Sadly, it didn’t really live up to our expectations. I did like how Robin showed up, and I thought it funny that Tom Hardy, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and Marion Cotillard (Eames, Arthur, and Mal from Inception) made appearances as Bane, Blake, and Miranda, as well as (I think) the guy who played Robert Fischer in Inception. “Christopher Nolan must really like those actors,” I told Justin. He should. They’re good actors. Blake was the best thing about the movie, in my opinion.
The rest of it—ehhh. I’ve never been a huge Christian Bale fan anyway. He looks far too perfect—I think of plastic surgery every time I see him. Bane was incredibly difficult to understand. My biggest gripes were the clichéd end of ‘everyone thinks the hero dies, but he didn’t’ (seen that quite a bit) and the ‘surprise villain twist’—which is what I’m going to nitpick on today.
I have no problem with being surprised by the villain. In fact, I sometimes complain about books and movies where the villain is immediately and painfully obvious. (You know, the ‘oh, he kicks kittens and steal candy from little kids, he must be the villain!’ variety.) But I am very tired of action movies where the villain is revealed in a surprise ‘twist’ that had absolutely no clues planted along the way.
About thirty minutes from the end in The Dark Knight Rises, there’s a sudden twist that reveals the true mastermind tearing Gotham apart. Looking back through the movie, I could find no clues that were planted to let us guess about this twist.
I love it when an author or filmmaker pulls a twist that works. I’ll go back through the book or movie saying, “Ooooh! That’s what that really means!” It’s awesome to revisit the book or movie, because then I get to study how they cleverly laid their plants and brought them together to a big payoff.
I know, it’s tough to do that without sticking in a clue so obvious that people guess immediately and are turned off by it. Heavens knows I haven’t mastered the technique, and I don’t know of any author who always pulls it off. I just get tired of seeing the same old thing over and over in action movies. It’s sloppy writing, in my opinion, and just reiterates my feeling of how the entertainment industry always pushes quantity over quality.
Is it just me? Am I being far too nitpicky about the books that I read and the movies that I watch? I know, The Dark Knight Rises was only a superhero story…but with the quality of the superhero stories coming out lately, I feel somewhat justified.
If I’d seen the movie several years ago, I doubt that I would be as bothered by this. But it is what it is, as one of Justin’s bosses is fond of saying—I can rarely push my knowledge of story-telling out of my head long enough to just enjoy a story anymore. Those who enjoyed The Dark Knight Rises—more power to ya. You have no idea how I envy you (seriously). I’ll continue nitpicking on movies as I search for quality ones that make me feel like it’s worth my time to watch them.
And, for now, I imagine I’ll stick with the Avengers’ movies. Iron Man makes a better hero than Bruce Wayne, anyway.