The Official "The Dark Knight Is Overrated" Thread.

Discussion in 'The Dark Knight' started by GremlinZilla89, Apr 17, 2014.

  1. shauner111 Registered

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    I find it cheap giving him an origin. I dont necessarily mind it, but it makes the character stronger if he's more mysterious.
     
  2. BH/HHH You Are My World

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    Origin isn't cheap it's just been done and for that version of the Joker it was unnecessary
     
  3. The Joker The Clown Prince of Crime

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    An origin is unnecessary for any version of the Joker. There's a reason why DC will never give him an official one. He works best as a mystery. The unknown is scarier.
     
  4. Decepticonus Registered

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    Got to agree. Hell, not even a fan of The Killing Joke origin. In general it is a good origin and story but problematic because it makes you feel sorry for The Joker. I don't want to feel sorry for The Joker!
     
  5. BH/HHH You Are My World

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    I agree it's not always necessary but Batman '89 works better with it. I think aslong as its done right it it's worth seeing and I would be all for a red hood/chemicals origin again someday.
     
  6. Slade W "Who Is Slade?"

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    It was never confirmed that any of that happened though. I guess you can take from it that something bad did happen to him though, which set him off on his dark path (in addition to being disfigured by the chemicals). Personally I like the idea that Zero Year presents as Jokers origin more than Killing Joke (even though I think Killing Joke is a better story than Zero Year, overall). It had him as the leader of a gang that was causing chaos around Gotham and trying to get across the message that life is meaningless and worthless and that instead of being afraid of it, you should embrace it. Bruce summed up the leader of the gang (who was supposedly Joker) with a great speech at the end.

    Personally I prefer the idea of the Joker being evil even before he became the Joker. It makes more sense to me and I guess I just like the idea better. I also find it more believable that he was capable of coming up with all of his great plans as the Joker after having experience of being a leader of a criminal gang, instead of being an average joe that suddenly became this evil genius in what, I think, is supposed to be a short period of time before he first meets Batman (although the idea of the Joker being a normal person who became this mastermind that Batman struggles with is also a good take IMO and I like that story too, I just prefer the story that Zero Year presents).
     
    #81 Slade W, Jan 12, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2016
  7. The Joker The Clown Prince of Crime

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    Exactly. Though TKJ saves itself by having Joker say he remembers his past differently all the time and he prefers it that way as being multiple choice, so what we just saw with the dead pregnant wife could be total baloney. It's never confirmed as real.

    That's not really an origin. It doesn't show who he was or anything. All that tells us is he was he was the Red Hood who fell into some chemicals. That doesn't tell you much about him. Could be anyone under that hood, with any kind of background or back story to him.

    Still keeps him a mystery.
     
  8. BH/HHH You Are My World

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    Ahh in that case I do agree with you then
     
  9. shauner111 Registered

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    Im a fan of some moments in the book, and im down to see the animated version. But i've never been a big fan for that same reason.
     
  10. BH/HHH You Are My World

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    I think the Killing Joke like most of Moore's work is overrated tbh
     
  11. Batsfan1 Registered

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    I have kinda similar approach in a Batman tv series pilot script I'm working on. The idea being that the Red Hood is a very disjointed criminal, where sometimes he's driven by greed, other times by revenge. He has no idea what he wants or why. When Batman shows up his priorities start to become more focused and he kidnaps the main mobsters in the city. Roman Sionis, Oswald Cobblepot, Carmine Falcone and locks them up with him in the ace chemicals plant with a bomb to force them to prove to him that they now have what it takes to exist in his newly realized vision of Gotham: A city that Batman has inspired him to want. But he still has revenge on his mind and he nearly beats Carmine to death, yelling at him about how he killed his wife. Carmine is utterly confused and wonders outloud what he's talking. The RH stops and looks confused, wondering himself outloud if he even ever had a wife, which he then shrugs off and continues beating him up anyway. Then the whole confrontation happens and RH falls into the chemicals. But I tried to maintain the whole without an official origin thing while getting to have the RH=Joker aspect.

    God bless you! God bless everyone!
     
    #86 Batsfan1, Jan 14, 2016
    Last edited: May 2, 2016
  12. Herofan Registered

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    I think it's a big accomplishment of that comic that it presents him as both having a sympathetic origin, his evil very slightly understandable and yet he's still monstrous and contemptible. I think it will be a big challenge for the animated movie to try to avoid making (or being accused of making) the Joker sympathetic, critics could feel that that tries to excuse or is an inappropriate focus rather than his crimes against Barbara.

