Tuesday, December 4, 2012

On second thought

I don't remember if I told my story about seeing The Dark Knight Rises, but my reactions to the second viewing, this time in the confines of my basement, require it. It was not opening day, I do remember that, but it was the opening weekend. I bought a single ticket without bothering to look where it was. It should not have surprised me that I ended up in the front row on the far right. In wake of the shooting in Aurora a few days prior there being an exit door right there did not do much for my concentration. Still, this was almost the exact same way I saw The Dark Knight, so I did not complain.

Nolan's Batman is not the same as previous incarnations. He is both more noble and weaker, and with the notable exception of Batman: The Animated Series, my favorite. Seeing him get a happy ending made me happy. There was a feeling of contentment and closure with both his escape and the Robin tease. Only after the movie was done did I stop to think about the villains and how they ended up. As a fair weather Batman fan not seeing the Talia reveal coming was an embarrassment. It also bothered me because it was unnecessary. Tonight, knowing who she was and what was coming, she ruined every scene she was in.

Talia is a problem not because her presence serves no purpose, which it doesn't, but that it cheapens the real mastermind: Bane. Nolan's Bane, just like his Batman, is not the same as previous versions. He is not a mindless killer, not some brute held on a chain. Bane is Batman without the stubbornness that keeps Bruce from taking that one last step off the edge. Bane should have been the boy that the escaped instead of Talia's protector. It would have completed the character.

He also should have had a more noble end than being shot by a tights wearing floozy from off screen.

Without Talia the fight between Bane and Batman could have come to its own conclusion, with Batman having the choice to kill Bane and deciding not to, deciding not to follow Band over the edge (yes, I know that fight was with Azreal, not Batman, in Knightfall, cut me some slack). Instead he is stabbed in the back, literally, Bane is punked and Talia dies in a truck crash.

The Dark Knight Rises is certainly good, but it is not as good as The Dark Knight, and not just because Joker isn't in it. Bane could have been just as good. He would have, too, if he didn't have the rug pulled out from under him by an evil deus ex machina with boobs and a knife.

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