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The Dark Knight Rises Review: The Hero We Need

By Daniel Carlson | Film Reviews | July 20, 2012 | Comments ()


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The strength and beauty of Christopher Nolan's Batman films lie in the way they're as grounded as genre movies can be in the toil of life just outside the theater doors. Yes, there's something otherworldly and even a little goofy about a vigilante dressing up as a bat-like monster, but through Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, and now The Dark Knight Rises, Nolan has brought unprecedented weight and believability to what has to be considered the best superhero franchise ever filmed. He's managed to make these movies feel universal in theme and harrowingly immediate in topic, from the urban decay of a city tearing itself apart to the spiritual cost of doing war with domestic terrorists. The films aren't trying to specifically comment on any one movement or idea, but they can't help but be infused with strands borrowed from the world they're set in. These are modern, probing action movies that are less about battles and more about what it means to fight them.

Good example: This film introduces Selena Kyle, also known as Catwoman, but it does so without any of the mocking flair brought to the character by Michelle Pfeiffer and Tim Burton. Her character moniker isn't even used. She's instead cited as an accomplished cat burglar, and her preferred uniform includes a pair of goggles that, when tilted back on her head, resemble cat ears. Even Batman is often "The Batman," a way to identify him as a concocted identity and not someone actually named Batman. These are little things that go a long way, and they're what let Nolan play around with sci-fi and speculative fiction the way he does without giving up any purchase in the real world. Things are heightened, but never surreal.

That connection to our world is what shapes The Dark Knight Rises, a brooding, powerful, thoroughly enjoyable end to Nolan's trilogy of Batman stories. The first film was about fear: as weapon, as distraction, as obstacle to be overcome. The second one was about consequence: When you conquer that fear and stand up to evil, you have to be prepared for the evil to fight back. The final installment is, broadly, about resolve. Nolan's hero is pushed to learn how far he's willing to go to save his city, with the stakes higher than ever. There's a wide streak of desperation running through the film, from the way Batman/Bruce Wayne struggles to do the right thing to the way Wayne's enemies attack him where it hurts most: his bank account. It's a film rooted in class anxiety and barely repressed mutiny, and one that skillfully uses a host of outlandish characters in gripping and realistic ways. It's about hard-fought wars and the fluid definition of victory, and even given Nolan's impressive track record, it's better and more nuanced than anyone could have expected.

What's so astounding about the film isn't just the way Nolan orchestrates chaos. Rather, it's the manner with which he allows the story to breathe. The queasy freneticism of The Dark Knight has transformed into a more balanced approach to rhythm. Instead of breathlessly assembled montages of heroes and criminals hunting each other, we get actual scenes between people working things out, whether it's Bruce (Christian Bale) and Alfred (Michael Caine) debating the merits of vigilantism or Batman doing his best to persuade uneasy allies to join his cause. The film picks up the story eight years after the events of The Dark Knight, during which time Batman has been absent from the night skies of Gotham, and Nolan doesn't rush things to get him back in action. It takes more than just a revived signal to put him back on the streets: Bruce is forced to work through what he's trying to accomplish and the promises he's made to all those he's loved and lost. Nolan reconnects with Bruce in ways not seen since the beginning of the series, and we witness his journey as a man, not merely a cipher. When the arrival of a new criminal presence and imposing villain -- Bane (Tom Hardy) -- pulls Bruce out of his cave, the decision feels hard-earned and not without consequence.

Some of these character moments are better than others, though. Nolan shares screenplay credit with his brother, Jonathan, and story credit with David S. Goyer, and though the story itself is more streamlined than The Dark Knight's -- Bane, stripped of the Joker's wild machinations, just wants to destroy the city -- it still suffers on occasion when its characters speak in mission statements. At one point, wealthy businesswoman Miranda Tate (Marion Cotillard) chides Bruce, who has recently re-entered the public eye after years as a recluse, about the finer points of responsibility and duty: "You have to invest to restore balance to the world," she says, and it's possible "masks" are even mentioned, metaphorically. These aren't inherently bad things to say or hear, but they're written and delivered with the double-meaning intact, to make sure that even the audience members in the back row are aware that Bruce is now being presented with an anecdote that parallels his hidden personal struggles. It's one thing to find meaning in one part of your life that can be applied to something else; it's another when you're told just how to do it.

Nolan's on much firmer ground when he lets Batman go to war with the latest physical representation of his problem. The Scarecrow manufactured fear, while the Joker was the ultimate unpredictable reactionary. For the conclusion of Nolan's trilogy, Batman has to face Bane, a living representation of the power and also the stunning calm of real evil. Bane, who suffered near-fatal injuries years before, wears a mask to stay alive, but he's not a cartoon. Rather, he's merely a fiendishly dedicated mercenary, brought to Gotham on another's man dime to aid in the city's downfall. The Dark Knight Rises is in many ways the most realistic of Nolan's series, dealing plainly with the ease with which bad men can overrun the weak. Bane's powerful and committed, but he's also just a man.

The film's entire look and feel underscore the way evil never shows up when you think it will. Instead of the amber-dipped light or bruised blues of the earlier movies, Nolan and cinematographer Wally Pfister opt for a bright, almost ordinary approach relying on crisp lines, bright colors, and what feels like more daylight than the first two films combined. (About an hour of the film is presented in IMAX, and the compositions in the large-screen format are jaw-droppingly gorgeous.) Bane strolls through subterranean lairs or Gotham streets with equal calm, big as life, and his presence is so startling -- and so honestly captured, as if he's just a man running errands -- that you're barely aware of the film's power to make you accept this monster as real. Similarly, the score from Hans Zimmer is much more restrained here than in the earlier films, relying on smaller movements instead of the constant pounding and fluttering of wings that drove previous installments. There are even some dazzling scenes where Nolan drops the score and almost all other sound entirely, letting the action play out in tense physical confrontations. The first time Batman and Bane come to blows, its near-silence is uncomfortable, unsettling; it's almost too there to be tolerable.

As the tormented Dark Knight, Bale is better than he's been since the series started. He's allowed here to flesh out all three faces of his character: the charming, self-deprecating businessman; the grim, unforgiving hero; and the lonely, uncertain man who has to mediate between them. The subtle differences in tone and body language between the way he carries himself at a party versus when he's alone with Alfred are wonderfully telling. Hardy makes a formidable Bane, conveying just the right mix of boredom and menace with only his eyes. Hathaway's a great fit, too, lightening the mood without undoing it. Joseph Gordon-Levitt also brings a solid presence to John Blake, a beat cop turned detective who works with Commissioner Gordon (Gary Oldman) to fight corruption and try to keep Gotham's ever-fragile peace from failing.

