I don’t know if you’ve heard, but the final Batman in Christopher Nolan’s trilogy has been released. Don’t worry if you haven’t heard about it. Marketing for the movie has only been prolific, having posters plastered everywhere and a viral social media campaign. No biggie.
Now staying true to the pop culture fan I pretend to be, I went to see the movie on it’s opening day. And given my new found inability to do things without telling the world about them, you get to find out all about it. Lucky you!
Now right from the get go and before the haters start sending me death threats, I want to say that the movie was enjoyable. Or, I at least didn’t hate it. I didn’t really love it either. To be honest after sitting through what felt like the longest movie in history my mind went to jelly and I couldn’t remember my name, let alone form an opinion on the movie. Maybe that was Nolan’s strategy?
Unlike ‘The Dark Knight’ where the antecedent was 9/11, the antecedent in ‘Dark Knight Rises’ was the financial crisis. A much more confusing and less dramatic event, which lead to a much more confusing and less dramatic movie. So much was going on at once that if you understood half of it (specifically, not generally) then you’re doing quite well.
Hovering in a mediocre middle ground, the movie never rises, but it doesn’t falter either. The plot mainly centers around a nuclear device that Bane (the bad guy) and his army steal and then threaten to blow up
New York Gotham with. There are also other obscure plot lines, various character stories and lengthy explanations about everything in there too. But it’ll probably be easier if you see the movie, rather than have me try to explain it. Besides, I didn’t understand half of it anyway.
Ow and in the midst of all this chaos an odd sort of Occupy movement kind of took place. Except it was portrayed in such a way that overall it was against an anarchy and the 99 percent. All whilst disguising itself and pretending it was for the 99 percent. This was all happening at the 2 hour point in the movie and I was getting hungry so didn’t really pay enough attention to understand. Basically I think the movie was trying to be political. But what political message it was sending is open to interpretation.
For long stretches of the movie, there’s little going on that’s relevant to the main story line other than keeping the audience concerned for the fate of Gotham city. And after two hours, that concern drastically fades. But the biggest downfall of the movie was the one dimensional bad guy in Bane. He looked the part with his face and nose covered by a leather mask. But unfortunately the mask impeded the way he spoke so he sounded an awful lot like Darth Vadar and Scooby-Doo’s love child. Which in tune made him sound incredibly idiotic and unintentionally funny. Not to mention, the audience could barely understand anything he was saying. Speaking with Shakespearean overtures when Bane says “I have come to liberate you” it sounds like “have bear hibernate.” If Bane ever took charge no one would know what the hell was going on. Alas, Batman must come out of retirement to save Gotham and the English language. Batman (possibly) coming out of retirement is also a pretty big plot point (only an hour and a half of the movie is dedicated to it). I feel like I should have mentioned that earlier.
But the movie also has many positives. It it cinematographically beautiful, nothing short of what you would expect from Nolan. The story line, whilst incredibly convoluted, is dark and adds depth to the characters. The cast is incredible, and quite a few people make unexpected cameos. The plot twists are genuinely surprising and breathe a bit of life into otherwise dull moments. Additionally, the elaborated scenes of mass peril are perfectly calibrated for maximum tension. No one could have pulled off such a grand finale for the artful trilogy as well as Nolan. But at times there was just too much going on and it meant the movie had self importance without having actual importance. If you’ve got a spare few hours and want to lose yourself in a land of fantasy, then I’d recommend it. Just bring snacks and settle on being content, not blown away.