Looper analysis!

Looper, the new movie with Joseph Gordon Levitt and Bruce Willis has aired and what do we think?

Well the movie is pretty head on, there are little to no surprises as everything is explained right away, to allow you to catch up, as the wonderment of being in the year 2044 is already enough to deal with.

Gordon Levitt plays Joe who is a Looper; trained assassins whose job it is to kill people whom are transported back from the future; from the future not to the future.

We meet Joe, who explains all of this to us, as he quite violently shoots someone on their knees with a mighty blunderbuss. Their body goes flying; Joe collects his bars of silver and takes care of the body.

Firstly Joe. Joseph Gordon Levitt has had his face re-shaped to look more like Bruce Willis. This was done by squaring off his nose and eyes, as well as making his eyes somewhat bigger to Levitts’ normal face shape. This bodes well for Levitt. Possibly not for the screaming fans, but it would be hard to believe, even with Josephs acting, that he would use a blunderbuss and kill a man in somewhat cold blood; let’s face it, he’s just too lovely! The re-shape does give him a harder edge; he seems a bit more James Dean, with his hard features and leather jacket.

However he’s not all bad, as he is learning French, why is not told. Is it for the beauty of the language, for the beauty of the city, for romance? It is not mentioned, the only thing we can assume is that he has a soft spot for a waitress Beatrix, whom is French.

This may seem trivial to point out, but Beatrix is also the only ‘black’ character in the movie. There are few people of colour in this movie, which somewhat emphasis a white richness and power. All the people from the future, the assassins, the whores, the fat cats, all white. This probably isn’t a comment on white supremacy in America. It also probably isn’t a comment on white indulgence for power and living a wasteful angry life, but it is interesting that no people of colour had a major role, and arguably the only person who did had a ‘stereotypical’ role.

However our story continues and when Joe disposes of the body he cashes in his silver chips and gets a doughnut of money. It is interesting to comment that the currency he receives is Chinese Yen when he is in Kansas, America.

We then have a follow up, I think we all expected. With this job, the Loopers also have money, cars, girls, drugs, while the rest of society is savagely beating itself on the filthy dangerous streets, as the rich ride around and knock those over in their way.

This is not a future where we all have flying cars, and jumpsuits that keep us warm. This is a society of starving children, graffiti haunts all the buildings and the streets are littered with dirty flesh. It seems the de-sensitising of oneself can make for a good life.

The Loopers feel nothing. They get their kill, get paid and then get their low kicks; walking around like zombies till tomorrow comes. The whole world is animalistic, selfish and extremely fast paced.

Once the ground rules of a Looper are identified the movie then rushes through the day to day of Joes wasted life; the same routine of fruitlessness. Of course there are no female Loopers, they are the whores and it’s really a look at what would happen if male barbarism was allowed to run wild. We may as well be watching a documentary about animals in the jungle.

It could be that a female does not have the stomach to be heartless and violent, like a Looper. It also comes in to question that Loopers are picked up as young felons, are there no young female felons? Is prostitution less of a crime then holding up a convenience store? It seems a ‘female’ attribute to harm oneself, than those around you. If a female gets angry she goes in to herself, if a male gets angry they tend to lash out.

Joe seems to carry on his life this way. The huge vast city with its sky scrapers piercing the clouds has nothing to offer. No films, no art, no museums. He has his French but he’s a boy. He even dresses like a boy. His hair is slicked back and his combination white shirt, black skinny tie and leather jacket makes him the epitome of a ‘cool guy’.

The mind doesn’t seem to be something that is developed in this movie. Even the idea of killing someone from the future, who may not even been born yet, is a mental concept, but they get on with it.

Something interesting is pointed out by our very own honest Abe however [Jeff Daniels]. Abe made Joe. Abe saw the destruction and hopelessness in Joe and ‘put a gun in his hand’. This is an odd statement to make, but the fact that it was Abe that put the gun in Joes’ hand, means he gave Joe a meaning, a direction, a legit way in this present of 2044 to make money, rather than holding up convenience stores and being imprisoned.

This is important because Abe is from the future, and sent back to the past to bring in the Loopers. This is why he dresses so strangely, with shiny satin materials, with a Chinese twist.

