Heh. I mean, you could definitely edit a 7/10 movie out of TDKR. It wouldn’t even be particularly hard. But it’s pretty much a 3/10, with the only points it scores being for a strong performance from Hardy (despite ridiculous mask) and a lot of good visual stuff. It’s just a profoundly unenjoyable movie. Alms is saying it’s a thinking man’s Batman but I really found myself just thinking about how very bad it was whilst watching it, rather than it introducing any clever ideas or anything. It was like listening to some ultra-middle-class maximum bourgeois public schoolboy, who literally never had an original thought in his life, articulate his theory of how the world works, which is really not what you need in a Batman movie. A thoughtful Batman movie might engage with the issues surrounding is vigilantism, or with how he’s never actually able to achieve anything (not just how he’s getting old), or how this is a billionaire dressing up as a bat to largely beat down poor people (something it almost touched on, but then decided to shy away from, because it clearly saw it didn’t fit with the ethos is way.
If you’re only interested in claiming I’m wrong (and not interested in anything I’m right about) because I’m “inaccurate” (as someone who watched the movie when it came out, rather than watching over and over, I’d expect some level of inaccuracy, and I’m not interested in nit-picking stuff), then yeah, it is pointless to discuss it. If you’re interested in engaging with the demonstrable and well-discussed issues around it basically being a paen to wealthy people (oh won’t somebody think of the rich people?!) and cops which appeared to be a reaction to the nascent Occupy movement, and didn’t want to engage on any of the many social issues insisted on unnecessarily bringing up, then maybe.
That’s one of my major issues here. They keep, over and over, in TDKR, bringing up stuff that would interrogate the virtue of Batman, of Gotham, of the military-industrial complex that Wayne Industries is a keen participant in, of poverty and wealth and possibly even American interventionism/interference (I may be misremembering the last bit), and even seems to want to interrogate the notion of vigilantism a bit. But it just keeps either shying away, or giving this completely cowardly non-answer where it’s like “Oh well maybe but TERRORISTS!!! STOP THINKING! TERRORISTS!!!”.
The trouble is, this is indistinguishable from the classic fanboy reaction.
I’m not saying you are one, note, let’s be clear on that. But that’s exactly what extreme fans of movies, irrational fans, say in the defence of those movies. It’s not something I’ve heard once or twice or whatever, but hundreds, perhaps thousands of times. “You just don’t understand it!”. And occasionally it’s even true - sometimes works are misunderstood! But usually they’re not misunderstood, or it’s a Death of the Author situation, where both interpretations have some validity. You often have the author making a film, declaring it’s about this, and rejecting analyses which say it’s about that, but when you watch the film, your overwhelming reaction may be that it is indeed about that. That the final product is not a good match for what the author intended.
And every interpretation of any movie which is less than a massive essay is going to inevitably “focus on some elements whilst ignoring others” (including extremely positive ones). So that strikes me as more defensive statement than a strong or effective response to such criticism. Further, an element may not “fully support” an interpretation for any number of reasons, and does not necessarily contradict criticism. Looking at books and movies, I can see a lot of times, where the book/movie has a strong central thrust, or a serious problematic issue, but at some point in there, they contradict that - often very briefly or in a minor way. Not to bring up Rowling, but as I recall, she once claimed Harry Potter is not a “chosen one” story. And I’m sure in at least a couple of places, she attempted to make it not a “chosen one” story. But it is, as a matter of really fact, a “chosen one” story by any conventional definition. Or indeed we could look at Lord of the Rings - the famous criticism is “Epic Pooh”, which as a reaction to what’s on the page, has a ton of validity. But if you read Tolkien’s letters, he says a lot of stuff which kind of puts different spins on LotR. Yet is that in the books, even in the appendices? Nope it sure isn’t.
Do we say it’s not one thing that it strongly appears to be because the author said it wasn’t? I don’t think so.
And there is a level, which is perhaps how you see it, on which TDKR may be merely be entirely naive, or even not naive, but in fact the writer thinks he has certain bounds set on him which I would argue he does not, but he may believe he does. Where Nolan thinks he went as far as he could with stuff, where maybe he only touches on these things because he thinks they’re just fun to raise and leave hanging. But stuff like the bizarre courtroom scenes really undermine that interpretation in a very serious way for me. It feels very like he wants to portray any rising up against inequality as basically the French Revolution (1789). And god the rock-hard hard-on for the police is just bizarre. It’s something not shared by the comic-book, in general, where Batman often deals with corrupt or incompetent cops, or has to do their job for them. But again it fits in with certain approach.
And it’s fair to say this isn’t the only Nolan film which has a fairly solid centre-right (definitely not far-right, note, very centre) spin on its politics and ideas. Interstellar has this totally bizarre and hard-to-explain deal, where it’s set in a future period where climate change might be destroying the Earth and making it uninhabitable, and you initially would think it is, but in fact climate change has been replaced by a nice politically safe fungus which just does the exact same things as climate change, except it’s not man-made and nothing could be done about (or everything had failed). It’s mind-boggling.