A few spoiler-filled questions about The Dark Knight Rises, with spoilers!
Yes, I’m probably the last comic book fan on the planet to see this movie, but I did yesterday, and I have questions! So, yeah, SPOILERS ahead. I’m totally serious, here, people!
Look, here are some .gifs to pad the space between now and the spoiler-filled questions to come. Beware! Be aware!!!!
I mean it!!!!
You can still turn back!!!!
And hey, we’re equal opportunity around here, so here’s Baby Goose:
It’s going to be too late soon!!!!
Okay, I gave you fair warning. Let’s get to the spoiler-filled questions!
My biggest question is: (1) Did Nolan and Nolan and Goyer not realize that the first rule of pop culture is NEVER TRUST THE WOMAN?!?!? The instant Marion Cotillard showed up, I whispered to my lovely wife, “She’s a bad guy.” I wasn’t thinking Talia, but I kept waiting for her to betray our hero. Krys actually thought maybe, just maybe, they wouldn’t follow Rule #1, but the second Bats said “Watch the door,” I knew. I hate that that’s Pop Culture Rule #1, but it is because writers keep going back to that well. It’s ridiculously insulting to women, I guess, because while that Daggett guy betrayed Bruce Wayne, he was an unctuous slimeball in the first place. The woman is almost always someone you think you can trust, until she stabs you in the back. What about Anne Hathaway, you might think? Well, sure, but she falls into a different stereotype: The loner nobody trusts but does the right thing anyway. That she’s a woman is incidental. So that “twist” is annoying, because it’s so obvious that Cotillard will betray Bruce. Why do writers keep doing it when they ought to know that’s Pop Culture Rule #1? Now, if Joseph Gordon-Levitt had betrayed him … that would have been something!
(2) Why did the writers fall into the “James Bond Villain Trap”? This should probably be Pop Culture Rule #2: When you have the good guy at your mercy, shoot him in the head! When Mike Myers and Seth Green have already mocked this in a movie, perhaps you shouldn’t make it one of your central moments in the story. I’m a bit sick of villains claiming they want to make the hero suffer instead of killing him. You know how you make him suffer? Shoot him in the head!
(3) If Talia and Bane want to make the world suffer and show the corruption of society and all that shit, why were they committing suicide, basically, at the end? Shouldn’t they want to make other cities suffer as well? Listen, the League of Shadows’ fixation with Gotham has always been a bit weird, but if you’re going to destroy society, you don’t just destroy one city, die in the conflagration, and trust that the world will fall apart. I don’t get it.
(4) Why didn’t James Gordon change his clothing between the night of the speech and when he got shot in the sewers? It wasn’t on the same night, was it? I didn’t think so (the movie jumps around in time really annoyingly, but early on, it seemed pretty straightforward). So why was he still carrying around that speech that trashes poor Aaron Eckhart?
(5) Why are the police so stupid that they think it’s a good idea to Pickett’s Charge the punks holding the guns? I mean, really. Matthew Modine deserved to get shot down over that tactic.
(6) What happened to Juno Temple, who was playing Selina’s friend? They seemed to have a close relationship, but Selina ditched her to go hang out in Florence with a Christian Bale who looks more like Patrick Bateman than Bruce Wayne. It’s actually kind of creepy.
I thought the movie was a mess, frankly. Nolan tried to cram The Dark Knight Returns AND “Knightfall” [Edit: Shoot, AND “No Man’s Land”!] into it, and when the latter stretched over the course of a few years in “real time,” it’s too much to fit into a single movie. Perhaps my biggest disappointment was with how stupid Bruce is. “World’s Greatest Detective” my ass. Now, to be fair, none of the movies have done a really good job with his detecting skills, and he’s much more of a superhero than a detective on-screen, but it’s still vexing. I know people have scars and birthmarks and whatnot, but when Bruce sees the scar on Talia’s back, he should have investigated. Sure, he’s still trying to get back in the game, and she’s all purty and shit, but still. It annoyed me in the comics when Morrison revealed that Jezebel was a bad guy, because that seems like something Bruce should have known, and so is this. Are you telling me he can find out Selina’s identity in a fraction of a second but he doesn’t delve into the past of the woman to whom he entrusts his company? Really, Bruce? Then, when he’s in the prison that seems remarkably easy to get out of if the prisoners banded together (there seems to be only one jailer, and his role is to … help them escape? so why don’t the prisoners just rush him and work together to get out?), some Yoda asshole has to tell him how to get out instead of Bruce figuring it out on his own? Man, what an idiot. He’s not quite as big an idiot as Gordon, who was apparently the only person in the city who didn’t know Bruce was Batman (when Bruce takes off in the weird helicopter at the end and basically tells Gordon, I wanted there to be five or six random Gothamites standing there too, so when Gordon says “Bruce Wayne?” they could all say, “Well, yeah, Commissioner. Of course. Everyone knows that!”), but he’s still pretty dumb.
Batman Begins remains the best of the three, with Ledger masking the weaknesses of the second one and the spectacle of this movie almost overwhelming the flaws. It’s too bad – Nolan isn’t a great filmmaker, but he tries to do some different things and occasionally succeeds, which results in some interesting movies. With this, I think he tried too hard and fell a bit flat on his face. Ambition goes a long way, though, and I’d rather see ambition than mediocrity. That doesn’t make it a great movie, though. Too bad!