the dark knight trilogy

batman begins

i know it might be more egregious and in your face in the following movies but like… this first act is just the joe biden brand of fascism. nolan’s mouth must’ve tasted like shoe leather throughout the entirety of production & marketing.

90% of the dialogue in the flashback scenes is billionaires & cops being rly rly kind & reassuring, and then liam neeson comes onto the scene to say shit like “criminals thrive on society’s indulgence” (??????), and just… fuck, man. you also get all the classic copaganda “moral dilemmas” like “should due process be a thing” & “cops are bad because they don’t oppress people effectively enough.” and at the end jim gordon talks about “escalation” like it’s this unfortunate & organic “both sides” thing, and it isn’t super obvious that it’s the cops doing all the escalating???

bruce (who was gonna shoot his father’s murderer) & rachel (who is a fucking d.a.) have so many fucking arguments, and so do bruce (who wants to be a cop but without due process) & ra’s (who wants to just execute people for every crime). police “corruption” seems to largely consist of… not punishing people enough??? it’s another copaganda tack, that “the wheels of justice spin too slowly” and there’s too much red tape & someone needs to “clean up” the city, and it’s just so gross. and now that i have a lot more class consciousness than i did the other times i saw this, it’s just… surreal seeing all these characters argue & sit there like “… both of your positions are horrifying please stop.”

side note. what the ever-loving heck is with rachel dating her boss two movies in a row??? like, you do you, but it’s kinda weird & uncomfy. especially when you’re a public servant.

there’s still something entertaining about these on a very base level even though chris nolan could not direct a fight scene with his life literally hanging in the balance. he’s all reversals & misdirections & dramatic dialogue that makes everything seem like the most important thing & it all felt very profound & smart when i was like 20. (of course, i also thought i was smart back then, so y’know.) but idk man. having literally everything turned up to 11 all the time is entertaining in its own way. and, for better or for worse, i really do love the swagger this series gradually develops. it’s very… distinct?

just, y’know… don’t think about the movie too hard, even though all the nolan-worshipping filmbros will insist his stuff is, like, so smart & deep & whatever the fuck. i can enjoy his stuff for v aesthetic trashy, pulpy bullshit, but it just falls completely apart when subjected to the lightest scrutiny. these movies have the same energy as some exhausting, self-important guy that’s nevertheless kinda cute. i can see myself having a sloppy makeout with them as long as i didn’t ruin it for myself by letting them talk too much. but i would deeply regret even as it was happening & i wouldn’t let myself be genuinely vulnerable to them ever. and when it was over i would give them a fake number & politely excuse myself.

(this didn’t really fit anywhere, but my girlfriend jokingly called the bats batman summons at one point “batbats,” and that totally ruled. i think it was also her who joked about batman “pulling himself up by his batstraps.” honestly, she was savage)

(b-rank)

the dark knight

batman begins: the problem with cops is they need to cop harder
the dark knight: gwb did nothing wrong, actually
the dark knight rises: occupy wall street is an existential threat

… did joe biden ghostwrite these?

(c-rank)

the dark knight rises

damn it i actually have a lot of things to say about this.

boring stuff first: there are a few actually okay fight scenes in this. like, you can see what’s happening and everything. they’re not… good, especially by the standards of superhero movies, but they’re fine.

structurally, this movie is infuriating to rewatch. the dark knight also relied on dramatic reversal after dramatic reversal, but it somehow didn’t feel quite as egregious? it was super grating in the dark knight rises, though. literally the point of every. single. thing. in this movie was for it to be a wwe-style swerve. surprising you for the sake of surprising you, so all you nolan bootlickers will go all heart-eyed at how fucking clever he thinks he is.

this movie does not deserve the performance it gets out of anne hathaway, omfg. this is the second nolan movie in a row (the other being interstellar) that features her in a badly underwritten role that ends with her being tossed to the protagonist as a love interest at the literal very end of the movie with no buildup whatsoever. (but of course, nothing in this movie gets a chance to fucking breathe, because that would get in the way of all the dramatic reversals!)

… but then there’s bane.

nolan’s politics are as gross as ever, obviously. where the dark knight served as a love letter to the bush era expansion of the surveillance state, the dark knight rises took aim at occupy. occupy was a leftist movement whose demands resonated with plenty of people who bothered to listen to them rather than the dismissive media caricaturization of them that were so common. but they were sadly easily bullied out of existence by cops because they lacked centralized leadership & were one of those “peaceful protests” you centrist assholes are always telling us to stick to.

so naturally what nolan did was take a lot of their rhetoric & put it in the lips of a supervillain backed by an army armed with assault rifles, tanks, and a literal nuclear fucking bomb. this led to some absolutely laugh-out-loud funny visuals like a huge mob of mostly-unarmed cops storming a much smaller, more heavily-armed army of pseudo-leftists. y’know… just like… the opposite of real life…

this is something i’ve always found hilarious about a lot of right wing persecution fantasies. they literally have to put themselves in the position of the people they’re oppressing to look like scrappy, heroic defenders of good they claim to be. it’s so weirdly transparent. like, they have to know how ridiculous this is right… right?

and in spite of all of this there are still some wonderful accidentally cathartic moments. like when that billionaire asshole says “i’m in charge” and bane just lightly puts his hand on his shoulder and asks, “do you feel in charge?” it made me squee for more than just the usual thirsty/subby reasons. (look, it was basically power exchange! just, y’know, not… so much… with the willing & negotiated.) and the stock exchange robbery (“this is a stock exchange! there’s no money you can steal!” “really? then why are you people here?”) & subsequent use of traders as human shields was delicious. and the prison break. and using gordon’s own words against him. (which, in the context of the movie we’re meant to see as manipulative & evil somehow??? whatever.)

it’s not really possible to be team #banewasright considering the character was lying through his teeth & planning on killing an entire city & himself for… uh… reasons? but idk. if you ignore a lot of the surrounding context i really do love me some bane.

oh also, talia for sure for sure made bruce go down on her, right? like, i’m sure bane is a great lover, but you gotta assume oral is off the table.

(c-rank)


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