Part Two of my Batman rant.
Even more time has passed since I saw the Dark Knight Rises movie, and I’m finding that my experience of it steadily grows more positive the more I think about it. The grievances I had when the movie ended—which seemed so terrible at the time—are slowly starting to fade away when I look back and appreciate the good things, such as Tom Hardy and Anne Hathaway’s performances (See, my Part 1 post for Bane and below for Catwoman).
Right: Catwoman/ Selina Kyle
I had some real reservations when I heard Anne Hathaway would be playing Catwoman, I must admit. I still see Anne Hathaway as the frizzy haired girl from The Princess Diaries, and wasn’t sure if she would be able to stand up against all the old giants (Gary Oldman, Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine) and bright rising stars (Tom Hardy, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, etc). But she did a stunning job, and quickly became my second favorite character (second only, of course, to Bane).
It was refreshing to have a character who just did what was best for themselves for once. Batman, Gordon, Blake, they’re all characters with responsibilities, and therefore can’t just run off and do what they like. But Catwoman always had her own agenda, and when the bomb threatens the city, she’s the one who’s all: dude, let’s go. “You don’t owe these people anything, you’ve already given them everything,” She had told batman. I found her surprisingly relatable, because I would probably be a bit more concerned with getting out of the six mile danger radius and even greater fallout zone than with fighting Bane. But of course she returns and becomes the unlikely hero that’s true to her character.
One thing I will say, that distracted me to no end. The friend. This story is already jam packed with characters, and screen time—even if it’s for the briefest of seconds—not focused on something driving the plot is screen time wasted. And maybe this is where my comic-book-ignorance is catching up to me. Did Catwoman have a partner in crime? Was there a canon reason for this random friend appearance. (There was also a short blip of a scene that suggested very subtly some sort of romantic attachment. If so, why not be more clear on it? If they were lovers, have the balls to take the second to establish the relationship. If not, leave it out.)
((Oh my god. I’m so sorry Christopher Nolan. I know I shouldn’t even be dreaming of having the audacity to question you—or presume to be able to do it better. But I’m going to be honest. I’m going to do it again, and often. Doesn’t mean I don’t still love you!))
I would also like to take a moment to appreciate the genius behind the design of Catwoman’s wardrobe. Instead of looking like a superhero costume like Batman’s, it looks like a highly practical cat burgling outfit, complete with utility belt, mask and tech goggles, which in the shadows looks like the silhouette of a cat. They didn’t give her cheesy ears! Bless you!
Wrong: Miranda Tate (played by Marion Cotlliard).
There is just…this is where I begin to struggle. Because my hatred for this character is completely biased, and things from here on out will get very opinionated. Here is why I didn’t like her, in bullet point form.
—Bruce Wayne spent eight years locked up in his mansion, pining over his lost love Rachel.
—Bruce Wayne finally leaves house and meets Miranda
—They have approximately 2-3 conversations.
—They run in the rain.
—She makes Bruce sad about Rachel.
—THIS IS THE BEST TIME TO KISS HIM.
—God dammit, he’s kissing her back!??
—Fire poker shifts logs around, hand, forearm, elbow, woman sitting wrapped in blanket—OMG THEY HAD SEX?
—Okay, we had sex. Now I can trust you to take care of this big potential nuclear weapon.
—(Meanwhile Batman is being all frisky with the Catwoman. TWO ladies at once, and you’re still depressed about Rachel? Tssssk)
—She disappears for a while, is being held hostage, we don’t really care all that much because Bane is on screen being a badass.
—She comes back out of no where and STABS Batman.
—The child, who we were blatantly, purposefully, and GIVEN NO REASON WHATSOEVER TO THINK DIFFERENTLY, meant to believe to be Bane, turns out to be a girl. More so, turns out to be Miranda
—Bane was actually her friend.
—She is Raz Al-guhl’s daughter
—The bomb was her plan all along
—Oh yeah, she and Bane are lovers (Bitch please, he’s mine!)
This is the part that I was talking about, the part that is hard to explain. I really don’t want to sound petulant, like I am all upset because I got the hood pulled over my eyes and I am reeling from so many plot twists. I love plot twists. I love it when my mind is blown, and I think, Wow, that’s so amazing I never would have seen that coming! But there is a difference between “never seeing that coming” and “never seeing that coming.” There needs to be some sort of continuity. There need to be clues imbedded into the story so that you can go back and look for them. Then after finding them, you can calmly sit your brain down and patiently explain, “See, she did this, this and this, so it makes sense that she would be this.” Then your brain and the idea reconcile and go have tea together. That is good story telling.
To create a character like Miranda and then not leave clues behind as to her true nature, is just lazy story telling.
(I’m going to be smited where I stand. I can sense it.)
Unfortunately, this problem comes up again, which I will come to later.
Also, I both adore and despise the fact that Miranda and Bane apparently love/loved each other. I despise it because I despise Miranda and I question the logic to the relationship (she was a child when she was in the pit and he was a full grown adult. Sketchy.) It felt like a useless detail, one that the story really could have done without. However, I adored it because in a surge of brilliant acting from Tom Hardy, he gives one beautiful tear when she admits it to Batman. One. Beautiful. Tear. In that tear you can just see the sacrifices and torture he had to go through just because he loved her—plus you can see how horribly dependent he is on her.
It totally destroys his badassery, and for that I hate her.
Wrong: Detective Blake
Now here is a character that I should have adored. Not only was he played by one of my favorite young actors, Joseph Gordon-Levitt (if you haven’t seen 500 Days of Summer, I sincerely suggest it) but due to intense theorizing propagated by the internet, I had a fairly certain belief that he was going to be Robin. The one to take over Batman’s pedestal and keep the legend alive.
But one of the first things that Blake did was go to Wayne Manner and basically demand for Batman to come back.
Who do you think you are?
You don’t know Bruce Wayne. You aren’t familiar with him in any way! But you saw him once at an orphanage, years ago, and took one look at his face and just… knew.
Not even some of Batman’s closest allies (or arch enemies, for that matter) knew. I thought it was adorable that Gordon seemed to be the last person on Earth to figure out that Batman was really Bruce Wayne.
And Scarecrow, Two Face, and the Joker never knew Batman’s true identity.
Are you saying that you’re smarter than the Joker???
Instead of developing a relationship between Blake and Batman first, they just cut to the punch. I’m putting this under the Lazy Story Telling category and leaving it be.
From that point on, I was so distracted by that one scene that every time I saw him on screen I just couldn’t believe a word he was saying. I was disappointed that Blake and Batman never really had much to do with each other. There as like, one time they helped each other out, and Batman oh so coyly suggested that “If you’re going to work alone, you should wear a mask.”
Robin/Blake, whatever his name is should have been an awesome character. Instead, it was weak.
And that’s all I’ve got to say about that.