Review: The Dark Knight Rises

It has only been a few hours since I walked out of the local Hollywood Theater. The experiences may not have settled yet. This is the first movie I’ve seen in a theater since Rent in 2005. Was The Dark Knight Rises worth it? Hell yes.

The movie is awesome. Simply put. There are flaws, yes, but they are minor compared to what was achieved. And who wants a perfect movie anyway?

I’ll try to keep this spoiler free. Don’t know if I can though.

It has been eight years since Harvey Dent’s death (which climaxed The Dark Knight). Since then, Batman has disappeared and Bruce Wayne has become a recluse. All seems well in Gotham, save for a strong authoritarian streak that hardly seems plausible. Dent Act, really?

This peace is not to last as Bane comes to town. Bane’s assault on the city forces Bruce to break out of his seclusion and don the cape and cowl again. This leads to the film’s version of “the Breaking of the Bat” and the takeover of Gotham by Bane and his men.

The visuals are stunning. I mean damn, Gotham looks good. The action sequences are enthralling. Th emotions elicited by the destruction of Gotham are just powerful.

The cast is also excellent. Anne Hathaway owns the role of Selina Kyle. Tom Hardy is excellent as Bane. And Jason Gordon-Levitt is amazing. Christian Bale and Gary Oldman also do excellent jobs. My only issue is with Michael Caine’s Alfred. There was just something wrong with his scenes. I don’t quite know what it is, though.

The plot itself is great and well realized. Yes, it is too long, but I personally forgot the time while watching it. My only complaints about the plot are: the Dent Act, Bruce’s divorce from the world, the romance with Tate, and some aspects of the prison. Who was the old guy helping Bruce, anyway?

Now, some, myself included, wondered about the focus on the character of John Blake. Why is he getting so much attention? Well, spoiler alert, he is effectively Robin (obviously as that is his actual first name). Blake is, essentially, an amalgam of the first three Robins. He is a cop like Dick Grayson was (while living in Bludhaven), his family come from the wrong side of the law like Jason Todd, and he figures out who Batman is at a young age like Tim Drake.

In many ways, the character of John Blake opens up a (possible) avenue for further films set in this universe. Only Batman is now John Blake rather than the retired Bruce. Of course, in five years or less, the Batman film franchise is going to be rebooted. Why can’t they just Bond the damn comic book movie genre?

I also want to talk a bit about Elektra and Renard, oh, wait, wrong movie. Talia and Bane then. They have a good plan. Though why the obsession with destroying Gotham, I don’t know. It seems just keeping the city as an isolated city state works quite well. But then, the League of Shadows has a hard on for destroying decadent cities.

Now, why do I reference The World is Not Enough? Because, again spoiler alert, Talia and Bane are expies of Elektra and Renard. Bane is the main antagonist, but the false big bad. Meanwhile, Talia is the true mastermind of the scheme, seduces the hero, betrays him, and has issues with her father that fuel her schemes. Now, Talia is a far stronger villain than Elektra is. And Renard is nowhere near the awesomeness that Bane exudes. Talk about chaos. Oh yeah, and the attempted use of a nuclear weapon in their plans is a commonality as well.

Regardless of my quibbles, and they are quibbles, The Dark Knight Rises is one of the best movies I’ve ever seen. If you haven’t seen it, you should.

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Posted on July 21, 2012, in Movies and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.

  1. Neither villain feels pain, either. Not bane or renard.

  2. I realize you have to keep this short, but there is a HELLUVALOT more in common than just the surprise woman mastermind (both played by french actresses which is just random!) and an atomic bomb. there’s the russian connection. there’s the misuse of peaceful nuclear tech. there’s the hero being left to die in a pit. there’s the adversary turned lover/ally. there’s the sexual triangle between the two bad guys and the hero and that barely touch the obvious stuff… it’s a BIG list.

  3. As soon as Batman is stabbed I thought this is the plot of the World Is Not Enough. As soon as I got home I Googled and found your review. Alfred is Q, Gordon is M and Selina is Christmas Jones. Thanks for your review.

  4. The first movie in a theater in 7 years? I’d suggest going to see Beasts of the Southern Wild.

    • To be honest, I probably would not have gone to see the Dark Knight Rises, but my brother wanted to go and asked if I wanted to go, too. So I did.
      I can’t say as I’ve ever heard of Beasts of the Southern Wild.

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