Posted on 6/30/13 11:17 PM
The Batman mythos had been chiseled and woven for nearly one-hundred years. Every author, artist and auteur who has had the pleasure of working on the Caped Crusader has also indelibly changed the lore of Batman in one way or another. With that being said, there have been several ultimate truths, certain unshakable verisimilitudes if you will that are un-alterable; Batman doesn't use guns/kill, Batman knows no fear, Batman can not be bought, Batman can never be psychologically broken. It is this last trait that has forever cemented by lifelong Batman fanboy-dom. Countless heroes swear an oath against capital punishment. Even more heroes hold the moniker of being fearless. I can count on my left finger the number of heroes that have never forsaken their ideology at least once.
"The Dark Knight Rises" does a beautiful job in constructing a Batman movie without utilizing Batman. What's worse, the few scenes in which we're treated to him we're having to suffer through watching him blunder his way into Bane's lair only by making double-secret swear-I-won't-tell-if-you-swear-you-won't-tell promises with a person he barely has a first-name to match with a set of rubber cat-ears.
This isn't "The Dark Knight" where Batman is trying desperately to piece together an entirely new set of rules arbitrarily being patched together by a sociopath; this is the newly and quite disappointingly recluse Batman that has completely blunted every single bat-a-rang edge that to watch him go toe-to-toe with Bane in the second act is like watching a child fight a...well, fight Bane I guess.
That's the second violation of the Batman mythos that David Goyer and the Nolan brothers failed to account for; every Batman villain fears Batman. What does the big baddie Bane fear in this installment? A 5'2" CEO. Granted, a 5'2" assassin CEO, but not the man with the savvy and where-with-all to take down several sadists like they were your regular perp.
Bane had every characteristic you'd normally want in a lead villain: strong, menacing, spites authority and easily walks the fine line between sane and full-blown bats&%!. The problem with Bane the villain is that as the series culminates into an ad hoc Braveheart-style street battle and the entire fate of Gotham is resting on the push of a button, the stoic herald known as Bane is really just a pawn, a pawn to a truly disappointing and lackluster character that added nothing to the series except a tie-in that really only pleases the Batman faithful.
Anne Hathaway fit instantly into the Gotham landscape, Joseph Gordon-Levitt added another fresh face to the series and the return of Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, Morgan Freeman and Cillian Murphy added such positive weight to a film/series that already had so much going for it that it made it hard to find room for the Dark Knight himself. Sure the story was culturally relevant, sure it kept the tone of the first two films while advancing the genre, and sure at the end of the day Christopher Nolan didn't compromise art for general blockbuster tropes; but would it really have been too much to ask to have had more Batman in a movie titled "The dark Knight Rises?"