The Rise and Fail of the Dark Knight

Brace yourself, two posts in as many days. Apocalypse jokes got old last month, so I’ll leave that dead horse alone. Yesterday, I mentioned the Batman: Inferno audiobook. I’ve been going through the Graphic Audio DC Comics catalog and am in the middle of the Batman books. Also, since getting my Kindle Fire for Christmas(Thank you Jamie!), I have been reading a ton of the modern Batman collected editions. Needless to say, I’ve been fairly immersed in the Batman universe as of late. So, when Jamie suggested renting The Dark Knight Rises (which believe it or not, I hadn’t yet seen) the other day, I was quite excited. After watching it last night, I have to say that it was a monumental disappointment.

The first thing I want to mention is the movie itself, or the plot line, I suppose. I felt that the first third to half of the movie was just a series of random events that felt completely disjointed. Up until the point where Bane breaks Batman’s back, it felt like there was no cohesion in what was going on and it was really difficult to get into. That led me to having more time to pick apart the discrepancies from the comics.

It’s one of my biggest nitpicks with movies based on comics, the “creative license” taken by the filmmakers and how much they change things. Most people just accept it. It bothers the hell out of me, especially when there’s no need to change the source material. It’s bad enough when comics re-write themselves and change things. So, indulge me as I go through all of the stuff that bothered me.

The biggest offender was Bane. First of all, and I know it has been widely criticized, but it does bear mentioning, is his voice. It is a chore for much of the movie to make out what he is saying. On top of that, something about his accent bothered me. It didn’t see to fit. It sounded more European than Caribbean to me. Then, there is his strength. It is never once, to my recollection, mentioned why he is as strong as he is. I don’t remember one reference to Venom. And it’s not like he’s just a strong guy, he’s cracking columns with punches in the climactic fight scene. I think the character, voice aside, wasn’t a bad character. But it wasn’t Bane.

And while we’re talking about voices… I despise Christian Bale’s Batman voice. It sounds like he’s a singer from a death metal band who is forced to whisper but still has to be metal. Just awful. Completely drives me bonkers every time he speaks. Other than though, I didn’t have that much of an issue with the Batman character, except for one thing…

Far too many people know Batman’s identity. The worst was the police officer, John Blake (who randomly is allured to becoming Robin at the end of the movie), who looked at Bruce Wayne once when he was younger and just knew. Really? We’re not talking Clark Kent putting on a pair of glasses here. It seems that every major character in this movie knows at some point that Batman is Bruce Wayne.

There were a few other minor nitpicks I had, but nothing else major, and certainly nothing on the saying out loud “You have to be kidding me?” in the middle of the theater level. After the story got streamlined, it wasn’t a bad movie. It just seemed like, overall, it tried to do and tell too much of a story, and we’re talking about a nearly 3 hour movie. Maybe if they gave Bane a different name and I didn’t spend the first half of the movie trying to play follow the bouncing ball, I would’ve liked this one. Overall, quite disappointing.

-Al Basler, ION Game Corner

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