July 23, 2012

Ten Harvey Dents in the Dark Knight Rises

Filed under: Uncategorized — fairplaythings @ 11:59 pm

So just back from the Dark Knight Rises, and I don’t know what to think other than I liked it despite itself. Really it was when Bane came into view in Gotham that the movie started to come together, the previous 30 - 45 minutes seemingly oddly rough, choppy and not the smoothest of acting.

But even then, there are about ten things that stick in my craw, so at risk of leaving spoilers, I give you ten plot problems with the Dark Knight Rises:

  1. Eight years of moping - okay, I get it. Bruce put a lot of bank behind a perpetual motion machine and it turned out to be the mother of all bombs. And his girlfriend’s dead and his parents are still in the front yard. So he’s going to go away and sulk for eight years. Beyond this not being the promise at the end of the Dark Knight - I had imagined the first scene of Rises to be Batman fighting out some villain and wearing himself out after continuous clashes with police and villains, not hunkering down in Wayne pantry in the golden age of peace. But more importantly, you don’t just put back on the cowl after eight years of your muscles atrophying and there was no indication that he was really doing much more than working the cane before he decided to take on Bane.
  2. No organized crime - really? Eight years later and no organized crime in Gotham? And yet Blackgate prison seemed simply filled with thugs and goons. I can scarcely believe a single law would rid a cesspool like Gotham. Unless the real architect wasn’t the Dent law at all but the Joker killing off all the competition, which is a bit of irony.
  3. Election for life - which brings me to the mayor. Now it’s probably a minor point, but seriously, the mayor is still in office? I thought Americans had something like term limits or, you know, aspirations for higher office…
  4. Non-venomous Bane - Speaking of aspirations, I didn’t expect Bane to really be pumping venom into his veins and I like the use of the mask and lack of costume, but seriously, no human male is going to be able to shatter concrete with a single blow. Which Bane does in the city hall fight with Batman. Shatters cement. Venom-powered Bane, I can believe doing this. Morphined-up Bane, not so much…
  5. The speech - and while we are talking shattering stories, why would Gordon write a full speech that tells all of Gotham the truth about the cult of Harvey Dent, that he decides not to give at the last second, and then leave in his jacket to be discovered by Bane’s henchmen to be used later on to moralize Bane’s crusade. Pretty sloppy way of getting to the point really. Does Gordon not change?
  6. Don’t feed the cops - and then there is the pile of cops kept alive underground for why? So that Batman can lead them in a triumphant campaign against Bane’s forces? If you are gunning cops on the street down in cold blood, why not get rid of the thousands buried below ground?
  7. Don’t pet the cat - Selina Kyle. Aiming to get out of Gotham as quick as possible because she is so afraid of Bane. And then she promptly manages to remain unharmed for five months in a marshal-law controlled Gotham? Really, she had very little to worry about in the first place…
  8. Down and out in Afghanistan - so while Selina seems to be have no problem in Gotham, Bane seems to have no trouble in dropping a broken Bruce Wayne into unknowastan into a little prison there to nurse his wounds. And Bruce, penniless and recovering from back alley surgery on his back, seems to be able to get back to Gotham with little trouble and with time for a shave to boot! Really? You couldn’t have just locked him in Arkham down the street and kept a better eye on him?
  9. Every second counts - So Batman is back with just hours to spare. On a device that Bane seems to think, based on nothing really, will detonate in 5 months, give or take. Really? Really??? Do I need to say more here? Yes there was a clock on it but I don’t buy that it is related to the timing issue. I mean a device not intended as a time nuclear weapon really has no use for a timer of five months.
  10. Daddy issues - lastly, why does Talia want to blow up Gotham? The Joker wanted to show Batman that there was no goodness worth fighting for. Ra’s al Ghul wanted to show to destroy a city of decadence and decay. And Talia wanted to avenge her daddy who didn’t like her choice of Bane?
So yes the movie held my attention and interest. Bane was amazing and Catwoman was surprising good. Talia was the “is she or isn’t she” ongoing surprise that flirted with being a reveal from almost her first scene (albeit with a great origin arc). And I loved seeing Liam Neeson and Cilian Murphy. But for a movie that tried to be both Nightfall and No Man’s Land, there was a lot going on for a single movie, which made the fall and rise of Bruce Wayne feel rushed. And didn’t it seem that everyone knew who Batman was? Really, isn’t it only Clark Kent and Tony Stark who get away with their ties to the hired muscle - is anyone really believing that the master cat burglar Selina Kyle wasn’t on to Bruce Wayne being Batman when he showed up in her apartment?
But the last comment has to go to Batman’s cape. Never have I seen such a poor choice of cloth. Really, what was it doing there? Was it a holdover from the serials of the 1940s? Really?

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