The starting really is boys will be boys. There’s even telekinesis; you know moving stuff your mind. However it wasn’t developed properly and the most anyone can move is a quarter in circles. This is even made fun of in a very average advert, with an average guy moving a coin and a very average girl getting excited.

The movie is heightened immediately when one of Joes’ friends come in need of him in the middle of the night. It seems that a loop can be closed by a Looper. However this entails killing yourself.

The Loopers are aware of this because a number of their friends have done this recently. They get a major pay off of solid gold bars and live the rest of their life in excess. However no one seems to think it strange that one by one all the Loopers are killing their older selves off and getting their payment. It’s their life and no one will tell them what to do.

However when Seth comes to Joe, it’s clear something very bad is happening, and that something is Seth has let himself get away. Joe now has to choose between his huge stash of silver bars, letting him to go to France, or his friend, which do you think he chooses?

Of course he chooses the money! This brings in the question of honour amongst thieves; as well as friendship. These guys didn’t go to school together and grow up with lots of memories, they’re in the lonely job together and all they want is their money for their kicks. However it’s still very simplistic, they have no qualms about killing anyone, no ghosts haunting them at night. Even when they drop drugs though their eyes, making for a faster way to get high, do they have a bad trip and get haunted by their deeds. This could be because they don’t see the persons face their killing, or know them. But it could also be because these are the actions that we assume they would be doing anyway, but they would end up in jail because of it.

However when Joe is faced by the same problem the movie gets interesting. We see Joe comes face to face with himself [Willis] but this is not as it seems. First the delivery is a minute late and nothing is ever late. Secondly old Joe does not have a bag over his head and once you’ve looked directly in to the eyes of someone you’re going to kill, whether it’s you or not, makes the act that much harder.

The pace seems to even out, as the rest of the movie continues and we have an adequate amount of time during each scene which continues to be action packed. Older Joe runs off in search of something and young Joe goes to his apartment to see what’s become of his life.

However we have an interesting flash forward/flash back if there’s such a thing. We see the story of Joe, he finds and kills older Joe, gets his gold and travels off to Shanghai, not France. He lives another fruitless life there. It seems he goes to Shanghai by a recommendation from Abe; however he does not find the romance he might have found in stereotypical France. Instead we have cold streets and more girls, guns and drugs. It seems all cities are the same. Joe has a nice apartment with a view, however the apartment is cold and empty, no carpet to warm ones feet, no furniture to flesh it out. This is important as the only piece of ‘home comfort’ we find from Joe is in his Kansas apartment in the form of a rug; its important because it’s the only comfort in his home and it conveniently hides his mass stash of silver bars, and for a small time his friend.

We continue Joes’ life and it seems he runs out of money and becomes exactly what Abe saw him as; a drug addict loser holding up convenience stores.

Until he finds love. Yes the only other ‘coloured’ person in this movie takes the form of Summer Qing, Joes’ wife [note: different to other Summer, you know the one I mean]. She’s beautifully dressed in green and surprisingly puts her middle finger up at him when he follows her. This is funny because the stereotype of Chinese females is sweet and demur, obviously she comes across like that, but the middle finger her gives her the amount of edge that makes a wild westerner fall for her. They have a blissful marriage, full of green gardens and a beautiful lush red bed where they both cuddle up. Their life is filled with an array of colour, whereas before it was dull. There are some sexy sleazy reds that seep in when we travel with young Joe, but the beautiful green, Summer wears, indicating nature, shows she isn’t some sleazy whore; who wears too much makeup.

However we see Joe is grabbed, and taken back to the past. But not before he beats his three abductors senseless and realises what he has to do. The whole time we were watching the life of old Joe and this may happen to young Joe.

We come full circle to young Joe being run out his apartment and old Joe saving his ass.

Young Joe then uses an interesting way to communicate with his older self by mutilating his body. Young Joe carves ‘Beatrix’ into his skin, which appears as a scare on old Joes’ arm. However it isn’t just a place to meet. Beatrix as has been pointed out earlier, is the one of the only coloured females in the movie, and holds a place in Joes’ heart closer than we think, because she could be the reason why Joe is learning French. She is also the first person Joe sees and speaks too after killing someone, making her a great source to calm him down and a reassure the friendliness of the world; even if she doesn’t know it.