    Despite that comment, to me it really felt like the flashbacks were objective rather than just the Joker's memories, let alone distorted or unreliable memories. I think some flashback scenes began/occurred without something triggering the Joker's memory or seeming to be something the Joker was remembering, instead the comic book just switching to an earlier time that really occurred.
    In TDK he is also trying to convince people that one bad day, or generally tragedies and desperate circumstances, can turn people what they usually consider evil (he practically says so in the hospital with Dent) so it seems to suggests he wasn't always evil and I interpret his origin probably was events broadly similar to TKJ flashbacks. Since he had pretty clear rather than incomprehensible motivation, him having a contradictory background and implying that the real one couldn't be explained or comprehended felt inconsistent and unsatisfying.
     
    #87 Herofan, Jan 14, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2016
  13. The Joker The Clown Prince of Crime

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    Which is exactly how it should be done. You've got the core element right. Keep the origin a mystery.

    That's fair enough if that's how you chose to interpret it, but that is as you said your interpretation, but the story specifically states Joker remembers his past differently and he likes it that way. And this was written at a time when TKJ was not even meant to be canon, but Moore covered his ass anyway by having Joker say that. So if fans complained about Joker being portrayed in such a sympathetic way, the declaration that Joker remembers his past differently, fans can take solace in the fact that it could all be just a bunch of baloney. This is how DC chooses to portray Joker as a whole. Multiple choice origins. His past is a contradiction of different stories. He is not defined in that regard. So if you find that unsatisfactory then that's your loss. But that's the Joker's character, and personally I wouldn't have him any other way. DC won't either.

    But even then the fact that his background was contradictory in TDK, both stories he told had one common element; they were both sad tragic stories involving someone personal to him. One involving an abusive father, and another about a gambling addict wife who got her face carved up by loan sharks. Stories are different but the message is the same. He was emotionally and physically scarred because of a loved one. Whether you choose to believe them or not (and that's something entirely up to the viewer's interpretation), the message from them is still the same. One bad day drove him over the edge. Just like in TKJ.
     
    #88 The Joker, Jan 14, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2016
  14. Victarion Iron Captain

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    It isn't overrated in the slightest. The first act is kind of turgid, I'll grant you, but it really did push boundaries for the CBM genre. Nothing more or less.
     
  15. BatLobster Trailer Timewarper

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    Continuing this discussion from the BvS General Discussion thread. Putting in here, because TDK's ending gets criticized from time to time and I wanted to address why I think it's a perfect ending.

    AndrewOz, that's kind of an interesting take. I respect your opinion, but I disagree. To me, TDK's ending feels so inevitable, yet it was still surprising when I first saw the film and that's why it's such a slam dunk of a conclusion. It's everything the movie has been building towards, gives me chills every time. It's everything you'd want in an ending to your film.

    There's both a practical and ideological component to Bats taking the blame. The practical side of it is there are 500 criminals that Harvey prosecuted on the line...once word spreads of Harvey being a psycho murderer, it will impact those cases and everything Bats/Gordon/Harvey worked for will be undone. It's an element Nolan borrows from his own film Insomnia, where Al Pacino's character is being investigated by Internal Affairs and the idea of criminals he's locked up being back on the streets if he's proven of wrongdoing is brought up.

    Then there's the ideological component where Bats is in a fight for Gotham's soul with The Joker and he simply refuses to let him win. The stubbornness of that in and of is actually very Batman to me. But throughout the film, Bruce comes to realize the escalation that Batman's very existence has brought upon the city. Early on he makes the determination that Harvey Dent, the white knight is the symbol that Gotham truly needs in order to get better. Bruce sees Batman as the catalyst but Harvey and what he represents as the true agent of change. He chooses to preserve that symbol while letting the symbol of Batman slide fully into the darkness it's always kind of been at the edge.

    Now you're right, a city wouldn't LITERALLY crumble under the weight of one public servant. But it would be a huge blow to morale. The Kennedys died, they weren't exposed to be murderers at the same time. Imagine what would happen if Barrack Obama was exposed as some psycho murderer that had killed 5 people during the campaign just after being sworn into office. That kind of thing would undoubtedly shake up the American psyche and make people more cynical.

    These films are more realistic, but they're still very heightened and operatic, and you have costumed characters fighting for the highest of ideals. Within this context I can buy the ideological side of what Batman is trying to do by take the blame, but as I said the movie does give a solid practical reason for it too.

