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The Dark Knight Rises back to reviews
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Great movie; very predictable
This movie is exactly what fans demanded after watching TDK; it's exactly the gritty, grim tale that you wanted to see once again.

Whether or not that's actually a good thing is another story.

First off, there's a lot of repetitive elements here: A psychopath, hellbent on destroying Gotham For The Evulz, normal people standing up to the bad guys in the climax, and a Twist Ending with the revelation of a new villain. Which, unfortunately, anyone familiar with Batman/Ra's Al Ghul mythos can see coming from a mile away. They've tried to build up on the previous film, which works, but only to some extent.

My biggest issue with the story was that, somewhere along the way, it stopped being about Bane and became all about Ra's. Which is a pity, because Bane just steals the show every single time he's on screen. There's not many actors who can say lines like "Ohhh you think DARKNESS is your ally?" and "The shadows betray you because they belong to ME!" and pull it off in a reality-grounded film series like this. I don't know if the actor mimicked the voice himself or if it was digitally altered (possibly both), but anyway, nicely done. Similar great performances by the rest of the supporting cast, as well as the behind-the-scenes crew: cinematography, camera, art, etc. etc. The music was great but a bit too loud; combined with the length of the film I left the theater with a headache.

They've tried to adapt the No Mans Land event here, but I feel like they didn't go all the way with it and it just comes off feeling rushed. It would've been great if they'd actually adapted it all the way through, because NML is a rare bat-event favourite of mine. Instead, once again, it became all about Ra's and The League Of Shadows.

The prison scenes were unnecessary and just campy. Just because its a hole in the ground it's supposed to be some hell on earth? There aren't any gangs among the prisoners; there seems to be no shortage of food or water; there are no guards at all, and the inmates live in harmony and cheer each other during escape attempts. This is the worst prison in the world?

Not TDK-level but its a great popcorn movie; view it was a Summer Blockbuster and try to have fun.

Overall 7/10.
I agree with a lot of what you said, although I think the film suffered not so much from a lack of Bane as a lack of BATMAN. It takes us a good 20 minutes to get him back into the cowl, and then we get barely ten minutes of cape and cowl action before he's sent off to languish in the prison. Then we get occasional (and as you said, not very good) glimpses of him there, while the plot rolls onward, for all the world like this is a generic action movie and BATMAN is just an inconvenient subplot. The last hour or so really redeemed the movie though, and while I could spot the ending from miles off, it was still the best way to end the saga.
comment #15461 StarryEyed 20th Jul 12
You have to remember that it was a Hell on Earth while Bane and Talia were there. Ra's and the League of Shadows came back to basically kill all the monsters in the pit, only to find out that Bane had already done the job and that the doctor and not-violent prisoners had helped him recover. When Bruce is there, it is Hell on Earth because he is helpless to do anything about Gotham's descent into anarchy and march towards a nuclear holocaust.
comment #15465 ceen 21st Jul 12
And a pregnant woman was able to protect herself AND her child for several years (again, remember, there are no guards this place) with a locked door and nerdy doctor? Nuh-uh; not buying it.
comment #15476 Darkmane 21st Jul 12
With Bane protecting them though. (I'm not sure if we haven't already spoiled that? No harm in covering it I guess)
comment #15535 Tomwithnonumbers 26th Jul 12
Uh, Bane was not destroying Gotham For The Evulz. Bane was destroying Gotham to avenge Ra's who tried to destroy Gotham in Batman Begins but was left to die by Batman, fulfill his duties as a League of Shadows member and to help fulfill the plan created by the woman he cares for, Talia. Who as a side-note, was not destroying Gotham For The Evulz either. Also it is implied that Bane is a Death Seeker and wants his life to end along with the revenge he seeks on Gotham, like Talia. Why else would he have no problem being in the blast radius of a nuke? Also, the plot takes elements from No Man's Land, but it is definitely more inspired by A Tale Of Two Cities but with a modern spin (The Kangaroo Court to kill the corrupt rich and the funeral words are taken from Cities as just two examples).

