Halle's Review of The Dark Knight Rises
The Dark Knight Rises(2012)
The Dark Knight Rises may well be one of the most anticipated movies of all time. It's a follow-up of the best superhero movie of all time, stars many Oscar winners and nominees, and is directed by none other than the legend Christopher Nolan. My expectations for the movie were exceptionally high. I figured that this movie had the potential be one of the greatest movies made. But The Dark Knight Rises failed in so many ways. One of the best things about the Dark Knight and Batman Begins is that even though those two movies had many flaws, those flaws were completely overshadowed by each films' shear 'epic-ness', passionate acting, and engaging action sequences. Unfortunately, the Dark Knight Rises' numerous flaws overshadow its good points.
When going to a Batman movie, I expect to see Batman quite a bit. He probably only had about 15 minutes of screen time during the entire 2 hr 45 min movie. Though it was nice to see a bit more of Bruce Wayne, I didn't buy tickets to this movie just to see a rich guy struggle with himself mentally and physically, I bought tickets to see Batman! It's like Chris Nolan realized after putting the movie together that Batman never appeared, and he just threw in a couple of scenes here and there to keep people happy.
I don't EVEN want to get started on the plot holes! There are so many, I probably don't have enough room in my review to name them all. But I think everyone knows about all the plot holes I'm thinking about.
Apart from Christian Bale, I was extremely disappointed in many of the actors'/actresses' performances. Most of them are Oscar winners or nominees! They should know better! I felt that many of the actors (specifically Michael Caine and Gary Oldman) were too dramatic and therefore unconvincing as their characters. Marion Cotillard seemed unfit for her role. And her death scene was so unconvincing, it was laughable. And I am neutral about Anne Hathaway and Joseph Gordon-Levitt. They did alright, a little better than I anticipated.
Tom Hardy is a good actor, and I felt like the character Bane has now almost ruined it for his career. I hope not. Bane looks scary. He is humongous, the mouthpiece is intimidating, and the way he kills and hurts others is brutal. But the voice just messed it up for him. Maybe I would find Bane scarier and more of a match for Batman if I could understand what he was saying! I could catch words here and there, but for the most part it sounded like he was speaking a different language. Bane was definitely a good match for Batman physically, but he didn't have the same effect as the Joker. Batman and the Joker are like yin and yang; Bane and Batman are just too similar, especially since they both come from the League of Shadows. Perhaps a different villain would've been a better choice.
Unfortunately, Alfred was almost completely overlooked in this film. He's somewhat seen in the beginning, then he just leaves in a very strange and out-of-place scene with Bruce Wayne.
I felt that Selina Kyle was a very unnecessary character. And I cringed at the part when she kisses Batman. SO unnecessary. And I hate that Bruce Wayne ends up with her at the end of the movie.
John Blake/ Robin
Seriously, Nolan? Anyway, what bothered me about John Blake was how he knew that Bruce Wayne was Batman just because of the 'look on his face, like he was wearing a mask.' (Plot hole alert!)
I didn't like how Rachel was brought up into the picture, nor how after eight years, Bruce is still whining about it like it happened yesterday. I wish either we hadn't been reminded of Rachel at all, or maybe have the only time she comes up be when we see her picture by Mr. and Mrs. Wayne's.
I was a big disappointed with Christopher Nolan on how much CGI he used in this film. I understand that many scenes would be impossible to make without CGI, but he could have at least toned down the action scenes to make them more realistic, then used real explosions instead of CGI. Just a thought.
Not Enough Action
Too much dialogue! Most of the action sequences didn't last very long, and many were put in strange spots in the movie, like they didn't fit in or were just last minute ideas of Nolan's.
Ra's Al Ghul's Reappearance
Although it was nice to see Liam Neeson again (yay!), the scene where he reappears in front of Bruce Wayne in his imagination was very... awkward. It was definitely a scene that could have been done differently and better.
Bruce Wayne in Jail
I mostly hated this entire part of the movie. Bruce Wayne recovers from his broken back far too quickly, first of all. And Bane just conveniently brings him to a jail in the middle of nowhere where prisoners can just climb out a pit and get out? (plot hole). And whenever Bruce Wayne attempts to climb out of the pit, the scene is so over-the-top serious it's almost comical.
I'm confused as to why Chris Nolan had to include a nuke into the already complicated plot. I understand that Bane/Talia wanted to blow the city up with it, but it seemed a little too sci-fi for the Dark Knight Trilogy.
The end left me somewhat angry. I hated that Robin had to be introduced (I though Nolan and Bale promised there would be no Robin?) and I wasn't too keen on the twist ending and how it was left up to one's interpretation. I wish the end of the trilogy had a bit more closure. It almost seems like Chris Nolan isn't quite done, and strives to make a fourth.
He has grown so much as an actor, and he has gotten better and better at playing Bruce Wayne/Batman. He was arguably the best part of the Dark Knight Rises. The scenes where he his brutally hurt and broken down are extremely painful to watch because Bale made those scenes so convincing and realistic. And it was nice to see him not being overshadowed by Heath Ledger and finally getting the credit he deserves.
Bringing Together the Trilogy in a Full Circle
I thought it was artistic and very witty how Christopher Nolan and his brother and David S. Goyer were able to bring elements all the way from Batman Begins and the Dark Knight into the Dark Knight Rises plot. The three films came together well.
The Police/Batman/Bane's Thugs Chase Scene
In my opinion, this is the best scene in the movie. It is wonderful to see Bale all suited up and on his Bat-pod again. The chase was exciting and very reminiscent of the Dark Knight's action scenes.
The Football Stadium Scene
The most beautifully done scene of the film. I love how the only sound you can hear is the little boy singing the National Anthem while you watch all this chaos with the police force and Bane begin to unfold. It was a very effective scene.
Miranda Tate/Talia al Ghul
I kind of liked how Ra's al Ghul's plans to destroy Gotham came back into play with Talia. I wish that Nolan hadn't incorporated a Bruce/Miranda relationship into the picture, it was all a bit melodramatic.
So overall, I left the theater disappointed and somewhat empty. The Dark Knight Rises wasn't even close to Nolan's best work, nor close to what he could have done with the story. There was so much that could have been done right with this movie, but with all its flaws, I couldn't help but wish that Christopher Nolan had ended Batman at the Dark Knight. It's a shame, but it reminds me that no one, not even Nolan, is perfect.