When Dark Knight Rises Fanatics Attack
My last article on The Dark Knight Rises received a lot of negative attention. Unbeknownst to me, I wrote about sensitive subjects that outraged little Batman fans who are apparently thrown into violent and bratty fits at any casual mention of their beloved film.
I think it’s bad form to respond to any anonymous haters on the internet, so I won’t exactly. But taking another look at my post, I think it wouldn’t hurt to re-examine the things I said.
I stand by my last claim: I’m worried about the casting choices for the last installment of Nolan’s trilogy. Tom Hardy is a talented actor. I never said otherwise. His performance in Bronson is great, but that’s not enough justification to applaud an all around poor film. Bronson uses its main talent as an excuse to call whatever is gratuitous, awkward and obscure about the film profound. But the film is not profound. It’s a shame to see Hardy’s exceptional performance blunted because the movie hangs desperately by his coattails, screaming, “This is art! This is intelligent! There is something here I swear!”
Joseph Gordon-Levitt is a good actor with a lot of potential and that’s why I’m worried about his role. Who is the elusive John Blake? Aside from speculation that his character might have something to do with a certain “Johnny Blake” who appears only tangentially in the comics, nobody knows who this guy is. Sure, maybe this random Gotham “beat cop” will shine in his own right, but I’d rather have JGL reinvent a traditional Batman character like Ledger did. Wouldn’t you? He clearly has the skill for it. And that’s the beauty of comic book adaptations: Actors we love transform characters we love on the page, creating something new that dazzles us on the screen.
As far as Anne Hathaway goes, let’s be honest: Nolan’s female stars have been lackluster at best. Both Katie Holmes and Maggie Gyllenhaal are virtually interchangeable takes on the same character (Rachel Dawes) and neither do anything particularly outstanding with the role. Consider that Holmes turned down her spot in the second movie to star in Mad Money with Queen Latifah. I repeat: She turned down the The Dark Knight for Mad Money with Queen Latifah.
Hathaway (a goofy, charming rom-com and dramedy star) might succeed as the infamous anti-heroine, or she might try too hard and look silly like Aaron Eckhart did as Two-Face (Eckhart trying to play a villain is like the criticism I’ve gotten: Cute but ultimately ineffectual).
Again, Hathaway would have been great in the pre-Nolan Batman days where her sassiness would be status-quo, but really, it’s hard for me to picture her paired with the austerity of Christian Bale. But maybe she will surprise me like Ledger surprised the world. I’m totally open to that.
Robin Williams. He’s not in the movie. There was never an argument over that. But in a purely imaginary world where Robin Williams could have played a Batman villain, I would take him in a second. Comic book movies are fun because we can imagine the infinite casting possibilities, whether or not they ever come to light.
The Dark Knight Rises might be the epic conclusion it’s marketing itself as. Christopher Nolan is the man. If his movie succeeds, awesome. Great. Hooray. Congratulations. All hail the anonymous cult of raging, feral, grammatically challenged Tom Hardy fans.
To read my original article, click here.
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