In order that this review doesn't sound like it came from the Department of Redundancy Department, I will try not to cover the same ground as my predecessors in declaring that the Emperor has no clothes. Rather, I will try and discuss the little things that made this a big, bad film.
Let me also say I am not a worshipper of Mr. Nolan, nor am I a staunch detractor of his. The Prestige is one of the best and most original films I have ever seen. I enjoyed Memento, and also Batman Begins.
I was not a fan of Inception, and my feelings on The Dark Knight are mixed. I very much enjoyed Heath Ledger's performance as the Joker, and the way the Joker's character was written. I thought the Joker's monologue in the hospital when he explained to Harvey Dent that the hokey pokey IS what it's all about was nothing short of brilliant.
I did not come to The Dark Knight Rises ready to hate it, or love it. I watched the film, objectively, and I saw it a second time from a better seat in a different theater, just to make sure I wasn't being unfair.
Sorry Mr. Nolan, sir.
Your movie sucks.
Why? Because, as the Joker might remind us, the Devil is in the details.
Details, details, details, it is the little things that the mind notices. Some of us laugh and call "BS" when John Wayne gets eleven shots out of a six-shooter, but we believe it when Clint Eastwood or Bruce Willis never have to reload, because they swear and they have dirt and blood on their costumes and faces.
For example, the matter of Bruce Wayne's fingerprints.
Mr. Wayne is not only Batman, he is also a billionaire businessman. Surely, he would be a bit more, oh, perturbed that his fingerprints have been stolen. Let's be serious. If you found out that your fingerprints, or something else intimately connected to you, like your SSN or your signature had been stolen, wouldn't you be thinking about the possibility of identity theft? Wouldn't you be in a cold sweat that someone was going to use those fingerprints to perform a total cashectomy on you? Well, Bruce Wayne isn't. He's pretty cavalier about the whole thing. Ah, well, so somebody wants to steal my identity. Or my money. It's not like I'm a billionaire or I have a secret identity or anything.
ALFRED! Ah, yes, but Alfred's not coming, Master Bruce. You see, he's so worried about you being completely unhinged, and unready to get back in the Bat-tights, and the possibility that you might be killed that he's just going to take it on his toes and leave you to your own devices when you're at your weakest point and you need him the most.
And then we have the matter of Miranda/Talia. Here I am thinking Tony Stark's the superhero who'll screw just about any interesting chick who's willing and available, but, well, Bruce has been having a bad month, we'll cut him some slack.
Except Tony has staff members who do background checks on his playmates, and staff who dismiss them when he's through playing.
With a few bucks and a non-disclosure statement, most likely.
You would think that before Bruce Wayne wagered HALF his assets on a business partnership with Miranda, he would have used his state-of-the-art, info-the-KGB-CIA-MI5-doesn't have supercomputer to do a thorough background check.
He is the goddamn Batman, after all.
Well, he didn't. Not did he do any research on her before they got involved, kind of out of the clear blue sky.
But he didn't find her sudden romantic interest fishy, and hey, she seemed like a nice girl, why not pass up Alfred, or Lucius Fox and just let her have the whole shebang.
And then, after we discover How Bruce Got His Groove Back, he decides to buy some pastel shirts and abscond to the continent, leaving Gotham, and the Batman legacy in the hands of some cop named Robin (groan) with another very nice girl who has shown him that she's a liar and a thief who probably doesn't have his best interests at heart.
Here's to you, Alfred. Sorry you're broke. Good luck with all those orphans and none of my money, relying on the city to keep you funded.
Burn the furniture in the rooms you're not using for heat if they cut you off for a few years. Get the boys some paper routes.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go return some videotapes.
Hurm, I say again, because this person doesn't sound like any Bruce Wayne I've ever encountered, in any of his many incarnations.
I mean, Adam West was a lot more on the ball in the old TV show. And if this is Bruce Wayne as an, ahem, realistic character? Realistically, this self-pitying, egocentric, blundering half-wit wouldn't have ever made it out of that Asian prison in the first movie.
Riddle me this? When is Bruce Wayne not Batman? In this film. Because there is no Devil in these details, indeed, if you are looking for The Dark Knight in Bruce Wayne as portrayed in this film, there is no-one there at all.
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