    I don't want to open a can of worms and dive deep into TDKR, but I think it does something pretty interesting by deconstructing TDK's ending a bit and exploring both the good and bad that result from Batman/Gordon's lie. Furthermore, I think if one accepts TDK's ending and also accepts TDKR's starting point (many fans didn't) you're much more inclined to go along for the ride with the film. It's not as tightly written as its predecessor but the trade-off there for me is awe-inspiring scale, bigger emotional impact and a satisfying conclusion to the story. That's why neither MoS nor BvS touch any of the TDKT films to me....at the end of the day I was invested in the story and I cared about the characters. Even after two films, Snyder hasn't really gotten me to emotionally buy in. TDKR especially reaps the benefits of this because it's the ending of the story and it uses the emotional attachment we already have to tell a more emotionally driven story. BvS is trying to be a sequel to Man of Steel, a Batman film, and a launching point for 10 more movies and it really does crumble under its own weight. TDKR and BvS may make some similar narrative leaps (thought there's nothing in TDKR that only makes sense if you're familiar with the comics *cough Darkseid* *cough Knightmare*), but context of what each film is trying to do within its own series does matter and it does affect how I see those choices.
     
    #90 BatLobster, Apr 30, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2016
  16. AndrewOz Registered

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    I knew I was in the minority, but deliberate, avoidable martyrdom is the antithesis of heroism to me.
    Like Superman's attention seeking suicide in BvS.
    I understood the stakes, I understood the reasons, I just felt that they could've resolved the issue without making Batman public enemy #1.
    His impending retirement was set up well.
    The potential consequences of Harvey's crimes was also established.
    I don't believe there was any real risk under the circumstances, unless he actually was framing people.
    It just felt like a cheap contrivance to me.
    If they had to lie to protect Harvey's legacy, how about a Jim Gordon press conference:
    Harvey Dent died as he lived - a hero to this city.
    In a selfless act that ultimately cost him his life, he gave his all helping Batman to save the life of my son, from the as yet unidentified assailant that we believe is also responsible for the recent series of brutal murders.
    Unfortunately, after managing to throw both Batman and Harvey off the building while they saved my son, this cowardly criminal made his escape".
    Hell, they could even decide to blame the Joker if they wanted to.
    Then we could cut to a shot of Bruce sitting in his study, ignoring the Bat Signal. Banter with Alfred making it clear he thinks Batman's time is done.
    It felt stupid and lazy to force the blame onto Batman, not heroic to me.
    Pointless self sacrifice really irks me.

    DKR had some watershed moments for me that really ruined it, and I'm not talking about the bizarre choice to have Bane sound like Obi-Wan wearing Darth's mask.
    No Man's Land is the worst major Batman arc ever to me, so I wasn't enthused with that premise to start with.
    The entire purpose of Bane's existence in the movie is - misdirection?
    To take away the part of his legend, after deliberately misleading us, that is key in establishing why he is the ultimate physical threat to Batman, completely undermines him as a threat.
    After redeeming the awful representation in Batman and Robin, they pull the rug out for what? Shock value?
    If Talia is the toughest thing in the history of the pit, why wasn't she his ultimate physical confrontation?
    Batman was broken by a generic thug, who wasn't even as tough as a woman Batman doesn't even fight?
    It didn't feel like a clever twist on the legend, it felt like a poor contrivance to deliver a "Gotcha moment", that ultimately served no purpose other than to pointlessly deceive the audience.

    Which leads me to the world's greatest psychic detective: "As soon as I saw you, I knew who you were".
    If they want us to buy into that Levitt's character is a worthy successor, we need more than an expository explanation of how they share similarities all orphans share, no matter how well delivered.
    If this is to a Tim Drake succession, at least follow the Tim Drake model. He earned his place. Levitt's character showed no skills at all, just an unsubstantiated claim that would hardly have been the first time someone thought Bruce Wayne could be Batman.
    Is he really J'onn J'onzz in disguise?
    Then there's Catwoman.
    After repeatedly stealing from him, then betraying and setting him up to be murdered, Batman's first thought when he comes back is let's run away together? Not even discuss the betrayal? Really? Because she's hot?
    This is the same man who threw his entire relationship with Alfred away over Rachel's letter, isn't it?

    I watched the trilogy again last night/this morning.

    My biggest problem with the end of Knight is actually addressed here in one line " He's drawing the cops off Bane".
    By taking the unnecessary blame for the "cold-blooded murder of Harvey Dent", he's ensuring that if he ever is forced out of retirement by a significant enough threat, he'll be a major distraction for law enforcement - no matter the size of the threat, the police will be focussed on him, rather than the real threat. That's why I hate the closing minutes of Knight.
    Then there's also the moment where, with no idea of what they are facing, the entire remaining police force simultaneously enter the tunnels, falling into a trap that had all the subtlety of a Road Runner cartoon.

