Saturday, July 21, 2012

Now that you've seen The Dark Knight Rises

Let's nitpick Batman's big moments — major spoilers included!

Posted By on Sat, Jul 21, 2012 at 4:05 AM

[Note: Check out my full, spoiler-free review of The Dark Knight Rises here. And for more reviews of new releases, check out The CL Movies Site.]


I've wanted to talk at length about The Dark Knight Rises since the second it was over, but that was on Tuesday, and I would have been killed by my friends and office compatriots if I breathed a word of spoilers. What follows below the fold are some additional thoughts on the movie without concern for holding back details. Please consider yourself fully alerted to the spoilers before continuing.

Also, a note on the shootings in Colorado late Thursday night: It's a horrible tragedy. As someone who spends a lot of time in movie theaters I am mortified on many levels. I have no idea what motivated James Holmes, but I do know that blaming the movies in general, or Nolan's Batman flicks specifically, is wrong. No movie can inspire a person to commit this kind of unspeakable crime. That motivation must come from within the deranged individual. It would also be wrong to allow one moron lunatic with a gun to come between you and a movie you've been dying to see for weeks, months or years. The lasting message of The Dark Knight Rises is one of hope. Don't let Holmes dampen yours.

Now, on to the spoilerific nit-picking:

Mr. Right Place Right Time
  • Mr. Right Place Right Time
John Blake: I never mentioned him in my review, because every time I wrote something it contained a spoiler. His character is repeatedly in the right place at the right time. Most glaring: When he finds Commissioner Gordon spilling out of the sewer. The preceding conversation between Bane and the guy he sends to "follow" Gordon establishes that Gordon could come out anywhere. Blake's a hell of a cop! Also, how exactly does he know Batman is Bruce Wayne again? I bought it when he explained about seeing Wayne as a kid (Joseph Gordon-Levitt is really great in this scene, and in the movie in general), but is his tale plausible? About the Robin reveal: Loved it!

Speaking of COMMISSIONER Gordon: when's the last time the COMMISSIONER of the police force was doing grunt work in the sewers? Just asking.

Gotham sure is snowy this time of year.
  • Gotham sure is snowy this time of year.
So, let me get this straight: Bane's plan in to lure the entire police force into the vast sewers of Gotham and then trap them underground. Leaving aside an alternate plan that has Bane lead the cops right under an explosive roof cave-in — you know, instead of leaving the entire police force alive and ready for hand-to-hand street combat — I'm still puzzled as to how the hell the cops are being fed? Did I see Mr. Right Place Right Time delivering food through a hole in the ground? Really? When "Cops are being hunted like dogs in the streets," one remaining cop (or even a few) is managing to feed a police force of thousands over a series of months right under the nose of Bane's army patrols?

That's right, I said months. How much time passes in the last hour of TDKR? Isn't there a six month window until the bomb decays and blows? Does six months go by? It has to so Bruce Wayne can training-montage his way to escape from the prison hole. That's some snowy winter Gotham is having …

Notes on the prison hole: Loved it. Loved the set. Loved the other prisoners. Loved that even in prison in Katmandu (or wherever the hell it was) they still get Direct TV. Loved the "hole" thing. Very confused as to A) How Bruce Wayne gets there, B) How Bane can be there too initially? (Isn't he busy halfway across the world?) C) How Bruce gets home after he escapes?

The trucks with the bomb: My least favorite element of the movie. I found it tedious. (When Gordon drops the "signal jamming box" while trying to get in the truck and install it I cringed, and not because I was on the edge of my seat.) I also can't believe TDKR prominently features a blinking red countdown timer on a bomb. Holy hackneyed plot device, Nolan!

So damn sneaky …
  • So damn sneaky …
Miranda Tate revealing her true identity: I was completely blindsided. In the moment before she stabs Batman, my inner kid was going fucking wild as Batman is beating the shit out of Bane and essentially reprising the whole "WHERE IS HE!" freakout scene from The Dark Knight. Then STAB, and I'm shocked. Of course, so is Batman, who just stands there while a 105 lbs woman holds a small knife in his side and tells a story. I don't know about you, but if I'm Batman, I'm suspending the "never hit a woman" rule at light speed. … And then Bane's dead. Somewhat unceremonious if you ask me. (Though I loved the Catwoman one-liner that followed.)

The ending: Again, I loved it. Mushroom cloud. Batman's dead. My jaw is on the floor. My train of though starts rolling: Did they just kill off Batman? And didn't this same sort of thing just happen to Tony Stark? (Super heroes are really into self-martyrdom lately.) This movie has been so grim, everyone's an ass hole, the world sucks and now Batman is dead. I guess it fits. Holy shit, it's Bruce Wayne's grave! It's Real! Batman is dead! I'm conflicted … Michael Caine is crying again. I want to hug him … Man, it takes incredible balls to kill off your main character like that. Nolan really is to be — wait a second, what's that about a patch on the autopilot? (Oh Nolan, you bastard.) It's Alfred again. We've seen this place. This is Alfred's fantasy … Please do not let this movie end with Alfred looking across the table and smiling without us seeing what he's looking at. I'll fucking die! I'll DIE I tell you! Reveal: It's Bruce and Selina! All is well with the world. Hope wins in the end.

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