Normally, I wouldn’t go to the movies the day after a massacre like in Colorado. But it seemed to me that this particular massacre was a direct strike against audiences and artists. So I went, because I don’t think it’s right to let a bad man have his way. I’ve got no patience with pandering to delusions of supervillainy.
This is a movie about the 90′s Batman villain called Bane, except set in the Christopher Nolan version of the Batman universe. The film depicts him as a good planner, unscrupulous, a little bit crazy, but not particularly a believer in his own rhetoric. His real purposes and beliefs are part of the mystery that Batman must figure out. It’s also a movie about Batman’s love of Gotham City, but not just Batman’s. Ostensibly it’s also a movie about love and loss, but we don’t see much love except for Alfred and Commissioner Gordon as parental figures. Finally, it’s a movie about whether villains can remake themselves, as we finally get back an elegant, tricky Catwoman who’s a little too clever for her own good, instead of one of those creepy fluffchicks with issues. Catwoman looking like Audrey Hepburn is an awesome costume concept.
Officer Blake is the standout character of this movie, and he really is the main character and gets most of the screentime. Batman fans will understand why, almost right away. Everybody else will have to wait while the story unfolds. He’s a classic ordinary (but not unskilled) man in a comicbook world, and he plays his part with guts and determination, and a lot of both love and anger. Great, great character.
The major thing to know is that this movie is kind of a “What If?” story. Tonloads of things happen that don’t make sense, or which are designed just to make things worse. As a Marvel fan, this is pretty much my picture of DC and the Dark Knight concept (as opposed to the Dark Detective), so it didn’t bother me. It did bother a lot of DC fans, however. It’s a good movie with a good message, but a lot of sad stuff happens which you may or may not believe. It’s also got one of those storylines that has a long internal chronology and a lot of bad stuff happening before the happy ending.
It could use about fifteen minutes less runtime (and the prison did nothing for me, much less the Gotham jail — it’s gotta be Arkham or who cares?), and it’s quite a bit too violent for little kids. The bad guys massacre people and do horrible things, which is particularly unfortunate with the real-time massacre. However, Nolan chooses to have the camera usually cut away; he lets implication do the job. Once you see where the storyline is going, you’ll understand why there’s so much going on; it really is a war-like situation. But it’s a serious PG-13, so don’t fool yourself. (Also, Mr. Wayne sleeps with a woman he’s not married to, so there’s that.)
So, even though I’m a Marvel fan from way back, I give two thumbs up to this movie. But don’t bring little kids.
Also, there was a trailer for Nolan’s upcoming Superman flick, Man of Steel. It didn’t show much, but what there was, was nice.