We find ourselves back at the cane fields. The fields are dead, but they provide a good place for one to hide. The fact this is the most natural place we see, and it is dead, is significant in the natural vs. the city in this movie. It’s also interesting that Joe chooses this as a place to kill people. Possibly because of the cover he gets from the cane and the grimness is signifiers. As the canes dead limbs, yellow and disfigured, moving slightly in the breeze, is a metaphor for the older people he is killing.

When Joe and Joe talk we see selfishness in both of them; both want their lives back. Young Joe is right when he says that old Joe has lived his life and its young Joes’ turn now. But just the fact that both are there is interesting.

It seems that if you are a Looper you are immortal, especially if you close the loop, meaning you kill your older self. A Looper could somewhat live hundreds of different lives if they’re always going to be sent back to themselves and die, they’re immortal.

This doesn’t seem to click with either Joe, and we see both are in a struggle to fight for their lives. Young Joe wants his fruitless life back and older Joe wants to make sure he doesn’t live a fruitless life, save his wife and takes it upon himself to find a person called the Rainmaker and kill them.

The Rainmaker, apt name, is the super boss in the future that creates time travel and has a hold as a dictator. Old Joe wishes for him to be dead, but it seems when you count back the years, the Rainmaker is only a child; about 8-10 years old. This brings in the question of whether old Joe is prepared to kill and innocent child. Young Joe however just wants his selfish life back and attempts to kill Joe.

After being on the run, we see young Joe is forced to take shelter in Saras’ [Emily Blunt] farm.

This is where the movie takes a turn to the human. Before this point we liked Joe, but he was a child and sometimes we didn’t feel so bad for him because he was a self-indulgent boy. But now, as he goes cold turkey we see humanity in him that we didn’t have before

From this point on the killing spree for young Joe goes right down. He is on the defence but he doesn’t actually kill anyone for the rest of the film. He is finding a different life and this includes Sara.

It’s a touching scene, as young Joe seems to fall for Sara a little, the woman who ‘saved’ and/or helped him, old Joe is somewhat losing his memory of his wife Summer, the woman who saved him.

It seems that young Joes’ memories have an impact on old Joe, so he struggles to remember is wife Summer at points, as young Joe life is changing due to him not collecting his bars and going to Shanghai.

The pace slows right down, as Joe takes his time at the farm, getting to know Sara and her boy Cid. It has a more Hollywood vibe to it now, reinforcing family values and how you have to fight and endure when it comes to family, but it all turns out for the best.

Joe sees a lot of himself in Cid. A child with a mother living a sort of desperate life as they are survives together. However Cid isn’t all he appears and it seems that the movie takes a very very dark role.

Yes Looper has not exempted itself from crazed children that need a good slap! However slapping is different to killing, as we see old Joe on a mission to kill the yet-to-be rainmaker, a 10 year old child.

We see old Joe stalking and killing children, throwing up after the event, as this is one thing that never bodes well for anyone, but it needs to be done to save his wife.

It seems young Joe figures out whom Cid is going to grow up to be, but will that happen if he has anything to do with it?

We have another epic fight scene, were Willis displays that he still has it, as he mercilessly kills 20+ guardsmen in one go. He does this much to the disgust of Kid Blue, who sees his lost father figure, Abe, gunned down.

It’s the ultimate shoot off and really what we’ve been looking for in the movie, whose going to die?

We’re back at the cane fields and it seems the cane is being littered with lives and metal, much like all nature. Young Joe still wishes to stop old Joe, but not to get his life back, to let Sara and Cid live a life which will stop Cid becoming the vengeful Rainmaker.

Cid uses his telekinesis which has been enhanced through birth, as Sara was very good at telekinesis. This causes zero gravity and no matter how much harm Sara goes through, she’s a strong mother and takes care of her child because she knows what he will turn in to.

We see a lovely moment when young Joe looks forward in time, finally growing up and seeing that self-sacrifice is the only way to save everyone around him.

