Review of The Dark Knight Rises (2012)

26 Jul

The Dark Knight Rises is an action/sci-fi/drama film, the sequel to The Dark Knight and conclusion to the trilogy of films based on DC Comics character Batman.

Directed by Christopher Nolan (The Dark Knight (2008), Batman Begins (2005)).

Written by Jonathan Nolan (The Prestige (2006), Person of Interest (2011 TV)), Christopher Nolan (Following (1998), Inception (2010)) and David S. Goyer (Death Warrant (1990), Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance (2011)).

Starring: Christian Bale, Gary Oldman, Tom Hardy, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Anna Hathaway, Marion Cotillard, Morgan Freeman, Michael Cane and others.

It’s hard to review a movie like this, I have no idea where to start. Not only is it an almost 3-hour movie, with a lot going on, it’s also an adaptation of more than 70 years of various interpretations of a character in comics and the last movie in a largely succesful trilogy of movies, probably the most anticipated movie of the last 4 years for the general movie-going public. I’m not going to go over all of this, because in the end of the day I’m just another geek who went to see the latest Batman flick. The reason why I bring up this is because how in hell can a movie like this not be overhyped and not disappoint in some ways.

I’ll start at the beginning of the movie, we see three guys with bags on their heads get taken to a plane, one of the guys is buff as shit, who could that be? That’s Bane! He is the main villain of the movie. The voice is really bad, it’s way too loud, I get that it’s hard to understand him through the mask, but cranking his voice way louder than everyone else’s is not the answer. I took me like half the movie to get used to it. Other than that Tom Hardy was great, him being so huge and those eyes just make him really intimidating and his sort of delivery of lines make him menacing, although at times he feels a bit cheesy, like a Bond-villain. There’s one of my favourite scenes in the movie, where this guy says “I’m in charge!” and Bane lightly places his hand on the guy’s shoulder and asks him “Do you feel in charge?”. Most of the people in the theater laughed, but it was like an uncomfortable laugh, a laugh to hide that you just shat your pants a little bit. Figuratively.

This movie is set 8 years after The Dark Knight and Batman has retired and Bruce Wayne just walks around the house with a cane. Speaking of canes, Michael Cane, who is perfect as Alfred, at some point just leaves the Wayne Manor and we don’t see him until the end, not that he needed to be there, I just would have loved to see him more. Catwoman steals a necklace from Wayne Manor and so she meets Bruce Wayne. I really liked Anne Hathaway as Catwoman, there were multiple times where she did something and I thought “That’s so Selina Kyle!”, I was hesitant about her before the movie and still think there were better suited actresses for the role, but Hathaway did good.

Christian Bale was as always great, this time the movie focused more on Bruce Wayne and his inability to move on. His Batman voice sounded better, but when you have Bane speaking like Sean Connery through Darth Vader’s helmet and Batman barking like a chain-smoker with laryngitis, it becomes slightly comedic. They improved the Bat-suit, so all those who thought his previous one was less a costume and more a motorcyclist’s armor, this time it looks very much like a superhero suit and I don’t know what did they do to his cowl, but it looks a lot better. Though, I still find it hard to accept that every time before putting on the mask Bruce puts on black make-up circles around his eyes.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt is really good as this idealistic police officer, but there’s this weird nod to Batman fans, which actually would piss-off Batman fans and is more of a nod to people with only a general knowledge of Batman. But what they decide to do with the character in the end is pretty cool and there would be an awesome way to play it into the planned Batman reboot, but probably they’ll just recon everything.

The movie is messy at times, there’s a part, where supposedly a couple of months pass, yet it feels like only a week or so, they could have expanded that a bit, I wouldn’t have minded if the movie was like 200 minutes. It starts really slowly, even though a lot is happening, we get so much thrown at us, you kind of lose interest, but then at like 40 minutes in, it finally kicks in and the next 2 hours I was really into what was happening. The tone was kind of inconsistent, I realise they wanted to go all out with this one, but it seemed to shift from the realistic view to some straight out The Avengers cheese. I didn’t mind, I like it, because, if we’re following these people who wear costumes, it means there must be some theatrics involved.

Overall, I enjoyed this movie a lot. I’d say I liked it less than The Dark Knight, but more than Batman Begins. It has heavy flaws, but it was also entertaining as a superhero movie and moving as a character study of Bruce Wayne. If you didn’t like the previous two, this won’t convert you into a fan, but if you did, I don’t see why you wouldn’t enjoy it. Recommended.

“Master Wayne, why don’t you get a leg-brace and stop using a cane?”
“Dump the cane, huh? I’ll do that, Michael.”
“…Fuck you, Bale. How’s that Robin Hood-look going for you?”
“Touche.”

2 Responses to “Review of The Dark Knight Rises (2012)”

  1. Logan Krum Movie Reviews July 26, 2012 at 7:12 pm #

    Glad to see I’m not the only one who had trouble coming up with how to review this movie! Ha.
    I completely agree with this review. Loved Hathaway and Levitt.

    • karlails July 26, 2012 at 9:32 pm #

      Yes, it is a bit overwhelming to review it and there’s not much that hasn’t been covered in million other reviews on the internet. So there’s no point in doing much more than stating wether you liked it or not and why.

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