A five-point plan to improve The Dark Knight Rises
The Dark Knight Rises has been out for over two weeks now, and many of you have already seen the conclusion to Christopher Nolan’s epic Batman saga. However, opinions are divided about this last installment of Gotham City with some critics being full of praise, while others left less than impressed.
If you haven’t watched the movie so far, you’re strongly advised to turn away now as this post is full of SPOILERS.
I am no film critic. While I might have done a Film Studies course at school I am definitely not going to justify it as a reason to pose as someone who understands the intricacies of film. What I am is an is an ardent fan of Batman – the cartoon series, the movies (excluding the travesty that was Batman and Robin) and the games.
Let me start off by saying I liked the movie, in fact it was one of the better movies I have seen this year. But was it the fitting end to the Batman trilogy? Well, yes and no for me. When I left the cinema after having watched the first two films, I was exhilarated. I wanted to go home and dawn the Batsuit and jump from buildings, and also register for taekwondo lessons.
But with TDKR it was different. The last half an hour was undoubtedly spectacular, but the two preceding hours weren’t as exciting. I have no problems with the length of the movie, I own the extended cuts of all the LOTR films and enjoy wasting four hours on them, it was where the emphasis laid that bothered me.
So, seeing these gripes that I had with it, decided to share what I think would have made the film better, while inviting others to do the same below.
5. Lesser emphasis on the sub-cast
The role of Deputy Commissioner Peter Foley played by Matthew Modine was one that left me perplexed. Apart from a few lines here and there and his heroic stand towards the end, he failed to add anything more. If he was meant to be a representation of the people of Gotham and what they went through, it didn’t really work.
Similarly, there were a few scenes with Joseph Gordon-Levitt as John Blake which dragged a bit for my liking. Admittedly, some of them were very well thought out, especially his accidental shooting of the two suspects, but did we need as much of him to be sold on the idea of him becoming the next Robin? I am not so sure.
4. A peek into a Gotham torn apart
This is a place where I feel Nolan dropped the ball. With Bane having triumphed in taking over Gotham just over 90 minutes into the movie, this is where a slightly longer look into the reality of Gotham would have worked especially well.
While we did get to see adhoc courts in session, and clips of an anti-capitalist revolution on the streets we didn’t get to see enough. Moreover, Bruce Wayne keeps talking about having faith in the citizens of Gotham, we did not get to see that faith get justified in any way.
The last showdown between the cops and Bane’s army could have been taken up a notch if we saw the citizens of Gotham also taking part. Imagine people laying guerilla-style ambushes across the city and rebelling as a unit to the dictatorial rule. That would have given even more of a humane touch.
3. A more dastardly and menacing Bane
Tom Hardy showcased his wonderful acting ability by making Bane the second-most memorable villain from the entire Batman trilogy. Be it the electronic voice or the range of emotions he managed to portray with just his eyes, he was phenomenal. But something prevented him from replacing the Joker in our minds.
And that something was probably what Bane actually does in the movie. In ‘The Dark Knight’ the Joker has Gotham under a proper reign of terror. He announces who he is going to kill and more often than not gets away with it. As for Bane, bankrupting Bruce and breaking Batman’s back were the worst of his crimes.
Well the motivations for the Joker were definitely more sadistic – ’some people just like to watch the world burn’- Bane’s vision of an anarchic Gotham would have made more of an impact if we actually saw him annihilate a few people. Yes, he blew up the football stadium and took out the bridges, but he himself could have been slightly more dastardly.
2. Talia al Ghul and the bomb
The appearance of Talia al Ghul in this movie was very poorly handled. The reveal right at the end completely ruined the character, especially as Marion Cotillard had only a few brief scenes before that. Maybe the time dedicated to the sub-cast as mentioned in Point 5, could have been used to build her up in some way.
Bane was the main menace throughout the film and then suddenly he is nothing more than a henchman – bodyguard. Bad move. Again comparing it to ‘The Dark Knight’ we didn’t have Joker in the final scene, it was Two-Face, but it didn’t seem out of place as enough time was given to establish his background.
As for the bomb, it wasn’t Nolan being his innovative best really. And if Talia al Ghul wanted to blow the city to shreds as she tries at the end, why not do it during the three months Batman is away with a broken back.
Maybe, a better device would have been to arm the bomb and say it was targeted on a random city in the USA. The President comes out and gives a warning to Gotham to sort itself out or else the country would be forced to take preventive action and then you’ve got a complete picture of ‘when the chips are down, these people will eat themselves’.
1. More Batman
For the final movie in the Batman trilogy, this one had a surprisingly less element of BATMAN. Wayne only dons the cape about 40 minutes into the film, and then in literally his third big scene he ends up with a broken back and is shipped out to the middle of nowhere.
With the necessity of Bane breaking Batman’s back in homage to the legendary comic books, it might have pleased fans more I suspect if we didn’t have to wait so long for Batman to return. Or even if we did, he should have been around a bit longer before disappearing.
The lack of Batman overcoming massive odds like when he flips Joker’s mega-truck, was also another factor why I felt I didn’t enjoy this movie as much. A sustained Batman appearance and more screen-time with the hood down and the hoarse voice would have been better.
Well that’s it folk my five-point plan to improve the The Dark Knight Rises, what would you liked to have seen in the final of the Batman trilogy?Tagged in: Bane, batman, christopher nolan, The Dark Knight Rises
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