And on a sidenote before I begin, I would like to thank seymourblogger for taking the time to go through my blog entries and posting comments ranging from recommendations of other blogs to encouragement and tips for my fledgling blog. I'll be sure to return the favour once I get through this.....
As the excitement and hype of the release of "The Dark Knight Rises" has, well, fallen, I will do my best not to regurgitate the same compliments and criticisms that everyone has about the movie. Mainly it's the latter, as admittedly I think the film is extremely flawed, but it does have its good points that made me enjoy it enough to not rip apart the movie too much. I'm not sure why, but for some reason I was able to enjoy this movie, yet I hated Prometheus because of its own ridiculous plot holes and ridiculous inconsistencies. Maybe it's because I liked the Dark Knight trilogy as a whole, or maybe I wasn't that pushed on the return of Ridley Scott to the Alien franchise.....even though it's not entirely linked.....but it is, but.....oh that's it, I'm stopping right there. I'll keep my Prometheus rants for another time.
For this blog entry, I'm going to list the ten things about the movie that bugged me in one way or another. Now with this movie, I have come up with a lot of criticism, from reviewers and fans on the internet, to friends and casual acquaintances. And a few of the same criticisms have come up, some that I agree with, and others that I can look past or go against. A few that come to mind are, off the top of my head:
- Why does everybody believe in Bane when he's threatening to blow up the city? (for example: this vlog) - yeah that's a bit hard to believe, along with the fact that there are no other people willing to fight except the police
- How were the police able to fight despite being trapped underground for months? - I would say "suspension of disbelief", but at the same time, I remember the Chilean miners in 2010, so the fact that they were able to fight in broad daylight was unbelievable, despite one of the characters (either Blake or Gordon) saying they work at night anyway and never see the light, so they'll be okay.
- What a rubbish way for Bane to go at the end / how could Bane turn out to be a lackey after all? - The same can be said for Scarecrow. He was a lackey, and his exit was brought on by Katie Holmes tasering him in the face
- Why didn't they mention The Joker in the movie? - Look, Heath Ledger is dead, there's nothing anyone can do about it. It was either write The Joker out, insert an unused clip from the previous movie, or come up with some excuse for his exclusion.
- How and why did Batman get the time to spread gasoline on the side of the bridge to light up a Bat-Signal, considering the fact that the city was about to blow up? - Yyyeeeaaahhh, even I admit that was cheesy and a tad bit stupid.
- Why did they make Blake's real name "Robin" and not Dick Grayson? - There are four other people who became Robin in the comic books, so why get angry about that?
- How was Bruce Wayne able to live in Florence without money? - If he was smart enough to buy Wayne Enterprises in secret in the first movie, I'm sure he was still smart enough to have some money hidden for a rainy day.
- What exactly is the Harvey Dent Act? - Erm.....it's an act where people involved in organised crime are refused parole and bail?
- How was Batman's back "magically" fixed from being broken? - How was he able to survive falling from a building onto a car with Rachel Dawes on top in The Dark Knight?
- How could Batman just retire / he should have died in the end - Oh leave the guy alone, he saved the city, he's too old to keep on fighting, and he's beginning to start a new life and find happiness. What more do you want?
As you can see, this movie can be debated on many levels, and probably will be the topic of many discussions with fans and critics for years to come. While they have not fully ruined the experience I had watching the film, I do admit that the script really needed another draft to tighten the story.
The above list was an attempt not to regurgitate the tired old arguments (at this stage) of the film, and come up with the ones that stuck with me from the two times I watched it. Bear in mind, I haven't seen the film in over a month, so I am sure to have missed out on a few things when I watched the movie twice. But here are ten things that threw me off:
1. That voice.....
As I said in the last blog entry, I am not a fan of Christian Bale's Batman voice. And I'm know I'm not the only one, as many people mock it. And Bane sounds like a cross between Sean Connery's James Bond and Ian McKellen's Gandalf (hence the image at the beginning of this article). The voice itself is not enough to stop me from enjoying it, but what bugs me is that he uses that voice even when he's talking to people who know he's Bruce Wayne. Blake, Bane, Selina Kyle, even when they are aware of his secret identity, he insists on using that voice. Why? Is the Batsuit actually choking him all this time
2. Blake's "detective" skills
I'm sure the scene where Blake tells Bruce Wayne how he figured out he was Batman was to show his powers of deduction and to show that they two are kindred souls. But when I watched that scene, my immediate reaction was: BULLSHIT! You mean to tell me that, just because the two of them are orphans, and the fact that he stared into his eyes all those years ago that he immediately came to the conclusion that he was Batman? It would have been more believable if he came with the conclusion that: Batman has not been seen since Harvey Dent / Two Face's death, Bruce Wayne has been a recluse at the same time, Rachel Dawes was connected to both of them, and THEN go on about the whole "wearing a mask" in public, then it might make more sense. But then again, even Inspector Gadget could put two and two together if that was the case.
