Movie Review: “The Dark Knight Rises”

The Dark Knight Rises Review, DT2ComicsChat, David Taylor II

BatFail

Well. Nolan finally did it. He finally made a comic book movie. And my disappointment knows no bounds.
It’s the end of Batman. And he goes out with mostly a whimper disguised by a nuclear bang.The Dark Knight Rises Review, DT2ComicsChat, David Taylor II

The Cast

Christian Bale as Batman – Have never really been impressed with this choice, nor Nolan’s framing of the story. Bruce was missing the vow, the split personality, the palpable anger(even though he talked about it in this movie), and that voice. And I have NEVER liked that COSTUME. It’s gotten worse with each movie.

Anne Hathaway as Selina – She surprised me. I really didn’t think that she was a good choice for Catwoman, but she actually did really well here. She conveyed the essence of Selina very well. Although Hathaway often looks more like a girl than a woman.

Oh and more Bat-blasphemy to some, I cannot STAND Michelle Pfieffer’s Catwoman. CAN. NOT. STAND IT. At least Nolan found a brunette. Selina Kyle is not blonde. So, this pretty much makes Anne Hathaway the best live action Catwoman ever for my money.

Tom Hardy as Bane – ….honestly? Whatever. Literally could’ve been anyone in that getup and it would’ve been the same role.

Michael Caine as Alfred – Love Michael in this role, don’t like who Alfred became in this movie. More on that later.

Joseph Gordon-Leavitt as Blake/Robin – This was just stupid. Nolan can’t do a concept like Robin.

Marion Cotillard as Miranda/Talia – Best reveal of the whole movie. I have always loved Talia Al Ghul, and she’s the best translated character in the entire movie. Even though her story placement is still a fail.

Morgan Freeman as Lucius Fox – He’s ALWAYS a treat. Yet another role that he does so well, and so effortlessly. Like he was born to play it. I love his work.

Gary Oldman as Commissioner Gordon – He also is a veteran actor, nailing this role. Love his work as well.The Dark Knight Rises Review, DT2ComicsChat, David Taylor II

The Plot

This is really kind of the heart of why you will either love or hate this movie. Batman Begins was about exactly what the title states: why and how Bruce Wayne becomes Batman. The Dark Knight was about escalation. It was about what happens when you drop vigilante justice square into the center of a deeply corrupt city. The Dark Knight Rises was about…..? A lot of things, and nothing. Except maybe that Batman’s ride was over.

Gone is the characteristic sharpness of Nolan’s first two BatFilms, both visually and in terms of plot cohesion. In its place is, everybody from Inception, some truly uncharacteristic humor, and a lot of fan winks. So much so until about halfway in I started to wonder if Nolan really directed this.

If you want a short phrase to sum up this movie, here it is: Batman is Broken. That is the message over, and over, and over, and over, and over again. He’s lost his heart and all of the cartilage in his knees. That’s the only thing the movie really wants you to know about him. He can no longer do anything on his own, including finding the motivation to come out of his self-imposed exile. He also can’t figure out how to stop the villain. Villains.

So Bruce is limping, hiding, whining, and emotionally withdrawing(all SO NOT BATMAN). Bane has come to town at the same time as Catwoman. Bane seems to want to finish Ra’s Al Ghul’s work in liberating Gotham through destruction. Bruce gets a new girlfriend, whom he turns Wayne Enterprises over to(*facepalm*). Bruce also continually gets his butt handed to him throughout the movie. Bane then breaks him even further, he goes to a hole in the desert. He then climbs an unclimbable wall, and needs Catwoman’s help to finish off Bane. Who we’ve been lead to believe is Ra’s Al Ghul’s child. Turns out that his new girlfriend Miranda Tate is actually Talia, he real child of Ra’s. She’s been behind everything that’s been happening. And it seems it was purely for vengeance on the man that supposedly killed the father she didn’t agree with.

