Monday, July 23, 2012

No one asked, but about the Dark Knight Rises:

Ooh, spoilers. Obscure points ahead!

Short answer? I really liked it, both by itself but especially as part of a trilogy. But I'm looking forward to more a different way.

I don't know how it would be coming in cold, but Nolan's Dark Knight Rises isn't just a great conclusion to his Batman trilogy, the way various plot points and moments come together make it more cohesive than any other movie trilogy I could name. Catwoman and Bane were both great: just about everything that was wrong with them in their other movies, Nolan gets right. (There's another villain briefly in late, that's also great.) While some plot points were a bit telegraphed, there were others that were genuinely surprising to me, even though I went well out of my way to avoid spoilers. Still, a couple of thoughts:

It bothered me that Batman's career was really short: I thought he may have seen a little action after the Dark Knight, but how did he wreck his knee? Running from the cops? Every so often in the comics, Batman and the police force's working relationship goes south, but the motorcycle chase scene really underlined what a pain in the ass it would be to work like that.

The Dent Act seems like something Batman would not be OK with, either. I misheard it and thought it was a thousand mobsters locked up without due process; when I think it was probably "just" without parole; but it was based on a lie, and to me it seems pretty likely that out of that thousand, there has to be someone who doesn't deserve eight years in the joint: I don't think Batman would stand for one innocent person suffering to keep a thousand criminals locked up. Gordon might compromise and choke that one down, but it would hurt.

While it sets up a later point, I didn't like Alfred and Bruce's last conversation. I just can't see either one of them not forgiving the other, for anything; although I figure Alfred had to be taken off the board there.

Weird, it's President Henry Hayes! Guess we know what universe this is the Batman of...

I don't know if this point was made clear, or if I missed it, but the fusion clean-energy project was heavily invested in by Wayne Industries, but was proposed by Miranda Tate. An important distinction, since without that point it really makes Wayne's attempts to improve the world colossal failures across the board. (Let's keep all these weapons safe in our basement...) Did you trust Miranda, at all? I think I knew going in that she wasn't what she seemed, although she did surprise me once or twice.

I didn't have a problem with the character of Blake, but...and big spoiler here: in the end, when Bruce leaves him the cave, did you think, "so what?" Can Blake become a Batman, or another symbol, without that fat Wayne bank backing him up? I suppose there may be some remnants of Tumblers and other gear floating around for him to scavenge--and I was momentarily hoping one of those destroyed Tumblers would spit out a Batpod, too.

But, and keep in mind I really enjoyed all three movies, Nolan's more real-world take on the Batman isn't necessarily the Batman you might have in your head, is it? Personally, my Batman is agile--less Frank Miller, more Marshall Rogers or Alan Davis or Jim Aparo or Norm Breyfogle. Next Batman movie--and we all know it's coming, which I'm fine with--I want a Batman that can move, that isn't armored up to the point that he can't turn his neck. Picture Batman, in the cave, cowl off, training with parallel bars: that shows a level of strength, balance and coordination that I don't think a live-action Batman has brought to play yet.

If I was writing or directing the next Batman--and yeah, no one's asking!--I would keep it away from anything Nolan's done. No origin, everyone knows it. No training montage. Show Bats doing some detective work, for god's sake. Open with a youngish Batman, in his prime, against a super-powered foe or two: someone visually impressive, but not deep enough to build a whole movie around; just to show Batman as someone who has trained and equipped himself to be more than a match for anything. Maybe Blockbuster or Amygdala...

1 comment:

Dale Bagwell said...

Good points all around, and it's definitely something I can;t wait to discuss with you this weekend.

But you just had to go and steal my thunder didn't you, since my DKR skit came out today as well:)