Personally, I thought the movie tied in well with Batman Begins and to a lesser extent, The Dark Knight. I also thought it did well in commenting on the economic problems, with a moralist spin by showing both the 99% and 1% can be good or bad, leaving it down to each character's morals...but I guess that is just my opinion.

I agree it isn't TDK-level, but there is still a lot to think about, in my opinion.

Although I think we might just have to agree to disagree.
comment #15536 darkclaw 26th Jul 12
Uh, Bane was not destroying Gotham For The Evulz. Bane was destroying Gotham to avenge Ra's who tried to destroy Gotham in Batman Begins but was left to die by Batman, fulfill his duties as a League of Shadows member and to help fulfill the plan created by the woman he cares for, Talia. Who as a side-note, was not destroying Gotham For The Evulz either. Also it is implied that Bane is a Death Seeker and wants his life to end along with the revenge he seeks on Gotham, like Talia. Why else would he have no problem being in the blast radius of a nuke? Also, the plot takes elements from No Man's Land, but it is definitely more inspired by A Tale Of Two Cities but with a modern spin (The Kangaroo Court to kill the corrupt rich and the funeral words are taken from Cities as just two examples).

Personally, I thought the movie tied in well with Batman Begins and to a lesser extent, The Dark Knight. I also thought it did well in commenting on the economic problems, with a moralist spin by showing both the 99% and 1% can be good or bad, leaving it down to each character's morals...but I guess that is just my opinion.

I agree it isn't TDK-level, but there is still a lot to think about, in my opinion.

Although I think we might just have to agree to disagree.
comment #15537 darkclaw 26th Jul 12
Which, unfortunately, anyone familiar with Batman/Ra's Al Ghul mythos can see coming from a mile away

Why? Ra's Al Ghul or for that matter Talia Al Ghul aren't exactly the most well known Batman villains, in fact one of the acclaims and complains of Begins was not using well known villains. It's a good nick for comic fans (like Thanos at the end of Avengers) and a completely unexpected twist for the rest of the viewers.
comment #15575 marcellX 29th Jul 12
For me, it was a totally unexpected twist (even though I knew of Ra's kid from other media). It didn't have much impact though, because she wasn't a well enough established character. Had she been a major motivational figure for Wayne (pushing him back into the cowl, prematurely etc.), her betrayal would have been a much bigger blow.

comment #15576 maninahat 29th Jul 12
Also, I rank this one higher than Batman Begins (though thematically similar, Rises has better fight scenes and a slightly more sensible plot. Slightly.) I think it trumps Dark Knight in those categories too, but Dark Knight wins for overall dramatic impact.

The only real issues I had with Rises was the excessive exposition, which really made the scene's drag at times. Had we been left to observe the themes, the emotions, the back stories etc, it wouldn't have felt its length.
comment #15577 maninahat 29th Jul 12
Had she been a major motivational figure for Wayne (pushing him back into the cowl, prematurely etc.), her betrayal would have been a much bigger blow.

But that would imply her knowingly making an obstacle for herself. She needed Bruce Wayne but she never needed Batman.
comment #15582 marcellX 29th Jul 12
Throughout the entire film, she knows Wayne and Batman are the same person, but the audience doesn't know that fact until her reveal. She needs Batman out of the picture, and getting Batman to fight Bane prematurely and without preperation would do just that It works because the audience could be easily fooled into thinking she is good for Wayne, pushing him to "do the right thing" and put on the cape again. That way, when it is revealed that she was just doing it to get Batman killed, the betrayal is all the more potent; she would be tricking the audience as well as Wayne.
comment #15583 maninahat 29th Jul 12
^Totally agree with this. Replacing John Blake pushing Wayne back into the cowl with Talia would have really amped up the stakes for the betrayal and could have also cut down on John Blake's bloated screentime and general Marty-Stuish. (I love Joseph Gordon-Levitt, but I was intensely frustrated with his character and how he was portrayed so perfect at the expense of characters like Gordon and Wayne).
comment #15584 StarryEyed 29th Jul 12
On hindsight, I think the above comment sums up the root of all the problems with the movie: John Blake.

