So, I think a lot of people probably know by now my general thoughts on Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice. Namely that I didn’t like it. However, it wasn’t until a video was posted online that the gears in my head started to REALLY turn as to one thing they could’ve done differently with relative ease to make the movie flow just a tiny bit better. That video was the following:
Now, when I first saw this video, I left the following comment: “Sounds epic as fuck, and would’ve guaranteed given boners to the crowd, but it doesn’t work for one reason: Bale Batman doesn’t kill, Affleck Batman does. Whatever your stance on whether Batman should or shouldn’t kill, that’s the major difference between the two”. However, the more I’ve sat and thought about it, the more I realized just how easily it would’ve been to have Affleck Batman be Bale Batman, only years after the events of The Dark Knight Rises. Let’s go through how the two film series line up, shall we?
So first off, let’s talk about how The Dark Knight Rises ends. Bruce faked his death so he could retire to a normal life with Selina Kyle, and Robin John Blake is given the coördinates to the Batcave, presumably so he could take over Bruce’s place as Gotham’s protector. Now, you may ask how that could transition to Batman V Superman, but let’s look at a few other details. Specifically, let’s look at the one major villain from The Dark Knight Trilogy who didn’t die and is now an important character in the new DC Cinematic Universe: The Joker. Now, granted, the Joker from the Dark Knight movies IS very different from the new one. Specifically, Ledger Joker was clearly wearing make-up and had a permanent smile due to the scars on his face, whereas Leto Joker is hinted at having the more traditional backstory of having fallen into a vat of chemicals. However, let’s say they didn’t go that route for a second and then look at what else we know about Leto’s Joker from details given to us strictly in Batman V Superman: He killed Robin.
Now, lets look at Bale Batman vs Affleck Batman. Obviously, the biggest difference between the two (besides their age) is their methodology and the limits they’re willing to go to in the line of duty. As I said before, Affleck Batman has no problems killing criminals, while specifically not killing was a big thing for Bale Batman. Yes, the Batman of the Nolanverse movies did find loopholes he could exploit to get around that fact, but for the most part, that was Bale Batman’s biggest rule, so something pretty drastic would’ve had to have happened for him to go back on that to such a degree that he’d resemble Affleck Batman’s style of doing things. So, what would make him do such a thing? The answer again falls on one point: The dead Robin.
Anyone who knows anything about Batman in the comics likely knows that the dead Robin in the DC Cinematic Universe is more than likely Jason Todd. However, let’s instead think of Batman V Superman occurring in the same canonical universe as The Dark Knight Trilogy, and Robin is, in fact, John Blake, having used his first name that he mostly opted not to use as his codename while working as Batman’s replacement. Now, imagine if The Joker brutally killed Robin, then publicly taunted Batman (regardless of if he knows Batman is really alive or not) with this fact. Again, Jason Todd dying in the comics was a big deal for a long time, and still sort of is even after his return to the land of the living. It’s often regarded as Batman’s greatest failure. But now imagine this happening under these circumstances, with Bruce realizing that Robin would have never died if he hadn’t faked his death and enlisted him as his successor. Suddenly, not only do you have a great reason for Bruce to return to Gotham and continue his work as Batman, as well as coming up with a convincing excuse for how he, as Bruce Wayne, likewise was still alive (preferably not at the exact same time as to avoid arousing suspicion), but he would also have reason to go more than a little nuts. Remember, the only reason he didn’t in the comics after the death of Jason Todd was because Tim Drake stepped in and helped to keep him grounded. But in a world where that never happened, can we say with 100% certainty that he wouldn’t have lost it, even if we’d LIKE to think Bruce would never do that? It’s certainly a believable scenario to have presented. And all of the aesthetical changes to Batman (his suit, his equipment, his vehicles, etc.) could easily be explained by him changing with the times, especially since the vast majority of his tech was destroyed at the end of The Dark Knight Rises, specifically The Bat and his spare Tumblers. Hell, you can even explain away the voice modifier as him deciding he didn’t need to do the Bat voice himself anymore.
So, with all of that said, why didn’t DC and Warner Bros. decide to do this? Well, there’re a few reasons. For starters, there are characters who appeared and died during The Dark Knight Trilogy that they might be considering making use of later on. Second, all of the characters who would be returning would either have to be recast, or they’d have to convince the previous actors to return. In particular, The Joker would NEED to be recast due to the death of Heath Ledger, and honestly, I don’t know who I would have chosen to portray Ledger’s Joker. And, not to be too disrespectful, but suffice to say, Jared Leto is NOT Heath Ledger. Just saying. Third, while the details DO line up, there likely would still be plot holes created. One that comes to mind is the fact that we know Clark was wandering around and helping in (relative) secret wherever he could for several years before becoming Superman, and odds are good he would not have just sat around and did nothing about what was going on in Gotham during The Dark Knight Rises. And no, there’s NO way he couldn’t have known. And lastly, another big reason why they may have opted not to connect the new DC movies to the earlier ones in any way was so that they could build this whole new movie universe from the ground up. Don’t have to worry about past continuity, doing research to make sure everything lines up, or rehiring anyone that worked on the previous movies, they can just do everything over again. And, admittedly, while they COULD have found ways to iron out all those issues, I can’t really say as I blame them for not doing it. Plus, with the Arrowverse CW shows having established the existence of an infinitely-spanning Multiverse, it’s entirely possible that ALL of the live action interpretations of DC’s heroes are canonically part of it. Still, for what it’s worth, everything I’ve presented can still stand as a neat little idea of how things might have been. But hey, that’s just a theory…A FILM THEOR-Wait, what do you mean MatPat does theories for movies too???
