Josh Wilding Reviews: THE DARK KNIGHT RISES

Josh Wilding Reviews: THE DARK KNIGHT RISES

Well, Marvel's The Avengers held the title of "The Best Comic Book Movie Ever" for as long as it could! Hit the jump to read my spoiler-free and in-depth verdict of Christopher Nolan's epic masterpiece to his Batman trilogy; The Dark Knight Rises.

In Batman Begins, Ra's Al Ghul told Bruce Wayne that he would have to become more than just a man in order to become something else entirely; a legend. In that same vein, Christopher Nolan's epic finale to his Batman saga is more than just a film. It's a pulse-pounding experience like no other, and not only the best comic book movie to date, but one of the greatest blockbusters to ever grace the big screen. Quite possibly Nolan's best film to date, it's as emotional as it is complex and action packed. In fact, The Dark Knight Rises is flawless in nearly every respect. The story features so many brilliant twists and turns, it's hard to sum it up in a just a few lines, but suffice to say that it is a journey which will keep you thoroughly engrossed for the entire two hour and forty four minute running time.

Introducing a lot of new characters rarely works for any sequel (see: Iron Man 2, Spider-Man 3 and X-Men: The Last Stand) but Nolan encounters no such problems with making the likes of Bane, John Blake, Miranda Tate, Selina Kyle, and the rest all feel like they truly belong in this world and essential to the story being told. As the film enters it third act, there are a few sure to be controversial reveals and twists which may not sit well with hardcore fans. However, given the conext of the universe created by Christopher Nolan, they all work perfectly. If you go into The Dark Knight Rises expecting a brainless blockbuster, you'll get very little out of it. It's a film which demands your attention and is sure to only get better and better on repeat viewings.

In terms of performances, this is without a doubt Christian Bale's best turn as Bruce Wayne/Batman. He goes through many stages during the course of The Dark Knight Rises, and Batman has never felt as real and as human as he does in this instalment. This time, Bruce and Batman don't feel quite so separate - Bale's performance truly shines through. Tom Hardy's Bane may not quite be up there with Heath Ledger's Joker, but they're so very different that comparisons between the two are unnecessary and unfair. The fact is, he is perfect in this role and what he does with his eyes alone is incredible. There are perhaps only a few lines in the movie which can't be made out, but the voice REALLY works and makes him all the more terrifying a bad guy. Anne Hathaway also transforms herself, quite literally at an early point in the film, as Selina Kyle. She is teriffic and the beautiful actress steals almost every scene she appears in, making Catwoman (who is never referred to by that name, despite a cute hint early on) a fully fleshed out and relatable character.

Joseph Gordon Levitt's John Blake is another major addition to the cast and the actor again proves that he is one of the best talents in Hollywood. Considering that he is yet another new character in an already packed out cast, full credit goes to him for making Blake stand out (although like everyone else, his part is extremely well-written. Marion Cotillard isn't quite so well fleshed out when we first meet her, although the Miranda Tate character (and her actions) are sure to be one of the biggest talking points in years to come. It all works out regardless and the actress is a pleasure to watch. Juno Temple (Holly Robinson) and Matthew Modine (Deputy Commissioner Foley) also impress. Returning actors Morgan Freeman (Lucius Fox), Gary Oldman (Commissioner Jim Gordon) and Michael Caine (Alfred) all deliver the quality performances we've come to expect, with the latter two deliver a wonderful level of emotion and heart to proceedings. It's incredible just what a wealth of talent there is in The Dark Knight Rises. Even actors with the most minor of roles are recognisable faces (keep an eye out for stars of everything from The Wire to Prison Break, Torchwood and Supernatural) giving this an air of quality that few films can compete with.

Batman Begins and The Dark Knight were both flawed in terms of action, but there's no doubting that this is Nolan's best. The various chase sequences are awe-inspiring - 'The Bat' is a truly magnificent sight to behold - and will leave you sitting there with your jaw on the floor. Truly amazing stuff. Batman's first battle with Bane drops the score and is violent, brutal and quite frankly a frightening sight to behold. Bane is an imposing villain and this is emphasised with how he overpowers everyone around him; the Caped Crusader in particular. A fight which takes place later on in the film (on the steps of City Hall) is equally as impressive. An entire review could be devoted to discussing the set pieces and fight sequences - Selina Kyle moves exactly as you would hope and imagine - but all you really need to know is that The Dark Knight Rises is a spectacle like no other. The special effects are also flawless, but kudos to Nolan for clearly keeping as much of the film as practical as possible. The magnificent story and action is all punctuated by Hans Zimmer's incredible score, and he too outdoes himself here.

