Thursday, 17 September 2015

The Dark Knight: Part 2

Welcome back to my ongoing review of The Dark Knight.
Let's review what we learned during the last half of the movie.
We learned that Batman hates buildings.
The police of Gotham are stupid.
The criminals of Gotham are stupid.
The citizens of Gotham are stupid.
And we learned that the Joker's plans are incredibly unfeasible, but the universe wants him to seem threatening so they work out anyway.

When last we left our heroes, Gordon was dead and Harvey had turned himself in claiming to be the Batman in an attempt to lure the Joker into an ambush.
So how did the plan work out?
 So the Joker's truck is driving along parallel to the armoured van containing Harvey, whilst one of his goons is driving a garbage truck behind it to prevent them from stopping.
That's when the side door of the truck opens and the Joker leans out, firing at Harvey's van.
Well, it's not like he's been inspiring much laughter in me anyway.
He fires several guns but none of them have any effect, so he draws a bazooka. But instead of firing it at harvey, he shoots and explodes the police car in front of them.
I'm pretty sure that this is supposed to be exciting, but all I can think about is how stupid it is that none of the cops bothered shooting back. I mean, he's matching your speed and completely exposing himself. You don't have to be a crack shot to be able to get him under those circumstances. Heck, just clip him and he'd probably fall out.
He's not exactly making the most of the cover there.
But anyway, just as it seems like Joker's really going to kill Harvey, Batman shows up in Betty and straight up murders the driver of the garbage truck.
The entire cabin has been crushed into the roof. The driver is a smoothie.
But if Batman was waiting there the whole time, why didn't he arrive earlier?
Y'know, so he could save all of the cops that Joker just murdered?
Anyway, whilst Batman is turning round the Joker reloads his bazooka and takes aim at Harvey.
Despite the fact that the garbage truck is now gone, the driver continues to match the Joker's speed.
What monkey did they recruit to drive the van?
So Joker fires and Batman steers Betty in the way, taking the hit but losing Betty in the process.
Oh no, how terrible.
Whilst Harvey goes topside to get air support, Batman ejects from Betty using the built-in motorcycle and she self-destructs.
And yes, Betty had a built-in eject motorcycle.
Because why wouldn't you install one of those into a vehicle designed to leap over gaps?
It was designed as a bridging vehicle remember?
And yes, the bike is also ugly. And unfeasible.
Back up top Harvey's air support arrives as a helicopter flies to his rescue, before being brought down by a wire placed by Joker's goons.
Because the Joker apparently knew exactly where Harvey's van would attempt to exit from the underpass, despite there having been no way he could have predicted when Batman would arrive.
Well, this ambush went well.
Batman finally arrives on scene riding the Betty-bike and he stops the Joker's truck using some steel cables or something.
This just begs the question of why he didn't do this in the underpass, back when he had the element of surprise.
Oh, and less dead cops.
But as Joker steps out Batman starts riding directly at him, seemingly to run him down.
BUt instead, he stops at the last moment and causes himself to crash, rolling to Joker's feet.
But just as Joker leans over, Gordon arrives. Turns out that no only was he not dead the entire time, but he was Harvey's driver.
"What a tweest!"
Gordon pushes Joker to the ground and holds him at gunpoint whilst the rest of the cops arrest his goons.
Wait, what?
I have some issues with this plan.
Firstly, what did Gordon pretending to be dead actually achieve? Gordon being dead didn't affect the Joker's plans at all. I'm not sure if Joker even noticed.
Secondly, why couldn't Gordon let either Batman or Harvey in on his plan? If he'd told either about his plan then maybe one of them could have pointed out how unnecessary it was.
All his plan did was upset his allies and cause grief to his family.
Literal grief.
"Man, I really am stupid."
But anyway, they've finally caught Joker and they've got him securely under lock and key, so is the movie finally over now?
Of course not, if it were then I wouldn't have had to split the review in half.
As Joker is being processed Harvey is escorted away by Ramirez and the mayor enters, promoting Gordon to commissioner.
Gordon goes home to his wife and kids, but gets called back to interview Joker when it's discovered that Harvey never got home.
So he rushes back and asks Joker about it, but Joker is of course tight-lipped.
Pun not intended.
Joker points out that Gordon can't trust his own people due to the Mob's influence.
And he actually asks who Gordon left Harvey with.
Gordon left him with Ramirez, whom Harvey had previously investigated for racketeering.
A fact he had pointed out to Gordon.
And Gordon also knows that the mob has spies inside either his police force or within the DA's office.
Stupidity aside, Gordon leaves and Batman steps out of the shadows in order to continue the investigation his way.
It involves violence.
Joker goes off on the typical anarchist spiel about how morals only matter to people when life is easy. He says that he'll show batman how civilised people act when the chips are down.
