The Dark Knight Rises: Kloipy’s Review

 

Being that I have a hard time making it out to the cinema (unless it is a children’s movie) I’m late to the game in seeing The Dark Knight Rises. By now, hundreds of thousands of words have been printed and published about the film. It may be a moot point to even review the film at this point, but hey- a man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do. Or a Batman’s gotta do for that matter.

Without wasting a few needless paragraphs describing the minutia of the plot of The Dark Knight Rises, I feel it’s better to just jump right in to the meat of the review, so we can all get out of here on time and with our cowl still intact. So without further ado, you have my permission to read: but beware of spoilers

 

So what is good about The Dark Knight Rises?

Well, there is quite a lot good about this movie. It is a fitting and satisfying conclusion to one of the better trilogies ever made. When the credits rolled I felt happy with how it ended; without feeling cheated or left with questions. This isn’t the ending to Lost, we have characters that’ve been established and their endings (or beginnings) feels right on target.

Bruce Wayne/Batman- The Wayne/Batman story is something I really liked with the movie. Eight years have passed and Bruce hasn’t kept up with his training. He’s a shell of the man he once was, closed off in self-exile. I like that when he comes back as Batman, he gets his ass handed to him by Bane. Like Alfred says, he’s pretty much on a suicide mission and doesn’t care if he lives or dies. So when we see the established character at the beginning of the film, it feels good to watch him come back at the end to make his last stand and triumph over evil. That’s kind of the point of the movie. The beginning, the fall, and finally the rise of Batman.

Bane- For the most part I liked Bane in this film. Although I will admit I was one of the few that are saying they had a hard time understanding him. I caught about ¾ of what he was saying but some parts I still have no clue about. Subtitles will come in handy when I watch this on DVD. I think Tom Hardy did a really good job with the character, and I did enjoy the voice he used to portray Bane. It was part cheese but also anarchic glee at the destruction he caused. I loved the fight scenes between Bane and Batman. I love how brutally Bane just wailed on Batman, not showing an ounce of pain.

Catwoman- I was surprised by how much I enjoyed the inclusion and performance by Anne Hathaway as Catwoman.  She played it will enough sarcasm, charm, and fun as the character deserves. A really great addition to the series and I will have to mention that she did not hurt the eyes to look at.

The Action- This film had a few great action pieces. The football stadium (go Steelers) sequence was a great moment along with one of the best scenes including Bane. The last hour of this movie has some great action pieces in it and managed to make it feel really large in scale.

The Rest- JGL as John Blake/Robin was great. I felt involved in his storyline and a good prologue to the character. Bale’s performance was as good as it has been in this whole series. Alfred has a heartbreaking moment with Bruce that was top notch.

 

So what was bad about The Dark Knight Rises?

I felt that this movie was good. Really good. But not fully great. I think perhaps after a few viewings or watching the series back to back my opinion might ‘rise’ as well (see what I did there). But there were a few issues that linger with me after a few days to let it settle. I’ll rattle some of these off without going into too much detail. I want you to keep reading after all and this review shouldn’t be as long as The Dark Knight Rises was!

Which brings me to the first issue: The running time. Now, as a fan of cinema, I don’t mind a movie going over and above normal runtime. I can sit and watch a film for four hours as long as that film is engaging me. As much as I liked the movie, I feel it could stand from trimming about 30 minutes out of the film. With having to set up new characters it takes time, but at some points takes too much time.

When you take that time to set up a character, give us a bit more meaning to them when you kill them off. Having Bane get blasted by Catwoman was alright, but it happened so fast I was kind of shocked when they just moved on to the next scene I was left thinking ‘Ok… I guess Bane is dead now’. I would have much rather seen an epic to the death battle between Bane and Batman. Sure, we learn that Bane is just a pawn, but who didn’t want to see Batman stand above the broken Bane, having the tables turned completely (and pulling at Bane’s mask didn’t count for me).

Bane, though a good villain, could have been a bit more menacing than he was portrayed. I don’t need to see him rip someone’s still beating heart out of their chest screaming ‘Kali Ma!’, but Nolan cut away from each of Bane’s kills. Though this is not the real fault of the film, there was no moment as visceral as the ‘magic trick’ of The Dark Knight. With that moment in that film, it was so unexpected and brutal it left you scared of where he would go from that point on. There is no moment in ‘Rises’ that reaches that same level of fear or brutal consequence.

Matthew Modine. Could have done without that redemption.

The Bat- sure it was cool and all and served to finish up the story, I don’t know why but I just didn’t care for it.

Other than that I only have minor issues, but enough that left me not loving this film. But like I said that may change after a few more viewings (hopefully not in the wrong direction).

 

Anything else?

