nenena: (Default)
nenena ([personal profile] nenena) wrote2012-07-30 05:04 pm

Spoiler-free thoughts on The Dark Knight Rises.

But first, I need to say something about The Dark Knight. For me, the best scene in the entire movie - the scene that made the entire film work thematically on so many levels - was the scene in which the people of Gotham foiled the Joker's boat plan. That scene, more than anything, carried the entire film for me. The rest of the film was typical Nolan movie stuff: as a suspense thriller it worked beautifully, as a rumination on the nature of superheroes and villains it was full of shallow and at times downright sophomoric fluff, and goddammit Christian Bale what the hell happened to your acting ability. But that boat scene. Oh that beautiful boat scene. If not for that scene, the entire movie would have fallen apart, thematically as well as emotionally.

And I'm sorry, Commissioner Gordon, but I think that scene proved more than anything that Batman is the hero that Gotham deserves. You can't include a climax like that in your film and then end with "we need a savior even if we don't deserve him." But you do. Y'all DO deserve a savior. It was the people of Gotham that ultimately undid the Joker, not Batman punching him in the face. (Well, to be more accurate, it was the people of Gotham surprising the fuck out of the Joker that caused him to lower his guard long enough for Batman to be able to punch him in the face, but you get my drift.)

Now, about The Dark Knight Rises.

1. I liked it. A lot. And even though it lacked the wham!moment in which the city en masse proved the villain's repeatedly-stated view of human nature wrong, that theme was still very much present in the film via the individual character arcs of Selina, Blake, and even Foley. ETA: And I think that what makes the idea that, as Batman says, "anybody can be a hero" particularly powerful in The Dark Knight Rises is that at the end of the day, true heroism is demonstrated by the unlikeliest of individuals: An aging cop past his prime, a man whom the audience was led to believe was a self-interested coward, a naive young detective who should have been helpless in the face of an adversary that outmatched him in every way, and - above all else - a career criminal. That it was this particular handful of characters who rose to acts of selfless heroism - not only saving Gotham City but proving the villain's view of human nature to be fundamentally incorrect - is really a much more powerful statement about the nature of heroism than anything in the film related to Bruce Wayne or Batman. The same was very much true in The Dark Knight, too: in the end, it was the unlikeliest group of individuals - a boat full of ordinary citizens fearing for their lives, and a boat full of convicted criminals - who decided collectively to commit a selfless act of heroism, thereby ultimately foiling the Joker's plan and allowing Batman to defeat him. Like I said before, I really found that moment in the film to be a much more powerful and interesting statement on the nature of heroism vs. evil than any of the tired, clich├ęd exchanges between Batman and the Joker. And the same is true for The Dark Knight Rises, too. I mean, come on: Weren't you all way more interested in watching how Gordon, Selina, and Blake dealt with Bane, rather than watching Bruce Wayne go through the exact same freakin' character arc that Nolan put him through in the previous two Batman films? I know I was.

2. I think we've reached the point in superhero movies where comic readers are going to be prematurely spoiled for awesome, beautifully set up, carefully crafted, and genuinely shocking plot twists. Because I was able to pick out the spoiler reveal in the third act of the movie the moment that a certain character walked on the screen. :( And that's kind of no fun, because I think that Nolan set up the shock of the reveal really well. Unfortunately it wasn't a shock to me, and I think that it probably wasn't a shock to anybody with even a passing familiarity with Batman comics.

Related to number 2: I can't help but wonder what the hell Marvel is planning to do with the Winter Soldier movie. I mean, it's not like the identity of the Winter Soldier is one of the most infamous (and genuinely shocking) spoilers in the entire Marvel comics canon or anything.

3. I'm sure I wasn't the only person watching this movie who was able to predict the culmination of Blake's character arc fairly early in the film, but the predictability of it in no way detracted from the HELL FUCKING YES!!!-ness of the moment when it finally happened.

4. As usual, Christian Bale was the weakest of the actors in the film. Which is still so weird to me because... He's Christian Bale. In his other films he ranges from decent to actually good acting. But in Nolan's films he just sucks. And it's not just because of the horrible Batman voice, either. His Bruce Wayne is just so flat and lifeless, even during supposedly intense scenes when he's struggling to ~*~overcome his inner turmoil~*~ or deal with a broken spine or whatever the fuck. Blargh.

5. I cried exactly three times during the movie. All of them were during Alfred's speeches.

Post a comment in response:

From:
Anonymous (will be screened)
OpenID (will be screened if not validated)
Identity URL: 
User
Account name:
Password:
If you don't have an account you can create one now.
Subject:
HTML doesn't work in the subject.

Message:

 
Notice: This account is set to log the IP addresses of everyone who comments.
Links will be displayed as unclickable URLs to help prevent spam.