The Dark Knight Rises (2012)

Our review of the concluding chapter in director Christopher Nolan’s Bat-trilogy. What began as an unassuming, relatively-inoffensive “prequel” ends in a massive, sprawling, epic re-telling of A Tale of Two Cities…but with Batman. And Catwoman. And Bane. It’s awesome.

13 thoughts on “The Dark Knight Rises (2012)”

  1. I felt Dark Knight Rises was better than Dark Knight, though I can see why some would disagree. Rises is an emotionally draining movie and far more concerned with telling a powerful story than with being “fun”. Bane was an extremely compelling villain and I love how his theme music (or would you call it a sound effect?) was worked into the plot.

  2. It’s refreshing to see such a positive review of the movie. I’ve got my complaints but I expect they’ll fade with time. RISES does a good job of finishing the story that BEGINS started. That’s gold right there.

    1. Daniel: At this point all three of them have achieved a decent level of homeostasis and I really can see why people would prefer one over the other two. Begins is still the tightest origin story we’ve had in the last decade. Dark Knight is the first Standard Batman Adventure (and I don’t mean that pejoratively at all) to make it all the way through the Hollywood grist mill unscathed by neon, stunt casting, or self-conscious pseudo-camp. Rises is the first good second sequel a superhero movie’s had since…um….yeah…maybe forever (as in forever-forever, not Batman Forever…obviously).

      Ingersoll‘s right: that is gold. It’s also a Prestige-level magic trick, which I certainly didn’t expect. I still await the day when Live Action Bane can use an actual Spanish accent (his cartoon counterparts have enjoyed the privilege since 1993) but Hardy won me over with his eyebrows and his “Of course!”

  3. I just got back from TDK Rises and I was seriously under whelmed. More explosions, more bloated self importance, and more obvious social and political commentary. Nolan continued not to understand Batman or comic book movies. Now that he’s gone, I hope someone can repair the damage.

    1. I didn’t see very much of the two Christian Bale films, and frankly, what I did see sort of left me a little disappointed (Heath Ledger’s excellence excluded, natch). The Tim Burton films, I thought, treated Batman the way they really should be treated: with a certain balance of seriousness and humor. Unfortunately, it seems like every superhero has to have some dark past or something these days. I shudder to think what Hollywood would do if someone pitched bringing The Greatest American Hero to the big screen.

      (In the interest of full disclosure, I should add that my first exposure to the Caped Crusader was syndicated repeats of the TV series. Yes, I’m that old.)

      1. Michael: That’s not old, so long as you’re young at heart. And while I’m as sick as anyone of studios treating Batman Begins as a mold and insist on hammering every superhero they own into it (see also, The Amazing Spider-Man…when it gets to video…if you really have to…) I maintain an appreciation for it and its sequels due to their actually being about Batman, rather than stunt-cast villains and/or ugly production design.

        Ricardo: You’re reboot is already in the works and might get here sooner rather than later, depending on how Man of Steel does. Be careful what you wish for.

        1. I admit it is just wishful thinking. DC has pretty much set in stone it’s tone for these movies and I don’t think we’ll see a real “comic book” Batman for sometime. As for the early films, I really think Tim Burton got Batman to a tee despite the fact that the films themselves are a bit of a mess. Hell, I much rather see Burton’s Batman and Catwoman go off into the sunset instead of Nolan’s Vigilante man and Femme Fatale woman.

          1. So which “real” “comic book” Batman are we talking about here? Bob Kane’s? Bill Finger’s? Julius Schwartz’s? Denny O’Neil’s? Early Frank Miller’s? Steve Englehart’s? Alan Moore’s? Alan Grant’s? Doug Moench’s? Jeph Loeb’s? Chuck Dixon’s? Paul Dini’s? Brian Augustyn’s? Ed Brubaker’s? Grant Morrison’s? As long as it’s not Latter Day Frank Miller’s “Goddamn Batman.” Then there might be some difficulty.

            1. I wasn’t thinking about who’s Batman but more like a film that isn’t ashamed to be colorful in nature. I don’t care if a filmmaker follows the comic book character or not just as long as he adds something instead of taking away just to make things “realistic”.

  4. I felt the movie was bloated, contained one too many plot twists (you know which one I mean I suspect), and really took on too much at once (there was more than enough room for two films). I also felt the movie didn’t flow naturally from the second movie’s ending, basically retconning the events of Harvey Dent’s death to Batman’s retirement as opposed to his new role as a vigilante on the run. The injuries Bruce suffered were also central to the early plot, came out of nowhere, and then were as quickly discarded. It didn’t help that I felt Bane and his partner’s plan didn’t flow as naturally from the characters as established either. I get revenge for Ra’s Al Ghul but the suicidal nature of it didn’t really strike me as appropriate and all the populism being a smokescreen was weird too.

    Oh well.

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