THE DARK KNIGHT RISES' First Wave Of Reviews

Click the jump to check out the first wave of reviews for Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight Rises. Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, IGN and The Playlist reveal if Nolan's third and final Batman film lives up to the hype.

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By nailbiter111 - 7/16/2012


As I'm combing through these reviews it's safe to say that Christopher Nolan has not only met the high expectations of fans and critics, but more importantly conquered the curse of the third film in a franchise. Which is something that eluded films like Godfather 3, Alien 3, Superman III and Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, just to name a few.

Variety
Few blockbusters have borne so heavy a burden of audience expectation as Christopher Nolan's final Batman caper, and the filmmaker steps up to the occasion with a cataclysmic vision of Gotham City under siege in "The Dark Knight Rises." Running an exhilarating, exhausting 164 minutes, Nolan's trilogy-capping epic sends Batman to a literal pit of despair, restoring him to the core of a legend that questions, and powerfully affirms, the need for heroism in a fallen world. If it never quite matches the brilliance of 2008's "The Dark Knight," this hugely ambitious action-drama nonetheless retains the moral urgency and serious-minded pulp instincts that have made the Warners franchise a beacon of integrity in an increasingly comicbook-driven Hollywood universe. Global B.O. domination awaits.

Click Here To Read The Full Review



The Hollywood Reporter - SPOILERS!
The real world threats of terrorism, political anarchy and economic instability make deep incursions into the cinematic comic book domain in The Dark Knight Rises. Big-time Hollywood filmmaking at its most massively accomplished, this last installment of Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy makes everything in the rival Marvel universe look thoroughly silly and childish. Entirely enveloping and at times unnerving in a relevant way one would never have imagined, as a cohesive whole this ranks as the best of Nolan's trio, even if it lacks -- how could it not? -- an element as unique as Heath Ledger's immortal turn in The Dark Knight. It's a blockbuster by any standard.

The director daringly pushes the credibility of a Gotham City besieged by nuclear-armed revolutionaries to such an extent that it momentarily seems absurd that a guy in a costume who refuses to kill people could conceivably show up to save the day. This is especially true since Nolan, probably more than any other filmmaker who's ever gotten seriously involved with a superhero character, has gone so far to unmask and debilitate such a figure. But he gets away with it and, unlike some interludes in the previous films, everything here is lucid, to the point and on the mark, richly filling out (especially when seen in the IMAX format) every moment of the 164-minute running time.

Click Here To Read The Full Review



IGN
The film has several exciting action set-pieces, many of which utilize the aerial vehicle The Bat, but none of which provoke the kind of jaw-dropping reaction that the truck flip did in The Dark Knight. Still, there are enough brawls, chases, and stuff going boom to satisfy hungry action fans. The battle in the streets pitting Bane’s army against Batman and the GCPD is quite a sight to behold in IMAX. Speaking of which, far more of this film was shot in IMAX than The Dark Knight, but the transitions here between full screen IMAX and the almost “letterbox” effect of regular film can be jarring. That said, IMAX really is the best way to watch this movie.

The aforementioned gripes aside, director Christopher Nolan and his team have delivered the grandest, most emotional and superheroic chapter in their Batman saga. The Dark Knight Rises is a fitting emotional and narrative conclusion to this particular interpretation of the enduring story of Bruce Wayne the man and Batman the legend.

Click Here To Read The Full Review



The Playlist
In a season filled with big movies that somehow ask even bigger questions, “The Dark Knight Rises” feels like the superego to its competition’s id. An action opus that manages at to be both viscerally and intellectually engaging, Christopher Nolan’s highly anticipated third Batman film comes full circle, examining both the Dark Knight and the society that produced him without sacrificing any of the sweeping thrills for which the series is known. A literate, thoughtful and invigorating finale, “The Dark Knight Rises” delivers everything audiences ask for and then some, albeit in fewer of the ways that they might expect.

