The Dark Knight Rises (2012)

Origin of Batman

The Dark Knight Rises

Director: Christopher Nolan

Writers: Bob Kane, Christopher Nolan, Jonathan Nolan, David S. Goyer

Cast: Christian Bale, Tom Hardy, Anne Hathaway, Gary Oldman, Michael Caine, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Marion Cotillard, Juno Temple, Morgan Freeman, Josh Pence, Nestor Carbonell, Matthew Modine, Alon Aboutboul, Ben Mendelsohn, Burn Gorman, Daniel Sunjata, Aidan Gillen, Sam Kennard

Synopsis: Eight years on, a new terrorist leader, Bane, overwhelms Gotham's finest, and the Dark Knight resurfaces to protect a city that has branded him an enemy.

MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, some sensuality and language

Origin of Catwoman

Origin of Bane

If you make yourself more than just a man, and dedicate yourself to an ideal, then you become something else entirely...a legend Mr. Wayne...a legend..

After the premiere of arguably the greatest super hero film ever made, it seems only fitting that Nolan would return to finish the trilogy of Batman. Although there's been many different cinematic adaptations of Batman throughout the years, Christopher Nolan has taken on a more grounded, gritty and perhaps more psychological approach to the Dark Knight. Not only exploring psychologically what sequence of events transpire Bruce Wayne to become Batman, but also exploring many complex universal themes that most superhero films wouldn't dare cover. Indeed, whether you like the way Nolan handled the character or not, there's no debating that his trilogy has been by far the most successful among both critics and box office results collectively.

Before I dive into my review of this latest chapter in Nolan's Batman saga, I feel it's best to go over my thoughts previously on the last two films. During "Batman Begins", I was impressed by the movie a lot. Not only did I applaud Nolan for his gritty and realistic approach to the character, but it was kind of interesting to see how Nolan was able to add psychological layers, to the story line. Although the actions scenes weren't exactly the best in "Batman Begins", but it was still an all around great superhero origin movie.

As for "The Dark Knight", what can I really say that hasn't been already said? It's clearly the best superhero film ever made. Not only exploring controversial and psychological pathos that most comic book films wouldn't explore, but it ends on a bitter note that's very unique for it's genre. Anyway, without further delay, let's dive into this review of "The Dark Knight Rises."

After years of anticipation, "The Dark Knight Rises" finally comes to theaters to close Nolan's Batman trilogy. Will it live up to the hype? Or will it fail like so many third movies do in other film franchises? Well, lets find out. The story takes place eight years after the events of "The Dark Knight." Batman is no more, as Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) has completely shut himself off from world. His business is going bankrupt, and everyone in Gotham City presumes Batman is a murderer that killed the city's fallen hero, Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart). Everything seems peaceful, as the new "Dent Law" allows for law enforcement to carry more power, to instill order on the streets.

Unfortunately, this new peace if short lived, as a sinister threat known only as Bane (Tom Hardy) emerges; along with the remaining members of the league of shadows. As it would seem, they've come to finish the job that Ras Al Ghul (Liam Neeson) started years ago, by destroying Gotham City for it's corruption and deceit of peace based on a lie. To make matters more interesting, a mysterious Catwoman (Anne Hathaway) appears in Gotham City as well. Is she an enemy? Or perhaps a misunderstood ally? Needless to say, Bane soon proves to be far greater of a threat than the Gotham police anticipated, so Bruce Wayne is forced to don the cape and cowl once more. However, could this be a threat be too big even for the Dark Knight to survive? Well, I can't say without giving too much away. However, I have to say I'm a little disappointed with this one.

Don't get me wrong, I loved "The Dark Knight Rises", and I especially liked the characterizations presented for Bane, Catwoman and Batman. Heck, I also found some of the clever plot twists be quite clever as well around certain key characters. Unfortunately, I'd be lying to a lot of readers if I said this was a flawless superhero film, as it's not. For starters, the love triangle between Miranda Tate (Marion Cotillard), Bruce Wayne/Batman, and Catwoman feels often rushed at times; which makes the plot twist around one of them less than impressive around the ending as a direct result.

The film also suffers from various plot holes that do tend to get distracting. Granted, it probably won't bother the average movie goer, but it's worth pointing out. One of these plot holes consists of Bane's elaborate scheme to bankrupt Bruce Wayne. Don't get me wrong, I understand the idea is to financially cripple Batman, so he won't be a big threat to the league of shadows. However, earlier in the movie, they already established that Bruce Wayne neglectfully didn't invest his money well after he gave up being Batman. Therefore, doesn't that kind of undermine the whole elaborate scheme to bankrupt him to begin with?