This is the 'Highly intelligent' criminal mastermind everybody was raving about back in 2008?
He sounds like a college student who's just finished reading Atlas Shrugged, whilst high.
The thing about anarchism is that it doesn't work, and people don't actually want to live in an anarchy. Humans are sociable animals, with an instinctive urge to co-operate.
How the heck do these people think governments form in the first place?
But political rants aside, Joker reveals that he also kidnapped Rachel and that both of their lives are in danger.
Hence why Batman started punching him.
So yeah, the strong and independent girlfriend needs saving again.
They should have just called her Mary-Jane and been done with it.
Joker is nice enough to tell Batman their locations and he runs off, telling Gordon that he's going for Rachel.
Because he immediately takes Joker at his word.
Because you can always trust the psychotic murderer who laughs when you punch him.
Gordon gathers some men and goes to save Harvey.
Because apparently in Gotham every police officer spends the entire night inside the police station.
Either that or none of them think to radio for other police who might be near the address Joker gave them.
Why is everybody in Gotham so damn stupid?
We cut to Harvey, who's just waking up inside a warehouse filled with barrels and a timer.
Would you like me to point out the plotholes that this raises?
So how did the Joker manage to predict exactly how long it would take for him to get arrested, be processed, wait for Harvey's absence to be noted, wait for the interview with Gordon, then get interviewed by Batman and how long it would take for them to reach the warehouses?
While you mull over that stupidity, I'm going to point out some more. As Batman and Gordon race to save the hostages, Joker starts chatting to his guard.
Whom they placed inside the interview room with him.
Let me repeat that.
They placed the guard inside the room with the man who got Batman so angry that he turned violent.
The man who is also a cop-killer (Whom it's revealed has killed 6 of the guards friends).
And they left him unrestrained too.
Harvey and Rachel both assume that Batman will save her so they start trying to figure out a way for Harvey to escape.
Rachel doesn't bother trying to escape by herself.
She just patiently sits there and waits for Batman to save her.
How I felt watching this movie.
Batman busts in to save her and finds Harvey.
What a surprise, the Joker lied. Why is anybody surprised?
But before Gordon can reach Rachel, the timer runs out and the warehouse explodes.
Count us down one love interest folks. She was fun while she lasted.
Oh, wait, no she wasn't.
She was mildly likable last movie. Let's stick with that.
Back at the station, one of the Joker's goons is feeling sick and he slumps to the floor, mentioning how the Joker promised to replace the voices with pretty lights.
Hey, guess what, he's a bomb.
But Gotham PD have apparently never heard of suicide bombers, so they send in medics to check up on him.
They don't even figure it out when they literally see the bomb.
Meanwhile, the Joker managed to get the guard riled up enough to fight him. I wonder how that turned out.
Why am I not surprised?
I feel as though I should point out that Joker is surrounded on three sides. By armed police. But not one of them thinks to actually shoot him, despite the fact that the guard isn't even blocking the shot.
There are no words.
They ask Joker what he wants and he just asks for his phone call.
And so one of the officers throws him a phone.
Are lobotomies standard procedure for Gotham PD? Because it really seems like they are.
Naturally, when Joker uses the phone, the goon explodes.
This one explosion is apparently enough to disable every police officer in Gotham station and he just strolls out, taking one of the police cars for good measure.
This movie is dumb. Everybody in this movie is dumb. Everybody who wrote this movie is dumb.
I think I have gotten a little dumber just watching this movie.
So here we are at the official darkest moment. Harvey is in hospital with half of his face missing (He got a little caught in an explosion), Rachel is dead and the Joker is free. So what's next?
Remember that accountant?
Because this plot thread was so important.
Yep, the accountant goes on air to reveal Batman's identity. 
But before that happens, Gordon visits Harvey in the hospital.
"Ummm, get well soon?"
Harvey's not in a good mood, since he blames Gordon's people for letting Rachel get captured.
Meanwhile, Joker is burning through all of the mob's money.
Once Joker's done burning the money and betraying the mobsters, he phones the show the accountant is on and tells Gotham that if the accountant isn't dead within an hour, he'll blow up a hospital.
Gee, I wonder what hospital he might be planning on blowing up?
Might it be the one that Harvey Dent is currently residing in?
Anyway, Gordon and his men make their way to the studio and retrieve the accountant, sneaking him out the back way (Whilst they have the hospitals evacuated, because even lobotomised cops are smart enough to do that).
But I don't get why they choose to take the accountant out of the studio.
They only have to protect him for an hour. Go up to the roof and sit him out there until the time's up.