If, as Badass Digest argues, “The Avengers” “defeated irony and cynicism,” then “The Dark Knight Rises” feels like the rock-bottom, lowest-point examination of ourselves which provides the substance to make Joss Whedon’s optimistic vision endure. Because Nolan’s film is a reminder that superheroes aren’t merely a frivolous distraction, or even a wish-fulfillment fantasy, but an embodiment of our best selves – or at least what we want our best selves to be. A cinematic, cultural and personal triumph, “The Dark Knight Rises” is emotionally inspiring, aesthetically significant and critically important for America itself – as a mirror of both sober reflection and resilient hope.

Click Here To Read The Full Review





The Dark Knight Rises hits theaters July 20th 2012 and stars Christian Bale as Bruce Wayne/Batman, Michael Caine as Alfred Pennyworth, Gary Oldman as Jim Gordon, Tom Hardy as Bane, Anne Hathaway as Selina Kyle, Joseph Gordon-Levitt as John Blake and Marion Cotillard as Miranda Tate.



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118 Comments
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oldnoname - 7/16/2012, 12:21 AM
AMAZING! (First?)
butter313 - 7/16/2012, 12:22 AM
good stuff
Knightrider - 7/16/2012, 12:22 AM
Happy days, this is so great to hear. Only 3 days to go.
KSlay - 7/16/2012, 12:25 AM
Still can't believe Nolan and his crew defeated the "3rd movie curse"..

When you consider Star Wars, The Matrix, Spiderman, Pirates of the Caribbean, etc.

This is incredible. And will most likely be the DEFINITIVE view most of us have of Batman. At least it's mine.

To the director who has to inevitably direct the reboot, Good luck.
Supes17 - 7/16/2012, 12:33 AM
"this last installment of Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy makes everything in the rival Marvel universe look thoroughly silly and childish."
antonio - 7/16/2012, 12:33 AM
Hahahahahahahahaha.
Supes17 - 7/16/2012, 12:34 AM
Decided to add fuel to the fire lol ^

Let the Games Begin
Supes17 - 7/16/2012, 12:34 AM
antonio - 7/16/2012, 12:35 AM
But seriously, I'm getting very worried, guys. I see no mention of "bright, colorful action and costumes, cheesy one-liners, and fun for the whole family." Not impressed!
antonio - 7/16/2012, 12:39 AM
And Bale praise ftw!!! That will shut up a few "Villains > Batman" people.
antonio - 7/16/2012, 12:41 AM
From the reviews release so far, this is my favorite quote. "If, as Badass Digest argues, “The Avengers” “defeated irony and cynicism,” then “The Dark Knight Rises” feels like the rock-bottom, lowest-point examination of ourselves which provides the substance to make Joss Whedon’s optimistic vision endure. Because Nolan’s film is a reminder that superheroes aren’t merely a frivolous distraction, or even a wish-fulfillment fantasy, but an embodiment of our best selves – or at least what we want our best selves to be. A cinematic, cultural and personal triumph, “The Dark Knight Rises” is emotionally inspiring, aesthetically significant and critically important for America itself – as a mirror of both sober reflection and resilient hope."

Powerful shit!
UnrealLuigi - 7/16/2012, 12:41 AM
As much as I hope this would get a perfect 100% on Rotten Tomatoes, I know there's going to be that one schmuck who's begging for attention by posting that one negative review... -_-
YipCha - 7/16/2012, 12:45 AM
Hmm...I'm still not really excited. I hope I get my socks knocked off Thursday night but based off of the actual footage and teasers I just have this gnawing feeling it will disappoint me. I just feel like Nolan has become bigger than Batman...and though he is a extremely talented film maker, I'm not entirely sure I like his adaptations of an established world. We shall see though. *crosses fingers*
xcrementus - 7/16/2012, 12:46 AM
It doesn't have a Hulk. lol
Supes17 - 7/16/2012, 12:48 AM
@xcrementus:


:P
antonio - 7/16/2012, 12:49 AM
"Anne Hathaway plays one of the more alluring Catwomen since Julie Newmar, creating an incredibly complex character that straddles the line of good and bad enough that you never know whose side she's on."