A few people have argued that Bruce was killed at the end and that Alfred just saw a vision of him with Selena Kyle at the end. Um. Remember the part where they specifically stated that Bruce had gotten another auto-pilot fixed for The Bat? Yeah, he didn’t die.

This is just a personal note: Going in to the film I wasn’t thinking about the tragedy in Colorado at all. It just didn’t enter my mind when I bought my ticket and sat down in the darkened theater. However, during the sequence where Bane takes over the Gotham stock exchanged, it just popped up out of nowhere and instantly took me out of the film and made me feel uneasy. I didn’t think that would happen because I know that act was one of an unstable person, but there I was sitting in the dark with a chill running down my spine.

 

Overall

A really good film that doesn’t quite add up to a great one, but a fitting end to this Batman story. Definitely worth to see and will sit proudly in my collection. There are some issues, but with time and less scrutiny this could be seen in a different light and perhaps reach that status.

About these ads

20 responses to “The Dark Knight Rises: Kloipy’s Review

  1. Never to late for a review on Batman…I personally haven’t seen it yet due to personal reasons but I hope to make it to the big screen before it hits the small screen if fortune favors me…..A few spoilers above for me but none not really unexpected I guess you could say…I was worried about Anne Hathaway as Catwoman but I have heard good things about her performance from other reviewers as well so that is a good thing…I heard they never actually called her “Catwoman” in the movie. Thanks for the excellent review and have a good one sir.

  2. A fair a balanced review. You acknowledged issues, but gave it its due. Well done.

    I had even a few more issues with it than you did, but like you, I still had to admit it’s a pretty good flick on the whole. I think it needs a good 20 minutes trimmed off of it somewhere, and I really didnt care for Bane.

    But it still has incredible production values and the characters that we’ve come to love + Catwoman. :D So there’s that…

    • Thanks Fogs! Most of the reviews I’ve read lately have been either 1 extreme or the other. On one hand you have those who praise it and Nolan up and down as creating the ‘greatest blah blah blah of all time’ and those (and I’m pointing out Harry Knowles at Aint it Cool) who wrote a long diatribe that basically read like a 3 year old who got his balloon popped. The day or days before I write a review I try to keep myself as far from any other reviews as possible so that it doesn’t in any way effect my writing, which at least for me helps.

      Like I said in the review, I think it is a good movie, but not great. It’s so hard to not compare it to Dark Knight, but if you look at it as a whole, DKR doesn’t reach near the greatness of TDK (which also has it’s issues but for me not close to as many). It’s hard to put a finger exactly on why it doesn’t work as well, but it is lacking the tightness it needs, and even though I liked Bane, i thought he wasn’t all that menacing.

  3. Nice write up! For me Bane’s death was the worst scene, such a quick ending that ruined just how tough this guy was. Still a great movie, just a few little things irritated me that’s all :)

    • thanks man. I’m still kind of shocked by how Nolan chose to end the Bane character. it just felt lazy

      • I thought he was just stunned, didn’t think he would of been killed that quickly. Very disappointing end to him after all the build up. Agree with you about it being lazy

  4. I like it that the movie was over 2 hours..was it 2.5 hours? I can’t remember. I think Bane is creepy. That mask he wears for life support makes his voice creepy, I guess. I just got the general feeling that he was evil in the kind of way that terrorism spews evil doing.

    I wouldn’t mind if there was more action – but there really was a lot of action in this movie.

    Too bad, it looks like this is the final movie in the series.

  5. Totally agreed on the pacing of Bane’s death. It’s almost so quick that if you blink you miss it and then he isn’t really mentioned again (except for Miranda’s flashback). I didn’t think the film felt as long as it really was, same goes for TDK, but I’d have to see it again without all the excitement of opening night to really judge it.

    • Yeah, I think a second viewing is gonna help this one, or make those issues more glaring. I think all of the Matthew Modine stuff could go without losing anything in this movie. But I’m still chuffed about Bane’s death. It’s No Country for Old Bane

  6. I STILL haven’t seen it! I may break down this weekend. I had to skim over your review to avoid the spoilers. My problem was I liked the dark mood of the first one, but by the second installment, I found it boring and way longer than it needed to be. So, I’ve seen two, do I finish this out or do something else with 3 hours of my life?

    • I’d say watch it just to finish it. but if you thought TDK was long you might be really bored by DKR

  7. I like your idea of reviewing a few weeks after an opening. I’ve never understood the need to be the first to see a film especially in a digital age. It’s not like you’re going to see a bad worn out print. But a review a couple weeks after all the hype has worn off and the religious fervor that has fanboys talking in tongues over the latest comic book movie makes for a calmer more realistic review.

    Oh yeah, good write up Kloipy.

