Rewatched Jul 29, 2012
Tim Dodderidge’s review:
The Dark Knight Rises caps off the greatest superhero trilogy in movie history with one of the biggest, baddest, most extensive, explosive, in-your-face, edge-of-your-seat action flicks ever created.
With a history of superhero “threequels” flopping (Superman, Spider-Man, and even the original Batman “threequels” all basically sucked), Christopher Nolan jumps over the hump and raises the standards once again. And when I say “raises the standards,” he even manages to intensify his own reputation, and for a director who’s produced blockbuster films from Inception to The Dark Knight, that’s really saying something. The follow-up to the greatest superhero movie ever made, The Dark Knight Rises adds dynamics and strong character development to a series already swooning with depth, even if it isn’t quite as tantalizing as its predecessor.
For a movie that’s nearly three hours long, an extensive plot build-up really enhances the film. Many new characters are introduced, including Catwoman (Anne Hathaway), Officer Blake (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), Bane (Tom Hardy), and Miranda Tate (Marion Cotillard), and not to mention Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) faces his own struggles – he finds his money supply running dry, walks with a cane because of his injuries as Batman, while Batman himself is wanted for the death of Harvey Dent. And to add to all of that, Bane – the leader of “Gotham’s reckoning” who strives to bring “justice” back to the people – and his gang of evildoers have trapped all of Gotham’s police underground and are plotting to blow up the entire island and kill everyone in it. So you could say Batman has a pretty big predicament in his hands.
So, how do you think Nolan and the rest of the team go across in resolving the conflicts of the movie? In the loudest, largest, most epic way possible. The amount of dialogue in this film surpasses previous movies, but it really helps build from the film’s foundation up to sky-high limits. The action in The Dark Knight Rises is sensationally large. Football fields crumble beneath the feet of kick returners. Police chases through the streets of downtown Gotham City electrify the atmosphere. Fights between Batman and Bane are intense, violent, and coated with density. The film is controlled by a sense of vastness; the economic and sociopolitical elements of The Dark Knight Rises give a realness factor to it, making things more about the city and its people than just simply its guardian. The way that Nolan achieves such a grandiose vision of Gotham is breathtaking (and his portrayal of the town in wintertime is quite dazzling).
This movie has so much jam-packed into its 2:45 length that it’s almost too overwhelming. And that’s the only thing holding back this film. Apart from that, it’s incredible – and the cast has a lot to do with that. Not only was I impressed by the character of Bane (though the Joker is a better villain, Bane is stronger, faster, and seemingly impenetrable), but Hathaway takes the spotlight as Catwoman with a witty, slick, and stylish performance of her own. We get to see more of Bruce Wayne in this film, unveiling loads of details and elements of his character that weren’t uncovered in the first two movies. However, even if there’s more Wayne than Batman, the scenes with Batman count – and the last hour or so of the movie proves to be one of the most gut-wrenching, consummate extravanganzas I ever thought possible. The long build-up is worth the wait, trust me.
It may not be as groundbreaking (or even considerably, as stunning) as The Dark Knight, but The Dark Knight Rises is an intricate, satisfying, spectacular ending to the single greatest superhero series ever made. From start to finish, this trilogy has shown a style of Batman that many people never would have imagined, while depicting the comics in the darkest, deepest way possible. The finale to the saga continues in the vein of the first two movies, breaking boundaries and successfully compiling into a single film veritable slices of action, adventure, drama, struggle and strife, problems and persistence, and most of all, legendary heroics, that nobody ever thought was possible in a movie. In fully describing it, mind-blowing would be an understatement.