Will Bueché

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Batman B-

Posted in Personal by Will on Sunday, July 27th, 2008 ~ 6pm

Well I saw Batman2 today, and is was alright. I don’t think the audience made a peep. Not any applause, nor any gasps of anticipation, just careful observation of the film. You could sense the audience loving whenever the joker was on, because he gave them an opportunity (ironically) to relax, in contrast to Batman/Bruce Wayne, who was so solemn that you could never really care for him.

I don’t feel it was a memorable film — nothing particularly “cool” happened in it, it was more of a crime drama, and I respect the risk of taking that direction. I appreciated that the film did not have a loud finale like I’d recently been complaining tend to be the way comic books films end.

The film dropped a lot of the style that had been established in the first film. Much of this film, for instance, took place in the daylight rather than night. Gone was the enigmatic question of “what decade is this taking place in? The near future? The present?” — they made a point of telling the audience that it was present day (they mentioned the “90s” as being out of style).

In my opinion too much from the last film was chucked out the window – the city is different, there’s no elevated sky subway, there’s no Wayne Enterprise building, nothing. All gone. Kind of disappointing. All the hope that Arkham Asylum would be in this film? For naught. No mention of the nerve gas from the first film.

I’ll give the film a B-, which includes kudos for trying something new — a crime drama — and condemnation for leaving the style of the first film out of it. I am tempted to say it went too far in leaving the Batman element out of the film. As others have noted, “You could easily replace the main characters…and still have a great movie.” Indeed, this could have been Tom Cruise’s Mission Impossible character instead of Bruce Wayne/Batman, and it would not have made any difference.

Oh, and Christian Bale needs to get that white mole on the side of his nose (near his right eye) removed. Even on a small tv screen it is distracting, but on the big screen, it is just crying out for a doctor’s visit.

Best part of the film: The preview for “The Day the Earth Stood Still”. And the Joker’s trick.

Here’s how I wrote it elsewhere:

Re: *** Official THE DARK KNIGHT Discussion Thread
It’s been a few hours since I saw the film.

I am feeling that the problem with the film is that it did not need to be a Batman film. The protagonist could as easily have been Tom Cruise’s Mission Impossible character. And while I respect that this was the brave choice Nolan made with this film — to make it a crime drama — ultimately, I feel like he left too much of the character of the first film out of this one.

He proved you can make a good film without most of the Batman elements. He successfully dropped Gotham City (Wayne Enterprises building and all), he managed to avoid continuing the story of Arkham Asylum and the various asylum inmates that escaped, dropped all memory of the nerve-gas affected citizens of the Narrows, and he even dropped the use of nighttime. That he decided the mansion wouldn’t be completed yet, and that there’d be no batcave yet either, were also choices which he could have gone either way on but chose to omit to prove he didn’t need them.

All are bold choices. But ultimately I am disappointed that he chose to make a statement rather than make a film with more elements of Batman.

Reply from DE: “I have to agree with Will_B on this point – I very much respected the film and everyone involved in it’s creation but I too was somewhat expecting to see some Batman elements pop up in a Batman movie. For us comic readers on the forum, to me TDK felt like a fill-in arc written by a hotshot crime novelist who felt the need to ‘shake everything up’ and remove all of the ‘cliche’ Batman ‘baggage’ and ‘make it his own.’ i.e. transpose Batman et al into a situation more comfortable to what the writer was used to doing rather than playing around in the (forgive me) Bat-thology and exploring a forgotten gem or making us look at an old one in a different way.”

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