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173 of 233 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Epic conclusion to Nolan's Batman trilogy
Having been a huge fan of Chris Nolan's previous two Batman films, couldn't wait to watch this when it was released. And The Dark Knight Rises didn't disappoint. The conclusion to the trilogy is fitting for the franchise, for Batman, and for Bruce Wayne (though I have read rumors that Nolan might come back for another film in the series or maybe a Batman/Superman film -...
Published 20 months ago by FreeSpirit

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535 of 760 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It doesn't quite fit...
After watching this film the first time, I wasn't quite sure what to think of it. I knew it wasn't a bad film, but at the same time it just didn't sit right with me for whatever reason. So I went back and watched Begins and TDK and I think I figured out why I didn't really care for it. In my opinion it doesn't seem to fit with the other two films.

Warning: Some...
Published on July 27, 2012 by SuperHiro


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173 of 233 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Epic conclusion to Nolan's Batman trilogy, December 7, 2012
Having been a huge fan of Chris Nolan's previous two Batman films, couldn't wait to watch this when it was released. And The Dark Knight Rises didn't disappoint. The conclusion to the trilogy is fitting for the franchise, for Batman, and for Bruce Wayne (though I have read rumors that Nolan might come back for another film in the series or maybe a Batman/Superman film - hope some of this is true!).

The film starts with a frail Bruce Wayne having pretty much retired and living a private life eight years after he eliminated the Joker. The peaceful Gotham City where police officers feel they will soon be "chasing overdue library books" is rocked by a series of events orchestrated by the ferocious and calculating villain, Bane.

The pace of this film is slightly slower (and heavier) compared to the previous two films, partly because there are a lot more characters in this film, and Nolan being the master storyteller that he is, gives each character enough time in the film. It could seem a bit lengthy at 3 hours of thereabout because of this. Lucius Fox and Alfred return in their usual roles of being Batman's brains and soul respectively. Michael Caine's performance as Alfred is simply remarkable even though his screen time is somewhat limited in the film. Christian Bale, as usual, has done a great job portraying the battles within Bruce Wayne - overcoming his hears and rising from being as good as dead to come back to save his beloved city. His character comes a full circle from the first film as Thomas Wayne's words "why do we fall down Bruce" echo through this film and Bruce seemingly understands their meaning here as he prepares to pick himself up and "rise".

New characters added a refreshing touch to the series. Anne Hathaway is brilliant in her role as Selina Kyle. She lightens up the serious macho overdose of the film with her flair and flamboyant ways. Bane, with links to the League of Shadows, brings a dark element unlike any Gotham has witnessed before. Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays John (Robin) Blake perhaps a younger version of Jim Gordon. He seems to be set to take over the reins from Commissioner Gordon, but eventually chooses to stay free of the shackles imposed by structure and protocols by the GCPD. Marion Cotillard (I thought she was brilliant in Inception) plays a convincing partner and love interest of Bruce Wayne.

The conclusion is definitely a lot heavier in terms of content and pace compared to the previous two films. This film requires focused attention to the dialogue and sequence of events, previous 2 films seem somewhat lighter compared to this one. The fact that Bane's voice was muffled with his mask doesn't help in this regard, it only increases the level of focus one needs to have which watching the film. In addition, the film has more characters with their place in the film. Chris Nolan has spent a fair amount of time with each character to fully bring out their roles and let the audiences savor the nuances of their personalities, inner conflicts, and goals. I personally think the editing room could have shaved off a good 15 to 20 minutes from the film, but this is Nolan's signature style of storytelling. Also some scenes make Batman seem too human, like the street fight scene with Bane towards the end. Batman is a superhero and it feels somewhat strange to see him battle his enemy bare hands in the middle of a street-fight. That being said, there are plenty of new toys in his arsenal and the Bat, in particular, is awesome!

Yes, the performance of Heath Ledger and the compelling storytelling of The Dark Knight are hard to match, but TDKR is an appropriate and epic conclusion to what I think is one of the best series of super-hero films made to date.
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169 of 233 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A unique and engaging superhero epic, July 21, 2012
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Jason Bean (Iowa City, IA) - See all my reviews
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As someone of the unpopular minority who didn't like Christopher Nolan's previous Batman film 'The Dark Knight' (but really liked 'Batman Begins') I find 'The Dark Knight Rises' a pleasant surprise. It carries a lot of the elements of the first two films, especially TDK's darker tone but manages to off-set it's self-seriousness with a strong story, terrific action-scenes and characters I wanted to root for!

