A Strange Review: The Dark Knight Stinketh


Unable to craft a full review due to a court date in which I am to explain to a judge why I think the rules of the road don’t apply to me, despite my having already submitted to the mayor’s office a rather detailed paper on the subject, I do hereby reproduce my notes, taken shortly after giving blood and consuming large amounts of Gatorade.

Coming Attractions now entering second hour. No, I do not want to see a tragi-comedy starring Meryl Streep and the not Will Ferrell guy from Step Brothers about parents of a sociopath who blame themselves. No, I do not want to see Jean-Claude Van Damme starring in a modern-day version of The Tempest, even if he does play Miranda. No, I do not want to see a reboot of the Mission Impossible series, this time with an unmarried Tom Cruise. No, I do not want to see Scarlett Johansen is every freaking movie due out in the next decade. No, I do not want to see Jennifer 1, Jennifer 2, or Jennifer 3 in a goofy tale of friends with benefits who end up raising a preternaturally precocious alien child who grows up to be Superman or a sales clerk in the ring-binder aisle at Target during back-to-school week.

Finally, the movie begins. Some generic bad-guy rough housing. Blah blah blah. Fancy party at Bruce Wayne’s house, which bears a striking resemblance to London’s Natural History Museum if it were designed by whoever invented waffle fries. Oh, no, not the pathetic “hero up or get off the pot” speech again. If I have to hear about Bruce Wayne’s lost loves one more time, I will start patrolling the streets of Gotham in my skinny jeans.

Looks like Commissioner Gordon is once again going to get way too much face time. I’d rather have Sergeant O’Hara crying “Saints preserve us!” every five minutes than listen to this dullard drone on.

Ah! Some real action. Finally. Selina Kyle, aka Cat Womyn, played by Anne Hathaway, granddaughter of Miss Jane Hathaway, late of The Beverly Hillbillies, a true fact I found on Wikipedia after I cut-and-pasted it there, puts one in mind of what a young Sean Young would have done with the role had she not gone batcrap crazy. With legs long enough to make a crane fly cry and a freakishly narrow skull, Hathaway is both terrifying and strangely alluring, a wastrel who cat burgles in order to “feed herself,” although her 14-inch waist would lead one to believe she’s not very good at her job. Desperate to wipe the criminal-record slate clean and start again, this time as a medical transcriptionist in Scarsdale, Cat Person is obviously seeking both redemption and a spinoff movie to make us forget Halle Berry’s calamitous effort. Coming in at a weight of 125 pounds, Selina is nevertheless able to kick several 6-foot-6, 350-pound gangsters unconscious in a matter of seconds, when it took the 135-pound Bruce Lee a good while to take out Kareem Abdul Jabbar. Must be something in those Flintstone vitamins these gals take nowadays.

Christian Bale looks tired. Perhaps he realizes that pervy Bat voice he does, like he’s making some sick phone call to a sorority chick at 3 a.m., is underwhelming and unintentionally funny. Like that’s going to disguise his identity? Everybody in this ridiculous picture seems to know Batman is Bruce Wayne — oh, except Commissioner Gordon, a man with all the cranial capacity of a bedpan.

Morgan Freeman looks bored, although he may just be mentally counting his money. A rather touching performance by Michael Caine, though, who tears up every time he recalls Master Wayne’s childhood or his appearance in Jaws 4.

Citizen Bane is proving to be a rather pedestrian supervillain. Forced to wear a respirator 24/7 due to a severe soy and peanut allergy, he nevertheless is able to sustain regular workouts at the gym, although he may want to cut back on the Ageless Pilates DVDs, as the exertion seems to be making his back break out. And why he sounds like a cross between Mr. Peabody and Edward Everett Horton of the Fracture Fairy Tales cartoons is a mystery that will probably go unsolved for generations. Could only make out half of what he said, but I do believe he mentioned something about season 6 of Mad Men. Seems Peggy is definitely coming back.

Lionized by the conservative press as something of an anti-Occupy movie, The Dark Night Mooneth does demonstrate in vivid color what a revolution really looks like — a lot of show trials, explosions, hangings, and an added 45 minutes to everyone’s commute. Makes one feel sorry for Michael Moore and other Hollywood socialists, who I’m sure will be accosted on the streets with copies of Hayek and Burke after young libertarians leave the theaters on fire for counterrevolutionary activity.

(Progressive commentators, however, have bemoaned Citizen Bane’s failure to implement a “green” policy that would have demanded the purchase of carbon credits before setting off the big bang-bang. If you’re going to hold a city hostage, a la certain public-worker unions, you must at least have a recycling plan in place for all the attendant debris.)

Did not recognize Tom Conti, who plays a remarkably able chiropractor whose vocation is to work with people who fall down wells. (If Lassie shows up, I’m going home.) He leads a vertebrae-challenged Bruce Wayne to achieve startling new heights while also reminding Christian Bale of what awaits his career if he lets that waistline go.

Note to self: put copy of Adieu Little Sparrow on eBay. Turns out that Edith Piaf is a real bitch.

The kid from Third Rock from the Sun sure has gotten himself a movie career. What with Inception and now no doubt a costarring role in Batman 4, I’m sure we’ll be seeing more of him in an NCIS iteration.

Entering roughly eighth hour of the film. Beginning to get woozy. A lot of pseudo-philosophical talk about death, fear, new beginnings, putting the past behind oneself, and the best way to cut off access to NYC from New Jersey, which may be the one true takeaway here, not to mention something Governor Cuomo should look into.

This film is very loud. I tried signaling the projectionist with a sign (PROJECTIONIST: THIS FILM IS VERY LOUD) I always keep on my person, but my efforts were met with catcalls and boos from my fellow auditors. One even got up and screamed, “Sit the eff down you effing eff or I’ll effing eff you up!” That’s literally what he said. Must be a Baptist . . .

My friend Joe Carter says this is pre-Christian mythologizing of a postmodern reality. I just thought it was half-price Thursday. Which is probably why I don’t review movies much anymore.

Ah: Payoff time. Men in blue vs. miserable, envy-riddled masses. Send them back to their lower-working-class existences paying 8 percent on student loans where they belong! Pow! Zap! Zingo!

Why is it that filmmakers love to blow up New York City? It must be the skyline, or maybe Mayor Bloomberg has decided to ban something again, like Mentos or Kit-Kats.

And by the way, I thought Robin came from a circus family, the Falling Wallendas. It’s like that George Clooney movie was all made up by a buncha liars.

Well, could have seen that denouement coming a mile away. Shouldn’t give away the ending, but Bruce Wayne was either in the Enola Gay or that batsuit is made of some damn sturdy Gore-tex.

(Some critics were less than kind about an ending they found unsatisfying and conventional. I do wish the filmmakers had considered the ending I submitted via FAX to Paramount.* In my imagined version, the entire Christian Bale–Christopher Nolan trilogy turns out to have been a dream, and the last scene would have had Emily waking Bob, bringing everything finally to rights.)

Overall, The Dark Knight Sneezes is probably the best recruitment film for the NYPD short of a halfway decent documentary on 9/11 and its immediate aftermath. I recommend it to anyone who has ten or eleven hours to spare, a device that translates comic-book-character voices into reasonably sonorous English, and a taste for leather-clad ultraviolence. (Which makes me grateful A Clockwork Orange was not a Hollywood film, or we’d be watching Alex and his droogs reborn every four years to take larger and larger swaths of western Europe hostage, with Ludwig Van now blaring in their ear buds.)

*Turns out the film was produced by Warner Bros., which explains a lot.


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