Batman - The Dark Knight Rises (spoilers)

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Anonymous
Jul 23 2012 18:40
Batman - The Dark Knight Rises (spoilers)

Surprised there isn't a thread about this yet. Who else has seen it? Thought it was a pretty good film and bits were hilarious, especially the sentencing court and the death or exile options. The scene where Batman fights with all the police sums up how I've always felt about him quite well, a reactionary industrialist on the side of capital and the state. There's a good article by Mark Fisher in the Guardian which puts the argument across well - http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/jul/22/batman-political-right-turn

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Jul 23 2012 19:12

Haven't seen it yet. Intend to watch it when it's out on the intertubes. Then again I wasn't really a fan of the first two either. Decent action flicks, but the stories were meh.

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Jul 23 2012 19:41
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Jul 23 2012 20:40

Yeah, the politics were off, it reminded me a little of last Die Hard film in some respects. Silly allegories about maintaining the status quo etc. On a purely entertainment level, I thought it was the poorer of the three by some way. And the only thing that particularly struck me was how the ending came together, aside from that Anne Hathaway was miscast, some of the fighting wasn't of the high standard we have come to expect, the story was overbloated and some of the large crowd direction was poor.

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Jul 23 2012 21:43

Is that Mark Fisher article a joke?

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Jul 23 2012 22:28

The movie was overwrought and reactionary. I'm not surprised, but Christopher Nolan gave no nods to the campy '60s roots. (Except for that scene where the cops are brawling with the bad guys on the steps of City Hall. BOOM! KAP! PLOW!)

Best exchange in the film:

Quote:
Selina Kyle: You think this can last...There's a storm coming Mister Wayne.
Bruce Wayne/Batman: It sounds like you're looking forward to it.
Selina Kyle: I'm adaptable. But you and your friends better batten down the hatches. Cause when it hits, you're all gonna wonder how you ever thought you could live so large and leave so little for the rest of us.

This is a better review:

Quote:
When it comes down to it, the Nolans are enthralled by the elite of the elite, and simply cannot stoop to dissent from them on any level. The Nolans won’t let us revel in the carnivalesque eviction of the rich from their condos, or let us enjoy shooting up the stock market before hurrying to the next scene, or even give us a riotous show trial to chuckle through.
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Jul 31 2012 11:42

I enjoyed it as a film.

However there were quite a few bits about the plot I didn't get.

I mean Baine and the revolution were awesome, but also the bomb was going to go off and kill everyone. So Batman and the cops pretty much are in the right, as the whole place blowing up one help anyone.

But then if all that woman wanted to do was blow up the whole place, then why didn't she just do it right away? Why have the revolution stuff at all? And why blow herself up with it?

And in terms of it resetting society to year zero, it was only one city, so blowing that up wouldn't even achieve anything. I didn't get it at all.

I thought Hathaway was excellent (having previously thought she was pretty rubbish). And the dodgy psychiatrist as the chair of the sentencing panel was great as well.

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Jul 31 2012 12:52

I think the confusion comes from Christopher Nolan more than anything. A couple of articles I've read have suggested Bane is a dig at demagogues/the Occupy movement, saying one thing and doing another. The bomb going off wouldn't help anyone but then the regular channels in society in the films are shown as ineffectual, from the charity dos to the need for vigilantism. The revolution is about showing the true colours of folk when the chips are down, as Bane mentions. Clever then that you never see owt about it, beyond Scarecrow's kangaroo court in which they are right on. And I guess the fall of a city like New York would be to create a domino effect. I don't think you're really meant to get it though, it's a bit of a mess.

There's a good discussion about some of the ideas http://mubi.com/notebook/posts/the-big-murk-a-conversation-about-christopher-nolans-the-dark-knight-rises

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Jul 31 2012 15:27
Steven. wrote:
I enjoyed it as a film.

However there were quite a few bits about the plot I didn't get.

I mean Baine and the revolution were awesome, but also the bomb was going to go off and kill everyone. So Batman and the cops pretty much are in the right, as the whole place blowing up one help anyone.

But then if all that woman wanted to do was blow up the whole place, then why didn't she just do it right away? Why have the revolution stuff at all? And why blow herself up with it?

