gordon – Send every cop in the city into the sewers and take out that mercenary army!

Blake – Whoa, whoa, is that a good idea?  There won’t be any cops on the streets.

Gordon – You’re right!  I really shouldn’t be making these kinds of decisions all doped up like this.  Oh, wait, wait, I’m being handed the script… [[reads script]] Okay, well, it is stupid but yes, send all the cops into the sewers.  Except you, Blake.  You keep following up that Daggett lead.

Wayne Enterprises, R&D:
Bane – I just need people with handprint clearance to activate the reactor and not, say, trigger the safety mechanism of flooding the tunnel.

Fox – Why not?  It’s clear you’re only going to use this thing for bad ends.

Miranda – Just do what he says!  It’s the only way!

Fox – No, really, I think flooding the chamber makes way more sense.  Oh, I’m being handed the script…  [[reads script]]  Okay, well, I guess I help activate this thing.

Bane – Scientist I kidnapped at the beginning of the movie, weaponize this thing.  Then I’m going to remove it from the core.

Scientist – Um, then it will explode in five months.

Bane – And your point is?

[[Several things then happen; Blake figures out the construction crews have laced concrete with plastic explosives, he warns the cops the sewers are a trap, Bane and his men infiltrate a football stadium and then hit a detonator which causes several more things to happen – all the bridges but one blow up, the sewer tunnels are collapsed, and the stadium collapses]]

Blake – Un-#$%&ing-believable!  I can’t believe in the past few years eight of the nine bridges to this city were actually under construction.  Nothing ever moves that fast!

Foley – Un-#$%&ing-believable!  How in the hell did Bane know the exact time I was sending all the cops into the tunnels to blow everything up all at once?

Bruce – Un-#$%&ing-believable!  You can’t make explosive concrete!  Concrete is highly stable stuff which is why we build things out of it!  And even if you plant explosives in the concrete, you still need a detonator and I really doubt a radio signal is going to penetrate the 8 to 12 inches of concrete necessary in a roadway to make sure the bridge didn’t collapse in the first place!

Gordon – Un-#$%&ing-believable!  How did Daggett’s company put explosives in every major construction project in the past eight years with absolutely no one anywhere figuring out something weird was going on?  I mean, I know Ra’s said in the first movie the League had people everywhere, but they infiltrated what was apparently the largest construction company in the city to the point no one said ANYTHING?!

Bane – Just go with it, okay?  Your city blew up and now I’m holding it for ransom.  I’ve just killed the only person that can disarm it, and there’s a random citizen with a detonator, and I’ve left one bridge open for supplies, and if any government agents try to interfere, I’ll blow up the bomb immediately.  But this is all for your own good!  Tomorrow I’m freeing all the criminals too!  It’ll be awesome.  Oh, and Harvey Dent was a murdering madman, as I found out with this speech from Commissioner Gordon.

[[The city descends into general chaos and the military is only able to get one team of commandos into the city, and they are of course eventually captured and killed]]

Foreign Prison:
Bruce – I hate this channel!  Fix me up, what passes for a doctor, because I’m busting out of here!  [[the doctor cracks his back]]  OWWW!

Hallucination of Ra’s – Yeah, life sucks for you.

Bruce – But you’re dead!

Hallucination of Ra’s – Technically, but I also said I was immortal.  I took the most common route to immortality.

Bruce – Oh, the kid everyone keeps talking about.

Hallucination of Ra’s – Yes, the child was mine, the warlord’s daughter was my wife.  Congrats, detective, you’ve almost got it figured out.

Bruce – So Bane’s your son.

Hallucination of Ra’s – No, Bane is just a mercenary, and if I meant “son” don’t you think I would have just said so?

Bruce – Like I can trust a hallucination.

[[after a training montage Bruce fails to break out of prison twice]]

Bruce – Damn, how come a kid could do this and I can’t?

Prisoner – You fear death.  The child had no fear because staying meant certain death.  Escaping at least meant there was a chance.

Bruce – So, what are you saying?

Prisoner – Don’t use the safety rope.

Bruce –  Oh, easy enough.  Hey, this really reminds me of when my dad got me out of that well.  It’s almost like I’m running through becoming Batman again while all these prisoners chant the name of the movie at me. [[escapes and somehow gets out of the middle of nowhere to the heavily guarded and quarantined Gotham City in almost no time at all with almost no trouble at all despite the military’s inability to get more than one team of commandos into the city!]]