But no, let's sit him in a car and drive him outside, that'll be much safer.
Bruce leaves in a Lamborghini and follows the police car. When the car reaches a red light it stops and someone tries to ram it, hoping to kill the accountant.
So Bruce, for the second time this movie, drives his car in between Gordon and an attempt on his life (Even though he wasn't the actual target. Again.)
But when Gordon thanks Bruce for saving his life, Bruce pretends that it was by accident, with only the accountant knowing the truth.
And this time he's smart enough to stay quiet.
This entire series of events may seem pointless, but it was all a distraction so that the Joker could chat to Harvey.
Yeah, the Joker wanted to speak to Harvey, I'm so surprised.
But the two cops who were supposed to be protecting Harvey didn't figure it out and got killed.
And once again we get treated to an Ayn Rand style speech. Although this one have since gone memetic.
It's all about how, when things go to plan, everyone's calm. But when things go off-plan, everyone 'Loses their minds'.
No shit Sherlock. What, do you expect people to panic when everything's normal/
Why are people treating this guy like he's deep and philosophical? He's dressed as a nurse and is wearing clown make-up.
To be specific, he goes on about how people don't panic when police or soldiers are killed.
That might have something to do with the fact that those people are willingly putting their lives on the line to protect civilians from nutjobs like the Joker.
For some reason Harvey doesn't kill Joker, even when Joker hands him a loaded gun.
Instead, he lets his lucky coin decide (It's now scarred on one side, so there's actually risk involved.)
Considering that Joker walks out of the hospital and blows it up, it's obvious which side it landed on.
Speaking of Joker blowing up the hospital, this is another scene where his plan should fall apart.
Right here, in fact.
The entire reason that the hospital was evacuated was because there had been a bomb threat. When bomb threats happen, the police arrive on the scene to aid the evacuation (And catch any bad guys who might be there).
In this instance, the recently injured DA was in this hospital.
There would have been a police presence there.
And those police would be on the look-out for anyone who matched the description of the guy who made the bomb threat.
That description being he's a fucking clown!
Joker doesn't even hide it. He makes a big display about blowing the place up, while he's blowing it up.
This is once again another example of movie cops not shooting the bad guy purely because they're in a movie.
As he leaves, Joker kidnaps a whole bus full of people.
Not one of which thinks that maybe they should do something about the currently-unarmed homicidal maniac.
Immediately afterwards, Joker forces a reporter he kidnapped to read out a message on tv. It warns that he's got a plan for the city after nightfall and if people don't want to be a part of it they should leave. But not by bridge or tunnel, because he has a nasty surprise in store on those.
The thing is, the video was pre-recorded and sent to the newsroom. Who then decided to put it on the airwaves immediately instead of sending it to the cops.
No wonder everyone if Gotham is an idiot, their media are fucking morons.
"Hey Dave, we just got this video threatening the entire city, should we hand it to the police?"
"No, just put it straight on air. We'll get lots of ratings."
"But won't that create a panic and cause hundreds if not thousands of people to be injured or possibly killed, including our loved ones?"
"Of course it will, but then we'll just report on that afterwards."
"Oh, alright then."
There aren't enough facepalms in the world.
Meanwhile Fox is informed of a break-in at the R&D department, which turns out to be Batman, who explains his plan to catch the Joker.
He's going to use technology shown earlier (When he caught Lou) to turn every phone in Gotham into a miniature sonar device, allowing him to 'see' all of Gotham.
Fox complains about the gross violation of privacy, but batman says it's necessary to save lives.
Fox agrees, but he also says that if the machine stays, he goes.
"I'll stand by my principles. After we've saved everyone. Until then, meh."
Also of note, Batman says that the machine is encrypted so that only Fox can use it. But check out this screenshot.
If it's designed so that only Fox can use it, why are there so many keyboards?
Meanwhile, as the day goes on, Gordon and the mayor chat about the evacuation. They're refusing to check the tunnels or bridges because of Jokers' threat, so they're evacuating people via ferries. Gordon's also planning to evacuate the prison, because he reckons that Joker plans on involving it somehow.
Why he thinks this is anyone's guess.
So, come nightfall, two ferries are loaded up with 15,000 people each, one of civilians and one of convicts.
Can you guess where this is going?
Would the movie like to explain how Joker managed to get so many barrels of explosives into each ferry without the ferry crews noticing?
Both ferries also each have a remote detonator. Joker tells them (Over a radio) that each detonator is for the other ship. If they blow up the other ship before midnight, he'll let thee surviving ship go. If neither blow up, he'll blow them both up.
In other words, he's making both ferries go through a sadistic choice involving themselves.
