Ryan Wilson

The Dark Knight Rises: A Late to the Party Review

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I never thought I’d write another one of these.

The Dark Knight Rises
Release date (United States): July 20, 2012
Lateness: 6 months

Christopher Nolan has finally done it. He’s completed the trilogy he set out to create without a single bat-nipple in site. The Dark Knight Rises currently sits pretty as the second-highest grossing superhero film of all time (which was dethroned by Whedonites and Marvel fans alike with The Avengers [I’ll watch that someday too]).

Like my last Late to the Party Review, I’ll spare you the usual plot summary bullshit and get right into my spoileriffic likes and dislikes of the movie.

The Icing on the Cake

Batman truly struggles for once

Sure, the Joker sure did a number on Batman mentally in The Dark Knight, but this time Batman has finally met his match physically. He’s getting his ass handed to him throughout the movie, to the point that he needs extensive physical recovery, leaving Gotham in Bane’s complete control for a decent chunk of time. Even in the end, he never gets his moment to best his equal (I’ll be getting into detail on that later in the article)

Robin

Joseph Gordon Levitt  absolutely stole the show as the subtle sidekick to the Caped Crusader. Christopher Nolan could have easily put him in the spandex and bright red suit, but he instead opted to make him the sign of hope in Gotham’s police force, even giving him more screentime than the titular hero. Though Nolan has explicitly stated that this movie would be his last in the franchise, I wouldn’t be upset if “Robin” becomes the next Batman.

Better love interest

If you recall my review of The Dark Knight, I thought Maggie Gyllenhaal was a terrible replacement for Katie Holmes as Rachel Dawes, and felt absolutely no sadness at her character’s explosive demise. When I heard about The Princess Diaries star Anne Hathaway taking on the role of Catwoman, I initially cringed. The Dark Knight Rises knocked my skepticism out of the park, as she not only nailed the character, but she made her more likeable than anyone else Bruce Wayne swooned over.

The Poop in the Punchbowl

Bane goes out like a bitch

Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t expect Batman to come out of his constant struggle with Bane with a triumphant comeback where he beats Bane completely into submission, but for him to ultimately meet his fate by gunshot was wholly unsatisfying. I seriously had Boba Fett flashbacks as soon as Catwoman pulled the trigger on the Batcycle.

The length

As he did with The Dark Knight, I felt that Christian Nolan struggled with pacing. The movie simply tried to pack in more content than really necessary, and many pieces of the plot were left in its wake. For example, are given much screentime to Bane at the football game and the anarchy in Gotham, very little to Batman’s recovery, and absolutely no explanation to how Batman returned to Gotham from a remote prison with none of his equipment and all but one bridge destroyed to Gotham.

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