3. Blood transfusion on the plane
The beginning scene of the movie where Bane injects the captured scientists blood into a corpse planted on the plane bothered me for two reasons. First of all, the scientist was declared dead until he showed up at the football stadium (just after that explosion, which would have been better if they didn't have a kid singing the American National Anthem, which made the scene more laughable, but I digress...). So if I'm not mistaken, because his blood was in the dummy corpse, he was pronounced dead. Without any other DNA tests, dental records, anything? I suppose they don't show the wreckage, and I don't watch CSI, so I can't even pretend to know anything about forensics. And the second thing that bugged me was Bane's precision of locating the scientists vein to syphon the blood. From someone who has had many blood tests, not only was the scene unrealistic, but painful to watch.
4. Are Bane and Talia suicide bombers?
Now many people have questioned the motives of Bane and even Miranda Tate, who turns out to be Talia Al Ghuel.....erm, Al Guell....err, let's just leave it at Talia, since I can't remember the right spelling. Anyways, Talia wants to complete her father's plan to destroy Gotham. Now, I'm not sure why she wants to do that, as before her father's death, she was estranged from him because of his treatment towards Bane. So why would his death make her want to complete his plan? And why would she be angry that Batman caused her father's death in the first place?
I understand why Raj Al Ghoul.....err, Raz Al Gooel.....ah feck it, let's just call him Liam Neeson. Now, Liam Neeson wants to destroy Gotham in the first movie because of it's decadence. Fair enough, but by TDKR, the city is now crime free, albeit under the illusion that Harvey Dent was a white knight, and so forth. So Talia and Bane come up with a plan to create anarchy, so they can.....erm, destroy Gotham for being out of control.....even though they're the ones who caused it?
Okay, it's hard enough to understand their reasons for wanting to blow up Gotham. But while watching the movie during the final few minutes, it dawned on me that the two of them never planned to escape Gotham. They knew the bomb was going to go off, yet they stayed? Why? Did they want to make sure incase Bruce Wayne managed to escape that prison and come back? Now that I think about it, was the League Of Shadows back in business, or was it going to die with Bane and Talia?
I'm guessing they were suicide bombers at heart, as I am reminded again of the first scene when Bane tells one of his followers to stay on the plane because "they" expected one of them to be onboard when it crashed. Well if they couldn't figure out that the scientist wasn't onboard in the first place, what difference did it make if he was on it or not? I don't know, maybe they all shared that passion for a goal they were willing to die for. I just wish they were a bit clearer about what that goal was and why.
Speaking of Talia.....
5. Marion Cotillard's boobs
I admit that as a bloke, I do get distracted by boobs, whether it be in real life, in photography, or onscreen. It's not because I'm a pervert.....well, not always *cough cough*.....but whenever I saw Marion Cotillard onscreen, two things came to mind.....NO not like that! First of all, they were not there when I saw her in Inception, and secondly, I wondered why she got them done in the first place. If it was for personal reasons, then fair enough, who am I to say otherwise? If it was an attempt to get more acting work or be considered for modelling, advertising etc; she's already won an Academy Award, she's most likely gonna be used in another Christopher Nolan movie, and she is already hot, regardless of age. But hey, I'm not complaining, especially when it comes to boobs.....aaannnddd I better move onto the next subject before I make myself look like even more of a pervert.....
|Because I like.....erm, visual aids.....ahem, moving on.....|
6. Liam Neeson is a ghost?
The cameo of Raj Al.....I mean, Liam Neeson, was one of the low points of the movie in my opinion. Sure it was nice to see him for a few seconds, and I was a little surprised at first. But then he disappeared and I realized that it was just Bruce Wayne having a hallucination. I found this part really cheesy, because it just seems out of place with the somewhat "realistic" tone of the films so far. It would have made sense if Bruce Wayne was hit with the same halucinogetic gas that The Scarecrow used. And the fact that Liam Neeson says he could appear from the dead, what did he think he was, a Jedi? Wait a minute.....
|If he has a problem, maybe he should call the A-Team.....oh wait.....|
7. What was Juno Temple's character?
You know, that blonde chick who was in Killer Joe (very good movie released this year that you should check out, if you haven't seen it, or heard about it)? She was the accomplice of Selina Kyle? Who was she? Was she a friend? Sister? Lover? Partner in crime? If you took her out of the movie, would she be even missed? What did she even do in the movie, other than give Selina a mobile, steal someone's wallet, and talk to Selina during a looting spree? What happened to her in the end? Does anyone care? Does anyone even remember the character's name? Or even who I'm talking about?
8. Why did Bruce Wayne keep the Batcave?
In The Dark Knight, his mansion was being rebuilt, along with the Batcave, as established from the ending of Batman Begins. But from what I gather, Batman hung up his cape the day Harvey Dent died. So was there any reason to go through with the Batcave in the first place? Unless it was the first thing to be rebuilt, it seems kinda convenient that he had a fully functional Batcave, incase he needed/wanted to come out of retirement. Okay I guess I'm nitpicking at this stage but.....I'm sorry, but I'm STILL trying to figure out who Juno Temple was meant to be! Ahem, I'll just move onto the next one.