It really is self-sacrifice. Sara gets to raise Cid well; old Joe has had his life and should appreciate it. But young Joe will not be able to become old Joe. Instead he turns his gun on himself and accepts his life for what it.

He knows in the only self-less act he’s done in his life, will result in a good future.

Looper is probably a 7.6/10.

It’s a must see for its ideas and presentation. The acting is brilliant and despite the awkwardness in pace, it’s a good one!


Suicide Forest

El Torres, author of the brilliant The Veil gives us Suicide Forest, the story of the Aokigahara forest in Japan that takes the lives of many suicide victims each year. The forest is so vast that if anyone was to merely walk in, the likely hood of them simply walking back out again is very slim.

El Torres captures the deep of the forest with the help of Gabriel Hernandez, showing off his brilliant vivid images that leave it up to the reader whether you really see something there or not. The forest is not seen as a haven or aid for suicide victims; as depicted on the front cover; it is a tangled mess that seems to wrap you in and leave you bound to its inside like a tumour.

Hernandez depicts a mass of nature that consumes anything human and dwarfs them in comparison to the forest, showing nature as our master. However like a jungle, the spirits of the suicides get trapped as the forest intends and Torres’ famous supernatural element comes in. Playing heavily on Japanese culture of respecting spirits and nature, the character of

Ryoko proves to be the only one in this 21 century world that really knows what to do. Ryoko is our respected heroine and though she may seem unorthodox, sleeping next to corpses, leaving the paths to wonder in the wild and being the only one to talk about the beauty of the forest, she proves that old customs are not lost, especially to those that are dead as they demand our respect.

The use of a female in this certain story to guide and help, especially with the victims at the end is interesting. Masami is the disturbed spirit that enters the forest and takes her life in a most horrible fashion, haunted and killing those around her, making her way back to her love. The fact that it was Masami and not Alan that committed suicide comments on the weakness

of females in love, that being heartbroken they are more likely to do something drastic, also seen when Masami cracks a bottle to Alan’s head; whereas we see Alan going out and becoming close with someone right away.

The whole comic has a very sombre feel, based on the haunting of the death of a lover we see how vengeful spirits take over, seek

revenge and encase everyone in their hate. However there’s an important point, the dead seem to consume the living in this comic, to the point that it’s an obsession and the act of committing suicide is even compared to the act of sex. We see the effect of falling in love and then with that person passing the guilt and horror that accompanies it; this is more than just a metaphor for a

psycho girlfriend or bad break up, this is a literal cannot live without each other. This also occurs in the character of Ryoko, though she is possibly the most upbeat person in the comic her want to help the dead spirits as opposed to helping the living takes her dark places deemed necessary. Lives are lost and though the deaths of the living are horrific, proving taking life is horrible

as well as bloody, the deaths of the spirits are simple, but the spirits take over and mean more. The idea that we cannot stop waht is already dead proves to be true as of all the people in Japan, Ryoko is the only know who knows how to stop Masami.

The Japanese respect and ideas of spirits does come in, mostly with Ryoko in her quest and respect to let spirits lie, but also that a

spirit is just like a living being; they feel hate, get hurt, depressed and admitting something to them and having them forgive you is just as important if they’re dead as well as alive. The idea of guilt plays as a metaphor for the forest and that guilt can consume someone when something has happened to someone you know. This is apparent in the character of Alan, consumed by guilt

he spends all his time alone, being haunted and as he enters the forest to find the lover he abandoned, not only is he consumed by hands from the soil and the forest devouring him, but everyone else who has travelled in their is harmed as well.

The female representation in this is more varied then in The Veil; The Veil was more black and white with is females, but I this we

first have Masami, heartbroken and abandoned lets the forest consume her, however she feels abandoned because as we lean she is not very close with her family, thus it is social conditioning that has made Masami the way she is.

When considering Ryoko, she is in a line of work which is male dominated, but seems to be the only one that really respects her job, and is constantly praised as just as good as her dad. She has the caring side to her, like a stereotypical female, and though she may adhere to looking like a typical male, short hair, cap, trousers, adventurous, it is her caring female side for the spirits that allows her to survive among the rest. However when we see Ryoko around her religious followers, again she is the only female amongst males, which proves again that social conditioning can make a person; though the fact that she seems to be the only female amongst two male dominated groups proves how much and probably how hard she has worked to be in those positions. So

the fact that Ryoko does wear a cap, have short hair, trousers and is adventurous has actually proved helpful to getting her where she needs to be.