There’s also several sub-plots: one involving exposing the truth about Harvey Dent, but without one single mention of The Joker. Another running plot involves Blake, who figures out early on that Bruce is Batman(as did every other freaking principal character in this movie). Blake works throughout the movie to support the abandoned troubled children’s program that the Wayne Foundation had been funding. Turns out his birth name is Robin, something we find out in the final moments of the film. He’s been groomed to take over for a decidedly retired Bruce, who is seemingly living in bliss with Selina by film’s end.The Dark Knight Rises Review, DT2ComicsChat, David Taylor II

What They Got Right

1) The Women – Nolan is notorious for writing poor & one dimensional female characters. But here both Talia and Selina shine in their respective roles, although Selina’s role is kind of shoehorned in. Her function in the movie could’ve been achieved even if it wasn’t Catwoman doing it, while Talia obviously and specifically has to be Talia.

2) The Bat – Just incredible. It steals every scene that it’s in, no joke.

3) Gotham’s Peril – When you see that Bane has paralyzed the city and incited martial law, it just rocks. Everyone in the theater sat up in their chairs at this point.The Dark Knight Rises Review, DT2ComicsChat, David Taylor II

What They Got Wrong

Sadly, almost everything else.

1) Everything about Batman – He’s broken, he’s heartless, he’s lost his mission. He constantly needs help, AND EVEN ALFRED TURNS ON HIM. He’s fighting in broad daylight, and he’s admitting his identity left and right. He’s got gray hair and he’s ready to hang the cowl up once and for all. He’s tired, he forgot he was angry, and he just turns the Cave over to someone he didn’t train.

NONE OF THAT IS BATMAN.

2) Convoluted Plot – Nolan is known for this, but here it’s just hard to follow. Or believe. Bane is preaching and pontificating all the time. He has a Darth Vaderesque voice, but he lacks the conviction of Ra’s. Turns out he was only doing it for Talia. Also, we never get a real sense of the venom that feeds Bane and makes him swell up. In addition most of his activities during the movie are kind of nonsensical.

We don’t get why Blake is important until the very end, but he receives no direct training from Bruce. BUT INHERITS THE CAVE. And, once I found out he was Robin, I still didn’t care about him any more than I initially did.

Commissioner Gordon spends most of the movie on his back in the hospital. Kind of like Professor X in the first 2 X movies.

3) Too many characters – They pulled a Schumacher. They overcaricatured versions of Bane, Catwoman, Daggett, Talia, Ra’s, and Scarecrow. Just great. When that happens it feels stuffed to the gills with campy villainy, but that’s not supposed to be the heart of a Batman movie.

4) Tone – Nolan tries to add some humor here, and it just feels out of place in his work. He’s not funny. He’s cerebral. He needs to stick with what he knows.

5) Misnamed – This movie had the Dark Knight doing anything but rising. He literally was barely surviving in almost every sense of the word; financially, socially, physically, emotionally. No, what this movie actually was was Nolan’s take on The Dark Knight Returns, Frank Miller’s seminal work. Nolan understood the concept as “The Last Batman Story.” What would Batman do once he got old, and can no longer fight the way he used to, due to years of damage in the field? This version of Batman just wanted the world to think he was dead, so he could retire in peace with Selina. *groan* That’s not Bruce. Bruce would NEVER stop fighting. See Batman Beyond. He’d fight even in death.The Dark Knight Rises Review, DT2ComicsChat, David Taylor II

Conclusion

I must say, I called it a few days ago. I predicted that Batman Begins would be my favorite movie of the three, and indeed it is.

Because it’s about Batman.

Bruce does nothing but lose in this movie. I can’t stand it. Bruce loses his heart, his fortune, his best friend/surrogate father, and his secret identity. He loses his health, his edge, and in the end, his life as he knew it.

