The Dark Knight Rises – A review

It is weird to consider talking just about the movie considering the tragedy that occurred during a screening last night in Colorado.  I’m going to do just that, but specifying that in praising the film I in noway indemnify the actions of the gunman and I feel sympathy for the victims of the crime.

The movie is too long.  It has some stupendously silly moments.  The climactic battle between Bane and Batman doesn’t work – (although that isn’t the end of the long movie climax).  Bruce Wayne’s journey (character arc) is not great (although it has moments).

These are the flaws of the movie that I saw.  They are big flaws.  Some of the silly moments launched me right out of the movie and I have a high ability to suspend my disbelief.

But I really enjoyed this movie.  Enjoyed is a good word.  It is a dark show, but the lightest of the Batmans in the trilogy.  Oddly many of the scenes occur during the daylight.

Anne Hathaway and Joseph Gordon-Levitt were the highlights of the movie.  Hathaway played Selina Kyle and captivated during her time onscreen.  Her early scenes are the best during which she is able to verbally fence with Wayne.  The later scenes don’t allow for as much leeway since the demands of the action had to be met, but the reward was the vision of Hathaway in the Catwoman costume.  Some guys behind me made some admiring comments when it first appeared.  Comments I thought were crass, but still very true.

Gordon-Levitt is the centre of the movie.  While not a critical standout role, he touches on every character and scene.  He likely also has the most satisfying character arc in the piece.

It is almost impossible to talk about the plot without spoilers.  Here is the setup.  It is 8 years since the end of the Dark Knight.  Gotham is peaceful.  Bruce Wayne is a recluse – tormented by the deaths of Harvey Dent and Rachel Dawes.  Batman has retired.  But under the peaceful city, Bane is acting and assembling an army with a new nefarious plan to plague Gotham.

Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman get good bits in their roles of Alfred and Fox.  Thomas Hardy as Bane has a menacing physicality that works, but the voice acting must almost be called bizarre.  It isn’t ineffective, but it is a jarring non-sequitur.  Gary Oldman has a lot to do as Commissioner Gordon, but you’ve seen him do these things in the previous movies.  Marion Cotillard is the final main cast member .  Her role as Miranda Tate is largely underwritten.

But it is a superhero movie.  A Batman movie.  The action is stupendous.  The Batman gadgets are just nifty.  And the suspense continues through the whole picture.  The movie certainly lags a bit during moments of its 2 hour 44 minute running time, but I always felt on the edge of my seat.

There are fights, explosions, chases, heroics and villainy.  The plot behind the show is mostly solid.  The silly moments undercut it unfortunately and sometimes you think you spot plot holes.  But most of those are on purpose.  The is no performance to equal Heath Ledger’s Joker, but the movie doesn’t need it.

The final act of the trilogy is builds on the previous movies.  Going back and rewatching Batman Begins in particular will prove rewarding.

I really liked this movie.

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One thought on “The Dark Knight Rises – A review

  1. Suellen says:

    I too enjoyed the movie. Anne Hathaway had a lot to live up to in the cat suit. Personally, I think she pulled it off and made it her own. Joseph Gordon-Levitt was definately the best in this movie but I loved Tom Hardy’s Bane.

    The problem with Tom Hardy was he followed Heath Ledger. I loved, LOVED the accent and way of speaking but then I also know that that is how Irish Gypsies speak. Watch Brad Pitt in “Snatch” and you’ll see what I mean.

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