The Dark Knight Rises (2012) Review: “What have we done!?”

Yell! Magazine review:

There comes a time in every person’s life, when they must look back on their past, and come to terms with their sins. The emotional inertia of our actions four years ago have finally borne fruit – our own self-awareness at the fact that perhaps we should’ve just been satisfied with what we had, and maybe end it on a high note.

See, Nolan wanted to call it quits after the Dark Knight – a movie that carries a lot of baggage with it because of the controversy it bears. It was a solid movie, raised questions that added a lot of cred the superhero genre, and wrapped things up well enough to call it a finale.

But it wasn’t enough. Fans and movie execs alike held Christopher Nolan at gunpoint, and demanded a sequel. “I don’t think this is a good idea, guys.” He said, but his wise words fell on deaf ears. He was carried away by the masses – ecstatic fans that he’d created himself – who then strapped him to a director’s chair, attached a car battery to his genitals, and demanded that he “do Batman stuff.”

And given what he had to work with, that was exactly what he did. He scrounged up as much untouched material that he could, and crammed as much artistic prowess into it as possible. He wound up with The Dark Knight Rises, a movie that’s not bad by any means, mind you, but has this depressing sense of just feeling bloated and maybe a little forced.

The Dark Knight Rises, Morgan Freeman
“But what’d you expect?”

The Dark Knight Rises takes place eight years after the events of the Dark Knight, and Lt. Jim Gordon (Gary Oldman) has found himself slowly being eaten alive by guilt after a public announcement explaining away Harvey Dent’s death as being caused by the Batman himself. As such, Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) has found himself with little to do, and so he’s retreated away into Wayne Manner, where he broods, decays, and mostly just looks sad.

Finding his family’s safe cracked, Wayne’s deductive faculties are spurred into action. His conclusion is that they were stolen by his present maid, Selina Kyle (Anne Hathaway) because she totally wears them around her neck while she’s cleaning the place. Meanwhile, somewhere else, underground-bred super-terrorist Bane (Tom Hardy) is working on a plan to shift western civilization into a new paradigm, and Bruce Wayne struggles with the decision of rising to the occasion or staying home to do nothing. His spirits are lifted when he witnesses the motivation and courage of police officer John Blake (Joseph Gordon Levitt), whose gung-ho attitude and taste for justice buy him a promotion to special duty.

The Dark Knight Rises
“Remember me from the first movie? ‘Cause I was totally in it.”

Now, that’s the plot of The Dark Knight Rises in a nutshell, spoiler free, and lined with nougat. The movie spreads out across almost three hours, and everything ties together, but it’s in how the pieces are connected that makes all the difference. The movie just feels inappropriately thick, and kind of has too much going on for its own good – it’s a worthy effort, yes – an honorable attempt at capping off your trilogy and following the second installment’s performance, but it all comes off a little heavy handed.

Hey, yo, get away from that comment’s box, cowboy! I’m trying to get you to sympathize with Christopher Nolan here! The poor guy’s trying to do his best, but some parts don’t work as well as they should. Maybe in parsing out the facts, we can get at the heart of why.

Read our verdict on The Dark Knight Rises after the jump…

The Dark Knight Rises Poster
Yell! Rating (x/5 Skulls):
Year Released:
20 July 2012
Christopher Nolan
Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Tom Hardy, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Anne Hathaway, Marion Cotillard, Morgan Freeman, and Gary Oldman
Action, Adventure, Crime
Official URL:
The Dark Knight Rises Official

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