As a comic character, Batman seemingly teeters on the line of fascism. He breaks the law regularly, but when he sees other people doing the same thing, he suddenly takes the moral high ground. His nearly solipsistic worldview falls in line with some troubling ideologies. The secret meaning behind The Dark Knight Rises is one of Camus-meets-Nietzsche nihilism where the status quo becomes prized over a world where everyone lives as equals.
This messaging in The Dark Knight Rises is hard to miss - it lies in the dialogue, and especially in the actions of Batman. Many viewers feel this is the worst of Nolan’s The Dark Knight Trilogy, and while plenty of plot holes and overall odd moments exist in the nearly three-hour film, the most overt negativity comes from all the pro-capitalist Dark Knight Rises propaganda.
This isn't to say Christopher Nolan agrees with this line of thought, of course. Regardless, in The Dark Knight Rises, Nolan casts the anti-corporate revolutionaries as sneering, mustache-twirling villains, while the bureaucratic members of the local government and the wealthiest of Gotham are portrayed as heroes for simply existing. Thematically, The Dark Knight Rises is a complete mess.
Batman Fights To Preserve The Status Quo
Throughout Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Trilogy, Bruce Wayne operates as a neo-con hero. He consistently fights to keep the status quo of Gotham in place rather than let the city be flushed by the revolutionaries, anarchists, and Legion of Shadows attempting to open the eyes of the city’s working class.
Shouldn’t Batman, a character who exists outside the law, welcome a change in the city? Doesn’t he want someone to come in and shake things up and do away with the moral degradation that exists in the highest echelons of power? Of course not - those are the people who allow Batman to do what he does. Batman patrols the shadows to make sure Gotham stays safe from things that could change his way of life.
The Film Suggests That Anyone Who Is Anti-Police Is A Bad Guy
When Bane clears out the inmates of Blackgate prison, a full-on uprising breaks out, with the police fighting people in the streets during scenes that look eerily similar to protests that would occur across American only a few years after the film was released.
Bane, the anti-corporate bad guy, does everything he can to end the Gotham police force. He traps them underground and sentences their leaders to walk across the ice - this is decidedly not good guy behavior.
Despite knowing that problems exist in every crevice of Gotham, the filmmakers paint with broad strokes in these scenes: all of the cops are good; therefore Bane and his people need to act very bad.
'The Dark Knight Rises' Makes Class Unrest Seem Childish
The film makes it seem as if it’s childish to resent those who have it better than you. The members of Bane’s revolution that are rescued from the gutter aren’t foolish, though - they have a goal of equality.
Unfortunately, the film makes their methods overly harsh to squash any sympathy the viewer might have for them.
Gotham Is Full Of People Profiting From Misery
There isn’t one main character in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Trilogy who hasn’t made a healthy living off the worsening of wrongdoing that Batman creates. The police see more work, the crooks remain in a constant struggle to one-up each other, and Wayne Industries taps into every vein of the city to make money off the “good” and “bad” alike.
When Bane tries to rid Gotham of its bureaucracy, he learns firsthand how far Bruce Wayne will go to keep Gotham's status quo alive. Batman would rather sacrifice himself than allow his capitalist utopia to go back to square one.