…Anyway, let me know in the comments (or in the poll below) whether you think DC should or shouldn’t have connected the new Batman related movies to the previous ones, and I will see you guys the next time I decide to show my geekness…which’ll probably not be very long from now. lol Ja né!
So I just got back home from FINALLY seeing The Dark Knight Rises, and my immediate thoughts are that it was a good movie, definitely worth paying money for, but at the same time I will say that The Dark Knight is just a little bit better. It does work as the final chapter of the story that Christopher Nolan was telling with these movies, though, and while it’s not perfect, it’s still pretty damned good. My only issue is with the ending if it does in fact prove to be the absolute end to this story, but I’ll get to that at the end.
First off, let’s talk about Bane. This character works so well as the villain for the final chapter of this trilogy, as someone who can match wits as well as fighting prowess with Batman. I still prefer Heath Ledger’s Joker in The Dark Knight from a psychological standpoint, but then I wasn’t expecting to find him to be the better villain, so no let downs there. The only issue I have with him is that his voice is kinda weird, and what the hell is it with these movies and their love of funny voices? I will say that I am VERY glad they didn’t give him the Batman & Robin movie treatment, but at the same time, we later find out he actually is hired help for someone, but we’ll get to that.
I hear that a few people aren’t that thrilled with Anne Hathaway as Catwoman, I thought she worked great. Yes, she is very much self-centred, but she also does show to care for Bruce Wayne/Batman, which is shown when she comes back to save him and help save Gotham in the end. And yeah, she has no issue with killing bad guys, but then again, Catwoman always did tend to blur the line between hero and villain, so not so shocked she does so here.
John Blake, or rather Robin John Blake…I have only one issue with this character: the fact that his story is confined to this one movie. If we do get a spin-off with him, as a lot of people are speculating, that would erase my issue. My only concern is what they’ll call him, be it Nightwing, Batman, hell even Batman Beyond. I REALLY hope they don’t call him Robin, though, since that’s his actual name and would be confusing if that were his name AND his alias.
Miranda Tate…Can’t say as I’m too shocked it turned out she was Talia al Ghul all along. I actually kinda figured that Marion Cotillard was a misdirection for people that guessed it. Sadly, that’s a problem, that a lot of people knew going in, because that was supposed to be the big twist, that she was the real mastermind behind it all. The problem is that it’s revealed halfway through the third act and then she dies not long after. Personally, I would have saved it for the VERY end, right after the credits, that she’s in a headquarters for the League of Shadows and walks in, revealing her status and then could be a villain for Robin John Blake, again assuming we get a spin-off. Plus, that way Bane stays the main villain for this movie.
Alfred is kinda hard to make a judgement on for this movie. On the one hand, it is believable for him to finally have had enough to the point where he tells Bruce the truth about Rachel and then leaves, but at the same time I kept expecting him to come back, and he never does except at Bruce’s funeral at the end, but we’ll get to that later. I will say that he once again proves to be wise and inserts some occasional humour here and there…though part of me kinda wonders what would happen if he ever came across a scenario where he didn’t have a speech or anything prepared. lol
Morgan Freeman as Lucius Fox is always so much fun to watch, and the same is true here. And frankly, that should come as no surprise at all. Not to mention the fact that Morgan Freeman adds class to anything he’s cast in. That’s really all there is to say there.
Commissioner Gordon once again works well in this movie, this time as someone who is trying hard to keep the streets clean while also being haunted by the choice he made at the end of The Dark Knight. Of course, the problem with that is that the truth is revealed and it’s pretty much spelled out for anyone that didn’t already know it themselves that the lie was a bad mistake, which is really the only flaw to The Dark Knight. Also, I gotta side with Linkara on this, why the hell does anybody in Gotham believe Bane when he reads Gordon’s confessional regarding Harvey Dent and Batman’s innocence?
And finally, we come to the Batman himself, and I’m just gonna ask this one question: Why in the hell did Bruce Wayne lock himself up in his mansion?! Hell, deciding to retire as Batman after what happened in The Dark Knight actually makes more sense than that, but hiding in Wayne Manor just because the clean energy thingy failed? It makes no sense! Plus, he heals a broken back over a 5 month period, and then crawls his way out of a giant hole in the ground with no harness, and then somehow manages to get back into Gotham despite the bridges being blown up and the city being sealed off as a No Man’s Land, and then proceeds to do his Batman voice even growlier, even when by then several of the people he works with knows who he is. He saves the day by flying the bomb out to sea, apparently blowing up with it, only for the viewers to learn he fixed the aircraft’s auto-pilot beforehand and ejected out so he could go live with Catwoman somewhere in secret while Gotham believes he’s dead and Robin John Blake is left with the Batcave…Umm, not a great exit, Bats…
Don’t get me wrong, this is still a good movie. The problem is that it’s one of those movies where the secondary characters are easier to relate to, are better written, better portrayed, more believable, or just more likeable than the protagonist. Batman’s ultimate decision to fake his death and leave Gotham to a new protector seems so at odds with the character that I know. Now if he were to come back in the spin-off-I-hope-to-happen as a mentor to Robin John Blake, that could work, because we’ve seen it work in Batman Beyond. But if the story is left like this, it’ll make Batman’s journey seem kinda…odd.
But anyway, those are my thoughts. Leave your thoughts, but please don’t get into an argument with each other in the comments section. Ja ne!