While this happens, Batman finally locates Joker and tells Gordon, who readies an insertion team.
But Batman goes over first.
But he notices something odd about the goons.
They all have a serious duct tape fetish?
All of the goons wearing clown masks are actually the hostages. And because the insertion teams are morons who're still taking everything the Joker does at face value, they're preparing to shoot innocent people.
And Batman can't tell Gordon, because Gordon had to leave very suddenly when he got a phone call.
Remember the Harvey Dent/Two-Face subplot?
Well, he went and found the spies in the police.
It was Ramirez? I'm stunned. But there were so many other suspects.
He forced Ramirez to phone Gordon's family and trick into a trap.
So Batman beats up all of the insertion teams and the real goons, before getting to his final showdown with the Joker.
It goes well.
Thanks to some attack dogs, Joker manages to pin Batman down. He tells Batman to enjoy the fireworks, but he's surprised when neither ship blows up.
Because on the criminal's ferry the biggest, scariest inmate took the detonator and threw it out of the window. And on the civilian ferry, none of them could bring themselves to murder other people, even to save their own lives.
Of course, I did get annoyed when the people on the civilian ship talked about blowing up the other ship as though it was only filled with criminals. They apparently forgot about the police and ferry crew that were aboard.
But Joker's obviously not pleased about this turn of events and he takes out his own detonator, before leaning in to Batman and starting up his whole "Do you wanna know how I got these scars?" thing again.
So Batman shoots him in the face with shurikens.
I can admit that something's awesome when it's awesome. And that was awesome.
It was a bit of a risky move though. Those shuriken had previously lodged themselves into a metal wall, from about twenty feet. And he's firing them from roughly two feet away from a squishy face.
He's damn lucky that he didn't kill the Joker outright.
But Joker does fall off the building, only for batman to catch him with his grappling hook and hang him up by his feet.
Because arresting him worked so well last time.
Joker monologues about how he reckons that he and Batman are destined to keep doing the same dance for eternity, which seems rather doubtful.
But he does point out that this wasn't even his endgame. He's leaving that to Harvey Dent.
Because this movie still hasn't gone on long enough.
So Batman rushes to meet Harvey and actually manages to get there on time, just as Harvey is about to shoot the person Gordon loves most, his son.
And his daughter's right there too. No wonder she became Batgirl, knowing her father loved her brother more.
The thing is, this entire scene could have been avoided. Harvey is angry because they didn't save Rachel over him. So all it would take is to point out that Batman did go to save Rachel, but Joker lied about their locations.
There you go, I just saved you guys the trouble of seeing Harvey point a gun at your son.
Of course, nobody thinks to mention that salient fact and Batman arrives, also not bothering to point it out.
And because of that, Harvey shoots Batman.
In the stomach. He shoots the guy wearing body armour, in the area most covered by the body armour.
Harvey of course assumes that Batman is dead and moves on to the next person.
Harvey may not be in a healthy frame of mind at the moment, but there's no excuse for this kind of stupidity.
Other than the fact that the entirety of the movie so far has run on this kind of stupidity.
harvey flips his coin for Gordon and it lands unscarred-face up, so he then turns to Gordon's son.
But as he flips the coin, Batman straight up murders him.
I'm not even kidding, Batman just shoves him off of a ledge.
And he also shows the corpse to the kid for good measure.
Batman and Gordon discuss what's going to happen and Gordon says that Gotham won't survive if Harvey's reputation fails now. So Batman tells Gordon to lie.
He should say that the Joker did it.
I'm sorry, that would make sense. Instead, he tells Gordon to say that Batman did it.
Three times. In just the second half of the movie.
And so Batman runs off, back to where he started as a wanted criminal.

This movie was stupid.
The cops were stupid, the criminals were stupid, the people were stupid. Joker's plan shouldn't have worked just based on sheer physics alone nevermind that it required everyone to be utterly incompetent.
The acting was meh, the music was horrible (I wanted to strangle that bloody violinist) and the action was blurry and badly edited.
So it was exactly the same as the first movie, only with a less charismatic bad guy.

As for what little good there was, we did have the Harvey Dent storyline. I felt that that played quite well, even if Harvey seemed too convinced of his own purity.He at least was the only actor who really seemed to be trying.

Next week was going to be the last of these movies, but I was unable to procure it in time. As such, I shall endeavour to do so and when I do I shall review it asap, rather than waiting for the alphabet to roll around again.
So next week we return to Johnny Depp, this time as he pretends to be a vampire.
Only without sparkling.

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