We waited a bit to see the newest batman movie, The Dark Knight Rises. This is not a formal review, but for some reason I didn’t like the movie all that much in the end, and I wonder about it. What do you think? If you liked it a lot – why?
Without giving away anything really, without giving a spoiler, I think I can say that the end was just lame compared to the first half or so of the movie. There are really two endings, and I am referring to the one that explains the “why” of the Gotham City attacks. To me it’s as if the movie makers wanted to provide some messages – that this wasn’t simply an action film – and that a great deal of the movie’s story ending didn’t really have much to do with the messages. The story seemed to me a very flimsy vehicle for the messages. (The second ending makes me actually look forward to further movies, which I think may be better than this one.)
And what were the messages? My impressions are from only seeing the movie once, so please be kind to me if you respond with a comment. My first impression was that the movie was saying that we can’t rest easy after eliminating some criminals. There are always threats and we need to be prepared. But more specifically, it seemed to be alluding to terrorism.
All throughout the movie the theme of failure and fear, fear of failure, what makes us not fail, was obvious. Yet, when these things were spoken of, it just didn’t seem deep . . . I couldn’t feel that these things affected batman in the way everyone kept saying (apparently this has to do with the first and/or second movie, which I can barely remember now). The only part related to Bruce’s feelings and courage that seemed relevant to me was the issue of fear of death. So many heroes say they’re not afraid to die – it’s almost a cliche. But in order to continue to help anyone at all, batman had to let himself feel the fear of death. Nice touch.
An important aspect of the film was discerning whom to trust. Sometimes good people have to do bad things, so that a better thing may result; one has to sometimes choose the lesser of two evils. Sometimes good seeming people are only self-serving and manipulative–others that seem bad may only be being honest, and so they are far more virtuous. I like this theme the most, as I think it is the most relevant to our everyday lives – and it is such a significant aspect of life among humans. I was reminded of the short biblical story Jesus told (Matthew 21:28-31); though His specific application was different, it still reflects how people are and how we need to judge by actions, not just words:
“What do you think? There was a man who had two sons. He went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work today in the vineyard.’
“‘I will not,’ he answered, but later he changed his mind and went.
“Then the father went to the other son and said the same thing. He answered, ‘I will, sir,’ but he did not go.
“Which of the two did what his father wanted?”
“The first,” they answered.
Other than those more serious impressions, I enjoyed the acting–Joseph Gordon-Levitt was just fine in his role–and the music. Great stuff.