Batman:The Dark Knight Rises
Action (Comic Book)
Running Time: 165 minutes
Starring: Christian Bale, Tom Hardy, Anne Hathaway, Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, Gary Oldman, Marion Cotillard, Matthew Modine, Joseph Gordon-Levitt
Directed By: Christopher Nolan
Rating: 5.5 out of 10
8 years have passed and Batman not only a forgotten hero he is a criminal. A new evil is heading to destroy Gotham city and only Batman will be able to stand in its way.
So people have been hounding me to watch this movie and get my review on it so here it goes. This will probably not be one of my more popular reviews, as I have heard nothing but praise for this movie. Just to note, I am not knocking this movie to go against popular belief or to stir conversations. The long awaited finale to one of the most successful franchises has finally arrived, and I couldn’t have been more disappointed with it. This film was suffering from Transformers syndrome, meaning too much is happening to fully enjoy this film. We find ourselves following the story of Batman 8 years after the conclusion of the Dark Knight. Gotham is a city of peace for once but the tide is about to change. The city is on the precipice of disaster with a new bad guy on the scene called Bane. The only person that can stop him is the absent outlaw vigilante Batman, but time is running out for his reappearance.
The film has a great start and a great intro to our main bad guy Bane. Director Nolan knows his audience and hooks you instantly with an amazing opening scene on an air plane. From there the film splinters into a movie telling too many stories about too many characters. This franchise has taken a turn for the worse in my mind. Isn’t this film supposed to be about Batman? While Batman took a backseat to one of the most impressive acting jobs ever (Heath Ledger as the Joker) in the last film, his lack of screen time is more of a concern in this film, as there is no reason for it. Bane, Catwoman, Lucius Fox, Alfred, Commissioner Gordon, Miranda, Blake, are all taking up valuable screen time and not only will most people not care, it is boring to boot. Apparently all of their stories must be told, but did it all have to be crammed into one drawn out film? The film tries to go to a whole new level of darkness and depravity, but it falters along the way. Sure the new toys and gadgets are awesome but sometimes keeping it to the basics is just fine. There is nothing better than seeing Batman chase down bad guys on his motorbike, with his cape flapping behind him. Yes his plane is awesome but it is almost gratuitous at this point.
Since most of the players are back from previous films, I will instead focus more on the new players to this game. I will start with the main bad guy Bane, played by Tom Hardy. Hardy’s performance is determined mainly by his physique and his mask more than his acting ability. He is impressively massive and visually a great super villain for Batman to fight against. His voice was at times hard to hear which is frustrating, but overall he was an imposing character, and amazing during his limited fight scenes. Selina Kyle (Cat Woman) played by Anne Hathaway was a surprise performance for me. She can be cloyingly annoying at times in other films, but she brought her A game for this role. She was seductive, she held her own in the action sequences, and lastly she was underutilized (which is a good thing meaning I wanted to see more of her). She was great and I was really impressed by her performance. Police officer Blake played by the normally awesome Joseph Gordon-Levitt was off his game in this film. More so the character was so weak and yet he gets ample screen time. His less then stellar character gets thrown at you right through this film and Levitt does nothing with him to make it work.
Christian Bale as Batman was the same as he always is with these films. He has the personality and can pull off any fight sequence with ease. You either like him or hate him. I can get over his terrible raspy voice so I will miss him if he is truly done with this character. He also needed to have more screen time which is frustrating.
Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, are all back and great additions. Marion Cotillard was forgettable as businesswoman Miranda Hale.
With all of the multitude of story lines going on, it is like this film was preparing us for spin off films instead of dealing with the task at hand. Everything is lost in the mix, and this film feels like it has a running time of 4 hours as there is too much story. When Batman is fighting with Catwoman or Bane the film is working. When the film is focusing on Bruce Wayne’s inner demons, or officer Blake investigating crimes, the film is wretched. The film drags itself to a pretty cool ending, but even that seems abrupt and rushed as it flips from character to character so you never feel satisfied. This film's effects and action sequences are amazing and I would say the best of the franchise, but they are sporadic and fit unevenly into the story. Just because a film is darker and has bigger flashes and explosions, doesn’t make it a good film.
Director Chris Nolan’s resume speaks for itself. Memento, Batman Begins, Batman Dark Knight, and Inception, shows he is one of Hollywood’s elite directors. He missed badly with this film though. The film has too much going on and never seems to be heading in the right direction. This film would have been better served as two films so it didn't seem so cramped. Yes the action was amazing and the fight scenes were good except for some editing flaws, but it couldn’t save the movie for me. At the end of the day we want Batman, and he seemed like a supporting character in this film. It was a puzzling film and I am sad this is how it ends.
I cannot recommend this film, while it was entertaining and dark, it seemed Batman never fully rose to be the caped crusader we all love and admire.
T Factor + If you like Batman comics this could score higher on the rating scale.
T Factor – If you want a lot of screen time for Batman in this film this could score lower on the rating scale.
If you liked this film reel recommendations: The Amazing Spider-Man, The Avengers