Batman Begins, Batman Ends

Noong 2008, ihinandog sa atin ni Christopher Nolan ang The Dark Knight. It was (and probably still is) the greatest superhero movie of all-time. Heath Ledger, before his unfortunate death, delivered a performance of a lifetime and won a posthumous Oscar for it. Mula noon lahat ata ng taong kilala man lang kung sino si Batman ay hinintay na ang susunod na kabanata sa Batman trilogy ni Christopher Nolan.

Ang mga salitang “The Movie Event of the Year” ang isa sa pinakagasgas na marketing ploy ng mga studios para magmukhang importante ang pelikulang ilalabas nila. Naglalabas ang Star Cinema ng mahigit kumulang na 6 na pelikula sa isang taon at lahat ata yun tinatawag nilang movie event of the year. Binabato bato na lang ngayon ang salitang yan e.

Pero paminsan minsan, tumatama ang studios. And for 2012, without a shadow of a doubt the biggest movie event of the year is none other than The Dark Knight Rises. (Pasensya na Tony Stark and friends pero hanggang second place lang talaga kayo)

Dalawang beses ko nang napapanuod ang The Dark Knight Rises. Unang beses ay nung opening day sa regular na sine at ang pangalawang beses ay sa IMAX. Mataas ang expectations ko dahil sa The Dark Knight e. Anything short of greatness was a disappointment. So was it any good? How does it stack up against the previous two films? Well…

(HEAVY ON SPOILERS SO KUNG HINDI MO PA NAPANUOD, STOP READING)

1. Bane is no Joker.

Nung pinapanuod ko yung The Dark Knight naalala ko na buong movie tensionado ako. Kinakabahan talaga ako para sa Gotham City. Tuwing nanggugulo si Joker noon iniisip ko talaga “Shit, Batman lumabas ka na kailangan nila ang tulong mo!” Does that even happen in movies anymore? Bihira na e. A lot of this has to do with the movie’s villain. Iba talaga yung performance ni Heath Ledger sa The Dark Knight e. As much as the movie was about Batman, it was about The Joker as well. Matutuwa ka everytime may eksena si Joker dahil mamamangha ka sa performance. Naaalala mo yung “magic trick scene” ni Joker nun yung may pencil? Nakanganga talaga ako pagkatapos niyang gawin yun e. Sadly, for The Dark Knight Rises hindi ko naramdaman yung takot kay Bane. Hindi ko naramdaman na mahirap na kalaban siya para kay Batman kahit pa he’s supposed to be Batman’s equal in terms of physicality and ferocity. Oo malaki siya, pero yun lang. Hanggang ganun lang. He’s actually not even that big when you think about it.

Seryosong tanong, kung hindi puwedeng tanggalin ni Bane yung mask, pano siya nangungulangot?

Pero sa totoo lang walang sense na ikumpara si Bane kay Joker because that’s like comparing apples to oranges. Magkaibang hayop talaga sila e. Unfortunately for Bane, the Joker makes for a more formidable foe and a more compelling story. Pero siguro okay lang yun. You can’t make the same movie twice.

2. Christopher Nolan makes the most intriguing casting choices.

Nung kinuha ni Christopher Nolan si Heath Ledger for the role of The Joker, it was heavily criticized. “Yung lalake sa 10 Things I Hate About You?! Yung bading na cowboy sa Brokeback Mountain?! Siya talaga si Joker?!” Pero tiwala si Nolan kay Heath Ledger at ang resulta ay ang isa sa pinakanakakabilib na performances in recent memory. For the role of Catwoman, marami rin siyang puwedeng kunin. But Nolan went for the unusual choice of casting Anne Hathaway as Selina Kyle. This was also met with heavy criticism. Yung babae sa Princess Diaries si Catwoman?! Of all people, isa na siya siguro sa mga huling maiisip mo na gumanap sa role na yun.

“Ako? Si Catwoman? Ewwww!”

So kamusta ba ang performance ni Anne Hathaway bilang si Catwoman? Well, she’s a good actress. She actually managed to pull it off somehow dahil nga sa galing niyang umarte. Pero still, I didn’t feel that she was right for the role. Masyado siyang mabait tingnan. Kulang sa seduction. Maniniwala ka ba na si Bruce Wayne, playboy billionaire na hinahabol ng kung sino sinong babae e mahuhulog para kay Anne Hathaway?

As for Bane, I think Tom Hardy did the best he could do with the role. Mahirap umarte kung buong time hindi ka naman nakikitang nagsasalita at nakatakip yung bibig mo. Kailangan mong umarte sa pamamagitan ng mata. He managed to do that, kaso wala lang talagang masyadong depth kay Bane. Hindi mo puwedeng laruin masyado e. Yung boses lang ang nalaro niya dun e. Heath Ledger had the luxury of licking his lips like a reptile to add to Joker’s nuances. Mahirap gawin kay Bane yung mga ganung bagay e.

3. Ang pangalang ng bagong amo ni Alfred.

Hindi ka puwedeng maging amo ni Alfred kung Bates ang apelyido mo. Bakit, ano bang tawag ni Alfred kay Bruce Wayne? Master Wayne diba? So kung Bates ang pangalan mo ang tawag sayo ni Alfred ay…

nevermind.

