The Dark Knight Rises, Crashes and Burns

This is my opinion on the movie’s story as it made it to the screen.

I just might be the last person in my demographic to see The Dark Knight Rises; Spooky Man and I watched it on cable last night.  OMG, was it entirely too much story for the format. The screen-time was listed as 165 minutes, and it was edited so tightly that the first 45 minutes didn’t even make much sense — that means the poor editor had to use a machete for scenes that would have filled in the story blanks. I found myself looking at my watch 30 minutes in, which is never a good sign.

It’s not all bad — great acting, great special effects, top-notch costuming, makeup A+, fab cinematography. But. Oh yes, BUT…the story, the plot, were almost as bad as the 120-minute chase scene/11-minute plot known as Van Helsing. Just because the genre is action/adventure doesn’t mean the plot can be a hot mess. Messrs. Nolan…what were you thinking? Your plot has holes suitable for semi-truck passage, two abreast, and yet you couldn’t properly tell it in two and a half hours.

Bane, Bane, Bane…the appropriately named villain has this convoluted plan to destroy Gotham City, because (as we learn in the last 10-15 minutes of the 2.5hour+ epic) he’s Miranda Whats-her-Name’s loyal lapdog.  And she wants to destroy Gotham City (which she was trying desperately to save via fusion reactor in the last Dark Knight movie) because…Bruce Wayne’s mentor-cum-nemesis Raza Gul, defeated and killed by Batman at the climax of the last installment, was her despised father!

Wait, what?

Well, Raza banished Bane, her protector in the (really) hell-hole prison in the middle of nowhere where she was born, because her pregnant mother bought Raza Gul’s freedom by taking his place there. But by getting Miranda to the escape area and too high up for other prisoners to grab her (you escape by climbing up the side of a deep well), Bane was attacked and horribly maimed. He ended up too ugly for Raza Gul to cope with (remember, this was the guy who wants to destroy all world order to bring about ‘balance’ — but he can’t stand to look at someone disfigured), so they were thrown out of the League of Shadows. And she HHHHaaated her father for that.

At least until Batman killed him. Then suddenly he wasn’t such a bad guy and now she has to finish his work and fulfill his dream of destroying Gotham City because it’s simply too corrupt to continue existing, even though she was trying to help it right up until daddy Gul died. And Bane went along with it, because, apparently, whatever Miranda wants Miranda gets. Including killing herself in order to nuke Gotham City on a psychotic whim. Yeah, it turns out that Bane’s an enabler.

See how badly they torture the logic to make six hours of story fit into 2.5 hours of movie? Plus there’s a love triangle — will Bruce end up with Selina Catwoman-with-a-heart-of-gold, or Miranda the-do-gooder-shapeshifting-to-double-crosser? Plus there’s the comeback aspect — can Batman overcome the physical and emotional battle scars for one more great fight, even when Alfred begs him not to before leaving him in a fatherly huff?

And did I mention the Robin figure? No? Well, he’s there, although he goes by James, not Robin. And oddly enough, not Dick Grayson, although you would think…never mind; this story has bigger problems.

The Dark Knight Rises has grossed more than a billion dollars. Obviously, there are many, many people who didn’t have the same difficulties with the plot that I did. Good for them.

And that’s all I have to say about that.

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