The story of 'The Dark Knight Rises' takes place eight years after the events of 'The Dark Knight' Gotham Ciy is seemingly crime free and the Batman hasn't been seen since (still wanted as a fugitive after the events of TDK). In steps Bane: a super-strong, methodical terrorist leader intent on destroying Gotham and ends up forcing Batman/Bruce Wayne out of retirement. There's a lot of elements at work in this dynamic story (taking obvious influences from the Batman comics Knightfall, No Man's Land and Dark Knight Returns) and the movie's almost 3-hour length is felt, but Nolan's strong directing and script manage to bring it all together and he keeps things moving at a brisk pace.

As much as I like the story in 'The Dark Knight Rises' it's the characters I found myself most vested in. Regular greats Gary Oldman and Morgan Freeman return as Jim Gordan and Lucius Fox, while Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays honest cop John Blake and Anne Hathaway the thief Selina Kyle (each giving the film both an every-person to follow and moments of comic-relief). Marion Cotillard gives protagonist Bruce Wayne a business partner as well as a love-interest in Miranda Tate. Tom Hardy doesn't make Bane as memorable as Heath Ledger's Joker (no one could) but he's an imposing presence and a terrific foil to Batman in terms of strength and ingenuity.

All the characters in 'The Dark Knight Rises' have a chance to shine, especially in their personal journey's and relationships but the one holding it all together is Bruce Wayne/Batman himself. It's fun seeing Batman drive through the dark in the Bat-Pod, stealthily take down criminals from ceilings and dodge gun-fire between muzzle-flashes. Watching a middle-aged and physically impaired Bruce Wayne build himself back up (especially after a nasty beat-down from Bane) is almost as awesome as watching him become Batman for the first time! Christian Bale's amazing performance sells this character in every scene and I especially liked how his relationship with his Butler Alfred played out (an equally compelling Michael Caine with much more screen time). This is the hero I wanted in the first two films!

While the direction is sharp and the story exciting, 'The Dark Knight Rises' does have some obvious faults. Hans Zimmer's musical-score is strong as ever but the film's sound kept drowning-out character's dialogue, even during some key moments; Bane's voice-box really didn't help matters either. Nolan's usual self-seriousness is also most apparent in this film, and while the dialogue is less artificial this time around (with much more humor) the movie still got a bit heavy-handed.

Even with it's short-comings 'The Dark Knight Rises' is an original and exciting superhero epic. Most fans will probably still favor 'The Dark Knight' as the best of Nolan's trilogy but I'm just glad TDKR is such a great conclusion.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Chris Nolan and Christian Bale Have Done It Again, January 29, 2014
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Not before the release of Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, and The Dark Knight Rises did I once give a flying crap about Batman--other than when I would watch the cartoon on Saturday mornings as a kid. I adore this trilogy and how it so tightly mirrors our real world in so many ways, both good and ugly. The Dark Knight Rises is the darkest of the three films and I appreciate what it has to offer, especially in our current century, when so much is unbalanced and so many are without hope. Definitely a must-see. In fact, see it several times; you'll get more out of it with each viewing.
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15 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good but the first two are both better., November 17, 2012
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4 Stars. This was pretty damn good but it definitely had its problems. Bane's voice was almost impossible to make out most of the time. The addition of Catwoman was okay but nothing really extraordinary. There was very little screen time for Bale which he probably wasn't happy about so this really came off more like 'Bane and Robin' rather than 'Batman and Robin'. The biggest problem though is the first act.

It really drags and they could have lost about 10 or 15 minutes to tighten up the pace. Once the second act kicks in though, that's when the whole story becomes really engaging. It's awesome how Bane unintentionally 'recreates' Batman without knowing it. There is definitely some repetition of ideas from the first two which is probably why this is the last one but overall it is probably the darkest of the three. This is definitely better than the latest Spiderman.

The criticism about this third chapter not fitting in with the whole series could not be further from the truth. This one really represents the bookending of the entire series. In the first chapter Batman does NOT exist until he escapes from the League of Shadows and the same is true when he escapes from the prison in this one. The great irony of both these movies is that the antagonist in each case actually creates Batman, the only person that can stop them. This is why the first fight with Bane is dismal. It is not because of a lack of physical conditioning, it is because this is not Batman fighting Bane but Bane fighting Bruce Wayne doing the best he can. So in reality it is the second chapter that does 'fit' because Batman already exists from start to finish.

