Batman The Dark Knight Rises Review: Total Shit
I wish I could come up with a witty or amusing way of expressing that the new batman movie was shit. I’ve made sincere efforts to do so, but I’ve come up dry. Hence the words: the new batman movie was shit. And that’s probably why I could never do this writing thing for a living. Most of my movie reviews would begin with the words: “It was shit.” My editor would spurn me to be more descriptive. To which I’d reply that I meant “A gangly giant turd of nasty, smelly, shitty shit-shit.” Such was Batman Rises.
The best part was the end, not the end part where batman pulls the ol’ take-the-bomb-out-with-ya-but-still-come-out-alive, I mean the end-end. The part where the screen goes blank, the credits roll and I stand up to leave. Everything before that was irritating, especially Alfred’s teary-eyed melodramatics: “I raised you [dramatic pause] from the time you were a wee little boy [dramatic pause],” etc, etc.
Fill in the rest. It’s pretty much exactly the same thing Alfred said in the first and second. And that’s the thing about Old Man Love – you can’t over do it, even if you’re Michael Caine with a London accent. Especially if you’re Michael Caine with a London accent. I miss the classic portrayal of Alfred as the dutiful butler whose affection for Bruce Wayne was subtle and understated. That was the whole point, actually, of his formal butler relation to Wayne. Remove the ‘formal’ part and you just have a sniffling old whiny bastard.
I get that Bane is a cool badass villain – Tom Hardy’s been lifting weights and wears a respirator – that’s cool, in an old school darth vader sort of way. But what exactly was his motive for tearing Gotham apart? I’m confused. Was it because he spent his childhood in an underground prison somewhere in the middle east? Oh so he’s buddy-buddy with Ra’s al Ghul’s daughter. Surprise! But how does a career mercenary, somebody who kills for money, suddenly switch to an ideological-driven maniac? These questions are important to people with basic critical analysis skills.
Even overlooking that Bane throws batman into a highly escapable prison with HD TELEVISION, the movie’s sense of proportion and realism was so far out of focus that it could hardly be ignored. The idea that one man can bring an entire city to its knees is a comic book idea, and there’s nothing wrong with it in that context. But when you see it on the big screen with live actors, it appears strikingly ridiculous. In a big city, we’re talking about millions of people – that’s thousands of metro cops and I don’t care how much Karate Bane knows or how many protein shakes he consumes daily, just one swat team would nail his ass, along with all his mercenary cronies. Even more ridiculous was the part when the United States military was thwarted by Bane’s antics. Oh yeah, and the New York Stock Exchange.
I’m not asking that movies and fiction be realistic in the sense that they be similar to our own reality (i.e. the classical, colloquial definition of ‘realistic’). I’m only asking that they be realistic within their own context. Goblins and dragons make sense in a Harry Potter movie because the world of Harry Potter is one of goblins and dragons, the context allows for them. But when the context of a story poses to be similar to our own, like in Nolan’s Batman movies, the expectation is that the characters and objects within the story follow the same rules as our own reality. And in our own reality, you can’t walk into the New York Stock Exchange, in broad daylight, plug in a laptop and blow up the entire economy. Then escape on a motorcycle. Physical strength, in our reality, does not give you an advantage over cops or people with guns. That’s why it all appeared strikingly ridiculous. The Spiderman movies, in contrast, made sense in the context of their own world (which posed to be similar to our world) because the heroes and villains were not regular people, but ones with super powers (unlike Batman and Bane).
If all the cops were trapped underground, how the fuck did they survive without food for months? People brought them down food, eh? But If people brought them food, that would mean they had a passage for escape. Are legions of cops really going to toss down their hand guns and start throwing fists when confronted by an army of gun-totting mercenaries? Gaping plot holes like that ruin it for me. I am literally blasted out of the story and reminded that I am watching a movie. I am reminded that it is all just pretend, and Christian Bale looks quite ridiculous in that bat costume. The good movies don’t constantly remind me that it’s only a movie – they bring total absorption, I’m sucked in and I only snap out of it when the credits roll.
I might have liked the movie a little, though, if I could hear what the characters were saying over the dramatic background music. Movie makers, especially Christopher Nolan, really need to lay off on the dramatic, ear-raping background music. I can’t hear myself think, let alone Anne Hathaway’s sensuous whisperings. And I’d really like to hear Anne Hathway’s sensuous whisperings, thank you very much.
Well, in conclusion you have another “Big and Loud” Hollywood blockbuster that the critics are just swooning over (in no way influenced by the millions spent by Warner Bros. on marketing and PR). Nolan is a good director with a proven track record (See: Inception, Batman Begins, Memento) but this bloated 2 and a half hour peace of shit didn’t pass in my book. There’s just too much going on, too much forced emotion, a lack of interesting characters and an utterly nonsensical plot. In other words, Total Shit.