Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Why The Dark Knight Rises Was Amazing. And Why This Means the Sequel is Doomed

by Charlie Albuery
First a warning: I am about to spoil The Dark Knight Rises for you. If you have not yet seen it, GO AWAY! Go watch the film, then come back and let me pick apart the plot twist that will ruin Batman continuity for years to come.

Marion Cotillard as Talia Al Ghul
(source: youbentmywookie.com)

I should point out that I loved The Dark Knight Rises, in my opinion one of the best blockbuster films ever created, and quite possibly my favourite film ever, but I AM about to argue that director Christopher Nolan has now ruined Batman forever (a little pun there).
Christopher  Nolan is an amazing director, but he was the director we needed, not the director we deserved (I’m not even sure what my point is there, I just really wanted to say that (a Dark Knight reference btw)), and he'll make some really brilliant films, but no more of them will feature Batman, which means that, in all likelihood, the Batman sequel will not be of the same calibre, and, above all this, Nolan has ruined the film Batman’s continuity for years to come.
Allow me to use a simple metaphor. Nolan is the equivalent of a magician who decides he will really surprise and amaze his audience by pulling a rabbit out of his hat (the rabbit is Rhas Al Ghul’s daughter and the hat is the film --- you still with me on this?). Unfortunately, the fallout of his trick is that he now owns a rabbit and he has to live with the rabbit (the awkward-but-cool plot-twist) and its waste (the rabbit’s waste is the fallout of the plot-twist, i.e. that Batman now has a son on the way (more on that later)), but, not wanting to be lumbered with the rabbit, he immediately quits his magic show and allows his assistant to take over the show (the assistant is the new Batman director and the show is the series of Batman films). The assistant is then forced to try to resolve the rabbit issue and create a good new show (i.e. film) with the rabbit (but this is exceptionally difficult) or he can throw the rabbit away (someone call the RSPCA!) and try to create a new show without it.
I’m like 80% sure that made sense. Anyway I will now briefly explain why the new director will seriously struggle to continue the Batman films in their current continuity and will instead have to ret-con (“ret-con”: comic-nerd-speak for ‘pretend it never happened’) The Dark Knight trilogy.
Robin – Joseph Gordon Levitt as Robin sounds promising, but a bat-family just isn’t the way to go. If you watch Batman and Robin and your response is ‘Hmmmmmm, Batman being in a team with other heroes is a good idea’ you should get a big tattoo on your forehead saying “Do not admit to any Batman film, ever.”
Wayne Corp. – Wayne Corp. is now bankrupt. Bruce now has no money. Taking money away from Batman is like taking oxygen away from any other human (or, indeed, Batman); it kills him. For example (I’m assuming you’re not a multi-billionaire), try making one of your friends dress in spandex and call them ‘the Boy Wonder’; I guarantee they will just stop inviting you to stuff.
Batman – One of the best things about Batman has always been his destructibility. Superman isn’t as interesting because he can basically kill anything by looking at them funny, which is why (in the comic-book universe) Batman breaking his back was a massive deal; people really thought that he wasn’t coming back. DC then of course chickened out and Robin went to fetch Superman from Krypton, Superman punched Batman so hard that the fabric of reality shifted around him and he was brought back to life. No I’m not joking, that actually happened. Superman decreed that he would punch Batman ‘As hard as I can’, which is the equivalent of me saying ‘In order to eat Mount Everest, I will use my LARGEST spoon.’ Sorry --- got side-tracked there; that just really irritates me.
Anyway, in Rises, Batman recovers from a broken back TWICE. I don’t think I am exaggerating when I say that that is the STUPIDEST THING THAT HAS EVER HAPPENED IN THE WHOLE WIDE WORLD EVER. They robbed Batman of what made him special --- his destructibility.
Talia Al Ghul – Talia Al Ghul (for those of you who don’t know) is a Catwoman-esque character, who has an on-off relationship with Batman, whereby they team up to defeat her father (who is immortal, kinda) and, in the process, she bears him a child, Damian Wayne.
Damian Wayne – Now for the biggie: Damian Wayne is the son of Bruce Wayne and Talia Al Ghul. I’m sure we all remember the scene in Rises whereby it was implied that Bruce and Talia (careful Albuery, it’s a school website) may have ‘enjoyed each other’s company’ and, as a result, there could be a stork on the way. How does a Batman and Son film work? ‘What to expect when you’re expecting’ with more capes? I genuinely can’t think of any more films featuring a father and a son, so I’ll just leave you to ponder on how truly awful any Batman film featuring Damian Wayne could (read as ‘will’) be.

(source: DC Comics)

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