Alluring....way to go, Anne!
YipCha - 7/16/2012, 12:51 AM
@xcrementus lol yeah, I'm pretty sure no matter how good the movie is, Avengers will still be the movie of the summer. Here is hoping for the best though.
antonio - 7/16/2012, 12:55 AM
AAAAANNNNNDDDD we have another Nolanite.

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Minotauro - 7/16/2012, 12:55 AM
@Supes17 - Damn, you beat me to that quote.

@Yipcha - Lol. No. Avengers will cease to be the movie of the summer if only it's rating and awards accolade is higher. Other than that. It's still just a triumph in most heroes on one film.
KSlay - 7/16/2012, 12:59 AM
Anyone else feel that critics are really being unfair to Bane given The Joker's amazing portrayal in TDK?

Bane in TDKR looks menacing and he's a huge part of the reason I'm so damn excited for this movie.

Either we're going to look back at TDKR and think Bane was underrated or we're going to look back and think that Bane was underutilized. I really really really hope it's the former.
UrbanKnight - 7/16/2012, 12:59 AM
shit movie
antonio - 7/16/2012, 1:01 AM
@KSlay the reactions say he is absolutely menacing, but for this round, he and JGL seemed to have taken a backseat to Bale and Anne. But there are still a lot more reviews to come out.
YipCha - 7/16/2012, 1:02 AM
@Minotauro Good luck with unseating Avengers, in either Hype, Money, or Fan-Service. For you, and some others, it may no longer be the movie of the summer but for millions it will be. I've seen Batman films before this summer, I've seen Nolan Batman films before this summer. Yet no one had ever seen a fully realized world such as the MCU created. Truly a "comic-book" movie. Sadly the Nolan movies are just crime films with a vigilante with strange fashion sense as the main character. Perhaps a good film, but not the event that the Avengers was for many.
Cswag12 - 7/16/2012, 1:02 AM
yeah i agree with @KSlay there not being fair to hardy
UrbanKnight - 7/16/2012, 1:02 AM
pompous sh!t. this movie is pretentious. fail. ;P
lunesta - 7/16/2012, 1:03 AM
damn tom hiddleston whyyyyyyyy nah im just kidding
YipCha - 7/16/2012, 1:03 AM
@Minotauro That is of course not to say that it can't be YOUR movie of the summer. Just don't expect everyone to share your opinion. Just as I don't expect everyone to share mine.
antonio - 7/16/2012, 1:06 AM
"The Dark Knight Rises" is a monumental, satisfying summation to Christopher Nolan's blockbuster trilogy of Batman films.

That, at least, is the consensus from the first round of reviews of the July 20 release. Warner Bros. has been screening the film quietly for a week or so, and the studio's embargo on advance reactions was lifted, appropriately enough for a movie about a crime-fighter who prefers to lurk in the darkness, in the dead of night.

And when those who'd seen the film were free to write about it, the results for the most part were unqualified raves.

The Hollywood Reporter called it "big-time Hollywood filmmaking at its most accomplished." The Playlist says it's "critically important for America itself." Predicted Variety, "Global [box-office] domination awaits."

As Batman's TV sidekick might have said back in the '60s, "Holy hyperbole, Batman!"