In terms of flaws, it really is hard to find any. The Dark Knight Rises occasionally relies on the viewer having a good knowledge of the past two instalments a little too much, but that's to be expected from a third part of a trilogy. There are a few moments which may upset hardcore comic book fans, but it would be foolish to allow that to affect your enjoyment of the film as they all work so utterly perfectly and there are so many others to appreciate. Batman Begins was a great origin story and The Dark Knight was a near-perfect sequel which didn't get anywhere near as much awards recognition as it should have. However, The Dark Knight Rises delivers on being the epic conclusion we were promised and should result in Nolan nabbing his first Academy Award. It will make you laugh, have you close to tears and punching the air with sheer joy and excitement. Marvel's The Avengers held the "Best Comic Book Movie Ever" crown for as long as it could. The Dark Knight Rises has set a new benchmark for the genre and blockbusters as a whole. Wow.

There aren't enough adjectives in existence to fully describe what an amazing film The Dark Knight Rises is. A satisfying and emotional conclusion to a trilogy which will go down in history as one of the best ever. This is Christopher Nolan's crowning achievement and the perfect Batman film.

Read my review of Batman Begins by clicking HERE.
Read my review of The Dark Knight by clicking HERE.

Warner Bros. Pictures’ and Legendary Pictures’ "The Dark Knight Rises" is the epic conclusion to filmmaker Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy. The screenplay is written by Christopher Nolan and Jonathan Nolan, story by Christopher Nolan & David S. Goyer. The film is produced by Emma Thomas, Christopher Nolan and Charles Roven, who previously teamed on “Batman Begins” and the record-breaking blockbuster "The Dark Knight." The executive producers are Benjamin Melniker, Michael E. Uslan, Kevin De La Noy and Thomas Tull, with Jordan Goldberg serving as co-producer. The film is based upon characters appearing in comic books published by DC Comics. Batman was created by Bob Kane.


Christian Bale as Bruce Wayne/Batman
Michael Caine as Alfred
Gary Oldman as Commissioner Jim Gordon
Morgan Freeman as Lucius Fox
Tom Hardy as Bane
Anne Hathaway as Selina Kyle/Catwoman
Joseph Gordon-Levitt as John Blake
Marion Cotillard as Miranda Tate
Josh Pence as Ra's Al Ghul

RELEASE DATE: July 20th, 2012

Posted By:
Josh Wilding
Member Since 3/13/2009
Filed Under "Batman" 7/20/2012
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Fogs - 7/20/2012, 12:35 PM

Great review as usual, Josh!
gmoney0505 - 7/20/2012, 12:37 PM
Good movie. It has flaws. Avengers never held the top CBM. That is still TDK and TDKR does not surpass it to me. Still TDKR is better than 99% of CBM that has been made.

It has some of the best action scenes for a realism CBM to hit the screen Was really satisfied with the fight scenes and the way they were shot this time around.
MrYurMomm - 7/20/2012, 12:37 PM
But its okay in a way, this is Batman's THIRD FILM, of course its gonna be better than a FIRST TIME EVER MOVIE, pinche pendejo, but besides that, i am VERY much looking forward to TDKR

P.S. dont be an asshole an change your shit mate, there is literally no need for Avengers to be mentioned in a Batman article, your just adding fuel to the stupid flame, TAKE IT OFF. It's little things like that that make people nuts! Anyways, i hope you consider my advice
Emanuel14 - 7/20/2012, 12:37 PM
meh, ok
FilmsFan - 7/20/2012, 12:38 PM
Just going into theatre to see TDKR!!

I already know it's the Best!
Nolan delivers... Always!!
SmellofDuty - 7/20/2012, 12:39 PM
I loved it sooo much! It was a definite 10/10. Great ending btw!
Havensent - 7/20/2012, 12:39 PM
Good review, even though I highly disagree with some it.

It doesn't deserve a 5 star rating being one. I don't know what you gave TDK or Begins (if you even reviewed Begins) but both are better than TDKR.

And finally, this was good, but it's not replacing the Avengers as best ever. TDK is much closer to that than this.

