The Dark Knight Rises... Bane Falls

Bale and Batman
Bale and Batman
Bane. There is possibly a human under there.
Bane. There is possibly a human under there.
Oldman, solid once again as Gordon
Oldman, solid once again as Gordon
Anne Hathaway. The best Catwoman yet
Anne Hathaway. The best Catwoman yet
Levitt as Blake
Levitt as Blake

Directed by Christopher Nolan

Screenplay by Christopher and Jonathan Nolan

The Dark Knight Falls

The third (and final?) installment of Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Series is the Dark Knight Rises. Batman Begins and the Dark Knight, the first two films in the series, were decidedly darker than previous film portrayals of the darkest of all super heroes, and were the truest to the original comic book. They had enough action, drama, romance and comedy, to appeal to nearly everyone, including non comic book readers like your author. Those two films set my expectations soalessringly high for the third installment.

I’m glad I attended the matinee, and didn’t pay full freight for this film.

In spite of it's basically dismal quality, it did have some bright moments. A reclusive and wounded Bruce Wayne (Christian bale), AKA, Batman, a generally selfish and immature character, shows himself to be a deeper human being, with a true humanitarian and selfless spirit. His maturity, tracked through the three films, comes to full fruition in this film. The character growth is truly fun to watch, and is what makes the Dark Knight series of films different from many other comic book-based films, where the characters are generally static. It’s what makes the overall lack of depth and Michael Bay-esque (not a compliment) action sequences so disappointing.

Bruce Wayne/Batman's physical state leaves the opening plot line very implausible.

Bruce Wayne spends roughly half the film on his back, wounded, in a Turkish prison. Sure, he rises to save the day, but this makes way for... Bane (Tom Hardy). A truly dreadful human being, a colossal bore and a far too frequent figure on the screen.

Certainly the Joker, portrayed with Oscar worthiness by the late Heath Ledger, was twisted and evil. But you could see his face. He had some personality to him. Bane is an emotionless robot of a man with a ton of strength, but lacking enough depth to satiate a thimble. Certainly, screenwriters Christopher and Jonathan Nolan attempted to fill in some backstory and bring some depth to him, but this seemed forced and left me confused and even more annoyed by the character. Granted, I don’t read the comics, and those that do say the portrayal was spot on, but this movie was my first exposure to Bane and I hope it is my last. I kept waiting for the mask to come off, for some shred of humanity; after all, even George Lucas showed us the face of Darth Vader, but, this never occurred. He was a flat character and was difficult to understand through the mask and with the booming voice that often distorted, further annoying me.

I can’t even give Tom Hardy credit for portraying the character well (even though I loved his work in Inception) because the character had no emotional arc, depth or range. In fact, I took his performance as a personal insult. He helped make a film with a run time of two hours and forty-five minutes seem much, much longer.

When the plot was not being improbable or confusing, it was being to be too big and overarching… and a little too possible. Part of the joy of escaping into a super hero film, is the idea that the story is pure fiction. What is portrayed cannot and will not happen. Instead, we’re left with a plot that left me squirming in my seat, uncomfortable, concerned and annoyed. I won’t get into the plot, because I understand people want to see this film and I don’t want to spoil the show, but, I found it far too dark in a film already cloaked in darkness.

There were myriad plot holes and questionable plot lines, and the film was poorly paced and down right painful to watch at times. For example, for the first half of the film, Cat Woman appears to be a lesbian. However, this story line is suddenly and inexplicably dropped, her lover disappears without further mention, and Cat Woman ends up in love with Bat Man.

The film is saved from total dismalness by brilliant performances by Joseph Gordon Levitt (Blake), Christian Bale, Anne Hathaway (who plays the best Cat Woman yet) and Gary Oldman (reprising his role as Commissioner Gordon). Nolan shines as a director, even with a preposterous script that he helped write. The film itself had far too much gratuitous action and, aside from Wayne, very little character growth. It was a disappointing close to an otherwise brilliant film franchise.

While the majority of the film appealed to the baser instincts of movie goers and was more along the lines of the shallowness of Michael Bay and not the typical brilliance and range of Christopher Nolan, the final forty five minutes was incredibly satisfying and somewhat made up for the previous two hours of drivel. If the story line built up to conclude the film is ever brought to life, I have hopes for future Dark Knight films.


Rating:

Story: 5/10

Direction: 9/10

Dialogue: 8/10

Cinematography: 8/10

Range: 3/10

Score: 7/10

Overall: 40/60

Thanks for Reading.

PDXKaraokeGuy, also known as Justin W. Price, is the managing editor at eFiction horror. Husband to Andrea, father to two dogs. writer.poet.baseball fan. tattooed. He is am amateur theologian with a rabid sweet tooth. He resides in a suburb of Portland, Oregon.He has a poetry book available for Amazon Kindle, and also maintains a blog, FirstBlog. His work has been featured in the Crisis Chronicles, efiction Magazine, The Hellroaring Review, the Bellwether Review, eFiction Humor, and the Rusty Nail. Please visit his profile page for more information. Thanks

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Comments 24 comments

PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Life as a Blog, the further away I get from the film the less annoyed by it I am. I'll definitely see it again, and perhaps I'll update this review at that time. Thanks for stopping by!


Life as a Blog profile image

Life as a Blog 4 years ago from Austin, Texas

Well done review. I liked the film, but definitely admit it had its problems. I was entertained enough to ignore them. Thanks for an excellent read!


