The Dark Knight series finally dimmed the shine off Batman for me

And I’m sorry about it.

I’ve loved Batman most of my adult life. He was always one of my favorite superheroes. I love Michael Keaton, I thought he was fabulously understated and did a great job.

Don’t get me wrong. I liked the new movies OK. I mean, they dragged on a little bit, and I had some major problems with some of the characters. The first one was pretty good, with his start and the clumsiness and the beginning. Rachel was absolutely horrible and boring. Heath Ledger was just amazing as the Joker and the only reason I re-watched the second movie.

But the third one, with a terrible Anne Hathaway as Catwoman, cemented my feelings. For the first time I actually realized Batman was the 1%. He totally is! He is a man who has so much money he feels like he can play God, and do anything he wants to do. He is as distant from me as the moon. Sure, right now he chooses to do good, but instead of spending all of his money on stupid masks and cars, he could find other ways to better Gotham. The things that Catwoman says to him, they are true.

“There’s a storm coming, Mr. Wayne. You and your friends better batten down the hatches, because when it hits, you’re all gonna wonder how you ever thought you could live so large and leave so little for the rest of us.”

And Bane’s words:

“We take Gotham from the corrupt! The rich! The oppressors of generations who have kept you down with myths of opportunity, and we give it back to you… the people!”

That’s not to say I agree with Bane’s methods…but he’s got a point.

The previous Batmans I am familiar with, you felt like he was a good guy, beaten down by circumstances and life, driven to the edge to fight back in the only way you know how. Christian Bale’s Batman feels more like the smug playboy who thinks he knows better than the entire world and breaks his own rules whenever he feels like it.

I guess what I am saying is the Dark Knight series was realistic. Too realistic, in that it brought Batman into the real world and made me feel like he was kind of a jerk.

I bring this up because in one of the threads someone said “Oh, people used to like the Dark Knight Rises and now it’s unpopular.” Well, sometimes it takes a while for a movie to fully digest, and that’s how it has been with this series. I don’t think it’s being hypocritical to like a movie and still see major flaws with it, and I don’t think it’s hypocritical to like a movie but not like the central character.

I look at the series as an “Elseworlds” type Batman story. There are too many elements that, by the end, are too far afield from the Batman of the comics. His somewhat cavalier approach to his enemies’ deaths (and guns) has already been mentioned in other threads. But with the last movie,

him being a crippled recluse; Alfred leaving him for good; him giving up being Batman; the happy ending with Catwoman, these each contributed to taking it further and further from the story I know. It wasn’t a bad romp, and, of course, Heath Ledger was brilliant, but on the whole, I wait for the next one. Oh, wait. It’s Ben Affleck. Never mind.

Bruce’s philanthropy and attempts to do good with his money are pointed out over and over in The Dark Knight series. You can post this as many times as you want (I know I’ve seen it at least once before in a different Batman thread), but it’s just as false today as it was then.

I don’t believe I actually said he does no good. I believe I said he could do BETTER, and that at any moment he could switch to not doing good.

The series made me not trust him anymore, I guess.

This was actually a plot point in Batman Begins. At Alfred’s prompting, Bruce adopted the persona of “the rich douchebag” So that people wouldn’t wonder what he does with his time. Another layer separating Bruce form Batman, so people don’t put 2 and 2 together and figure out who he is.

I had a similar reaction, for a slightly different reason. The realism of the movies made it impossible for me to ignore the basic ridiculousness of man running around dressed like a bat. It totally killed the suspension of disbelief for me. I have no trouble accepting other super-powered superheroes. But a billionaire dressed like a bat leaping from rooftop to rooftop? I can’t do it anymore.

Yes, he is. That’s a valid observation about the character- although I don’t think it’s one that makes him unlikeable. I think the basic idea with superheroes is that they’re all supposed to be a little bit “like us” on the surface, but once you get past that, none of them really are. Batman has his fabulous wealth and his obsessions.

He doesn’t, though. That’s part of why I found his speechifying so annoying. In these movies, Bruce Wayne funds all kinds of good causes and fights crime on the side. He’s oppressing nobody. Have the elites of Gotham been doing this? I guess- we really never find out. I thought it The League of Shadows’ fault, and their plan isn’t to return power to the people- they want to demonstrate that the people of Gotham are irredeemably horrible and then blow them up.

They’re both kind of true, though. He’s a decent person on the whole, but he’s also a vigilante taking the law into his own hands. It’s somewhat justifiable in the world of the comic books/movies because the law really is failing everyone, but in the real world the idea is a lot more troubling.

