The Dark Knight Rises: My Review

Thanks to my lovely daughter sending me my Christmas present early, I finally saw The Dark Knight Rises. After Superman, Batman is my second favorite superhero. I will stick to the review of the movie and at a later date, sometime next week, I will examine the entire franchise. This movie does end the trilogy that began with 2005’s Batman Begins. Christopher Nolan has gone on record to say that there will not be a fourth installment of the Batman series in what fans call the Nolan Universe. I have heard mixed reports of whether or not Christian Bale would ever play Batman again.

Here is my synopsis of the movie: The movie takes place eight years after the events in The Dark Knight. Gotham has Harvey Dent Day on the anniversary of his death and has also passed the Dent Act which has rid Gotham of organized crime. Bruce Wayne has become a recluse and walks with a cane as his body has taken too many beatings as Batman. But a storm is coming to Gotham in the name of Bane, a masked hulk of a man who is coming to finish the job the League of Shadows was trying to accomplish in the first movie. Helping Bane at first is Slena Kyle a cat burgler who steals Bruce Wayne’s finger prints and tries to sell them off in exchange for a computer device that will wipe out her criminal record.

There is also a cop, a former orphan, Tim Drake, that has figured out Batman’s secret identity and tries to enlist Batman to return to Gotham. Soon Bane strikes and takes hostages from the Gotham Stock Exchange where Wayne’s stolen finger prints are used to steal money. This forces Batman to come out of retierment and he helps Selena Kyle get away from the criminals who are now turning on her. In exchange for the “clean slate” device Batman convinces Selena to bring him to Bane. When Selena brings Batman to Bane we discover that Bane knows who Batman is and begins to brutally beat up Batman in front of Selena. Bane breaks Batman’s back and dumps him in a hellish prison somewhere in the world. Meanwhile, as the police have discovered his location in the sewers, over 3,000 police officers come to capture him. This is all part of Bane’s plan as he explodes bombs all round the city and beneath the football stadium, trapping the police beneath the surface. Also, Bane has destroyed all but one bridge leading into the city and releases all prisoners and therefore holds the entire city hostage.

There is also a side story of Bruce Wayne and Miranda Tate. She becomes a love interest of Wayne and then a board member of Wayne Enterpise and encourages Bruce to get back into life. Alfred, disagrees with Bruce returning as Batman and feels that it will lead to his death and quits his service and leaves.

The Prison Bruce Wayne is dumped in is at the bottom of a giant Well-like structure and the only means of escape is to walk the narrow walk way on the sides. The problem is that there is a large gap in the walk way and no one has been successful in leaping across the gap to freedom. The only person to make the jump successfully was a small child born into the prison. Bruce Wayne is lead to believe this was Bane. His back is fixed by a prison doctor and with Bane feeding the Prison with the TV images of what is happening in Gotham, this motivates Bruce who begins to train to get himself back in physical shape. Within 5 months he makes the successful jump to get out of prison.

Bane captures a fusion reactor build by the Wayne foundation to give the city clean renewable energy and he has turned it into a nuclear bomb. In a massive show down Batman defeats Bane and with the help of Selena Kyle and Comissioner Gordon, Batman finds the bomb in the nick of time and carriesd it out to sea for detonation.

I hope that synopsis wasn’t too long winded! The movie it just under three hours and I did leave some elements out. I don’t want to spoil it yet for some friends I know who have not watched the movie. I want to still leave some surprises.

I have said in the past that I had mixed feeling about the Dark Knight and felt that it wasn’t as good as Batman Begins. Well, this movie had many references to the first movie and in many ways had a similar tone to that film and for that reason I did like it a great deal. I was on the edge of my couch and filled with excitment and anticipation while watching the events of this film unfold. This was a very thrilling movie. It was also not as dark as the Dark Knight. While the movie is serious in tone there are a few lighter moments in the film. It did bring back some fun into the franchise.

When Anne Hathaway was cast as Selena Kyle many fans though that this was a fatal flaw, a fatal mistake. I too, questioned this choice. Up until then Hathaway had only been known for playing sweet and more innocent characters. Wow!! How wrong I was to doubt the choice! Hathaway was excellent as Selena Kile. She exhibits quite a range from innoncence, grief to cold indifference. Although technically a villain, Selena is also supposed to be a sympathetic character, which can be a fine line for an actor to walk and Hathaway accomplishes this task with skill and finess. Although she is never called catwoman in the movie she is reffered to as a cat burglar a couple of times. However, make no mistake about it she IS Catwoman and when she is dressed up in her cat burglar outfit there is no doubt who she is. I have to say of all the women to have played the role she is by far the best.

Tom Hardy does an excellent job as Bane. He is not as leathal or as crazy as the Joker but he a formidable opponent. His physical presence and brute force make him greatly intimidating. His mask doesn’t make it too difficult to unsderstand him. There are times in the movie, and this has been my problem throughout the series, when it is difficult to understand what a charcter has said and although is is better in this movie that has been a complaint of mind for the entire series.

I will close this review by stating that Batman Begins is my favorite of the series followed cloesly by the Dark Knight Rises. In a week I will explain why. 🙂 Here are some simple pros and cons.

Pros: It is an exciting action adventure movie. The sets and costumes are done very well and the acting is excellent all around. The story is gripping and suspenseful. The length of the movie, 2 hours and 46 minutes, did not bother me. The movie is nicely paced an movies along with no lagging parts.

Cons: Nolan’s movies sometimes are complex and confusing with the plot. There are times when I am not clear who is who and what is happening and why. For example, after stealing Bruce Wayne’s finger prints (and pearl necklace) Selena disappears with a Congressman after the party. But it really isn’t clear where they are going, why the Congressman has disappeared and just who is it she is selling the finger prints to? Some of these issues are made more clear as the movie progresses, but there are some threads of the film that seem to just dangle in the wind.

I left out the ending and the controversy that surrounds it and will leave it to my review of the entire franchise. All in all I really liked the movie a great deal and I am very happy with it.

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About billfoley63

I was born in 1963 and that is relevant to my development of my love for science-fiction and fantasy movies, comic books, superheroes and many other things attributed to Nerd culture. In the 60s I watched all the Saturday afternoon Godzilla and monster movies I could take. In the 70s I became hooked on Star Trek. I am also an artist (in my own mind at least) and a musician. I enjoy learning about physics, astrophysics, chemistry and earth silences such as meteorology, anthropology, paleontology. When I reached my late 30s I began to re-explore my nerd roots. I reconnected with my love of science fiction and fantasy movies along with the other science related topics. For this blog I will focus on movie and TV reviews for science fiction and fantasy and post my thoughts on up coming movies. I will also include some fun facts from the various sciences I enjoy along with weather facts and bits from royalty and history. What I will not discuss is religion and politics. I am married to a beautiful woman named Sarah and have a lovely daughter named Danielle.

Posted on December 17, 2012, in Movie Review and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. My favorite movie of the year and couldn’t have ended the trilogy any better. Good review.

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