And in terms of it resetting society to year zero, it was only one city, so blowing that up wouldn't even achieve anything. I didn't get it at all.

I thought Hathaway was excellent (having previously thought she was pretty rubbish). And the dodgy psychiatrist as the chair of the sentencing panel was great as well.

According to the film's logic the revolution etc was about torturing batman and gotham (there was a throwaway line about giving gotham hope or something), and in reality so they can get loads of fights and explosions in the film (and make the Nolans feel high-brow by letting them reference A Tale of Two Cities).

It's not really a critique of social movements or Occupy I think because there's no popular involvement in the 'revolution', and loads of the looting and associated fun gets done by the escaped cons. So the themes about class fall flat because as per superhero films everything is pushed forward by GREAT MEN. It doesn't leave any room for class struggle.

The bit where Hathaway gets offended by people squatting a penthouse, after having stolen jewellery that belonged to a mentally damaged guy's dead mother was ludicrous. Expropriation is only cool if you have the trappings of high society. Not if you're a scrufter.

Thought it was a good action film, not as good as The Dark Knight, better than Batman Begins. TBH I'll watch Tom Hardy in anything. Hathaway was great, and I hadn't been impressed by her in anything else either.

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Jul 31 2012 15:42

Yea, the revolution was entirely fake, it was about giving people hope before killing them all - it was explicit about this a few times, and specifically that it was modelled on the prison Talia had escaped from - the thing that made it so bad was the hope of escape.

The destruction of Gotham wasn't about resetting society to year zero - it was that Gotham had become too corrupt to save. In the film backstory the League of Shadows did this repeatedly throughout history (eg. Rome) - it gets a lot more detail in Batman Begins. However Talia's version is a twisted up version intertwined with the obsession with revenge on Batman.

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Jul 31 2012 16:19

First off there was a ton of laughably bad political commentary. Like during the scene where Bane storms the stock exchange and the police are outside surrounding it and some random stock broker runs up to the police chief and says something like, "if that money disappears then your pockets are going to hurt too". I wanted to watch a dumb action movie not some sort of halfassed political commentary that makes no sense.

Aside from this, given all of the money that they spent on the movie you'd think that they could have spent some time on getting Christian Bale some acting lessons. When I go to see a movie with a budget over 100 million dollars I expect to see all star performances across the board, not scenes with crappy dialogue that look like they were done in one take.

This movie was so-so at best, and I was pretty offended by Christopher Nolan thinking that everyone is stupid enough to believe that this movie was "gritty and realistic".

MT
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Jul 31 2012 16:51

total disappointment. and don't mean political/ideological aspects of the movie at all.

but as this is mainly about politics, i would say it contains bits of everything put together in something one doesn't know what to think of. it simply doesn't work. it just pissed me off. and i had no great expectations. i mean, it doesn't work well as an attempt to ridicule left (no matter the definition) and surely neither as an attempt to point out to an anti-system rebellion (Robin refusing "the structures"). fuck, it didn't even had a decent action scene. i want more Avengers! laugh out loud

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Jul 31 2012 19:47

One reason I found it confusing was that I actually couldn't understand half of the dialogue. Especially anything Bane said talking through that mask while shit exploded everywhere. This was a significant problem all through the film…

MT
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Jul 31 2012 19:50

hehe, lucky us in the cinema with subtitles:)

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Jul 31 2012 20:23

Despite being a life long comics nerd, I've never liked Batman and went into this film with zero expectations and was kind of surprised when I ended up quite enjoying it. Batman's politics are always going to be shit, it's just the nature of the beast, especially since Frank Miller took it down a particularly repellant path. I think you probably have to watch it with a view to it being the conclusion of a trilogy ( although I've never managed to stay awake through the whole of Batman Begins) otherwise it doesn't particularly make sense what Talia and Bane have got against Gotham.
My nerdery aside, a couple of hour before seeing the movie I was having a conversation with someone, who hadn't seen Batman, about all the arrests that have been going on , especially in the US, people having their homes raided on warrants searching for "anarchist materials" , riot police being set on people chalking sidewalks, general demonising of activists/ occupy folk etc in the media, not to mention what's been going on in our city. My friend made a comment that it's only a matter of time that anti-capitalist protesters start showing up as villains in action movies. So I thought that was pretty funny, as the plot unfolded. I'm thinking that we might expect something next year with Jason Statham, battling evil anarchists for control of nuclear submarines, or something like that. We could be set to be the new action movie evil adversaries. BTW, I'm claiming first dibs on being portrayed by Scarlett Johanssen.
Anyway, to echo MT's sentiments, it was definitely no Avengers!

