Monday, July 23, 2012

The Dark Knight Rises, but doesn't soar as expected

By Jeff

WARNING! This post is going to contain a whole hell of a lot of spoilers for the recently released "The Dark Knight Rises". If you haven't seen the movie, stop reading right now!

"The Dark Knight Rises" may have been the most anticipated movie of my lifetime. Well, maybe the newer Star Wars Trilogy and "Alien Vs. Predator", had more buzz around them, but it's pretty close.

TDKR was a good movie. I enjoyed it and did not regret the $8.50 (matinee!) I spent for my ticket. Director Christopher Nolan does a very good job in creating the world of Gotham again. The shots were great and all the action sequences were entertaining.

Christian Bale was his usual self. I've always thought Bale was a good Batman, just not great, like many others say. The Batman voice just really bothers me by how over the top it is. Some will argue it makes sense, and I get that, I just don't like it. Leave me be.

Tom Hardy was good as the villain known as Bane. The voice he used was creepy, which I think was the point. I just have no idea what country he was supposed to be from. He was in some Middle Eastern or Indian prison for a long time, but his accent is more German. He reminds me a German mad scientist.

Those are really the only actors worth mentioning for their performance. Gary Oldman was pretty good as Commissioner Jim Gordon, but he wasn't as present as in previous Batman movies.

The story was all right. Batman was in retirement due to taking the fall for Harvey Dent's killing spree in "The Dark Knight". It's been 8 years and Gotham cops have pretty much cleaned up the city without Batman.

Of course, this peace is destroyed when Bane and his mercenaries show up. They arrive around the same time Selina Kyle (never referred to as Catwoman in the movie) robs Bruce Wayne of a pearl necklace. But that was not her purpose. She wanted Bruce's fingerprints that she gave to Bane's men so the villain could somehow use the fingerprints to make investments in Wayne's name and bankrupt him.

I saw the movie. I paid close attention to it. I have no idea how this worked, but that's OK.

Needless to say, Batman comes out of retirement to get to the bottom of this and stop Bane, who was billed as someone who could match Batman physically and mentally, like his character did in the comics.

Long story short, Bane breaks Batman's back, drops Batman off in the prison he grew up in, and then takes over the city with the threat of a nuclear bomb.

Batman makes a miraculous recovery and saves the day.

And here is the problem with TDKR. The story was lacking. In "The Dark Knight" there was character development. We learned about Harvey Dent and how he was incorruptible. We learned that the Joker was bat-shit insane, but had a method to his madness. He wanted to show that all humans were corruptible, which he proved by corrupting Dent.

TDKR didn't really develop anyone. To explain things, Nolan had all the characters explain through dialogue what they were thinking. What happened to show don't tell?

The biggest issue I had with the movie was the character Bane. We were led to believe Nolan was going to provide a match for Batman. An evil genius that outfight and out think Batman. Well, it turns out Bane was just Talia Al'Ghul's henchman. He was no evil genius. He was following orders by another character that wasn't developed at all. Her character sucked and served no purpose other than to provide a cheap twist near the end. Even the most diehard Nolan fans have to admit it.

Now I'm all for suspending belief for movies, especially comic book movies, but Nolan's Batman trilogy has been praised for its realism. This was not a realistic movie. Bruce Wayne has no money and no one knows where he is when Bane drops him in a prison. Yet he makes it back to Gotham, which has been locked down, with no problem.

The whole relationship with Kyle's character is forced and there is no way Wayne would end up with her in Italy when all is said and done.

Somehow Kyle can drive the Batpod with amazing skill despite never driving it before.

These are just a few things that just come off as silly. Like I said, I enjoyed the movie, but it is not the greatest comic book movie ever made and it's not the best movie of this year. It was not the best movie in the trilogy.

Batman theme song

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