The Dark Knight Sinks: A Second Opinion

andy w July 21, 2012 0
The Dark Knight Sinks: A Second Opinion

I can’t decide who’s more stupid: the citizen of Metropolis, or the citizens of Gotham? Superman’s disguise is a pair of glasses and hair parted on a different side. Even the city’s best investigative journalists are fooled by this. In The Dark Knight Rises, Batman has been missing in action for eight years, the same time that the only person in town who could afford to fund these super abilities went into hiding. Now, Batman is back, and Bruce Wayne makes his first public appearance. No one is suspicious? Not even a little bit? How dumb is this Commissioner Gordon?

Like I said, it’s been eight years, and the city still mourns the death of Harvey Dent. So much so that roughly 45 minutes of the first act are spent reminiscing about the events that took place in the previous installment. It’s a cheap ploy for sequels that like to milk the goodwill from the predecessor. Think The Hangover Part 2 or Dead Man’s Chest. There’s an element of cockiness in it. I expected more from Christopher Nolan, and I was certainly surprised at his excessive use of flashbacks. I mean… flashbacks? And his use of clunky expository dialogue certainly don’t help. How dumb does he think we are that we need to be constantly reminded of what happened in the first two movies? He must think we live in Gotham.
It takes a lengthy amount of time (too much time) to finally get the story started, and by then I’d lost interest. Bruce Wayne is still hung up on Rachel Dawes (for some reason that’s never been fully fleshed out into anything that would make sense), and his loyal butler, Alfred, keeps pressing him to do something with his life and to meet someone new. The pot calling the kettle black, right? This guy does nothing but obsess over what Bruce does with his life, while doing nothing with his own. He should be added to our “Movie Characters Who Need to Get Laid” list.
There is an element to two that make this film somewhat superior to the overrated previous installment. For one, Bane proves a greater threat to Batman than The Joker did. Did anyone really think that ninja-trained Batman couldn’t kick the crap out of that skinny nerd? It was never a fair fight. All that movie did was prolong the inevitable. Bane, on the other hand, is barely effected when Batman uses all of his strength to fight him. There’s a problem with this, however, and I’m not talking about his bewildering and unexplained cartoonish voice. The movie starts out with such a depressing low point for all the characters, it’s hard to care if anything threatens their status quo because there’s really nothing to threaten. Perhaps the point is for them to learn the true meaning of life, but it’s takes too much time and is too heavy-handed.
Furthermore, this isn’t really much of a Batman story more than it is a Christopher Nolan story with Batman as an afterthought. Not to spoil much, but the bat suit isn’t seen for very much in this one. Bruce Wayne has been taken prisoner and must escape home to Gotham before Bane explodes it. That’s the plot of the movie, so nothing is given away. But while he’s indisposed, nothing seems to happen that advances the story. Things go from bad to worse. Joseph Gordon Leavitt is there as a cop, and it’s fairly predictable where his character is heading. Anne Hathaway plays a 90 pound Catwoman who has the ability to take down men over twice her size. And Morgan Freeman and Marion Collitard experience a lot of political injustices. At some point, it feels more like a post-apocalyptic political thriller than a Batman movie.
Another problem I had with this movie comes with Nolan’s ability to cut a scene in the middle to avoid having to explain the impossible. I won’t be specific but they have to do with a patch of ice and a being in foreign country with no money.
It’s surprising, for how long the movie is, the script feels like a rushed project. Almost as if Nolan was eager to wrap up loose ends with just one or two drafts. It’s not his best work. The dialogue and the one-liners is cheesy and sometimes uncomfortable. Even the villain’s speech at the twist ending likens to a monologue of the killer in a horror movie. Why explain things so eloquently and conveniently (and so lengthy) when you’re planning on killing this person? A character should never know the audience is listening.
I suppose Nolan thinks we are all simple-minded enough to just sympathize with the Gothamites. We’re never shown their plight from a sympathetic point-of-view. The closest we get is Hathaway’s Catwoman, a character whose motives are out of self-interest while remaining in her own self-pity. People in this movie sure have a hard time letting go of things. Maybe Bane has the right idea to do away with this city all together. On top of that, the action is forgettable, and it offers a number of cliches, including bad romance scenes. And kids on a school bus trapped on a bridge?! Is that like Superhero Movies 101 or something?
I didn’t hate this movie, but it’s the weakest of the trilogy, and not very good as a standalone. Now that I think about it, the entire trilogy actually works as a three act story synopsis, but an entire movie as a third act (after everything falls apart) is too exhausting.  If it were shorter, it would have been better.
Maybe I’m wrong.  Kent thinks I just hate all movies.  

Leave A Response »

You must be logged in to post a comment.