... All of which is honest and true, loyal both to the film and the way it's made. But to read those paragraphs, you'd be forgiven for thinking the film is some kind of academic exercise, a way for Nolan to finish a final few equations on the board before walking away forever, leaving us with nothing but the memory of the way he broke and rebuilt the formula. The Dark Knight Rises is more than that, though, in quiet and weird and sad ways, in rousing and exciting ways, in beautiful and stupefying ones that sometimes don't have anything to do with the marriage of plot and aesthetic and are solely about the skill with which you can be made to believe you're flying through the air on electric wings. It's a satisfying conclusion to a story started seven years ago, one whose characters and ideas have woven together through three films to reach what feels like a grand but inevitable end. It's a crowd-pleaser in the best sense, expertly designed to remind you where we've been and have you cheer when you see where we're going. Yes, there will always and forever be something slightly wacky about a story involving an angry vigilante in pointed rubber ears. But Nolan puts his heart and soul into it, anchoring these stories in a world just like our own, with men and women who bleed like we do. Nolan gave us the Batman we needed, and his epic feels destined to dwarf inevitable future attempts to start the series again with a new creative team. There have never been superhero movies quite like these -- grand and moving, fantastical yet real, possessed of an author's real voice -- and who knows if we'll see their likes again.

Daniel Carlson is the managing editor of Pajiba and a member of the Houston Film Critics Society and the Online Film Critics Society. You can also find him on Twitter.



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  • drdysentery

    Is it too late to bring up the bizarre mixed messages about the occupy movement in this movie? *Spoilers* I mean Bane literally occupies Wall St after a Bastille like jail break of Arkham and then ends with the entire Gotham police force overpowering them in what should be an unsettling but is displayed as an heroic uprising against the revolutionaries. Forget whether the movie was clunky or not; historically, it's downright confusing.

  • AudioSuede

    A great review of a great movie. I was thrilled from beginning to end, and the characters were each wonderfully fleshed out. I'm surprised more mention wasn't made of Joseph Gordon-Levitt's excellent performance; he really carried a lot of emotional weight. I also adored many of the lines they gave Bane; his dialogue was the brightest spot in the entire script, so menacing and clever.

  • Rdman

    Here is my review for the movie... http://rdulal.blogspot.com/201...

  • Mr_Grumpypants

    This is one of the best reviews I've ever read on Pajiba. Made me love the movie even more.

  • blorft

    My unsolicited musings, which I don't think are too spoilery:

    1) Gotham City apparently only has one woman per every 4-5 angry all-male mobs. Why isn't anyone talking about the impending population crash? I guess all the ladies were too busy making sandwiches to help with all that lame uprising stuff. And the girl orphans... well, to hell with the girl orphans.

    2) Bane's crazy speaker-phoned Sean Connery accent took me out of every single scene he was in. Why? Why that voice, of all potential voices and accents? If there is a rational explanation, I would like to know what it is, because it didn't succeed at making him seem old enough to match his back story.

    3) Similarly, I haven't been able to take the Batman Lisp seriously since before TDK. He needs to let his tongue relax and close his mouth in between his words. This is probably Youtube's fault, though.

    4) It's really obvious when they're using Alfred to manipulate the audience into having an emotional response, but it always works on me. Michael Caine just oozes Pathos.

    5) John Blake and Selina Kyle were tied for my favorite thing about the movie.

    6) I used to live in Pittsburgh, which I love, and I loved it as Gotham. I drove past the shooting of the brawl scene on the day I moved out of the city, and seeing it on film was bittersweet.

    Overall, a very good and entertaining superhero movie, but that's it. Carlson nails it with the "groundedness" being what sets it apart.

  • Matt Brown

    I find a movie showing the need for a hero to be a symbol for a city coming out the same weekend PSU tears down a statue of their hero fascinating. It made the message of The Dark Knight Rises feel hallow.

    It tied the series together rather well, but it was overly long. Some parts were predictable. Even the key plot point at the end clicked in my head before it was revealed. The one fight between the police and Bane's men were people simply lined up was full of WTF? Yes, it was very good, but I thought the Avengers was better. I was glad to have seen The Dark Knight Rises after it was done, but was ok with going home. After the Avengers, I wanted to buy another ticket and see it again right at that moment.

  • I saw this last night and I almost cried...at how much I didn't like it. I fully expected to love it or at least appreciate it but there was so much off about. I thought the pacing was slow, the characters weren't what I'd hoped for, and it felt like we were seeing things we'd seen before. I think Catwoman was my favorite part of the movie.

    On the other side, Dan this is a beautifully written review, even if I don't feel the same way.

  • SPOILER:
    This is a minor quibble, but what was the point of making Bruce Wayne lame in the legs where he has no cartiledge, make us see him hobbling about, going to his doctor, then totally abandon it in the third act? Yes, he used a leg brace thing as Batman, but in the prison?

    People keep saying "suspension of disbelief" because we're watching a movie about a man who dresses up as a bat. I'm happy to do that, but don't bring up things in the world you create, then cast them out later. Don't bring up his body disinegration if you're just going to ignore it later.

    And what the hell about Alfred and not saying hello to Bruce? That man raised you! Go give him a hug!

  • AudioSuede

    Well, to that last point, he clearly explains in his (beautiful) monologue earlier in the film why he didn't say hello to him.

  • hapl0
  • Littlejon2001

    Just want to state this is an excellent review and I believe that TDKR, while not as good as TDK, was a satisfying ending to the trilogy. I loved Bane (was his voice hard to understand? Yes. Get over it. Listen better. He was awesome.) . I loved Catwoman (Get over your Anne Hathaway bashing. She was great. And sexy.) I loved the plot.

    Can we talk about the thing that actually bothered me about this film?

    SPOILERS. OBVIOUSLY.

    JGL. First, JGL was great as always. But his character? I'm calling him Robin. He was Robin. So if he's Robin. CAN WE PLEASE JUST MAKE HIM ROBIN??? I mean, listen. The motivation for him was amazing and for most of the film he is used very well. But damnit Nolan. Why can't you give JGL one scene where he kicks butt??? Why can't he save 1 person's life? Why can't he help Batman once? His character literally failed at everything he tried to do. I guess that was the point? But talk about disappointing. One scene where he puts on a mask is all I wanted. One scene where he takes down a couple of bad guys (the construction worker scene in no way was satisfying to anyone). One scene where someone goes..."Is that Batman????" And it's not. It's Robin. You couldn't give us one scene??? And now we'll never have a realistic Robin ever?? Screw you, Nolan. I love you. But screw you.

