Wednesday, November 12, 2008

One of Those "No Way" Moments (II)

After I went to see The Dark Knight, which was, unsurprisingly, dreadful, I was so irritated by its lunatic disregard for reality that I made a quick list of some of the wilder improbabilities it depicted (the bits that made me go "oh, for f**k's sake!"). After all, this is supposed to be the gritty, non-comic-book Batman, and I find it astounding that anyone could take seriously a film in which the following is depicted (spoilers abound, and if there’s a logical explanation for one of my points, or I’ve misremembered something, please let me know):
1) In Gotham, nobody notices when a school bus in a convoy reverses through the wall of a bank, and then rejoins the convoy.
2) It's possible to wire up a hospital (and two ferries) for demolition without anyone noticing.
3) It's possible to drive a pencil into a tabletop (try this at home, folks!) with such force that it will stand upright. You can then kill somebody with it.
4) It's possible to jump (and throw people) through plate glass without injuring them (although, in fairness, this is standard in action movies).
5) It's possible to put a phone-activated bomb in someone's stomach.
6) Batman can fly, and see through walls.
7) Batman can bend a rifle barrel with one hand.
8) Batman can survive falls from any height unscathed. If he's holding anyone, they'll also be unharmed.
9) Batman leaves blueprints of his secret equipment on file in his office building.
10) Extremely dangerous prisoners are left unhandcuffed, with only one guard on duty, who (of course) responds to said prisoner’s provocations and allows them to escape.
11) Senior policemen will fake their own deaths to catch crooks.
12) DAs will pretend to be vigilantes to catch crooks.
13) Mobsters giving testimony in open court are not searched for weapons.
14) Criminal gangs can waltz into, and out of, the penthouses of the wealthy unmolested.
15) When transporting highly sensitive prisoners, the police won't bother with decoys, or routes with options for diversion if one way becomes blocked.
16) A threat of imminent death on a prison ship won't provoke a riot.
17) A senior mobster will have a dead body brought into his own house. He won't check if the body is actually dead before turning his back on it.
18) The most wanted (and visually distinctive) man in Gotham can wander around in front of a hospital with a detonator without any police seeing him, even though they're watching hospitals.
19) An American vigilante can kidnap a Chinese businessman from Hong Kong and fly him back to America without any diplomatic repercussions.
20) You can leave a hospital after receiving massive facial burns within a day or two, without any risk of infection.
21) It's better to cover up the truth if it's politically expedient to do so.
22) You can balance someone who's tied to a chair on a ten-foot-high pile of money.
23) A criminal gang won't be bothered if their leader burns a ten-foot-high pile of money.
24) A character called the Joker doesn’t have to tell any jokes, or be funny.
25) A police van being shot at (with a bloody bazooka!) by a large truck in a different lane, with a barrier between them and it, won't simply jam on the brakes and reverse at speed (ever tried reversing an articulated lorry in a tight space, really fast?)
I'm sure there's more intriguing facts about Gotham that have slipped my mind, but that's enough for now.

1 comment:

Stan said...

An amusing list. Some of them I could ignore or forgive, but there were so many niggles, and for an action film the action was shot so incoherently (reflecting its muddled morals) that I quickly lost patience with it. Bale's growl grated throughout. What little heart it had was lost with Maggie Gyllenhaal, but they tagged on a long tedious extra act of Harvey Dent being implausible.

Like a glutton for punishment I tried again months later, and enjoyed it still less. Things start going wrong right from the start, but the bus crashing out the bank and surreptitiously merging with traffic was the first thing that made me genuinely wonder whether anyone had watched the final cut before it was distributed.

If you're interested, Jim Emerson wrote a series of good posts about the film, such as this one.