This morning I decided to watch The Dark Knight Rises.
## SPOILERS INCOMING ##
As far as action films go, it was okay, but not great. My list of gripes follow:
The fights were not imaginative or unique, neither confrontation between Bane and Batman resulted in any special moments that evoked a reaction of ‘Holy Shit - that was cool!’
The two just punch each other until one of them falls down. Wow. Brilliant. Did it take both Nolan brothers to come up with that?
Following up on that line of thinking, isn’t Batman supposed to be smarter than this? He’s a detective, not a straight forward brawler, but that’s all we get in this film.
Batman, when he’s not sitting in a pit of despair in Wayne Manor or a pit of torture in Pena Dura, just punches his way through confrontations or blows things up with the Batwing. Everyone else in the film is smarter and more active than he is.
Which leads me to…
Seriously, Batman spends half the movie doing ABSOLUTELY NOTHING.
Bane, Selina Kyle, Blake, Commissioner Gordon, and Miranda Tate do all the heavy lifting.
Even when Batman escapes from Pena Dura, he immediately seeks help from Selina Kyle and Fox. Seriously?
Can the Batman do nothing on his own anymore? Is he that broken?
And when he gets the help he needs what does he do? Use his brain? Try to figure out Bane’s plan? Puzzle out what’s really happening?
No, he sets the police free from their underground prison, then proceeds to trade punches with Bane - AGAIN.
So Batman, the great detective, spends months in Pena Dura but NEVER ONCE USES HIS GODDAMN BRAIN.
Maybe Bane punched the smarts out of him.
Look, writing good dialogue is hard. Damn hard.
But some of the lines in this film fall so flat they threw me right out of the movie.
“This isn’t a car.” - Batman
“You’ve got another thing coming.” - Commissioner Gordon
Those were the two worst offenders.
I would have quoted something from Bane, but I couldn’t understand half the shit he said.
His voice was so heavily processed most of his dialogue was lost in all the background noise.
If you’re going to have dialogue, at least make it so I can understand the guy.
BATMAN DOESN’T LEARN ANYTHING
My biggest gripe is Batman’s arc in this film.
He just punches and shoots his way through the entire movie.
After his second escape from a prison (Pena Dura), I would have expected him to puzzle out a way to defeat Bane.
We just montage the Caped Crusader through enough sit ups and push ups to be able to kick Bane’s ass.
Then what happens?
He gets stabbed by an unexpected villain. Surprise!
Now I’m thinking, great, they’re punishing our hero for not learning anything. For not pushing himself to be better, smarter, or more tactical than the physically superior villain.
Selina Kyle (Han Solo) to the rescue.
Then they stop the truck with the Nuclear Bomb - when I say they, I mean Selina Kyle and Commissioner Gordon. Batman just swoops around in his Batwing being chased by rockets.
Of course, Batman flies the bomb away from the city, and apparently dies as a result. The ultimate sacrifice - the final consequence of fighting fire with fire.
He’s still alive, chilling in the Mediterranean.
“Me Batman. Me punch. Me kick.”
THINGS I LIKED
The hijacking of the plane in mid-flight. That was damn cool.
That’s about it.
I don’t go to see a Batman movie where the Dark Knight spends most his time feeling sorry for himself or sitting in a prison.
He’s FUCKING BATMAN!
Everyone was smarter, more active, and more clever than he was.
They should have titled this movie The Dark Knight Muses - A LOT.
Movies are hard to make, and good movies are a damn miracle.
TDKR couldn’t possibly live up to the hype, but it could have been much better.
It focused too much on the secondary and tertiary characters, and not enough on the Dark Knight himself and what makes him so special.
A world class detective and sociopathic vigilante who pursues justice with single-minded purpose.
He indulges the dark side of himself, the dark side in all of us, and shows us the danger of feeding our desire for vengeance - it’s never satisfied and devours you from within.
Batman the character - amazing.
TDKR the movie - below average.