Sunday, 5 August 2012

was it worth the weight?

i may or may not have mentioned previously that I have had to frustratingly wait to see The Dark Knight Rises (ok, that is a downright lie, I know I've mentioned it)

and I know that I have previously mentioned what the weight of expectation can do, and how crushing it can be.

(and I think my brother wood appreciate the use of a homophone in the post title)

and since I shared my opinions on Batman Begins to quite a good response, I guess I should take a critical look at The Dark Knight Rises too.

*WARNING PEOPLE -I dare say there may be a few spoilers ahead*

the first thing that struck me about the movie was Bane's voice.

I hated it.

some bizarre autotuned English aristocratic accent that instantly got my back up, I found it incredibly jarring, more-so than Bale's overly gravelly Batman tones on Dark Knight.

I wanted to get up and run away, I didn't know if I could really cope with it.

the Bane I have always imagined was probably greatest informed by the BBC Knightfall radio play, or possibly by my own imagination, and his origin going back to the fictional Santa Prisca in Latin America

Tom Hardy certainly looked imposing, but the voice was preposterous.

of course I didn't turn and flee from the IMAX, even if I hated every moment of the film I would have still sat there and just bitched about how retarded the whole thing was afterwards.

and it was the next scene that really brought the film into focus for me, Bruce Wayne hasn't been living his life as a billionaire playboy in the eight year gap between films, he has been living as a recluse.

And nor is this just a ploy to allow his night time activities to go unnoticed by Wayne's peers and colleagues, Batman has not been seen for eight years either.

I believed that the intervening years would be filled with outlawed heroics as the Dark Knight fought to stay ahead of the cops that would be hunting him down, I believed Batman would still be lurking in the shadows, that there were stories to be told that filled the gaps, that a rogues gallery would have developed over the time that we have not been a witness to.

But this was not the case.

and that was when I realised that this Batman truly belongs to Christopher Nolan, in my opinion piece on Batman Begins I noted the flaws, the inconsistencies that I wished to have seem carried forward from the comics.

but these Batman myths have been raided and then almost wholly disregarded to build a completely new world and a completely new legend.

'my' Batman would not have disappeared for eight years, 'my' Batman would not have given up so easily, but this is Nolan's Batman, and this is Nolan's Bane, funny voice included.

and Nolan's Batman certainly deserves high regard, as the trilogy ties together well and presents a complete story.

The weakness that took Batman to breaking point in Knightfall, the mass breakout of Arkham that had already been pilfered and incorporated into Batman Begins, is instead substituted for eight years of losing his edge, losing everything he had become.

The legend of Rās al Ghūl comes full circle, as do his wishes for the fate of Gotham that I felt was not fully delivered on in Batman Begins, in a far more epic and far more disastrous fashion.

sure the film wasn't perfect, but what film is? even the regarded pinnacle of the trilogy, The Dark Knight, has a number of stumbling points that can be easily exposed if analysed.

but the fact that Nolan made a concluding chapter that didn't let me down is admirable, that he made a film that for the most part sidelines Batman himself in favour of building the story around other supporting characters is a brave move indeed, certainly something that has been many times before in comic book stories, but rarely in a big screen effort that so much is riding on.

and despite initial misgivings and the expectations that I had tried not to give into, when the final credits rolled I had been blown away by what I had seen, an epic final chapter that definitely delivered, a well-rounded world of intriguing characters that borrowed from the comics that I know and love, but refused to treat them as a definitive scripture.

these were the things that went through my mind after just the first viewing, I may revisit my opinions when I inevitably revisit the film, and I may shed light on some spoiler-shaped gripes I have, but I can honestly look back on this trilogy and say I enjoyed it.

well done Christopher Nolan.

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