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Jul 31 2012 20:36

I kind of enjoyed it, particularly when the really really unsubtle attempts to herd the audience towards one attitude/reaction (isn't it TERRIBLE the police are trapped underground and about to get battered?) missed their mark.

Re not being able to hear bane: other than his ridiculous voice, the sound mix was bad enough to make one local cinema run extra subtitled screenings because so many people had complained :/

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Jul 31 2012 20:50

Oh I dunno, I didn't have too much trouble with Bane - Batman himself is pretty unintelligible ...

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Jul 31 2012 22:43
Quote:
My nerdery aside, a couple of hour before seeing the movie I was having a conversation with someone, who hadn't seen Batman, about all the arrests that have been going on , especially in the US, people having their homes raided on warrants searching for "anarchist materials" , riot police being set on people chalking sidewalks, general demonising of activists/ occupy folk etc in the media, not to mention what's been going on in our city. My friend made a comment that it's only a matter of time that anti-capitalist protesters start showing up as villains in action movies.

Have you seen the Canadian sci-fi show Continuum? In particular one episode anarchists were the villains, that, like in the latest Batman movie, take their orders from more sinister forces. The show is actually quite good, however, so it's not all black and white.

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Aug 1 2012 07:41
fleurnoire-et-rouge wrote:
My friend made a comment that it's only a matter of time that anti-capitalist protesters start showing up as villains in action movies. So I thought that was pretty funny, as the plot unfolded. I'm thinking that we might expect something next year with Jason Statham, battling evil anarchists for control of nuclear submarines, or something like that.

Already done!

A couple of James Bonds back was Bond up against Robert Carlyle, an anarchist who wanted to blow up Turkey to "create anarchy". Also xXx with Vin Diesel he was up against an anarchist group called Anarchy 99.

Quote:
We could be set to be the new action movie evil adversaries. BTW, I'm claiming first dibs on being portrayed by Scarlett Johanssen.

ha ha okay, I would probably get Michael Cera

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Aug 1 2012 08:56

You will know the revolution is near when left communists are portrayed as evil machiavellian villains (by Hollywood, not on libcom where it's already part of the mythology).

Obviously the politics were crap but the whole thing had so many sloppy plot-holes it was ridiculous. The nuclear scientist flicks a couple of switches and the benevolent fusion device is a nuclear bomb. Bane just stands up in a stadium, threatens everybody with mass destruction, and the stupid masses flock to his revolution. Batman gets stabbed at the end and then, apparently unharmed, tows the bomb to safety. The bomb explodes in the sea a mile or so away from the city and there's no tsunami or radiation fall-out. And so on. There were some good moments but I don't think the 'new' Batman franchise has added that much to the Tim Burton interpretation - the first two movies of which i think were the best, after which inevitable decadence set in.

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Aug 1 2012 08:58

And how did he ever get back from Uzbekistan or wherever the prison was? Did he hide his credit card in his ass or something?

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Aug 1 2012 12:23
Steven. wrote:
A couple of James Bonds back was Bond up against Robert Carlyle, an anarchist who wanted to blow up Turkey to "create anarchy".

Speaking of which: contains spoilers. (Bond spoilers!)

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Aug 1 2012 18:36

@Khawaga - haven't seen Continuum, I guess I'll catch it on late night reruns on Space, where I get most of my sci-fi fixes.

@Steven - So that's what the Robert Carlyle character was up to. Another movie which failed to engage my limited attention span. I have slept through so much of so many films...

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Aug 1 2012 18:49

It's a Showtime series so don't think you can catch that on Space. It's on the intertubes in any case.

