Tuesday, August 7, 2012

On Submission and Stuff

I did a small Batman trilogy this weekend with the final film, The Dark Knight Rises, in IMAX and it was IMAXING. Spoilers ahead, but that's because I haven't figured out how to highlight plot points yet.

This would be the second time I saw a movie in a theatre for a second time. And while there are many things that I could say about this movie that have been said by others (they write it much more poetically anyway), I think there is something new I can add to the discussion. That is John Blake's excellent example of submission to authority. 

First off, I think I'm with the rest of the internet when I saw Joseph Gordon -Levitt on screen for the first (five) scene(s) thinking, who is this guy and why is he here. John Blake was not a returning character from within the trilogy, but his presence represents a more youthful generation of Gothamites still holding onto hope of a positive future for their city. 

His "hot-headed-ness" is still no match for the circumstances that he's faced with; John Blake is a good cop with bad resources. He understands he is young in the eyes of his superiors, but he is undervalued for the amount of insight and experience he has attained over that small length of time. This is definitely noticeable when Commissioner Gordon goes down the sewers and Blake objects to his superior's clear instructions of not following. I wanted to yell at the screen and scream, "Do what you have to do, Blake! He's wrong!" And yet, an irritated Blake obeys his orders. 

We see it again when the Batman makes his triumphant re-emergence on the highway following the Stock Market Scene. Instead of going after the robbers, Blake is ordered to pursue the Batman, which he does reluctantly. 

I was actually impressed how much patience Blake bestowed, even after the research into the sewers. I can imagine the frustration he would feel after doing all that fact-finding, presenting it to his superior only to be belittled. I was happy that when he showed it to Gordon he promoted Blake to detective so that he could report directly to him.

Blake's decision to leave the force was probably the right one. He understood that the system was broken, and rather than become a rogue or rebel like other characters (James Bond, Jack Bauer) who sometimes bends authority to work in their favour, he decides he'd rather not go under that authority. I think this takes some clear self awareness of understanding one's own limits and boundaries. And I respect him for that.

Now, there are some observations/thoughts that I would like to point out here, for fun (and because writing out too many Batman-related posts will make this feel like a Batman dedicated fan site).

  • At the fundraiser party, Bruce recognizes Miranda under the face mask and yet he is the only one in attendance not wearing one. Could it be that hiding half his face would reveal him the same way that glasses would reveal Clark Kent? 
  • Miranda knows that Poval was murdered six months ago, yet when he is brought in by Bane's men, she remains unstunned. I noticed this too late, but a more keen observer could have caught this. 
  • Batman was most certainly still in the Bat as it flew over the water, and the bomb had a kill radius of six miles with under a minute to go before detonation. I'm no rocket scientist but...
  • Is the death of Batman and Bruce Wayne a little too coincidental? Bruce had already been pronounced dead once (Batman Begins) so what is the reason this time? What was the reason the first time?
  • Can I get a Batcave like this one?

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