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Thanks Kashmir. Batman begins takes the cake for sure.


kashmir56 profile image

kashmir56 4 years ago from Massachusetts

Hi my friend enjoyed reading your beautifully written review on this movie and enjoyed the video to ! I'm more of a fan of Batman Begins !

Well done and vote up and more !!!


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Tammy, thanks. i agree. The movie concluded well, and I enjoyed the first half hour or so... it just dragged in the middle. It dragged a lot. A great cast and great director helped it, but it wasn't enough for me.


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Thanks Vellur. I'm glad you enjoyed this!


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Thanks for sharing, gypsy!


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Rob,

looking back, i can certainly see how that film could be viewed as overrated... but at least it was entertaining. this film was convoluted and not entertaining for much of it, so, that's the main problem.


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Cyndi, it's worth a chance. Nolan is a skilled director and the cast is great... I just feel this was the worst of the three films. Perhaps my expectations were too high.


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Thanks, Audrey. I've talked with my youngest brother, who loved the film and follows the comic books. After talking with him, I can appreciate the film more, though i still found it really slow and boring in places.


tammyswallow profile image

tammyswallow 4 years ago from North Carolina

I agree with most of your critique. I did find it very touching at the end when Bane had his "human" moment but it was almost to late in the movie. By the end, you really couldn't route for him at all and didn't know enough about him to really care. Overall I liked it, but I am a Batman fan. It was too long, had to many dragging parts in it, and as you say it was poorly paced and unrealistic in some parts. If I were to guess, I would say the wrong parts were edited out while to many unnecessary parts were left in the movie. I think Ann Hathaway was outstanding and she was excellent. There was some great chemistry there. The scenes with Alfred really made the whole movie. I wish for the final film the director would have used the best of Christian Bale and Michael Caine. It could have been epic. Great review.


Vellur profile image

Vellur 4 years ago from Dubai

Thanks for the review, I will not see this movie. Your review is excellent, liked the way you did this review. Voted up.


Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

Gypsy Rose Lee 4 years ago from Riga, Latvia

Thanks for the review. Definitely doesn't sound like my kind of movie. The Dark Knight with that creepy Joker already got to me. Passing this on.


Robwrite profile image

Robwrite 4 years ago from Bay Ridge Brooklyn NY

Good review. Well written.

I haven't seen the film so I'm not going to comment on its quality. I will say that I've found the whole Nolan Batman series to be over-rated, especially the second, which benefited from Heath Ledger's excellent performance (and sad death) but was otherwise a convoluted mess. As for this film, the public consesus seems to be that its the runt of the litter.

Well done review,

Rob


cclitgirl profile image

cclitgirl 4 years ago from Western NC

Haven't seen it; I usually wait until I can get movies on Netflix - I live like 40 mins away from the nearest movie theater, LOL. But, good review. The fact that the Aurora shootings happened at the premier also sort of "scarred" it for me...my extended family lives not far from there. It seems like Batman movies are hits or misses. Some of them I have loved, and others not so much. This one sounds like it might be in the latter camp for me. But, I'll still give it a chance. :)


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 4 years ago from Nashville Tn.

I won't waste my hard earned money on this film. I've heard it's a "dud" from my friends. Your review is very helpful and I like the way your rated this film at the end. Thanks and voted up and will share.


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Juggler, I mainly found Bane to be a huge bore and the plot was way too convoluted and over the top. Granted, I had heard so many good things about the film that it would have been impossible to live up to (which is why i try to shy away from reviews) and I will definitely watch this again and maybe come away with a better opinion. For now, I think it's incredibly disappointed.


GoForTheJuggler profile image

GoForTheJuggler 4 years ago from Texas

I have to disagree completely. The Dark Knight is the weakest of the trilogy, and has almost zero replay value. If you take away all of The Joker's gruesome scenes (of which there are only a few), the film falls flat and repeatedly hammers you over the head with its theme of madness and chaos (this becomes more apparent with multiple viewings).

However, I love all three films, and am a huge Batman fan, so don't let my opinion (or anyone else's) sway any of you from seeing these films... I'm looking at you Sunshine625. =P


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Thanks Americanidle. I know I'm in the minority with this review, but, both my wife and I were uncomfortable and cringing throughout.


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

THanks rcrumble. I don't go to the movies often, which makes this experience all the more disappointing. I'm glad you enjoyed this review and thanks for reading!


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Thanks LInda. I kind of want my eight dollars back. Then again, I'll probly watch it again. I try to give movies a couple chances, especially if I like the cast and director... which I do.


americanidle7 profile image

americanidle7 4 years ago

as for me, I really enjoyed this movie, but you make excellent points about things I hadn't even thought about! Great review.


rcrumple profile image

rcrumple 4 years ago from Kentucky

Strong review!

Haven't seen the film yet. I'm not a go to the theater person, especially for 2 h 45 m (I had no idea it was that long!). However, I do like the series, and will purchase it on Blue Ray when available.

Good job in presenting the information! It kept me from start to finish! Up & interesting


Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 4 years ago from Orlando, FL

I haven't seen it yet and I don't want to. I was curious to read yoru review since you were the first one I heard say they didn't like it. You had valid points. I liked Batman Begins, didn't care too much for The Dark Knight even though I am a Heath Ledger fan. So I probably won't like this one. It could wait for cable. Good review!

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