And to borrow another catchphrase from that version of the Caped Crusader, Nolan sets his third film in a new Bat-time (eight years after the events of "The Dark Knight") but he's back on the same Bat-channel – which is to say, a characteristically doom-laden, haunted look at a man tortured by the double life he's driven to lead."
UrbanKnight - 7/16/2012, 1:07 AM
Loki's a Nolanite!
antonio - 7/16/2012, 1:09 AM
"Loki's a Nolanite!" Indeed. :) And Thor is too.
YipCha - 7/16/2012, 1:12 AM
Lol, just because someone is excited about one of the biggest movies of the summer doesn't automatically make them a "nolanite". ;)
Minotauro - 7/16/2012, 1:13 AM
@YipCha - Lol @truly a "comic book movie". Please. Give me a [frick]ing break.
UrbanKnight - 7/16/2012, 1:14 AM
Lol, just because someone is excited about one of the biggest movies of the summer doesn't automatically make them a "nolanite". ;)


Try telling that to some trolls in here.
KilledHal9000 - 7/16/2012, 1:15 AM
It's sad that people think 164 minutes is long, especially for this film.
YipCha - 7/16/2012, 1:18 AM
@Minotauro Apparently you've never read an avengers comic? The movie was one of the most faithful adaptations in tone, style, dialog and substance. They even got a comic book writer for the director. Nolan's Batman movies are so removed from the source mythology however that they barely resemble one and other. I'm not attacking the merits of Nolan's films, just saying they're poor "comic book movies". If you'd like me to elaborate further you'll have to explain what you're not understanding. Otherwise hope this helps.
KSlay - 7/16/2012, 1:19 AM
Here's to hoping that Bane gets the credit he deserve rather than "He's not The joker"

YipCha - 7/16/2012, 1:19 AM
@KilledHal9000 lol I agree, I'm very glad they went for a longer time for this movie!
antonio - 7/16/2012, 1:19 AM
Why is there Avengers talk in this TDKR review thread?





















:P
Alexandre - 7/16/2012, 1:23 AM
They really can't blame Nolan for not making bane too complex and as appealing as the joker was. The joker is an icon. That character is so far superior to so many other villains manly because he so [frick]ing crazy. He has no background, he stands for nothing, he might even disagree with himself to see how it feels. He is the most interesting villain in the world. Bane on the other hand is extremely different, more of a fan favorite, but not for long, soon to be loved by many more I think. I think most batman villain are written very well and bane is really cool but joker that's just a masterpiece kind of character. The critics really can't ask for much from hardy when he's giving you everything that was already written in the comics for the character. They need to understand that not all batman villains are like the joker.
antonio - 7/16/2012, 1:25 AM
Review from @anamariabahiana. Overwhelmingly positive. She had some problems with the "excessive exposition".

Quote:
The main fix that I would make is that Rises suffers from a common problem in the Nolan films: too much story. There is so much thrown on the screen in the first two acts - the conspiracy of Bane, the political intrigues of Gotham City eight years after the death of Harvey Dent, Batman's fall and the destruction of the Bat-Signal, the state of things in the mansion and Wayne conglomerate headquarters - which there is only one solution to Nolan: solve everything at full speed in the third act, using a lot of explanatory dialogue. It is, unfortunately, the less subtle solution to which a director can use. But the ambition and expertise of Nolan are such that I can forgive it all. Why complain?
The performances.

Quote:
All performances are also excellent. Tom Hardy, unable to use the his face as dramatic tool, uses body language to draw power, charisma and absolute devotion to the chaos of Bane; a more introspective and varied kind of acting that I've ever seen Anne Hathaway do so far, which makes Selina half Modesty Blaise, half all sophisticated movie heroines of the 1940s. And pay attention to the string of pearls (hello, Oedipus?).

(...)

The Dark Knight Rises begins with the counterpoint between anger and resignation. The young and restless officer John Blake - Joseph Gordon-Levitt, an interesting addition to the cast - introduces the subject in one of the movie great scenes (she then briefly describes a scene with Blake and Bruce).

(...)

And yes, the temptations to compare Tom Hardy's Bane to Heath Ledger's Joker will be huge, but I don't encourage them. They are two completely different creatures (or are two manifestations of the shadow, the hidden side of the hero?) executed with absolute perfection by two very different and equally brilliant actors. And please do a round of applause for Christian Bale, who wore a very heavy double mask, Bruce Wayne/Batman, throughout the trilogy with impeccable precision and depth.
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