    Ok I'm good.

  • Daniel, that's a really lovely review. I'm just not sure we saw the same movie. The movie I saw was enjoyable, if about 45 minutes too long, and had plot holes three miles wide - and lots of them. The weird thing is (at least to me!) is that when I saw the movie, I was initially very excited about and thought it was really good. The more I thought about it, though, the more aggravated I became about the plot holes and poor writing, and the way much of what was to come was telegraphed.

  • Jenn TheYellowDart

    Dan, I just wanted to say that this was a beautifully written review.

    I watched this movie with another lady-Pajiban, and we were both blown away with the feeling of methodical evil that Nolan infused in this movie, as well as an incredibly uplifting feeling of hope. The two emotions/ambiances worked in unison to create a movie that brought me to tears. Do you know the last movie I cried at in a theatre? Philadelphia. And that was because I hated the Bruce Springsteen song.

  • Tallsonofagun

    First half was a muddled mess with horrible editing, bad sound and almost no Batman. Second half got a lot better, but still not sure it was worth it all at 2 hrs 45 min and with some plot holes that sort of pissed me off. Tom Hardy was utterly wasted. Why put a star in that role if you just cover up his face and voice through the entire movie? Not an ounce of acting talent needed for the role. Should have put a newcomer into that position. Surprisingly, I actually liked Anne Hathaway, but other than her and JG-L, all the other actors were throwaways as well. As much as I have loved Nolan, this is by far his worst film.

  • I liked it. It worked as a conclusion to a trilogy and I suppose that was the goal. I much preferred the Catwoman story to the Bain story, but they tied together nicely in the last hour so I can't really complain. The structure is excellent even if some big reveals are set up early enough that some twists and surprises don't get the big response they should.

  • It's going to take a lot of courage to say something like this under my real name, but I'm gonna man up and do it.

    I didn't like The Dark Knight Rises as much as I thought I was going to.

    For those of you who want to run off and threaten me with death, you can go now. I'll just go into details as to why after a break.

    Honestly it's my fault I didn't absolutely love the movie. Mine and the writers I suppose. Mine because I'm a geek and I've read a fair chunk of Batman. The writers because for the first time they cribbed bits from the comic plots, which meant that for the first time I had some idea what was going to happen. It was still an excellent movie, and I won't balk from taking my daughter to see it on Monday. I just wish I hadn't read the comics. I think if I were seeing it like most people are without the sort of inside knowledge being a geek grants me, I'd enjoy it more. Probably think it was as good as the second one was. Unfortunately I can't, and I have mostly myself to blame.

  • AudioSuede

    They used the actual comics for the plots of all of the movies so far.

  • BlackRabbit

    Honestly, I wonder if you saw the same movie I did. It was not that great. Here's a fun plot hole, among others: how did poor Bruce Wayne get from the Pit back to Gotham and meet Kyle just in time? And Bane's voice sounded like Sean Connery speaking into a coffee can.

  • Jenn TheYellowDart

    Ok, firstly, assuming that Gotham is the representation of New York and he was somewhere in the middle east/desert; that would be an 8-9 hour flight home. At the point of escape he had over a day left to get back to Gotham. Plenty of time. Plus, a billionaire who goes broke, is not without resources or friends.
    Just like when I go broke and need 20$, I'm sure Bruce Wayne going broke could allow the leeway to call a friend and be like "Dude, I need to borrow your G6."

  • I would totally loan you $20 Jenn.

  • Bruce Wayne, the most resourceful person on the planet, had stashed caches of money in every major and minor city on the planet for just such an event. Luckily one of them was wherever the Pit of Despair was located allowing him to get back to Gotham in record time.

  • hapl0

    Read this from somewhere else: Bane = Darth Connery.

  • purplejebus

    Nolan just showed Favrou(sp) and Raimi how not to shit the bed.

  • gepeto

    ok second day after TDKR..... ive had time to reflect and calm down and i know what the problem is for me .....there is hardly any batman in the film there is like an hour plus with no bat....but the funniest thing is any time batman was on screen it was the best batman of the trilogy the bane bat fight was perfect the bat getting broken and the cowl breaking on waynes face pretty horrific....the fight where the bat beating him down wheres the detonater perfect..... all the bat stuff perfect the rest was ok....i just HATE the fact theres all this plot....so the problem is its not very comicbook freindly to seeing batman and at the same time its the most comic book of the trilogy so it just feels lost .....like waynes back from hell and smiles like an idiot to catwoman after she sent him there....i just wanted a batman film not all this plot and hardly any batman....the 8 year gap just stinks of nolan not wanting anyone to play in his gotham and doing so he almost ruins the world nolan built....if nolan wasnt so preoccupied on not wanting anyone playing with batman after nolans gone he tottally misses the point its a batman film not a film about plot...but the actors were all perfect...

  • hapl0

    Great points but I don't know about the fight being perfect though.

    SPOILER

    3

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    Why Nolan chose to make Batman weak even before the fight is beyond comprehension?

    8 bloody years? Seriously? Of him just wandering about the mansion doing nothing? What the hell was Alfred doing all those years? You would think Wayne would have fired him after a year or two of listening to his pep talk.

    So that drop in TDK to save Gordon's son forced Wayne to use a crutch? For 8 years? So he's a billionaire and can't afford the latest in knee surgery? And he didn't even drop on his leg when I think back to the TDK scene. So what then?!

    I was under the impression he's been fighting for some time after TDK to get injured but he didn't.

    The fight is not perfect because it should have been a Batman at his prime against Bane. Had his ass been handed to him that way then I would bought this whole 'Bane is about physical power' unlike anything Batman has seen.

    And then he would have had to resort to his gadgets and brains to defeat Bane or something like that. Argh!

    I apologize preemptively if I start to annoy you people for hovering over this thread but my rage is starting to consume me as I rewatch the first two trailers and the last two for the first time. And the behind the scenes video is certainly not helping.

    Why Nolan? WHY?

  • chumpy

    Well let me just reply for everyone and say apology not accepted. No need to keep going on. You've said your piece.

