Dark Knight Rises - A review based on seeing it 4 times - SPOILERS

Dark Knight Rises - A review based on seeing it 4 times - SPOILERS

I wrote a fairly positive review of this film when it first came out. Having seen it 3 more times since then, I feel more qualified to discuss it in a new review.

To sum up my previous review, I said I liked the film based on it not being a "Batman" film. There were many things I liked and despite hating the look and many other aspects of "Bane", I felt very positive about the movie.

I wasn't sure how I felt about the ending. I was pretty sure the whole thing of Alfred seeing Bruce and Selina was his imagination. Seeing the movie again, I noticed (not so subtle) clues to show it was really them. And I hated the Robin thing. Even more so each other time I saw it. Why? Because Batman is grooming him to become the next Batman - not Robin. This is one of many times in the film where something is completely made impotent.

The moment Talia is revealed, Bane becomes a puppet. He loses his personality, presence and whatever threat he previously posed. (This one is for you, Tea.) At the climax, he suddenly becomes horribly impotent and the moment is killed.
And Talia... she's completely pointless. Her death ranks among the worst death scenes ever in film history. In my opinion. Each time I saw it, I winced and cringed even more.
And then there's Bruce himself. For 8 years he gave up being Batman because Rachel died and he feels bad about it, and of course what happened with Harvey. Garbage. This part of the film I have so much trouble with. Even if this isn't "really" a Batman film, the idea is annoying. It's not Batman.

Others have complained about the various plot holes and inconsistencies. I don't want to retread on what they've said. I will say that despite myself, I got caught up in the hype of the film and it blinded me to little things that I didn't realize were bothering me even during that first time I watched it.

One thing I must mention. It's just so... NOT Batman. Somehow, over the 8 year hibernation, Bruce lost his ability to do anything more than throw punches. His fights with Bane are decent, but Batman isn't just a brawler. Worse, in the first fight he punches Bane in the mask exclusively. In the second fight, one well-placed elbow and Bane's mask is damaged.
A few things.
1. Punching a guy in his metal mask. Genius.
2. The mask is invincible in the first fight. Easily damaged in the second. Okay...
3. Wouldn't punching the mask dislodge it, even slightly?

Catwoman. I liked her at first. Maybe it was a hormone thing. But in repeated viewings, I found her to be kind of useless. What did she add to the movie? Would the movie have been the same without her? I think so. She added some charm, perhaps. But nothing memorable. Nothing that the film NEEDED. I'm all for chicks in spandex. But next time, just give her a movie of her own.

I won't comment on Bruce recovering from a terrible back injury. I get that they had to put the back breaking in the film, but it wasn't done right here. I think it would have been cool if Batman came back broken and weary from the injury - using technology to put him "back in the game". Instead, he heals completely from all past wounds and returns to Gotham despite being broke and on the other side of the planet.

The movie is not bad. I'm reacting to all the undeserved praise it's getting. You can't compare it to Avengers. It's like comparing Citizen Kane to American Reunion. One is meant to be enjoyable. The other is a long journey about a fallen hero who rises. This is not the best of the series by far. I would personally rank it as the weakest of the bunch.

I would give this movie a 3/5. It's too long. It's pretentious. There are too many inconsistencies. Those 99 issues with the film that someone else posted about? I agree with most of them. This is not a 5/5 film. Not even close.

It's the end of this trilogy. I'm glad it's over. I hope the reboot will be done properly and that Batman will actually be in it.

