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The Dark Knight Rises (2012)
Written by: The Arrow
Director: Christopher Noland

Starring:
Christian Bale/Bruce Wayne/Batman
Tom Hardy/Bane
Anne Hathaway/Selina Kyle
Michael Caine/Alfred
10 10
PLOT-CRUNCH
Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) has been a recluse since he put the Joker away and took the heat for Harvey Dent’s aka Two-Face’s crimes. But a ruthless terrorist rises out of the shadows; his name is Bane (Tom Hardy), he ain’t playing and aims to burn Gotham to the ground. With this new foe in the mix, Bruce Wayne has no choice but to suit up and do what he was born to do, what gives him purpose: Be BATMAN!
THE LOWDOWN

When Gotham is ashes, you have my permission to die. - Bane

As the build up to the THE DARK KNIGHT RISES release has been kicking in, I have been noticing some hate towards the franchise from SOME (I stress some btw) fans. One of the “perks” that comes with running a movie website and being online 24/7 is that I get to see a lot. In this case; the usual drill with beloved franchises. BATMAN BEGINS and THE DARK KNIGHT were worshiped when they came out, so of course with some time away, some folks start trolling on them. “That wasn’t the Joker I know, The Dark Knight sucked” or “That wasn’t Batman’s true origins, Batman Begins sucked”. Well it’s not supposed to be; this is Christopher Nolan’s version of BATMAN, his novel stamp on it and I f*cking loved it, all that matters in my little world.

Now before tackling THE DARK KNIGHT RISES, I had a back to back rewatch of BATMAN BEGINS and THE DARK KNIGHT, and I am glad that I did, cause this was not three movies, this was one long story, told in three installments. So reminding me of what came before, surely helped me in appreciating this final chapter further; I recommend you do the same. THE DARK KNIGHT RISES was a more introspective edition that its predecessor, being that everything that was established in the two other movies came to a head. The toll of being Batman on Bruce Wayne, physically and psychologically, the strain it brought to his relationship with Alfred, his love life (or lack of) and Wayne Enterprises and although the flick spat out some potent socially relevant themes like the clash between high class/low class and the huge dents in society’s info structure, it was Bruce Wayne’s plight that tugged at me. A man that put everything on the line for his city and ideals, sacrificed so much in the process, took the heat for something he didn’t do, and now with this new menace, has to rise again, deal with the beat downs and make the wrong things right. This movie was not just Batman must save the day; it was also about Bruce Wayne coming to terms with himself, his past and allowing his life to jump that wall he created to move forward.

Huge props to Christian Bale for conveying the many facets and layers of his character so convincingly. He was my anchor to the whole spiel and he nailed it and then some! But Bale was not alone in providing a nuanced and gripping performance. Tom Hardy as Bane was a force to be reckoned with. A beast of a man physically, yet obviously smart and eloquent (took me 10 minutes to get used to that voice). Hardy was an ideal choice, and he used his body language and his expressive eyes to communicate the role supremely. I adored how the flick eventually gave him a glimmer of depth hence shifting my perspective of him to SOME degree; it made the role so much more powerful. Anne Hathaway was tops as well; a good girl gone bad with maybe some good still left in her. I didn't really get "Catwoman" from her (not catty enough) but she still worked. On his end Joseph Gordon-Levitt was mucho credible as the idealistic cop on the beat. His role became meatier and meatier as the clock ticked forward and I relished every second of it. Now while, Marion Cotillard, Gary Oldman and Morgan Freeman all gave stellar shows, I have to point out Michael Caine, who as Alfred had the most emotionally riveting scenes to tackle here. Caine was given A LOT to chew on and being the veteran that he is, he handled the material with some much gusto that it brought tears to my eyes. Yes I was a man-bitch for a moment.

