After little more than a cursory glance around the unholy chambers of the Internet these days you’d be forgiven for thinking that “The Dark Knight Rises” is the second coming of Christ. The rabidness with which every rumour and minor leaked detail is being devoured is hardly surprising given the Internet’s ability to deconstruct anything into oblivion literally minutes after it is born into existence but the utterly insane level of hype and speculation for this movie leads me to one obvious and depressing conclusion — no matter how good the movie may turn out to be it’s going be viewed as a disappointment.
So for brevity’s sake I’m going to skip the whole “see the movie and then wait for the inevitable backlash” part and simply cut straight to the backlash. I recently perfected my time-machine design and I’m going to use this new godlike power to do the only logical thing a man in my position should do — travel forward in time find out what my future self thinks about The Dark Knight Rises once the dust has settled and the hype has died down. What follows is an insight into my future mind after I’ve seen the movie and spent a hefty amount of time absorbing the Internet reaction to Christopher Nolan’s latest Batsterpiece.
(Note: I asked Future Me for his opinions on the movie and to give me an overall view of what he thought of it. Unfortunately I discovered Future Me had spend a little too long on the Internet reading forum posts and something akin to frontal lobe brain damage had stuck him so all I managed to get from him were these, er…words. They do not represent the opinions of anybody because technically they haven’t happened yet.)
Now Me: “What was your general view of the movie?”
“The movie was a crippling disappointment, pun very much intended, because Bruce Wayne didn’t end up in a wheelchair. What a cop-out! Bane broke Bats’ back in the comic so obviously the exact same thing should have happened in the movie. There are literally no other stories that Bane ever featured in that didn’t involve him breaking Batman’s back. I can’t believe Nolan came up with an original story rather than using an idea that everyone already knew about — utter rubbish!”
“What’s the point of the two of them fighting if both of their spines are completely intact? The entire duration of the movie I was waiting for the pivotal moment where Batman would become a broken cripple unable to move or fend for himself. I waited for the movie show me his 10 years of laborious recovery with an emotionally devastated Alfred trying to hide his feelings of depression and helplessness as he’s forced to care for the shadow of a man he considered to be his surrogate son. I wanted to see the pain on both their faces when they realised that no matter how much work they put in Bruce was never going to be whole again. I wanted to see a frail Alfred’s health deteriorate as the stress ate away at him and to have him die of a heart attack right as Bruce was taking his first unaided steps in a decade. I wanted to see the hope extinguish from Bruce’s eyes when he realised that Bane had truly won and that he could never pick up the mantle of The Bat ever again.”
“Instead all we got was a few cool fights and some well written dialogue. Total fucking gip.”
Now Me: “What did you think of Bane as the main villain?”
“Bane was rubbish. Let’s just put that out there right now. He was just a big muscly guy that spoke in a weird accent and beat Batman up. He didn’t wear any clown make-up or anything. No way he was as good as the Joker. Also did I mention he didn’t break Batman’s back? Well he didn’t.”
There was this one bit were Bane said, “Hello,” but I could tell that if Heath Ledger had delivered the line it would have been a million times better. Tom Hardy was terrible because he didn’t act at all in the way that Heath Ledger would have acted if he’d played Bane. Heath Ledger’s performance would have been a masterclass of menace and an Oscar winner. Instead we got Tom Hardy’s performance which just wasn’t as good as Heath Ledger’s would have been.
“Also Bane’s plan didn’t involve the core philosophical principal of chaos being the only fair way to govern a random and uncaring world. Bane’s plan was completely different to the Joker’s and was really inferior. It involved completely different motivations and outcomes and frankly wasn’t anything like what I wanted. I can’t even honestly remember what his plan was all about because I was too busy thinking about how awesome the Joker was and how crap Bane is.”
Now Me: “What about Catwoman?”
Future Me: “More like Vaginawoman. No one cares about her cause she’s a woman. She couldn’t break Batman’s back. Boring!”
Now Me: “Okay…um…were there any big surprises or twists?”
“There were surprises, but mainly because Chris Nolan left out a ton of stuff he promised would be there. I mean, I can’t believe he deliberately lied to us in the lead up to The Dark Knight Rises by pretending Two Face was going to be back. We all saw that image of Bane holding up a picture of Aaron Eckhart and we immediately knew that the director was telling us, the fans, that it was a 100% cast iron lock that Two Face would be back to bring his own brand of coin-based mayhem to Gotham. I mean why else would have that image been leaked? For publicity? I think not.”
