Friday, 20 July 2012

Review: The Dark Knight Rises (Spoiler-free*)

CAUTION: Yen's blog contains harsh language and even harsher notions of propriety. Reader discretion is advised.

The Dark Knight Rises poster

The Dark Knight Rises (Spoiler-free*)
165 mins / Dir. Christopher Nolan

*DISCLAIMER:Although this review doesn't feature any plot-spoilers, it could well colour your view of the film if you're reading this before seeing it. Obviously, this applies to reviews of all films, but it seems especially appropriate to mention it here.
My advice? See the film without reading any reviews. Including mine.

This will be short, for two reasons: 1) I really need to see the film again to absorb things more fully, and 2) Without spoilers, I'm limited to what I can say.

• On the whole, it's as dark and intense as the previous two films in the series. Sometimes more, sometimes less, but always around the same watermark.

• For a Batman film, there's not a lot of Batman. When he is around, everything's so 'explodey' that it's difficult to enjoy his presence. He's toned down his 'growly voice', thankfully, but he gets a couple of quippy lines that seem woefully out of place in the film.

Bane seems underused, but I say that as someone with no real history with the Batman comics. Most of the Bane-hype has been built up by people who are versed in his history, and I suspect there's going to be a bit of grumbling in the Batfanverse over his portayal here. He didn't come over as a genuine threat, to me somehow. A lot of this is down to his ridiculous voice. About a third of what he says, you can't make out until someone replies to him to give his masked mumbling some context, and the rest of the time he sounds like Goldmember speaking through a Darth Vader mask. From a largely civilian point of view, Bane seems wasted here, and Tom Hardy is definitely wasted in the role, as he's capable of so much more. It was always going to be difficult to follow the charisma of The Joker, let alone best it, and it feels like the film-makers realised that, so didn't try too hard.

• Before today, I wasn't entirely sure what value there'd be putting Catwoman in the story. After watching the film, I'm still not sure. With all of the other characters that are introduced in tDKR, as well as familiar faces making appearances, it seems a little crowded for someone who doesn't bring that much to the party.

I did enjoyed the end-sequence. I think they missed a trick, but it still made me smile, and it's a great way to end the trilogy.

After the credits: Nothing. As soon as the names appear on the screen, you can make your way to the exit.

All in all: Very enjoyable, despite my grumbling. It just feels like there's too much story fighting for attention, and the flow suffers as a result. But keep in mind that I wasn't head-over-heels with the previous two movies on my first viewings, either.


A strong five, but The Dark Knight Rises doesn't seem to have the intrigue or fun of its predecessors. As with Prometheus, the mainstream-anticipation for this film may be its undoing.

• ^^^ That's dry, British humour, and most likely sarcasm or facetiousness.

• This is a personal blog. The views and opinions expressed here represent my own thoughts (at the time of writing) and not those of the people, institutions or organisations that I may or may not be related with unless stated explicitly.

1 comment:

  1. Nice review. This is probably one of the most epic films I’ve seen in a long, long time and with good reason, because Nolan has created such a great set of stories, that you honestly couldn’t have ended it any better. Perfect way to say bye-bye to Batty.