Just a few.
I sit here in the dark of my room, having just come home from the midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises. A film that was four years in the making, but some would say is seven. Ever since Batman Begins, we’ve been waiting to see where Chris Nolan would take Batman. Tonight, if you saw the film, you now know.
I’m not going to go into a full review. That would be pointless, but there are going to be some spoilerish notes to this, so if you do not wish to be ruined, stop right here.
The Dark Knight Rises is not a perfect film. It is however, a good film. Due to the Dark Knight, and the level of intensity that film delivered, everyone is going into this final Nolan chapter expecting the cinematic equivalent of the second coming. DKR is not that. It is however, a decent end to a film series that, unlike the comic books, sought to ask the question: What happens when Bruce Wayne is done being Batman. A bold question to ask, and something that the comics have toyed with. But, due to their nature, we will NEVER see that day. Batman is almost immortal in that aspect. People will continue to tell his story till the last proton fades from existance. He’s a rich and beloved character. That’s why I liked where The Dark Knight Rises went.
There was a moment in the first Dark Knight where everyone thought Gordon was dead. A turning point that was saying that Nolan wasn’t going to adhere to the continuity of the comics. These are his films, and these are his Batman stories. It’s his world he’s crafted and by god, he’ll tell you who lives and who dies. That’s something I think a LOT of people should understand going into this film.
Now, I said I liked the film a lot, but it’s not with out it’s problems. There’s a hell of a lot going on, and the film is trying to wrap up 2 movies worth of storyline. Unresolved issues with the league of shadows. Bruce’s life after he took the fall for Harvey Dent. Adding characters like Bane and Joseph Gordon Levit’s John Blake and Catwoman, only added fuel to this fire. They all play vital roles in this final outing and some of the story suffers because of it.
Nearly 3 hours long, there were character moments that looked like they were sacrificed in order to finish the story. Batman and Catwoman, a true romance, was never given proper time to build. I was always skeptical of Anne Hathaway as Catwoman, but after seeing the film, I think she pulled off the character perfectly. How she was used, is another thing. Bruce’s relationship with Miranda Tate was somewhat forced in the small time they had before the main arc of Bane started. A revelation made about the character wasn’t so much a surprise when it finally happened as it should of been. Which, I’ll say this, there are more swerves in this film than a hillside road. But they seem to work.
Bane is handled better than most incarnations of the man than I’ve seen in a while. The animated series will always be the definition for me, but I liked the rogue mercenary Bane. Cunning, and clearly a physical match for Batman, Tom Hardy I think did a fantastic job with the character. Just sorry to see no Venom though.
Wrapping things up: The Dark Knight Rises is not as good as The Dark Knight. It’s as good as Batman Begins, perhaps a tad bit better, but it’s defiantly on par with the first film. Mostly due to the story and villain. I honestly don’t think there is anyway to follow up The Joker that Heath Ledger portrayed. But the Joker is a theme park of a villain, that has many aspects that all work great. Any of Batman’s other rogues would pale in comparison. Bane was a very good, logical choice that worked for the story that was being told: The end of Batman.
But if you know the character, there is no END to Batman. As we’ve been told over and over again, he’s a symbol, and The Dark Knight Rises proved the point that a symbol can go on.