All words presented in this blog are purely opinion, not fact - unless specifically stated otherwise in the post.

Friday 3 August 2012

The Rise of Bats

So, yeah, I didn't blog last night - a mere 2 days after pointing out that I'd been doing the blogging for a week without incident. Embarrassing...
I apologise, deeply- with only a hint of the sarcasm that my voice is usually laced with. I do hope you'll forgive me, I have no excuse... except... I saw Batman: the Dark Knight Rises last night!

***Spoilers beyond this point***
****Serious Spoilers****
*****Not Joking; I'm basically just writing what happens in the film*****

Freaking awesome (with two notable exceptions that I'll get to later). I absolutely loved it, even Christian bale didn't piss me off too much this time -probably because the majority of the film was without Batman, he is just an awful batman. Batman is a brilliant tactician with a silver tongue, Christian Bale's Bruce Wayne is a brilliant tactician with a silver tongue, but his batman is a walking advert for sore throat medicine. But that's fine, I can live with it.

From start to finish it was a brilliant film, reminiscent of the Batman: war games comic book story arc which was, objectively, amazing.
The film started out two years after the last film and Bruce - Christian Bale - hasn't been batman since that day having helped to use Harvey Dent's death to put the majority of criminals in the city away in Black-gate Prison. The plot shows Bane - Tom Hardy - a master mercenary and ex-communicated member of the League of Shadows - you remember them, right? The League of Shadows was the subject of Batman Begins, they, led by the 'immortal' Ra's Al Ghul (played by Liam Neeson) trained batman in order to destroy Gotham, but when he discovered this he turned on them and returned to Gotham as it's saviour.
So, Bane - ex-communicated member of the League of Shadows - comes to Gotham, destroys all the exits off the island, traps all the police in the sewers and sets up a roaming nuclear bomb that is set to explode if anyone tries to leave the city.
In the process of doing this Commissioner Gordon - Gary Oldman - finds his way into Banes sewer base and is hospitalised, however nobody believes Gordon, forcing young 'hot-headed' officer John Blake - Joseph Gordon-Levitt - to reveal to Bruce Wayne that he knows his identity and convince him to get back into the suit.
Alfred - Michael Caine - tries to stop Bruce from doing it, tries to convince him to save the city as Bruce Wayne, but the Batman doesn't listen. Alfred is forced to leave, or else watch the man he's loved his whole life die.
After a series of awesome looking action sequences (one of which has the end result of Bane falsifying Wayne’s finger prints on the stock market and bankrupting him, forcing him to partner with a miss Miranda Tate - Marion Cotillard - who he, inevitably starts sleeping with) and encounters with the sultry and alluring Selina Kyle, A.K.A. Catwoman - Anne Hathaway - ranging from her stealing from him to him helping her in a fight batman is finally forced face to face with Bane. Catwoman betrays the Bat, handing him over to Bane to stop him and his men from trying to kill her.
A fight ensues where the Bat, recently out of retirement and not at his best, fights Bane in peak physical condition. Batman loses. Batman loses bad. Bane breaks the Batman's back - as he did in the comic books - before locking him away in a third world, inescapable prison, telling Bruce that he will force him to watch Gotham die and then he'd kill him.
Bane returns to Gotham and simultaneously traps all of the police underground except for a small number of officers who were off duty or coordinating the efforts from outside the sewer system, kills the city mayor, destroys all routes out of the city and sets up a 40 megaton nuclear bomb to roam around the city with an unknown person holding the trigger.
From his prison cell, Wayne watches as Bane releases all of the prisoners of Black-gate prison and the city falls into carnage, staging fake trials Jonathan Cane, A.K.A. Scarecrow - Cillian Murphy - presides, judging the rich and Wealthy of Gotham as guilty and sentencing them to death or Exile - where Exile means certain death and death is by exile. Wayne decides he has to do something and has another prisoner fix his back - by punching it with all his implausibility - and then he trains. He trains for a long montage until he is fighting fit and then he climbs out of the prison and returns to Gotham when they realise that the bomb is not only set to trigger on command, but also on a timer, ending that day.
Batman gives Catwoman his... bat-bike, and gets her to destroy the debris that blocks exit to the city. She says that she'll do it but then she's gone. She tries to convince him to go with her, that he doesn't owe Gotham anything but he refuses and hopes that she'll do the right thing. She promises that she won’t and apologises for being a constant disappointment.
Batman frees the three thousand Police under the city and sets them to the task of fighting Banes thugs, while he himself - having decided that Bane is the one with the trigger and having discovered that Miranda Tate is being held by bane - has a re-match with Bane amidst the fighting.
Batman defeats bane, partially destroying the mercenaries mask and saves Miranda, but as he starts to interrogate Bane about the trigger - O.M.G! - Miranda stabs him in the side. She reveals herself to be Ra's Al Ghul's daughter Talia Al Ghul (those of you who know the comics will have several flashbacks to comics at this point, and probably realise that if she survives the film; she's probably pregnant with Damien Wayne, Bruce’s son). She fixes Banes mask and explains that she's the one holding the trigger as Bane ties Bruce up and Talia presses the trigger, but it doesn't go off, thanks to Mr. Fox and Jim Gordon.
She leaves and Bane goes to kill Batman, but he's blown apart by Catwoman on the bike, who has returned to help despite her better judgement. They set to the task of getting to the ticking nuke, him in his air ship and her on the bike, but they get to it too late. they don't have time to fix it and Batman decides to make the ultimate sacrifice.
He reveals who he is to Gordon and Selina before latching the nuke to his ship and flying off into the sunset to die.
The nuke explodes; Batman is praised as a hero. Bruce bequeaths the profits of his estate to Alfred, gives his home to the orphans of Gotham and the city barely remembers him.
It is later revealed to Alfred that Bruce did in fact survive and is travelling the world with Selina Kyle.
The Film ends with John Blake quitting the police, revealing his real name to be 'Robin' and finding his way into the bat cave, implying that he'll become the next batman/nightwing/robin.

