Published on August 21st, 2012 | by Chatterb0x0
Nerds Can’t Enjoy Things: Dark Knight Rises (Part 2)
Disclaimer: Watch Dark Knight Rises and first formulate your own opinion. Also there are going to be spoilers. Check out part 1 here!
Salutations and thank you for reading part two of my Dark Knight Rises review in TG.TV’s latest series, ‘Nerds Can’t Enjoy Things.’ Because some nerd, somewhere, is poking holes through something you love. In part 1 we discussed how well Christopher Nolan’s Batman stacks up to the comics and Dark Knight trilogy so far. While Nolan gets props for attempting to make a psychotic vigilante in a bat suit jive with everyday life, his presentation falls short.
In part 2 we will be discussing the film as a whole. Does the plot make sense? How believable are the characters? Does Dark Knight Rises compliment it’s predecessors and source material? Follow along as I deconstruct the movie point by point!
1) The Opening
The Dark Knight Rises’ opening is a cinematic thrillride that showcases what Bane is capable of. Which is to say, Bane is capable of fooling inept CIA agents. Watching Bane’s rogues commandeer a plane is truly entertaining if implausible. Had the CIA not been written to hold the idiot ball (make decisions uncharacteristic of the agency) it is doubtful Bane would have made it onto their aircraft. Take the sack off first guys!
2) Batman’s Absence
Long-time Batman fans cry foul at Bruce Wayne’s reasoning for retiring, claiming Bruce’s obsession with crime would prevent him from ever retiring and that Rachel Dawes death only propels his agenda. They forget Bruce Wayne’s inactivity is a concept lifted from the popular Dark Knight Returns graphic novel. Aging Bruce Wayne has been retired ten years following the death of his sidekick Jason Todd, the second Robin. Of course new gangs and old enemies begin stirring up trouble and force Batman onto the scene. Knowing this I don’t mind how Nolan explained Bruce’s retirement. Realistically, a person could not be Batman forever and injury would force him or her out of the game.
3) Dark Amigos
John ‘Robin’ Blake
Plenty of screen time is dedicated to Gordon-Levitt. Why not just straight up call him Dick Grayson? I’m willing to suspend my disbelief concerning Blake’s deductions about Batman’s alter ego. It’s a pity to invest so much time into a character who is not part of the Batman canon.
Anna Hathaway is a superb ‘Catwoman’ and most effective in her civilian guise, I think. It’s a missed opportunity that this character did not have three movies to develop. Frank Miller’s origin story Batman: Year One humbles Selina Kyle to position of gentleman caller turned costumed thief inspired by Batman’s theatrics. Definitely a lot Nolan could have played with onscreen which is instead exposited through Kyle’s dialogue. By the end, Bruce and Selina’s romance feels slightly forced due to time constraints.
4) Bane: Freedom Loving Patriot
Bane’s voice does not ruin Dark Knight Rises. If this statement bothers you it’s very likely Bale’s scratchy teen metal-band vocality ruined the first two movies, and reading my review is pointless.
Despite inherent obstacles that accompany Bane’s adaption to the ‘Nolanverse’ he is a worthy foe. According to DC’s Knightfall story-arch, Bane’s intellect is on par with Gotham’s Dark Knight. Bane actually deduces Batman’s identity, and, rather than fighting Batman directly, exhausts him by releasing all of Arkham Asylum’s inmates. Bane then confronts his weakened prey and breaks him physically and figuratively.
Movie Bane is still bad ass though his plans are far-fetched. Everybody better enjoy their freedom or he’ll blow your ass wide open. Call me a glass half-full kind of guy but if some madman employing a goatse mask trapped us on an island full of escaped convicts and an armed nuclear bomb, I would not immediately reflect upon our generously bestowed ‘independence’. Now suppose said madman went on air gripping two soiled documents allegedly from the personal files of a popular civil servant, and passionately orated a speech damning the police. Whether the contents are true or not, would you believe him? Furthermore, how will he feed your city except by, d’oh, relying on the American heathens aid.
But let’s rewind BEFORE all that. Would you truly believe a billionaire recluse whom has not been seen in 8 years made terrible stock decisions EXACTLY when your local exchange was held up? Dark Knight Rises’ plot receives critical praise for setting its stakes high yet requires a large suspension of disbelieve. Frankly, with all the hype surrounding it’s debut audiences were all too happy to oblige.