When coming to the ending, it does prove similar to The Veil, the ending is sombre and we wonder if anything was really resolved. The lives of those lost is somewhat being investigated by a very square headed man, which makes us think this is not so much a serious matter compared to solving the mystery of the spirits which is alot more dramatic. We see Ryoko sitting, with long hair admiring the forest with a change of stance on life, that satisfies us, however as always Ryoko knows something the rest of the males in this story do not, which leaves us with a bad taste in our mouth.

Personal Review – 8/10

This is a brilliant comic, tapping in to the world of spirits and the Japanese idea of what happens to vengeful spirits when

committing suicide. However some mystery seems to be missing from the story and the though there are spouts of horror images from Hernandez, compared to The Veil it falls a little short. I would probably recommend reading this first and then moving on to The Veil, though both a brilliant, The Veil is just that little bit better =]

Suicide Forest comes as one volume, 92 pages.

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Sci-fi Why-fi?

With Promethusout and breaking Box Office records, it’s worth looking at the sci-fi genre.

Sci-Fi or science fiction in its fullest form is a movie, game and comic book genre. Sci-Fi refers to invented content, normally set in the future, featuring futuristic technology and science. It has everything to do with plausible science e.g. space travel and funnily enough science theory including aliens, killer robots and space theory.

Sci-fi is considered by many to be the ‘geeky’ genre, as it deals with aliens, robots, space, mutants, teleportation, ray guns, time travel and worm holes, dragons, elves, zombies. All this can be considered intellectual, but also rather geeky, as it strays outside the understanding of a typical, plausible solid action or romantic comedy film.

Sci-fi has been called nerdy, geeky, futuristic cowboys and medieval. But the best thing about sci-fi is that it contains all these and more.

Sci-fi is a genre that stands on its own, but it encompasses all the other genres that we know and love; including romance, action, comedy, thriller, horror and adventure. The stories can take place on or off our world, and have whatever story line they choose. However because they take place outside our world this brings in the adventure element and also the thriller element because we get scared and excited for them. No story would be complete without a romance and jokes to calm the air, in intense alien attacks. All this is true when looking at Supernatural, Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, Star Wars, Battlestar Galactica, Lord of the Rings. They all have the other genres packed in with them because the highs and lows are more intense, because the nature of the situation is more intense.

The thing about sci-fi is that the forth wall is taken out. The reality that all the other genres have is gone; this leaves us with fantasy and sci-fi. We are able, with this genre, to move between all the others and continue with the science fiction idea because the forth wall of reality is taken out. If reality does not exist that leaves us with an infinite number of possibilities. Aliens, robots, supernatural, medieval, all becomes possible and plausible, because we the audience are entering something that is not solid; thus our minds are open to any and all possibilities. You could throw anything at a sci-fi audience and they will eat it up and enjoy it because they don’t have to worry about things being realistic and making sense in the world as we know it.

This is true when looking at the origin of sci-fi. Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein has been re-imagined time and time again, and though a heart breaking metaphor about her miscarriages and giving birth, who would really believe a story about a man stitching pieces of human flesh together to create a monster? We accept this story is fiction, made up, and that way we are able to think it plausible that someone can do this.

This is the same with War of the Worlds. The havoc this caused in reality, looking back, was hilarious. Orson Wells used reality and then took away the reality in the story, to bring in the alien invasion. People believed Orson Wells because he is a human speaking to us in the manner of a presenter on the radio. The reality and trust we have for radio announces and their news was immense. There was no internet or TV to back up the information, so the play on real reality with a fictional story was brilliant.

The believability as well of Orson Wells’ story has been used many times in history, with people playing hoaxes of alien landings. People are so quick to believe these stories, because deep inside, the fiction of it is something we all want. It makes the world less solid, less real, that something fictional can be part of our world. This makes the world seem smaller and bigger, ironically, smaller than an alien would come here from millions of miles away and we are not the only ones out there, but bigger that it would choose us out of all the planets and galaxies in the universe.