I have to say this. Michael Keaton's Batman would bitch-slap Bale's Batman just for his 8 years of crying.
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Filed Under "Batman: The Dark Knight Rises" 8/6/2012 Source: Personal Opinion
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DEADP0000L - 8/6/2012, 10:28 AM
comics read them..
DEADP0000L - 8/6/2012, 10:29 AM
the dark knight returns is mostly this movie mixed with knightfall and no mens land
DEADP0000L - 8/6/2012, 10:29 AM
DEADP0000L - 8/6/2012, 10:29 AM
and 1st and 2ed and 3rd and 4th
Frogman - 8/6/2012, 10:38 AM
I'm reading The Dark Knight Returns at the moment and I've read Knightfall, I've not read No Man's Land but Mr Crowley is right,The Dark Knight Rises draws strongly from those comics/stories.
MisterJay - 8/6/2012, 10:38 AM
totally agree ! i need a batman movie...not incepction with leather and weir voices...
MrReese - 8/6/2012, 10:44 AM
Great trilogy no matter how u put it.It was the weaker of the bunch I agree there & with Talia. Saw 4 times 2 & I enjoyed it 4 what it was,an ending.As 4 the Robin thing I didn't mind it simply because we will never c him don the suit.
masterhater - 8/6/2012, 11:01 AM
I LOVE this review. Completely agree!
Frogman - 8/6/2012, 11:04 AM
@Vegakingblade It's Nolan's take on Batman... just like Earth One is a different take on Batman or Batman: The Animated Series is a different take or Batman or Young Justice is a different take on Batman, or The Batman is a different take on Batman. They're all different interpretations. Just because it isn't identical to the comics doesn't mean it's a bad Batman film it's just a different take on the character.
dashiel - 8/6/2012, 11:32 AM
One thing I simply don’t understand is people complaining about Bruce retiring. It happens *all* the time in the comics including bloody Knightfall and The Dark Knight Returns which this film borrows heavily from. Bruce even hands over the mantle to Dick. Just like the comic books Warner Bros. will bring Batman back, I doubt very much it will be in Nolan’s continuity, but then what it Batman cannon? Golden Age or Silver Age? Pre-Crisis or Post-Crisis? There is no Batman, just a rough idea that various creators take a crack at to tell the story they want. He gets killed, he retires, he gets retconned and merged with other versions, there’s Earth 1 and Earth Prime versions of Batman, there’s Elseworlds, there’s the Miller Batman Universe, there’s the Dini/Timm world and Adam West’s Batman and Burton and the 1940’s serials and - well too many others to count. Everyone is entitled to their opinion and which Batman is true to them, but when talking about a character that spans 70 years and thousands of creators the statement “it’s NOT Batman” is quite simply false.
GoILL - 8/6/2012, 11:47 AM
@Frogman and dashiel thank you maybe now all the people bitching about how the "real" Batman wouldn't quit will stop whining after reading what you guys wrote.
Frogman - 8/6/2012, 12:01 PM
@GoILL hopefully but I doubt it!
Sabconth - 8/6/2012, 12:24 PM
Bruce once retired as Batman completely when he picks up a gun and nearly uses it.

That's how the Batman Beyond universe comes into being, with Batman no longer active.

If that was put into a film I can't imagine the hissy fit some of you would have over that reason for his quitting.

My only problem with Rises was how Batman kills the driver and to a lesser extent Talia at the end with the Bat.

But it seems this has a basis in the comics too:

dashiel - 8/6/2012, 12:46 PM
After seeing it a second time I came away more impressed. The way the Nolans & Goyer were able to craft such a lovely story over three films, seeds of which planted in the very earliest moments of the first film that don’t pay off until the final act of the the third. The utterly brilliant use of the Lazarus Pit metaphorically, and again paying off set-up from the first film. I absolutely loved Nolan having the balls to give us a finite story arc for this evergreen character and to not kill him off, to give Bruce peace, to finally allow him to “get up” after he fell (i.e. taking the blame/feeling guilty for his parents’ death). The fact that fanboys are up in arms to me speaks volumes over just how bold a move it was to have a happy ending.

It’s not a perfect movie, the first act needed another 5-10 minutes, there were too many expository scenes and Nolan’s “Rube Goldberg” plot-structures have always been problematic, but I’ve been a Batman fan for 30+ years and BB/TDK/TDKR is definitely up there with my favorite Bat stories.
Frogman - 8/6/2012, 1:16 PM
@Vegakingblade: It isn't the comics... it's the Nolanverse, and equally valid take on Batman from a different creative mind.
deanwilkins - 8/6/2012, 1:30 PM
Batman would not retire because his girlfriend was killed. No matter how much you guys try to justify it, that would never happen.
And that didn't ruin the movie for me. It's something I really didn't like.
DocSpectrum - 8/6/2012, 1:57 PM
I think a lot of people are missing the whole point of the Robin reveal. In many ways John Blake was Nolan's take on Robin for the entire film. I never thought Nolan could make Robin work in his universe, but if you take a look at everything the character does throughout the movie, it's quite Robin-like:

Robin represents the youthful optimism that Gordon and Batman had in the first two films.
Robin is a former orphan that figures out Bruce is Batman and urges him to comeback.
Robin stops Catwoman from fleeing Gotham after leaving Batman for dead with Bane.
Robin teams up with Gordon when Batman vanishes for 5 months.
Robin learns about why you wear a mask and the importance of being a symbol from Batman.
Robin eventually moves on to become Bruce's successor.

