Movie Review – The Dark Knight Rises

WARNING: Spoilers. There are plot giveaways in this review.



IMDB Rating: 8.8/10 (284,154 votes)

Director: Christopher Nolan

Plot outline: Eight years on, a new terrorist leader, Bane, overwhelms Gotham’s finest, and the Dark Knight resurfaces to protect a city that has branded him an enemy. (taken from IMDb)

Actors/Characters: Let’s start with my favourite little puddy cat, Catwoman.

Selina Kyle. Anne Hathaway. Never imagined that combo would actually mix. Hathaway was actually very convincing as the Catwoman, and convinced me she really was a “naughty little kitty”. She slips out of Batman’s concentration for a millisecond and then she’s gone into the night. I really liked that sense of unpredictability that Hathaway brought to the table.

Tom Hardy, let’s talk. I’ve been in discussions about this movie with a few different people, and nobody has cared to mention Bane, except my English teacher who often makes fun of Bane’s voice and quotes the YouTube video “Bane Plays Slender”. I’ll admit, Bane was well acted, but was he well written? Well, let’s see. Locking someone in a cage…with no bars? I’m sorry but surely that’s enough proof that this psychotic man hell bent on turning Gotham into dust is also unbelievably half-witted.

I came across a few comments about Bane’s voice. One I found happened to make me chuckle at how right this guy was. It said, roughly, “to make Bane’s voice, cover your mouth with your hands and put on your best Sean Connery accent”. I’m trying to figure out why Bane’s voice sounds more like Alfred than Alfred actually does. Or maybe Tom Hardy decided to speak into a toilet roll while impersonating Basil Fawlty and as he walked into the room, Chris Nolan shouted, “That’s the voice!”

Gary Oldman was good but seeing as he had a much bigger role in the previous film, he didn’t impact me like he did in TDK. Alfred (Michael Caine) is one of my all-time favourite movie characters. Even though he is so polite and refined, he seems to me like the kind of old guy who just happens to be an ex-soldier and a real badass.

Let’s chat about Blake and Miranda. JGL did a great job in making Blake seem like some guy who just wanted to be next to Batman his whole life. And once he got the chance, he diverted from his normal “standby while the Commish does the work” attitude to “I like Batman so I’ll help him out because in the last 10 minutes I developed all these skills that will save me from Bane, Bane’s men and save a school bus full of kids” attitude. He acted like a real leader and to me it didn’t seem like he would have ever showed that in normal circumstances. Batman obviously does weird stuff to people.

Miranda was very tricky and bluffed me into thinking she and Batman were homies. Actually, when I think about it, she really did surprise me. Very well acted. Both the girls did a great job, adding a real spark to a movie that was such a dark vision.

So here we arrive at Batman. Don’t get me wrong; Christian Bale is perfect as Batman. That’s a no-brainer. The guy’s a genius. That low voice when he’s all kitted up…it adds another level to the character. Makes him even darker, makes him even more different. But for the love of mother Mary, tell me why Batman stayed in that stupid little bar-less cage for all that time. Every time they showed him in the “prison”, he was either in the cage speaking two languages at once and sitting down while some weird foreigner regaled him with tales of the “wonder child who got away”, or trying to escape. No in-between. Oh, and in TDK, Batman was afraid to talk to Rachel, but in this one, he just goes off, meets Mrs. Miranda and decides to have sex with her? Silly, silly Batman.

Comparison to alike films: This bad boy ticks all the boxes for a hit: Big budget, big name cast, big name director, big hype and making the obvious stuff in the movie easy enough for an idiot to follow. But in comparison to TDK, it just didn’t weigh up. The characters were poor for the most part, besides the two lovely ladies. The story was stretched over two hours when it could have easily gone for 45 minutes. I was disappointed.

TDK made me wonder in amazement at who this mysterious Batman really is inside, and what he thinks of this city. Who are his real friends and who are not? This movie made me think of a better time and made me wish I was there and not in this dark world where even Batman didn’t seem competent enough to take on this extremely powerful yet laughable enemy. Not even on the same planet as ‘The Dark Knight’, which has overtaken ‘The Shawshank Redemption’ as my favourite movie of all time.

Music: Utterly breathtaking. Hans Zimmer is absolutely amazing. In total I have 45 pieces of his in my iTunes library, spread across 15 different soundtracks, and TDKR and TDK may just overtake my “most Zimmer pieces from a single album”, which is now taken by his soundtrack from the video game ‘Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2’ he did in association with Lorne Balfe, which is also utterly amazing.

He traps you in a world of endless possibilities with his alternative violin parts which moves back and forth and then blasts through your earphones and sends shivers down your spine. Actually, he has single-handedly inspired me to start writing pieces for film clips on GarageBand. His use of the violins and horns in association with each other is simply majestic.

Visual Effects: Nolan did do a commendable job with his CGI’s, which he does on every occasion. His direction is seamless and makes you feel in the moment, like you’re actually on the street with Batman, fighting enemies left and right. My favourites are without a doubt the big shots over buildings and high in the sky. He uses circular motion and some great HD graphics to capture his vision.

I hope nobody minds if I make a comment on the “Bat”, Batman’s personal war-machine that flies between buildings without making noise before it appears and makes the loudest noise one may ever hear. It shoots missiles and blows stuff up which seems like the last thing Batman would resort to…a flying saucer that shoots grenades. That’s so…G.I Joe. Nevertheless, it looked amazing and so did the high-tech weapons, the bomb, and Bane’s coat from the Ralph Lauren “chestnut grandpa” collection of 1968.

Sequel?: I’m gonna re-questionize this question. So, in English terms, ask a different question. Hilarious Spin-Off? I’m all for this. I need some name ideas though…I think it should involve Bane’s ghost meeting the Joker in prison and convincing him to break out, change his idendity and become a dentist in Ohio. It could be called “Making ‘Em Smile”, or something along those lines. Wait a minute….I just gave myself an idea…

Sequel? (again, for real this time): YES. I’m sure many people would know the widely successful “Arkham City” & “Arkham Asylum” video games. For the love of sweet Pete, make a movie of the Joker banding together the inmates of Arkham prison, breaking out and someone stopping them. How friggin’ awesome would that be.

Worth seeing?: Yes, because it’s not a bad movie, plain & simple. It’s just not as good as I hoped it would be. TDK was amazing and compared to that, this was just good. The storyline was sloppy in parts, the acting was sub-par to the amazing performance put in by Heath Ledger in TDK, which is yet to be outdone in my eyes. Thank goodness this movie has finally got a lower rating on IMDb than TDK, it’s about damn time.

Everything tied in nicely in the end I guess, actually. I mean, we all knew Batman would survive and go on to save the clueless Gotham who survive attack after attack and always seem underprepared for the next one. So in that way, it was just as predictable as most other movies. In the end, Batman got his retirement and his life back, which should have happened 5 years before this movie was planned.

To be perfectly honest, I’m just glad Alfred got what he wanted so bad: Master Wayne’s life back and his knowledge that they are both safe. God bless you Alfred, you made this series.


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Bane Plays Slender

I also have a link for you guys to a video I was sent. It’s a video of Hans Zimmer, Chris Nolan and a few others being interviewed about how they made certain parts of the film. Very enjoyable.

The Dark Knight Rises – Making Of…


2 responses to “Movie Review – The Dark Knight Rises

  1. Awesome review!

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