Spoiler Alert! Don’t read the title unless you’ve seen The Dark Knight Rises. I figure that the movie has been out long enough that I would be safe getting a few things off my chest.
Batman should have died. At the end of The Dark Night Rises, he flies his handy little bat hovercraft over the previously unmentioned giant ocean that sits on one side of Gotham. He does this so that a weapons grade fusion device built by his company, originally meant to power everyone’s refrigerator, doesn’t blow up in the now defunct city and kill all its inhabitants. We get the usual spiel about how it’s the only way to save the city and we all admire Batman for his sacrifice.
Everyone is mourning Batman’s death and revering him for it. Albert’s reaction is more heart-wrenching than I would have anticipated for a film based on a comic book. It should have ended there. The sacrifice makes the hero. Instead, we instead get a crap-lousy, “yay! autopilot!” explanation for the HoverBatMobile and we find that Bruce Wayne is happily trotting around the world with his new friend Cat Woman instead of being vaporized in his devotion to saving the lives of the innocent. And then we find out that the cop who was helping Batman is really named Robin, and he finds the secret bat cave and by all means jizzes his pants right on the spot.
Goddammit, Hollywood. Fuck you. Why did you have to leave it open? You’re just going to use this to build a few shitty sequels that will get everyone excited until they realize you’ve screwed them over once again. This Dark Knight trilogy is the best thing that’s happened to the Batman empire in years, and now you’ve managed to shit on the entire story-line in the last few minutes of the movie in the hopes that you can spew out a few straight-to-DVD sequels. For fuck’s sake, why don’t you just bring back George Fucking Clooney as the Batman? Remember that? Remember how low you sank? George Clooney was the Mother-Fucking Batman. You are dangerously close to this level of putrescence.
Robin was an auxiliary character who never should have made it into this trilogy. The story-line was far enough removed from the traditional characters that they only vaguely resembled the comic books. The reinventing of the characters made them much more believable. Heath Ledger nailed the Joker and, though he existed only in the second film, he made the series. You killed off Two-Face before the week’s end. You could have killed off Batman at the end and sealed the entire series.
Heroes die. That’s one of the things that makes them heroes. When they magically come back to life or don’t die, it’s only done in order to set the stage for more shitty sequels. Tony Stark should have died in the nearly-identical save the world by blowing yourself up ending of The Avengers. Jesus should have stayed dead and saved the world from the worst kinds of sequels, Christianity. In the original Song of Fire and Ice books by George RR Martin, he had the right idea: He killed off main characters left and right with an impunity that only aroused interest; until, eventually, he too forgot how to end a story.
Maybe I’m just morbid. My wife certainly thinks so. She seems to think that I won’t enjoy a movie unless it’s depressing and the main character dies. Not if it serves the story-line. If it’s a story about sacrifice for a greater cause, and the sacrifice is feigned, I just want to knock my popcorn on the floor and storm out like a spoiled little brat.
When you bend the ending of a story enough that it’s blatantly obvious you’re setting yourself up for a sequel, you kill the story. Batman may not be dead, but he is dead to me. Enjoy your time with that harlot, Robin, you back-stabbing son of a bitch. I’m sure you two will have all sorts of fun running around in with your latex outfits and stuffed codpieces, rubbing your rubber nipples together. You are dead to me.