Sure, they could have named him Tim Drake or Dick Grayson if they really wanted to nail this point home, but I feel like they avoided this so they wouldn't have to deal with fan expectations of how Robin should be handled, which would have been distracting. I know none of he former Robins have been beat cops or MCU detectives, but I feel like this was Nolan's take on the sidekick role. I also think Joseph Gordon Levitt is awesome casting for Robin in a Nolan film.
BizarroGrif - 8/6/2012, 2:38 PM
@vegakingblade - it is like the Godfather. The third of that trilogy is best forgotten too.

I kid. I'm sorry, I'm still working through some of the pain. I was promised so much...

dashiel - 8/6/2012, 2:43 PM
@Vegakingblade @deanwilkins Batman: The Animated Series is widely considered one of the best interpretations of Batman and in Mask of Phantasm Bruce was going to retire even before taking up the cowl and marry his college sweetheart Andrea, they were engaged and only the intervention of the mob prevented him from retiring. Stating Batman would never [fill in the blank] shows a very limited knowledge and narrow view of the character.

More than that though, he didn’t retire because of Rachel, or at least not just because of Rachel. For one thing Batman continuing a fight against crime would contradict the necessary lie that Batman was the villain. Batman had to disappear to maintain that lie. More than that though in the Nolan-verse Bruce’s fight was always against the mob, we never see him take on street thugs or random crime. It’s actually a key component to TDKR, Bruce’s hubris is believing the elimination of organized crime was fulfilling his mission to save Gotham – this isn’t conjecture this is stated explicitly in TDKR and implied heavily in TDK and BB. In TDKR Bruce learns it takes a lot more to save Gotham than removing the mob, Gotham had to want to save itself.

So a challenge for those saying “Batman wouldn’t [fill in the blank]” please define the canonical Batman?
Frogman - 8/6/2012, 3:01 PM
Earth-1 Batman never even trained in fighting properly (some tutoring from Alfred, who wasn't actually a family butler, just acted as one once Thomas and Martha [whose maiden name was Arkham on that Earth] died). He falls from rooftops, his gadgets don't work until Lucius Fox fixes them for him.

My point is, the Nolanverse is a different universe, the Nolanverse version of Batman retired when Rachel died and he had to cover for Two-Face's crimes. DC has a multiverse, Batman is different in each one.
TheBatman50k - 8/6/2012, 8:18 PM
I usually dont respond to comments on reviews BUT I will this time mainly because people's complaints seem to be kind of just well...how to put it.....stupid. First this isnt the comics this is Nolan's take on a character that has been around for over 70 years. Meaning he can do what he wants to the character as long as he sticks to the overall look and theme of Batman. Look meaning some kind of black bat looking armor. Second in this universe Batman has very good reasons to retire for one he was never going to be Batman forever (no pun intended), in Batman Begins he wanted to fight the mob and organized crime not petty thiefs and robbers. with the unintentional help of the Joker and Harvey Dent AND then with the Dent Act organized crime was taken down. But Batman had to disappear 1) because he wasnt needed anymore and 2) because he couldnt keep going. That is why he retired for 8 years.
Preston - 8/6/2012, 8:44 PM

You are right. As any true fan of the comic knows, Bruce is the mask and Batman is the reality. Bruce died the minute that his parents were gunned down in-front of him.

He would have never given up his obsession (his fiber of being); especially not after a year and a half. We are expected to believe that he would hangup the cape and cowl, and limp around the mansion like a hermit/cripple in his mid-thirties for 7-8 years.

Here is the Skinny: Movies have moved into the psychological realm; therefore, Nolan/Goyer sissified Batman in order to make him more appealing to a wider audience. They did the same with James Bond. James Bond was a misogynistic pig that slept with hot women and killed bad guys while making it look easy. Now, he cries over Bond girls (see: Vesper Lynn) and gets his balls bashed in by bad guys. Bruce they turned him into a love sick puppy with issues brought on by being an orphan (according to Blake), but not in the cracked/sadistic/borderline insane way that we see in Frank Miller's work (or even in the Burton-verse).

Here is the main difference:
In the Batmobile: The Nolan-verse Batman frantically screams, "Rachael, Racheal" while the Burton-verse Batman knocks out Vicki Vale and takes her film.

