It’s been eight years since the death of Harvey Dent and Gotham is trying to move on. Bruce Wayne has become a recluse ever since he took the fall for the death of Dent at the end of Christopher Nolan‘s second in his trilogy of Batman movies, The Dark Knight. Now, Nolan brings us The Dark Knight Rises, which obviously stars Christan Bale as Bruce Wayne/Batman, but also introduces new characters including a new main villain, Bane played by Tom Hardy and Selina Kyle played by Anne Hathaway.
There are also some minor characters that you’ll recognize from Nolan’s previous film Inception, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Marion Cotillard. So after all this hype, build up, and we’ve finally reached the end of the trilogy, how was it? I really enjoyed it.
Is the film perfect? Of course not the first problem was Bane. I think a lot of people are going to have a problem with this character and it could be for a variety of reasons. Tom Hardy’s ‘Bane’ is not as good as Heath Ledger‘s ‘Joker’ which won an Academy Award, he is difficult to understand at many times throughout the movie which some will have a problem with. However, the payoff which is kind of a twist towards the end was good and made him a more complete character so I didn’t mind Bane.
Another new person to the cast that many people will ask about is Anne Hathaway who plays Selina Kyle, aka Catwoman. Hathaway pulled off this role very well, she was everything the role required. Sly, sexy, kicked bad guys in the face with her high heeled boots, but did it all with a bit of a mischievous and sarcastic tone when she spoke. I think the main problem is that she seemed to be plugged in to the script or something. It was like they said “Okay let’s only have her around Batman, because if she goes off on her own adventures, that will be way too many story lines going on in this movie.” Unfortunately, Catwoman, while played very well by Anne Hathaway, wasn’t needed in this movie.
Another problem is it’s length. It is too long, baggy, and unfortunately, I thought poorly edited by editor Lee Smith in the final act. The constant cutting back to a ticking clock that never seems to expire gets tiresome and almost seems lazy. Of course, many people could say the same about Nolan’s last film Inception, which was also edited by Smith. I don’t know how many people I heard say, “It seemed like that van was never going to fall into the water.” I forgave it at the time because, in a movie like Inception, you kinda have to let your mind go and believe their time difference ratio, anyway this isn’t a review of Inception. Nolan does use his classic multiple storyline form in the final act, in which he inter-cuts between characters throughout the city. The point of which, he has said is so that he won’t have to do re-shoots after editing.
If you went in and saw this on it’s own, without seeing any of the other Nolan Batman movies, you’re not going to gain as much from it. You’re going to say, “He was hardly ever in the Batsuit.” The same problem some people had with Batman Begins. If you want a strictly Batman movie, stick with The Dark Knight because this is a story of Bruce Wayne literally rising and becoming more than “The Batman.” This is truly a movie that is meant to complete the trilogy, it references several other characters and moments in other previous films, while rarely using actual flashbacks to those movies. It has a beautiful ending that I thought I saw coming, then they fooled me twice. That’s why I love going to the movies, even comic book movies can make you care about someone if they are told by someone that knows how write a story and use a camera correctly.