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Movie Review: The Dark Knight Rises

I have all the ideological issues with it. (I did like the ending though, and not just because it was the ending.) Spoilers ahoy.

Okay, so I'll be upfront and just say: Yes, I'm a Marvel girl. The difference between Marvel and DC is like that of Star Trek and Star Wars--it's a matter of gifts. DC and SW go to the school of One Great Man--special people exist and they get to do special things, like take care of the not-special. Marvel and ST say it's not what you have but what you do with it--sure Peter Parker got bitten by a spider and got super strength, but he was also a smart kid who made web-shooters and an outfit at home.

Another let's be honest: I'd probably be less offended by DKR if I hadn't gone back to see Spider-Man last week.

So one of the things I love about Spider-Man, and Avengers at that, is they take a moment to appreciate the people on the street. In Avengers, NYPD gives Cap some crap--for about two seconds, during which he proves that he knows how to fight the Chitauri, after which they immediately take his tactical advice and are on the streets getting people to safety. In Spider-Man, the construction workers give Spidey a clear path to get to OsCorp. In DKR, cops actively prevent the evacuation of Gotham--I'm assuming it's a post-Katrina commentary thing? (Which would have worked better if so many of the baddies weren't brown, and that's a whole 'nother rant. Also, Teal'c was in this for about thirty seconds and was a baddie and I was UPSET.)

Everyone in Gotham except for a handful of renegades led by Joseph Gordon Levitt and Sirus Black Gordon are also sheeple. Andrew O'Hehir over at Salon describes it as a kind of Reign of Terror--which would be great if there were any actual citizenry involved. Allegedly they're around, but mostly you just see them looking all oppressed. Especially in the climactic battle of surviving cops versus prisoners, you wonder where the heck everyone is. In contrast, as hokey as it was, in Avengers you have that scene of Cap standing up to Loki, and people start to stand up behind him. Sure, sometimes you need a hero, but--you can be a hero, too.

In the other Spider-Man flick, there's that great scene where people on the street start throwing stuff at Green Goblin when Spidey is down and out. "We're from New York! You mess with one of us, you mess with all of us!" shouts one guy. That's what people are about, that's what movements are about, that's what greatness is about.


Okay, so let's talk about women. I think the plot twist of Miranda Tate being Ra's Al Ghul's long lost daughter was interesting, but the whole "let's twist that emotional knife for Bruce" was just...weird. And unconvincing. In contrast, the relationship she had with Bane for about twenty seconds in flashback was possibly one of the best things in the film.

Anne Hathaway's Selena Kyle. Um. I like how she used her gender as manipulation but....Black Widow did it so much better? And she and Christian Bale just had no chemistry, and the "happy ending" where Alfred sees the pair of them in Florence I just wanted to write-off as Inceptioney wishful thinking.


Levitt's John Blake and "sorry, I should have used my full name." "Robin, I like it." Okay, that was GREAT. It really was the best part of the three hours for me, no lie. I really wish we could have a movie about him and...have it be good. Don't get the feeling that's gonna happen though, for better or worse.

The trailer for the new Superman was underwhelming. I did tell Scott to just go ahead and accept that we'd be going to the midnight release of The Hobbit.


( 4 comments — Add your .02 )
Jul. 22nd, 2012 09:44 am (UTC)

I mean, yes, people holding back and hiding would be more realistic (and can I say I probably shouldn't have loved Modine's character so much?), and fits with the world Nolan created where ordinary people tend to be used by everyone, but after seeing the Avengers and Spiderman, where they got to stand up and help and be awesome, it was rather depressing :'D

AND ROBIN. I may have fdkfkh-ed at the cinema screen at that bit xD

I did like the movie, and felt that as the end of the trilogy he set up it worked well, but there were a few problems with it :/
Jul. 23rd, 2012 07:37 pm (UTC)
I'm pretty sure my two favourite bits - Judge Scarecrow and the Robin reveal/Batcave-discovery sequence - were also the only two parts of the film where people smiled or looked like they were having fun.*

Leaving aside the awkward cat-and-bat happy ending coda, that is.

*I should add, those were two references my non-fannish flatmate didn't even notice.

Edited at 2012-07-23 07:38 pm (UTC)
Jul. 25th, 2012 03:08 pm (UTC)
Finally saw DKR last night. To begin with, I'm a DC guy and not a Marvel guy, so we do have opposite viewpoints I guess. I can see why DKR is getting mixed reviews. My main complaint: Not enough of Batman in it. I found DKR an emotional roller coaster, and I have to admit, I was in tears during Alfred's breakdowns. I pretty much figured who Talia was, and was rather disappointed she was the villain, unlike in the comics where she and Batman are in love despite the influence of her father (she even had his child, though he didn't know about it). I though Ann Hathaway stole the show as Catwoman, and can see now why people are saying she could anchor a stand-alone movie, though I disagree because I can't see Catwoman without Batman. It's like doing a movie about Doc Holiday without Wyatt Earp. They are inextricably entwined.

Bane I never liked in the comics, despised in that last Schumacher debacle, though I admit Tom Hardy was much better in this. But compared to Joker, he's lightweight. Heath Ledger has forever become the ultimate Batman adversary.

I loved the ending. I had heard rumors that Batman might die, but didn't think DC would let them do that. I admit, I really thought he was dead until the revelation that Wayne had fixed the autopilot. I absolutely loved the ending with Alfred in Florence and seeing Bruce with Selina. It's a wonderful wrap-up to the trilogy. Bruce has done his bit, and it's time for him to pass on the mantle and finally try to find happiness in life. I like the idea of "Robin" being told where the Batcave is, and knowing that he will prepare to take up the cowl. For me, it was a very satisfying ending.
Jul. 25th, 2012 03:16 pm (UTC)
Oh, and as for Superman, I really don't consider it a Superman film. They changed the costume too much. Worst Superman costume ever in film in my opinion (second worst, Brendan Routh's. Cape is too long, no yellow S on back). I also object to DC changing his costume just so they can continue to cheat the Siegel and Shuster heirs.

As for Czerny, I liked him in The Tudors and think he could do a good job in the part. But why does he have a beard? As I recall in the classic days of the comics, his hair only grows when he doesn't have superpowers.
( 4 comments — Add your .02 )

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