As I said, good review, though I feel you're wearing the "Caught in the Moment" glasses right now.
Minotauro - 7/20/2012, 12:40 PM
Damn josh. Alot of the top CBMers giving it 5 stars is amazing. Makes me more excited even in these difficult moments.
REDSTORM - 7/20/2012, 12:43 PM
I would agree with Josh. I liked TDKR more than BB and TDK, but even then I prefer BB a bit over TDK so to each his/her own.
Nubase - 7/20/2012, 12:44 PM
good review, l'm watching it on imax here in the uk on sunday but l've got texts from my friends who have just seen it calling the best ever movie and they are not cbm fans.
Jaywing - 7/20/2012, 12:45 PM
I agree. TDKR is my favorite CBM... And I don't understand why people keep citing all these 'flaws' when the avengers had so many. Both still great films...But gotta judge every movie equally.
SHHH - 7/20/2012, 12:46 PM
Good Review...

FANBOY2012 - 7/20/2012, 12:46 PM
Comeon..dont be a punk.. This movie is awsm.. but there are flaws..u cant ignore them.. nolan is just a human being..not some fairy godmother.. AVengers is no less than TDKR.. TDK is still best of the series..
GizmoEl - 7/20/2012, 12:47 PM
I think Avengers was a great and nearly perfect comic book movie. This was a great film, I wouldn't put them in the same category. I felt like TDK had a faster paced plot, whereas this one was just one giant event that built up little by little til shit hit the fan. I think this was a perfect ending to the trilogy.
GodzillaKart - 7/20/2012, 12:51 PM
Hoping to see it tomorrow morning! Looking forward to it, although Avengers was, IMO, the third best CBM behind TDK (2) and Iron Man (1). So, it will have a ways to go for me.
JDUKE25 - 7/20/2012, 12:51 PM
Awesome movie. Great acting by everyone. Some flaws, sure, what movie doesn't have some, but an awesome movie nonetheless.
hush - 7/20/2012, 12:52 PM
Cool review, agree with the performances, it's just an amazing movie that ta\kes CBM's to a completely new level.

Although I don't think Avengers is as good as Batman Begins, TDK or TDKR. I think Bats holds the top spot for all three.
Minotauro - 7/20/2012, 12:52 PM
@Fanboy2012 - You got to take the review for what it is. Josh might be saying 5 stars for the fact that it finishes off a near perfect(with flaws)trilogy. That's great that a CBM is up their with the other great trilogies

Indiana Jones - Action
Star Wars - Sci-Fi
LOTR - Fantasy
Toy Story - Animation
Batman - CBMs
superotherside - 7/20/2012, 12:53 PM
Great review Josh! Can't wait to see it!
Rothwilder - 7/20/2012, 12:53 PM
A day when we try to stop the Avengers/TDKR endless fanboy war, and Josh stirs it up in one line.

Good review though, can't wait to see it.
RAWRG - 7/20/2012, 12:56 PM
Going to see it today at 4:40 from what I heard I'm pretty excited looks like its going to be epic.
GoILL - 7/20/2012, 12:57 PM
@SetGecko i'm getting that same feeling as well, will be able to judge after viewing it for myself.
Jaywing - 7/20/2012, 12:58 PM
Oh I am by no way saying I think it was flawless... It just didn't hinder my enjoyment of the movie. Like I wasn't conciously noticing flaws cause I was so drawn in. Which one in particular are u talking about?
Ranger14 - 7/20/2012, 12:58 PM
It's interesting to read that some people say there are really no flaws and some say there a number of flaws. It all goes to show that it is all a matter of opinion and perspective. There is no definitive "this is the greatest CBM of all -time" for TDK, TDKR or Avengers. There are personal choices made in that area, but there is no universal truth or fact when it comes to films, food, women or whatever it might be. Everything is subjective and based on individual taste. Different strokes for different folks.

ADDICT - 7/20/2012, 1:00 PM
TDKR will to down in history but for this massacre not the film. I kinda wish u guys could stop posting news for today and just have one story about Aurora with an open forum. Everything else just seems so senseless.
whoelsebutkevin - 7/20/2012, 1:02 PM
I will not say that Rises was better than Begins or TDK, they are all equally equivalent in their own story. I enjoy all three so much and they are so fun to watch its just dumb to pick one as a Batman Fan. Thank you from the Bottom of my heart Christopher Nolan and company for creating such a wonderful trilogy, I'll be watching these movies til the day I die happily.