Nolan made a comic book movie. He made something over the top, with comic book physics(Catwoman never loses a skirmish, and never even gets hit in the whole movie). He made a cartoonish villain with Bane. Facemask wasn’t scary, just annoying and kind of puzzling. He showed us a Bruce Wayne that stopped caring, and started over trusting everyone around him. Bruce clearly also never got over Rachel, but Batman has lost people in the comics before and he never stopped fighting. The Joker beat Jason Todd to death, and Batman mourned, grieved, and moved on. Not whined and hid.The Dark Knight Rises Review, DT2ComicsChat, David Taylor II

Bruce passed the baton to Robin, unbeknownst to us as the audience until the end. There’s never really a formal introduction of Blake even to Alfred. And, if it’s that easy to get into the cave, why hasn’t it been done before now? So by movie’s end, Bats and Catwoman are making out, the world’s ending, and she saves his bacon Han Solo style. Turns out Bane’s in love with Talia, and Talia hates Bruce. Bruce hallucinates a very powerful Ra’s moment before he climbs out of that stupid hole, and we never see Talia and Ra’s together. And the Scarecrow scenes were just beyond stupid.

Good riddance to Nolan’s vision of Batman. First two movies were outstanding. This one was crap on a stick.

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22 Comments

  1. As always we have different opinions. But then we wouldn’t be twins 🙂 I really enjoyed and I was highly emotional knowing it was Nolan’s last outing. For me, it never felt like it ended to be honest. Yes it was HIS last movie on Batman but never really concluded in a sense.

    For me, I think even tho Bruce and Selina were together and Robin/Blake goes to the cave, what’s to stop Bruce from coming back as Batman? Other than Gordon knowing who he really is.

    What we have here is Nolan’s vision. Might not be to everyone’s cup of tea. But it was HIS version. HIS telling of the Batman story. He made it more believable than any of the other films before his.

    Either way, very good review. I will agree to disagree on certain elements. But I am sure you have watched my review 😉

    • Thanks!
      And, I think you hit the nail on the head, it’s very clearly Nolan’s take on it all, and that comes down to personal preference in the end. Nolan has always done his particular style very well.
      Honestly bro, I got the sense that Bruce didn’t really want to come back, that was the thing. And, I really do believe what I said here in terms of this actually being his version of The Dark Knight Returns, at least that’s what it felt like to me.

      • I totally agree with that statement. Cos when I was watching it and it got towards the end, I kept thinking of The Dark Knight Returns. Mainly cos of Blake saving the kids which is what Bruce does in the book.

        Yes, Bruce did look like he didn’t want to come back. But I think it was more to do with Alfred than anything else.

        Think about it, he was out of action for 8yrs. People say it’s due to what happened after Dent. But really 8yrs from a fall that short? Doubt it. What exactly happened to his knee? That was never mentioned.

        But yeah, elements of Dark Knight Returns were there.

        but know who I think would have been better placed in this movie? Leslie Thompkins. Think about it 😉

  2. I think some parts are just nit picking like the humor critique. Bruce only got the crap beat out of him 1 time.That’s when he got broken. Bane wasn’t cartoonish. He was a murdering mercenary. He has no empathy,except for Talia. There’s small humor in all of Nolans films.

    As for the rest I agree this is Nolan’s realistic take. I was emotionally invested so i loved it. Alfred was emotional because he loved Bruce. I know how he was in the books but,hey this is Michael Caine,the dude is awesome.

    I think Bruce was tired of being Batman,plus we got the whole medical report plus the broken back injury. He also loves Alfred and met Selina,found Blake gave him the coordinates to the cave on the paper and basically said goodbye to Gordon and thank you “it’s me,Bruce” It was kinda the Batman version of Inception where everybody goes their own way.

    This movie took elements from many sources and was made into it’s own. They had 400 page script at one time. It was the most realistic to date.

    What I’m wondering is who and how will they fit in the next Batman since Man of Steel looks awesomely real as well.