This is really the genius of Nolan in full effect. If you can overlook the flaws in directing you will be in a perfect position to see the brilliant story arc and also the spirit of Kane's creation represented accurately in all three films. In other words, Batman is not a suit or gadgets or cars and bikes etc., but a belief and mindset. When Alfred tries to explain this to Bruce, that he has not been 'Batman' for years, it does not register. No amount of physical training or gadgetry would give him the mindset of the Batman.

If you keep this in perspective that Batman is an internal mindset when watching all 3 chapters and not about discrepancies between page and screen that are really the external details, you can see that the essence of Batman has been presented here perfectly.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Couldnt wait to add this to my collection!!, November 26, 2012
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I have been a huge Batman fan since I was a kid. From the comics, to the movies, to the cartoons and the games, but I absolutely loved this series the most. This series really hit the darker side of Batman and gave it a little more of a realistic touch. Batman The Dark Knight Rises, in my opinion, made Bane one of the scariest, most intense villains in any super hero movie I've seen in 2012. I think this movie did a great job ending this specific series, and even still it left me wanting more, but I was very satisfied with the ending. It was intense, fun, and even amusing at times. All around I think its a great movie, a great series and for me it was a definite buy! Hope everyone else can enjoy this movie/series as much as I did.
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535 of 760 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It doesn't quite fit..., July 27, 2012
After watching this film the first time, I wasn't quite sure what to think of it. I knew it wasn't a bad film, but at the same time it just didn't sit right with me for whatever reason. So I went back and watched Begins and TDK and I think I figured out why I didn't really care for it. In my opinion it doesn't seem to fit with the other two films.

Warning: Some spoilers

First there's the setting. The concept of a broken and retired Batman living as a recluse is interesting, but it seems to sort of contradict what we saw in the other films. We learn that he hasn't been Batman for 8 years since Dent was killed, which made me wonder, why is he in such bad physical shape then? Rewatching The Dark Knight, I didn't see anything to show where these injuries came from. Why is his leg screwed up? The last scene of Dark Knight was him running away from the camera. If he hasn't been Batman since then and has been living like a hermit, how did he screw up his leg? Also, why did he stop being Batman? Rises seems to suggest it was stress over Rachel, although that happened midway through The Dark Knight and didn't seem to stop him. He sort of suggested at the end of Dark Knight that since Dent died, he had to be the hero. That was sort of the point of Dark Knight that Gotham's savior had to be either Dent or Batman and since Dent died, it had to be Batman, but then Rises suggests that Batman just kinda went home literally right after that. Rises sort of gets around this by introducing what I consider to be a highly implausible "Dent Act" in honor of Harvey Dent, in which all of Gotham's criminals are apparently just straight locked up with no sort of legal due process, the streets become clean as a whistle, and Batman "isn't needed anymore". The Dent Act also asks you to believe that everyone now believes without a question that Batman killed Harvey Dent, despite having saved him very publicly from the Joker in Dark Knight. I find it strange that things like this are considered realistic, yet more cat features on catwoman's suit are not. Anyways..

Second, the villains. I found Bane to be just plain underwhelming. Physically intimidating sure, but I felt like they had to seriously water down Batman's competence in order to artificially make Bane more threatening. In Begins and Dark Knight Batman would fight using his surroundings. That's basically how he fights, something he learned from the League of Shadows and Ras Al Ghul. "Always mind your surroundings." Yet when confronted with Bane and reminded of the League, Batman simply charges at him swinging like a brawler. No tech, no using the environment around him, just straight fisticuffs. I realize that he's been "retired" for 8 years, but again, that felt forced and unexplained as I mentioned in my first point, which just reinforces my belief that this was done simply to make Bane seem more threatening. As for Talia, she just felt too much like Ras, and a lesser version at that. Not only does she not get the character development that Ras got to make him interesting, but in the end she's only doing it to carry out Ras' will, which just made her feel like a pawn. The main villian and she doesn't even have her own plan. Overall they felt too similar to the Begins villians. In Begins the villains worked within the system, using it to try to destroy Gotham. In Dark Knight the villains worked to try to destroy the system and induce chaos in Gotham. In Rises, I was expecting another progression to give the villains an overall theme to work with, but it just feels the same as Begins. Talia manipulating the system to try and destroy Gotham.

