I had an odd experience with this movie. The first time, I only watched about the last forty minutes of it. I very much enjoyed what I saw. A bleak, morose, oddly humorous atmosphere, top-tier action scenes, and effective characterization. The second time, though, I had the opportunity to watch from start to finish, and at this juncture I was disappointed. It took me a bit to realize why, but then it became obvious. Who the heck is this Bruce Wayne guy, and why am I supposed to care about him? Don't get me wrong- I love Batman, but here he has no character arc. He watches stuff happen every so often, then he punches things. The punching things part is great, by the way, but it's something any action movie hero can do. This is Batman. I expect a little more than that out of him. Whenever I see him on screen here, I just get bored waiting for one of the more interesting characters to show up. The movie was just a lot better when I came in two thirds of the way through guessing what had happened so far. This movie has a very long exposition, a very long finale, and a comparatively brief period where roughly a dozen important plot related events happen so quickly that it just gave me a bad Fridge Logic headache. The eighty minutes I imagined this movie started out with turned out to be a lot better than the ones they actually filmed. Here's what would have been better- just take Batman out of the movie altogether. Render his narrative roles to Catwoman. That would have given us a lot more time to focus on the remaining characters, and it would have given us a much more satisfying denouement. Batman manages to foil all the evil schemes in this movie through "jamming signals", which for all practical purposes is a Deus Ex Machina. He becomes a Boring Invincible Hero whose only real motivation is "be a good guy". Catwoman, by contrast, isn't invincible at all, and probably could have at least gotten some decent dramatic tension, not to mention the Character Development necessary for her to fulfill Batman's narrative roles while still keeping her own. Admittedly, this makes it not really a Batman movie anymore, but let's face it. Out of every character in this movie, his arc is without a doubt the weakest. My recommendation? Do it like I did the first time and only watch the last forty minutes. You're not missing much.
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