  3. I too, am tired of Nolan and Bale. When I watch The Avengers, I felt like I was watching the characters. That was Thor, Iron Man, Captain America. In Nolan’s films, those are actors playing roles. Nolan is a master of story telling and if I wasn’t such a Batman fan, maybe I would have nothing to complain about. However, I don’t think Nolan understands that character at all. I never got the true anger or darkness to his character or even his sheer will power. What about “the mission”? Bruce believes that the world needs Batman. He can’t just hang up his cape and cowl and give the cave to a person he’s had three conversations with! The only time I knew Bruce had a mission was in Batman Begins. In The Dark Knight, he wanted to give it up for Rachel because he believed in Harvey Dent. And his persona in Dark Knight Rises is just sad. The only reason why he got back in the game really was because he was ready to fail and die. That’s why he had to find his fear of death so he could realize he wanted to live. But it wasn’t about Batman living on. It was about Batman finishing his fight so Bruce could go escape. In the comics, when Bruce became Batman, Bruce Wayne became nothing more than a mask!

    Robin: I didn’t dislike John Blake’s character and I was thinking “Why focus so much on him when you could have had Robin?” and by the time they said his name was literally Robin, the damage was already done. Then he’s untrained. He’s gonna die really fast! Nolan did him almost like they do Smallville characters. They give you enough just to make you know who they are, but they can’t literally show them in the costume. You have to just get the sense that they’ll become a superhero offscreen. The only thing that was missing was a leather jacket with a bird on it, but they didn’t need that because they literally named him “Robin”. I would have felt better if they flat out called him Dick. It’s like, “I guess I get why they did that, but why didn’t he just do it the right way?”

    I still don’t understand how Robin knew he was Batman. He said he saw the look in Bruce’s eyes, but he never said he saw Batman, so how could he recognize the look? Was it just a good guess? Well, if only “the detective” could have been so good at guessing, because he just wasn’t too smart in this film.

    Catwoman: Anne Hathaway did as good as she possibly could have. She still never should have been cast for the role. She just didn’t have the x factor. She’s a great actress, but someone better could have done the role better. But, why waste a better actress suited for the role when Batman didn’t come up to par either? I guess for what Nolan did, she was perfect now that I think about it.

    Bane: I literally could not understand half of what he said. His voice was really cheesy to me and so were his mannerisms and even his dialogue sometimes. It was over the top sometimes. I thought of Perfect Cell from DBZ. I didn’t expect to see something like that from Nolan’s Batman. I can’t believe the only thing “the detective” deduced was dead wrong. He assumed Bane was the child. He couldn’t have guessed Miranda, but he just assumed it was Bane.

    Alfred did get on my nerves in this movie, though the performance was great. But, there were times when I thought “Shut up Alfred and pick up a shotgun!” And I know Alfred didn’t want Bruce to be mad at him, but he should have told him about Rachel’s letter years ago if he was that depressed anyway. They could have patched things up. Clearly Bruce wanted Alfred to open the door the next morning anyway.

    Argh! Batman is NOT some pathetic loser who would trap himself in his mansion! NOT COOL!

    I’ve personally only seen Nolan’s films once in theaters. They’re good pieces of art, but it’s missing it’s soul. It’s like watching a great dance routine with amazing dancers with no chemistry. You just didn’t feel it. Something is just missing.

    And I still like Michelle as Catwoman. Was it wrong? Yeah, but her presense and chemistry with Bruce was much more impressive, not to mention that she’s physically much more attractive than Anne. And at least she got hurt in Batman Returns and lost some fights 😉

      • I disagree.

        Batman Begins was an emotional film, and the Dark Knight also had its moments. I haven’t seen this latest one, but I’ve heard there are some strong emotional scenes therein.

        I gave up on Batman in comics and animated form about ten years prior to BB, and Nolans interpretation of these characters, Scarecrow, Joker, and so on, is what brought me back to the franchise, so I’ve got to say that I am very satisfied with Nolans version of Batman, and Bales performance, and I am saddened that Nolans Bat universe is at its end.

        If anything, I’d say Batman comics lack true soul, true emotion, simply because there is nothing truly at stake for the characters. The Joker, Two Face, Alfred, Gordon, and Batman himself, despite what may happen to them, will never die, so there is never any emotional reaction to their stories, or the story in general. Exciting though they may be, there is no risk involved for them.

        Here, in these films, you can bring Batman, and Co. place them in danger, and genuinely wonder if they will survive intact physically or emotionally, or survive at all. Here you can have a Batman that suffers the pain of loss, the physical pain of his adventures, and react as a normal person would under such circumstances, and as a result, have a more relatable character.