  • hapl0
  • Blank

    Wow Really? I thought the movie was a lackluster mess, with more plotholes than a scifi channel movie. I loved the first two, but this movie failed to ever pull me in and ecite me about what I was watching. Bane's voice was a trainwreck, and Tom Hardy was wasted as an actor in it. Christian Bale felt like he was phoning it in. Anne Hathaway was in way over her head. Joseph Gordon Levitt was pretty much the only saving grace of the movie for me. I didn't feel like this film had any of the loving craft that Nolan puts into his other movies. It seemed like if they ran into a problem, instead of trying to find a better solution, they simply threw money at it. I really expected Pajiba to be a little more discerning than this. I like Nolan as much as the next guy, but I really don't think he deserves a pass for this. It's really the first blemish on his record for me.

  • bokchoi

    Batman Begins was better.

  • Horace

    Roger Ebert(who liked the movie) writes: " isn't very much fun, and it doesn't have very much Batman."

    I'll stick to Spider-Man. You guys can bask on this melodramatic fun-suck.

  • subhaissh christche

    the first thing i have noticed is,,we got a situation in the movie,,and again and again we struct in it. its beyond a movie,,beyond a story. its about a hope,,about a regular prayer for the man with a mask for the last 4 years when he was running and dogs and cops were chasing him.

    after watching the dark knight in 2008,,i became the disciple of batman. after watching the dark knight rises,,i realized he is god.

    sometimes when your excitement level cross the limits,,,u cant explain much. same happens to me.

    batman is a normal human being, who inspired us to ask Jesus Christ not to take our sins. he is among and within us showing the way of perfection and purification.

  • Jezzer

    Thank you for taking it to the next creepy level.

  • hapl0

    Jesus.

  • Amen.

  • TheAggroCraig

    I would really like to watch the whole trilogy in one sitting. And I also noticed the music drop out when Bruce and Bane fought the first time. It only exaggerated my geeking out.

  • Brian

    This review is why Pajiba is always the first place I go for film reviews. Well said (written).

  • chanohack

    And can someone please explain to me how John Blake knew that Bruce Wayne is Batman? Just because they'd met before? Did I miss something?

  • hapl0

    SPOILER

    3

    2

    1

    I'd like to know as well. All I got was Blake confronts Wayne and Wayne was too tired? depressed? to worry about his cover.

    I'm just going to assume Wayne's been digging up info on Blake during his free time to trust him this much. Sigh.

  • competitivenonfiction

    SPOILER - I think he was just tired. He just seemed kind of a little bit resigned, but also a little bit like he hasn't contributed anything to the world in 8 years and no one knew about his contribution. So my answer to this was to say that he was tired and sort of wanted someone to know it was him.

  • hapl0

    I can only imagine how pissed off Gordon would be when he finds out that Batman revealed his identity to Blake first.

  • chanohack

    I thought it got just a leetle goofy at times, especially toward the beginning. There were are few weird exposition speeches, but I guess those have to happen. All in all, I thought it was pretty great.

    ... Although, I have to say this, we all know that turning a reactor into a bomb is something that only happens in the movies, right?

  • Diallo Tyson

    I didn't completely dig it. It was entertaining in parts, but as whole it just didn't work for me. I didn't feel an emotional connection to anyone, except maybe Bane. And that's because his swagger was at "11." One of the main problems was whenever Batman spoke, all I could think of was Danny Pudi's spot on impersonation. I kept waiting for Donald Glover to pop into frame and start crying hysterically. At any rate, it was a decent flick but not nearly as good as TDK.

  • asherlev1

    Oh my god, so I'm not the only one who kept thinking of Abed! Hahaha.

  • junierizzle

    Its totally cool if people don't like it. But don't make it out to be the worst movie ever made. Come on, its not Buckey Larson up on the screen.

  • GOB

    Great review, except I don't know how you could consider the score to be "restrained". It dominates the film.

  • asherlev1

    Mmm, very true! I was always distinctly aware of when the throbbing beat kicked in. Then again, I was also aware of when Nolan dropped the sound. So I guess there is merit in both points of view.

  • *STANDING OVATION*

  • hapl0

    Just got back from the 11am showing and what do I hear on the cab ride home? Colorado. My heart goes out to all those who suffered. Just makes me want to go on a tirade about gun laws but I'm not going to.

    [Spoilerific and tl:dr comment so please scroll away if you're bothered by either one]

    3

    2

    1

    Getting back to TDKR, I cannot help but feel disappointed because this movie suffered from the very thing I've been worried about all this while.

    Spiderman3titis. Blake took too much time away from who I really wanted to watch: Gordon and Catwoman (Hathaway was actually serviceable) took away Bane's.

    How do you go from a great one on one battle of wits against Joker to sporadic engagements with Bane the Unintelligible is beyond me?

    I really couldn't give a rat's ass bout Talia if this is what they chose to do with Bane.

    I'm going to appear like I'm nitpicking but I hope I don't come off looking as whatever it is that you call us these days for daring to voice our criticism against Nolan the Savior.

    1) Opening scene lacked the punch of TDK and worse, the realism. I still can't get over the fact that the baddies dropped down on to the plane below without being blown back.

    2) Blood transfer scene = Eye roll. That's it? A couple of seconds of blood transfer for the old switch-a-roo and that would actually work? Did they drain the corpse completely before? Wouldn't anyone notice? Wait, is there anything to notice in the first place after a fiery crash? Ugh. I'm just going to forget this happened. Oo! Oo! Little Finger!

    3) Bats showing up for the first time on the pod was the best.

    4) The fight. That's it?

    5) "The siege". Here I am thinking the whole city is under lock down and Gordon and the gang gets to move around a lot more freely than they ever have the right to.

    6) Trigger man is one of the people? Sigh. Is this a homage to The Joker?

    7) Second fight. That's it? So you couldn't damage his face hugger the first time?

    8) There was no tension to Batman's sacrifice. It should have been drawn out but then there's the time factor so it shud have been handled better. I've seen better hero sacrificial scenes in a tv series (24).

    9) How the hell did Gordon come out of the truck unscathed? = Eye-roll.

    10) They cheapened his sacrifice with the ending we got. Why lie bout the Auto-pilot? Why reveal to Gordon? Why waste time kissing Selena when you cud have jumped into the Bat Wing and get that thing out much faster and come back for celebratory hugs later?

    The movie shudn't have been set 8 yrs later. I expected a movie where Bats was being hunted down every second while he engages Bane. Not this hot mess.

