Christopher Nolan Throwdown: The Dark Knight Rises (2012)

Read the 2nd to last review in the Nolanthon, The Dark Knight Rises!

I…uh…this movie is frustrating for me.  This review will include slight spoilers, which I typically try to avoid, but for you to get to see my soul bare, you need to feel my pain.  So heed my warning folks.  The Dark Knight Rises is the final film in the Dark Knight Trilogy by Christopher Nolan.  Being that, it has a lot to live up to.  Both films prior are looked at (in general) as great films, not necessarily great comic book films, but quality films on merit alone.  What we get in return for the 7 year odyssey is a bloated, convoluted, ugly film that has glimpses of greatness, surrounded and eventually consumed by some straight up nonsense.  S’GO!

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Summary:  Under the Dent Act, a crime sweeping law instated following the death of Harvey Dent, crime in Gotham City is at an all time low.  The safety, like the hero that the city saw in Dent, is all an illusion.  As Batman would say in a super painful, gravelly whisper-yell, storms coming.  Pure evil (or nefarious deeds due to love, who knows) is afoot.  A man named Bane (Tom Hardy), an unstoppable terrorist hellbent on destruction, is on his way.  In the meantime, Bruce Wayne, after 8 years away from the cowl, is a shell of his former self.  Now a disheveled recluse, hiding away in his mansion, using a cane just to walk, he finds himself withering away.  During a fundraiser/gala on Bruce’s premises, a cat burglar named Selina Kyle (Anne Hathaway) steals Bruce’s fingerprints as well as his Mother’s necklace, which causes Bruce’s detective yearn and skills begin to spark and catch fire.  While looking into why his fingerprints were stolen, Bane shows up to Gotham to carry out his destruction.

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Pros: As I stated earlier, there are some glimpses of pure greatness mixed in this film.  Coming to mind is the intro to Bane/airplane scene, as well as the sewer fight between Bane and Batman.  Speaking of Bane, Tom Hardy is just the best.  What could be a hindrance, he turns into a powerful performance.  Even if you can hear his voice and see his actions, his acting is all through his eyes.  It’s a sight to behold.  Anne Hathaway is fantastic as Selina Kyle.  It’s a part that could be lost in the shuffle or come off as annoying but her sheer confidence in the character makes it something much more.   Michael Caine pops in and out, and in one particular scene, shows you he has control over your heartstrings, if he so chooses.  The rest of the cast is serviceable, even if again, like in my review for Inception, Joseph Gordon Levitt is wasted as John Blake.  Wait, that should be in the Cons section.  Don’t worry, there will be enough in there anyway.

Cons:  This movie is nonsense.  The motives, the actions, the ideas, it’s almost all rubbish.  Let’s start off with the basics.  I’m going to just bounce some ideas off of you all and just think to yourself how you feel about them. Or that a police department is told that there are bombs in the sewers all over town, and they proceed to send pretty much EVERY COP IN THE WHOLE CITY down to stop Bane, then get stuck down there when things go awry for them?  Or that the plan to destroy Gotham includes letting all inmates free, sealing off the whole city from the outside world, let the city slowly decay, AND have a nuclear weapon drive around town for 5 months before it blows up?  What?  Oh hey, I need a cane to walk, doctors say I have just a friggin litany of injuries, but I put on one knee brace and I can kick a hole in a brick wall?  Or that there is a pit out in the desert of a non specified land, but obviously far far away, but when I escape, with no money or resources, I can return to Gotham in a short amount of time?  I don’t have many resources, people are being executed, the whole city is on a ticking time clock, but let me make this huge bat on fire signal on the side of a friggin building.  Good time management, I’d say.  The fight scenes are absolute garbage, apart from the sewer fight, which is only good due to the ambiance involved, not because of how the fight was shot or choreographed (even if it’s the best in the series, which is like saying the last awful ,shartastic hot dog I bought at a gas station was the best I’ve had in a long time).  Oh, your group has guns, and we have guns.  Let’s just meet in the middle and punch each other!  OH, we have Batman surprised on a rooftop, LET’S GET CLOSE ENOUGH FOR HAND TO HAND COMBAT, BECAUSE THAT’S OUR GREATEST STRENGTH!  The pacing and timing (or lack thereof) is atrocious.  Bane is turned from an unbeatable machine of a man into a blubbering moron that’s sole reasoning is because this chick he likes wants to continue her father’s plan of cleansing the world of the scum of Gotham.  He went from a truly formidable, well truly superior, opponent mentally and physically to a mindless goon to Miranda/Talia in about 4 seconds flat.  Speaking of Ms. Al-Ghul though, her character arc is asinine.  All of it.  No human would act in any way that she does.  The big reveal with her can be seen from a million miles away, even if you don’t know who she really is.  Damnit.  Oh, and there’s this.

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The bobblehead death motion is the best motion.

The ending makes me hate everything.  Look, Bruce Wayne is a obsessive sociopath.  Let’s be real.  So how do you strip all of what makes him who he is, and bring him down to some well adjusted hero that has finally found contentment, but in probably the worst way possible?  Well you say that he saved his city from the bomb, not from any of the other truly insane amounts of damage done and will be done by the still out and about villains and inmates, and just went to retire in Florence, just chillaxing.  Why?  Why is that a good ending?  It’s not satisfying or gratifying.  It’s a cop out and patronizing.  OH, BUT HE LEFT THE CITY IN THE HANDS OF A DETECTIVE WITH SEEMINGLY NO TRAINING, BESIDES BEING A DETECTIVE, TO CARRY ON THE LEGACY! WHAAAAAT!!!!!!

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Conclusion:  Now that I’ve expunged that putrid feeling out of my system, at least temporarily, I’ll complete this review.  As you can see, there are things to like, and things not to like.  You can look at almost anything under a microscope and find issues, but some are so glaring, so mind numbing, that they have to be addressed.  All I know that is when an ending to something leaves this sour of a taste, it’s more than minor plotholes or ideas.  I don’t like this movie.  I never will.  Hates a strong word, but…

Rating:

  5.5 Broken Bane Faces out of 10

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*Bane Voice* “I just wanna be looooved”

Up next with the finale to the Nolanthon, Interstellar!

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