The Dark Knight Rises The Official Rate/Review Thread for TDKR (TAG SPOILERS!!!) - Part 1

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My short review of the film: I really liked it! Is it as good as The Dark Knight? No. But it's still a good movie, on par at least with Batman Begins (which, given how this film directly harkens back to that film and comes full circle is very appropriate).

My longer, more spoiler-filled review of the film: All the performances were solid, with maybe a couple of exceptions. In particular Christain Bale, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, and Morgan Freeman were just as good as they have been in the last two installments.

I thought Tom Hardy as Bane was great. Granted, he sounded like Goldfinger from James Bond with a plastic bucket over his head, but he delivered in showing that Bane was very much the dark reflection of Batman. I especially liked the both the moment where he utterly breaks Batman and the following scene where he explains to Bruce exactly what he's going to do to Gotham and Bruce by providing a false sense of hope makes the despair that much greater.

I also really liked Anne Hathaway's performance as Selina Kyle. It's not only a far more faithful version of Catwoman than what's been on the big screen, but it's crystal clear why she does what she does and why she acts the way she does. Plus she's got very good chemistry between herself and Bale--particularly that masked ballroom scene. And did no one think she looked seriously hot when riding the Batpod? But while I did like the relationship between Bruce and Selina, I did feel it was a bit rushed towards the end. Still, it was perfectly clear why the two of them were growing mutually attracted to one another; it just needed to "marinate" a bit more, if that makes sense.

Joesph Gordon-Levitt's character of John Blake was also another highlight. I thought his overall story arc was rather fitting, and, because he has both the qualities of both Bruce Wayne and Gordon while also not having their faults, he's able to bring balance to both of those characters--much like how
the character who shares his real first name does for Batman in the comics. And speaking of Blake's real name being Robin? Yeah, that was admittedly pretty cheesy, but understandable considering how, for all intends and purposes, the character was pretty much Nolan's version of Dick Grayson anyway.

The weakest performance, however, I think unfortunately goes to Marion Cotillard as
Miranda Tate/Talia al Ghul. Oh sure, I thought the twist with her being behind everything made perfect sense, at the same time, it was way too telegraphed almost from the very beginning. That's because Cotillard didn't come across the least bit convincing when she's supposed to be pretending to be a philanthropic businesswoman; it's only when she reveals herself as Talia and her motives to Batman that she finally begins to shine.

I also agree that, in terms of the pacing, the film can be pretty slow, particularly the beginning it has to establish everything that's happened in the past eight years and introduce new characters and, to some degree, the middle of the movie where Bane and the League of Shadows take over Gotham. But for the most part, there was lots of exciting and riveting stuff, particularly those last 30-40 minutes. Absolutely fantastic! Nolan has improved tremendously when it comes to staging large actions scenes, and the ones in this movie were top notch.

And as for "The Bat?" Very cool! Particularly the scene where it's chasing the Tumblers--best action sequence in the movie, bar none.

All that said, there certainly wasn't enough scenes of Bruce being Batman, although considering how it's more or less Bruce Wayne's story overall, this is pretty easy to let slide. It also would have been nice to have a scene showing how Bruce was able to get back into Gotham in spite of the military blockade and all but one of the bridges being blown up.

Also, I actually thought that Nolan didn't go far enough in showing just how much a major city like Gotham would have collapsed after five months without any civil government or authority in place. There needed to be trash on the street, gutted cars on fire, people rioting for food and medicine, rolling blackouts, etc. Granted, the film effectively shows how all these people are forcibly being dragged out of their homes by the mob, but they needed to also show how Gotham has become akin to a thrid-world city under Bane's rule. A better example of a society on the brink of collapse is Children of Men, and that's what I think Gotham should have looked like more during Bane's occupation.

Then there's
the way Bane died, and while it does show that Bruce was right about Selina being good all along, my gosh was that just a lazy, deus ex machina on Nolan's part. Bane's been built-up as this badass villain, so you'd think he'd go out with a little more style than being blasted by the Batpod's cannons. Come on, Nolan! You can do bettter than that.

With regards to the ending, I thought it couldn't be a more appropriate and fitting conclusion for this particular trilogy of Batman films. Granted, some are questioning the logic of
how Bruce was able to escape from a 6 mile wide nuclear explosion, with some as going as far as to suggest Alfred only imagined seeing Bruce and Selina in the cafe (even though there's more than enough evidence given in the film that the ending is exactly what it purports to be)
it really does work when you consider what the past two films and this one have been establishing about Bruce as a character, not to mention perfectly satisfying given what has happened over the course of the trilogy.

All in all, I'd give it three out of four stars, but still very close to being three and a-half out of four.
And then he leaves it assembled...

Nevermind that the last "high tech machine" we're shown he has was used to almost destroy Gotham.

He realizes it can be a weapon...and he leaves it assembled.

It boggles the mind.
That's something that bothered the minute i saw it on screen. It makes absolutely no sense.

So many convenient things, so many plot holes. It's a shame.
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