All the fantasy and fiction makes our world less of what it is. We can bend the reality of our world a bit, which makes it less harsh. In turn we are less real, our lives are less solid and the world around us can be compromised. This is good as we get sick of our world being so solid and unchangeable; so sci-fi fantasy lets us leave our world to drift in to a new one, letting us for a brief time be away from ourselves.

This is the same reason why people love magic tricks so much. Magic is an illusion and through it, it can break the reality that we know. Whether it is gravity, scientifically or mind based, the fact that magicians break the wall of reality in the illusion and perform things not physically possible, makes the world less solid and we love it because of that!

In turn to this sci-fi fans are so dedicated because the reality is taken out. They are transported to Hobbiton, Alderaan, Vulcan, places that are beyond our world. We love it so much because it is not part of our world; it is not the solid walls and tables that we see. It is somewhere else, somewhere far away and movies, games, comic books, TV series all transport us to this special place; where we can forget about the reality that we live in and be a part of someone else’s world for a while.

Reality and the breakdown of them are very important in sci-fi. The use of humans firstly is something that is interesting. The reason why we love sci-fi so much is because there are humans. We as humans instantly have a connection to the humans on the screen and we instantly, as a human, give our emotions and sympathies to them. We then get to know the characters and make a judgement call on them, but we instantly have an attraction to them because they are human and we want them to survive and prevail for the right of all of us.

This works in Star Wars because there are strange looking aliens, thus we root for Han, Luke and Leia because they are human. We do not root for Darth Vader, though he is a human, we do not see his skin, his eyes his hands. Masking himself in black gives off the instant idea of wrong and hate and darkness, but also he looks less human, with his unearthly heavy breathing and black exterior, that at first we do not care for him.

The Jedi’s are also something that we connect with. They are humans, two eyes, two ears, a mouth, normal height and weight, but they posses sort of supernatural powers, also known as ‘the force’. This makes us LOVE them, as they are like us but have something that we would love; thus our affection for the Jedi and their pursuit of justice is something we get behind.

This is true in Star Trek as well; James T Kirk is what we expect in a male human captain, strong, funny and emotional. The move to make Spock half man half human was brilliant. If Spock was all Vulcan he would get on our nerves, as an uptight know it all, but his human, emotional side makes him an even better character than Kirk. He is human so he is one of us, but he is an alien, so he is superior. Spock also invites us in to his world and this makes it better. The wall of reality is broken, and we get a new world, something to be explored. This proves genius as exploring a different country and culture is amazing, but exploring an alien race is even better, because we can get away from our world for a bit; but from the comfort of our home, so we enjoy the exploration more. Spock being half alien half human, means that Vulcan is somewhat our home as well, as we are human same as him.

In Supernatural we have a lot of bad demons, spirits, vampires, werewolves out there. But Sam and Dean are human so we root for them. Even with Sam being a bit different, he is still human; so we cheer and cry for and with them the whole time. Their dynamic as brothers is flawless and we wouldn’t want anyone else.

This is similar in Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Buffy and her friends are human, and even though Willow ventures in to witchcraft and Angel is a vampire, their appearance is human, and after getting to know their personality we love them all.

It seems being envious of these characters is something that is not mentioned. The devotion to these characters is amazing, with Jedi being a certified religion, Hobbiton and actual place and Supernatural being voted back time and time again, quite intensely.

Especially with the recent craze of superhero movies, sci-fi is more main stream now, with people really eating up these movies. They present a world, like ours, but with more interesting things going on; thus the similarity of humans and city makes it seem like our world, but not, we are safe but we still get a kick from these movies.

This brings in the idea of place. With most space movies we are taken out of world, which is good because we can get away from it for a while. Earth is always apparent in these space movies, it is base, home, something very precious to us that we can never forget about. The relationship with home in shows such as Up and Battlestar Galactica is immense, it really is human identity.

With shows like Supernatural it takes place in America and uses very real information, so we feel close to the events and characters.

With the most recent one being Game of Thrones, being compared to England. With Newcastle being Winterfell and Kings Landing as London, we feel like we can relate to how the characters are and act and do because it is so close to our reality.

