The Dark Knight Rises (2012)

We attended a trilogy viewing of all three batman movies last night, which were Batman Begins and The Dark Knight followed by a midnight viewing of what might be one of the most anticipated movies of all time. Our plot and reviews are as spoiler free as possible, but there might be one or two, so read at your own risk.

Eight years have passed since the death of district attorney Harvey Dent, and of the Batman taking the blame for all of Dent’s murders from when he was driven insane by the Joker.  Not only has Batman not been seen for almost a decade, but neither has Bruce Wayne; who has become a recluse inside his mansion, consumed by the death of Rachel Dawes, and is in pretty rough shape after the beatings taken as Batman.  It takes a visit from a ‘cat’ burglar to kick him out of his funk, and it soon becomes clear a storm is brewing in Gotham City, and he is going to need to come out of retirement, no matter what the costs.

In addition to the very attractive thief, there is a new baddie in town, the crafty mercenary known as Bane.  He plans to destroy Gotham and will not take no for an answer.  Batman isn’t alone in his fight for the city; police Commissioner Gordon as well as a hot-shot young cop named John Blake aim to stop Bane and his army of goons who have taken complete control over the city, with no one allowed to come or go. Will this brute be the end of the bat? Or will Wayne knock off the rust and kick a little more butt before hanging up the cowl for good?

Alex’s Thoughts:  Let me first say that this is a great movie.  Now that’s out of the way, here were a very few things that bothered me – the dialogue was really hard to hear in some parts, and not just the words coming from under Bane’s mask, but from everyone.  If there was any sort of music playing or action in that scene, it was always louder than the dialogue so a lot was lost.  I did have minor issues with the Bat-plane, as I thought it was sort of cheesy, but I understand that it was crucial to the story.  And again, the music: it was too loud where it didn’t need to be and it distracted from what was happening on-screen, but maybe that was just me listening to the same theme for like 9 straight hours.  Those few flaws aside, it was a very entertaining movie.  I got to see some things between Bane and Batman that I didn’t think would happen, and I really enjoyed all the scenes with Bats and Catwoman fighting together.  The acting from Anne Hathaway and Michael Caine stood out the most, and it is unfortunate that so much of Bane’s face is covered by the mask, because Tom Hardy is a great actor and he can’t really express himself, but still did provide a great performance. Probably the part that most people will disagree on is the ending.  It is going to be a love it or hate it type deal.  It is very specific and sets the stage for the next movie, and if the next director decides to follow that story line, there is only one thing that can happen.  I myself really liked it. (MINOR SPOILER)  You lean something trivial about John Blake that changes the entire movie and history of this franchise, the audience in our theater let out a collective gasp.  I don’t love this as much as The Dark Knight, but it is still a great flick.  Alex Rates This Movie 9/10

Tim’s Thoughts: Nolan did the impossible, and that was not out doing The Dark Knight, (that would be impossible,) no, what he managed to do was maintain a consistent story line. Having the benefit of seeing all 3 movies in the same night in the theater, I could  see how Nolan sets up the universe very deliberately, and this pays off big time. There are no cheesy call backs to lame minor characters from earlier films, (which I was dreading,} and they avoid falling back into easy tropes. The movie felt like it had a slow start, but do not be deceived, it only feels that way because you know the shit is going to hit the fan, you just don’t know when. It’s also a good sign when the more I think about this movie, the more I like it. The guy one seat down in the theater was literally on the edge of his seat for the last hour of the movie, and you get the feeling that Nolan  is not only capable, but more than willing to kill off any of the main players and things get worse and worse. I know there is some dispute over the ending, but honestly I don’t know how else you do it. The wrap up is concise, and satisfying, and I don’t know what else you want. For me, this was excellent, and a wonderful finale for the best, most consistent movie trilogy. Before you jump down my throat, remember, there are no Ewoks in this, and Temple of Doom in it’s best parts can’t touch these Batman films. I am sad that they are done, and REALLY hope Superman can find the same success. Tim Rates This Movie: 10/10

“When Gotham is ashes, you have my permission to die.”

View the IMDB entry for this movie here.