The Dark Knight Rises

TheDarkKnightRises_Poster-1In 2005 Christopher Nolan shocked and awed us with his extraordinary vision of the genesis story of Bruce Wayne. A young boy whose parents were murdered in front of his eyes and grew up to become the vigilante crime fighter known as Batman. This was “Batman Begins.”

Many die-hard fans of the Batman franchise believed this was a fluke or a string of dumb luck much like “The Sixth Sense” has become for M. Night Shyamalan. Granted Nolan had already established himself as a very respectable filmmaker with movies like “The Prestige” and “Insomnia” but the idea of him taking on a comic book franchise to the big screen was not believed possible. Nolan’s response to that? “Send in the clowns.” Or one clown specifically…When word came of Nolan doing a sequel that would include the Joker, the fans and the world were salivating. When Heath Ledger was cast the Internet exploded with disapproval and mocks of Nolan’s casting choice. Boy did we have egg on our face after that one.  A posthumous Academy Award later, Ledger gave one of the greatest performances in motion picture history. Had he not passed, I’m positive that he would’ve been cast in this movie and been an intricate part in the plot of the third (and supposed final) installment of Nolan’s vision of the Batman world.

Eight years have passed since “The Dark Knight” and Gotham City is in a period of peace. Bruce Wayne is in hiding and hasn’t been seen since. It is believed that Batman killed Harvey Dent as Dent hasn’t been seen since, either. Dent leaves behind a legacy by means of a controversial law denying any and all convicted felons parole. Then for some reason, out of nowhere, some guy in a squid mouthguard arrives (lets call him Bane) in Gotham City with an army hellbent on destroying Gotham.

dark-knight-rises-HD-photo-catwomanThis compels Batman to come back once again and protect the people of Gotham. Meanwhile a cat burglar named Selina Kyle pops in and out wherever convenient to either help or screw over Batman upon his return. Then there’s a young detective named Blake who becomes Gordon’s right-hand man in helping Batman figure out how to stop Bane and his army from destroying Gotham.

Hold on, let me take a breath.

Here’s the skinny on “The Dark Knight Rises.” I know I’ll probably get a lot of backlash for this, but I didn’t like it. Yes it was wonderfully acted by all the primary (and secondary) characters, yes the action was abundant and brutal, and yes it had visual effects that blew me away. What’s my problem then with the movie? For one thing it had a lot of holes in the story that I won’t go into too much detail into because I don’t want to give away any spoilers. Bane’s voice was very difficult to understand. He sounded like he was talking underwater while having a porcupine in his mouth the whole time. Nolan’s creative decisions in the character design of Catwoman was a little bland and for Bane it was completely off from what the comic fans understand and know Bane to be like.

Christian-Bale-and-Tom-Hardy-in-The-Dark-Knight-RisesThis movie left me disappointed. I won’t go so far as to say the movie was awful because it wasn’t. This wasn’t anything like what I felt when I walked out of Tim Burton’s “Alice in Wonderland.” THAT SUCKED!! Okay here’s the best way I can describe it:

I have a great friend who after watching “The Dark Knight” said, “Heath Ledger sucked as ‘Joker.’ He just played an amazing psychotic with clown makeup on.” To that I say, “This was a visually-amazing movie with crazy special effects, great acting, and it’s share of cheesy-to-memorable one-liners, but it wasn’t a satisfying conclusion- to me- of the Batman trilogy.

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6 thoughts on “The Dark Knight Rises

  1. I think you need to watch it again. On first viewing I enjoyed it, but I know a second viewing is necessary to grasp the nuances and apparent plot holes. I’ve had this experience with a lot of high anticipation films, only to grasp what I thought was not present the second time around. It happened very recently with prometheus.

  2. I about to leave a response here, but it became massive. To be brief, I think it merits a second viewing before claiming too many plot holes and underdeveloped characters. Frankly, this is a problem I have with reviews in general! However, as always, I enjoy reading your reviews. I wish we could catch a flick together sometime and share ideas right afterwards, in that whirlwind of emotion that follows the release of anticipation.

    • I do have to watch it again, that’s true. I have always stated that I need to watch a film at least twice and maybe I was jumping the gun too soon. I’m not backpedaling on my opinion, but my state of mind has been quite compromised for two primary reasons: one is my total love of the Batman franchise (Nolan-made or not with the exception of the Jerry Bruckheimer abominations) and secondly, of course, in light of the tragedy of Aurora, Colorado. I’ll be honest that the first 20 minutes or so of the movie, I had that tragedy going on the back of my mind and that left me quite distracted.

      I forgot to mention on my review that the last 10 minutes of the movie was absolutely amazing. And I realized the heavy relation to Dickens’ “A Tale of Two Cities” foreshadowing the whole story, but again something for me was missing. Many of my friends have declared it’s the best of the 3, but I stand by my opinion that “The Dark Knight” was the best of the 3.

  3. How did I end up leaving 2 responses? Sorry about that!
    And if I HAVE TO choose a best, The Dark Knight wins; but I can’t with such a trilogy. Same goes for Star Wars 4-6.

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