I see a lot of movies. A lot. I enjoy the theater experience, the eight gallon soda, the keg o’popcorn, the bigger screen than I have at home. I’m easy, entertain me.
I have no intentions of making reviews a regular thing. And by ‘review,’ I mean rant. It’s just that this is really bugging me. I need to discuss “the batman” movie. And by ‘discuss,’ I mean go off on.
This blog is rife with spoilers, consider yourself warned. But in all fairness, they’re less of spoilers and more of “hello, could this be any stupider?” plot points.
Let’s lead with the fact that I wanted to see this movie. Despite its bloated screen time, I enjoyed the first two of this series and was looking forward to the third installment.
Now as for “the batman” comment in my opening line, how many times do they reference him that way? When did “the” become part of his title? I do not remember this from any of the previous movies (this series or other incarnations) and yet I thought they beat “the” point to death. It was odd.
I honestly felt like this movie had eight different writers plunking scenes together and no one single person watched it through in its entirety before release. It made no sense. It was stupid.
In the first five minutes, I was groaning and eye-rolling. Really FBI guy? You’re going to accept these conveniently hooded “prisoners,” followers of Bane, super villain, without dehooding them? This is 2012, dude, watch a movie, read a book, open a newspaper– we know better now.
Stupid case in point number one (well, two after “the batman,” and three after the hood incident, oh no! they’re bad guys! no one saw that coming, gah), let’s have a party in the recluse millionaire’s house (Eight years! He’s been unheard from for eight years! And he’s still reclusing, despite the party!) and then have the housekeeper/caretaker/closest-thing-to-family (and probably the only person to bring him meals daily for 8 years), Alfred, give a key to a stranger to deliver food to said recluse instead of delivering it himself. It’s just silly.
But I guess they had to get her into his room where she could steal his mother’s chipped (as in gps) necklace and his fingerprints. (She stole his fingerprints! This would have been so much cooler had they done something less stupid with it.) She “traded” the fingerprints to some bad guy to be used in some nefarious stock trade or some crap so Bruce Wayne could lose all his millions, hand over his energy device (aka bomb) to the obviously bad girl which allows the entire island of Gotham City to be taken over by terrorists whose goal is—get this—to blow up the island. In five months. Did you catch that? Five months. While they’re still on it. Oh, and they killed THE ONLY GUY IN THE WHOLE WORLD that could disarm the bomb. The. Only. Guy. Well, look at that! I summed up a whole lot of stupid in one paragraph.
I get it. I’ve seen enough Bond movies (and Simpsons knock-offs) to know that the bad guys always take too long getting to their end game which allows the hero, who has zero cartilage left in his knees, by the way, to ponder and train and finally escape from the pit, “the worst hell on Earth”– which must have been where? Toledo? Because our unaccompanied, poor and gadgetless, barefooted conqueror, whom no one but the bad guys knew was missing, sure got back quickly to an island completely isolated and barricaded by both the bad guys and the military. I kid you not, when he “appeared” in the underpass, I turned to Dave in the darkened theater, crossed my arms and blinked hard. Because Genie magic was the only explanation.
At one point, after his return, the batman sets up his own bat signal. That’s okay, except he’s standing there motioning towards it, like, hey, d’ya see that? The batman! That’s me! Cool, huh?
I understand the relationship between Hollywood and implausibility. I go to a lot of movies, remember? There’s probably not a movie out there that doesn’t ask the viewer to accept some ludicrous detail as necessary fact. I’m okay with that. I totally accepted The Expendables! But I expected more from the batman. More? Or just less stupid.
For as unimpressed as I was with the writers, I was equally distressed by the foley artists. I understand Bane is bad, we know this because of his scary face mask. (What a waste of Tom Hardy.) What we don’t know is what the hell he is saying half the time. Mumble, mumble. Oh no! Villain just made a threat! Or perhaps he asked for a glass of water, with a lemon, please. We just can’t be sure. Add that to Christian Bale’s inability to annunciate and you have a dialogue that’s rather tricky to follow. Clean it up in post-prod. Dub it, gees. We have the technology.
I knew the pretty environmentalist that seduced the reclusive Mister Wayne was bad. I knew Bane wasn’t the child. Put two and two together, you get an obvious, no surprise, saw it coming a mile away, betrayal. (Sidebar: his outfit is butt-kickingproof, fireproof, bulletproof and probably atomic bombproof – luckily we don’t find out, but not knifeproof? Fox has got some serious explaining to do.) Oh, and she has the “button,” she can detonate the bomb at any moment. But why bother now? There’s like ten minutes left on the timer. After five months.
It was just stupid. Now maybe if I was more familiar with the ins and outs of the batman saga, I would have a better appreciation for what was portrayed on the screen. But I’m just an average movie goer looking to be entertained for 90 minutes. I apologize, I know there are a lot of diehard fans out there—and a lot of much less critical theater patrons, who enjoyed it, but c’mon, all three thousand island cops are trapped beneath the city? (Have I mentioned that Gotham City is Manhatt, er, I mean, an island?) Stupid. Maybe if they had flashed a *KAPOW* or *ZAPP* on the screen I would have had an easier time of buying this. And then, when the cops get out of the subway tunnels, they charge head first with their billy clubs and handguns into the army of bad guys who have stolen all of the batman’s toys! We’re talking WMD’s here, but it’s cool because we really just wanted Matthew Modine’s weasley Deputy Commisioner to be slain on the front line. Mission accomplished.
If you haven’t seen The Dark Knight Rises by now, you’re probably not going to, and, well, gees, if you’re this far in my rant, don’t! There’re plenty of options. The new Spider-Man was thoroughly enjoyable. The Avengers was awesome. The Expendables—exactly what you expect and maybe a surprise or two. I want to see that Timothy Green movie, even though I know it will make me cry. And The Words with Bradley Cooper looks interesting. Frankenweenie, too. And The Hobbit, of course.
Despite The Dark Knight Rises being approximately three hours of stupid, I did enjoy Joseph Gordon Levitt. And I thought Anne Hathaway did a nice job as the conflicted bad girl who’s really not bad. The football field implosion was awesome and they had some neat special effects. I really liked the last couple minutes of the movie, and not just because it was over. And *sigh* if there’s (inevitably) another sequel, I will see it.
It has to be better, right?