    Rises isn't really comparable to BvS. It is actually a really good movie with some truly great scenes, great performances and a few WTF moments. Unfortunately those moments really stand out to me, because they contrast so harshly and jarringly with the rest.
    They also are spaced out perfectly so just as I'm forgetting the last one, it does it to me again.

    It's like watching a master illusionist for a few hours, but every so often he slips and you see a wire or the edge of a mirror. You can admire the skill required in the set-up, appreciate that the slips are minor, but the sense of awe and wonder and magic is gone.

    BvS is the opposite. It's a few moments of promise swimming in a sea of WTF.
     
  17. BatLobster Trailer Timewarper

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    Thanks for the response. It's always cool to get a different take when it's well-articulated and thought out.

    I know what you mean about pointless self-sacrifice. It did bother me with Superman in BvS because it's like he leaped straight to that conclusion without even attempting to find another way. I guess it's weird and maybe a bit unfair that it irks me in that case but not in TDK. Although Bruce didn't actually give his life, so it's slightly different. I suppose the execution is a big factor too. I mean, the ending montage is just beautifully written, scored, acted etc. I just cannot picture TDK with any other ending, it's such an integral part of that film for me. I mean, if I want to poke holes in it, I can (and have with all three movies) but I think the underlying idea here is for me if once I'm emotionally bought in, there's a lot I'm willing to allow in terms of "movie logic". I guess film is sort of about the art of persuasion in a sense. Putting on a Bat-suit and trying to wage a one man war on crime is in reality not such a hot idea, but Batman Begins managed to fairly convincingly portray this as something that was possible. Similarly, TDK's ending convinced me that it's what "needed to happen", as Batman says. At least, it felt like a believable conclusion for Bruce to reach, considering he had already expressed concerns about the negative his symbol was inspiring with the copycats, and after Rachel's death. It felt a bit like his own penance, his way of accepting his part in all the bad that had happened while trying to ensure that Gotham's lawful hero would die a hero, while it's lawless one would be condemned- which could be seen as necessary steps towards some sense of order reemerging in Gotham.

    I know exactly what you mean about seeing the seams sometimes and the magic being gone though. For me, that's happened with all three films to some degree or another due to watching them so many times and dissecting and debating every frame of them over the years. Heck, to use your magic analogy in a more literal sense...there's one part in the interrogation scene in TDK where you can see the camera in the reflection of the window. It's just a few frames, but I can never unsee that, it's there every time I watch it. So even the most revered scene in the trilogy has its little goofs that can spoil the illusion. But I find that usually now when I revisit the films, especially because I maybe only watch them once a year or so, I'm able to still greatly enjoy them and see the bigger picture. Certainly a film like BvS makes me appreciate what we got just a little bit more too.
     
    #92 BatLobster, May 1, 2016
    Last edited: May 1, 2016
  18. Batsfan1 Registered

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    I want to say that I think that Batman taking the fall for Harvey's crimes is him taking responsibility for what he feels is his fault. The movie has Bruce blame himself for what the Joker does and, by extension, what Harvey does. Apart of Bruce's arc in this movie, to me, is him looking at Batman as a bad thing. It starts with the copycats, continues with Bruce blaming himself for Rachel's death and how he let Joker destroy Harvey and ends with him taking the fall for Harvey. He does this, because to him, Batman was the negative catalyst that he started that made it all happen. Have a very great day!

    God bless you! God bless everyone!
     
  19. AndrewOz Registered

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    Looking at Knight as a cliffhanger for Rises and watching them back to back after this discussion made me able to interpret that Batman's martyrdom was a massive error in judgement on Bruce's part that allowed the opportunity for the grand scale destruction that followed - Batman took his eye off the ball and look what happened.
    After watching it again, I can see that Rises makes it clear that Gordon thought it was a mistake, shows the lie allowed Bane to escape the police when Batman first reappears and that Bruce acknowledges his mistake also by setting up a successor when he retires the second time at the end.
    It was always there, but my annoyance at the martyrdom (my comic book Batman would never go out like that!) at the time prevented my making that allowance.
    I originally saw Bane's reading of Gorden's set the record straight retirement speech just rubbed salt in the wound by making me think "See!! Even the MOVIE thinks that was stupid!"
    My other irritants were just nitpicks by comparison.
    You have redeemed these movies for me.
    Thanks
     
  20. shauner111 Registered

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    Like Bale said in an interview: It was a great short-term plan, to take the fall for Dent's murders. But not a great long-term plan, and so we see the consequences in the third film.
     