Third, not enough Batman. Having Bruce trapped in a pit for the better part of the film's second half served no purpose imo. I don't think anybody thought that he wasn't going to escape this pit and return to face Bane. I realize this sort of had to happen based on what we know of Bane and Batman in the comics, but the way it was handled only served to take us away from Gotham and Bane where things were getting interesting, and into a dull situation miles away in which we already know the only possible outcome. Obviously the movie won't end with "And then Batman died in the pit" It employs odd and often confusing time jumps that the previous films didn't have, taking away from the pacing and making the film feel frantic. Once Bane starts implementing his plan and things start to pick up, there's literally a 5 month time skip that glosses over Gotham transitioning from normal society to anarchist warzone in favor of Bruce's previously mentioned antics in the pit.

Warning: Spoilers!!!!!!

Fourth, John Blake. I liked the character and portrayal but I felt the "big reveal" about him at the end was totally unnecessary and handled in the worst possible way. First off... his actual legal name is Robin? ....... I'll leave that at that, but what bothered me more about how this was handled is that again, this doesn't seem to be consistent with the previous films. In Rises we get Bruce spouting a bunch of nonsense about how Batman was supposed to inspire people into action and that "anybody can be Batman" Oh really? What about those guys in The Dark Knight who were trying to help Batman take down Scarecrow and some drug dealers? They tried to be Batman and Bruce responded by kicking the living cr@p out of them, breaking all their weapons and then making fun of their outfits. They did exactly what he's talking about in Rises and he personally beat them up for it. Just seems weird is all.. Also, how did Blake know Bruce was Batman? You can assume that since he's a cop he could've done the detective work and figured this out, but he doesn't say that's what happened. He says he literally figured it out by having met Bruce once a long time ago and recognizing he had the same hidden pain that Blake had from losing his parents? Really?! That's it?! How can you reasonably make such a huge assumption based on meeting someone once and looking at their face?

Fifth, Catwoman. Again, nothing wrong with the performance, but I felt her character was unneeded. Nothing she did in the film seemed to matter, except of course for the fact that they decided to let her be the one to kill Bane. The romance between them felt forced as well imo. I don't see why he would be attracted to her. Her ideology is almost the direct opposite of his. In the comics there's a sense that she genuinely cares about him and a lot of that is due to their long history, none of which we get to see here. I never really get the sense that she saw him as anything other than a 1 percenter or necessarily cared about his well being. When Bane "breaks" him, she doesn't seem concerned about him, just concerned about what Bane will do to the city and how it will effect her. It's all about her and I just don't really see what draws him to her in this film.

Finally, the ending. I get it, he retired. Batman gets to live a happy life in Europe or whatever with Catwoman. Great for him I guess, but isn't Gotham gonna be worse than ever now? Gordon will likely lose his job as commissioner because of his 8 year lie to the public and for knowingly framing Batman for Dent's murder. Dent has been revealed as a murderer, meaning the Dent Act will likely be repealed and all these criminals are gonna come pouring back to the streets, including Joker, who isn't dead and who happens to be the direct cause of almost everything that happens in Rises to begin with. I get that they can't use Ledger anymore, but I for one found it strange that they deliberately chose not to once mention the Joker even though nothing in Rises would be as it is without him.

And who's left behind in Gotham to handle this new mess? "Robin" John Blake, a man who now has Bruce's suit and gadgets, sure, but none of the League of Shadows training that would let you take on dozens of thugs/SWAT officers at a time, meaning the first time he suits up and hops down into a group of 5 guys thinking he's a bad@ss, he's gonna get wailed on. Bruce didn't even bother to train the guy like the real Robin. Not only that, but Bruce only met this guy what... twice, for a total of 10 minutes and he trusts him with the Batsuit? But I guess Bruce isn't concerned with any of that anyways. He's "moved on" and I should be happy that he doesn't have to be the hero and protector Gotham needs like we've come to expect from him over the course of this trilogy, right? I just feel like it sent a strange message where you should do what you feel is right but only until you're tired of it, then you should sit back and have some "me-time" with a foxy lady despite the fact that there's still more to be done. I dunno about you but that just struck me as not very admirable and as something no respectable version of Batman would EVER do...

