[dropcap style="font-size: 60px; color: #9b9b9b;"] T [/dropcap] he Dark Knight Rises is the much anticipated bi-sequel to The Dark Knight and Batman Begins. It is written and directed by Christopher Nolan, who wrote both other hits as well as Inception and Memento. We know Nolan has a flair for complexity and layering, but it’s fair o say at both Batman Begins and The Dark Knight were pretty understandable. Rises, on the other hand, is long, complex, hard to follow and a bit too jumbled to claim to be understandable. In fact, I think it’s fair to say that this film borrows the dark brooding mood of The Dark Knight and adds so many new sub-plots that even Leonardo (DiCaprio OR DaVinci) could not untangle them.
It has all the recognizable stars starting with Christian Bale and Michael Caine. They both do a good job, but Bale is simply getting too old and stringy to do another Batman and Caine seems less and less pleased to be serving this master….taking on a John Gielgud persona from Arthur. Anne Hathaway as Bale’s Catwoman paramour worked quite well and Tom Hardy of Warrior fame plays a genuinely scary villain even though he was a direct Road Warrior rip-off. Gary Oldman as Commissioner Gordan, was flat and not his usual interesting self while Joseph Gordon-Levitt seemed mostly there to help explain the things that were happening and to prepare us for the obvious sequel…Robin Also Rises….Early….And Gets The Worm.
Now this film had a nice financial angle. Watching the NYSE get attacked by Bane (not, not Mitt and Bain……the Road Warrior Bane) was great, but seeing Bruce Wayne get hoisted on the put writing petard and losing his fortune was really designed to remind all the hedgies and maybe a few people left at JP Morgan’s Investment Office in London that taking the wrong end of the asymmetrical risk stick is no fun and should not be tried at home.
[dropcap style="font-size: 60px; color: #9b9b9b;"] T [/dropcap] his Means War is a romantic comedy with a classic story line of two friends who fall for the same girl and proceed to try to crank humor out of the attempts to one-up each other. TH difference is that this is also a spy versus spy story because the two rivals are CIA covert operative partners and thus, their arsenal of dirty tricks used against one another spans the tech spectrum and seemingly mobilizes most of the resources of the US government with nary a wink or a nod from any superiors or any checks and balances. We could suspend disbelief if this was the roaring ’90′s, but in this fiscal budgetary environment it’s hard to believe that OMB or the Inspector General’s office wouldn’t be all over this misappropriation in a heartbeat.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m mostly in favor of controls on spending and fiscal responsibility, but given the partisan nonsense that usually drives these balancing forces and the “deer in the headlights” aspects that we see from Federal Agencies when they do things like try to hold the line against the evil forces of the private sector in favor of the utter wastage that goes on every day in areas like the housing sector in the name of guarding the vaults of the national patrimony from the Barbarian hordes of Wall Street, I am simply not a believer any more that this junkyard dog approach to conservatorship serves the national purpose as more broadly defined as promoting the common good of economic posterity for the broadest segments of society. Haven’t we proven to ourselves sufficiently as a global species that government ownership is always the most inefficient alternative…..no matter how well-intentioned?
But Reese Witherspoon and these two idiots vying for her affections couldn’t care less about any of that….and judging by the low quality of the script, acting and overall lack of humor in this disaster…..they should all be worrying about their next role first and foremost.