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Customer Review

546 of 775 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It doesn't quite fit..., July 27, 2012
This review is from: The Dark Knight Rises [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
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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Showing 11-20 of 150 posts in this discussion
In reply to an earlier post on Oct 14, 2012 8:37:18 PM PDT
Jesus, don't give them any ideas!

Posted on Oct 16, 2012 5:24:52 PM PDT
SuperHiro says:
Thanks for all the comments guys. Glad to see I'm not the only one who was underwhelmed by this film. I'm glad someone brought up the bootleg bat symbol on the side of a building near the end of the film too. Another wtf moment for me that I forgot to put into the review. I watched this film another couple times since I wrote this and it just comes off sillier and sillier with each viewing.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 16, 2012 6:30:22 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 16, 2012 6:32:00 PM PDT
DDC says:
No---and that's the beauty of the ending

Posted on Oct 20, 2012 5:50:29 PM PDT
Nicodimus says:
Good points in your review. I'd like to add one more that bothered the hell out of me: Bruce's back.

As someone who has had serious back injuries, I had to laugh out loud when Bruce was in the pit and someone magically healed his back BY PUNCHING IT REAL HARD. If you have serious spinal issues, no matter how determined you are, you're pretty much done with strenuous physical activity, even after treatment/PT. Realistically, he would be whimpering/limping around the pit at the end of the film, powerless to do much of anything.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 20, 2012 8:51:24 PM PDT
Jonny333 says:
the auto pilot was fixed

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 20, 2012 9:36:38 PM PDT
I keep hearing this, while I accept it is true that he survived based on reading the script, the autopilot being fixed has jack all with how he escaped and isn't a good plot device even if that is how Nolan thinks he escaped. That's written so blatant and obvious and foolishly that its out of a children's show, like playhouse disney children programming. If he used the autopilot he had to eject, there was nowhere to eject so it makes more sense that he just flew past the explosion and dropped the bomb

The real problem with the autopilot is that its a huge cheat and not even that convincing,

no one but Fox knows the autopilot doesn't work, so Batman tells Catwoman and Gordon no autopilot to convince them? WHy? A better line would've answered her question indirectly and been more about character defining that moment. Why would she assume there is an autopilot at all? The verbal exchange is clunky and expository and its because he isn't saying it for them, he is saying it to remind the audience (who Nolan seems to have much less faith in this time around), so we think he has no way out. Realistically if he was going to tell Gordon and end up with Selina why not just drive off past the people on the bridge and let everyone assume he died, why lie to Gordon and Catwoman? Did they go and tell everyone no, no, Batman is for sure dead people cause he told us there was no autopilot? If he had just hopped in and not lied about the autopilot would they later have told everyone, no, no guys Batman is alive cause he probably had autopliot and he never confirmed to us he didn't. It's a clunky plot device that asks more questions than it solves

Its especially clunky when you consider no one seems to ask where Batman was or how the hell he got back into a locked down city. (I know he likely used the bat to fly back in at night since last we saw it was in the batcave and he entered the city to fight bane without it, which is why we see him standing on the bridge in that hero shot after sleeping with Talia, why did he do that? Cause she has a big rack? Better question, why did she do that? How did sleeping with Bruce fit into her master scheme? For revenge to throw it in his face? But she never revealed herself even after she thought he was broken). She sees him and thinks he was killed in the sewers, back broken, gone for months after dragged off by the first terrorist to hold an entire US city hostage and he shows up randomly under an overpass and she's like "thought they killed you", "not yet" he says. Later he is about to fly a bomb over the ocean and she's like "set the autopilot?" and he lies and says "no autopilot"?

It only actually makes sense if he was unsure whether or not he would live and there was risk involved. I guess that makes sense.

Further though, if he really had this planned, as everyones comments about the pearls and autopilot and etc dictate, what the hell was his fix the autopilot plan? I'll fix the autopilot, let Talia run the bomb around the city until the timer runs low and then fly it out over the bay and fake my death, blatantly lying to two of the only people I care about to convince them there is no autopilot cause that'll convince the audience, while people on the bridge (who could've been killed) watch and confirm that my heroic death saved the city? There is no way Bruce could have planned for it to work

Especially since we don't see him bail and have to assume he didn't escape by using it (more likely just kept flying)

Lastly, it was so clunky that it didn't convince me, despite its blatant and disgusting efforts I watched and kept thinking, okay how is batman gonna get out of this. Then he didn't and I was like oh okay, well its a weird way for one of comics greatest heroes to die, completely off screen. Then they were like but wait, he's alive and left the city at its worst point! And I was like No F***ing way, Batman would not do that, at least not in such a poorly written manner!!!!!

Posted on Oct 22, 2012 9:32:10 AM PDT
Brian says:
"And then Batman died in the pit" -- LOL! A number of things bothered me about this film, but the whole pit prison was among the top. That would've made for a very ironic ending. Bruce doesn't *quite* make the jump. Roll credits.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 25, 2012 7:18:24 PM PDT
Eric says:
he was never in the bat when it exploded. Remember the auto pilot had been fixed months before as it was revealed at the end

Posted on Nov 1, 2012 9:39:12 AM PDT
K. Wright says:
I see where you're coming from for the most part, but Rises BLEW. MY. MIND. with how real it did feel to me. I thought it was quite plausible that just an average villain could come in, with power and force, and shut down the system and
cut ties with the outside world closing off Gotham. Of course the greatest villain of the whole series was Ledger's Joker but Bane seemed more realistic and within reach of real life "bad guys" than any of the others. But I still get where you're coming from..we just have different tastes in what we want to see from a big ending to huge film. Anyway my main point I wanted to mention was in Dark Knight and how you didn't understand why Batman kept at it and finished fighting for Gotham, only to quit afterwards in between then and Rises. I think it's pretty simple... He wanted to avenge Rachel but mostly the clown was the most dangerous villain he had ever come up against, and he was absolutely relentless and borderline obsessed with capturing him. He wanted the biggest threat to ever harm Gotham to be put away, bc of what he'd done to Gotham and to Rachel. Once he finished that and captured him.....that was all he wanted. He was done. He thought now it was a safer place bc of how they were going to spin Dent's life and death. Besides the out of left field serious leg injury that we don't know about, it seemed realistic to me that Batman would end up like he did in the beginning of Rises. As far as the other questions go, I just let them go and focused on everything Nolan and Bale did right and let it blow my expectations out of the water. My favorite of the 3. But hey, I'm fairly easy.

Posted on Nov 1, 2012 10:11:04 AM PDT
I thank you for your review...but at the same time disagree with some of you points. There are two connective points that you don't seem to understand. First, if you go back and watch The Dark Knight's ending, he was hobbling to his bike...not full on running. That explains the leg injury. Second, the words of Batman, echoing what Dent said, at the end of The Dark Knight does NOT suggest him being a traditional hero. He would be the "hero Gotham needs", meaning that he would shoulder the full brunt of the burden of being a pariah to uphold the image of Dent being the traditional hero (even though it is all a lie). His words, echoing Dent, "You either die a hero...or live long enough to see yourself become the villain" should have been the obvious indicator of all of this. He went on to say "Sic the dogs on me because I can handle it." This further supports the element of him not being the hero in the traditional since. He temporarily becomes an "unsung hero" of sorts to accomplish the objective of giving Gotham hope, but is seen as a pariah because of the lie of him killing Dent.