Comic Book Movie Review – The Dark Knight Rises

And so we have come to the end of Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy.  The big question facing everyone coming into this movie is would it be as good as The Dark Knight?  The short answer is not really.  But that’s not the same as saying it is not a good movie.  The fact is, The Dark Knight Rises is still a good, enjoyable movie.  The fact that it is not as good as The Dark Knight is not a real slight against this movie.  The fact that it isn’t the greatest comic book movie of all time isn’t anything to be disappointed about.  The rest of my thoughts will be below the break.  I promise to keep spoilers to a minimum.

The Dark Knight Rises

Directed by Christopher Nolan

Written by Jonathan Nolan, Christopher Nolan, David S. Goyer

Starring
Christian Bale as Batman/Bruce Wayne
Tom Hardy as Bane
Anne Hathaway as Selina Kyle
Joseph Gordon-Levitt as John Blake
Gary Oldman as Commissioner Gordon
Marion Cotillard as Miranda Tate
Morgan Freeman as Lucius Fox
Michael Caine as Alfred Pennyworth

While avoiding any plot details to avoid any spoilers, lets talk about the new additions to the cast.  A big question entering this movie was Bane’s voice.  Would people be able to understand what he was saying.  I’ll say that I had no problem understanding what he was saying, and actually, that was a bit of a problem.  It was apparent to me that they enhanced the sound for his lines so that people could understand him.  The problem with this is that a lot of his dialogue felt disconnected from the person.  Eventually, I got used to it, and Tom Hardy does as much as he can with body language and eyes, but there’s only so much you can do.  And also, how would Anne Hathaway be as Catwoman?  Overall, pretty good.  Realistically, I’m not sure Selina Kyle (don’t think she actually gets called Catwoman) is needed in this film, but with Hathaway’s performance, I wouldn’t cut her out.  The final two important newcomers are Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Marion Cotillard playing GCPD member John Blake and Wayne Enterprises board member Miranda Tate, respectively.  Both give fine performances, and are able to carve out a place in the movie amongst the returning cast members.

All of the returning cast continue to give the performances that they have given in the previous movies.  Although, it did seem that Bale may have toned down his Batman voice from where it was in The Dark Knight.  Morgan Freeman’s presence has been increased from the previous films, but that is mostly due to the Wayne Enterprises board of directors playing a large role in the story.  Opposite of that, we see less of Michael Caine as Alfred.  Granted, when he is on screen, he provides a large portion of the emotion for the film.

I will give you a bit advice about the story.  There will come a time when Bane sets up Plan A, but the viewers will know that Bane has a Plan B that is on a timetable.  So, you may be tempted to ask yourself why bother with Plan A at all, if you have Plan B sitting there.  Well, it’s actually quite simple if you think about it.  The villains have a goal in mind.  They really would like for Plan A to get them to that goal.  But they are only willing to wait so long to achieve that goal.  Thus, Plan B is there.  And like any despot, you shouldn’t take what Bane says at face value.

Overall, The Dark Knight Rises is pretty good.  There are a lot of story bits taken from Batman stories that longtime Batman fans will recognize, and possibly be able to predict.  However that bit of predictability does not make the journey any less enjoyable.  And if you haven’t read a lot of Batman comics, then you really won’t know what is coming next.  And in the end, it nicely ties up the The Dark Knight trilogy of Christopher Nolan.

I highly recommend that you see this movie.

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3 comments

  1. Tom Hardy/Bane was awesome. A definite standout for me. For that reason I was really disappointed when they *Spoiler alert* retconned him into someone else’s henchman.

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    1. I don’t believe “henchman” is accurate. “Partner in bringing about someone else’s vision?” Sure. But “henchman” really understates his role.

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      1. It’s not wholly accurate (I meant to type “glorified henchman”), but I definitely felt the rug was pulled a bit to fiercely out from under Bane’s character at that point. I also can’t think of a better way to dispose of a lowly henchman than a quick shot from the guns on Batman’s motorcycle so that Catwoman can deliver a pithy line of comedic dialogue.

        I did really enjoy the movie, but that was my only gripe–likely because they did such a great job establishing Bane as a complex, charismatic and frightening villain up to that point.

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