I wish that was the screenwriter
I really love movies. I love good movies. I love bad movies. I love funny movies. I love action movies. I love dramas. I love romances. I love Woody Allen and Michael Bay movies alike.
I loved Batman Begins. I loved The Dark Knight. I loved the Michael Keaton Batmans. I loved the Adam West Batman.
I hated this Batman. I hated it so much that I won’t even waste my time laying out a complete or logical argument citing the many glaring faults this movie had. Instead, I thought I would complain about it like a petulant child. So here we go. Be careful, there are tons of spoilers in here.
Please consider putting this on at some point
Did I miss a meeting? Isn’t the goal of a super hero movie to focus on the hero doing hero stuff and being a hero? Shouldn’t we, the audience, be afforded the opportunity to see said eponymous hero jump around in tights for our cinematic amusement? Shouldn’t the BATMAN movie include more than ten minutes of actual BATMAN footage?
OK, let’s take a step back. The first and second movies introduced us to our villains in the first twenty minutes, so that is fine, let’s see the –
Wait a minute. I know Bane. He rocks. Fantastic comic book bad guy. The best part is that even though he wears a mask I can understand him so clearly as he talks in a clearly printed bubble over his head. Oh wait, this is a movie? Oh, so let’s distort Bane’s voice a little bit – let’s in fact envision this meeting with the sound mixer:
“How does that sound, people in charge of this movie?”
“Can you just kick the distortion up a bit?”
“Sure, how does this sound?”
“What do you think? You do the sound.”
“I think it’s perfect I can really hear it clearly and his voice sounds menacing.”
“OK good, turn the distortion up some more now.”
“But then you won’t be able to hear him clearly.”
“What if in addition to making to harder to hear him, we make it so that almost every scene he is in he is surrounded by lots of extraneous noise and explosions and talking through a microphone, would that make it better or worse?”
Can you hear me in the back? (no)
It didn’t help that when Bane was talking, half of the time there was fighting going on
in the background, making it harder to understand his vitriolic rants. Worse still (and this has always been a pet peeve of mine about these movies), why does Batman sound like he has an advanced case of emphysema in these movies? Not only is he near-impossible to understand, couple that with Bane’s mumbling and you have a good few minutes of “I assume they are saying cool stuff to each other when is this part over” during the movie.
Speak up, you two
That is of course, when Batman is actually IN THE BATMAN MOVIE. If I wanted to see a movie where Christian Bale isn’t Batman for over two hours, I could have rented The Machinist.
Why is Batman not in the movie until at least 45 minutes into the movie? Instead we are treated to this (are we supposed to feel bad for him?) beaten-down, hermetic billionaire who still manages to throw extravagant parties on his premises, but can’t afford to support an orphanage (oh, more on this shortly, believe me).
Well at least if we are to be spoon-fed Bruce Wayne scene after Bruce Wayne scene, at least we will get some good interactions with Alfred, played so effectively by a personal favorite of mine, Michael Caine. Oh, wait – he’s not going to be in the movie at all? Just two contrived, trying-to-capture-the-emotional-impact-of-the-first-movie long speeches and an ending so cheesy I asked for some wine to go with it? WHY IS ALFRED NOT IN THE MOVIE? WHAT POSSIBLE SENSE DOES THAT MAKE?
Is this a Batman movie or a period piece?
Instead, let’s add some contrived bullshit about investing billions of dollars in a fusion reactor that has been “mothballed” to Mr
Boring Wayne’s completely unbelievable surprise.
The Bruce Wayne has no money plot made no sense. Zero. Yes, the Bane taking over the stock exchange thing was OK, and managed to create
some tenuous at best, contrived to a fault at worst a connection between the Catwoman and Bane stories. And there is almost no way that those trades would have been cleared to cost Bruce Wayne his entire fortune. No. Way.
