THE DARK KNIGHT RISES REVIEW: In Less Than 400 Words [Spoilers]

Here the final installment of the Dark Knight trilogy is examined in less than 400 words. Does Nolan deliver? Is this the best CBM yet?

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By Rhys - 7/20/2012


So far, The Dark Knight Rises is being quite well received by both critics and fans alike. But while caught up in the spectacular visuals and stunning fight scenes, some of the films fatal flaws are being overlooked.

Bane was an amazing villain, there is no doubt about that, but the twist toward the end of the movie, revealing Miranda Tate/Talia al Ghul as the true mastermind, severely diminished Bane's appeal. Discovering that he was not the one behind this elaborate scheme made him seem like some hired muscle, and takes away his spot as the franchise's best villain.

The pacing was incredibly awkward, and the editing bothersome. The film did not flow smoothly, but was rather jumpy at times instead. The writing was mostly well done, but there were a few scenes where characters practically explained plot points to the audience, and big no-no in filmmaking.

Anne Hathaway gave a decent performance as Catwoman, but it seemed oddly cartoon-y compared to the rest of the actors. It would have worked perfectly in a different interpretation of Batman, but in the hyper-realistic Nolanverse it seemed out of place. The cast as a whole gave great performances, especially Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Blake), but that little reveal about his character at the end of the film was cheesy and forced. Christian Bale was good as Batman, but didn't really add upon his performance from the past two films.

But it's the final 20 minutes of the film that kills it. The nuclear explosion seemed incredibly out of place. It didn't fit in this world Nolan had created, and it felt like it belonged in a different movie. The ending montage had a cheesiness about it, and the appearance of Bruce Wayne at the restaurant was sudden and unexplained. The “happy” ending left the audience with more questions than answers.

As awesome as some parts were (Bane, the fight scenes, Bane), overall the film is a little messy. The Dark Knight Rises is not a terrible movie, rather, it is a terribly underwhelming movie. It appears that even a brilliant filmmaker such as Christopher Nolan can't always live up to his own expectations. And at the end of the day, if you take a step back to look at it, the film has one flaw that surpasses the rest: it doesn't feel like a Batman comic.

2.5 out of 5
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15 Comments
shaunb - 7/20/2012, 5:09 PM
I agree there was a lot of information and side stories thrown into the movie. But for me it kept the movie interesting and it kept me thinking. The atomic explosion demonstrated the seriousness of the situation.......without it what happened to Batman...he'd just disappear again.

For you to not understand the "sudden and unexplained appearance of Bruce Wayne at a restaurant" in the ending montage means you were sleeping, went to the restroom, or must not have been paying attention.
That was a fantastic ending and was explained way earlier in the movie.

I completely disagree with your review and in some parts it's as if you were watching a different movie.
crimsoncrusader - 7/20/2012, 5:13 PM
Not going to lie, but I agree with you when it comes to the pacing and the diminishing of Bane's appeal once Talia reveals her intricate plan. The movie was all over the place. I'm going to reserve judgement on the score because I love Batman and I'm going to see it a couple more times to get my definitive assessment, but I think the movie suffered from having way too much hype. My favorite part of the film was the subtle reveal of Bruce's identity to Jim Gordon at the end.
ScorseseFan - 7/20/2012, 5:55 PM
@crimsoncrusader It was obvious that this movie wasn't going to live up to the absurdly high expectations that people had after watching TDK. But Nolan did a fantastic job concluding the trilogy
GraGar - 7/20/2012, 6:03 PM
My biggest problem was the choppy editing and lack of Bruce Wayne or Batman
Rhys - 7/20/2012, 6:56 PM
@shaunb,

I understand that scene was a fulfillment of Alfred's fantasy explained earlier in the film, but exactly how Bruce survived was unclear. And it seemed like an obligatory scene to show him alive, as if Nolan was scared fans might retaliate if he actually killed the character off.
WyattLayne - 7/20/2012, 7:47 PM
They explain him being alive in the scene with Fox. He asks some of the engineers about the autopilot function, and they explain that it was finished months ago, by Bruce Wayne.
WyattLayne - 7/20/2012, 7:55 PM
And I don't feel like it diminishes Bane as a villain to show that he was following orders from Talia. Sure it means that he's not the sole evil mastermind of the plan, but neither was Darth Vader.

