By Bill Camden
If there is one thing that should remind me to not go on the old London Underground then it’s that of narcotics. The bright lights have my pupils at maximum expansion and the people on the train stare at me with a glare. Am I even on this Train or is this a crazy drug fuelled dream?
The mobile phone in my pocket vibrates intensely waking me up to some sort of confused sobriety. I answer the phone.
It’s Nigel. A good bloke is Nigel. A right geezer.
“Nigel mate. I am on the train on my way over. We still on to see this Batman flick? Right you are mate. Right you are. Dagenham did you say? I will find it mate. Is Tara joining us too? Super, well get me some amber in and I will…”
A fucking tunnel. A phone that is apparently more technologically advanced than anything the U.S. President had in the 1970’s but it still can’t keep a bloody signal underground. Least that call has me feeling more with it, anyway. People don’t seem to be staring at me anymore and I take a seat. It feels like I’ve just woken up after my body had got me here on autopilot.
Today I am going to see ‘The Dark Knight Rises’. I don’t usually review films but that’s because I do not usually get asked to….. I tend to say it how it is. I lack the pretentiousness to write for Film magazines whilst the Entertainment blogs say I am too profound. It’s just a fucking movie, right?
The drugs were part and parcel of this feature and I tell you this with up most sincerity. The weekend just gone, there was a celebration regarding the launch of ‘THE GONZEAUX’, well I say launch, it was more like a confirmation of ideas.
Some geezer put an advert on that Gumtree site, you know the one where you go to look for free things like Dogs, Fridges and Sex. He was looking for some proper writers. Seekers of Truth and social commentary, he demanded. After the third round of beers he brought me I was hooked.
There were only four of us, and the guy who was given the Entertainments biz ended up taking a turn for the worse. He was a young whippersnapper. Full of energy and fucking surprised at anything that came out of our mouths. I wanted to punch him in the face but I realised it was only because he reminded me of a younger version of myself.
But fuck Freud and Carl Jung. I gave the kid some Truffles I’d got hold of from the Netherlands and no one has heard from him since. Hopefully it’s woken him the fuck up.
That’s why I am going to see this movie, the third film of this modern Batman franchise that started with Batman Begins in 2005 and The Dark Knight in 2008. This is 2012 and The Dark Knight Rises is the hopes and dreams of movie lovers everywhere for this year.
I usually can’t give two shits about these movies, The Avengers tickled my fancy and I avoided Spiderman. There is something special about Batman that makes it stand alone from the others, maybe it’s the fact he’s Mortal and that sense of realism feels less fairytale and more real.
I was up all last night watching the first two films of the trilogy. It confirmed my belief that Batman Begins is the best Comic book movie adaptions of all time. And that the sequel should’ve been called The Joker with a cameo from our favourite Hero.
Not that I am complaining of course. Both movies were great and as the train journey grew shorter, I was becoming more excited about seeing this closing chapter of a character, a City and a Universe that I’d just engrossed myself in via a small television and a DVD player.
I’ve avoided trailers for The Dark Knight Rises. All I know is that Bane is the bad guy and an American Football pitch collapses. I did not want to know more and I actually punched a guy last week at a party who began to explain the ending to anyone who listened. He was a dick.
Finally I arrive at the back of the Cinema where Nigel and Tara greet me with cold can of beer and a joint. I crack open the can, take a swig then search the pockets of my swimming shorts for a lighter.
It is clear that we’re all expecting greatness but know deep down that the heights of the previous two films will not be met…or can it?
Once in the cinema I grab my protocol of Large SWEET popcorn and a large soda before dropping the kids off at the pool. We take our seats and are treated to a teaser trailer for MAN OF STEEL, not once but twice. In case we missed it. The World needs a decent fucking Superman.
The cinema is empty but that’s just the way I like it. I’d purposely come to Essex to see the film for the cheap price. Only 8 miles separated the same cinema charging £16 and £5 for this movie. That’s London.
My mind starts drifting whilst some shitty trailers for Dredd and Total Recall play out on screen and take a moment to think of those in Denver who were unfortunate enough to be in that cinema massacre. I can’t fathom the words to describe such horror.
FINALLY…the film has begun. The Dark Knight Rises is here and I am waiting to be entertained.
The opening scene with Bane and the Plane hijacking blows my mind. They certainly made the right choice in casting as Tom Hardy has given Bane an extra dimension with his muffled posh voice behind that meat head villain persona.
Unfortunately I wasn’t impressed with how the film went on to be structured, I expected the story to show us how low Bruce Wayne has fallen, he’s been in his ivory tower for 8 years since the Death of Harvey Dent (Two-Face) at the end of the last film. He’s also walking with a Cane, after 8 years and all the money in the World he can’t get this fixed? But then I remind myself comic book movies are not supposed to be logical. I get it.
But maybe it’s why I like Batman, he’s not got any special powers, he’s just a tough son of bitch looking to serve some justice to some evil fucking cunts in Gotham City.
My attention is turned by the introduction of Cat Woman (Anne Hathaway) but the pace of the story is starting to become lethargic like it’s just eaten a Big Mac meal. My mind starts to wonder into a fantasy featuring me and Cat Woman but I’ll spare you the details
Finally we see Bruce Wayne don the Batman suit for the first time in 8 years (in the story) and he gets his arse handed to him by Bane in a close combat scene where Bane breaks his back and sends him to the prison which he was born in.
It’s another cue for Bruce Wayne to come back again as Batman but this time it’s going to be tougher than ever. Despite walking with a cane for 8 years which he fixes with a high-tech knee brace, he manages to fix his broken back in a prison with no technology in a few months. He should become a chiropractor.
I was expecting Bruce Wayne to fulfil some epic Joseph Campbell styled Hero Journeys in this movie, but these were too sloppy and somewhat predictable. But they know that.
My only conclusion is that Nolan and Company didn’t want to over shadow the previous two films by making this as Epic as I feel it could’ve been. Instead they wanted to end the franchise with a subtle “awwwww” rather than an “OH MY GOD DID YOU SEE THAT?”
Overall it was still a brilliant movie that hit all the right notes although I wish there was more action and less drama.
Once the film finished I turn to Nigel and Tara for a post-movie review and Nigel points out how they got Bane all wrong compared to the comic, where he’s full of steroid-venom or something.
In Dark Knight Rises he uses a surreal oxygen/gas mask that prevents him from feeling pain which is still quite clever and felt it worked with this version of the Batman Universe.
There was also the introduction of Robin too, although not in costume that made all three us ponder about a spin-off Robin movie, but probably not under Christopher Nolan’s direction.
Once I left the cinema I couldn’t help feel disappointed. Perhaps I’d over hyped the movie by having watched the previous two the night before. I was expecting the same quality. I supposed that’s the trouble with a 3rd Film in a series, on its own it can be great but compared to the others it just don’t cut the mustard.
Not wanting to leave this review on a sour note, I totally dig this movie as the wrapping of an amazing Batman trilogy and best Comic book film series ever.
Tom Hardy has made Bane cooler than Chuck Dixon and co could have ever imagined. Whilst surely no one else can even attempt to play Batman after Christian Bale’s performances, he IS Bruce Wayne.
Now you’ll have to excuse me as I browse the World Wide Web for more pictures of Anne Hathaway as Cat Woman. Meow.