Now; I loved it, absolutely loved it. I guessed Miranda Tate's identity from the beginning, but still loved it, and looking back I can see every part she played in her own plan.
Anne Hathaway played Selena Kyle brilliantly, Tom Hardy played his role with a lot of emotion that you wouldn't expect from someone who you can't see's face and the twists and turns were impeccable.

There were, as I said, just two things that bugged me and my comic book nerdiness. Most people wouldn't have a problem with it, an I loved the film enough to ignore it.
It wasn't Bane. Not The bane. For starters the real - I mean original, my mind isn't addled enough to believe him real... yet - Bane was Mexican, not a cross between Sean Connery and - judging by the way he kept grabbing the front of whatever top he was wearing - Dick Van Dyke. His mask was a Mexican wrestler mask that allowed him to inject the venom super serum straight into his body, which created his muscles and made him about twice the size - width and height - of the Batman.
This Bane, however was shorter than batman, his mask was to stop him from being in pain somehow though they never really explain it, and he spoke like he had spent his life in the Scottish highlands.
As far as I can remember Bane never had anything to do with the League of Shadows, and didn't 'love' Talia Al Ghul in any form.
This character, whoever it was, was not Bane. He was still good though.

John Blake. John Blake ended up discovering the bat cave and presumably taking up the mantle, but John Blake was never a DC character before now. yes that wasn't his legal name, but 'Robin' was never the name of any one of the Robins.
Sure, you could say that his character was more of a nod to the robins than actually one of them, but why? Why not, instead of saying 'You should use your real name more, its really nice, Robin.' why didn't they just say 'Dick' or 'Richard' or, instead of him handing over a card with his legal name on, have him say 'oh, sorry, it's probably under my legal name, Richard Grayson.'
People would have known who that was. Even if they didn't they either didn't care, they could ask their comic book nerd friends or they could Google it - that’s right, Googling is a thing now, remember.
I know it's a minor thing, but I feel I would have been MUCH more hopping in my seat giddy over him finding the bat cave if I'd known that it was my favourite DC character of all time, Dick Grayson - A.K.A. Robin A.K.A. Night Wing A.K.A. Batman - than some character that we've never heard of before.

But anyway, yes. I loved it. It was amazing. Go See It.
- James
P.S. I told you that there were spoilers.

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