The Dark Knight Rises

The Dark Knight Rises attempts to surpass the great expectations of its predecessor, which is silly—why attempt the nearly impossible?—but ultimately yields a fun yet less focused follow-up. Nolan approaches this film with what feels like a much broader stroke, attempting to do everything Bigger and Bolder: Bane's theatricality, the ever-expanding cast of characters (and relationship overlaps), the stakes for Gotham and Batman and everyone else involved tangentially. it tries to cover an incredible amount of ground, which feels fitting for a conclusion, but unfortunately results in a few too many plots and relationships left undercooked. it would've been nice to narrow in a little more, spending some more time developing tension between Batman and Catwoman, or even establishing clearer motivation for Bane (who, frankly, is a bit hard to take seriously... or rather, fear seriously).

but it doesn't totally derail itself. there are some emotionally resonated beats between Bruce and Alfred, in particular, and it does feel like Batman truly ~rises~ in the end, having been knocked down completely. even when it drags—and BOY! it fucking DRAGS after about an hour forty-five, with still an hour to go—it is gorgeous to look at. drool.emoji over and over for the Bat aerial craft, which? is it intentionally designed to look like Nite Owl II's Archie?? i will let myself believe it is

maybe The Dark Knight Rises is overambitious, but I admire its balls, its guts, its glory. the high drama makes this & The Dark Knight feel infinitely rewatchable, although I might be more inclined to rewatch the latter if nothing else than its runtime ;~)