Monday, July 23, 2012

When Hollywood Produces Poor Strategy

Spoilers below as I ponder Dark Knight Rises:

Robert Farley does a nice job of addressing some of the poor strategery we see in The Dark Knight Rises, but I have a few additional points to make.  [Also see this review]

What is it with Hollywood's obsession with frontal assaults?  In Avatar, the genius military guy who helps the native folks fight the invaders designs a war plan that uses a frontal assault against heavy weapons.  Good job!

In DKR, Batman and the police engage in a frontal assault against Bane's men in the big battle at the end of the movie.  So, after using the Bat-copter to take out the assault vehicles, Batman lands the copter to engage in fisticuffs, but those fisticuffs happen only after the police charge into the automatic weapons fire of Bane's army.  Why does Batman not use the copter to take out the bad guys?  No guns?  Really?  Surely, there was some Bat-technology that could have made it easier for the cops to approach the bad guys--Bat smoke-screen?  Bat sonic weapon?  Bat distraction squirrel?  Something.

Then there is the question of why Batman is participating in this.  Priority #1 is the nuke device, so why spend time fighting mano a mano when blocking the signal is the first priority and getting the device to the sea is the second.

The comparison between Batman's tactics and that of Captain America is stark.  The chill scene where Iron Man asks Captain to make the call and allot his assets to best address the huge numbers of invading space hordes displays a pretty good bit of tactics.  Batman?  Not so much.  Cap would never have so quickly tossed aside air superiority that the Bat copter presented.

That goes to the fighting styles in this one as well--Bane and Batman were both schooled by ninja types, but their fights are pretty similar to a heavyweight boxing match or UFC fight.  No real cleverness, no real technique.

Speaking of poor adaptation, Bane has the nuke moving around in a shell game of three trucks?   Only three? On predictable routes?  How is this at all smart?  As Farley points out, if you bomb a nuclear bomb, it is not going to explode, so the best response would have been three smart bombs to land at the same time.  Not too hard.  There was enough city to hide a bomb better than the three truck shell game.  Oy.

I guess it is for dramatic effect, but I think this is just poor imagination.  You can have a plan that involves cleverness and is still pretty dramatic.  No need to march into machine gun fire.  I am now reading John Scalzi's Redshirts which often has the Narrative to compel action and actors regardless of logic, biology or physics.  Perhaps that is the case here as well.

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