J. Pack's Profile - Rotten Tomatoes

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Rating History

Lincoln (2012)
4 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes

Will end up as my #1 movie of the year.

The Dark Knight Rises
5 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes

Of all the movies of the last decade or so I don't know if there's been a film with as much anticipation behind it as "The Dark Knight Rises". This summer's "The Avengers", "Lord of the Rings: Return of the King", maybe "Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith" come to mind (maybe not because the two before it sucked so bad). Still with such anticipation building behind this film, it had a lot to contend with in terms of audience expectations. This can be a good thing and a bad thing.

I think this is the weakest entry of Nolan's Batman threesome. It is still an entertaining film that is definitely above and beyond 90% of all summer time blockbusters. Direction, acting, cinematography, a strong score, brooding atmosphere, compelling action, all these things that we have come to know with Christopher Nolan Batman is all still there. But there are a few things going on in TDKR that makes me give this one the bronze medal.


A big issue I had was with Bane. Hardy did an awesome job beefing his body up and did a great job with the voice characterizations of the character. Bane's polite British tone is a great irony to his diabolical sentiments. What I did not like however, is how I lost roughly a third of what he was saying. Sound editing had to be better here. Frequently Hardy's words were lost amidst a low hollow jumbling of words behind his metallic breathing apparatus. Was this Nolan's purpose? Did he want Bane to be quasi-inaudible? Beats the hell out of me, but it became increasingly frustrating as the film progressed.

Another thing that I believe the film needed was more fighting between Batman and Bane. Just simply wasn't enough of it. The fate of this film's primary antagonist was also disappointing. Also, why was there absolutely NO mentioning of the Joker? I realize that Nolan wanted to revere and ultimately leave Ledger's superb performance alone by going in a different direction by using the surprising Bane as the villain, but come on. We're essentially just going to pretend like the Joker episode never happened in Gotham? Also disappointing. My last specific issue has to also do with the instituting of the Scarecrow during the makeshift court proceedings. This scene would have been cool, had he been wearing his mask. Who wants to see Cilian Murphy reprise this role without the essential and proper elements to do it. Head scratching.

Then there was the imprisonment of Bruce Wayne. Never explained how Bane got him to the remote and overseas location or how Wayne got to Gotham once he escaped. The whole imprisonment sequence was just, bland.

A host of new and unnecessary characters that bloated the plot was also tedious and is the primary reason why this film ran almost three hours. The John Blake character played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt in particular was essentially unneeded. The wrap up with that character at the film's end was also nonsensical. Seriously thats going to be the last scene? John Blake is NOT Robin. Just dumb.

Some of you might think I'm being overly critical and I probably am, but as a reader of Batman comics since I was seven, a film goer who holds "The Dark Knight" as one of the greatest films ever, I just can't help but point out the short comings. This is still a good movie and I recommend it to anyone who has enjoyed the previous installments. Its just not really good like "Batman Begins" or a masterpiece like "The Dark Knight Rises". It is the weakest of the three.

Now the big question is what happens to the Batman franchise now that Nolan has concluded his Dark Knight saga, throwing in the towel along with Christian Bale. Who knows? But one thing for sure is that I doubt anything will ever come as close to embodying the essence of the Caped Crusader as Nolan has molded it. Good luck to Warner Brothers, you're going to need it. Just don't screw it up like you did Green Lantern.