2012 Prophesies: The Dark Knight Rises - Part 2
For all of us excited for the Dark Knight Rises, there still might be a chance of failure.
I have been accused of being a “Nolanite.” While I am a fan of his, I’d like to point out some of his flaws as well as things that might make The Dark Knight Rises Nolan’s first failure.
First of all, let us point out some of Nolan’s flaws. As I have said before, I love Nolan’s films, but even I can recognize and acknowledge his issues.
First of all, Nolan can be too cerebral for his own good. Inception was in some ways proof that Nolan pushes his mental aspects too far while perhaps neglecting the emotion and spirit of a film. The Dark Knight, as dark and smart as it was, seemed to lack any moments of tenderness or human emotion to balance it. When Rachel died, I was not as emotionally torn as I should have been. That should have brought tears to the audience. But whether it was casting, pacing, soundtrack, or too heavy an emphasis on philosophy and evil, I felt that what could have been the emotional heart of the story was lost there.
As before mentioned in my last article, The Prestige was the best of Nolan’s films because it had the most emotion to it. Angier’s love for his wife melts into self obsession. This is something real that people go through. Alfred Borden’s story was filled with love and loss, battling the balance between his career and his family. The stakes are high as Alfred fights for his daughter’s future and Angier seeks revenge. There’s strength here than Nolan has not really shown before or since. I hope this comes back in The Dark Knight Rises, but I doubt it.
The second problem I have with Nolan is the terrible extras that he has in the Batman films and some of the really cheesy moments that feel out of place in his “realistic” Gotham. In the first movie there’s that humorous but bizarre “nice coat” thing. Also, did anyone else remember the terrible performance of the substation guy yelling out “The water main is gonna blow!” I swear, Nolan gets the best leads but the worst bit parts. I think this is a weakness in the writing as well. Jonathan and Chris can come up with the best plots, but write some of the worst dialogue.
This also happened in the Dark Knight. Anyone remember the guy riding shotgun in the armored escort? “That’s not good. Okay, that’s not good!’ Weird emphasis there. Also, who can forget this:
Another problem is that Nolan’s action is too blurred, zoomed in, short, lack luster, or just one big clusterf***. This is one thing that got better in Inception but not much better. This is a gripe I have with a lot of action films nowadays. I can’t tell what the [frick] is going on. Transformers, The Dark Knight… just zoom that shot out and give me at least a medium shot for crying out loud.
If you don’t know what I’m talking about, check out this video below:
In the Cut, Part I: Shots in the Dark (Knight) from Jim Emerson on Vimeo.
For a fourth reason of what I think is wrong with Nolan’s films, I’ll just call it “some subtitles required.” We all know of the bat voice that has been the blunt end of several youtube spoofs. We also all should remember Ken Watanabe’s slurring in Inception. I couldn’t wait to get my blu ray of Inception just so that I could turn on the freaking subtitles. And so far it doesn’t seem that Nolan gives a crap about inaudible lines in his films.
This is especially troublesome since there have already been complaints about Bane’s voice in The Dark Knight Rises. Some of you might not have a hard time, but you have to remember that other people are watching it too. And if half of the audience isn’t getting a single line from Hardy, there’s going to be issues. So if Batman’s growl doesn’t improve along with another character that talks funny, we might have a few unintentional comedy scenes that could easily kill this movie. And to let you know, Nolan will not be changing it that much.
Finally we have Anne Hathaway. This might be a nitpick of mine, but this could seriously hurt the film if Hathaway’s Catwoman is bad. Catwoman is a huge character that everyone will scrutinize when this film comes out. Then again, Ledger being cast as the Joker was an unorthodox pick as well. But watch out for this.
Now, I think I spent enough time bashing one of my favorite living film makers today. Despite all of this worry that I have, I still think The Dark Knight Rises will be well worth my IMAX ticket price (yes, I am one of those that has a ticket already.) Next I will discuss why I think that despite probable flaws this film will have, it’ll still be another billion dollar hit.
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