As well with The Walking Dead it takes places in our reality and we relate closely to it and the characters because it seems real, and theyre really showing us to act in this situation.

There are conventions, comics, movies, books, games, trading cards, memorabilia all devoted to this genre. Overall the sci-fi genre represents something that consumes us completely. It consumes all other genres, it consumes our time, our imagination, our world and leaves us uplifted by the broken reality that feeds us things we can only imagine.


Dark Knight Rises

The finale has happened, Dark Knight Rises is out and strutting the streets but has it lived up to the EPIC expectation we all had?

With being a finale and having the masterpiece of Dark Knight before it, it seems that the actors, directors, writers and indeed everyone had a lot on their plate.

Dark Knight established a lot, it established what Batman really is, how far he would go himself and for the people of Gotham. The Joker really got under his skin and the movie provided Batman with some sick twisted person he couldn’t deal with.

The best thing the Joker said was “you have nothing, nothing to threaten me with” and this is true, the Joker just wanted to watch chaos develop. The Joker didn’t have any alternative motives to the destruction of Gotham; he picked Gotham because Batman was there and knew he would be fun to play with. Batman knew this, thus he made it so personal to himself to stop the Joker. However the lack of motive should be feared more than someone with a purpose, as you can always track them away from that purpose, but someone who has no purpose or motive can’t be deterred because there’s nothing else for them to do.

The Joker presented a mental threat, yes there was a lot of carnage but it’s clear that Batman can kill Joker if he so chose to. With the introduction of Bane, we have a physical threat, someone Batman may not be able to physically beat. Though he tries mentally to beat Bane, it seems Banes’ hold is so tight that he achieves more than the Joker ever could. This is a theme, this year in superhero movies, brute strength, as Spiderman faced off with the Lizard and the Avengers with Lokis super metal army.

This is what it most interesting about the trilogy. Typically the first movie is a starter; the second has an immense amount of carnage and then third reverts back to the original movie. With this trilogy we had the starter, the second was somewhat similar to the first in terms of destruction, but the mental load that the Joker brought was more intense, but this, the trilogy has ridiculous amounts of damage!


It seems apt though, as the Joker set up something that Bane finished. It also follows the rules that the main character can die, the past does not count, it is not at rest and this proves AMAZING in the final battle scene. Though it perverts the trilogy rules slightly, the trilogy rules for comic books seems to do this, compared to horrors; Spiderman 3, X-Men, Blade. They are all building up to this final point, the final battle, which seems to mean everything. This follows the rules of most sci-fi trilogies including LOTR, Original Star Wars, Matrix, New Star Wars, and Indiana Jones. All had an epic, world ending conclusion and once that was over with, what else is there to go to?

Sci-fi and fantasy trilogies seem more real in their purpose, as they are building up to something, it’s hard to watch movies like Transformers and Pirates of the Caribbean, where it seems kind of obvious that they did it for the money, as most of the action was established in the second movie, thus the reverting back to the original in the trilogy is to save their asses.

However Batman follows all this and more.

The seven year gap from Harvey Dents’ death to Bane coming is convenient and interesting. Bruce Wayne has never gotten past the events; Batman is still a public menace. Gordon cannot get past what happened to his family and Gotham is a new city because of it.

Bruce has become older and bitter. He has his families’ mansion back, regaining his family respect, but he has no family of his own to fill the rooms with, instead everything stands like ghosts with white clothes thrown over them. Bruce needs Batman, but Gotham does not need him; so he is left with a sort of unfinished business. The world has moved on faster than he can.

The seven year gap is also good, when considering Bane. It would seem too intense and dark that right after the effect the Joker and Harvey Dent had on everyone; all of a sudden a new menace would appear. Bane had to stew under the surface to let the city re-grow; making the attack so much more unexpected. The new generation of children, cops, doctors, workers are not familiar with Batman, so their confusion when they’re bitter superiors force them to catch someone they see as new, crazy and amazing is somewhat comical.

It seems that Banes plan was all the more plausible at the end. He wished to give Gotham back to the people, though decent people were living in fear, the criminals were throwing parties in the decadent houses, meaning that Gotham was less progressive. His plan to ruin Gotham was better received, and glad it was established!