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Aug 2 2012 20:18

Just saw it. Agree the holes in plot and concept were gigantuan. Lots of annoying details as well.

There was a FUCKING ROPE going 70% the way out of the hole... All climbs were from the bottom of the pit despite this great aid. If I remember correctly the first fall was even from below the fixing point of the rope. And that's not even mentioning that any sane person would cut the rope and use it as a tool to climb.

The old guys in the pit were in great shape, some serious beard grooming going on down there. Same goes for the beefy dudes lolling around, must have some mighty protein source down there perhaps protein shake on tap.

Everyone was crossing the ice on their feet. Basic ice safety says lie down if the ice begins to break under you. They would have made it across on their bellies.

Didn't expect the full russian thing going on. People were queuing outside shops in the backgrounds.etc.

The film was still better than I expected, quite alright for this sort of thing.

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Aug 2 2012 23:02
Quote:
Same goes for the beefy dudes lolling around, must have some mighty protein source down there perhaps protein shake on tap.

Well, it's an all male prison, know what I mean?

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Aug 3 2012 14:13
Quote:
There was a FUCKING ROPE going 70% the way out of the hole...

Also, apparently quite a lot or ordinance lying around for things like holding up Christian Bale. Hell they could just haul the bars out of the cells, hack them into the walls and voila, staircase. It's not like they lacked time or manpower.

Quote:
Same goes for the beefy dudes lolling around

I couldn't help but laugh at Bruce Wayne's escape exercise regime, which consisted of doing a large number of push ups, sit ups and pull ups, then moaning that this didn't appear to be helping him jump higher.

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Aug 3 2012 19:43

Aparently the new Total Recall movie has the earth devastated with only Britain and Australia habitable with the bourgeois in Britain and the working class in Australia, so it might actually still be good like the old one smile

This is now a Total Recall thread, because I didn't like any of the new batman movies groucho

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Aug 8 2012 23:28

I don't see why people couldn't understand Bane. I understood his voice, thought it was bloody hilarious. Sounds like Sean Connery through a bad vocoder. He was a good bad guy though.

Lots of good bang, bang, which is why we go see these films right? Especially liked the floor falling from beneath the rugby (sorry 'football') players feet. Also Bane kicking Batman's ass was a good scene too.

But fuck the barely concealed social and political commentary was terrible.

I liked that Bane the nihilist communist was born of arab hellfire. Reminded me of the odd dreamwork that goes on in the Call of Duty franchise where commies come together with arabs to blow up the world.

Making Batman Jesus (stab in the belly, dying for the herds sins) has to be one of the more cringe inducing transparent metaphors I have seen in ages. At least Jesus really dies....

Cooked wrote:

Didn't expect the full russian thing going on. People were queuing outside shops in the backgrounds.etc..

Show trials and Red neckerchiefs not bold enough for ya wink.

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Aug 8 2012 23:41
Django wrote:
Steven. wrote:
It's not really a critique of social movements or Occupy I think because there's no popular involvement in the 'revolution', and loads of the looting and associated fun gets done by the escaped cons. So the themes about class fall flat because as per superhero films everything is pushed forward by GREAT MEN. It doesn't leave any room for class struggle.

There is a little bit of negative class analysis, all the revolutionaries take on working class roles (entry-ists!) in order to go through the city un-noticed (shoe buffers, cement mixer drivers, presumably the bombs set on all the bridges were done by some sort of guy dressed as a maintenance man or something).

Tentatively you might also want to argue (though I am not that committed to this) that it doesn't need to criticize any popular movement to criticize social movements. As far as American red scare-ism goes commies are just evil bastards who work in small groups with odd notions of the 'oppressed', revolution and justice, who gain power and influence through the barrel of a gun. Nobody really follows them because they are just two-faced crypto-fascists that are after your homes! You don't need to criticize social movements per se just scream communist at it (McCarthyism).

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Aug 9 2012 11:59

I normally hate superhero movies but I thought The Dark Knight Rises was pretty awesome and deeply reactionary at the same time.

Seemed like an argument for the unfortunate necessity of fascism when the "proletariat" escapes the normal mechanisms of integration.

Also the bit where the cops charge Bane's men looking like the black bloc was great.