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Bane, The Dark Knight Rises
For the final chapter of their Dark Knight trilogy, Christopher Nolan and his co-writers David Goyer and Jonathan Nolan avoided some big names in Batman's rogues gallery no Riddler, no Penguin, no Poison Ivy. Instead, they create an intriguing new interpretation of a relatively minor character. In Rises, Bane is explicitly established as a mirror image of Batman: An orphan, raised in circumstances of extreme poverty, who becomes a masked revolutionary with a philosophy flavored with zeitgeisty Occupy/Tea Party class warfare. And give credit to Tom Hardy for throwing himself into a thankless masked role: With bowling-ball muscles and a Bond-villain voice, Bane has incredible screen presence.
Unfortunately, a last-minute narrative twist (which, Spoiler Alert, bears a terrifying resemblance to the third-act twist of The World Is Not Enough, of all movies) completely eradicates everything we thought we knew about Bane. That twist also means there's no payoff to Bane's character arc, and the villain's ultimate exit is almost shockingly non sequitur. (Double Spoiler Alert: Boom!)
Image Credit: Ron Phillips