The Dark Knight Rises: A Tale of Two Movies & Confused Fan Critics

by on July 24, 2012

in Entertainment

movie review - Christian Bale in The Dark Knight RisesAfter watching The Dark Knight Rises, I went home and pounded out a quick movie review. There are literally thousands of movie reviews out there so I figured mine would get lost in the mix. That’s fine. It’s more or less a rehash of what the rest of the world said, with the exception of mainstream critics who peppered the movie with praise, skipping over some details like disjointed plot events and the like.

But then there was the crazy fan-base. You may have heard about the death threats lobbed at critics last week for negative reviews. But now the fan base is busy ripping the movie apart for some specific and obvious flubs in the story.

I have to laugh at the dichotomy of opinions about The Dark Knight Rises. That’s for sure. That’s the beauty of opinion. It’s pretty subjective, though I have to wonder if the angry (I had not seen the movie yet) fans feel somewhat silly today?

Yet despite the dichotomy of opinions, a lot of the criticism from fans is fairly valid.

For instance, there were issues with these points (These were written in a vague sort of way that those who have seen The Dark Knight Rises will know what I’m referencing, while I don’t think I’m giving away details of the movie. If you want to play it safe, then consider the following bullet points as potential spoilers.)

  • From learning no new apparent skills and yet being able to tackle a situation more easily the 2nd time around was glaring
  • Jumping in bed with someone for some unknown reason, no real development seemed contrived and odd
  • Quick, senseless and hollow character deaths that should have been expounded on but instead, made the character moot
  • A huge mass of people being trapped for a long, long period of time underground and no one figures a way out
  • How do you get places with zero resources?
  • How do you get into cities that are blocked off from the outside world?
  • How do you put serious distance from something in only 5 seconds?

and other events that took place that needed explaining and got none, well, did confound some fans.

movie review - Anne Hathaway in The Dark Knight RisesFirst up, despite some flaws, I enjoyed the movie overall. It did finish out Christopher Nolan‘s vision and for what it was, was good. But today I was asked which movie I liked better, The Dark Knight or The Dark Knight Rises. And I had a hard time answering that.

But looking back, I think I discovered a few things about this latest Batman chapter that helps me wrap my mind around a few of the glaring issues and the question at hand.

On which movie was better, I’d have to say this:

A) In regards to the Bruce Wayne/Batman story, I did like TDKR better. There was real development, or personal character challenges to Bruce Wayne in this movie.

B) As far as the bad guy goes, no one will ever outdo Heath Ledger’s The Joker. And it didn’t help that you could never really see Bane’s (Tom Hardy) full facial features. (Darth Vader would have been proud of his illegitimate son!)

But aside from the above, I also was pondering something else, and that was if this wasn’t more about John Blake (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), who can deduce particular pieces of information without seemingly showing proof. We watched Blake germinate an idea of who he really wants to be and he seems to have figured it out.

Here’s a thought on the piecemeal of scenes and story, I liken that observation to either an intentional or accidental homage to how comic books deliver a story.

If you think about it, you can almost equate how this movie was delivered, as a huge motion comic. Comic books don’t have a ton of space to flesh out every detail, so some things are assumed and then presented. Much like quite a few scenes or moments were presented to the movie-goer in TDKR.

At least that’s my rationalization to why some things seemed so disjointed in the presentation. That, and aggressive editing to get the movie runtime down to under three hours.

I had heard that the long-form of the movie that was previewed to WB execs was around 4 hours, so I’m betting what landed on the editing floor, and what will probably appear in a director’s cut could be the all-important pieces of info we found lacking in the theatrical release.

At least that’s my guess/hope.

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