He came out of nowhere, had more screentime than most of the already-established supporting characters, and the only thing he actually brought to the movie was the reveal of his real name at the end. Now imagine if Nolan had given all that time to Wayne, Bats and Bane... and if the kid from Batman Begins was used instead of Blake (Y'know, the boy who runs into Bats on his balcony, and Brucie gives him his Grapple-gun so his friends would believe he'd met Batman - Rachel later protects the same kid from the Scarecrow in the climax, and he was standing right there when Batman revealed his identity to Rachel!) If a grown-up version of that kid (Rises is set nine years after Begins) had just put in a small appearance and then picked up the legacy... it would've tied up all the tiny details in the series nicely... and that would've been some movie, too.

And seriously, the Talia thing was a surprise? It's pretty clear even if you're unfamiliar with the bat-mythos: Just think - if there are two love interests for a protagonist in a movie, what usually happens? Unless it's a romantic film in which the plot is about the love triangle, someone is revealed to be a traitor. My girlfriend predicted Miranda would be a bad guy during the intermission, and she's never read a comic in her life.
comment #15589 Darkmane 30th Jul 12
And that boy was played by same actor who's now Joffrey Baratheon in Game Of Thrones!! Fuck, I can't stop thinking about this now. Missed Moment Of Awesome, Nolan.
comment #15590 Darkmane 30th Jul 12
@maninahat

But Batman wasn't beneficial for her plan. If Bruce never took the cowl again they could still had disposed of him, if he did take it, they had measures for it. The latest the batman returned the better for them because the farther along the plan was, the worst it was for batman. First they took all his money preventing him from acquiring new equipment, then they get a hold on most of his reserved equipment and start using it themselves.

@Starry Eyed

First you say that it was a bad move to have a batman 8 years out of practice, but now you're complaining that Talia didn't hurry him to take the cowl to be as out of practice as possible. If think it was the best plan in the second why are you complaining when they actually did it in the first?

@Darkmane

You gotta understand that your reaction was already affected by knowing the references. And cmon man, you're on tv tropes, you should know better than to say there's only one possible outcome to the love triangle. One of them dying. Catwoman since she was on the lower side of the morality scale and was shown to already had some sort of relationship with the enemy, maybe even on a Redemption Equals Death way. Talia as a motivation for Bruce; Him simply picking one over the other, not ending with either, etc. etc. etc.
comment #15603 marcellX 31st Jul 12
First you say that it was a bad move to have a batman 8 years out of practice, but now you're complaining that Talia didn't hurry him to take the cowl to be as out of practice as possible. If think it was the best plan in the second why are you complaining when they actually did it in the first?

I think a story that picked up much sooner from TDK, a story where Bruce never stopped being Batman, would have been more interesting and exciting. However, such a story would obviously have a lot of differences from TDKR. Many of the subplots wouldn't translate.

However, maninahat's suggestion made me realize that the storyline that they did create could have been vastly improved by a much more minor change, one that keeps many of the subplots the same—but balances out the characterization much better, taking from a character with way too much to do and giving to a character who's not giving enough to do.

Think of it as two separate alternate ways they could have improved the movie. Obviously, they could never co-exist in the same one.
comment #15620 StarryEyed 1st Aug 12
Guess I'm one of the few people who like John Blake...

