Friday, August 3, 2012

The Dark Knight Rises

Probably going to offend some people with this one, but that's never stopped me before.  Also, warning that there are some spoilers in here.

The Dark Knight Rises: I'm not necessarily going to call Christopher Nolan the greatest anything, but with movies like Inception, Memento and the previous two Batman movies to his name Nolan is definitely a major heavy weight when it comes to the movies.  So when the third of his Batman trilogy was released it goes without saying that I was more than a little excited to see it.

I guess this is yet another lesson in the realm of don't set your expectations to high.

Don't get me wrong it's a pretty good movie, but it's a pale shadow compared with the Dark Knight.

The biggest problem with it is that it just fails to build and maintain any momentum or energy.  It wasn't boring per se.  There were plenty of good elements and the plot is sufficiently dark and twisty.  It's more that there was too much story for the movie and thus we are rushed quickly through something that should have taken twice as long to tell. If you want to leave a scene with the audience feeling a specific emotion you have to build towards that emotion and that takes time.  To me it felt like we were shorted some of the connective tissue and thus we failed to reach the desired emotions along the way. [1]

Thus, I wasn't very worried about Bruce Wayne hiding in his house.  I didn't really care about Gordon being in the hospital.  Catwoman's betrayal didn't shock or outrage me at all.  I wasn't concerned about the police getting trapped in the sewers or about all of Gotham getting isolated from the rest of the world.  Bruce's escape from prison was more a foregone conclusion than thrilling. And when the big twist revealed who the real bad guy was I went, 'oh.' [2]  Which I don't think is what Nolan was going for.  In fact I wasn't worried or concerned the entire time.  So the movie ended with a fizzle instead of a KABOOM![3]

I've heard a lot of people complain about Bane.  Granted he isn't really one of the iconic Batman villains, but he was fine.  I wish they hadn't nerfed the idea that he was hopped up on a drug that made him super strong (called venom in the comic books), but I could deal with that.

A lot of people complained about Bane's voice. I know that in the original preview of the movie people complained that they couldn't understand what he was saying.  So it wouldn't surprise me if they went back and overdubbed his lines so that he was more clear.  Personally, I was fine with it.  It made him sound a little different, but that's okay he was a Batman villain, different is normal.  More weird to me was his accent.  It sounded like Nolan told the actor to do the worst Sean Connery impression he could.[4]

I'm not sure if there is supposed to be another movie after this one.  I kind of hope there is because I need a better final movie than this one.  If I can vote on a villain, I've always wanted a movie with Zsasz in it.

The Dark Knight Rises: B-

[1] - fwiw, I don't presume to tell Nolan how to make a movie, but this is the best analogy I could come up with to explain why the movie just didn't grab me like I wanted it to.
[2] - small 'o'. No exclamation point.
[3] - And when the final scenes of the movie revealed Blake's "secret" I went, 'whatever'.
[4] - In fact, it wouldn't surprise me if it turned out it was dubbed over by Sean Connery doing a bad Sean Connery impression. does not confirm this.  But then again it doesn't deny it either.

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