When I walked out of the 80 year-old theater I went to after waiting four years to finally seeing Nolan’s third and final Batman film, I was… mildly disappointed.
Now let’s get something straight here, goddamn you- no one loves Batman as much as I do. He’s my best friend! (my cousin can attest to this. All the time he shakes his head in mild disappointment and tells me, “Josh, Batman is not real! He’s not a real person! You gotta get that through your head! He’s not real… I’m worried for you…”) Batman’s my hero, okay? My ally. My role model. My light. My guide. I carried him no matter where I went.
So why was I so mildly disappointed? Why I ask, Why!? I didn’t know. I had to figure it out. I walked. I ambled. I dragged my feet. Head down. Face in confusion. I goddamn walked. At the time I walked out of the theater into the bright hot sun it was almost three o’clock (I went to the noon show and no, I hadn’t yet heard of the midnight screening massacre in Colorado, which will go down in my history book as the biggest bummer to ever happen to humanity besides 9/11)
And I walked for hours in the hot afternoon sun. Why was I so mildly disappointed, I thought? Why? I finally realized when I lifted my head up and saw from a distance the Sears Tower (Fuck you, Willis) and then the Hancock building and then the skyscraper that’s suppose to resemble a pussy because whoever designed it was sick and tired of skyscrapers resembling giant goddamn cocks (actually, I can’t actually see the pussy building from where I live, but whenever I think about it, it makes me smile).
“Chicago…” I whispered under my breath. “Chicago!” I yelled as people walked by and stared at me for a minute like I had gotten a whiff of the Scarecrow’s toxic hallucinogenic gas. “Chicago…” The third Nolan Batman film had no trace of Chicago! No el tracks! No lower Wacker Drive! No LaSalle Street/financial district! No long foreboding deep dark alleys! I knew it to be true!
The first two Nolan films had Chicago as the backdrop representing Gotham City. Not this time around, baby. You see one of the main plot points is terrorists blowing up giant long bridges isolating Gotham City. Where you gonna find an island with massive amounts of skyscrapers and long big bridges in Chicago? Huh? Where? What? You gonna use Goose Island? Ha! Come on! Fuck that! We’re not New York! We’re not Manhattan! And Pittsburgh. Don’t forget Pittsburgh- they got big bridges too!
Where you gonna find an eight lane highway where you can have several hundred police cars chase Batman down the highway in the heart of the city? L.A.- that’s where! That’s where cars paved the way the city was formed because it’s not as old as Chicago or New York. They only had horse and buggy (and Pittsburgh, don’t forget Pittsburgh!)
No sign of Chicago and also no mob, no gangsters! In the first two films you had the mob and you had gangsters like Falconi in Batman Begins and when he stepped down you had Maroni in The Dark Knight. The thing about Chicago is it’s synomonous with gangsters (Al Capone) and corruption (pretty much every fuckin’ mayor and govenor)- and those characters and ideals are synomonous with film noir. It’s in the city’s history. It’s in the Chicago blood. Chicago at night, down deep dark alleyways (yeah, that’s right, alleys! You
ever heard of ‘em, Manhattan?) with el trains passing by in the distance and old time taverns on lower Wacker Drive (The Billy Goat) is film noir goddamn it! The Dark Knight Rises
doesn’t have the film noir! It’s lacking! Yeah, I know what you’re thinking, I’m suckin’ on Chicago’s corrupted cock. Whatever.
Now I understand the Nolan-Batman story- Batman, Harvey and Gorden took down the mob in The Dark Knight and in its place you got terrorists and mercenaries. Problem with that is you’re going against over seventy years of Batman comics fighting gangsters in the film noir aspect.
It just doesn’t mesh, but what the fuck, right? Terrorists and mercenaries take over Gotham and a Batman’s gotta do what a Batman’s gotta do, right? This is his city. Gotham. Goth… am… (sigh)… At least he gets to have sex with Catwoman at the end. Maybe that’s why I’m so mildly disappointed. Batman’s got a girlfriend now.
“Ah, Bats! Put that toilet seat down! and don’t use your gas powered grappling gun to do it!”
“Yes, Catwoman… (sigh)…”
P.S. By the way, Batman never uses his gas powered grappling gun in The Dark Knight Rises. That mildly disappointed me. It could of helped him get out of some tight situations in the film.
BOTTOM LINE: It’s still Batman, baby and I will always love him and always be true to Nolan.
***1/2 out of **** stars
DIRECTED BY: Nolan