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172 of 236 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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This review is from: The Dark Knight Rises (+Ultraviolet Digital Copy) (DVD)
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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Comments

Tracked by 6 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 30 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Aug 2, 2012 2:09:58 PM PDT
Excellent review.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 2, 2012 7:04:19 PM PDT
Jason Bean says:
Thanks for reading it! Hope you liked the movie

Posted on Aug 4, 2012 10:10:56 PM PDT
When is it out?

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 4, 2012 10:16:19 PM PDT
Look in your local listings. It's been out in theaters for two weeks.

Posted on Sep 7, 2012 1:07:22 AM PDT
Steven Smith says:
I actually think The Dark Knight Rises is the best movie in the Dark Knight trilogy. I absolutely loved it! I loved the first 2 films too, but I loved The Dark Knight Rises the most and it's now my #1 favorite movie of all time with The Dark Knight in a close 2nd! LOL Batman Begins is my 3rd favorite movie! LOL

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 7, 2012 1:30:47 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 7, 2012 1:34:07 AM PDT
Jason Bean says:
I think it's my favorite of the trilogy as well. Easily one of the best films I've seen this year!

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 19, 2012 10:20:11 PM PDT
Didn't really find that Christian Bale went through a process of building himself back up after his defeat by Bane. You must of noticed something I didn't. Aside from the pushups and situps he did in the prison there was no major retransformation back into a healthy Batman...

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 20, 2012 10:49:53 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 20, 2012 11:03:31 AM PDT
Jason Bean says:
His whole character-arch seemed to be about him putting everthing back together. When he reaches ground-zero in the prison the whole "why do we fall-down?" line from 'Batman Begins' takes shape. I guess I took it as him rediscovering his fear that he had in the first films, I think even one of the prisoners had a line "without fear of death, you think this makes you strong. It makes you weak" something like that; he's not just physically trying to put himself back together. That's just how I interpreted that whole sequence.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 20, 2012 11:38:30 AM PDT
It was definitely more of a mental training than a physical one. To be honest, I was hoping Batman would undergo some sort of physical training in his course of rehabilitation. Bane was so big and ominous - I also sort of disagree with your statement that Tom Hardy's Bane wasn't as memorable as Heath Ledger's joker. I thought Bane's physical presence with his bald head and voicebox stole the film. There was an element of eery mystery to him. Don't forget that the joker had been played by two actors - Jack Nicholson and the late Heath Ledger. How much more can you do with the part?

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 20, 2012 3:11:02 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 20, 2012 3:13:35 PM PDT
Jason Bean says:
That's cool. I agree Bane's definitely a key-element to this film and I thought Tom Hardy did a great job. I think he functioned more as sort of a "cog in a much larger machine" of the film's story whereas I think Heath Ledger WAS the film in 'Dark Knight' much like I thought Jack Nicholson WAS the movie in Tim Burton's Batman. I don't think anyone "stole" the film in TDKR; I say that as a compliment in that every character was given a chance to shine. But, again that's just my take on the film.
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