Nana nana nana nana BATMAN.
And so the Dark Knight Rises from the Dark Knight, which began in Batman Begins, and concludes here with The Dark Knight Rises. The reinvented Batman trilogy from writer/director/producer/boom mike guy Chris Nolan has come to a cape-fluttering end… but is it any good?
I’m not a professional movie reviewer; probably because I’m lazy and haven’t studied things like “Film Appreciation” or “Movie Stuff” or “The Difference Between Movies and Films: How to sound like a massive wanker when you’re bitching about spending $17 at the flicks because you thought that Battleship sounded like a worthwhile investment.” And because I’m not a professional reviewer, I do unprofessional unreviewing type things, such as giving away vital plot points that ruin the movie. For example:
- Darth Vader is Luke Skywalker’s dad.
- The chick in the Crying Game is a bloke.
- Clerks 2 isn’t half as good as Clerks 1.
- Bruce Willis is dead – no one can survive a nuclear explosion, even in space. Even Bruce Willis
See? Can’t help myself. SO, dear reader – if you don’t want to know everything that I can remember about my visit to see The Dark Knight Rises, don’t read any further. OR, skip right to the end for my patented “Mister Evil Breakfast One Word Movie Review.”
You’ve been warned, I’m going to give a lot of shit away here. Seriously.
Here we go:
So Batman has been in hiding for eight years, essentially giving away the whole superhero caper and instead deciding to grow a long beard and begin construction of the Spruce Moose. But because Harvey Dent was such a stickler for justice blah blah blah, the good people of Gotham passed a law which negates parole hearings and therefore keeps organised crime off the streets OR SOMETHING.
At this point in the review, I'll break away from the onscreen 'action' for just a moment and recommend brushing up on your Batman before wandering into Cinema Three (“Just on your left, hold onto your tickets”) for Dark Knight Rises, because 50% of this movie is reliving The Dark Knight, 50% is going back to the League of Shadows and Ra’s Al Ghul from Batman Begins, and the rest is made up of new material that’s mainly plot holes and sideways glances.
Back to Cinema Three: Commissioner Gordon wants to let the world know that Harvey Dent wasn’t the super awesome guy that everyone thought he was, but there’s never really a good time to bring up that he became a super villain, especially when the city is celebrating Harvey Dent Day. It’s like when Lisa Simpson wanted to spill the beans on Jebediah Springfield, I guess.
Gordon’s “I hate Dent and this is why” speech falls into the hands of Bane, a fairly large man with a breathing problem and a mask, who sounds like Billy Maddison doing an impression of Sean Connery imitating Yoda as a Furby. As a result, he’s pretty incomprehensible, especially during his longer speeches, and even moreso if there’s anything louder than a small caterpillar walking across a pile of cushions in the background. I actually wish that the Penguin made an appearance in this movie, just so I could hear Bane say, "Oooh hello Mr Penguin. It's too hot for a Penguin out here." It might make an appearance in the extra features on the Blu Ray edition (fingers crossed).
In a fairly unnecessary sub-sub-sub-plot, Bane gets his grubby paws on Bruce Wayne’s money, which , in a roundabout sort of way, forces Bruce to donate his most valuable MacGuffin, a renewable energy source that looks like a leftover prop from Spider-Man 2, to some other rich philanthropist lady just in case it falls into the wrong hands (Bane’s) who might use it as a nuclear weapon. Strangely, yes, that does happen.
Then there’s a bit of biffo, some Catwoman, an improbable move that brings the entirety of the Police Department into the same place at the same time (except for one single cop called Blake, aka the Kid from Third Rock From the Sun), and all of a sudden, Bane has control of the city. He releases the prisoners from the jail, and lets the citizens of Gotham sort out this Lord of the Flies scenario for a while as they await nuclear destruction. So basically he’s playing The Sims.
Sounds exciting? It’s actually not. Sounds like something’s missing? Yeah, and that certain something is Batman. For a Bat-flick, there’s definitely something caped and crusaderish missing. For most of the movie, Batman is either being a massive whiny bitch, locked up, or not interested. It really should be called The Kid from Third Rock from the Sun Rises, as he does way more than he really should. And all on a policeman’s salary, too, with no overtime bonuses. I mean, he somehow provides food, water, clothing, medical supplies, shaving kits and electricity to 3000 policemen trapped in a sewer for three months, while Batman waits for a plot hole to open so he can return to Gotham (and it's a big one, too).
Remember the first Transformers movie when the American troops defeated the Decepticons while Optimus Prime and co sat back and painted their nails? Yeah, same thing goes on here, with the minor characters picking up Batman's slack. It's almost as if Nolan has picked up a script and intermittently slapped Batman into random scenes. This would be an interesting idea if that movie was Driving Miss Daisy, Top Gun, or Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
It sounds like I’m being a bit negative, but the movie isn’t a complete waste of time. Despite a clunky line here or there, Anne Hathaway is pretty decent, the effects are convincing, Bane looks badass and we get to see Cillian Murphy make another cameo. There’s some cool music and sound shit (if that floats your boat), some new Batman toys to play with (vehicles and figures sold separately) and a wide-open gate for someone else to pick up and run through with the next Batman storyline.
If you’re still reading this, and you like Batman movies, then I don't need to tell you to either see or skip The Dark Knight Rises. You already know if you're going to see this film, and it IS worth seeing, it’s just not as glorious as everyone (me) wanted it to be. I've read a lot of glowing reviews from professionals, amateurs and idiots like me, and I keep getting the feeling that those glowing reviews are coming from people who want to like it so much that they’re looking way too hard for positives to come out of this just-shy-of-three-hour-movie-in-which-not-a-lot-actually-happens.
Look, I can appreciate the themes that Chris Nolan was aiming to put across. I just don’t think he did them as well as he possibly could. And before anyone starts bitching and moaning about how the film was based on the “Knightfall” graphic novel storyline and followed it perfectly, I don’t give a fuck. It could be based on Harry Potter and the 50 Shades of Twilight for all I care. Just make it good. And don’t steal so much from The Iron Giant next time.
Needed more of this action
Mister Evil Breakfast’s One Word Movie Review – The Dark Knight Rises: Meh.