Overall the film is well acted and looks and sounds great, but it's only mildly entertaining and drags in a lot of places. I also felt it was the least realistic of the trilogy which I found unfortunate since the realism is what drew me to the trilogy in the first place. Things like the Dent Act, an old man in a pit who can heal a broken back by punching it, a usb drive that can erase your name from every computer on the planet and a cheesy imo nuclear bomb plot that emerges somewhat randomly near the end of the film serve to make it the most comic-booky feeling film of the three. All that said, again it's not a bad movie by any means and I'd say it's worth a watch, but it's easily the weakest of the trilogy in my opinion.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars noticeable drop in quality from previous two, February 2, 2013
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As "The Dark Knight Rises" opens - picking up eight years after the events chronicled in "The Dark Knight" - we find eccentric billionaire Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) in a rather depressed state of mind. He has essentially withdrawn from the world, given up his crime-fighting ways and hung up his Batman cape, having largely fallen out of favor with the citizens of Gotham City who see him less as a hero and more as an out-of-control killer. Only his loyal servant/father-figure, Albert (the venerable Michael Caine), cares enough to give him a swift kick in the rear-end every now and again to try to get him to move on with his life. All this changes, however, when the fascistic Bane comes to town, a figure so consummate in his villainy that he is willing to blow up the whole blasted metropolis with an atomic bomb if he doesn't get what he wants.

Though Christopher Nolan`s latest entry in the series is nowhere near as engaging or as gripping as the previous two (especially the second), the movie attains a certain historical and contemporary significance with its echoes of both the French Revolution and Occupy Wall Street, though, oddly, the movie seems intent on putting us on the wrong side of history in both cases (rooting for a corrupt status quo and against a grass-roots uprising against that corruption).

And, let's face it, Heath Ledger's Joker - one of the richest villains in all of movie history - would be a hard act for anyone to follow, and Tom Hardy`s Bane, even with his mask and amplified voice, seems a mite tame in comparison. On his own terms, however, Bane is reasonably effective, if only because of the implacable nature of his evil, which manifests itself in his willingness to sacrifice masses of innocent people to enrich his own power.

Thanks partly to the muddled politics and partly to the overstuffed nature of the storytelling, the movie never finds a way to fully engage its audience in the world it's created. In fact, in comparison to the narrative sturdiness of its two predecessors, "The Dark Knight Rises" comes across as a bit of a messy affair overall, with subplots spinning off in all directions, with little gravity at the core to bind it all together. A case in point: while Anne Hathaway brings a degree of flirtatious charm to the role of cat burglar-turned-Cat Woman, the character as a whole seems like an afterthought, tacked onto the story to provide some counter-balancing romantic interludes for the sullen, all but monastic Wayne.

The cast is rounded out by Gary Oldman, Marion Cotillard, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Morgan Freeman, Liam Neeson, Aaron Eckhart and others, but, more so than in the two previous entries in the series, the real stars of "The Dark Night Rises" turn out to be the visual pyrotechnics and special effects.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Major disappointment., December 19, 2012
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A self-contradictory mess of inconsistent character origins and agendas which managed to waste the extraordinary potential of this story. Its mediocrity has haunted me for weeks now; I wish that I had never seen it.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as the other two, December 7, 2012
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I normally dont listen to the hype - but this movie really wasn't as good as the other two batman movies. Bane sounded like an old man, there were relatively cheesy plot twists, and it just seemed they were too rushed when making it. It was very high quality streaming from Amazon, and the movie was entertaining - but good? No... not really.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Fitting Conclusion To One Of The Greatest Trilogies of All Time, October 17, 2012
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Christopher Nolan accomplishes the impossible by bringing his third and final installment of the Dark Knight legacy to a satisfying and extremely entertaining close. Christian Bale gives, in my opinion, his best performance as the title hero, and while Tom Hardy's Bane may not have the unpredictability and chaotic nature seen by the Joker, he does a great job at coming off terrifying and menacing, all with a mask covering most of his face. The film doesn't quite meet the standard set so impossibly high by it's predecessor, but it doesn't need to. While it may not stand quite as tall on it's own, it concludes the trilogy in a spectacular and satisfying fashion. It's a remarkable feat to string together three movies so seamlessly, which only increases by respect and love of Nolan's films.

The BD set itself has a lot of great extras, including a bunch of featurettes on the making of the film. I've always been a fan of Nolan's work because of his insistency to do as much as possible without CGI. The making of the plane scene is astounding and it's remarkable that only a few shots within that scene include the use of CGI. I also enjoyed getting an inside look into how Hans Zimmer created the score for the film.

This is a great set if you're looking to finish your collection of the Dark Knight trilogy. The movie is great and the features are very entertaining. I highly recommend it.
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