So, this isn’t going to be a recap of everything that happened in The Dark Knight Rises. If you’re reading this, it’ll probably make more sense if you’ve already seen it. However, if you haven’t seen it and want to, you have a decision to make here. If you love or don’t mind spoilers and just want to know what I thought of the movie as a massive Batman fan, read on. If you want a breakdown of everything that happened, wrapped up with a critique, you’ll probably want to find a review with a synopsis of the plot and more details about what actually happened in the movie.
With that caveat, here goes … okay, you have one last chance to back out and stop reading (*lol*) … okay, you had your chance.
I was … underwhelmed. And here are the reasons why.
- People called Talia last year and the producers, Nolan or whoever denied it … only for it to be true.
- Bats’ costume in the light of day, which it seemed to be in most of this movie, was so painfully bulky and stiff.
- Speaking of his costume, all I could think when he was fighting Bane in the sewers was, “NO CAPES!!” Seriously, Bane could have yanked that overly long and oddly incongruous cape and snapped Bats’ neck.
- Bats was excruciatingly slow … both before and after training in the pit.
- Speaking of the pit … this was a great opportunity to explore the inner mind of Bruce Wayne/Batman … to really dig into his psyche, to find him broken only to rise above his physical disability with the sheer power of his mental strength and fortitude. What we had here was the potential to reveal how this HUman can hang with SUPERman, can stand toe to toe with him and earn his respect and admiration. Instead, Bruce gets a little speech, gets angry and climbs a wall.
- Bale’s mouth hanging open every time he stopped talking drove me insane.
- This is nothing new, but the Bale Batman voice is so annoying. Really wish that they had Kevin Conroy do the Batman voice.
- Alfred abandoning Bruce?!?!?! Are you frickin’ kidding me?!?! NEVER.
- As soon as I saw the kid from Third Rock, I was like, “Robin?” Then, he told his story and you knew that was probably a sure bet. No surprises here.
- Bane? I couldn’t understand him for half the movie … and,
- He’s Talia’s lackey with a face mask to ameliorate the agonizing pain that would otherwise debilitate him. Really? Really? That’s how you decide to create a more “realistic” version of a character who pumps himself up with venom to make him strong enough to defeat the Bat and break his back in Knightfall (The series that birthed, “Broken Bat”)?
- We have the same plot with essentially the same villains from Batman Begins … i.e. Ra’s al Ghul … I mean, Talia al Ghul … wants to “Destroy Gotham … burn Gotham to the ground … purge the earth …” Still not exactly sure how that is productive and helps the League of Shadows … what, take over the world … destroy the world? Anarchy? What exactly is their end game?
- That kiss between Selena (yeah, we can’t call her Catwoman, though she had goggles that looked like a cat’s ears when she pushed them up on her head) and Batman??? Whack!!! The frickin’ atom bomb is less than a minute away from exploding and you waste 15 seconds of it to mack Bats?! Add to that …
- There was barely any chemistry between the two the whole movie, but that’s who he settles down with at the end, despite the fact that he had a different, admittedly seriously underdeveloped, love interest earlier in the movie? WT … ?!?!
- Bruce gives up the cape and cowl and SETTLES DOWN?!?! Yeah. No. Bruce NEVER finds peace. He IS the Bat. Bruce is his alter ego. Anyone ever see that Batman Beyond episode where Shreik (?) gets old Bruce institutionalized by causing others to think he’s become schizophrenic as he is hearing voices in his head? And, at the end, Terry asks him how he knew he wasn’t crazy? Bats responds, “Because, the voice kept calling me Bruce. In my mind, that’s not what I call myself.” and Terry says, “Well I’m him now” and Bruce says, “Tell that to my subconscious.” Bruce would never completely relinquish his cape and cowl for a life of love and leisure. That’s not what is in his cards. Justice is what drives him.
- Bruce Wayne BROKE?!?! What the … ?!?! You guys are buggin’!!
- I prefer Begins far and above DKR. I LOVED Ledger’s Joker … he was cuhrazzy … and it was GREAT!! But, the Dark Knight is second because I felt Two Face was very underserved as a secondary villain. He is one of my fave tragic villains and he was one-dimensional and boring. And that Maggie Gyllenhal??? OMGosh, she brought me out of the movie every time …. anytime your audience cheers at the death of a protagonist … the protagonist whose death is supposed to be the tragedy that triggers a noble man’s descent into insanity and schizophrenia? You have a problem. I just wish they would figure out how to cast and develop female lead characters. We will never understand why our hero will sacrifice everything for the love of their life when that love is an annoying twit, a one-dimensional bore or a cold, ice queen. They need to figure out how to make US believe that our hero would sacrifice everything for this woman … or would sacrifice his happiness to protect her.
- All this to say, again, we have under-developed female lead characters. We never get Catwoman’s story beyond a single sentence about “doing what one must.” C’mon, for real? This is the extent of the motivation for the character? And Talia … Talia … this was like Sabretooth being a lackey with no long, torturous history with Wolvie in X-Men, like Juggernaut not being Charles antagonist brother in X-Men 3 !!! C’mon, get it together folks. Seriously, if you want to totally reinvent a beloved and decades old character, while only keeping a vague resemblance to the history, just call the movie/hero something else and deal with us saying it’s derivative or a knock-off of “so and so.”
- Ultimately, I kept waiting for something huge to happen … for Batman to do something so awesome, I’d lose my mind. But, he never did. Nolan wrapped up the trilogy, sure enough … but, IMHO, it went out with a fizzle, not a bang.
ETA (20-28): I thought of even more reasons why DKR was not good:
- What was the point of the Bane minion staying in the plane? “One of us needs to be here.” Ummmm … why? Wasn’t the point to kidnap Pavel without anyone knowing and everyone thinking he died in a tragic, but accidental plane crash?
- And when’s the last time they used blood to ID someone (the “fake” Pavel that they blood transfused into one of the plane passengers) … in fact, have they ever? It’s dental records dummy!
- Bruce is going to really sit around with a messed up leg for 8 years? Even if he wasn’t going to be Batman anymore, he would have done something about that.
- And even if he wouldn’t have, Alfred wouldn’t have sat idly by for 8 years while his surrogate son became an invalid recluse.
- You had 5 months to disable this bomb and you wait until 24 hours before it’s set to go off to disable it?
- How the hell did Bruce get back into Gotham????
- Why the heck did Miranda/Talia sleep with Bruce? She already had what she wanted before she kissed him. What was her motivation as she had no reason to seduce him since she already had the company and the device? If this was supposed to be the set-up to make the “cut” burn deeper when she betrayed him, maybe they should have actually made it seem as if Bruce fell in love with her. And, maybe she should have said something about playing him out. Instead, their tryst simply appeared a Playboy Bruce dalliance with no significance.
- Speaking of Talia again, not once did she call Bruce, “Beloved.” Well, since they failed to develop their relationship in any meaningful way, I guess that would have seemed ridiculous in the context of this plot.
- And back to Bruce being broke, the trade(s) that caused him to lose all of his money happened during a terrorist attack of Gotham Wall Street as a madman shot and killed multiple people and then took hostages. And he doesn’t get his money back because it was obvious fraud?
Oh well. To end on a good, happy note though (mind you, I get immense joy in critiquing all that’s wrong in a movie/show … especially when I can do it with/among friends who feel the same ;)), I still want these socks:
And these too, as a matter of fact.
Did you see The Dark Knight Rises? If so, what did you think of it?