Skip to main content
Buy TET Life art on Skateboards and more. etourist Skateboards Store.

Kevin Smith and The Dark Knight Returns - Opinion

Kevin Smith often points to the plot holes in Nolan's The Dark Knight Rises and repeatedly states that Warner Animation's The Dark Knight Returns is the best Batman film you'll ever see.

Whilst I don't disagree that Rises has plot holes (though the ones Kevin often highlights aren't really plot holes), it could be argued that Nolan is simply continuing a tradition of plot holes that starts in the film's source material.

Nolan's films are heavily inspired and informed by a number of comic series including Frank Miller's comic book series, The Dark Knight Returns. Rises in particular shares many of the same themes.

Warning: This blog post is not a review. It's an opinion piece so I can write my thoughts about specific scenes in the film. If  you haven't seen The Dark Knight Returns or haven't read the comic book series then stop now as from here on in there will be spoilers.

Kevin says of the comic book series that it opened his eyes to what Batman was really about after having only really known the Adam West version of character. I haven't read the comic version of Returns but Kevin talks about it like it's the bible of Batman stories.

In watching the animated version I'll agree with Kevin, it is a great story. It's filled with plenty of great ideas and, without this story, Nolan's Batman may well not have been as good as it is.

But, if you want to point out plot holes as a reason for Nolan's Rises to be 'just okay' here's my problems with Miller's story...

If you're a retired Batman heading back into the field and you have a suit that gives you the strength to take on Superman, why wouldn't you wear it to hand the Mutant leader his ass the first time you go up against him? Both times Batman goes up against the Mutant leader he sustains some pretty serious injuries. Even when he does defeat the leader he's pretty beat up.

Why not wear the suit when going up against your arch nemesis, The Joker. In this movie Joker's no slouch when it comes to hand to hand combat. Wear the suit. If it's good enough to go up against Superman then Joker would be little more than a rag doll.

If you have developed your own kryptonite to combat Superman, why not lead with that instead of wasting your time trying to defeat him in hand to hand combat in a super suit (that Superman could probably punch holes through or melt with that heat vision).

Wouldn't it have made more sense for Batman to construct kryptonite  knuckle dusters rather than a kryptonite arrow that someone else had to shoot? At the very least, the kryptonite should have been part of the suit - in case the kryptonite didn't work he'd still have the suit as back up.

Robin? I have no issues with a female Robin however, in this movie, Robin goes from a cos-play school girl to fantastic gymnast, Batman tech hacker and all round bad ass in record time. She's barely even affected by the carnage she sees around her as Robin. (Kevin bitches about how Bruce got back to Gotham so fast after escaping the prison in Rises? More easily explained than this girl's amazing transformation into Robin).

In this movie Batman's an old man and he's still grappling with the death of his parents. Every time this movie brought up his parents I was thinking 'Fuck, he's still not over that yet?' Real people experience similar tragic deaths and, whilst it'll always be part of their psyche, many find a certain level of peace that allows them to move on and be functional again. Someone with Bruce Wayne's intelligence would not take a life time to come to terms with what happened to his parents.

The Bat suit in Returns is clearly not body armor yet we're led to believe that Batman is fast enough to dodge bullets from multiple automatic weapons in several different stand offs against the police. Either that or the police have all the accuracy of Storm Troopers in every single Star Wars film.

In what world does the Mayor of a city get let into a room by himself with murderous mutant leader completely unsupervised? I hope there was an internal investigation into that stupidity.

The local Police are sufficiently useless and equally as incompetent in Returns as any you saw in all of Nolan's films. Just once can we have a police department in a Superhero film that wasn't trained by the Keystone Cops Academy.


Anyone who complains about Christian Bales Batman using a leg brace to fix his knee problem... it didn't go unnoticed by me that Miller's Batman constructs a similar arm brace so he can continue to be Batman. Neither is really a plot hole - I'm just saying, Bale's brace is probably a nod to Miller who used the idea first.


Whilst we're on the subject of cheesy plot devices used in The Dark Knight Rises... Nuclear bomb? Used in The Dark Knight Returns by Harvey Dent to hold the city to ransom.

Okay so not all that list is plot holes either but to say Dark Knight Returns is the best Batman movie you'll ever see is a little over the top when compared to Nolan's Trilogy. Both are great stories with plenty of interesting ideas and, I'll say again, Nolan's Trilogy probably would be very different without Miller's story to inform it.

Returns. Not the best Batman story ever though. I still like Nolan's take better and his Batman isn't really quite there as the Batman I'd like to see on screen.