Nolan truly understands movies, anyone who thinks different is an idiot.
Nomis1800 - 7/20/2012, 1:02 PM
Every film had it flaws. It's just what you prefer yourself. I absolutely LOVED TDKR I cannot wait to see it in IMAX!!!!!!
CJDavey - 7/20/2012, 1:03 PM
Completely agree, Josh. Let's be honest here, whilst there have been some negative reviews, the majority have cited the film as brilliant and a perfect ending to the trilogy. I agree with what you've said though, in my eyes this is the best CBM so far (perhaps alongside TDK) and the trilogy as a whole is just fantastic, more than any fan could wish for. It's filmmaking on an unprecedented scale, and once again from Chris, a film that doesn't look down on its audience. And trust me, this isn't me getting 'caught up in the moment', I'm seeing it again tomorrow and I can already tell it's a film that will get better with multiple viewings such is the number of plot strands running through it at time and the richness of the plot. Though that's not to say there's no spectacle, cause my lord there is. I'm rambling now, cause I'm just so happy that they did it! Fingers crossed come awards season...
Jaywing - 7/20/2012, 1:04 PM

Agree completely! Seeing it for the third time tonight... But this time in IMAX!!!! I hope the long drive is worth it. I've never seen an ima screen before
iMVuze - 7/20/2012, 1:05 PM
A good movie yes, but best cbm ever? false. A good cbm doesn't shit all over the source material. That's why The Avengers holds that title.
CJDavey - 7/20/2012, 1:06 PM
Also, I can't say I agree with people saying we should pull back with TDKR comments and news because of the tragedy. It is a tragedy yes, and it is important that such a thing is realised...but that does not mean people can't enjoy the film and discuss it, just because it happened to be the film in which the shooting took place. Linking the two in that way and criticising those who still want to enjoy it is pretty disgusting in itself IMO.
FrankInStereo - 7/20/2012, 1:09 PM
*eye roll*
Harris1 - 7/20/2012, 1:10 PM
Josh you're reaching bro. Here's the critics rankings on Rotten Tomatoes.

1. TDK 94%

2. Avengers 92%

3.TDKR 86%

The critical consensus is TDK is first, Avengers second, TDKR a distant third. And Nolanites said TDKR would be better critically received. Wrong on that count to.
CJDavey - 7/20/2012, 1:13 PM
@Harris1 What has a critics difference of opinion (of approximately 8% so far) got to do with his own opinion that it's the greatest CBM? Quite a few of that 86% believe it to be as well...
thewolfx - 7/20/2012, 1:15 PM
i just came back from seeing it , and im shocked to say it wasnt as shitty as i thought it would be

granted avengers kicks this movies ass allover the place

i still havent decided how it stacks up against TASM but i guess i need a second viewing first.

but hey i could actually see the fight scenes this time and they didnt suck as bad as in the TDK =]

bane was good , he didnt come off as a midget at all i nthe movie

catwoman was sexy but not so much cat woman as opposed to a catburgler you want to bang costantly

bale felt more like batman then any of the other movies.

i think i give it a 7/10

bottom line mrs josh

this movie isnt perfect lay off those blunts
NOLANITE - 7/20/2012, 1:20 PM
Saw this last night Josh and Most Deff can say this is this years best.

Every Moment in this movie just slid and rolled right into the next. It may be a long movie, but anyone else here agree with me on it not even feeling like it was that long? It had a good pace to it.

The story itself covered all avenues. and the ending!!!
Not giving anything away dont worry, but its a...

5/5 Movie. Still like TDK a lil bit more but ya cant compare villains and thats what made TDK what it is today.

Joker- Chaotic SOB who just wanted to create anarchy
Bane- Just wants to destroy Gotham. Bats is just pawn.
Kyle- Just in it for herself, and does a god damn good job at it!

It was indeed the conclusion weve been waiting almost 8 years for.

anyone else agree?
DanteSparda - 7/20/2012, 1:23 PM
@Josh Wilding

The review sounds legit, I have yet to see the movie, but you should avoid to compare this movie with The Avengers, I know it's only your opinion but you know that statements like "Marvel's The Avengers held the "Best Comic Book Movie Ever" crown for as long as it could" are only going to cause fan flame wars all over this article, thus making it iposible to discuss. You have the right to say what you want I know, but when all the trolls come here to bash Batman or the Avengers I will no longer be caring for the discussion of this review.
CJDavey - 7/20/2012, 1:24 PM
@NOLANITE Absolutely agree. I've grown up with these films. It's been a long and brilliant journey over the last 7 years, from sitting in a Cinema with my Dad in 05!
NOLANITE - 7/20/2012, 1:24 PM

Youre wrong buddy, The story written may have not been directly from the comics but it grapsed many themes from many story archs, and Nolan even threw in certain things to remind us he does care.
FEJ - 7/20/2012, 1:25 PM
Truely one of the, if not the greatest CBM ever. The only flaw I could find was the timer on the bomb.
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