    And yet I don't hate the movie. I'm just sad about it. Bane should have been fleshed out a helluva of a lot more better and Wayne's death should have been left as a mystery.

    I know I sound like a dick but I also understand asking for excellence consistently is a bit too much. You can't always be at the top...always.

    I can only thank Nolan for Begins and TDK and for not ruining TDKR too much.

  • chanohack

    Here are a few of the things that bothered me, the reactor being turned into a bomb in about two minutes notwithstanding:

    Why did the cops have no guns coming out of the sewer? They had guns going into the sewer. Did they ALL somehow drop ALL their guns when the sewer caved in? And why would Bane trap all the cops in the sewer just to keep feeding and watering them? Why not just kill all the cops in the sewer, or not feed and water them? Was he secretly hoping that the cops would escape, leave all their guns behind, and form an uprising?

    Why would Batman tell Gordon his identity before he flew off to NOT die?

    Why DIDN'T Batman die? "League of Shadows" Talia stabbed him pretty good, and then apparently he jumped out of the Bat and swam back to shore and made a secret getaway, all with a gaping stab wound.

    My only explanation for that one is that his (really weirdly timed) kiss with Kyle somehow one-thief-to-another told her, "Get a boat, get to the harbor, and come pick me up in ten minutes. Then get me to a hospital, I need surgery." Good thing she liked him.

  • Littlejon2001

    Couple things you just flat out missed in the movie:

    SPOILERS

    First off, the cops DID have their guns when they came out of the sewers. Watch it again, you'll see they have their guns. The reason they didn't use them in the charge scene? Well primarily what hapl0 said about PG-13 rating, but it is justified. You have a Pistol. Your enemies have automatic weapons. Guess which one wins? Your only chance is to get so close that automatic weapons aren't as big of an advantage. So if you watch again, you'll clearly see everyone has a gun, but theirs no point in shooting it when you are in a vast army of cops heading straight towards a bunch of mercenaries with assault rifles.
    Bruce told Gordon who he was because he wanted everyone to think he was dead. Since people already knew Bruce was Batman, and he wanted EVERYONE to think he was dead, he had to leave Gotham. So for all intensive purposes Gordon thinks Bruce/Batman is dead and tells the city Bruce/Batman is dead, so no one ever goes looking for Bruce/Batman. And he gets to start over! Another theme in the movie!
    Umm, THAT'S why you think Batman should've died??? Bc he got stabbed with a knife?!?! He was wearing Body Armor. I mean come on...in The Dark Knight he falls off 2 buildings and lives. Of course a stab wound didn't kill him. Did you see blood? He could've stitched that up himself. No where in the movie did it appear that the stab wound was deep or too big to stitch.
    The reactor took 3 months to turn into a bomb...(or was it 5 months)...what is this 2 days thing???? Did we watch the same movie?

  • chanohack

    For all "INTENSIVE" purposes?!?

    No, Littlejon, I don't think we did see the same movie. You seem to think Nolan can do no wrong, and I can tell from your AMAZINGLY SMART responses that arguing with you will get me nowhere, but I will say this: I know a thing or two about reactor physics. (That's sarcasm. I know a LOT about reactor physics.) Tinkering with a reactor for a few minutes does not turn it into a bomb, nor does unplugging it for five months from whatever bullshit thing that made it "not a bomb" under Gotham's version of the Hudson. (Let's not even talk about why they designed only the "bomb" part of the reactor to be portable in the first place.) Yes, it is just a movie and bitching about it is nit-picky. That's why I didn't go into it. But don't act like I'm wrong, because I'm not. You are.

  • hapl0

    SPOILER

    3

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    1

    Not hating on you but I don't agree about there being no point to using a gun if you're going to charge. You can at least bring a couple of baddies down or distract them from mowing the cops down.

    Also, them charging in rows like its the Civil War is really bonkers. Why couldn't some of them charge from the side with another group shooting from behind cover before finally engaging when they're out of ammo or in between reloads? Sigh.

    There's no reason for Gordon to know because a) Bats wasn't really going to die anyway (Autopilot) and b) he could've revealed himself in the hospital when Gordon looked like he was dying especially considering that Bruce opened up easily to an unknown cop.

    And Gordon didn't tell the city that Bruce died. How could he?

    This killing off Bruce doesn't make a lick of sense. Why bother with erecting a tombstone for himself when he could have just left Gotham so he can return back one day if the need arises? In fact, why leave in the first place? What's the point of all the sacrifices he made for the city then? More League of Shadows? Is there anyone left?

    Nolan and Co. wrote the ending in such a way that no one can take over without rebooting the story and that is the biggest crime, if you ask me.

    The knife thing is an issue for me on either side. First of all it shouldn't have penetrated his body armor. Lucius said it would do fine against knives in TDK. And on the other side, this adamantium knife did look like it went in deep. Talia was even twisting it a bit. Bats was in serious pain but apparently he has mutant healing factor as well so, I dunno.

    What chanohack is referring to is how hard/impossible? it is in the real world to turn a reactor into a bomb when the nuclear physicist showed up and tinkered with it for like two minutes.

  • Littlejon2001

    The reactor thing is nit-picky. It is a freakin movie after all. Batman, in real life, would get shot. I don't care what gadgets you have and how much you hide in the dark and what armor. He would get shot. So to nit-pick with things like how fusion energy reactors can be turned into nuclear bombs so quickly is to say that you didn't suspend disbelief.

    Charging is also a movie thing. Was it weird that they fault Civil War style? Uh yea. It made no sense. But whatever, it happened. Let that go. Some of the cops were shooting while charging, but...idk. It isn't really an issue for me and isn't worth arguing. It was dumb, but not "ruin the movie" dumb.

    Killing off Bruce does make sense dude. Seriously, it was the whole point of the film man. You guys missed it. Bruce wanted to start over just like Selina Kyle did. Even in the 8 years when he wasn't Batman he never moved on. That's what Alfred was saying. He needed to leave Gotham. But he needed to save Gotham before he could leave it. His mission in life was to give Gotham a chance of starting over. He did it in Batman Begins, he did it in The Dark Knight, and he finally completes it in The Dark Knight Rises. He passed the mantle on to Robin and is now going to have a REAL LIFE. He doesn't want to be Batman forever, he can't be. He NEVER wanted to be Bruce Wayne, he won't be. He wanted to start over.

    Does it have to do with Nolan not wanting anyone else to mess with his world? YES. But we knew that all along. Why are you surprised about it now???

