The Dark Knight Rises - Deconstructed by Batman/Nolan Neophyte - SPOILERS


First up, 10/10.

SPOILERS

Second up, SPOILERS. Just stop reading now.

Also, if you are the kind of person who (understandably) is really irritated when people point out flaws or nitpicks things in a movie that you love, don't read on since that's basically what I'm doing for the next 5 pages :) But pls believe that I loved it.

I haven't seen any Nolan movies

That goes for Batman and also Inception. This wasn't on purpose, it's just I've only recently (past month or so) started going to movies.

I have seen some scenes (youtube) from The Dark Knight and Heath Ledger is intense. That intensity made me actually apprehensive to see The Dark Knight Rises-- I thought it might be disturbing-- but I'm glad I went.

So I'm writing this not as a review but because I am viewing the movie from a certain neophyte perspective, and because I have only just seen it; so maybe it will be interesting to somebody.

I know I should probably keep to makin' and bloggin' 'bout games but whatev's, it's mah blag!

One Thing I Hated

Are you fucking kidding me? Saks Fifth Avenue product placement?

I didn't spot any other placement in this entire movie, except for a very solid, very obvious 1 second where they show a storefront of Saks. This took me out of the moment completely, I would say the next minute or so I felt like, "oh right, this medium really is cynical after all."

Gotham feels like a mythical, not-real place. This seems crucial to the whole ethos of the thing. It wouldn't be Batman if it was just taking place in like Chicago or New York. Seeing a real product suddenly appear out of nowhere is especially disturbing in this context.

Also I wonder: are box office receipts, product tie-ins, eventual DVD/blu-ray/digital download (dare we dream?) sales, royalties, etc., not going to render any money collected for this placement completely irrelevant? Like how much could they have possibly gotten for this? I get it in a movie that might not make that much, and extra million or two might help. But I don't get it here.

Bad, bad taste.

References

I felt that what Bane did to Gotham was kind of the French Revolution writ modern. I liked the trial scenes, and the "exile" thing a lot. I don't know the comics at all, really, so I don't know if that was part of an original story or what.

The scene where certain people are hanging from the bridge was a clear reference to the real life event that happened in Iraq, I believe in Fallujah, sometime around 2003.

Undertones

When a few things are taken together, there is a certain pattern.

Those working the stock market floor are (almost) Bane's first victims. Selena gives a great speech to Bruce that those on top will soon see the coming storm, and wonder how they ever lived large.

When Bane unveils his plan, Gotham seems happy to sort of take him up on his offer, which is unrealistic.

I understand that there is a "resistance" movement during this 5 month period, but it's only cops. It's as if the only decent people in Gotham are police. To be honest it feels more like the citizens of Gotham are more-or-less willing to go along with Bane's plan to loot and kill the rich.

I don't think it's reading too much to say that there is at least a bit of a message here, which could be seen as being a reaction to Occupy Wall Street. I am saying the message is, in a sense, that the 99% want to rise up, loot and kill the 1%.

Personally, I think that's unfair of the filmmakers, but for me to also be fair I will say that it's certainly not too heavy-handed; more of a side-current than an undercurrent.

Did Something Change?

Bane gives a brilliant speech to Bruce at one point about hope being neccessary to truly feel despair. I wish they pursued this more strongly.

I always like to guess as to the creative process in making of games and movies. For instance there are places where you can clearly see puzzle elements were removed from Wind Waker, probably to address difficulty issues.

I wonder if here the original idea for the script was more for Bane to toy with Gotham's sense of hope and despair, but then it started to incorporate more ideas about modern-day income inequality. I can understand and respect an author's desire to respond to something they see ongoing.

Things I didn't Understand

I definitely felt my experience would have been better if I had seen the two previous movies, something I will remedy soon. I didn't understand Bane's origin story very well, or who Harvey Dent was. But it was explained enough for it not to bother me.

A Few Technical Points

The prison scene seems to be in the middle-east. Some have said Mexico. I don't really care, and I'm glad they didn't say where it was. Likewise I'm glad they didn't kill momentum by showing how Bruce gets back to Gotham. This and many, many other decisions about what NOT to bother showing were really excellently done.

The first motorcycle scene was amazing, with Batman's cloak fluttering in the wind.

Second favorite was lighting up the bridge.

The final scene seems to show an anonymous woman, some have said it's Selena. I don't think so, but time will tell. It doesn't make sense for it to be Selena because that seems like a tie that Bruce would definitely want to cut. Time will tell on this.

The ending was overall fantastic, really great foreshadowing pulled it together.

I hated that there were spoiler warnings all over the internet. I didn't spend much time thinking about what the supposed spoiler might be-- because I hadn't seen the earlier movies I assumed it would be the return of a certain character or another, that I wouldn't really get.

But I feel like many people will have had their experience sullied by even knowing there were spoilers to be had. MOVIE PEOPLE, LISTEN UP: SHOW SOME RESPECT FOR YOUR AUDIENCE, DON'T TROLL THE GENERAL PUBLIC BEFORE THEY HAVE A CHANCE TO SEE THE MOVIE.

The double-jeopardy of the bomb being time-sensitive, while also having a trigger, didn't work for me. That's literally the only thing in the entire movie that I felt was kind of off.

At one point it's said that the trigger is a "bluff", and that together with how the bomb was described in it's nature of operation made me think that, indeed, it was purely a time bomb. This would fit better with Bane's philosophy of wanting to toy with Gotham. If he can set it off at any time, it doesn't prove his point as strongly as if, at any time, all of his hostages could simply have left.

Some people have said that the "twist" scene that happens before Bane is killed, with respect to a certain character's back story switch-up, is not necessary. I didn't think much about it at the time but now that it's been pointed out I tend to agree. The original, plainly-stated idea as to Bane's origin was stronger and better.

I really think there is probably a lot of material that will make it into the director's cut. I hope the director's cut is 3 and a half hours long. Maybe instead of digitally adding extra product placement, like has been the pattern lately, they could just take it out. Just scrub that Saks nonsense and you got a real movie, again, bub.

That About It

That's all I really wanted to write about this.

Hopefully if you are reading this you understand that all I'm doing is putting down some thoughts about a movie, to satisfy my own desire, and maybe that will be interesting to somebody else reading.

My biggest feeling is not that the flaws are major, but that this was a fantastic movie and one that (except for the product placement) I fully enjoyed. 10/10

2012-07-20


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