9. Bane's not such a bad guy. After all, he let Batman keep his leg brace
Think about it. After Bane "breaks" the back of Batman (I'm no chiropractor, so I don't know if his back was actually broken), he puts him in the prison where he was once held, so he can watch is beloved Gotham fall to the ground. Wouldn't it have made sense for Bane to remove the leg brace that could help him walk? That would have made their next fight scene a lot more interesting, and remind people that Bruce Wayne is still not fully fit to fight Bane. Sure it would still have been unrealistic, but hey, if people were willing to buy into the plotline of Rocky Balboa, why not here? I don't know, like I said before, maybe he expected Bruce Wayne to come back, or something. But the fact that once Bruce Wayne put on the leg brace, the idea of him being old and a cripple went right out the window of a tall building, fall down many stories, and onto a parked car.....no wait, Batman survived that. Okay then how about falling off a ledge in a burned out building?
10. Are we forgetting someone?
So let me get this straight: Batman took the blame for the murders Harvey Dent committed. He tells Commissioner Gordon that nobody should know the truth about what happened. Fair enough. Other than them two, and excluding the dead, who else knew what happened? Well there is Gordon's family, but I'm sure they would have also taken a vow of silence, even after his wife leaves him and takes the kids. Now, it's difficult enough to make up a story as to how they ended up there in the first place to the police that arrived on the scene at the end of TDK.
Which leads me to my next question. Who lead them to Two Face in the first place? Why it's the same woman who lead Rachel Dawes to The Joker: Detective Ramirez. Now, during Harvey Dent's quest for revenge/justice (you flip a coin), his next target was Ramirez, who happened to have won the coin toss that saved her life. Which brings me to my final question: what happened to her afterwards?
Did she run away? Was she made accountable for her crimes? And if she was brought to justice, how was she convinced to keep her mouth shut for all these years? Witness protection programme?
I bring this up, because it gave me an idea for an alternative for how Bane brought about anarchy and distrust in the police force. In the film, he blows up a football stadium, among other parts of the city, with the entire police force trapped underground, broke the neck of the scientist, who also happened to be the only person who could dismantle the bomb that would destroy all of Gotham. A few minutes later, he goes on television reading a speech that Gordon wrote, which told the truth about Harvey Dent, and the cover up which lead to the Dent Bill.
Now, why would people be willing to believe a terrorist who is threatening to blow up the city with a nuclear bomb? People would think he was crazy enough as it is, so I doubt many people would have believed anything he had to say, even if he did have in his possession the speech written by Gordon. I thought it would have made much more sense if somehow, Ramirez was brought in by Bane, willingly or against her will, to expose Harvey Dent for who he really was. It would have been more effective in exposing the corruption within the police force, and give the anarchists a valid reason to rebel, instead of believing a masked psychopath, even if it may be out of fear.
|Have you seen this woman? Wanted for questioning.|
Did I ACTUALLY like TDKR?
Despite the amount of inconsistencies with the plot and characters, I still enjoyed the movie. I really liked how the series ended, tying up the loose ends of all the character arcs, especially with Bruce Wayne. It was nice to see that he found a way to leave the sadness and death back in Gotham City, and start a new life. Granted, the love plot between him and Selina Kyle was not well thought out, but then again, Batman's love for Catwoman was always questionable.
The standout scene for me was when Alfred tells Bruce Wayne that he was leaving for good. Michael Caine admittedly has a small role throughout this movie, but he was in one of the most powerful scenes of the movie, where not only I praise his speech, but Christian Bale's reaction onscreen. While his face is stoic, you can see in his eyes that he is actually hurting inside. I was moved by this scene, so it made the later scene where Alfred is by the Wayne gravesite that more heartbreaking.
I warmed up to Joseph Gordon Levitt's character, so it would be nice to see him with his own spin-off. It would be interesting if they went with Nightwing (not so much a fan of Robin personally), but I gather they would want to change the tone of the series, so at least with JGL, it would not seem like an actual reboot.
At the beginning of the year, the two films I was looking forward to were Marvel's The Avengers (there is no way I'm referring that as "Avenger's Assemble", just because some rubbish film, based on an old TV series, that no-one remembers or cares about, took the name), and The Dark Knight Rises. I thought that by the end of the year, I would have to pick which one was my favourite of the two, and figured that both would be fighting for my favourite film of 2012. All I can say is, The Avengers wins by a longshot. Which is surprising, considering that I enjoyed the previous Dark Knight films more than the other Marvel films prior to the Avengers.
In closing, I can say I enjoyed TDKR, but when compared to TDK, it doesn't live up to its predecessor. That is quite disappointing, but then again, it's just another example of the third film in a trilogy being the weakest. Besides, it's not like it's Batman & Robin!
And on a final note.....
I think it's appropriate to end this blog entry with a piece of music by Hans Zimmer (who provided the music to The Dark Knight Trilogy) called "Aurora", which was dedicated to those who lost their lives at the shooting spree during the premiere screening of TDKR in Aurora, Colorada.