The Dark Knight Rises (2012)

The final installment in the Dark Knight Trilogy and definitely the most difficult. I’m a big fan of Batman and when I saw Batman Begins I was blown away and then the Dark Knight, I loved just as much, if not a little bit more. But this one, this one confuses me. There are times when I love this film and times when I just really really don’t. I think it’s a real missed opportunity. This is the one film in the Dark Knight Trilogy that I have the most criticisms with. The most, ‘I would have done that differently type things. So there are spoilers through out this review in how I would have made the Dark Knight Rises better. 

As the villain you have Bane played by Tom Hardy, who I think is great, intimidating, scary and just a solid performance. Yes. I like the Bane voice. Christian Bale does a good job again as Bruce Wayne but his portrayal of Batman at this point is tiresome and somewhat comical. This film takes place 8 years after the Dark Knight, for some reason. In this time Batman sightings are next to nothing and Bruce Wayne has become a shut in in his mansion. I have issues with these things as well. After the ending of the Dark Knight batman shouldn’t disappear and Bruce Wayne shouldn’t become a shut in because he lost a girl friend he was never going out with in the first place. Instead have Bruce Wayne be emotionally distant, sleeping with random women, no friends, no real relationships but Batman still needs to be around to protect Gotham. Gotham can’t be safe just because of the ‘Harvey Dent Act’ locking everyone up. It’s because of this Batman dissapearing and Bruce Wayne being a shut in that raise the question of ‘How does no one in Gotham know Bruce Wayne is Batman?’ One guy does figure it out though. Through a ‘look’. Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s character John Blake.

JGL is without a doubt one of the best tings in this film. It is clear that he is a great detective and obvious successor to Bruce Wayne as the Batman. But my biggest problem is the same problem I have with a lot of Christopher Nolans films is that he doesn’t know when to end them. They all build up towards the end in this exciting last 5 minutes. That’s the problem with JGL’s character ark, it’s lost in the excitement of the last 5 minutes and his character ark should have happened so much earlier to include closure. What should have happened…

Before Batman faces Bane he should show JGL in the batcave so when Batman is in the pit. JGL can get Batman’s equipment and becomes a semi vigilante whilst Batman is away. Going by a different name and not wearing a mask.


So when Batman comes back and the two of them talk and JGL says, he’s not afraid of showing who he really is and Batman tells him he has to, that’s when during the exciting last five minutes of the Nolan film you see JGL actually being Batman. Obviously I like the last five minutes as they are, they inform you that Batman is just a symbol and batman can go on forever but I just wish we got to spend a little more time in the Nolan Batman Universe before DC decided to reboot the whole thing. It would also add something exciting to see whilst Bruce Wayne is just sitting at the bottom of a pit.

As I mentioned I think Tom Hardy is great, JGL is good. Michael Caine is superb, really pulling out all the stops to pull on the heart strings. Anne Hathaway I think is better than expected but still Anne Hathaway. What I liked about the other two films is that every actor was a little obscure. Not really obvious but Anne Hathaway just kind of ruing the illusion. I see all the other actors and I see their characters. I see Anne Hathaway and I see Anne Hathaway. Marion Cotilard who is also usually really good, here doesn’t feel very good either, especially in regards to her death scene. Also I feel like her character should have been there during the events of the Dark Knight. Because Bruce Wayne really trusts her but we don’t know her It would have been nice to have seen more of her. All I’m saying.

The other thing in comparison to the Dark Knight. TDK wasn’t really a superhero film, it was a film that had superheros in it and here I think they’ve tried to do the same thing but there scale is way to epic. This and Interstellar are examples I give when I say that Christopher Nolan should write books or do a saga of some kind because in a book he could explore so much more and do so much that he instead leaves for the last 5 minutes of his films. The Dark Knight Rises is very ambitious in it’s scale and not really in a good way.

Another negative is the production of it all. I know it probably wasn’t but it felt cheap. No blood when people get shot. People flapping around and falling over despite the fact no one is touching them. At times I can’t figure out weather it’s too clever or too dumb.

I said after seeing the Dark Knight one of the things that annoyed me (because I’m a dick head) was the lack of bats in a Batman film. Here, this film has bats. But it doesn’t have Batman glide properly. He extends his cape to cushion a fall but that’s it. In the Dark Knight I understand there aren’t really any scenes you could squeeze any bats into but with this film there are so many times Batman could have glided. One time in particular is the scene on wall street. You have all the police charging Bane’s men. It would look awesome to see Batman glide over all the charging police men just to glide kick Bane. Instead he just appears mid fight. This also lends to my point about the film makers forgetting that they’re making a Batman film. Show us that he has special abilities, some superhero stuff at least. It would have worked without destroying the idea that Batman could be anyone.

So basically…

1) No massive year gap between films.

2) Character arks come a little sooner.

3) More examples of Batman actually being a superhero.


The most conflicted I’ve been about a film in a while. Sometimes great, other times far from it. A real missed opportunity.



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