    • Thank you Barfy :) I usually am not in a rush to see anything on opening night. I like a less crowded theater. Less chance for annoying people to ruin the movie haha

  8. I watched the movie twice! In the cinema. I must say, I loved it. And this review literally summed it all up! Uh-mazing, you read my mind. Bane’s death happened way too fast that it took some time to digest : Oh, he died. And then, it was just left hanging in there without any further mention. All in all : good movie. Loved it.

  9. Pingback: The Dark Knight Rises « Gamers Therapy·

  10. Right… (cracks knuckles)… I’m with you all the way on what’s good in ‘TDKR’ – the performances, the action, Blake’s organic arc and the satisfactory conclusion to the trilogy. The bad… I may have something slightly different for ya…

    Bane voice – But for a couple of lines, which I gather weren’t intrinsic to the plot, I understood everything else he said. The bits I didn’t get – balls to ‘em, I’ll make something up, like I did with ‘Predator’; to this day, I still don’t know what what’s-her-face says in the jungle – “The demon who makes stroffuss of men…” Come again? It’s mythical now; I don’t want to know what she says, I refuse flat-out to call up the subtitles. I’ve grown very fond of ‘stroffuss’.

    Running time – I didn’t want the film to end. I went home and watched ‘Batman Begins’ because I wanted more. I didn’t notice the passage of time myself.

    Bane death – Tricky one, this. First of all, I fully admit my immediate reaction was similar to yours. But on the bus home I thought it through. You’ve got a situation where Bat-face and Bane have laid the beat down twice already; when Bane smashes up Batman, that’s epic – then we get Batman’s rise and they start battering merry hell out of each other epically again. Breaking Bane’s mask here DID do it for me coz it’s symbolic; Batman is now a match for Bane – I needed to see that more than anything. We’ve reached a point in ‘TDKR’ where another extended punching match will seriously break up the momentum; the focus has already shifted away from Bane and he is ultimately nothing more than a roadblock who needs smashing aside. Batman has been stabbed and will not be able to overpower Bane, not without help. Selina to the rescue. Nolan’s solution isn’t ‘lazy’, it’s necessary to get us where we’re going. Did I expect Bane to reappear? Yes, I did. But he didn’t and the film’s still fantastic.

    Bane IS menacing, even off-screen you can feel his presence. Do we need to see him do something ‘visceral’? The merciless demolition of Batman does enough. He doesn’t have to do anything – the scene where he tells his henchman, “Search his pockets… then I will kill you…” is enough for me. The fact that said henchman, rather than say ‘fuck you, if you’re gonna kill me YOU can search his pockets…’ – he searches Gordon’s pockets. He’s more frightened of what Bane will do to him if he DOESN’T search Gordon. At least this way he only gets killed. That’s menacing.

    Modine – You’re probably right, but then I don’t think the Foley (?) character was needed. Therefore including him, his character had to go somewhere; why not leading the charge. It’s adequate.

    The Bat – Not sure what you mean? Flying off with the bomb? What’s ‘bad’ about it?

    It’s interesting that the only time I thought of the Aurora tragedy (have you heard Zimmer’s music tribute…) was ALSO in the stock exchange sequence. For some reason a little voice in my head piped up saying, ‘it would have been about now’ and it too sent a shiver down my spine. I did feel uneasy but it did not remove me from the film; it cemented me in there.

    For myself, only two things niggled me and it’s just a personal thing really… When Bane opens up the prisons to let out all the scum, like Scarecrow… You would’ve thought one of the first out would be the Joker. I was sort of expecting to see a reference to the Joker and if there was I missed it. If not, it just seems to be a glaring omission. Where’s the Joker in all of this? I’ll presume he’s been locked up away from Gotham. Secondly, when Batman escapes his exile and returns to Gotham… How does he get back there? I’ll say he stowed away on a ship – some months had passed, if I recall correctly, so maybe he did that. Oh, and there’s the moment when Bane requests an audience with Miranda – but we don’t get that scene… and then she’s in the next one with Bats & Co. It’s a genuinely awkward passage of play that I’m sure Nolan could’ve avoided.

    I’ll have to see it a second time before deciding whether I rate it above ‘TDK’ or not. At the moment I’m edging toward ‘TDKR’ being the best one.

    • Bravo sir, bravo, a review within itself that comment was. I believe that viewing it again, without any expectation or hype, will take away most, if not all of the problems I had with the film. Above and beyond though, it was a great movie, and the perfect way to end the run. I look forward to watching it at home as part of a long 3 movie viewing

      • I know… I blathered on a bit there didn’t I!

        The Miranda/Bane non-scene will still stick with me, I think. But there’s no way around it; Nolan can’t show that meeting coz it’ll give the game away too early. At the same time, he doesn’t want the connection between them sprung abruptly without first planting a seed.

        In the end he’s just trusting his audience to meet him halfway. And on the basis of the work he’s delivered so far I think he has earned that trust.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s