So, I finally saw THE DARK KNIGHT RISES…yes, yes I know. In my defense, I tried seeing it twice and it was sold out and then I had a hard time finding three spare hours. And also…well, I’m not the biggest fan of the Nolan Batman trilogy. I get why it is so beloved and all, but the filmmaking is often sloppy to my tastes. (The horrible sound editing in DKR being one example.) Anyway, I did enjoy it, even though it was so lax in its storytelling. And I kept getting distracted by things. Like Catwoman’s high heels. As soon as she appeared, I wondered “How is she running in those high heels?” And as if to answer my question, some hapless gunsel asks the same question in the film and Catwoman shows that they are really fearsome weapons. Got it.
However, I was amused to note that whenever an action scene showed Anne Hathaway and/or her stuntwoman doing something with their feet showing (not very often) they were actually wearing more sensible footwear. The same thing happened with Watchmen and Silk Spectre, too. In this regard, I have to give the nod to Gwyneth Paltrow, because in IRON MAN I there is a scene where she is actually running for her life in high heels.
And as if by magic, Sarah Ditum in the Guardian wonders the same thing about Catwoman:
That does not happen, though. Because in fantasy comic book world, it’s not that high heels are universally useful, it’s just that all their hobbling effects have been cancelled out, making it possible for Catwoman to be both sexy and supertough – even though they make you stick your arse and tits out, making you look more vulnerable (but also powerful, if you consider waggling your secondary sexual characteristics to be a power). Look, it’s Batman, it’s just morally complicated.
I do realize this is a movie where Batman cures a damaged spine by hanging from a rope for a month, and a Bat-vehicle flies around with no actual form of propulsion…everyone has their own little reality checks. For Laura Hudson, it was the climbing scenes:
Also, Bruce somehow absorbs the force of the fall on a hemp rope tied around his waist without sustaining massive internal injuries, not once but twice.
As for the story…well, Carol Borden rounds up all the parallels with the French Revolution, and Bruce Wayne as Sydney Carton, got it.
There’s a lot of the French Revolution in the film: the massive oubliette, built as an inverted panopticon tormenting prisoners with hope, in which Bane discards Batman, paralleling Les’ Misérables‘ Bagne and A Tale of Two Cities’ Bastille; the storming of Black Gate Prison and the storming of the Bastille; Gotham’s elite cowering as they await their fate à la The Scarlet Pimpernel; Bane posing as the leader of a popular uprising, which results in show trials right out of the Terror, presided over by theScarecrow, Jonathan Crane; and Bane reading an incriminating letter that denounces a hero just as Madame Defarge does in A Tale of Two Cities. All the film needed was everyone addressed as, “Citizen,” Gotham’s calendar set to Year 1 and Madame Defarge, texting beside the frozen Gotham River as the condemned fall through the ice. We did get Commissioner Gordon eulogizing Batman as Sydney Carton and Alfred quoting A Tale of Two Cities over Bruce Wayne’s grave.
Like everyone else, I just didn’t get who we were rooting for: are rich people good because they support orphanages and design free, clean nuclear power? Is the government good because they hire brave policemen who sit in a cave for a month and still come out roaring to fight? Are the common people good because they go to football games? Of course, the reality is you have to root for Batman, because he’s Batman, but I think director Christopher Nolan was actually rooting for Joseph Gorden-Levitt, because he had all the best lines and scenes. And, having seen Inception, I also know Marie Cotillard is bad and any time you see her coming, run far, run fast.
In the end, I think we’re just going to have to wait for Todd Alcott to come along and explain it all for us.