“But no, it was a flat-out lie perpetrated by Chris Nolan to make us sure that Two Face would return but he didn’t. It was obvious he wasn’t dead at the the end of The Dark Knight. If you put the DVD into 1/16 slow motion you can clearly see Aaron Eckhart’s skin tone shows that blood is still pumping around his body. That coupled with the fact that Harvey Dent is an anagram of, “death y nevr” or “Death? Why Never!” [Future Me physically wrote that down to show me] made it certain that he was alive and being set up as a villain for the next movie. Yet in spite of all these obvious clues Chris Nolan betrayed us and left Two Face out of the movie.”
“And while the lack of Two Face was bad enough I literally still cannot believe that they didn’t get Heath Ledger back as the Joker for this one. After all the vitally important unanswered questions from The Dark Knight we knew Chris Nolan would have to address them in the sequel or be damned to molten hell but instead once again he focused on an original new story instead of extending the story of The Dark Knight.
“The only thing on everyone’s mind after seeing The Dark Knight was, “Who is the Joker’s master?”. Of course you remember that two-second shot of the Joker seemingly reading from a piece of paper whilst talking on the phone in The Dark Knight. Who was getting Joker to read from a script? Obvious Chris Nolan was setting up a massive arc involving whoever was controlling the Joker and we waited with bated breath to see how this would pan out. Yet apparently Chris Nolan “forgot” about the Joker’s master because he’s not even mentioned in The Dark Knight Rises, as if it was an inconsequential detail that was never important at all. But we all know it was, and that means Chris Nolan deliberately left it out just to piss the fans off. What an asshole.”
“Yes I know Heath Ledger died but come on, CGI could have brought him back better than ever and the audience wouldn’t have been able to tell the difference. It frankly makes me wonder if anyone really cared about the movie as much I did if they weren’t willing to desecrate the memory of a deceased actor just to give the fans what they want.
Now Me: “So, er, what would you have done differently if you had directed it?”
“Truthfully the biggest problem with Rises was that it didn’t deliver the exact story, plot twists, characters and action that I wanted to see. After seeing The Dark Knight I, like everyone else, knew exactly the right way to make the sequel and stupidly believed that Chris Nolan would too. If I was directing I would have be able to create best story and script, cast the right actors and craft the best possible movie that would have serviced my exact expectations and therefore been the best possible experience for everyone else seeing the movie too. But instead Chris Nolan went with his “version” of the movie and didn’t give me the precise experience that I had formed in my head and so delivered a vastly inferior movie.”
“I, like everyone else on the Internet and by extension the world, deserved to get to see the exact movie that I wanted to see. What right had Chris Nolan to make the movie his way with the story he wanted knowing that it wouldn’t fulfill my exact desires for a sequel? He owes me for sometimes paying to see his movies and that means I have the right to get exactly what I want. Movies are more important than life and if they don’t satisfy me how am I supposed to fill the bottomless black chasm in my soul? Friends? Family? Taking pleasure in the simple beauty of world? I don’t bloody think so!
“Now piss off guy-who-looks-a-bit-like-me, I need to go back to the forums to spread my insights about the latest Hobbit pic that’s been leaked. It shows a shot of Martin Freeman standing by a tree and I’ve deduced that this obviously means that Benedict Cumberbatch will appear as Sherlock Holmes to help Bilbo find the ring. Joker foreva, Joker foreva, Joker foreva!”
At this point Future Me started to take off his clothes and swing them above his head so I politely slipped back out to my time-machine and returned here to write up this article. I never asked him why he was wearing a bra.
That interview gave me a lot to think about, mostly involving the easiest way to commit suicide to prevent the interview from ever happening. But instead I’ve resolved to simply not get too hyped about The Dark Knight Rises and accept the fact that it may not be exactly what I want but that hopefully it’ll still be good. I’ll try not to get weighed down with expectations and speculation and just enjoy it on it’s own terms without getting swept up in the tidal wave of pre-publicity because in all honesty no movie could ever have a shot of living up to this much hype.
And then, you know, if it turns out to be rubbish I can go on Internet forums and tell everyone how it should have been done. Because that will validate my meagre existence, right? RIGHT??
Tags: bane, batman, bilbo baggins, broken back, chris nolan, christian bale, dark knight rises, harvey dent, heath ledger, the joker, tom hardy, two-face