So this is my second viewing of The Dark Knight Rises, and while my opinion has not necessarily changed about it, but I feel like I’ve seen it from a different perspective.
Already having seen it, I knew the plot, the twist, the ending and all the stuff that I was really excited about seeing first time round. Because of this, all the amounts of exposition we get is even more unneeded, and takes a back seat, allowing me to focus much more on the performances, action sequences and little nuances of the plot I missed. And it’s still goddamn awesome.
The performances are better than I first thought. Bale really excels as Batman this time, Michael Caine gives an honestly beautiful performance, Gary Oldman adds more depth to Commissioner Gordon, and Anne Hathaway is actually fantastic as Selina Kyle, making her just as smart, sexy and unpredictable as she should be. But most of all, Tom Hardy steals the show as the hulking yet intelligent Bale. You honestly can’t compare Bane to Joker, they are both entirely different beasts. While the Joker and Batman are two parts of a whole (“You. Complete. Me”.), Bane is Batman’s physical match, and so much more. You completely believe that he is capable of breaking the Bat, making his entire plot to uproot Gotham all the more deadly and believable. Tom Hardy did all this with pretty much only his eyes and voice, and deserves all the praise he gets.
The action sequences really stood out for me this time. The first fight between Bane and Batman is brutal and heart-wrenching, as you watch with a silent score as Batman desperately tries to get even one punch to hurt Bane. My opinions on The Bat, which I previously thought was kind of stupid, changed after watching it weave and dodge through skyscrapers. The Wall St fight scene is absolutely epic, and really shows what Nolan is able to do with creative freedom and a shitload of money and extras.
Lastly, something I said I didn’t like last time was the final shot of Bruce and Selina surviving. While I still can’t quite grasp how he got out of a 6-mile radius of the Bat in 5 seconds, the moment is really touching and I totally get why it is shown now. It’s not just a cheat out of killing Batman, it’s how Bruce survived but managed to kill the Batman and solidify his message. It’s a happy ending that doesn’t have to be any Harry Potter ‘All Was Well’ crap. Also, hats off to Nolan for creating a trilogy focusing around a whole city’s fight on crime, and ending it in a way that really resonates the human story at the heart of it.
No matter what anyone says, this Batman Trilogy is MY Batman, and I’m so glad that all three movies have worked so well together and that this wasn’t a total fuck up. While all 3 movies clearly have flaws (HOW DOES BANE EAT), they work on such a large, epic, yet personal and human scale, with gripping storylines, amazing characters, and heart stopping moments, that I can still say I love this with all my heart.