The inaugural showing of this film made the release of “Gone With The Wind” look like the first showing of “Plan 9 from Outer Space”. Theaters around the country sold out entire days worth. Scalpers on EBay were getting US$300.00 per ticket. People stood in long lines like there might be an iPad at the end. Audiences packed in like sardines were said to offer up standing ovations at the conclusion. A critic that gave it a poor review got death threats.
About half way through this thoroughly mediocre film I started wondering how all that came to pass. I think it was because of Heath Ledgers magnificent performance in “The Dark Knight” (2008). Somehow everyone expected a reprise of that film and expectations grew out of proportion to the reality that Heath Ledger was forever gone.
Gentle readers, I must now sadly inform you that there was nothing in this film that justifies all that hoopla.
It was too long at 164 minutes. Christian Bale is getting a little long in the tooth for the role, and I think sleepwalked through it. The Catwoman role was extraneous and went nowhere except parallel to the plot. Anne Hathaway’s lipstick was too red. The villain wasn’t all that believable, nor was his upbringing. Most of his voicings were unintelligible through his mask, the rationale of which made no sense. Mickey Roarke did it better in Iron Man II (2010). The city citizens gathering to rebel against a seemingly omnipotent villainous force has been done many times before, at least as well if not better in “Independence Day” (1996). Gary Oldman’s formidable talents were wasted on the perpetually perplexed Commissioner Gordon.
There are too many too many overstuffed and underdeveloped digressions, over-ripe with pointless violence and too many characters, few of which are developed to any coherence. It channels Eyes Wide Shut (1999). A bunch of humorless, colorless, ambiguous masked figures indulging in desultory, pointless horseplay. Oddball mania in a world with pretensions to reality.
I give it a whopping 3 of 5 ominous voiceovers, and only because I’m otherwise in a good mood.