Batman: The Dark Knight Rises is the third film in Nolan’s trilogy and we banded together to review it for you. There may be spoilers ahead, so keep that in mind as you read!
I went into TDKR with very low expectations as I’m not the biggest Nolan fan and I felt the prior two movies left much to be desired. As more and more was leaked from Warner Brothers itself as movie production progressed, I felt my excitement at seeing this last installment wane further, especially with the release of Catwoman’s outfit. Within the first ten minutes of seeing TDKR, I felt my apprehension disappear completely and my doubts about Anne Hathaway’s portrayal of Selina Kyle vanished completely. Redemption is the prevalent theme here and Bruce is just one of many characters seeking a clean start. The story itself was mainly cohesive, but I felt that many plot points were easily deduced as the movie bore on, be that because of the extensive amount of rumors surrounding the movie or just for being a big ole Batman geek.
Christian Bale seems to have gotten the memo and toned down his hilarious, gravelly Batman voice considerably and even through in the random line for comic relief, a much needed device among the gloom. Anne Hathaway was phenomenal as Selina Kyle, master cat thief, and she is equally sexy and formidable. Marion Cotillard was kind of bland as “Miranda Tate” and I thought Tom Hardy was fantastic as Bane…until he shed fucking tears. Michael Caine reduced me to tears each time he was on-screen and as always Morgan Freeman and Gary Oldman were fantastic in their roles as Lucius Fox and Commissioner Gordon respectively. Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s character was the one I’d been waiting to see and his earnest portrayal of a cop turned detective seeking justice was fantastic.
Hans Zimmer again sets the perfect score and I won’t lie, I hummed Bane’s theme most of the way home.
Overall, it was the best in the trilogy and left one feeling complete. There was one line in Detective “John” Blake’s last scenes that pissed me off (mainly because it was so cheesy and unnecessarily brought down a strong scene) but those last frames were wonderful. I’d give TDKR 4/5 stars.
The Dark Knight Rises finished off the trilogy with style, but not the sort of style found in The Dark Knight. The Dark Knight Rises deals with the depths of Bruce Wayne’s psyche, but not in the relative terms the Batman Begins did. The stakes have been raised and instead of rising to a crescendo, TDKR strikes a heavy chord from the get go and carries it through until the very end.
For music buffs you will hear Hans Zimmer’s wonderful take on Bane’s theme echo throughout the ENTIRE movie. From beginning to end there is almost no moment without a version of the Bane chant, whether percussive or full on chant, reverberating throughout the darkly lit scenes. This makes the moments when there is just silence all the more effective, to the point I got chills at times.
People worried that Anne Hathaway wouldn’t deliver as Catwoman, and need to shut up and go see the movie. She delivers along with the rest of the cast. Tom Hardy as Bane feels evil. There’s a moment in the dark when Batman attempts to use the darkness against Bane…. And the bubbling rage Bane keeps beneath his strange demeanor bursts forth.
All and all, TDKR completes the trilogy with the same technical competence and intense visuals we have come to expect from Christopher Nolan, but this time the story feels like it elevates to greater heights. Few trilogies feel fully realized from start to finish (The Matrix, The new SW movies, Mission Impossible), but this has been a successful run and stands up there with some of the best (Toy Story, Mad Max, Evil Dead, and the Dollars Trilogy).
I love, and have loved, the Nolan Treatment of The Batman. I think it is true, gritty and has a great appeal to draw people in. The Dark Knight Rises is absolutely a testament to this.
I think, also, that Christian Bale has evolved into his role as Bruce Wayne incredibly well and aged the character perfectly.
When you first see him as young, upstart Bruce in “Begins” he is rash, too quick, almost too intense in his desire to achieve his end goals and bring justice.
In TDKR, if you pay attention, the fight scenes are not as fast, not as lightening movement like as three films ago. Which I believe is perfect. Bruce has aged, physically in a harsh way (Bruce, you have no cartilage in your knees) and has aged mentally.
His movements in TDKR are heavy. They are almost “Old Man Muscle” heavy. You can feel that each punch is an effort for him, that he feels each impact more and that they mean more.
I like Anne Hathaway as Catwoman. She is classy, which to me, exudes more sex appeal for that character than anything. You see very little of her skin at all in the movie, which makes her even better in the role.
Michael Caine. Need I say more? Caine, as Alfred, will forevermore be one of my favorite movie characters. Ever. You make Alfred cry? I will cry. I did.
Morgan Freeman, you are right there with Caine. I love how funny-old-fellow Freeman makes Fox.
Joseph Gordon Levitt is also another supporting character that really moved the movie along. A great side story, a well executed character and just the right amount of youthful inflection that a serious film needs.
Now Bane. My only qualm with Bane was the voice. To me, although I liked the way it sounded, I felt it was too aristocratic, too elocution lessons for the character. I feel that a character from such a dark place should not sound practical. He sounded too much like a professor. Also, someone answer this me, if that thing is on his face all the time, how does Bane eat?
However, Tom Hardy, my hat is off to you for an amazing performance. At the end there, at the “moment of realization” my heart broke for you and your sad, twisted back story.
I loved it. I want to see it again and again.
I know I’m going to catch some major flak for this, but I’m going to say it anyway.
I wasn’t impressed.
The first two installations of the Nolan trilogy were great. They had a realistic theme as they removed the fantastical and supernatural from the Batman story. However, even while doing this they managed to stay true to one of the crucial elements of Batman. That being, Bruce Wayne is Batman, not the other way around. When his parents were brutally gunned down before him, Bruce broke. It was the beginning of The Batman, Gotham’s one true Dark Knight. What Nolan has managed to do in this final installment is bring an end to his tale. Not Batman’s. The action scenes were great, and some of the acting was truly spectacular, but as the film progressed I felt less like I was watching Batman, and more like I was simply watching a Nolan superhero film where the main character dresses as a bat.
Not to spoil the movie, but there are things Bruce does that go against the very character of Batman…not to mention the inconsistencies, such as Bruce being a decrepit cripple from his injuries in The Dark Knight…but not only healing from a broken back in 5 months….but coming back better. I just…it wasn’t my Batman film.