Fellow Exhauster Bryan reviewed The Dark Knight Rises over at his site, Missile Test, and he didn’t pull punches:
Bane, in short, is a joke. A third-tier Batman villain artificially elevated to prominence like a newcomer in the WWE whom Vince McMahon decided to give some juice because Smackdown was lagging in ratings. Bane is a failed experiment, a tawdry diversion from what can make the comics great. Featuring Bane as the villain in The Dark Knight Rises is a disappointment. It was a choice that was intriguing only in its ability to challenge Nolan as a storyteller. Elevating a character lacking in depth and sincerity to such a degree while requiring he carry the final act of the greatest superhero trilogy of all time is ambitious, indeed.
Was Nolan up to the task? Could he take such dreck and make it compelling through sheer will and talent?
It’s an interesting and very educational review. Bryan not only delves into Batman comic book history, but also pivots it into a review of the campy Batman movie from 1966:
Recently, Grant Morrison, the great comics writer, watched all the Batman films, and a good deal of the television series. In a short blurb about the 1966 film, he pointed out that it was the type of movie that children love, adolescents loathe, and adults find hilarious. I agree.
Per Bryan’s recommendation, I loaded up Batman: Year One onto my iPad and it’s pretty great.