The Dark Knight Rises (2012) Text Review

The Dark Knight Rises (2012) Text Review

The Dark Knight Rises (2012): Directed by Christopher Nolan; Starring Christian Bale, Tom Hardy, Anne Hathaway, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, and Morgan Freeman

And we come to the end of the line for the Nolan/Bale Batman films. It’s been eight years since the events of the previous movie, and crime is at an all-time low. The cover-up perpetuated by Batman (Bale) and Commissioner Gordon (Oldman) has succeeded, but not without a cost.

Bruce Wayne has retired as Batman, and gone into seclusion at the expense of his company and social life, and Gordon feels guilt over the setup. This is where an ominously masked, insane, hulking brute of a mercenary named Bane (Hardy) comes into the story, with a plan to destroy Gotham City.

After some speechifying from Alfred, Bruce puts the cape and cowl back on in an attempt to stop Bane’s plan, while at the same time, interacting with Selina Kyle (Hathaway), a clever thief who ends up helping Batman.

This is, to be frank, a rather simplified version of the plot, as there are many other subplots weaved in through the narrative: Bruce trying to keep his company afloat (after Bane hijacks the city stock exchange, wiping out pretty much everybody); the heroics of a young cop played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt; plus a few other strands that I won’t get into because they involve major spoilers.

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Ed Harris

A fan of less than great cinema since childhood, Ed divides his time between writing scripts, working an actual paying job and subjecting himself willingly to some of the worst films society has produced.

Tag: The Batman Films

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  • Cristiona

    165 minutes?  Good God.

    • StevePotter

      It’s not as big of a deal as it sounds.

      • Sofie Liv

        I did think the time went by faster with Avengers, but then again… that movie is half as long… and yet it still managed to get a cohesent story going with the large number of characters all having some-thing to do.. that’s really an accomplishment.

        But honestly, comparing Nolans Batman with the Avengers is sort like comparing apples with oranges, it’s just two very different movies.. heh, and it’s always funny reading other peoples reviews and compare it to my own.. I am one of the few thinking Catwomans function in the movie was perfectly clear, all through-out the movie she had one goal and one goal only.. To get out! To get out of her life, her routine and get a new life. And that represents… take a guess people. She is the person saying. “I want this, and do I get the chance I will take it, how come you wont?”
        Bruce firmly believed he could not have a life past Batman without Rachel, that without here, there is no life beyond the Batman and Gotham. Along comes Selina looking for a new life beyond Gotham, every step saying. “I want that life beyond Gotham.” and well… spoiler.. she was there so Bruce could hitch that train together with her. I thought that was all perfectly clear.

        And I did think that was a very interesting and new ankle to catwoman, that at this point she is a master at what she does, but she cannot do it for much longer without getting caught, she knows this, people around her knows this, she didn’t even really want it in the first place, and she wants out. That to me.. was interesting and one of the most interesting female leads in a super-hero movie I have seen.

        • StevePotter

          It did seem to go a lot faster than The Avengers. The second time I watched “The Avengers”, I felt like it three hours. The second time I watched “The Dark Knight Rises” it felt like 90 minutes. Maybe that has more to do with the fact that The Avengers was building up to everything and taking its time though. 

          Both movies kick all kinds of ass though, so I suppose it’s a moot point.

          • Sofie Liv

             Hm, well, I honestly could feel how damn long this movie was. To me it felt long. It was worth it ones we got to the end, but dang.. I always feel Nolans movies as being very long. That’s also why I view them as great events but not very good “relax and enjoy.” movies..

            And honestly.. when I came out from Nolans Batman, I had had my fill, I didn’t want to turn around and see it again. I had all-ready seen it, enjoyed, and I was just done.
            With Avengers my exact reaction when I came out was. “WOHO that was AWESOME! AGAIN!” and I genuinly wanted to me a u-turn to go back and watch it again.. I didn’t.. but I wanted to..

          • StevePotter

            I see your point, but I found this a lot better paced than Nolan’s other films. I mean, I love Inception, but I’ve only watched that movie twice in my entire life. The Dark Knight I’ve watched a little more, but not much. Batman Begins I rewatch more often, but it’s probably a lot shorter.

        • I agree with your points about Catwoman. She’s always been one of my favorite Batman characters, even in the Adam West version, so I was very excited when I found out that she was going to be in this movie. Ended up with my favorite version of her, hehe. Excellent movie, felt long, but frankly, I thought it feeling long added to the experience, considering–

          Well. MINOR SPOILER.