Occupy Wall Street
The “F&*$ the Rich” theme didn’t work either. Yes, I get it – the 99% are going to see this movie and want some fictional retribution on those rich 5th Avenue assholes (great case in point that they changed the numbers on the awnings for those shots on 5th avenue as the cultural elite likely had no interest in seeing their addresses in those scenes where they are being thrown out on the street). But the whole “the people have control now” thing did not work. It didn’t work as a background vehicle for the end of the movie (that scene at the end was absurd, why did they all decide to run down the most narrow street in America? If not the dumbest strategic move in the history of mob warfare, at least they could have attacked from more than one side. Maybe I should moonlight as a mush-mouthed, mask-wearing villain on weekends…
Look, it’s the narrowest street in Gotham
Social commentary be damned. Even the fine and stunning Anne Hathaway couldn’t sell that pedantic nonsense, telling Bruce Wayne that she was waiting for the day that the financial tables would be turned. Then half-assedly (yes that’s a word – now) introduced a thief friend who was supposed to represent her bad side, and disjointedly intercut her in with some of the endlessly long riot sequences. And I love Anne Hathaway. And thought she was great. Until her plot kicked in. Then she became nothing more than eye candy and window dressing on an already faltering narrative concept.
It’s not your vault or your fault, Anne
Speaking of people who had no business being in the movie whatsoever, what the hell was the point of Matthew Modine or his character?
You deserve to get shot for your performance in this movie
He vacillated between whiny prick, officious prick, and dumb-as-shit-and-soon-dead prick, and none of them were interesting, compelling, or necessary. Did he get paid a bonus for overacting every single scene? Can somebody explain to me how in a near-three hour movie they couldn’t take the time to explain how in a matter of minutes Matthew Modine goes from scared, protective family man to cop wearing his dress blues shooting blindly at a descending mob without any sense of safety, strategy, or sense. Total. Disaster.
And I am an unabashed fan of Joseph Gordon-Levitt. The kid had amazing acting chops, and pick fantastic movies to be in. If you haven’t seen Brick you’re missing out. He has recently surged to prominence, and is quickly becoming a recognizable face on the silver screen. I was pretty excited to see what he was going to bring to the table.
He brought nothing. I won’t ruin the “oh wow” moment baked into the movie’s denouement, but for a good two hours and thirty-two minutes, he does nothing.
Coming soon starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt
Unless you call moving the plot along with completely unrealistic narrative reaches like how JGL knows that Bruce Wayne is Batman, or how he feels self-righteous enough to give him a speech on responsibility, all stemming from outrage that Bruce Wayne isn’t supporting the orphanage he works with anymore. OK, got it. That’s how he meets Bruce Wayne. I’m sure there is no room for a meandering plot involving funding an orphanage in Gotham City in this juggernaut of a movie, is there? What’s that? You have a better idea? JGL should spend the last hour of the movie admitting that he can’t do anything to help the situation and therefore decide to take an entire orphanage, priest and all, in a suicide mission to leave the city (knowing he is likely to be shot), then pile them all back on the bus for the
anti climactic finale.
“Hey this movie is wrapping up, has ten disparate plot lines, and lots of over-the-top action that needs to be resolved.”
“OK, right as all of that is about to happen, cut to a priest, some orphans, and the Third Rock kid in a bridge with a school bus. Throw in the cop from Dexter for good measure – but make sure he looks 14 years old.”
I say this with all compassion for those impoverished, lonely souls who I feel for daily: WHO GIVES A SHIT. How is this important in the movie? Batman isn’t helping them specifically. JGL is not doing anything to stop Bane or the bad guys AT ALL. So why do I care AT ALL. Terrible, terrible. The rest of the time JGL just runs around Gotham spouting cheesy lines, yelling at Matthew Modine, and most importantly, wasting my time. What a massive waste of talent, character development, and film.