        To be frank: I’m about 10 years over Conway and Hammils 20 year interpretation of Batman and Joker, respectively.

        I’m glad Nolan didn’t adhere to the comics interpretation. That sort of method would have crippled his (and any directors) interpretation of these characters. I believe Nolan stayed true to these characters, while also taking them in new directions, which is what a director is supposed to do when approaching an established franchise.

        Do people really want a straight from the comics fan boy interpretation of this franchise, with the Scarecrow dressed in a raggedy costume, complete with a straw hat?

        Whedon’s Avengers was an almost straight adaptation, and it was fun, but if ever there was a soulless comic book film, this was it. Bickering buddy humor just doesn’t leave a lasting impression with me, no matter how much my inner 15 year old enjoyed it.

        There’s a reason the New 52 Batman crew are taking cues from these films. DC sees something in Nolans interpretation that’s fresh, and is following suit.

        Also, keep in mind that Nolan will be executive producer on the next crop of DC film adaptations, including the Batman reboot.

        I’m trying not to come off as a Nolan fanatic, because I do see things in his interpretation that I don’t like, but, as I said, it’s because of him that I have renewed interest in Batman, and am picking up Batman books again.

  4. As much as I wanted to love this movie, I can’t help but feel disappointed either.

    As you mentioned, Batman DOES NOT give up. It’s completely out of character, even in the context of this series. He disappears for 7 years to travel the world, train, study the criminal mind, etc. and gives up his mission after a year and change? And those 8 years are supposed to have wreaked so much havoc on his body?

    I can let it go to try to enjoy this movie for what it is, but you’ve got Alfred relentlessly bitching that he’s not Batman anymore. Fine. But Batman is the only one who can stop these kinds of threats. Alfred should’ve just been encouraging him to do it for the right reasons.

    Bane and Talia… I’m having trouble getting it. They hate Ra’s, that is until Batman “murders” him and now they want to fulfill his vision of destroying Gotham? Why? Here’s an idea: Ra’s rejects both of them, in favor of Bruce, leaving them wanting to accomplish what Ra’s couldn’t. One more thing: Bane is an adult in those flashbacks, which means he’s at least 10 years older than Bruce.

    What exactly is the plan anyway? Let the city destroy itself and let the bomb go off anyway? They literally have 5 months to work with, what exactly are they waiting for? And another thing: I hate hero vs. the clock plot devices. Bruce is able to heal and return by the day before the bomb is supposed to go off? If there has to be a countdown, how about this: Bane finds out Bruce is back and says “oh crap, set it to go off at X o’clock tomorrow… this time I’ll finish the job and if I can’t, we’re taking the whole city with us!”

    I’ve got no problem with Selina or Blake (even though his reasoning behind realizing Bruce was Batman is a stretch at best).

    I also have no problem with Bruce revealing his identity to Gordon. This is Nolan’s Dark Knight Returns, where of course Gordon has known for quite some time.

    I can’t help but wonder how the rumored Batman vs. Hugo Strange story would have played out, with Batman operating as an outlaw, constantly on the run. Add in a hint of “A Lonely Place of Dying”, with Batman doing his thing recklessly and without consideration for his own wellbeing.

    I know it seems like I straight up hate this movie, but I just don’t believe in it as much as I did the first 2. It’s not Batman & Robin or Spider-Man 3 by any means, but it’s not the definitive Batman movie either. That honor still goes to Mask of the Phantasm.

    • I just don’t believe in it as much as I did the first 2. It’s not Batman & Robin or Spider-Man 3 by any means, but it’s not the definitive Batman movie either. That honor still goes to Mask of the Phantasm.

      This right here.

    • Mask of the Phantasm was good, but again, I didn’t feel much for Bruce, or the other characters in that film, or most of the animated series, save a few occasions. I suppose thats an inherent effect of noir style storytelling, but still.