5) Breaking (and fixing) the Bat
You can’t cast Bane as a villain without having him break a few backs. In fact, if Batman did not have his spine snapped I would have demanded my 13 bucks back. It`s a pivotal moment in the comics and a damn cool image (Even if extremely calamitous for the protagonist). What`s not cool is how Nolan casually fixes everything. Bruce`s vertebrae is literally sticking out of his back. Chiropractors agree* punching a misaligned vertebrae into place would almost certainly damage the spinal cord. While hypothetically possible for Bruce`s spine to shift back into place via hanging, this assumes there have been no other tears or arteries severed.
But hell, you didn`t need a chiropractor to tell you tenderizing a broken back is a good idea. For a trinity that prides itself on realism this is an absolute slap in the face and I can offer at least one alternative explanation. In the Batman: Venom story-arch the Caped Crusader gets addicted to a designer drug of the same name which increases his strength to superhuman levels at the cost of rational thought. According to DC comics continuity Bane utilizes a Venom derivative injected into his neck through a series of tubes. Suppose, in desperation, Nolan’s Batman turns to Venom as a means to cure his injuries. Relying too much on the drug, Batman must rise (get it?) above his addiction and restore order to Gotham.
This concept borders on Spider-Man 3 cheese factor but it’s a helluva lot better explanation than what we’re given.
6) Gothams Super Cops
Nolan is trolling audiences worldwide. Do you buy that GCPD will gleefully flood an entire cities sewer system with every available officer? Bane has assembled a considerable army while somehow eluding sanitation/construction/electrical workers, and police. Bottom line, it’s a job for the American military.
7) Blahlia Al Ghul
It sure would be considerate of Nolan if Dark Knight Rises’ bluray release includes a ‘No Talia’ cut. First of all, Talia is an awful tactician. Her plan of great reckoning is to give Gotham a false sense of hope before blowing it to smithereens? Gotham is in shambles. Second of all, there is no honest chemistry between her and Bruce (Who got over Rachel pretty fast). Third of all, leave Bane alone! Can’t he take credit for ANYTHING in the Batman films? Instead he plays stooge a second time ’round.
8) When the Dark Knight Quits Then You Have My Permission to Rage
No, this is not a textbook example of Alzheimer. DC Comics’ Batman has retired periodically but he will never retire indefinitely. Bruce Wayne’s life is a tragedy. His parents, sidekicks, and lovers (respectively) traumatizing murders remain vividly clear in his perfectly photographic memory. Crime always reveals its black heart and Bruce Wayne, at any age, will compulsively deliver the justice owed him as a child.
In a typical Hollywood finale Bruce instead absconds to Italy with Selina. Does he realize that Blackgate Prison escapees are running rampant in Gotham? Organized crime will likely take advantage of the power divide. Now more than ever Gotham needs a guardian! But of course critics gobbled it up hook, line, and sinker. I still remember an audiences beaming smiles illuminating the dank theatre as they contentedly watched Bruce and Selina find respite.
The fans are owed more. We know Batman better than that. Without a penny to his name Batman would struggle to his dying breath against crime. His oath to order always supersedes fanciful flirtations with Catwoman or Talia. Bruce desires a normality perpetually out of reach.
9) Inna Final Analysis
Perhaps Nolan’s ending is the tragedy: Batman simply gets ‘well’. Only true fans could appreciate that irony. Fan or not, upon breakdown it should be apparent to all that Dark Knight Rises dishonors its toted mantra of realism. As a standalone film The Dark Knight Rises can be an engaging summer blockbuster.
A perfect Batman film, in my opinion, requires a stylistic change up. The concept of Batman appeals to readers because we think, `Hey, Bruce is human. Maybe super heroes can exist!” In ink Batman always looks menacing, is always cast in the perfect lighting, can ascend steep inclines and conquer juggernauts. Completely unlike real life. Future directors may be wise to deploy artistic movie trickery.
Here at TG.TV we encourage healthy discussion until our comment feed gets deluged with spam and death-threats. Thanks for reading and I look forward to your well thought out responses! Stay tuned to TG.TV for more great content.