So to summarize, about forty minutes into the movie, this was the summary of the insanely anticipated The Dark Knight Rises:
“Hey Alfred, I know you are not going to be in the movie for very long, but I just checked my statement. Did I spend $42 billion last month? Why didn’t the kid from Third Rock from the Sun tell me? And where’s the guy from Vision Quest, I need some overacting stat. And can you explain what the guy with the mask was saying earlier in the movie? I am legitimately confused.”
Let’s do it for the orphanage and my flagging film career
And it is just all downhill from there. Not even the gadget scenes were cool. Instead of neat new things to go on his utility belt, we are treated to a completely unrealistic (even for a summer movie super hero) Transformers-inspired piece of CGI crap named “The Bat”. And for the first sequence that we actually get to SEE BATMAN,
I think Batman is in there somewhere
we actually just see this stupid vehicle. And Matthew Modine’s amazement at it.
Once again, who cares. How is a flying machine supposed to replace the bad-ass cape-and-fists-flying-everywhere Dark Knight we know from the first two movies? It is amazing that something so flashy could be so boring.
But at least we get to see Batman (or his flying car thing at least!). Great, we are about an hour into the movie, so bring on the Batman vs Bane fireworks! Yes, I enjoyed seeing Batman get the ever-loving shit beat out of him because:
A) I felt the same way,
B) at least we were getting some action, and
C) maybe this plot would actually go somewhere.
Oh, it goes somewhere all right. AS FAR FROM GOTHAM AS POSSIBLE. Batman, or Bruce Wayne, or Christian Bale’s paycheck, spend the next hour convalescing and watching TV for our amusement. Apparently he is there for a number of months, and it feels almost that long. One conversation with the old, beaten-down prisoners/shamen would have been plenty. Two would have been enough. Three is fine, but probably overdoing it. At about the 46th conversation, I was ready to go to that prison, climb up the ledge that Batman has to leap across, and jump into the abyss just to escape the absolute and abject boredom I felt for this sequence.
Wait, I’m here for almost half of the movie?
And just to be clear, the ONLY person to make this monumental jump was a 12 year old girl. Question. Why couldn’t the extremely muscular trained assassin jump over the chasm? What about one of the hundreds and hundreds of other strong male political and social dissidents? Could they have built some sort of rudimentary bridge across?
Most importantly, did Batman/Bruce Wayne feel the need to get a running start to make this jump, or just half-heartedly leap at it? And just out of curiosity, how did he get back from the desert wherever he was and back to SNOWY GOTHAM in a matter of hours.
No, I didn’t buy this, No I didn’t like this. Yes I thought it was not only stupid and illogical, but completely unnecessary. Even if you argue that the scenes existed to explain Bane’s back story – as well as another (yawn) character – in the movie, I argue that could have been accomplished through Marion Cotillard’s (annoying as always and perhaps the most contrived part of the movie) character near the end of the film.
Dear lord, just give us some Batman please.
And we get him. For about fifteen minutes at the end of the movie. Now, he has the massive “Bat” plane thing which has enough firepower to destroy at least one person – and there are hundreds if not thousands of armed, rioting bad guys around. Now may not be the best time for hand-to-hand combat.
A Poor Decision
And I didn’t realize this movie needed to end like Armageddon. All it was missing was Ben Affleck and a bad Aerosmith cover. Holy cow, that was bad. You know how you do super hero martyrdom in a summer blockbuster? Like this brilliant imagery in Spiderman 2:
Is that Spiderman or Jesus?
And bringing Alfred back at the end of the movie did nothing more than irritate me. What. A. Joke.
OK, I’m done. I genuinely don’t understand why this Batman was so long, and yet so very very hollow. It seems that it was a 5 hour movie that they cut the good 2 hours out of.
I really do love super hero movies. I really do love Batman. I really don’t understand what happened here. That said, I can’t wait for the new movie Robin Saves Some Orphans which should be storming the multiplexes just a few days before the apocalypse.
What did you think? Am I way off base here?
Don’t be shy. Opinionize.