Yeah I admit I had that nagging feeling that he was a bit too perfect(there's the occasional "hothead" comment which makes other officers look like jerks). At the same time, he just comes off as very likable, and I guess somewhat of an interesting foil to other characters. I felt the good guys kind of stole the show for this movie(and that includes Catwoman).

comment #15812 blueflame724 15th Aug 12
He was one of my favourite characters at least :D I thought a lot of people would have liked him
comment #15814 Tomwithnonumbers 15th Aug 12
I agree 100% with your comments about the pit. If this is Hell on Earth, I'd hate to see Abu Ghraib or something.
comment #15818 longstreth 15th Aug 12
The stated reason the pit is supposed to be the worst prison is because of the false hope of escape it provides, constantly taunting you with the sun and a jump that is JUST out of reach for even the most athletic person. It is constantly raising and then dashing your hopes without end. Prisons are often judged by their design, since the nature of the guards or inmates is subject to change.
comment #15827 uncannybeetle 16th Aug 12
That's the case with almost every prison in existence though. If I could just squeeze through these bars...
comment #15838 longstreth 17th Aug 12
There's no guards though. Or other security. I guess if all you had were bars to squeeze through to freedom... I feel like it would just end up giving some people hope though. Maybe if you consistently fail for years and time isn't on your side with the onsets of age... Oh well, it fits with the Batman staying alive thing and it works in a story regardless of how realistic it might be
comment #15839 Tomwithnonumbers 17th Aug 12
er....no. Most prisons have bars so close to each other that it's obvious you're not gonna get out even if you're like a cat.
comment #15840 marcellX 17th Aug 12
Everyone knows they're not going to get out of the bars, but they still present the exact same false hope that uncannybeetle refers to. You can even see outside your cellóit's literally right thereóbut all that's stopping you is a bit of metal. Comparable to being "constantly [taunted]" by the sun and a jump.

Sorry, but Bane's prison thing is hardly the worst I can think of. Any psychological trauma it inflicts on its prisoner would also be present in, say, a concentration camp. However, concentration camps have guards and horrible living conditions, whereas Bane's pit has friendly prisoners, no guards and (it would seem) plenty of food. I don't see how this pit is that bad comparatively.
comment #15842 longstreth 18th Aug 12
But you can't see hope outside your bars, you can see a prison, with other prisoners in other cells and guards and security doors. And whilst you can risk your life on a dangerous climb, there's not much you can do with the bars than bang your head on them and realise it's stupid.

I think you have a valid point in comparing the false hope with degrading conditions, but I think you're trying to push this bars thing too hard and it's confusing the point. Most prisons, prison camps included are designed as a big middle finger to people thinking about escape attempts. Look at our scary guards, our barbed wire, our watchtowers, our doors, our big bleak spaces. Do not try to escape because you will fail, you are stuck here for life. This is not comparable to designing something so it looks like you can escape but can't. On the other hand that question doesn't affect that the one might be worse than the other to live in
comment #15843 Tomwithnonumbers 18th Aug 12
And two people out of a whole jail is not exactly enough to considers friendly prisoners a thing. After all at the first change the mother was killed, it goes with the saying that hell is horrible not for the punishments but having to spend all eternity with the people sent there.
comment #15847 marcellX 18th Aug 12
A line by one of the current prisoners points out how the prison is Bane's now, so he tosses people in there. Also, all the prisoners in there before minus Bane and Talia were killed by the League of Shadows as retribution for what they did to Ra's wife.
comment #16123 darkclaw 14th Sep 12
I personally liked the movie, but I think it tried to hard to connect to the other movies, what with role of Dent's death and the League of Shadows. I know it was trying to make it cyclical but it becomes a bit hard to stay invested when they're harping on the same mistake even if you've seen the previous movies. Bane's cool; was a bit turned off by his dastardly voice, but as time goes on he's quite an interesting mix of brawn and delicateness. When you look into his eyes, he looks almost gentle...and then he breaks your neck. But he has the problem of being subordinate to the whole League of Shadows.

And maybe they should've made Catwoman an actual follower of Bane; the only interaction we really see is that first fight. I guess the alliance would've seemed reminiscent of Batman Returns, but I think it would've tied those two together better than "another thief who just happens to be blackmailed by Bane".
comment #18943 blueflame724 17th Apr 13
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