  21. epicproduction Registered

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    I love the Joker in this movie and Batman was also fantastic. Imax scenes in true imax was fantastic. Only gripe I might have this movie is the lack of action(perhaps scale wise) towards the end.
     
  22. Ryan Registered

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    Really great post. Always interesting to hear another person's take. I wonder how you feel about the cliffhanger at the end of tdk and how it was resolved in tdkr. At the end of tdk, I truly wondered how Gordon and Batman could get out of this dilemma they had put themselves in. How could you unearth this lie, a "necessary" lie so big that they felt would tear the very fabric of gotham apart, and yet have both Gordon and Batman be unscathed in the public eye. This "cliffhanger' was what had me truly interested in seeing in tdkr, and yet for me, it was kind of a non event. When the truth finally came out via Bane, was there any kind of real fallout? Kinda hard to tell how the public would have felt about Dent, considering there was a guy wearing a Hannibal mask standing in a blown up football field with a nuclear bomb. Interested to hear your take on that.
     
  23. AndrewOz Registered

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    Well, firstly, I hated "no Man's Land" as a story arc in the comics. Not enthused by Zero Year either in the New 52. I dislike the premise of trying to apply Mad Max to first world cities. It's unbelievable to me, but then I live in Australia where the nationwide reaction to the Queensland floods apparently amazed a post-Katrina American administration.
    So I immediately was turned off by the premise.
    However, I would point to my subsequent post #94, for more detail on that and how re-watching it after discussion with BatLobsterRises changed my perspective slightly.

    I actually see the lie as being directly responsible for all of the destruction in Rises, and now believe that was Nolan's intent all along.
    If only they'd just blamed a nameless 3rd party for Harvey's crime and death.
    If he and Gordon had not made that mistake, Batman would still be active with a relationship of trust with the police.
    He would have stopped Bane and Talia long before if the lie had not occured.
    Gordon's guilt clearly weighed on him and likely led to the behaviour behind his marginalisation from the city leadership.
    so I believe the lie broke both Bruce and Gordon
    Gordon is full of bitter and torn and on his way out.
    Bruce has become an isolated cripple.
    They only come back to themselves and gave a sense of purpose when Batman returns.
    So to me the lie is shown as being directly responsible for all the death and destruction caused by Bane and Talia.
    Those are pretty strong consequences.
     
  24. Ryan Registered

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    Interesting. I can understand and appreciate what you are saying, however I guess I just don't share the same opinion. Had a villain witnessed the 3rd act scene or perhaps discovered Gordon's letter and sought about to use it to bring down Gordon,Bats and the whole psyche of the city, then I guess I could have made more sense of it. In my opinion, bane and talia were coming anyways whether batman and Gordon were clean or not. Batman was active in begins and league/scarecrow still infiltrated the city. Bats was active in tdk and yet the joker was out and about causing havoc. So for me to think that had bats and Gordon been still working together would have prevented bane and talia from arriving, kinda goes against the previous movies.
    I guess in general you did answer my question and perhaps you are right that creating the lie at the end of tdk actually did more damage than good as when bane finally revealed the truth in his speech, it had little to no impact on the citizens of gotham.
     
  25. AndrewOz Registered

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    The reveal by Bane at the end was far less impactful than it would have been in a healthy Gotham. People may have been disappointed or upset, but it hardly matters when you're living in a feudal state with the threat of a nuke over your head.
    Bane and Talia were always coming, I agree. The whole motivation for the attack was revenge for Ra's, after all.
    I never thought Batman and Gordon working together would have prevented that.
    It likely would have continually drawn smaller threats, but that would have kept them at the top of their game.
    My thoughts were that without the lie, maybe Gordon and Bruce were not as complacent, out of practice or sidelined as they were at the start.
    Bruce would have been in fighting shape and probably beaten Bane, as he did at the end after recovering from his "breaking" and getting back to fighting fit.
    The police would be working with him instead of against him ("He's drawing the cops off Bane") when he first reappeared.
    If they had kept their eye on the ball and remained active and vigilant, they would not have stopped Talia and Bane from arriving, but Bruce should have noticed and likely prevented the mass constructions with explosive concrete leading to a direct confrontation with a lot less damage and loss of life.
     

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