Movie Review: The Dark Knight Rises

I have been a Batman fan since I could walk. There was one show in particular that was very dark and violent that they allowed me to watch: Batman: The Animated Series. I loved that show! It led me to, as a teenager, collect comic books (which my collection is pretty impressive).

When I first saw Batman Begins and The Dark Knight, I never went back. It brought Batman back to the dark and serious tone that Batman & Robin had so carelessly tossed to the way side.

When Christopher and Jonathan Nolan brought us this reboot. I had heard they were going to make five Batman films to match the original Superman films with Christopher Reeves, however, after the death of Heath Ledger, who so epically portrayed the Joker, it was announced that the series would end with this new film The Dark Knight Rises.

There were so many rumors going around, especially when it was announced that Catwoman was going to be in the film. First, it was announced that it would be based on Batman: Prey, a storyline that takes place early in Batman’s career. However, when the full cast was announced and minor plot details released, no one saw it coming.

After the death of Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart) in The Dark Knight, Bruce Wayne as Batman (Christian Bale) took the blame for his crimes and his death to save Dent’s legacy and has become a recluse. Batman has been hiding for eight years, while Commissioner Gordon (Gary Oldman) purges the city of crime using Dent’s fake legacy and even mentors young street cop John Blake (Joseph Levitt-Gordon). However, after a chance meeting with Selina Kyle (Anne Hathaway), a known cat burglar, and the revelation of a new mercenary Bane (Tom Hardy) who has come to Gotham City to fulfill Ra’s al Ghul’s (Liam Neeson) plan of bringing the city to its destruction. Even Bruce Wayne’s allies, Lucius Fox (Morgan Fox) and Alfred Pennyworth (Michael Cain) are at a loss as what to do against this powerful enemy who has declared himself to be Gotham’s reckoning.

As a movie goer, I was amazed. The ensemble cast from JunoTemple, to Josh Pence, to Matthew Modine, to Marion Cotillard, to Cillian Murphy, etc, was amazing. I was hesitant when Anne Hathaway was casted as Catwoman, and though I still believe Olivia Wilde or Summer Glau would have been better, she was adequate.

I noticed that the Nolan brothers used the word “epic” to describe this film. It truly was epic. As far as superheroes movies go, epic is taken to a whole new level. The choreography, the action, the special effects, the storyline, it was all fantastic! It was one of the most epic movies I have ever seen, hands down.

As a comic book nerd and self-proclaimed Batman expert, I was impressed as well. Fans of the series will see references to Pre-Crisis timeline (which much of the plot pulls from this), Post-Crisis storyline, and even a few snippets from the New 52. While some things could have been rewritten to be fan-friendly, it still stayed within standards.

My main problem was the ending of the film. It seemed to build up to a dramatic point only to speed up to a climax that appeared to be forced. While it was indeed epic, it would have been better with The Joker returning.

This movie proved once again that Batman is greatest superhero there is. He needs no enhanced arachnid bite, nor parents from another planet, or alien ring. He can just be the Batman, and that’s all there is.

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PARENTAL CONCERNS: The movie has minor language, action violence, and the nature of the film is very dark.

ONE FINAL NOTE: Our hearts and prayers go out to victims and their families of the Aurora, Colorado movie theater shooting.

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This film has been updated from a previous version.

9 thoughts on “Movie Review: The Dark Knight Rises

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