In the Nolan-verse Batman gets his butt kicked in by a midget with a gas masks that sounds like Dr. Evil, and he spends almost a month out of commission. In the Burton-verse, Batman crashes a plane, gets out beaten and tattered with only one thought "I'm going to capture/kill that SOB even if i have to do it with every organ in my body shutting down from internal bleeding/hemorrhaging." And, Limping, he climbs stairs, and beats up goons, but he never gives up! The [frick]er isn't a quitter.

Now, getting back to the Nolan/Goyer problem that our heroes have to be psychologically driven, they are going to a$$ rape Superman like they did Batman. They are going to turn him into an emotional little b*tch. He is going to spend 3/4th of the movie trying to figure out who he is, and crying about stuff like, "why do I have to be different", etc.

The difference between the fan bases is that Marvelites will call directors out on their crap (they told Sam Raimi that his Goblin looked like a Power Ranger, Iron Man 2 was a let down, etc.,) while nolanites (like zombies) bend over and take it in the arse.

Now Marvel Studios make movies fun. They use an adequate (aka: minimal) amount of psychology, but they don't bog the stories down with it (and sissify their characters), and they give true fans of all ages an awesome movie.

TheIlluminati - 8/6/2012, 10:05 PM
He would bitch slap him hahahahaha thats funny!!!
batfan175 - 8/7/2012, 1:18 AM
yeah....you didn't get the film.
dashiel - 8/7/2012, 6:39 AM
@Wormwood so … you don’t like Nolan/Goyer’s “psychologically driven” characters, but start off by saying “Bruce died the moment his parents were killed” you do realize that the entire motivation for Batman is psychologically.

Again you don’t have to like Nolan’s version. It might not be the way you like Batman portrayed, but it’s not wrong. The assertions Batman wouldn’t retire are akin to saying I don’t like green tomatoes because tomatoes are supposed to be red.

BTW, using Casino Royale as an supporting evidence does not help your cause. In the novel Bond does fall in love with Vesper Lynd (not Lynn), he is tortured and indeed in the novel was broken; he decides to retire because the torture was so bad.

Preston - 8/7/2012, 8:08 AM

I'm not going to go in circles with you. We are just going to have to agree to disagree. I'm not going after Nolan, but the rising trend in movies to sissify and censor everything that is Masculine in an Alpha-Male.

The psychological aspects don't have to be the central theme in the movie. We are watching a superhero flick not The English Patient.

I mentioned Bond because he has been feminized (in film) into a sissified version of his former self (with the Daniel Craig reboot); the same with Batman. Keaton's Batman (tormented, sadistic, and borderline insane) would slap the bitch out of Bale's Batman (emotional, depressed, and looking for answers); the same could be said for Sean Connery's Bond (alpha male) – he would smack the crap out of Craig's bond (beta male).

In short (what I was trying to say is that ...), they have stripped the masculinity away from our heroes on screen. They have turned them into sad emotional train-wrecks looking for answers in order to pluck at the heart strings of moviegoers (specifically women). And, the trend will continue with Superman.

At least, we have Marvel Studios that allows their heroes to be heroic, masculine, and unapologetic. Male heroes on screen shouldn't have to apologize for their masculinity or be castrated for it. We don't have to catch glimpses of their feminine side leave that crap for chick flicks.
dashiel - 8/7/2012, 9:26 AM
@Wormwood - I rather think you are missing the point. Everyone is entitled to an opinion and it needs no justification. Had critics said “I don’t like that Batman retired after one year” that’s an opinion. Saying “Batman would never retire” is an assertion and one not backed up by over 70 years of Batman mythology. Same with Bond, he wasn’t emasculated by the film makers, it was Ian Fleming in the novel – though I should say I think it’s rather sad you equate mourning the loss of someone you love with emasculation.
Coldblood6 - 8/8/2012, 6:52 AM
The movie is thematically uninspiring (who really wants to see arthritic-Batman vs mini-Bane???), intelligence insulting (super-chiropracter push heals broken back, etc., etc., ad nauseum), and ridiculously stupid (the oldest cliche of the defeated hero put somewhere supposedly unescapable and not watched while the villain bomb countdown proceeds --> hero escapes and arrives just in time to stop the villains plan is taken to preposterously absurd levels where the countdown is 5 months in order to give Batman time to heal from a broken back......)

Really people. Acknowledge that this movie is UTTER GARBAGE and try and regain some credibility.

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