It was sloppy, tiresome, confusing and riddled with story holes. It wasn’t until about 90 minutes in when things began blowing up and, interestingly enough, making sense.
The film had too much going on…Catwoman, Bane, some cool toys and a few plot twists. I never thought I would say this: Batman had too much character development. Perhaps this is why the series was such a hit – it was one of a few action/comic book films to have good deep characters, a good story and real acting and special effects. I think director Christopher Nolan took it too far.
The 3-hour epic could have been reduced to 2 hours and the entire Catwoman role could have been removed. We have about a 5-minute attention span, why use it all up with useless characters that only add sexuality instead of story development?The Dark KnightRises was not very much fun compared to the previous films.
Nolan has too many characters and all of them take away from the story of Batman. As the film title states, it is about the Dark Knight rising, not Catwoman or Bane emerging. Of course the performances by some of the other characters were good…Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman in particular, however they did take away from Batman.
It’s not that Anne Hathaway is not a good Catwoman. She is! Her performance in the film was excellent, but was her role necessary? Of course, she creates/saves Batman in many of his ridiculous jams and she appeals to the male audience with her skin-tight leather pants. But apart from the sensual attraction, does she really move the plot?
The one character, which many people claim to have hated, is the villain Bane, played by Tom Hardy (Inception). Although he is not a replacement Joker-type character in any way, and he lacks a certain charisma compared to other Batman villains, I think he was a pretty terrifying and powerful character.
He was not only able to beat down Batman and show his true human qualities, but Bane was able to systematically tear Gotham to the ground and neutralize the police without killing them all. His motivation was a bit confusing due to his shaky past growing up. He had an almost robin hood point of view mixed with communism. He would take from the rich and give to the poor, yet still maintain a tyrannical society.
All these characters attempt to share life stories in the beginning half of the film. Catwoman, played by Anne Hathaway (The Princess Diaries), is introduced as the deviant and overly sexual mystery that she is. The vicious Bane, and the slightly feminine, yet heroic young cop played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Levitt’s character appears useless throughout about 2 hours and 30 minutes of the film.
The only use he has is an unexpected plot twist at the end…but he got just as much screen time as Batman. I wish I could explain why.
The opening of the film was bland, emotionless and confusing to those who missed any of the other films. That aspect was different in the previous films. Nolan had it so that it could be watched and understood by the biggest batman fan or the occasional watcher/channel-surfer.
Nolan did make the action scenes worth-while however, but with the action scenes, there is always some conflict involving stupid people who disregard information from the smart people. Where it was Harvey Dent, played by Aaron Eckhart (Thank You For Smoking) in the Dark Knight, it is now Foley, played by Matthew Modine (Gross Anatomy). I wonder if it bothers Modine to know that he is not only a washed-up 90s actor, but he will only be remembered as the chief moron in a $250 million dollar film.
This review is not all negative, however. The graphics and special effects were top-of-the-line. It’s pleasing to see special effects that do not replace (Avatar!) the specific aspects that make a film great: acting, story, characters..etc. I think Nolan would have done a better job if he released the Dark Knight Rises, Part I, instead of cramming it all into one really long film.
To make a successful 3-hour film, you need to know what you are doing. James Cameron’s Titanic was an excellent 3-hour-film. If he tacked on a fourth hour, I wouldn’t even have noticed. Cameron’s Avatar, on the other hand, could have been shortened and cleaned up. This is exactly how I felt about The Dark Knight Rises. Nolan is great director, but he should be a bit more organized in his next Batman films, if there will be any more.