On Sunday, Nina and I finally caught The Dark Knight Rises. We both enjoyed it*, but with a nearly three-hour running time, I felt sort of numb afterwards, finding newfound respect for the terse minimalist Jack Webb police procedural-like feel of the half-hour Adam West Batman series from the 1960s.
OK, just kidding. But still, two hours and 44 minutes is way too long for anything that wasn’t directed by David Lean.
Speaking of which, at the Corner, Michael Walsh, linking to Andrew Klavan’s review in the Wall Street Journal, sees a Dr. Zhivago-esque subtext to the movie, which is obsessed with the dangers of revolution:
[I]f insanity is defined as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result, what are we to make of every murderous Regressive movement from the French Revolution to the October Revolution to Mao and Pol Pot? All of them began in resentment and ended in oceans of blood. In fact, one of the worst things about being a Regressive is having to ride the tiger that eventually eats all of them. In Dr. Zhivago, the idealistic Pasha becomes the feared zealot Strelnikov who in turn becomes another of Stalin’s statistics. In this Batman installment, Bane’s raging Id and his secret controller’s lust for revenge are both defeated by heroes who understand where the truth lies.
In a spoiler-filled round-up at Big Hollywood, Ben Shapiro dubs The Dark Knight Rises, “Magnificent … And Most Conservative Film Ever.”
Most conservative film ever? Well…
Actually, Shapiro may be onto something, that’s certainly how I felt upon leaving the theater. (And I deliberately tried to avoid as many reviews as possible so as not to ruin the plot for me). Though who knows how much of that was intended by the filmmakers? It wouldn’t be the first time where two diverse audience segments are each watching their own movie.
But for those who are looking for conservative themes buried in the film, I’d also add (as with Shapiro’s review, don’t click these links if you haven’t seen the film yet) these two links, which dovetail remarkably well with the subtext of the film’s twist ending.
* OK, other than its blatant violation of the Scott Evil rule when the baddie has the drop on the good guy, as Kyle Smith notes.