No, they aren’t, because the economy isn’t a zero-sum game. There’s not a fixed amount of wealth that has to be shared. New wealth is created.

No, he doesn’t, not even in mythical Gotham City. He’s spreading bullshit to try to con the idiots into doing his bidding.

Gotham appeared just so mindbogglingly depressing I can’t believe civilians still lived there, after seeing their friends and family randomly killed by the masked psycho du jour?

I felt like by the time the final installment rolled around, let the fucking psychos have Gotham!

After which the idiots are all going to get killed no matter what they do. That kind of took the drama out of their Occupy topical thing- although I don’t think they really knew what they were commenting on anyway.

Yeah, wasn’t one of the plot points the whole “The orphanage you used to fund is hurting now that Wayne Industries is hurting” thing? I thought all the various incarnations of Batman showed Bruce Wayne to be philanthropic. Yeah, blah blah Catwoman wants the money spent on charity event caviar to go towards baby formula, etc but I don’t think Batman was the problem there.

I just found TDKR to be long and tedious and preachy and not at all fun. Pretty much the opposite of what I look for in a superhero movie.

I am trying to think of how to answer the responses. Yes, you guys are not wrong: Bane is totally spreading bullshit, and the idiots are going to get killed, but while the economy is not a zero-sum game, neither do I really believe new wealth can just be magically created - there’s too much incentive for the rich to stay rich and keep everyone else poor.

I don’t want to bring too much of real life politics into it because it’s so controversial but this Batman series reflected Wall Street and their shenanigans way too much for me. It reflected real life waaaay too much for me to like him.

And that’s just it. Some people don’t think the facts about him make him unlikeable. I’m saying they did for me - a lot.

The whole thing is mind-boggingly depressing. No matter what, Gotham is not going to get any better. No matter what, the real world is not going to get any better.

Jophiel makes another point - it took all of the fun out of being Batman.

I gave up on the current movie series as well.

I grew up on Silver Age Batman and still have a bunch of old comics (including the first “New Look” issues). Liked the first two of the 80s/90s revival movies. Returns is my favorite of all Batman movie/videos.

But the first Bale movie was not all that good. The second was a weird mix of good stuff and really awful crap. (Apparently basic logic no longer exists in Gotham City.) The trailers and such for the third convinced my that it wasn’t going to be worth it.

I just really didn’t care one way or another whether Batman/Bruce Wayne did anything, had any issues, succeeded or not. And if you don’t care about the main character, what’s the point?

And the Superman movies just keep getting stupider and stupider. (Which given the original sequels is a pretty low bar.) The DC movie universe is all going downhill. Affleck ain’t going to save it.

The Occupy movement really began after the script had been written and after a decent chunk of the movie had been filmed. Nolan and company weren’t commenting on anything.

That goes all the way back to the Jack Nicholson Joker. Hearing Harvey Dent campaign on a pledge to make Gotham a fit place for decent people to live, Jack says, “Decent people shouldn’t live in Gotham City, they’d be happier somewhere else.” I kind of agree.

Doesn’t that apply to pretty much everyone, ever?

The Occupy movement didn’t spring up from nothing, it was a response to the existing situation around the rich and poor. That relationship issue existed when the story was being written/filmed, even if it hadn’t yet turned into the Occupy movement. It’s fair to suggest that Nolan was attempting to comment on the issue that eventually resulted in OWS.

It’s not magically created, no. Do you feel Bruce Wayne is doing something wrong with his money here? It’s not like we see a spreadsheet detailing his investments and his spending - that would’ve been even more tedious than Bane’s monologues - but I think we’re meant to understand that he is serious about making sure his wealth is used for the benefit of the people of Gotham.

That was deliberate. Like I was saying, a lot of the Bane stuff referred to Occupy Wall Street. My complaint was that they did it in a facile and stupid way and that the speechifying went on and on forever without saying anything.

I think you may be tying this into real-world stuff a little too much. It’s entertainment first and foremost. I can’t say there’s anything in the series that specifically contradicts what you’re saying but it’s also not the only possible interpretation.

They never really convinced me that Gotham was all that bad a place. Sure, it had an inept police department that apparently is unable to deal with any criminal who dons a weird disguise. And they have some minor crime lords and petty criminals. But really it didn’t seem any better or worse than the Chicago / New York / Pittsburgh stand-in that it was.
Sure, Christian Bale’s Bruce Wayne did have a bit of a Patrick Bateman vibe about him. But it seems like Wayne Enterprises did a lot of good for people…when it wasn’t making futuristic weaponry and cold fusion reactor bombs.

True, but I think the comment was simply “Poor people are really pissed at rich people right now. This is a thing that exists.”