I’ve seen this movie TWICE today. Yes, I went with two separate sets of friends and for that I was really able to absorb all of the details of the movie, of which there is many.
First I’ll say that I really enjoyed this movie. I plan on seeing it again tomorrow for a third time with yet another set of friends. But it’s definitely the weakest one of the trilogy. The main reason for that is it bit off more than it could chew. There’s a lot of new characters, a lot of great ideas, but none of them are given enough attention and care to reach their full potential.
I’ll get the negative stuff out of the way first:
Spoiler!!! Click to Read!:
- Bane’s voice. It was laughably bad in the prologue. I was stunned when I heard it because I was one of the ones who watched the on-line one when it came out months ago. It was completely different to the one I was hearing here. I was cringing. I was praying for the scene to hurry up and finish so Bane would stop talking. I was terrified he would sound like that for the rest of the movie. Fortunately he didn’t and the voice improved. Though several of Bane’s lines I couldn’t understand even on the second viewing.
- Bane’s plan. Very fun and exciting to watch, but why did he feel he had to raise Gotham’s hope before killing them? Bane is not insane like Joker where he enjoyed psychologically screwing with people and trying to prove some crazy point. Bane was tactical, military and concise. Blowing up Gotham with or without hope would have the same result in the end. That whole raise the hope thing felt false and I think was just done to milk Bane’s plan into something longer to fill out the movie and make the siege of Gotham longer than it needed to be.
- Miranda Tate. Under used, under developed, uninteresting character. I didn’t care about her energy project. There was no spark between her and Bruce in their scenes before they had sex in Wayne Manor. It was all unbelievable and felt completely unnatural. So when she is revealed as Talia I didn’t care and that also felt unnecessary. All she does is stab Batman, give her back story, then hop into a Tumbler and has a brief chase before she’s killed. Her final moment’s scene was appallingly acted by Cottiard, too.
- Bane’s death. Bane was our main villain. When the main villain checks out, there is some kind of impact and resonance. Ra’s had those great final moments on the train before it crashed where Batman refuses to save him. Joker had the epic hanging upside down scene with Batman. Two Face had the most emotional send-off of all of them. Bane is standing there talking mid-sentence and gets blown away out the blue by Catwoman. The movie then continues as though Bane never even existed.
- Not enough Batman. I appreciated all of the Bruce Wayne stuff. It was great. But his other persona suffered because of it. I barely felt Batman’s presence in this movie. I don’t know how much screen time he had exactly, or if it was the same as BB’s and TDK’s. If it was then BB and TDK used theirs in a more effective way. In BB when he became Batman after the first hour, I felt his Batman presence til the end. I felt it all the way through TDK. In this one it was like Bruce Wayne guest starring Batman.
- The tie in to the league of Shadows was pointless. Thematically it served no purpose. Would it have changed anything if Bane had not been in the LOS? It felt like a forced effort to tie it back to Begins for the whole “full circle” effect. I’ve already mentioned how useless I thought Talia’s inclusion was.
- John Blake was used too much. I didn’t care about the Boy’s home scenes. Him trying to cross the bridge in the climax was distracting from the good stuff. I don’t get how he figured out Bruce Wayne was Batman just because Bruce hid his pain the same way Blake did. Bruce’s parents died. That’s public knowledge. How did Blake equate that to being Batman?
- Crane’s cameo was his most bland one. I’d rather watch him in his Scarecrow mask poisoning the mob with fear drugs and spraying copycat Batmen with fear gas than have a maskless non Scarecrow Crane sit and read boring Judge type drivel.
- Gordon was under used and a bit bland. It pains me to say that about the immortal Gary Oldman, who is the definitive Jim Gordon. Maybe we were spoiled so much after his emotionally huge meaty role in TDK. But his Begins role even packed more punch than this one. He spends half the movie in the hospital, and then is the action hero hunting the bomb for the rest of the movie. His best scenes are the guilt over Harvey Dent’s cover up, the dressing down Blake gives him after Bane exposes the Dent cover up on TV, and when he realizes Batman is Bruce Wayne. Apart from that Gordon really didn’t have many moments to shine. I’d have liked to have heard more about why his wife left him with the kids and how he feels about that.
- The Batcave was not very impressive. I barely noticed any new upgrades. Not to mention we only got about three Batcave scenes.
- Alfred leaving Bruce after he just told him about Rachel's letter. He drops a bombshell like that on him after 8 years and then leaves. Alfred, that is cold.
- The pacing of the movie was all over the place. The first act takes forever to kick off. The final act is in a massive rush to get finished. I felt the middle part where Bane’s revolution kicks off was where the movie was at it’s most comfortable pace.
The positive things I liked:
I’ve been here on the Hype for all three of Nolan’s Batman movies. It’s been one hell of an enjoyable ride. I do think the superhero trilogy curse has been broken. But I don’t think Nolan made the great Batman movie he could have made. It was very good, but the amount of wasted potential was staggering. Like I said it was a case of biting off more than the movie could chew.
My final ranking would be:
TDK – 9.5/10
BB – 8/10
TDKR – 7/10
Thank you Chris Nolan and all the cast and crew for a terrific Batman trilogy.