      About the only time I did feel a real emotion, was for Jason Todd in the Red Hood film. When he spoke to Batman on how he would have taken revenge and killed the Joker as soon as he could, if Joker had taken his (Batmans) life, followed by Batmans confession on how he wanted to allow himself to go that far – and at times, still does – but could never do so based on moral principal, I really felt I got a better look into the animated versions of these characters, for the first time in a long while.

      I can only remember a handful of TAS episodes where I felt I got a good look into who Batman/Bruce really is, and I really felt that scene in Red Hood made it worth sitting through some of the earlier silly scenes in that film.

      Aside from that, the Batman Beyond, and Gotham Knight films were pretty good.

      By the way, I know Red Hood is loosely based on the comic of the same name, but I have not read it.

      I’m not hating on TAS, I have alot of repect for it. I wish they would release it on Blu Ray, though.

      Also, comparatively, Batman Begins thankfully gave a deeper look into that version of Bruce Wayne right off the bat.

      About Rises, long though it may be, there is actually a four hour cut, that was presented to WB execs, in existence, and I wonder if the complaints about the film (which I will see this weekend), if as bad as the nay sayers have pointed out, would have been corrected, or at least clarified, if it had been edited differently, with some scenes extended, and others excised. With that much footage, I imagine they had a lot to work with.

      I don’t think Nolan would put his pride aside to release a directors cut version in any format, but it would be interesting to see all the pieces, and imagine how things might have come out different.

      • I guess I can see where you’re coming from saying you could have used a better look at the character in TAS. Bruce doesn’t really have an arc; Batman, the Joker, Gordon and GCPD are constants throughout the show, while you get to see pretty much everyone else change. BUT! Mask of the Phantasm does have one of – if not THE – most powerful Bruce moment: on his knees, at his parent’s grave, BEGGING for permission to have a normal life and be happy.

        And of course when Andrea calls off the engagement – Dear John style – he has the conviction to jump into his crusade with both feet.

        I’ll say this about the Red Hood film: on my list of favorites it’s 1A to Phantasm’s 1. Maybe even tied. (I’d still love to read our host’s take on all of the DCAU films.) “I can’t. I’m sorry” in that very scene you describe is very powerful and I wish we could have more stories set in the world of that particular film. Don’t read the comic – the film cleans up a lot of the story and I don’t remember it resonating quite as much.

        I’m sure there are plenty of us who would love to see that 4-hour cut.

        • You’re right that moment with Bruce at his parents grave was powerful.

          Thinking back on TAS as a whole, some, if not most, of the best emotional moments came from Bruce and his relationship with his parents.

          Two that come to mind are the episode where the Mad Hatter has Batman hooked to a machine, where Bruce experiences a world in his mind in which his parents never died, and so, he never became Batman, and lives in peace.

          The other, is when the Scarecrow hits Batman with his Fear toxin, resulting in hallucinations of his parents expressing the shame in what he has become. Overcoming that delusion, he gives one of my all time favorite Batman lines in any iteration:

          “I am vengeance! I am the night! I am BATMAN!”

          Good stuff, and to me, a perfect declaration of what he has fully become, his mission, and his strength of will.

  5. Good review …spot on numerous points. Talia bothered me actually (after her reveal) …she kept…talking. Excessively…including on the verge of death. I loved her (and sidenote: every other role Marion has played) before though.

    I hated Bruce giving up. HATED…that goes against everything he is (and not just in other media). And allowing the mantle to be passed…confused me. Apparently he left because Gotham didn’t need a Batman…but needs a “Robin”?

  6. After seeing BB and especially TDK, I had this magical feeling when I left the theater, that I’d just seen Batman films how they should have been done for so long. I fangirled out.

    I left TDK Rises and I felt…beige. I kept wanting to have that feeling like before, but it just wouldn’t come. I was trying to make myself feel exited, and I didn’t. I realized then that, the film just wasn’t at all what I’d hoped. This was the climax, the final installment, it should’ve left me fist-pumping, instead I was scratching my head.

    Mark, your reply is spot-on with how I felt about a lot of things in the film.