  • hapl0

    [Okay, I didn't mean to type this much when I started but holy shit, even I'm like, dude. I recommend a coffee break in between.]

    SPOILER

    3

    2

    1

    Whoa. I didn't say anything about the reactor. I was merely explaining chanohack's position. I was actually okay with it being turned into a bomb. I have a different issue with it. How stupid was Wayne to not decommission it when he knew it could be turned into a bomb? That he would take the risk despite this being the Gotham everyone has been trying to destroy in the first two movies is a little hard to accept. You want clean energy that works? Get Stark on the phone.

    Joking aside, I understand your position on the charging scene. It definitely didn't ruin the movie...completely. I thought I was going to feel something but it just fell flat for me. TDKR just never evoked the kind of dread and suspense I felt in TDK. Not even during the final chanting scene in the pit and especially at the end.

    I appreciate the points you brought up bout Wayne not wanting that life anymore. I didn't miss that message. In fact, I hated that message. 8 years of hiding after the events of TDK? Seriously? "I can be all those things" and then he disappears. The Dent Act is conveniently created to explain why Gotham didn't need Batman but I'm like why?

    Why couldn't the story continue from that fateful night with cops still chasing him around as he fights off some low level thugs when Bane shows up? I'm going to guess what you're going to say now. Why would Batman continue to help after the murders? Because it could have been a (much better) story about Batman really taking the law into his hands. He's become Judge Dredd basically and they could have continued playing with the whole, "You either die a hero or live long enough to see yourself become the villain" and the people of Gotham (never saw their reaction post-Dent except for the cops) who initially hated him would have had to side with him against Bane. The whole lesser evil deal. Defeat Bane and then they can continue chasing him. Isn't that how it should have always been with Batman?

    Also, how was Batman injured so badly in TDK that even after 8 years of rest, he's still hobbling around the manor. The billionaire can't afford world class treatment?

    I get it that he didn't want to be Batman in TDK until Rachel got blown up. Then it was him having to continue being Batman because this is not something you can back out of once you've started it. This was the message I got from TDK.

    Of course Alfred was going to be yapping the way he did in TDKR because this Wayne decided to mop for 8 bloody years instead of learning from his mistake in TDK. Dent paid the price when he thought there will come a time when Gotham will not need Batman. And what does he do?

    So now you know why I'm annoyed nay, infuriated by their decision to off Wayne. That's the "journey"? Turn into a vigilante when you're pissed bout something and then retire because it was too much despite all the sacrifices and lessons learned and, and, when you're still in your prime.

    And to answer your question as to why I'm surprised, it's because now we have to suffer through another origin story 5? 10? years down the road instead of continuing the story Bond style. I thought we hated the retelling of origin stories around these parts.

    Finally, I promise, how the hell else can someone create another version of a realistic Gotham after this?

    p/s: I'm still not sure what happened with Blake at the end. So he's not John Blake, his real name is actually Robin?

  • hapl0

    SPOILER
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    Excellent points again. I'll tell you why. The cops realized it's a PG-13 movie so that's why they charged Bane's men. The whole thing was ridiculous because I was trying hard to feel something, like how I felt for The Patriot or 300 but I was just left staring in disbelief as the scene slowly reduced to nothing. This is how bad the baddies are at firing their assault rifles, Bane tells em to shoot and I see bullet sparks on the ground ahead of the charging cops and only a couple of em fell down before they made contact. A cop pile should have started before they even reached the steps.

    It's the PG-13 nonsense. Something about the body count per scene or some bullshit. Funny thing is, Nolan knew how to circumvent this restriction brilliantly in TDK but failed miserably here.

  • TheAggroCraig

    Obviously more SPOILERS here, but I have one head-scratcher to add:

    How did some nobody cop figure out Batman's identity? Was he the only orphan in the city who had ever seen Bruce Wayne's fake smile?

    Edit: And I see down there it's already been discussed. Ridicule me for not reading everything first, I deserve it.

  • hapl0

    SPOILER
    3
    2
    1
    Nah, you brought up a good point. The fake smile. How can anyone recognize Bruce's features with that mask is crazy. Maybe it's a kid thing? I thought Blake was Joffrey from Begins at one point. And even then that wudn't have made sense. Sigh. ''A look that only the child of a gun downed parent knows?" Seriously? I still can't believe these are the same guys who came up with TDK.

  • Holly

    Actually, Blake didn't realize who Bruce was because he somehow recognized his face when seeing him as Batman. He saw throught Bruce's "society" mask. The whole point of Blake's (brilliant) speech is to mirror their pain. He points out that people who have suffered and [i]really [/i]know anger have to find a way to hide it in order to survive and live among others, and it's something so hard and powerful you can see it when someone else is doing it. So he knew Bruce's persona wasn't real, and yeah, I'm guessing he did some research (and Bruce going reclusive at the same Batman disappeared probably helped)

  • hapl0

    Well said. It was just a bit...jarring to see Bruce unravel so quickly. Simply telling us that it's been eight years and showing a sleep deprived Bale didn't work for me because I was still trying to understand what happened between the ending of TDK to this Bruce. If they had placed that sequence towards the end then I would have bought it but that would have been an entirely different movie.

  • John G.

    *********continued spoilers**************




    I agree with you on most of these. Pretty much everything to do with the bomb annoyed me. If they had GPS trackers, why did they wait until a day before detonation to start attaching them to the bomb truck? If the force of the truck rolling killed Miranda in the front seat with no broken glass, how did Gordon survive locked in the back with no seatbelt and a huge bomb? They are running out of time for the bomb to go off, but he has time to listen to Miranda give her death speech and kiss catwoman before he goes. If he had autopilot on the Bat, when did he jump off to survive the explosion? Didn't we see his whole journey out to sea? If he jumped off before the sea, then he's nuclear bomb proof, and if he did it before he has some kind of invisibility cloak. And what was Miranda's plan anyway? They make Bruce go broke, because they know that means he will try to get Miranda to take over the company then, and then they'll get his secret bomb that nobody knows about, so they can blow up Gotham, which they needed to do, because Ra's Al Ghul really wanted to 10 years ago?

  • hapl0

    SPOILER
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    The fusion reactor nonsense pissed me off because how stupid can Wayne be to build something that dangerous in a city like Gotham? Like the negative reviews I've been reading said, it's as if the characters never learned anything from the first two movies. And the similarities are just ridiculous: a) A billionaire working on clean energy? Hello? b) And like I said, a bomb with the trigger left to the people.

