The Dark Knight Rises ★★★

Here's my review.


As these superheroes assemble, fans will lean forward in anticipation, waiting to see the heroics commence. But those who have been thinking about the series’ central questions may feel increasing misgivings about the minds and methods of the characters who are supposed to be “sympathetic.”

I’m not saying the film is required to present a perfect hero; frankly, I prefer stories — including superhero stories — that give us complicated characters. It doesn’t bother me that the characters are mixed up, but if the film seems to condone their ethical compromises, or revels in their recklessness and abuses of power, that’s something else. The Dark Knight Rises becomes so muddled, even as its speechifying heroes and villains rant about power and fear, that my enjoyment of the movie’s highs was eventually eclipsed by my frustration (and ultimately exhaustion) with its relentless cacophony, violence, and redundancy. The movie seems to think it arrives at a kind of closure, but I’m at a loss as to what that closure means beyond this: With the world in the state it’s in, we’d better hope for heroes with big hearts and even bigger guns.

And if you’re bold enough to look for beauty, grace, or reasons to wonder why anybody bothers to live in Gotham at all… well, good luck with that.

Jeffrey liked this review