Plus, in a later scene, Bruce Wayne is locked up in a prison in another country. Meanwhile, Gotham City is taken hostage by the league of shadows, where nobody gets out or into the city. Granted, they show how Bruce manages to escape the prison, but they never explain how he manages to get back into Gotham City easily. And to add even more insult to injury, one of the characters in the film is able to deduce Batman's true identity by mere observation of Bruce Wayne. Yes, I know this same logic worked in the Batman comics, when Bane was first introduced. Unfortunately, what works in a comic book doesn't necessarily equate to working in films, as those are two entirely different mediums.

Another flaw this film suffers from is that unless you've seen the last two movies, then you're not going to be able to follow it. Unlike "The Dark Knight" that was still able to be a continuation of "Batman Begins", but still managed to stand on it's own merit, "The Dark Knight Rises" suffers from the idea that the plot heavily relates to the events of the previous films. For example, the league of shadows being led by Bane is more of a continuation relating to the events of "Batman Begins"; while adding more mystique to Bruce's former mentor, Ras Al Ghul. The subplot about how Gotham's hopes fall when the city finds out the true nature of the late Harvey Dent; heavily relates to the events of "The Dark Knight." Granted, if you've been following this movie series, then it does bring the whole thing full circle. However, if you're a newcomer into this series, then it's easy to get lost at times.

As I said before, this isn't a bad movie by any means. If anything, it's still a helluva a lot better than half the superhero films ever made; which isn't saying a lot considering most superhero films range from mediocre to terrible, while producing only a few great ones here and there. However, I'm sure most readers will get the idea.

Unlike the previous Batman movies that Nolan handled, this one seems to contain the most action out of all of them. Plus, it definitely brings a lot of closure to Bruce Wayne's story, while still hinting at the possibility that Nolan could continue the universe if he choose to.

As for those doubting Anne Hathaway, I should tell you that you needn't worry. Anne is arguably the best Catwoman since Michelle Pfeiffer. In fact, I'm probably one of the rare few that would dare argue that Anne is better at the part than Michelle was back in the day. As for those doubting the realism of her costume meshing in with Nolan's modernized world for Batman, then you'll be quite surprised once you see this film, as she definitely meshes quite well in it.

As for the rest of the cast, I thought they all handled their performances well. Apart from some minor pacing issues, the film's editing wasn't too bad, and the special effects are exactly what you'd expect from a movie like this.

Overall, I'd probably have to say this is the weakest movie in Nolan's Batman trilogy, but it's still a good superhero film to watch that provides closure to the Dark Knight's journey. In the end, I'd have to give this film a solid three out of four, and it's still worth checking out in theaters if you haven't seen it already.

Batman Villains That Have Been In Christopher Nolan's Trilogy

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Comments 11 comments

Nickalooch profile image

Nickalooch 4 years ago from Columbia, MD

no real shock. but your the first to really agree with me. personally, i dont think Nolans heart was fully invested into this film. i think its sad that i was able to predict so much of the film.

i told a few of my friends, the film would have been better broken up into two films. ending on a certain point that i will not speak of to avoid spoilers would have been the perfect spot to stop part 1. while the 2nd would have been about the rebirth if you will of Batman. then the film would have felt less disjointed to me.


Cogerson profile image

Cogerson 4 years ago from Virginia

Nice review....you have made many solid points about the movie....I think the way I describe the movie.....It is a good movie but not a fun movie to watch....The Dark Knight was a great movie that was a blast to watch.

I love how Bruce Wayne goes bankrupt at 8 AM in the morning....they take his car at 11AM and cut the power off at his house at 7PM at night. I guess that is how repo men and utility companies work...they follow the news of the day then take back their property/services on the very same day.

I thought the strength of the first two movies was the relationships between Wayne/Alfred/Fox/Gordon.....this movie makes those seem very unimportant....granted Michael Caine gets to cry as much as Tobey Maguire did in Spidey 3...but I was disappointed that Wayne's support group was ignored in this movie....hell they got rid of Alfred half way through the movie.

I think Nickalooch makes a great point...I am surprised Warner Brothers did not split this up into two movies. Voted up and very interesting.


