Eight years after the events of The Dark Knight, a new terrorist leader, Bane, overwhelms Gotham’s finest. Batman resurfaces to protect a city that has branded him an enemy.
(While I don’t normally use the official synopsis for my reviews, I felt it safest. I am going to try and review this movie without giving away any of the major plot twists. This is not my easiest review in that sense, I can promise you that.)
Christopher Nolan was always going to have a hard time beating himself after The Dark Knight. While I would love to get into the specifics as to why he won and failed at the same time, I would prefer to do that in the comments section this weekend after you have had a chance to watch the movie. I balked at some of the negative reviews for the film (though not as strongly as others, who were resorting to death threats over a movie they hadn’t seen), but I knew that I was going to have to form a judgement for myself.
It just wasn’t quite there.
Nolan was ambitious, raising the stakes for his franchise as he bowed out of it. But whether because Hardy just could not pull off the same menace and intensity that makes us never forget Heath Ledger, or whether because the beginning took far too long, The Dark Knight Rises never moved me the same way.
There were incredible moments, pieces of Batman Begins and the Dark Knight brought in seamlessly to provide consistency and closure to the trilogy. Anne Hathaway surprised me, turning in a very memorable performance as Selina Kyle/Catwoman. And while Tom Hardy tried as Bane, he fell short of Heather Ledger’s Joker. Where the villain makes a superhero movie just as much as our hero, if you have an impossible predecessor to measure up to, it needs more than what Nolan’s plot gave us to appreciate the madness. In many ways, Bane felt like just another psychopath, albeit with more followers (especially since the Joker had a habit of killing his).
It takes a lot to set us up for the main action of the movie, and I think this is where he stumbles. Nolan gets dragged down in the pieces of his plot, in creating the mythology for Bane and for what occurs on the screen in front of us. I am not saying there needed to be more action, but I think the plot lacked the immediacy that made The Dark Knight so enthralling, so engaging, and so completely spectacular.
There were many twists to this plot that I would love to discuss with you geeks once you have had a chance to see the movie. So please come back and comment and let me know what you think about the many secrets. As a life-long Batman fan (the early 90’s cartoon series got me hooked), not all of the twists were shocking, but they were still fantastic.
I find it difficult to give this movie a real rating. It was excellent, but when the bar had been raised so high by the second installment, it fell just a bit short of where it could and should have been. Still though, I’ll give it one anyway.