Thursday, July 26, 2012

The Dark Knight Rises

Yesterday when I awoke from my post-shift 8 hour nap, Ryan and I went to see the third and final Batman movie.  I’ve been looking forward to it, but the tangible motivation for getting out of bed was first eating wings at B-dubs.  Mmm.  I think of old friends and Winchester, Virginia whenever I’m there.

I really appreciated how the Dark Knight Rises depicts a modern Reign of Terror in Gotham City.  I couldn’t help but think of Obama’s “You-Didn’t-Build-That” vision as the mad Dr. Crane loomed over a Jacobin court and sentenced the wealthy to death.  It’s just too easy to make rich people the bad guys.  Obviously if you’re successful, you must have unfairly gained your status by the sweat of another’s brow.

Anne Hathaway’s cat-woman character, Selina, makes a 180 on this class warfare.  While waltzing with Bruce Wayne at an elegant soiree, she defends herself as a modern robin hood.  She needs to make a living (why she can’t make an honest living, we don’t know, especially when Gotham is supposedly enjoying a time of peace and prosperity), so she steals from the wealthy.  Because somehow that’s more okay.  Yeah, go ahead, hate on the folks you mooch from.

Selina despises the wealth she sees around her, and is enticed by the impending upheaval of society.  

"There's a storm coming, Mr. Wayne. You and your friends better batten down the hatches, because when it hits, you're all gonna wonder how you ever thought you could live so large and leave so little for the rest of us. "
Bruce Wayne, "You sound like you're looking forward to it."
Selina, "I'm adaptable." 

It just struck me, she looks like Molly

At the end of the movie, however, Selina is hardly impressed by that upheaval. Knocking off the upper crust doesn’t allow more wealth to go around, it simply means there are fewer crumbs for her to heist.   Nobody is better off in the anarchy of Gotham.

I don’t know what to say about Christian Bale. He’s just excellent.

Marion Cotillard is her usual enigmatic, beautiful, otherworldly self—a lot like her character in Inception. She must be Christopher Nolan’s muse.  At some point it would be interesting to see her play something different, just to see if she can.

I really liked Bane (yes, like the bane of batman; did they intend the pun?)  He was clearly different from the Joker.  I think the producers knew well enough that the Joker could never be duplicated. Bane is his own person, a thug--a really rough thug--and definitely a villain.  But he strikes you as a person; this brute clearly has a human heart.   Whereas the Joker might as well have been evil incarnate.
Ferocious and hot . . . what?

And the ending: I called it!  . . . kind of.  I mean, the aircraft and the fate of the bomb:  I saw that coming. But the very end and Miranda’s role—no, I was genuinely surprised.  In retrospect I see a clue I had missed.

I wished Christopher Nolan had carried over a great touch from his movie Inception and had more restraint with the finale of the Dark Knight Rises.   In that final scene, I wish Alfred had only looked up and smiled.   That subtlety would have been all that was necessary.   We didn’t really need to see who he was smiling at to know.   I mean, you would have known, wouldn’t you?

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