Warning: There Will Be Spoilers!
So I just saw The Dark Knight Rises and thoroughly enjoyed it! I thought it was a really great way to cap the trilogy and left me feeling very satisfied. I know there have been many complaints by some about the length of the film or the clunkiness of the storyline, but to me, it all worked. I was able to suspend my disbelief and just sit back and enjoy the ride. Now, that’s not to say there were some things that I didn’t think made much sense, because there were, but as someone who has seen both of Nolan’s previous Batman films, I thought this film was the ending of Batman/Bruce Wayne’s story that should please most fans.
The film picks up 8 years after TDK, with Bruce Wayne as a recluse, not quite fully recovered from injuries he’s sustained over the years. Batman has completely retired and Gotham has been quiet. All of that changes with this film’s villain, Bane, whose mission is to destroy Gotham by bringing anarchy to the city. I thought Tom Hardy did an excellent job with what he was given and played Bane very well. Bane is not my favorite Batman villain and to me, does not really warrant the role of being the big villain in a Batman film, but it ended up working. While some might have been distracted by the dubbing and his choice of accent/voice, I wasn’t too distracted by it and thought the voice made the character even scarier. Bane is NO Joker though and I was feeling strong overtones of the Joker all throughout the film, thinking a lot of Bane’s sequences were almost meant for the Joker. But it is unfair to pit Hardy’s performance as Bane against Ledger’s as the Joker since they are two completely different villains and in two very different films. Overall as a villain, Bane is not a standout to me by any means (SPOILER: I found his death scene to be very underwhelming), but he worked in this film and the character did what he was supposed to do: be big, scary and a threat to Gotham’s safety.
We also met Catwoman/Selina Kyle in this movie and I thought Anne Hathaway was spot-on. Did she overact? Absolutely. But it was never to the point of distracting and I thought it worked in this type of film. Catwoman for me, brought some much needed fun to this VERY dark movie and I thought Nolan perfectly captured Catwoman’s sense of being in it for herself and playing both sides, even if she did lean more heavily to Batman’s side. Did she and Batman have chemistry? Eh, not so much, but then again, I’ve never felt like he has had great chemistry with any of his female leads. I didn’t really buy them ending up together in the end but the final act so powerful that it overshadowed my doubts.
As far as the remaining characters, some have said they didn’t understand how Alfred could leave Bruce, but I understood it. He had to leave him because he loved him too much to watch him destroy himself and by doing that, Bruce truly felt alone for the first time. I think he needed to feel alone to become human again and wake up to the world he had been shutting himself out of. Michael Caine as always played Alfred incredibly well and gave much heart to the film. Commissioner Gordon, even though he spent most of the film in the hospital, was incredible as well! Gary Oldman has always played the part with such intensity. I loved the surprise introduction of Robin. I was shocked to find out that’s who Joseph Gordon Levitt was and am glad, since it made it a really fun reveal for me.
The only things I had some criticisms of were the waste of Marion Cotillard’s brilliant acting (that death scene anyone? COME ON), some plot holes (how did Batman make it back to Gotham so fast from the prison?? Also, why would you send ALL of the city’s police force underground?) and the length was a bit over-indulgent. It’s not TDR but it was for me, a perfect ending to the series. If you read all that, thank you! Now go see it!