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The Dark Knight Rises (2012)

So I might be a bit late to the party, but I finally managed to find some time to head to the cinema and see The Dark Knight Rises. The last couple of months the marketing campaign for the movie was in full force and it seemed that there wasn’t a place you wouldn’t read about it. You might not believe me, but I managed to steer clear of most set photos, previews and trailers. So I went in not knowing much about this final part of the Christopher Nolan trilogy.

Eight years after the events of The Dark Knight, Gotham City has been fighting crime without its caped crusader. Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) is depressed after losing the love of his life and lives a life as a Howard Hughes recluse, with hardly anyone able to talk to him. When the city becomes under a very big threat though it’s time to get back into the bat suit. That threat is Bane (Tom Hardy), a masked villain who is very menacing.

Visually the movie is stunning and worth the admission price alone. Nolan stretches his muscles and delivers an action piece at the start of the movie which you won’t see in any other movie. Knowing this wasn’t done with CGI makes it even more impressive. Batman also has cool new toys to play with and it was a lot of fun to see.
Besides Bane other new characters are introduced in the form of Catwoman (Anne Hathaway) and police officer Blake (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) and Marion Cotillard as Miranda (who is interested in providing clean energy to the world), but there are even more. I don’t mind all these new characters, but unfortunately not enough time is spent on introducing all of them. This results in specific scenes that are needed for the story, but they miss emotional impact. An example is a love interest, as no time is spent on the development of the feelings Bruce Wayne has and because of that I didn’t believe he cared so much about her. It happens to a lot of pieces of the story and that’s a shame. The movie should either have been longer or some stuff would need to be cut to make it tighter.

If you think I didn’t like the movie you would be mistaken as there is a lot to like. One of the things I loved the most was Michael Caine’s performance, who gives the movie the needed emotion and heart. Is this movie the best one in the trilogy? I still think the previous one is, but if you are looking for a lot of spectacle then the Dark Knight Rises delivers.

Score: 7

  • Jaina says:

    Interesting to read your thoughts. I thought this film packed a massive emotional punch. From Gordon’s continual struggle with dealing with the lie and his family to Alfred having to effectively let go of the only son he’s ever had. Sure there wasn’t a lot of time spent on the love interest aspect, but I didn’t think that was a bad thing.

    Thumbs up to you for avoiding all the marketing!

    My favourite in the trilogy is between this and Batman Begins. Tough call between them for me.

    August 16, 2012 at 2:02 pm
    • Nostra says:

      It had emotional moments although it didn’t have as much impact on me as it did on you it seems. I never felt that Gordon was struggling that much. Alfred though was the one (as I stated) who stood out to me.

      It’s pretty do-able to avoid marketing once you are in that mode :)

      August 22, 2012 at 9:02 am
  • Paula says:

    The first time I saw TDKR, I felt the same way, that there were a lot of unexplained events and loose ends. Like where did Miranda come from? I saw it a second time and it made a lot more sense. Miranda still seems a bit sudden but I love it, probably as much as the others.

    August 16, 2012 at 10:15 pm
    • Nostra says:

      I do think I got most of the things you call loose ends….

      August 22, 2012 at 9:03 am
  • Will says:

    Nice review. Like you I only just saw this and I also avoided nearly everything. The only way to see it!

    I agree that the emotional heart is a bit lacking, especially with the romantic angle, but I think spending more time on it would just drag the movie away from the central story of Batman and the impending doom of Gotham. It’s hinted at subtly throughout though, which I think is enough to get by with in this particular movie.

    August 17, 2012 at 1:13 am
    • Nostra says:

      Thanks Will! Yeah, it is focussed on Gotham, although I think when you also want to put in a love story it should be a bit more fleshed out…the way it was handled here it felt more like a one night stand instead of someone he cared about…

      August 22, 2012 at 9:04 am
  • rodders says:

    I also think The Dark Knight is better than this one, but I still absolutely loved this film. Great review

    August 18, 2012 at 8:38 pm
    • Nostra says:

      Thanks rodders!

      August 22, 2012 at 9:04 am
  • Paul Secada says:

    Totally agree. The movie was way long. It felt crammed up just to get the abundance of characters some stuff say or do. They could have shaved a solid 25 to 30 minutes, imo. Nonetheless a solid piece of entertainment but falls short of all the hype. If I were to rate the trilogy, I would say Dark Kight, Begins and then Rises. You can check out my thoughts on the movie at my blog.

    Cheers

    August 19, 2012 at 5:40 pm
    • Nostra says:

      Well, I didn’t mind the length and wouldn’t have minded it to be a bit longer if it fleshed out some things a bit. Some characters though could have been removed like that annoying cop who added nothing to the film…

      August 22, 2012 at 9:05 am
      • Paul Secada says:

        Problem is a whole lot of the plot had some massive holes in them. It didn’t make sense most of time. But it was still enjoyable nonetheless…including the cop who added nothing to the film ;)

        August 23, 2012 at 2:16 am
  • Chris says:

    I agree that the emotional impact of several characters was not quite there, because there were so many names to follow. I thought Michael Caine’s brief performance was emotionally satisfying too.
    The villain Bane was okay, tough to top Heath Ledger’s joker! Good review, Nostra.

    August 19, 2012 at 7:22 pm
    • Nostra says:

      It’s almost impossible to top Heath Ledger’s Joker, but I do think that Bane was very menacing…

      August 22, 2012 at 9:06 am
  • atothewr says:

    I honestly find this to be on equal ground with the two that have come before. What I really liked about it (and what I thought The Dark Knight was missing) was the comic book element. Batman Begins had. The Dark Knight was more of a crime saga with Batman characters. Don’t get me wrong I adore all three of these movies – each one getting a five star rating out of five from me. If I had to split hairs though the comic book feel thing is the one thing missing in The Dark Knight.

    Nice review, by the way, sorry about the rant.

    August 19, 2012 at 9:29 pm
    • Nostra says:

      I never really read comic books, so I don’t know what that comic book feel is…

      August 22, 2012 at 9:06 am
      • atothewr says:

        That means is that it doesn’t feel like a comic book based movie. A lot of the comic book elements are not there.

        August 22, 2012 at 12:54 pm
  • The Focused Filmographer says:

    Man, I wanted so much more of Alfred…even though each of his scenes nearly broke my heart, i wanted more. So well done

    August 22, 2012 at 5:25 am
    • Nostra says:

      Same here T!

      August 22, 2012 at 9:07 am
  • Mavi @filmscope says:

    Your right their are many good technical aspect to this film the but actual story and delivery of the story is fairly poor. But even with the the great set piece open/ Police charge/ Stadium these cant make up for what I expect from a Nolan movie, and that is an intriguing Story, but maybe I expected to much cause I also had many problems with Inception..

    August 22, 2012 at 5:36 pm
    • Nostra says:

      The story was there, but it sometimes got lost a bit in it all (if that makes sense). I had some issues with Inception too :)

      August 23, 2012 at 4:39 pm

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