22 July 2012

The Dark Knight Rises (2012)

          Essential plot rundown:  Batman must protect Gotham City from Bane.  7 years ago, Nolan rebooted the Batman franchise with Batman Begins and by doing so, has influence the way superhero movies are made.  And now, we finally see his saga come to an end.  And was it worth the wait?  Yes, it was.

          TDKR was awesome.  If you haven't seen it, stop reading this and go see it now.  There are going to be spoilers intermittently spread out through this review.  So, if you care, wait til after you watch it to continue reading.

          The thing I was the most worried about going to see this was Catwoman.  I was nervous and disappointed when I heard that Anne Hathaway was cast in the role.  She totally did not seem like the right choice.  However, to my pleasant surprise, she worked pretty well.  I liked her in the role.  I also thought it was clever how they did the cat ears for her costume.  But, I did not think the role was necessary.  I didn't feel that having Catwoman in the movie added anything to it, other than a romantic interest for Batman.  (And, by the way, I did not buy their relationship at all; it felt forced).  I think the movie would have been the same with or without her.  One thing I didn't like about her was her fighting skills.  She's a burglar, not a fighter.  But, yet, she kicks butt through out the whole movie.  The whole time I was thinking Where did she learn to fight like that?  Some kind of explanation would have been nice.  Maybe I missed it, who knows.

          Bane was pretty badass.  I liked that he was chosen for the last film because his character was so different from the Joker.  By having a completely different type of villain, I felt that they didn't need to "live up" to Ledger's performance.  The only thing I thought was weird was his voice; he sounded like Sean Connery.  The voice didn't really seem to match up with that body.  It was jarring at first, but after a while I kind of accepted it.

          Dr. Crane (Scarecrow) is also in it, which I didn't like.  He has a small role, only appearing in one or two scenes but him being there felt forced.  I didn't see any reason why it had to be his character and not someone else.  I also didn't like his cameo in The Dark Knight.

          TDKR takes place 7 (or was it 8?) years after the events in The Dark Knight.  And during this time, Bruce Wayne has become a shut in and Batman has disappeared.  And I didn't understand why.  They said he was mourning Rachel Dawes.  He was also hurt, with a bad knee.  He uses a cane to get around and then finally gets some brace to help him walk.  There seemed to be a lot of emphasis on him being a cripple in the beginning that I thought it was going to be some important plot point in the future; I was expecting Bane to break the brace, and thus forcing Batman to fight handicapped.  But it is never spoken of again.  There's no real reason why that whole thing is in the movie.  I thought that there was a disconnect between the two movies, with Wayne being a crippled shut in.  I wanted a scene or something that took place between the two movies to connect them a little better.

          Also, how did Blake (JGL's character) know that Bruce Wayne was Batman.  He gave some kind of explanation but I didn't follow it.  And at the end of the movie, Blake finds the Bat-cave, setting him up to become Robin.  (Though I would be hugely surprised if they did make a movie with JGL as Robin).  But, Wayne Manor is donated and becomes a home for orphans.  But, doesn't the manor lead to the Bat-cave?  How is JGL suppose to be Robin with all of those kids above him?  And won't they eventually find the secret passages leading down?

          But all of those are just small complaints in the grand scope of things.  They didn't really affect the movie at all.  However, there were 2 things that greatly upset: Catwoman defeats Bane and Batman lives.

          Batman and Bane fight and Bane wins.  Then Batman comes back for a rematch and is surprised by Miranda Tate.  Then when Bane is about to finish him, Catwoman comes in and saves the day.  What?!?  NO!  This is their fight.  I paid good money to watch Bane and Batman fight to the death.  Not for Catwoman to come in and shoot Bane.  It was a little anti-climatic and disappointing.  Batman needed to redeem himself from their earlier fight.

          And I did not like that Bruce Wayne survived.  When Batman leaves with the bomb and sacrifices himself, it was a greatly emotional scene.  (Meaning I cried). Then they show the funeral and statue and all of this stuff, making it even worse.  But SURPRISE!!  They were just kidding.  He never died at all.  But escaped and is living happily ever after with Selina Kyle.  (And once again, I never bought their romance).  I felt like my emotions were toyed with.  And the  fact that he lived undermines his whole sacrifice.  Catwoman says that Batman has given Gotham everything.  He responds by saying that he hasn't yet.  And at the end he never does.  The whole ending felt empty without Batman's sacrifice. They played him as a martyr but he wasn't.  I personally think that him giving his life makes him that much more of a hero.  If I could change one thing about the movie, that would be it.

          But overall, it is a great movie.  I'm not sure which I like better: TDKR or The Dark Knight.  (While I liked Batman Begins, I didn't think it was an amazing piece of cinema like the other two).  The Dark Knight is darker, but TDKR is more emotional.  But, either way, Batman is the man.  Oh, and I saw it at the DBox, which was well worth the price.

     But that's just my opinion...


  1. I loved Bane’s voice. I thought it was perfect! I loved that he had a proper/fancy voice that contrasted with his scary body. It made him sound smart which made him creepier. If it had been dark and rough he would have been just like any other dumb, bad guy. I also liked that Scarecrow was shown. I thought it made sense that Miranda would have him in some sort of leadership position since he was with her father's league…or whatever they’re called.

    I didn’t realize it until you said it, but Batman really should have been the one to take down Bane!! Kind of a letdown that he didn’t.

    And I like that he lived. Just because he didn’t die doesn’t mean he wasn’t willing and ready to sacrifice everything. Maybe? But I think it would have been cool if they had ended right before Alfred looked up and saw Bruce. So we would have to wonder did he really die or is he alive? Kind of like Inception…with the spinning top…

    1. At first I thought his voice was weird. But after watching if several times, I really like it. I also loved his dialogue. Pretty much everything he says is awesome. "We both know that I now have to kill you. You'll just have to imagine the fire!" The more I watch it, the more I'm in love with Bane (and Tom Hardy).

      Yea, I forgot about Scarecrow helping the League of Shadows til a few days later. And thinking back, it does make sense that he would be in it.

      Actually, that would have been a better ending, just leaving it open for interpretation. I was thinking that when it comes out on dvd, that I'll edit my own version and cut Alfred out of the ending. And even knowing that he "dies" I still cry every time at the end. But, something else I didn't realize until my 2nd viewing, is that Batman does die, but Bruce Wayne doesn't. He leaves Batman in that explosion and moves on with his life. So, when I look at it that way, I accept the ending a little better.

    2. I don't know how many times a day we say, "It would be very painful...for you." I love Tom Hardy, and was shocked when I found out he was supposed to be Bane, but it turned out awesome. I think that's what makes Nolan a great director - he can take heart throbs (Hardy & Ledger) and make them evil geniuses. SO GOOD!