Sep 7, 2012

The Dark Knight Rises (and he takes his time...)

directed by Christopher Nolan / starring everyone who has even starred in anything at all

Warning: A bit of a SPOILER ALERT. Also, beware of the total lack of sensible analysis.

I feel I could've written this post before I even before saw the film. I had strong expectations about how I would react to Nolan's Batman number three, and they ended up holding almost 100 % true. Would've loved to surprise myself, but nah. Maybe some other time.

Let me first briefly review the history me and Nolan's Batman movies share. I saw about half of Batman Begins something like a century ago (okay, five or six years might be more accurate), but never got to finish it because I had to return the loaned DVD (or VHS or film reel, or whatever people watched movies on on 2006) to the store. As far as I can remember, this has been the only time in my life I rented a DVD/video and didn't have the time to finish the movie. I don't really remember anything at all about Batman Begins. The villain might have been called the Scarecrow, or something, and he was something like the Boggart in Harry Potter. Maybe. I could and very well suspect myself to be wrong. I'm too lazy to check.

The Dark Knight I did see, the whole thing, and also more than once, in cinema first and then a couple of times on DVD. And yeah, it's a good film, but I doubt I ever would've bothered to watch it more than once hadn't it been for Heath Ledger. Because almost all the charm in the movie, for me, relies on the Joker.

So, when it comes to me and Nolan's Batman, you can hardly talk about a love story of a lifetime. Now we come to the third movie, The Dark Knight Rises, which I saw last weekend. I know I'm behind my time, and everyone in the civilized world saw the film ages ago, but it only arrived to this far-away part of the universe (also known as China) earlier last week. (And you know, going to the movies here always presents a bit of a challenge. (And you can only get SWEET popcorn, uuugh wtf!)) I went to the cinema knowing I would have to spend three freaking hours there, and that I probably wouldn't enjoy all of those hours. I still would have to see it, of course, because, duh, it's Nolan's Batman, and of course I would appreciate the quality of it. And then, by the end of it, I would again be left wondering what it is that all the other movie fans in the world see that I fail to. And so it was.

The biggest problem in the film, for me, was obvious: 165 minutes?? Seriously, Nolan, give me a break. The noble Sir Batman could've tried rising in a bit hastier manner. I bet I would've enjoyed myself twice as much had I missed the first half of the running time. The other half was pretty good and excting, but I even don't remember what happened during that first hour and a half. Let me see... Anne Hathaway pretended to be a waitress. I remember Michael Caine talking about stuff and having fantasies about Europe. That's all that comes to mind. At least the second half had that cool Star-Spangled Banner scene. Otherwise all that action and ka-ba-boom mostly just managed to bore me, like the case usually is. And Batman and Bane both had such boring fighting techniques. No special, cool weapons, no agile jumps, no clever tricks and tacticts. Just brutal power, yaaarrrr. Boring!
Speaking of Batman and Bane, or Bale and Bane. I think seeing Bale in The Flowers of War helped me get over some of the problems I've had with him in the past. I didn't really mind him as Bruce Wayne. Whether or not I minded him as Batman is another story, but oh well, I just can't stand the way he talks when he's got his suit on. Annoyingly ridiculous. Bane is an alright villain. But it's a tough job to follow Heath Ledger's Joker. Plus I had difficulties understanding what he says. Subtitles would've been great! I mean subtitles in a language other than Chinese.
Joseph Gordon-Lewitt's young and noble-minded police officer is good-looking seems a bit one-layered and clicheed for a film like this. But of course I liked him, because he's a likable character, and I like characters who are obviously likable. It's always a pleasure, of course, to watch such veteran actors as Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine and Gary Oldman. Anne Hathaway and Marion Cotillard looked super beautiful, all the time, and so did all the other females in the movie. Oh wait, there were no one else. So yeah.
Another problem was that too much of the time I didn't know what was going on. This is mostly thanks to Makuuni, and their 7pm deadline. Had it been 8pm, I would've had time to finish Batman Begins once upon a time in 2006 and today I would've caught all the references and understood the movie better and certainly liked it better, and wouldn't have been so confused about why Cillian Murphy suddenly appeared to do one scene out of the blue. So thanks a lot, Makuuni. If this was America I'd sue.

So, I guess you can tell that I wasn't exactly blown away by the movie. Sure, the quality of it was great. There were some fascinating ideas and concepts; like that prison was wonderfully horrid. But, although I do know it's just the thing that makes Nolan's Batman movies stand out, I'm not too much in love with the seriousness of it all. I like my comic book adaptions and superhero movies made a bit more tongue-in-cheek. After all, we're talking about grown men wearing animal costumes.
Oh and one more thing: The Dark Knight Rises is one of the most stupidly and borigly named films ever. I hope Nolan makes one more film set in Batman's world and calls it Robin Falls Down.

1 comment:

Reta said...

I kind of agree, it wasn't really mind-blowing, but I have to admit I enjoyed it. I'm not the biggest Batman fan, I remember seeing the first part of the trilogy ages ago and then watched the Dark Knight the night before I went to see Dark Knight Rises with my friends (they wanted to see it, it was a cheap day at Finnkino) It was ok, but I think I'm not going to watch it again. Joseph Gordon-Lewitt was nice though. And I liked the soundtrack.