I love a good comic book movie, but I cannot explain the in depth back stories involved with some of them. I have not the time, energy or interest in doing research on Nightwing or even Wolverine. I just want to go in and enjoy a nice action flick and be distracted for a bit, maybe even be made to think and feel something. I loved the first Iron Man movie, it made me feel like a 13 year old kid on a Saturday afternoon at the picture show.
So why the hate for “The Dark Knight”? I wanted to love them, they look great, sound great and have all the nutritional value of a twinky. I am happy to do the whole suspension of belief, I got that. But the DK movies take themselves so seriously. Even talk of the last installment winning major awards; the trilogy was to lift the genre into the realm of “serious and respected” cinema. Whatever…
Here is my major problem with the franchise, and as I think about it, most blockbusters. All cops and military personnel on the “good” side are either corrupt, stupid, mindless or all of these. Over and over, the brilliant and well trained hench men massacre and play havoc with the law enforcement sheep. The cops cower and scream with their little tiny guns. Even the swat guys are helpless. Now you are thinking, whoa Scott, it is a comic book movie, and Gotham, in this make believe world, is corrupt.
A few plot points,
The brilliant minds of the Gotham Police decide to send the entire police force into the sewers, all of them. No one is left home, or at the station house, except a scant few. Can a city as large as Gotham really be run by such incompetence? Ok, maybe. Side note, apparently, Gotham has no building inspection department. I know, in most real cities, (even the corrupt ones), construction companies can’t pour a driveway without a visit from an inspector. Imagine the level of coordination to build an entire stadium and all the substructure of a city with explosive concrete…
Well whoops, our entire police force is trapped underground now. They are helpless with just a little food and water to sustain them. What would you do with about 6000 men with nothing to do but stare at a wall of rubble and wait… maybe they could take the spare rubble and build a pryamid to worship Batman, who has a magic rocket on his motorcycle that will blow the entire rubble wall away. Yes! Or they could maybe start to clear away the wall…
So the magic rocket works and cops stream out and deploy the age old strategy of forming into a tight column and marching into heavy placements of rocket launchers and machine guns. Also, they bury the swat guys somewhere in the middle of the pack and put the guys with tiny hand guns in front. And stay off the sidewalk, keep that tight formation, Civil war tactics are still the best.
These are just a few points, all three movies are full of this kind of “suspension of belief” garbage. Here is why is ticks me off…
1. The movies assume that I am an idiot and cannot think. I would be a fine candidate for the Gotham police force I guess.
2. These movies, and many like them, reinforce a stereotype that all cops are stupid, and that is what really bothers me. Imagine you are a teacher. In a movie genre, whenever you see a teacher, that teacher is a fool, in fact all teachers are fools in this cinematic world. Pretty soon you overhear jokes about fat teachers eating donuts. Even if you are not a teacher, when you see one, your mind flashes “stupid” or “drone”.
It is a big leap, perhaps. And there are stupid, thoughtless cops out there. But there are also many more selfless, courageous, and creative officers out there protecting and serving us. We pretend to respect and admire them, but curse the traffic cop. We clamor to be close to a man who is paid millions to hit a ball with a stick, and complain when the damn cops want a decent pension.
I am a story teller, that is my job. I take pictures and tell stories. I will never make Hollywood blockbusters, not because I do not want to, but because I do not have the skill set to pull that off. Stories that have such major holes in them I find uninteresting, even if they are laden in loud special effects and actors who cry.
I also love The Incredibles, Iron Giant, the Original Batman, The Flash Gordon with the Queen soundtrack, I even really liked the first Transformers movie. Hell, I even cried during the Incredibles and Iron Giant.
Go ahead and make “serious” or realistic superhero movies. Just please don’t think that I am an idiot and will be tricked by smoke and mirrors into believing what I am seeing means something deep.