So, The Dark Knight
finally came out on this little island and Cheaparse Tuesday rolled around and I finally watched it.
I think I may be suffering a little bit from fan pedantry here. You know the one: when you're so used to the source material of a film that you're stuck judging that film by its faithfulness to the source material and not on its own worth as a work of movie-making art. I try not to be, but a lot of what I have to say about the film, for better or worse, is apparently from a comic-reader's perspective.
Before I dive under the spoiler cut to complain, let me say out loud: Yes!
. You know that Eddie Izzard routine when he's talking about American action movies (
"You fuck my wife? You fuck my wife?" "I am your wife!"
) and he does the rapid popcorn scoffing movements? That was me for about the first hour - before my popcorn actually ran out. The action sequences were amazing, the design was dark and gorgeous and Gotham-y. The story warmed my Bat-loving heart. The actors were all superb. Two Face and the Joker were great, Gary Oldman is a spot-on Jim Gordon: his speeches were fantastic. And Christian Bale - oh hell
yes (though his Peter Serafinowicz voice was just funny) All in all, two major thumbs up.
The problem (aside from the fact that they did actually hack all the internets
), was - and when will they ever learn
? -the women. And - this is where my comic geek starts showing - the women they left out.Renee Montoya:
I refuse to accept I was the only person thinking this - the competent Hispanic female cop, Gordon's ally and trusted friend, his right hand man in a lot of ways? I recognised her so hard
I was genuinely confused when someone called her by - whatever her name was in the movie. There was no way
this similarity could have been a coincidence. Aside from being the only other significant female character to Rachel Dawes (a judge and a wife aside), she was also the only Hispanic character I noticed, and in every way her character appeared to be that of Renee. You know, until they turned her into a mob-bought pathetic (see how she cried while the man in a similar situation was stoic and brave) bad guy. Until then. Barbara Jr
. What. The. HELL
? No, seriously, what the hell
? Did they just turn BARBARA FUCKING GORDON, Batgirl, Oracle, all round best superhero in the history of anything ever, into a shivering cowering back-of-head being held by her Mommy? Did they think we wouldn't notice? That even people with very little knowledge of comics (Dave
was sitting next to me in the cinema) wouldn't say "'ang on a minute..." at that? And she's in the credits as "Gordon's daughter." What were they thinking?
I've never exactly been a fan of the existence of James Jr, mostly because I'm not exactly sure what Frank Miller was trying to do in inventing him (when is anyone certain what Frank Miller's trying to do?), but every. single. line. he has in this movie could (and perhaps should) have been given to the little girl who becomes Batgirl. Instead it looked scarily like they were priming James Jr to be Robin (Harvey Dent had a line about 'Batman's looking for a successor' which made me wonder about Dick). In which case - ick.
I wonder a little if I'm also allowed to be a little 'eh?' about the fact that there was a blatent nod to the Oracle role (in both plot element and visual). with an able bodied man of colour instead of a white woman in a wheelchair. I've decided I am, because where were the other women in the movie? Oh, right, getting blowed up.
Y'know, DC origin stories can be a little weird at times. But of all the ones that didn't
need a woman stuffed in a fridge to flesh it out, it was Two-Face's. I mean, come on, he already had
a woman in his fridge: this one
. The relationship between him and Bruce Wayne was nice, but it didn't need a romantic interest added in. And I didn't really like Rachel Dawes
anyway: I felt that she was Just Another Batman Girlfriend: the trope is so old it's boring, and yet DC are still doing it in Batman RIP (I think: I've read all the story so far and I'm still not sure what's happening): Bruce meets girl, Bruce falls for girl, girl finds out what Bruce does of a night, girl is stuffed in fridge and/or dies as a direct or indirect result of Bruce choosing the mission over her. Bruce loses no sleep. Lather, rinse, repeat. Maybe next movie we'll get a Viki Vale. I can live in hope.
Anyway, link me all to your reaction posts? I actually want to know what everyone else had to say.
ETA: The absolute best
part of the great film was the opportunity to