It's really interesting. I've seen so many different reactions from fans. I've read reactions that were the opposite of yours, where they hated the fight scenes and loved the other stuff.

Anyways, I loved it. Plan on seeing it again and again.
MitchConner - 7/20/2012, 7:56 PM
Lol...I just wrote a review too, I agree completely...glad I'm not the only one. I had a little more added for those of you that would like to check it out...but my main point is that I'm glad this franchise is over now. You just can't continue after Heath's Joker. Start over my friends, nothing will be good enough, and, perhaps even four years wasn't even enough time because this film was rushed.
MitchConner - 7/20/2012, 7:59 PM
I'll say this, I feel now exactly how I felt after I saw the first trailor a year ago...this film never looked as appealling as TDK, even in their early marketing stages (TDK). That film looked better in trailers, and turned out better. This film's trailers didn't do anything for me, and against my better judgement I allowed myself to get hyped knowing the trailers weren't very promising.
MTrevinos - 7/20/2012, 8:34 PM
I agree with you 100%. Great Review
mapleleafsfan93 - 7/20/2012, 9:14 PM
hater out of all movies this was the best
gelo113 - 7/20/2012, 11:16 PM
Actually I found there to be nothing wrong with the revelation of it being Talia's plan. I found it worked better story wise, being that he was in-love with her and that he was her "protector". He wasn't doing it because he was ordered to. He was shedding tears for Talia just before he got shot dead.
HonestAbe - 7/22/2012, 1:20 AM
OK, here are some random thoughts about the movie after watching it today.

I am not sure what message the movie was trying to put out there. I thought at least in the Dark Knight, you could see that the Joker was pure anarchy. This movie just seemed like a jumbled mess. Were you supposed to root for Bane and the 99%? Were you supposed to root for Wall Street and the 1%? Was there any theme to the movie at all?

I couldn't understand what the hell Bane was saying half the time.

Anne Hathaway was excellent in the movie.

The movie took the series' best actors out for large portions of the story. It was bizarre. Commissioner Gordon is bedridden for the entire first half of the movie and Alfred is gone for the second half for the movie.

OK, IMO, it was pretty obvious to me from the start that Miranda/Talia was the main villain. Remember when Miranda spent the night with Bruce? There was a pretty blatant scene where Miranda/Talia's tattoo was pointed out.

Maybe it's because I have gotten older but it's hard to completely suspend my belief.
Bruce Wayne being able to walk after having his back broken just defies all medical sense. "Oh, you have some vertebra popping out, let me just pop it back in and hang you on a rope and that will make you walk again".

And Bruce just gives Selina the blank slate after he comes back? Really? So if the positions were reversed, and Batman betrayed Catwoman to Bane, and Catwoman got beaten to within an inch of her life, and spends like 5 months in a hellhole prison, she would just come back and all is forgiven? Really?

Ra's Al Ghul randomly appearing in front of Batman in vision as the main expository plot device on the origin of Bane made no sense. We are to believe that Batman figures out who Bane is through a random hallucination?

Both Bane's and Talia's deaths were actually kind of a let down.
With the Joker, you had this amazing falling death scene. And here, you just have Bane shot by a cannon and Talia dying from her injuries from the car crash. There wasn't really a cathartic showdown.
HonestAbe - 7/22/2012, 1:26 AM
And regarding the nuclear explosion, maybe it's my science background that kind of ruined it for me, but I kept thinking, "How the hell do Batman and Gotham city citizens manage to deal with the radiation fallout from the atomic explosion?"
iuhgluiblbjjkhkjhkljh - 9/30/2012, 6:08 PM
If you were actually paying attention, you'd know that Bruce Waynes ending appearance was explained. The atomic bomb fits just as perfectly as Scarecrow's fear-gas in Batman Begins.

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