    I think I’m still reeling that Blake is Robin, but hello yes, DRAKE, BLAKE…I had an idea about that when I heard his last name right away. I may be stretching things a bit but that’s where my instincts went.

    To expound on Tim Drake in regards to this film, there a few throwbacks IMO, the fact the Tim was a bit of a “detective”, with signs of leadership in him, he is among the smartest of all the Robins. In fact, I believe in the comics at one point, Ra’s calls him “Detective”. Interesting…or not.

    It was obvious when Batman was “schooling” Blake on wearing a mask, and some other things, that he was not just a cop helping Bats.

    Bane was depicted infinitely better in this film than that horror show “Batman and Robin”, but I’d giggle every now and again thinking he sounded like Sean Connery speaking through a garden hose. He was villain enough but, once Talia came on scene I felt like he lapsed into Bane the large St. Bernard, hunkered in the corner breathing heavily.

    Everyone who has said Batman would never give up, RIGHT ON. Bruce actually says to Gordon, after Gordon says Batman has to come back, Bruce says “What if he doesn’t exist anymore?” I wanted to spit nails, major herofailquote. What, did he have a Smallville Clark Kent moment?

    Alfred certainly had Lana moments. Sorry for SV references, I just thought Scorch would enjoy those.

    Regardless, this film had its moments and I’d still classify it as solid. I just think a lot more could have been done.

    • The Dark Knight Rises was just such a misfire tho…for it to be the final installment, it was just so lacking.

      How do you write Batman almost completely out of character for the entire film?

      • Just when I thought I was done with this argument, the 2 of you pulled me back in… 🙂

        Ok so I watched the movie 2 more times since my post (once in a hotel and the other with the Mrs.) and I feel confident in saying I’ll never watch it again. Maybe when my son comes of age, then I’ll test him to see why he thinks it didn’t work.

        I now believe that no director should direct more than 2 movies in a given franchise, UNLESS the story is envisioned as a trilogy, such as Lord of the Rings or the Matt Damon Bourne movies. There’s consistency and they feel like one big movie chopped into 3 chapters.

        David Goyer may have envisioned the concept for the Dark Knight films as a cohesive story, but I think you need more Dark Knight Returns in there. Batman/Bruce “die” but HE continues HIS mission. Batman’s not about the happy ending.

        I’ll agree with Jenn that BB and TDK leave me feeling pumped. “I never said ‘thank you’.” “And you’ll never have to.” BAM! “He’s a silent guardian. A watchful protector. A Dark Knight.” BOOM!

        Contrast those with “hey Bruce is alive (of course) and living happily ever after… with Selena… who he’s met 5 minutes ago… and Blake is the new Batman….” Awesome.

        I’ll say this about Blake and Selena: as good as JGL and Anne Hathaway are in the movie, I wouldn’t have batted (HAR!) an eye if either of them met their untimely demise. Rachel’s death meant something (which again leads me to believe killing off Chloe would’ve been the best thing SV could’ve done), as did Harvey’s. As would Gordon or Alfred or Lucius. I liked them, but didn’t care about them. And that’s how you end this great trilogy?

        I think the saddest part about this whole debate is ultimate, well-known, respected Bat-fans like Jett at BOF are rolling their eyes at people like us who are less-than-thrilled with this movie, saying we’re unhappy because it’s not the movie we “imagined it would be” and the ending is perfect and brings tears to their eyes. To which I say “WTF-ever”. We shouldn’t have to swallow this movie because Nolan & Co. did a great job on the first 2. (Note on Nolan & Co.: I’ve seen and LOVE all of their movies and this is easily the weakest link for me). You can’t top the last one? Fine. Hand it over to someone who’s up to the challenge.

        To all my friends who agree this movie leaves something to be desired, I recommend watching the Dark Knight Returns animated movies.

  7. Yes exactly. Like you said, it was full of villains and everyone else but him, I wonder if screentime appearances were compared, Batman would have the smallest, not even Bruce, just Batman.

    So the title should have been “Everyone Else BUT The Dark Knight Rises.”

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