  • junierizzle

    You don't sound like a dick. But I think you were too critical. You really didn't like the.movie because there was a blood transfer? That was literally 3 seconds of the movie. The only part that had me scratching my head a little was ***********Spoiler************** when Bruce got back to Gotham in no time. For me it was a great ending to the trilogy. Each movie is good in its own way.

  • hapl0

    Thanks. I am pretty harsh so I hope my sort of apology at the end balances that. It's not that I didn't like the movie based on that alone or just because the movie started that way but it definitely signaled all the problems ahead just like TDK signaled its awesomeness with its opening scene.

    ***********Spoiler************** when Bruce got back to Gotham in no time.: Thank you!

  • Littlejon2001

    When Bruce got back to Gotham I literally said out loud in the theater while doing a double-take "How the hell did he get into Gotham???" - No explanation here just lazy writing. But hey, every movie has one of these.

    That being said, you could "justify" that we didn't know the actual time frame....and really even the farthest places away in the world only take 24 hours to get to, and he could've stole people's money to get himself a plane ticket. I think the bigger question is how did he get INTO the city if all the bridges and tunnels were blown up and the access ways were guarded by US Army and the League of Shadows.

  • melissa82

    Well, Bane did want him back in... remember in the prison he said "WE'LL fulfill Ra's al Ghul's destiny" or whatever...

  • hapl0

    Awesome point.

  • You don't sound like a dick, but man, you might get reamed for spoilers. D:

  • hapl0

    Thanks.

    :O I hope I did enough with the warnings.

  • special snowflake

    Probably won't be seeing this until the DVD release so I don't know anything of the story yet, but establishing that 'the Batman' image itself has apparently been kept out of sight for eight years really helps to complete the 'realism' of the (non)superhero's film interpretation of a believable human being as opposed to a comic book legend, one who doesn't just perform weekly death-defying heroic deeds in an entire city jam-packed with corruption & murder & pistols in every punk junkie dealer's pocket like a 'real-life' Batman would be facing. So, for me, that makes it cool that he seemingly knows there was a time to cool his sh*t before he just did something stupidly human while trying to be superhuman to get his ass killed.
    And just how long could he have gotten away with not paying taxes or having any tags or registration on that chunky black 'car-tank' vehicle he plowed through Gotham with, anyway? Even Superman doesn't mess with both the IRS AND the DMV!
    Also my vote for best review we'll likely see on this film

  • Ted Zancha

    A great review Dan. I thoroughly enjoyed this film and what a great trilogy. I was lucky enough to have my theater play all three movies last night for a fantastic marathon.

    I fear that not enough will be said about Hardy in the mix of praise for Hathaway and Bale. While I was worried at the beginning that his voice would become comical, as soon as he arrived in Gotham I was enthralled. Intelligent, deadly, menacing, and calculating. What a great villain to end the trilogy.

  • Great review, I agree thoroughly. I thought it was exceptional and the best of the series. It does feel like there is a missing movie though, and I wonder if Ledger's tragic death threw a wrench in the original plan. It doesn't take anything away from Rises, but take the trilogy as one story and it feels like a middle chunk of the story is missing getting us from how we left Batman in The Dark Knight and where he is 8 years later in Rises.

  • Jason Malmberg

    This flick had many more Things I Loved in it than the other two, but they didn't really come together in as much of a satisfying whole for me. At least not yet.
    Also, I feel that Bane's takeover of Gotham suffers the same problem that Phantom Menace's Invasion of Naboo did: it didn't make it seem like it was much of a bad thing that was happening in people's lives. There were terrific scenes of rich folks getting rousted, but it made it seem like most common people in Gotham just went on with their lives. That sucked a lot of the tension out for me.
    Lastly, I know movies are make believe and because of that I can handle a bit of "hey, you got here just in the nick of time!" but dear lord did they lay so many of those instances on that it almost seemed like a running gag.
    So yeah, a ton of enjoyable pieces to a mosaic that ultimately kinda let me down.

  • Az

    But that's reallybthe way it is. There's an attack and certain groups suffer but everyone else has tokeep living their lives and adapt to the new circumstances as best they can.

  • Jason Malmberg

    I know, but I feel that wasn't properly shown in the film. Just a minute of it would have gotten me over that hump.

  • The "Occupy" movement, whether displaying itself on Wall Street
    or in the streets of Oakland (which has, with unspeakable cowardice,
    embraced it) is anything but an exercise of our blessed First Amendment.
    "Occupy" is nothing but a pack of louts, thieves, and rapists, an
    unruly mob, fed by Woodstock-era nostalgia and putrid false
    righteousness. These clowns can do nothing but harm America. -- Frank
    Miller, author of The Dark Knight Returns.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/...

  • Bane Creator Chuck Dixon: Limbaugh’s Batman Conspiracy Theory ‘Ridiculous’ — I’m a Staunch Conservative

    ...

    Despite
    vehemently denying that there was any connection to be made between his
    Batman work and the current election cycle, Dixon did offer Limbaugh
    and other right-wing straw-graspers a consolation prize.

    "As for his appearance in The Dark Knight Rises, Bane is a force for evil and the destruction of the status quo," Dixon said. "He's far more akin to an Occupy Wall Street type if you're looking to cast him politically. And if there ever was a Bruce Wayne running for the White House it would have to be Romney.

    http://gawker.com/5927095/bane...

  • Sofia

    Fantastic review. You always manage to make a serious technical analysis as well as a thorough emotional one. I love that about your writing; you never forget that while the images up there on the screen are pretty and impressive they were meant to be watched by real people.

  • Less Lee Moore

    Glorious review!! You covered everything and then some. Thank you!

  • DemBones

    I've read several reviews so far after seeing the movie last night, and Dan's is the absolute best. Many of the negative reviews were very technical, but Dan's is the only one I read that has so much soul. I salute your writing skills good sir.

    My deepest sympathies right now go to those in Aurora.

  • EthanLutske

    A well written review, but I just can't be as enthusiastic.
    In my opinion, it's clearly the worst of the three films, but still a good movie. Not until the very, very last 30 seconds did I really feel any emotion. The film is just too unfocused and the pacing is not great. Also, the sound design was just not good - maybe it was my theater, but Bane's voice was WAY too loud, and it made it sound like the voice was always coming from a PA, and not Bane's mouth. Worst of all, the movie seems thematically lacking compared to both of the previous films.

  • Case

    Geez, Daniel...why don't you just get on your knees and fellate Nolan to completion and get it over with.