4. Somewhat predictable yung twists

Baka ako na lang to, pero hindi ako masyadong nagulat sa mga twists e. Medyo may sense of foreboding na rin throughout the film. Si Alfred paulit ulit na sinasabi kay Batman na ano pa bang kailangan niyang ibigay? Buhay niya? Tapos sabi ni Catwoman kay Batman na nabigay na niya ang lahat sa Gotham. Sabi ni Batman, “Not everything. Not yet.” I guess in a way kasama yan sa style ng storytelling. Pero somehow alam mong kailangan matapos nitong trilogy sa “pagkamatay” ni Batman. Wala nang pupuntahan yung kwento e.

Also, medyo halata na rin naman na Joseph Gordon-Levitt ay si Robin. Unang una, orphan siya. Pangalawa lagi siyang sinasabihan ni Batman na kailangan mong magsuot ng mask para lumaban. Nung huli binato niya yung badge niya sa dagat at sinabi kay Commissioner Gordon na kailangan niyang lumabas sa strictures of law enforcement.

There was this one line from Miranda Tate na sinabi niya kay Batman na he can’t just step away from the world after his failed attempt of saving it. Somehow alam mo na Miranda Tate is more than what she seems at may alam siya kay Bruce Wayne na hindi niya dapat alam.

5. Nice ending, but it could have been slightly better

Sa last 30 mins ng pelikula, akala natin namatay na si Batman nung tinangay niya yung atom bomb sa gitna ng dagat. Kaso nalaman natin na naayos pala niya yung auto-pilot nung sasakyan niyang The Bat. Could it be? Then we cut to scenes of Joseph Gordon-Levitt exploring the batcave. Then we cut to a scene where Alfred, played beautifully by Michael Caine, is in Florence. He looks at the camera and with a smile on his face, he nods. Then the Hans Zimmer score intensifies. Dapat natapos na dun e! Hindi na dapat natin nakita si Bruce Wayne na nakangiti rin sa kanya. Yun na dapat ang last scene! It would have been very Nolanesque, parang yung “spinning top scene” sa ending ng Inception. Handa akong makipag-duelo sa magsasabing mali ako!

6. Hindi masyadong matalino ang mga taga Gotham City.

Nawala si Batman for 8 years at kasabay nun naging recluse rin si Bruce Wayne for almost the same amount of time. Na-hijack ang Wayne Enterprises building at kasabay nun naglabasan na rin ang mga batmobiles sa kalye. Kasabay ng pagkamatay ni Batman sa dulo, namatay rin si Bruce Wayne. Hindi niyo pa rin alam kung sino si Batman? Kung sa Pilipinas nangyari yan meron nang blind-item yan!

“Da who itong mayaman na guy na love na love magsuot ng bonggang costume at manghuli ng mga kriminal?”

Pasalamat si Bruce Wayne at hindi taga Gotham City si Cristy Fermin at kung hindi hindi niya matatago ang sikreto niya.

Ang susunod na kalaban ni Batman.

7. For a Batman movie, you don’t get to see a lot of Batman.

The movie runs for 2 hours and 45 minutes. You only get to see Batman for around 30 mins or so. Para sa pelikula tungkol kay Batman halos wala kang nakitang Batman. For the most part nakikita mo lang si Tom from 500 Days of Summer na paikot-ikot sa Gotham City pagkatapos niyang makipagbreak kay Summer.

After Summer broke his heart, Tom then turned to a life of crimefighting.

8. So was it better than Batman Begins and The Dark Knight?

Nung una kong napanuod yung movie, hindi ako masyadong nabilib talaga. To be honest nadisappoint ako. I would have ranked it behind Batman Begins and The Dark Knight. But upon second viewing mas naappreciate ko na siya. Tingin ko pantay lang siya sa Batman Begins pero mas maganda ang The Dark Knight ng milya milya. It’s a worthy conclusion to the trilogy. Para siyang The Godfather Trilogy e. Yung unang part is unlike anything you’ve seen before. Yung pangalawang part is an instant classic. Yung pangatlo, hindi na kasing ganda nung pangalawa pero may sentimental value kase siya yung nagtatapos nung kwento.

Mas importanteng tingnan yung trilogy as a whole e. Binigyan tayo ni Christopher Nolan ng pinakamagandang version ng Batman mula pa sa panahon nung sinuot ni Adam West ang Batman suit noong 1960s. It’s not just a good superhero trilogy, it’s a good cinematic trilogy. After Joel Schumacher’s Batman & Robin and his tragic batsuit with nipples, the franchise was in a very bad place. Christopher Nolan turned it on its head and showed us how superhero movies should be done. 5 years from now gagawan ng reboot ang Batman at malamang gagawin nila tong cheesy love story tulad ng ginawa nila sa Spider-Man at hindi tayo magagandahan. Hindi ko alam kung paano pa nila tatalunin tong ginawa ni Christopher Nolan ngayon. For everyone’s sake, sana wag na nilang subukan.