Comments


Buy Gifts and Apparel featuring art by TET

Popular posts from this blog

Guest Post: MY SOOPER DOOPER NEW CONSERVATORY/ART STUDIO!

Jo's new Art Studio/Conservatory. Today's guest post is by Artist, Writer, and Mental Health Advocate, Jo B Creative who writes for her blog,  Creating My Oddessey . Y ou should see our (almost) brand new conservatory, half of which is my art studio. 'Lucky me!' I think to myself. Not every creative bod can boast that. It's HUGE! Like a giant greenhouse. We first moved to our pleasant cul-de-sac house - great for raising kids - when our son, who's on the cusp of thirty-one, was four. One of the main reasons that we wanted it was that, apart from its location on the fringes of a historic market town in rural Hampshire, UK, it had a sizable conservatory looking onto the back garden. It was brown wood framed and had a corrugated transparent roof sloping down from downstairs ceiling height. On the face of it, it doesn't sound that glamourous, but we loved the idea of a conservatory. Luxury! I even liked the red brick walls which it was built against -

Batman v Superman: Dawn of the Onesie #Sadbatman

Although we haven't seen it clearly for sure, film director Kevin Smith (who has seen a well lit, color photo of the suit), says Ben Affleck's Bat costume is pretty much identical to the Frank Miller, Dark Knight Returns suit. If that's true then Ben's world weary Batman will be going 'old school' and be wearing his underpants on the outside (as he should).

Course Review: YouTube for Bosses - Sunny Lenarduzzi. How to grow your YouTube Channel into a Business

YouTube for Bosses Free Mug...  or the most expensive mug  you'll ever buy? I've been subscribed to  Sunny Lenarduzzi's YouTube channel for a few years, learning a lot on how to grow a following on sites like YouTube and Instagram. If you have any interest in growing your own YouTube channel I'd highly recommend watching some of Sunny's videos on the subject.  Definitely explore her 2019 back catalogue for the most useful information. This year she's been on a bit of a 'being authentic' pivot that, personally, doesn't resonate all that much with me (but probably speaks volumes to anyone with similar experience). I'm not saying she shouldn't or isn't being authentic, it's just I didn't subscribe to hear stories about her life journey. To get back on track, Sunny runs a successful online business with her flagship course, YouTube for Bosses , a stand alone paid course that does act as something of a gateway to further paid (but opt

One Week on Light n' Easy #lightneasy

My partner, Enigma, and I recently decided to try Light n' Easy to replace all our daily meals in an effort to eat healthier (and not have to think at all about cooking evening meals). Enigma is about to embark on her third week of their full menu but I caved after one and opted just to get the dinners.

Book Review: Time Rich by Steve Glaveski

I remember listening to a podcast interview with Steve Glaveski where he talked about 'being in flow' and how artists and other creative people struggled with time management because they needed to be in the 'flow state' to do their most creative work. The 'flow state' is basically being on such a roll with whatever you're doing you don't want to stop just because your diary says you've scheduled something else for the next 30 minutes. I don't remember too much from the podcast but it really resonated with me so much that I immediately ordered a copy of Steve's second book, Time Rich - Do Your Best Work, Live Your Best Life  that he was promoting at the time. To cut straight to the bottom line, probably one of the most disappointing books I've read in quite a while. Which is not to say the content is bad, it's just the title and blurb information, in my opinion, completely misrepresents what the book is about. There is a strong sugges

Movie Review: Long Story Short (2021) *Very minor spoilers*

Written and directed by Australian actor, Josh Lawson, Long Story Short is a fun rom-com about putting things off until the 'right' time and maybe how that isn't a good strategy for life. Rafe Spall plays Teddy, a guy who has a reputation for putting things off, and waiting too long to act on important decisions like setting a wedding date to his fiance, Leanne (Zahra Newman). It's not that he's lazy or unmotivated, it's just that he likes to wait for the perfect time to act. One day while visiting his father's grave he meets a strange woman (Noni Hazlehurst) who promises to give him a gift on his wedding day. Teddy doesn't think too much of it but then, on his wedding day, he jumps forward a year in time, where Leanne is celebrating their one year wedding anniversary. Teddy barely has time to comprehend his predicament before he flashes forward to their two year anniversary. Long Story Short inevitably will be compared to the Bill Murray movie, Ground

Random Face Sketches to Robot Warrior Character Design

Future Soldier design by TET. Continuing on from my last post about the value of drawing without purpose , my latest video unintentionally demonstrates the point again. I set out to try and come up with something to draw for my next skateboarding/art video but didn't have any ideas in mind so I just started drawing faces. By the end of the session I had six very different faces drawn on a page in my sketch book.