The releasing of the prisoners is always something to be feared, you have murders, rapists, fraudsters, all roaming the streets again, there was even a bit of fear when Cat Woman was released.

We see that Bane did not go to Arkham Asylum and release the inmates there. Arkham Asylum is always a place to be reckoned with! It is shown and mentioned in Batman Begins, as being in the Narrows, a far off suburb, just part of Gotham. However Arkham has mostly been associated with forests surrounding it, on its own island. This Arkham is surrounded by the poorest part of the city, and access to it is literally impossible as the whole island is heavily guarded.

It seems that our lovely Scarecrow, Cillian Murphy has made the most impact in the movie; popping up again as our mad hatter, sentencing people to death. He’s a strange character, as at the end of Batman Begins he is institutionalised in Arkham. However he pops up at the start of Dark Knight, so we accept he is arrested, thus being part of the movie makes sense. If he was still in Arkham Asylum we would assume that the Joker would have popped up as well. Bane was probably not bothered to make the trip all the way to the Narrows to Arkham, so no Joker, fair enough.

When looking at Bane though, and Tom Hardy, we assumed a mighty performance. The performance was amazing, as Hardy does put his all in to acting, but that dam mask! It seems that good or bad cinema surround sound, Bane was inaudible in parts. When he took his time and pulled his words out, in his extremely posh manner, we understood him. However when he was rushed, the only way you knew what he was feeling was if he killed someone or not.

This wasn’t helped so much by the epic music!

Yes this is the finale, yes this is the trilogy, the scale of everything was pumped up to 100%, but it was hard to hear people sometimes. The score was amazing, as it was designed specifically to keep you on edge, as it did with Inception and partly with the Dark Knight. When cars and trucks crashed together you had the daunting bass boom for effect. This all carried on from the Dark Knight, but it seemed almost annoying in this movie.

It was essentially three hours of trying to strain your ears to hear. The score wanted the movie to be so epic, that it took away from it and the script. Yes the scene in Dark Knight when Harvey Dent is being taken away to prison in the police van and the Joker attacks them on the highway; the manipulation of sound, bass, concentrating oncertain noises was AMAZING. But the dialogue in that scene was also minimal. When you did have dialogue it was audible, which in turn made the movie better.

Batmans’ voice was the same gruffness that it has always been. Some have complained about his voice, but if you’re trying very hard to seal your identity, you would put on another voice.

The way Batman worked seemed like he had never been gone. Bruce Wayne eased in to Batman so well that it seemed like it hadn’t been seven years.

However Batman is the same man, Bruce Wayne is not. He is crippled, has grown a beard and became a complete shut in. Batman was able to get back on the horse easily, it seems when it is time to suffer, it was constantly Bruce Wayne that was suffering. This shows the man behind the mask, Bane does not lead a double life; he is Bane all hours of the day and night. With Bruce and Batman it is harder, as they switch between the two, so one is always going to be vulnerable to the other.

This in turn made the scene in the pit exactly what it should have been. It was drawn out, it was long, and we felt fed up by the end of it, so how do you think Bruce Wayne felt? It made the point that you could either live your life like all those old men in the pit, or take a leap of faith and see where it takes you. Ultimately Bruce did not go back to a loving Gotham, he went from destruction to destruction, but he went back to being what he loves best, Batman.

Our lovely Jospeh Gordon Levitt proved to be a vital role in all aspects. He plays a cop turned detective under Commissioner Gordon and rightly so, as these two seem to be the pillar in justice, especially as Batman is not around. We see a new version, or really realistic version of what would happen to a city if this should happen. No superheroes or gadgets, just realistic planning and underground fighting. Ultimately we did need Batman, but he was more of a distraction, as the cops were led by their leader and the bomb was taken care of by Gordon.

Batman did make the ultimate self-sacrifice with the bomb, but Alfred’s assuring nod at the end gave us hope. Though they should have only shown Alfred’s nod, as we know what it means, that’s Hollywood for you.

Overall the film was a success! If you were a fan of Dark Knight you’d love this. It was more of everything, but it didn’t lose its meaning and we ended with a brilliant trilogy!


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