The Dark Knight Rises, the third instalment in Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy opened to much fanfare and critical acclaim across the world last month. Now I’ve never understood how perfectly reasonable, fully grown men can be so fascinated with other men in masks and body suits, but hey, we all have our flaws. Personally, I have a thing for women in masks and body suits. So I think to myself, right, I should probably check this out. Which I promptly do.
Am I alone in thinking Mr. Nolan & Co completely ripped off an Archie comic in writing this movie? The story is set eight years after The Dark Knight, and the once crime-ridden city of Gotham is now in a state of Riverdale-like peace and tranquillity. We have Batman, channelling Archie Andrews, getting himself into all sorts of trouble by falling for the wrong girl, Miranda Tate. Miranda of course is a billionaire psychopath, much like Veronica, and has decided to put her considerable good looks and money to good use by annihilating Gotham. Then there’s Selina Kyle, the sporty girl-next-door who we just know would be so right for Batman, much like Betty for Archie.
I could go on and on. Bane, for all his League of Shadows infamy, is really just Big Moose with a marginally better vocabulary. Lucius Fox, played by Morgan Freeman with no small amount of self-mockery, is oddly reminiscent of Professor Flutesnoot and his lab experiments. But the clincher, for me, was Alfred, Bruce Wayne’s butler and confidante. I had to punch myself in the throat to keep from laughing out loud when kindly old Alfred tells Bruce he kept looking across his usual table at a restaurant in Florence where he was holidaying, hoping to see him there, wifey in tow. I mean, holy smokes, Alfred! This is Batman we’re talking about- crusader of justice, terrified of winged mammals. It’s the kind of thing only moms are allowed to say. You just know Archie’s mom would say the same thing if he were pushing forty, living at home and sporting a faux-bohemian goatee. Yes Alfred, you old romantic, we’ll always have Florence.