Nickalooch profile image

Nickalooch 4 years ago from Columbia, MD

it was way to disjointed. my main issue, which to most will be overanalyzing things, was the lack of a response from the citizens of Gotham. in Batman Begins and TDK we got to see how they felt about everything that was going on. You had that kid that later would go to become Joffrey in Game of Thrones believing that Batman was truly a hero, and later on he was terrified thanks to the gas dispersed upon the city.

In the Dark Knight, we had the two boats. each with a bomb, while the trigger was on the opposing boat. it was Jokers way of trying to introduce chaos to the people of Gotham, but they surprised him with their resilience.

You had none of that with TDKR where you had plenty of moments for it considering the bomb Bane got a hold of. they had what 5 months for the bomb? and you mean to tell me that there wouldn't be mass rioting? come on Nolan! lol.

again...i feel like Nolan's heart just was not into this movie. He was extremely close to Heath and his death had a huge impact on Nolan. he didn't want to come back and do the third without him.


Fullerman5000 profile image

Fullerman5000 4 years ago from Louisiana, USA

I agree again with you. the Dark Knight was a tough movie to follow especially after such brilliance played by Heath Ledger as the Joker. The Dark Knight Rises was a great film, but I do see your points on the plot and how some things were not fully explained.


Robwrite profile image

Robwrite 4 years ago from Bay Ridge Brooklyn NY

Nice review Steve; i haven't seen the film yet so I can't comment on it but the consensus seems to be that it's the weakest of the three. Even though I am personally not that big a fan of Nolan's Batman films, I've seen the first two and I'll check this one out eventually.

good job,

Rob


Donna9376 4 years ago

Very nice review Steve. I loved this film, I am not sure if its the greatest super hero film ever though. I must admit it was good though. For me i would say the Avengers would have to be the greatest. Then again that might be because i just love Iron Man :).


Stevennix2001 profile image

Stevennix2001 4 years ago Author

@donna9376

To be honest, I think "The Avengers" was better than this film, but they're both worth watching though if you ask me. Anyway, I appreciate you stopping by to check out my review. :)


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 4 years ago from North Carolina

Hi Steven, how've you been? I love the way you critique the movies you watch. I'm still waiting to see this one...was all excited and then got turned off with the crazy killings in the CO theatre. Still...gotta see it so I can update my Catwoman hub. Great review - rated it Up /A/I :)


Stevennix2001 profile image

Stevennix2001 4 years ago Author

@nickalooch and cogerson

I think you both bring up a lot of valid points, and nick is right that this might've been served better had it been divided up into two parts. It definitely would've helped flesh out the love triangle more that's for sure. Plus, im sure wb wouldn't have minded doing another batman film with nolan and bale. However, too little too late now. What can you do? Anyways, thanks for sharing your thoughts with us guys.

@fullerman

Oh well. what can you do though right? Anyways, thanks for stopping by again buddy, as it's always great to see you.

@robwrite

Thanks rob. Well i hope you do like the movie whenever you do get a chance to see it, and you be sure to take care.

@denise

I've been doing fine thanks. Just been a bit busy these days, but nothing too strenuous though. thanks for asking. how are you doing? anyway, thanks for the compliment, as im glad you like my review style. :)


rabbit75 profile image

rabbit75 4 years ago

Interesting hub and review...although we do agree on most things, I do have to say that I wasn't much impressed with the last installment to Nolan's trilogy. Don't get me wrong. I did like it, but out of the three, I believe it was the weakest.

I really did like Nolan's take on the Catwoman. Finally, she was done right on screen. As for Bane, I didn't care for this interpretation. Sure, he was better than the last time Bane was in a Batman movie.

Bane's voice was incredibly annoying, and much of the plot was pretty predictable. It was entertaining, yes, and as far as trilogies go, Nolan did an amazing job. However, both Batman Begins and The Dark Knight are movies I don't mind seeing over and over again. I can't really say that for The Dark Knight Rises.

Great review...voted up and awesome!


Stevennix2001 profile image

Stevennix2001 4 years ago Author

Well to each their own. I do agree with you that "Batman Begins" and "The Dark Knight" are far superior films compared to this one, as this is arguably the weakest of the trilogy overall. However, it's not a bad movie. I just think it suffers from the fact that it had too much going on to really make the story work as great as the previous films; which is why I agree to Cogerson and Nick that this movie might've been better served if it was spread out into two films instead of one.

Heck, I'm sure WB wouldn't have minded that at all. If anything, I can imagine that they'd love the idea. Anyways, thanks again for joining us to share some of your thoughts Rabbit, as it was a pleasure seeing you.

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