The coolest tech in The Dark Knight Rises
In theaters finally, The Dark Knight Rises wraps up the Batman trilogy rebooted by director Christopher Nolan. Epic in both scale and in storytelling, the three-hour movie pits Batman against the cellar-dwelling villain Bane, kleptomaniac frienemy Catwoman, and even some surprise adversaries from earlier films. Some of the biggest stars in The Dark Knight trilogy, however, are the wonderful gadgets and technology. The most serious of the three movies, The Dark Knight Rises trades the almost-whimsical tech of the previous films for the practical, subtler equipment required in a time of war. Here are some of the more notable ones:
EMP: Batman pulls out the big guns early in the film, but even a pissed-off Dark Knight keeps things relatively non-violent with the whopping EMP blaster. Short for electromagnetic pulse, an EMP is an invisible wave that knocks out all electronics in a specific radius or, in the case of Batman’s gun, a specific line of sight.
The first time I saw the EMP effect was in the John Woo flick Broken Arrow, but it looks much cooler two decades later–especially since you don’t need to drop a nuclear bomb to knock out equipment. The EMP gun comes in handy in The Dark Knight Rises, particularly in a scene that involves motorcycles, barely-lit tunnels, and, later, pitch-black chaos.
Batcycle: Perhaps the coolest device in the film, the Batcycle is a gorgeous, versatile machine. The motorcycle’s traditional thin tires are replaced with thick, durable widebodies that seem rugged enough to handle both urban and country terrain. The cycle itself is also heftier, making it look like a bike/ATV hybrid.
Easily the best part is the turning tires. Instead of stationary axles, the tires can turn 360 degrees so the rider can drive in any direction, including sideways. It’s Batman’s baby, but Catwoman actually spends quite a bit of time on it–and looks much better on it, too.
The Bat: One of the newer vehicles in Batman’s arsenal, The Bat is a monstrous flying machine meant to intimidate. The Bat has a long, wide tail, and can curl up like a caterpillar as it flies in the air. It also has flood lights and an assortment of aerial weapons.
The Bat has more of a cameo (albeit a great one) rather than a starring role in The Dark Knight Rises, which is unfortunate since this is the last official movie in the Nolan franchise. It also feels like the odd man out here since The Bat’s aerial weaponry would make it more difficult for The Dark Knight to follow his no-gun policy. Regardless, it looks awesome on the screen.
CatEars: Femme fatale Selina Kyle, better known as Catwoman, has some toys of her own. The most intriguing gadget are her CatEars (not the official name), the pair of flashing electronic nodes that silently sit on her head throughout the movie.
Their use is never explained (understandably–the movie was already three hours long), but we can assume a few things. First, with their warm Bluetooth-like glow, the CatEars probably provide a communication link to police scanners, security systems, and, perhaps, to Kyle’s girlfriend at home. Second, the CatEars likely use a sonar system (like a bat!) to pick up any sudden movements within Kyle’s radius. Finally, they could include electronic jammers to prevent other people’s equipment from recognizing her movements.
Power Generator: More theoretical weapon than an intentional one, the power generator is a project initially funded by Wayne Enterprises to turn nuclear energy into green technology. Bruce Wayne deems it too dangerous in the years between The Dark Knight Rises and the last film, The Dark Knight.
Shutting down the nuclear project decision is a tough, but important decision for Bruce Wayne. In the previous film, The Dark Knight, Batman misused cutting-edge technology in his desperate hunt for The Joker. Wayne Enterprises tech guru Lucius Fox left in revolt at the end of The Dark Knight, but returns in The Dark Knight Rises to help a wiser Batman defeat Bane and company.