Gotham City:
Bruce – Selina, I’ll clear your criminal record if you’ll help me fight Bane.  Also, everyone will die anyone if you don’t.

Selina – That’s great.  Fine, you have an ally.

[[with the help of Selina, he rescues Fox and Miranda but finds out the bomb will go off the next day anyway; he also takes a little time out to save Gordon from certain death by apparently just being there]]

Batman – I’m back!

Gordon – How much time did you waste making that fiery bat-signal?

Batman – It’s awesome!  Just go with it!

[[Batman, Selina, Blake, and some bat-explosives free the trapped cops that Bane has apparently been keeping alive in the sewers for five months because there is no good reason; the cops mount a do or die attack lead by Foley, last seen being a jerk; Gordon goes to stick a signal jammer on the bomb while Batman tries to find the person with the trigger]]

Gotham City Battleground:
[[bunches of cops die stupidly by charging directly into the mercenaries’ guns]]
Batman – Hey, Bane, let’s try this again now that I know your weakness!

Bane – Sure, it doesn’t matter anyway.

[[they engage in fisticuffs as Batman smashes up Bane’s face mask]]

Bane – Owww!!!!

Batman – Tell me who has the trigger device!

Miranda – [[stabs Batman in the side]] I do!

Batman – What the hell?

Miranda – My real name is Talia Al Ghul!  My father was Ra’s Al Ghul!

Batman – Wow, that’s a twist anyone familiar with the comics or animated series would have already know was coming, but since I didn’t have access to the comics or the show, I should have been paying more attention.  When everyone said Bane was just a mercenary, I should have wondered who the mastermind was!  When everyone kept using the pronoun-neutral word “child” I should have guessed the child was a girl!  So where does Bane fit into all this?

Miranda – He was my protector in the prison and I got him out, but he reminded my father of all the bad things that happened to my mother and so he was sent away.  Also, he was pretty extreme even for assassins.  So I’m going to kill everyone just like dad would have wanted. [[hits trigger; nothing happens thanks to Gordon]]  Okay, fine, the damn thing is going to explode anyway.  Bane, kill him.  Honestly, if you want something done right do it yourself… [[leaves]]

Bane – Right, now to kill you…

Selina – [[arrives just in time and guns Bane down with the massive weaponry on the bat-pod]] You know, for a guy who hates guns, you sure have a lot of them, and big ones.

Batman – Shut up.

[[After an extended chase sequence in which Talia hijacks the truck so the good guys can’t steal it, they stop her anyway but the reactor chamber has already been destroyed so the only option is for Batman to fly the reactor over the bay and let it explode]]

Selina – You’re bleeding!  There isn’t enough time!  You’ll die!

Batman – That’s fine.  I’m fine with all that.  By the way, Gordon, do you know my secret identity?

Gordon – No, apparently the highest ranking cop in the Gotham City PD did not figure that out already even though pretty much everyone else remotely familiar with you did.

Batman – Bruce Wayne.

Gordon – Oh, okay then.  Well, please get a move on if you’re going to.

[[Batman flies the bomb away and it explodes presumably killing him]]

Alfred – I get the money, the house goes to the orphans, and I’m going on a holiday to drown my sorrows.

Blake – I resigned from the force and inherited a duffel bag?  What’s that about?

Clerk – ID please. [[checks ID]]  Your real name is Robin?  Really?  Well, I suppose we all saw something like that coming, although we didn’t expect it to be so stupid.

Gordon – Hey, someone fixed the Batsignal.

Fox – What the hell was wrong with the autopilot?

Technician – Nothing.  The computer shows Bruce Wayne fixed it six months ago.

Alfred – I love Italy.  Hey, is that Master Bruce and Ms. Kyle?  I’m surprised no one recognized Master Wayne but hey, and a “happily ever after” ending is really at odds with Nolan’s dark gothic vision, but after nearly three hours of movie, I’m just going to go with it.

Blake – So I had a rope and coordinates and now I’ve found the Batcave.  That’s pretty sweet!  Of course, I don’t understand how any of this works and don’t have any money to repair any of it since Bruce didn’t leave me any, oh, and there’s a whole bunch of curious kids right upstairs I have to keep this from.  Hrm.  I’m not sure this was thought out too well.  Too late now.  I’m Batman.  At least I’m not actually Robin…



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S. J. Drew is an aspiring writer who finally entered the blogosphere to shamelessly promote that writing (as evidenced by the title of the blog). Whether or not this works remains to be seen, but S. J. hopes you are at least entertained. And if you're actually reading this, that's probably a good sign.

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