          How much time the movie covers.

          Excellent movie. The Batman trilogy has managed to have the best movie as the last, the second movie as the second-best, and the first movie as the worst (though considering the other two movies it’s being compared to, that’s not a bad rating.)

          Fun times! Kinda sad it’s over.

        • MIKE

          To an extent I agree with you about Catwomen’s goal in this movie, but what she does in the end while somewhat inevetable suggest something else driving her that I wish had been better explored.
          Don’t get me wrong. I love Catwomen as a charecter and I think Anne did a great job. She probably the only character in this trilogy who really consistanly straddles the line between hero and villian, which is big part of makes the character so great to begin with. She tells us several times that she “just wants to get out,” yet we clearly see her helping out this roommate who’s is most likely the streetwalker charecter Holly Robinson from the comics and she does help out a boy on the street. 
          Of all the villians in Batman’s rouge gallery, she really the one who’s closest in personality to Batman himself and the movie reflects this, but doesn’t really delve in to it. Like Bruce Wayne she’s really wearing two masks in this movie. She asks fraggle and naive to people who don’t know her, while acting aloof and indifferent to anyone those who now her reputation. She wants people to believe that “I only look out for myself,” but that really isn’t true. Selina may be willing to do things Bruce wouldn’t just to surive because she can and she may have no regard for high society, but she does have protective side that come across very well her. I’m sorry we didn’t get to see more of it.
          Still, (as you say) very interesting take on a familiar character not really seen before…it least in the live action versions.

    •  I know where you’re coming from, but seriously, the time flies by, just as when you were watching the Avengers.

  • StevePotter

    Bale was pretty easy to understand, with one exception. I’ve noticed that whenever Bale-as-Batman needs to find out where something or someone is, he just completely loses his mind and starts screaming.

    “WHEREISIT?!”

    • edharris1178

       Maybe Mr. Bale watched a bunch of episodes of 24 back to back.

  • Ed Harris?! I loved you in Apollo 13!

  • Sammy

    Well, I saw this today and was… underwhelmed.  Maybe it’s because I’ve been getting better at nitpicking Nolan the first time through.

    I’ll just say the story being told didn’t feel appropriate for the setting.  If they’d prepared it better at the beginning I think the movie would’ve been a lot stronger.

  • fearfanforever

    Well, I saw it on Sunday with my dad, and although I would still rank TDK above this one, I feel that this was the perfect way to conclude the trilogy.
    It’s impossible to truly discuss what I liked and didn’t like about the movie without spoilers, so here it goes.
    SPOILERS FOLLOW
    First off, I was impressed at how the film showed the negative effects of being Batman on Bruce Wayne.
    Take a look at professional boxers, football players, etc. After too many seasons, they need pain killers just to get out of bed.
    Now, take a look at Bruce Wayne, who goes through a hell of a lot more than those guys on a nightly basis. There are a few comics that deal with the fact that Batman can’t keep doing this forever, but on the whole it’s usually shunted to the side.
    As for Tom Hardy, I think he did an excellent job as Bane, and the film gave an excellent representation of his character, unlike the retarded gimp Batman & Robin gave us. Bane has always been a complex, intelligent, and brutal character, and it’s good that he finally got his due.
    As to the ending, there are some who have been overthinking it a-la Inception, but it helps if you just take it literally.
    Also, for those who overthink the ending of Inception, Nolan already came out in support of a theory that said no, it wasn’t part of the dream.
    So there.

  • Thomas Stockel

    I enjoyed the movie, just not as much as The Dark Knight.  I don’t want to give away any spoilers so just let me say that Nolan got me with what I thought was a neat plot twist and I always appreciate it when a director does that.  Oh, and I enjoyed a particular cameo as well.  As for Catwoman, I have read online how some people loved her, other people hated her.  Personally I liked Hathaway. I thought she was tough and sexy and it was nice to see Catwoman had her own story arc.  Nolan had a lot of characters to juggle here and I think he did a credible job.  If I have any complaint it is that there is not enough Michael Caine.

    • edharris1178

       I agree.  There is no such thing as too much Michael Caine.

  • Ricardo Cantoral

     TDK Rises was just as bloated
    and self important as the last Batman film. Once again, Nolan hammers
    in painfully obvious political and social themes topical for the time
    period and he just good not resist one more reminder of post 9/11 fears.
    Very tiresome BS but I hope that with the success for the film, more
    film makers will embrace IMAX instead of 3-D.