I love that these guys articulate so well the vaguely uncomfortable feeling I had throughout the entire movie. I mentioned in one of my “rhetorical questions” (but didn’t explore) the fact that TDKR moved into the real world more than previous installments had. That made the suspension of disbelief, which is standard for a typical superhero movie, much more difficult to achieve. All of a sudden Batman’s (“better than Clooney’s”) batsuit was out-of-place amidst regular people brawling in the street.
And then you start to ask yourself…. Who built the batcave, and the elevator leading down to it (which would irrefutably link it to Bruce Wayne)? Did he fly in a crew from out of the country, and fly them back out again? Cracked debates the same question in true Clerks style.
The Awl has a hilarious conversation about the movie, including a reference to this great tweet from Dan Kois:
But just in case I’m ragging too much on Batman, Cracked also has 7 Ways Batman is Objectively Better than Superman.
I also enjoyed FILM CRIT HULK’s take on (well, everything actually) the Batman vs. Superman fanclubs. Why do we like Batman? FC Hulk touches on the believability and reliability of a human hero, revenge fantasies, and the cynicism fostered by Vietnam, Nixon, the Cold War, etc which turned the U.S. away from the Man of Steel. He also discusses the film (in Banner-mode) in this podcast, starting around 1:10:00.
I should also mention all the praise Anne Hathaway is getting for her portrayal of Selina Kyle. Though her character sadly did not feel integral to the plot, she did an excellent job with the role. She was the only source of lightness and humor throughout the movie, and her brief moments on the screen dragged me out of the doldrums of the unending self-flagellation (seriously Bruce, get over yourself).
Slate in particular has a very convincing argument to call Hathaway the best Catwoman ever, based on her independence, agency, and growth as a character. Ms. Magazine would have preferred it if Catwoman were the focus of the film, and I can’t say I disagree.
Also check out comicbookGRRRL’s history of Catwoman, the evolution of women in comics, and a few heroines who got it right.
But if classic comics aren’t your thing, take a look at The Mary Sue’s 10 Uncostumed Superheroines! I’m not a huge fan of Katniss, but Ripley, Sidney Bristow, Zoe Washburne, and Sarah Connor would top my list.
ETA: Huzzah! My day is made! Film Crit Hulk Smash: Hulk vs. The Dark Knight Rises deconstructs Nolan’s latest work:
TOO LACKING IN SYMBIOTIC OVERLAP OF CHARACTER, PLOT AND THEME. AND IF HULK HAD MORE TIME HULK WOULD GO THROUGH EVERY EXAMPLE TO MAKE IT CLEAR, BUT HULK IS SIMPLY GOING TO HAVE TO INSIST THAT THERE IS NO THEMATIC THROUGH-LINE WHICH MAKES THE OVERALL NARRATIVE WORK. AND EVEN IF YOU CAN CONSTRUCT ONE, THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NO WAY THAT IT COMES CLOSE TO THE LEVEL OF MASTERFUL SYNCHRONICITY THAT ALL OF NOLAN’S OTHER FILMS HAVE EXHIBITED.
and demonstrates that once again, Hulk is an articulate, thought-provoking Hulk. Don’t be put off by the all-caps; you’ll get used to it, and it’s definitely worth the read.