Film: Bat-mania creates Bat-lash
July 27th, 2012
Omaha, NE – The most anticipated movie of the summer has finally arrived. From the Movieha podcast, Ryan Syrek and Matt Lockwood take a look at The Dark Knight Rises.
Ryan: Some of you may be suffering from Bat-lash due to the Bat-mania that has been brewing this summer.
Matt: This is your warning, you’ve already used Bat as a prefix twice. The third time you do it our podcast goes from a duet to a solo.
Ryan: The anticipation is finally over, as Batman is back, and he’s darker and growlier than ever before! You want to hear my Batman impression?
Matt: Only if it’s the Adam West version. The Dark Knight Rises picks up eight years after the last movie, and Bruce Wayne, played by Christian Bale, hasn’t pulled on the rubber body armor that entire time. He and Commissioner Gordon, played by Gary Oldman, continue to pretend that it was Batman who killed people and not district attorney Harvey Dent. Why? Well because the public support in the wake of Dent’s supposedly heroic death led to the passing of a law called the Harvey Dent Act that somehow makes it possible for all crime to stop.
Ryan: If you’re wondering how one law can do that, your head is going to explode at some of the gaping plot chasms that open up in this one. The villain this time out is Bane, played by Tom Hardy. He dresses like a reject from an S&M club, complete with a menacing surgical mask and a voice that sounds like a 12-pack a day smoker. His plan is to blow up Gotham. That simple. But how he tries to do it is so complicated that it involves infamous cat burglar Selina Kyle, played by Anne Hathaway, and the sale of stocks that were forged and bankruptcy and a prison in the middle of nowhere and the ghosts of dead villains. It’s so crazy and confusing, Michael Caine wanted nothing to do with it. At least that’s how I explain why Alfred up and disappears in the film. Oh, and then there’s John Blake, played by Joseph Gordon Levitt. He’s revealed to be…
Matt: SPOILERS! If you reveal something and someone hasn’t seen the movie, the law of the Bat says you have to watch Batman and Robin until you think it’s good. This movie is no Batman and Robin, but it’s no Dark Knight either, as it’s missing an iconic performance and its script is a train wreck.
Ryan: Forget the 30 or 40 plot questions I have, let’s focus on how the movie changes the characters as they were presented in the last two films. Bruce Wayne, who trained with ninjas and lived in a prison voluntarily to avenge the honor of his parents who were murdered supposedly doesn’t want to be batman anymore to avenge the honor of his girlfriend, who was murdered. Then there’s Alfred, who goes from swearing he’ll never leave Bruce in the last few movies to storming out in a British hissy fit. Or Lucius Fox, played by Morgan Freeman, who goes from super genius in the last few films to being unable to keep a multibillion dollar company afloat. It’s maddening!
Matt: Still, it’s thrilling. The visuals are impeccable, the pacing is stellar, and the feel is still there. It’s just everything else that’s missing. Including Batman, who disappears for like an hour in the middle of the film.
Ryan: Bat-fans wanted this to be the greatest movie of all time and the first comic movie to win Oscar gold.
Matt: No so much.
Ryan: That doesn’t mean it’s bad. It’s also not a case of simply not living up to the hype. Nolan’s reluctance to agree to a third film initially is understandable, seeing as how he pretty much nailed it last time out.
Matt: As such, the movie feels unnecessary and clashes in tone, trying to be super serious with super silly plot devices.
Ryan: And don’t get me started on the ending, which feels like it was written by a 12-year-old fan. This is neither the Batman we wanted nor deserved, but it’s the Batman we got. And while it may not be worth sending a beacon into the sky over, it’s definitely still worth seeing.
Editorial note: The Movieha podcast is produced in partnership with The Reader and is available at thereader.com.
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