The Dark Knight Rises

Just to let you know, like the rest of the world, I have seen The Dark Knight Rises. I saw it opening night, over two weeks ago, but haven’t written a review yet for two reasons: 1, I haven’t had time, and 2, I didn’t really have anything to say that everyone else hasn’t already said. So, I’m not going to review it yet. What I am going to do is wait until it comes out on DVD, buy it, watch it again, and then review it. Simple. Hopefully by then everyone will be over the inundation of Batman reviews. In the meantime, here’s my quick thoughts on the film:

  • I was disappointed, mainly because I went in expecting to be disappointed, and I really hate being wrong.
  • Bane sounded like Sean Connery doing a Darth Vader impersonation into an empty pint glass in a wind tunnel. At times this seemed ridiculous, at other times I couldn’t tell what he was saying. Tom Hardy did well though, but I wasn’t that keen on Bane as the villain, he didn’t have the presence of the Joker.
  • I don’t know why Anne Hathaway is receiving sure rave reviews for her performance, she almost ruined the movie for me. Her incessant quips and one-liners almost turned it into Mr. Freeze-style Batman & Robin for me. Marion Cotillard should have been Catwoman.
  • Michael Caine deserves an Oscar nomination for Alfred.
  • The Bat (the plane thing) was in no way cool enough. In Batman Begins, I wanted a Tumbler. In The Dark Knight, I needed a Bat-pod. In The Dark Knight Rises, I didn’t care about the Bat.
  • I approved of Joseph Gordon-Levitt having a large role in the film, and of his last minute reveal. I didn’t see it coming, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
  • I got the feeling Christopher and Jonathan Nolan had run out of ideas with the film, so used stock superhero plot devices – a ticking bomb, a busload of orphans – to fill in the blanks.
  • What the hell was Juno Temple doing in this film? Her character was almost completely superfluous.
  • Tom Lennon as the doctor (possibly the same one he played in Memento) was incredibly distracting and took me right out of the film.
  • There’s a terrible exposition scene, in which Catwoman has the ‘Clean Slate’ device she is after explained to her when she obviously already knows what it is. This annoyed me, yet no-one else seems to have picked up on it.
  • Unlike the Dark Knight and even Batman Begins, there were almost no scenes that left any marked impression on me.
With all those negative points, you’d be forgiven for thinking I didn’t like it, but honestly its a lot better than most other films, and was in no way as big a disappointment as Prometheus. I shall definitely add it to my DVD collection, but alas I’m still looking for that elusive film that I’m willing to pay to see at the cinema twice. I’ve heard that this is one of those films that’s better the second time around, and I genuinely hope this is the case. Expect a more detailed review in the next 12-15 months.
Choose film 8/10
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15 thoughts on “The Dark Knight Rises

  1. I love your first thought. With regards to the others I agree withypur Connery, Gordon-Levitt and Juno Temple thoughts. When I saw Temple I thought 'ooh excellent' but then she was just forgotten. I wonder if more of her scenes were cut out in the edit?

  2. I loved this movie from start to finish, and I like the points you brought up about it as well. However, this film just did it for me and I don't think I could have asked for any other better way to say good-bye to Batty for good. Nice review Jay.

  3. Thanks. Nolan isn't well known for leaving much footage on the cutting room floor, so I get the feeling Temple was never playing that big of a character. I can understand why any actress would accept even the smallest role in a Nolan film, but the entire character felt unnecessary.

  4. Wow you liked this film far more than I did. I think it's a better film than I've given it credit for, and it was a great way to end the trilogy, I just definitely need to see it again to work out why.

  5. Definitely Bane's voice was the single worst thing in this film. So distracting, he would have been bettered had he not talked at all and was just a walking, destroying machine!Was a nice way to end it all though. (I saw Robin coming!)

  6. Ha ha – I agree so much with you. There were definite problems with the film, but it was still a good film.A "mediocre" Chris Nolan movie is still way better than so much of the other trash out there.

  7. I didn't see/hear any of the prior footage with Bane talking, but I'd heard it was bad and had been corrected, so I really wasn't expecting that voice. I've never had a problem with Batman gargling gravel, but Bane was just too much. Nice catch on Robin, I didn;t see it coming at all.

  8. I suspect Juno Temple will become more important if the reveal leads to a, um, second trilogy? Agree with quite a bit of this, otherwise. Bane's voice was ridiculous, the Bat wasn't nearly cool enough (and did he SERIOUSLY just leave it parked on a rooftop?), and so much of the film just blends in with scenes we've already seen in the series instead of making a mark on its own.

  9. Oooooo, maybe she'll be Harlequin! It takes a certain amount of effort to make a flying machine powered by giant downward-facing propellors undesirable. Right now, I should be dreaming about flying it to work, but I'd still much rather have a batpod.

  10. I wasn't as bothered by Bane's voice as most I think, though I bet it'll be worse on dvd when not played quite so loud. Something bugged me about the way Marion Cotillard's character was written but I'm struggling to put my finger on it. I didn't feel like I had a good handle on why she was so important early on and in retrospect I don't really get why she slept with Bruce in the middle of the film.The most frustrating parts were the silliness of the climbing out of the hole bit and batman's plan for the final showdown with Bane. I'm used to thinking of batman as a well prepared and cunning tactician but his plan was basically just to have another crack at beating bane in a fist fight. Seemed a bit weak to me.

  11. I get your point about Cotillard's character seeming more important than she should have early on, but I've also heard this applauded, as there is apparently some set-up that makes more sene if you know how the film ends. As to why she sleeps with Bruce, I think that could be just to hurt him that little bit more.I called the climbing bit early on – whenever someone wearing the rope jumped, they seemed to be pulled back by it, so obviously you just need to lose the rope – and you're right about Bats seeming a bit unprepared at the end. Really, Bane should have been able to just finish him off again, this time for good.

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