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Reviews Comments: Flawed, but ultimately thrilling when the action picks up The Dark Knight Rises film/book review by sword tenchi

Overall, I think this film was excellent. It was a really nice summer flick with excellent cinematography, slick mechanical designs and aesthetics, some black comedy, and good action. It really tugs on emotions too; who can't help but feel the humiliation as FEMA trucks are sent to supply an American city that looks more like a war-torn Least-Developed Country, while the military sits powerless? That said, I feel as if it suffered from a few problems.

The first is that the pacing isn't all that great. The film is really fricking long at 2h45m, but it's obvious that a lot of stuff was probably left on the cutting room floor. We start with this Catwoman subplot and a ton of exposition, but then pay for it at the end. "Oh by the way, here's Bane's backstory." Which would have been nice, as Bane came across as a relatively dumb meathead for most of the film.

The second is that the film seems to really be trying to project that "we're still relevant, dammit!" From Bane's Occupy Movement-like rhetoric, to a scene recalling the events that led to the infamous Siege of Fallujah last decade, the film tries to provide commentary that ultimately seems to not really go anywhere. Perhaps it's to highlight that Bane's motivations aren't as genuine as they seem, I don't know. But they really seem to be there to stand out for their own sake, rather than feeling like an integral piece of the narrative.

But still, I enjoyed it. Summer blockbusters are supposed to be relatively mindless anyway, so viewing the film as an action movie I can let it's still more intelligent that the majority of them. Grab the popcorn, and prepare to be pinned in your seat when things finally begin.


  • ceen
  • 20th Jul 12
I don't about being a dumb meathead; Bane is shown to be charismatic enough to instill undying loyalty in his followers, and smart enough that he seems to be several steps ahead for most of the movie. If anything, it is the end reveal that casts some doubt on his capabilities as a strategist.

Also, I felt the Occupyish portion of the movie was more an aborted arc that may have originally been intended to be more of a political statement. Instead, we got rule by a series of mobs; Bane and his followers, then the mid-level mob criminals released from prison, on down to the individual dog-eat-dog world. If anything, it looked like the right-wing interpretation of what the Occupy movement stands for, with putting the rich on trial and claiming their assets in the name of the people.

Agreed, though, that it is relatively mindless summer blockbuster fun.
  • Nanuq
  • 20th Jul 12
Think less Occupy and more French Revolution, complete with storming of the Bastille.
  • StarryEyed
  • 20th Jul 12
^A Tale of Two Cities is explicitly referenced at the end (Gordon's reading).

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