  • Case Crum

    Aside from a few minor things, I LOVED it. I think Dan was right on the money. P.S.:Can you please pick a new user name? People are getting me confused with you and your Nolan-hate.

  • Stan

    Oh, I would if I could. I bet it tastes like mangoes.

  • Frank Turk

    This is the first review I've read that makes me want to watch the damned thing. Nice work, Carlson.

  • What a thoughtful and well written review. As always, excellent work.

    All I can say about this movie is WOW. I wasn't really worried, but I was certainly glad it met my expectations.

    I will always appreciate these movies because Nolan isn't afraid to make his viewers think a little harder and keep track of more complex story lines and characters. He does it with such a deft touch, it never feels overstuffed or clunky. The people behind me complained about being bored through the whole thing and overwhelmed by all the new characters. Sure, it doesn't have the bang-bang pizazz of The Avengers (no disrespect to Whedon's creation - loved that too), but it is the growing sense of dread and slow burn tension that really makes TDKR such a masterful and engaging film.

    My only issue was Selina Kyle. It wasn't necessarily Anne Hathaway's performance; she did well enough. She just felt like she belonged in a very different world than the Gotham that Nolan has created. Killer stilettos and dialogue stacked with quippy one liners just didn't work for me. However, this is a very minor quibble. Overall, this is one for the ages.

  • Dave S

    Saw it last night and loved it, great review Dan. A satisfying conclusion to a great telling of one of the comic worlds most malleable creations.
    Of all the great casting choices, Michael Caine was a master stroke. He didn't get a great deal of screen time, but damn he owned thè time he had.

  • Magiel

    Just wanted to say my heart goed out to those in Aurora, what a horrible mess..
    Going to see the movie on Sunday in Amsterdam.

  • Maguita NYC

    I woke up just a few minutes ago, and heard the news.
    What a f-cked up world we live in.

    Condolences to the families.

    When are we going to learn that we just do not need guns anymore. Yes, I know, your Constitutional Amendment rights, blah-blah, and yes, people do kill people. But you have to admit, that people kill people a lot easier when you easily put a gun in their hands. And they also kill a lot more.

    Very sad and disturbing news this early.

  • Stan

    I agree, but do you think that the wrong people still wouldn't be able to get their hands on guns if they were illegal? This is a tragic event and I understand this will reignite the pro-gun/anti-gun argument, but at least for a little while I just wish we'd focus on the victims and mourning before we begin fighting one another.

  • will

    Bullshit, you never get to talking about gun control, and you never ask why these things seem to happen so rarely in other countries.

  • Stan

    So rarely in other countries? There was a four person shooting in France back in May. Sixteen were killed in Germany back in 2009. What about the Norway shooting in 2011? In parts of the Middle East, an incident like this would be considered a Thursday. I wasn't arguing for or against gun control. In fact, I agree that the world would be a better place if there weren't guns (Despite how naive and unrealistic that is). I just don't think today is the the day for a gun control argument especially when both sides are wrong in this instance. These people haven't even been dead for twelve hours. Let's mourn and respect them before we all go back to fighting one another.

  • Maguita NYC

    I just think if that was my sister or brother in that line, how mad at the world I would be today.

    And how furious I would be that still in this day and age, in the United States of America, I'd have lost people I love, because of our much bigger love for guns.

  • Magiel

    I know I'm an overly emphatic pesron, that's why I don't read news. It makes me sad about humanity and for humans.
    Tha's why I come here, every day on Pajiba. There is no hate just sarcasm, there is no hurting because of the shared love we have:

    Movies

    This love, next to the huge tragidy that took place, also hurt me in a sacred place of warmth and comfort, that moment the comercials are done en the logo's of companies start.
    I know I wil think of the folk who where there now, the first five minutes the movie will start. In that sacred place of the start of a movie, the start of a journey you will like.

    I just think of that and of the people of Aurora and all who knew them. Not about gun laws.

  • Magiel

    That's true, Stan. Let's just think of the people who lived with the victims. Politics are for another day.

  • NateMan

    Absolutely. What a horrible tragedy, and at what was intended to just be a carefree night out. Truly a damaged individual at the heart of this.

  • cinemaniac

    Agreed, this breaks my heart. He's taken something as great as going to the movies and turned it into a nightmare that some will never recover from.

  • Vin

    I'm surprised at how many "critics" deem this film a clunky mess. There was nothing about it to me that really made me feel that it was not fluid in every way. There was perfect cause and effect, as a movie should be. Quite frankly, I think that it was better than it's predecessor, a movie I don't hold in as high of regards as many others. In this feature there is true peril, a tidal wave of despair; with the second film I hardly cared about the evil the Joker was doing.. Bane is one cold MOTHERF***ER. Bane himself is a much better VILLAIN than The Joker. Heath's performance is what carried the show in the second film, I found myself enjoying his presence more than anyone else in the entire film, that should be the way i felt about Batman. Tom Hardy's character is more a product of writing rather than acting. I think this says more in effect that Bane is the true epitome of evil, he touches a realm that I wish the Joker had in the second film, one that casts a shadow of darkness over all hope. As for the plot *spoiler alert*..........
    Gotham being overtaken in a way that mirror's the first film was great, the connections to the past drew upon motivation for Bane; same with Miranda. The characters really are the true star of the show, Anne Hathaway's character is perfect as well and the chemistry between her and Batman is undeniable.
    Overall, great film, with a thrilling and grabbing ending. Clunky? Hardly. Messy? Don't think so. How people arrived at these conclusions, I'm not sure. This film finishes the trilogy on the highest note, I think, something that is incredibly hard to do and was brilliantly crafted by Nolan. Props to him for escalating so well from movie to movie. His statement is clear and vision is true. Batman is more than a hero, he's the hero within all of us.

  • cindy_lightballoon

    I agree, I really didn't think it was as bloated or as clunky as some critics made it out to be. It maybe dragged a tiny bit in the middle but I really didn't care, I was hooked the whole way. I also think it's better than The Dark Knight, even though Bane didn't have that spark that the Joker did. And Anne Hathaway was frickin PERFECT as Catwoman.

  • Less Lee Moore

    YES! YES!!!!!

  • ,

    Cements my notion that a superhero movie has nothing to do with the superhero (who, of course, can't lose) and everything to do with the villain. So why do we call them "superhero movies" when they're really "villain movies"?

    Also: How does Pittsburgh look as a stand-in for Gotham City?

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