Story wise; this was a perfect cap-off to the two previous films. The references/expended story threads/surprises related to THE DARK KNIGHT and particularly to BATMAN BEGINS really hit home and helped bring a satisfying close to what may be one of the best trilogy of all time. We had Star Wars (OG), we had Indiana Jones (ignore Crystal Skull) and now we have Nolan’s BATMAN. Yes I rank his take on the same level as the greats! Armed with stirring dialogue/drama, sumptuous cinematography, jaw dropping moment of chaos/destruction and thrilling actions scenes, why wouldn’t I? Speaking of action; this one had less physical get-downs than the two previous films, but that was okay, because I don’t watch Nolan’s BATMAN movies to see shit blow up (that’s a bonus); I watch them because I am invested in the characters and the situations. And here; I was so there, that when BATMAN rose for the first time or when he threw down with Bane (awesome nifty gritty fist to cuffs bits by the way, no bullcrap Hollywood close shot editing here) or just when the overall shite hit the fan, I sat up in my seat, all wide eyed, fanboy goose bumps traveled down my spine, and I appreciated every second of it.

Add to all that jive Nolan’s striking visuals (dug his wow areal shots, grandiose wide shots and his keen attention to details), superior editing (so many plot threads, tied together masterfully) and Hans Zimmer’s resounding score (my fav tune is Gotham's Reckoning) which lets face it brings in at least 50% of the emotional power of these films and you get one hell of a movie, one that gets its cake and eats it too! How’s that? Well try a: visceral character study, a relevant social commentary and a Hollywood blockbuster all at once. Any complaints? A couple but nothing to tarnish my perfect score over. Why? Cause I’m THAT guy! Some of the dialogue was too blatantly expositional, one of the film’s twists was see through, the flick skimmed over some happenings (it needed to be a 5 hour movie) and I caught some conveniences in terms of some turns. So….SO WHAT!  It’s funny cause one of the first things I said to my bud coming out was: “The movie was three hours long, I craved three more hours of it”. If like me you are enamored of Nolan’s rendition of BATMAN, loved the first two films, then I have a hard time grasping how you’re not going to get your rocks off on this one!

As the end credits rolled, I was floored, Nolan did it again, and for the last time! Thank you for giving me a movie trilogy that is worthy of my hard earned cash. And thank you for giving me a trilogy that I SHOULD revisit and show to my kids if I ever have any someday! Call me a Nolan fanboy or an a-hole, I don’t give a frick, I love these movies and THE DARK KNIGHT RISES owned me and then some! “And why do we fall, Bruce? So we can learn to pick ourselves up.” RISEEEEEEEEEEE!

GORE
We got some violence but it kind of annoyed me that the film would cut-away when brutality (mostly at the hands of Bane) would go down. Having more on screen graphic violence would have given the acts more oomph in my useless opinion.
T & A
Every time Catwoman hopped on the Bat-Bike, I was staring at that latex hugged ass. Was that wrong? If so. All good!
BOTTOM LINE
THE DARK KNIGHT RISES put the word epic in EPIC! It might be the installment that is more likely to divide peeps, hey that's fine. To me, it was a beyond fitting cap-off to a stand out trilogy. A well written, skilfully shot, thought provoking and magnificently acted piece of cinema. And that’s what Nolan has given me with his trilogy; CINEMA. Films that managed to do it all at once and very well at that. Layered character studies, with relevant themes while wowing me with aces visual effects, extravagant imagery and genius action scenes. Granted, I saw one twist coming miles away, we got some explicitly expositional dialogue, some turns were rushed (in the name of pacing) and there was some convenient coincidences to serve the plot, but I was EASILY able to let them boo-boos go, entranced and moved by the brilliant filmmaking before me. Thank you Christopher Nolan, Christian Bale and company for the AMAZING ride this has been! Can’t wait to see THE DARK KNIGHT RISES again!
BULL'S EYE
Natalie Portman, Jessica Biel and Eva Green all screen tested for the Catwoman role.

Christopher Nolan verbally told the actors the ending of the film to avoid leaks.

Both Christopher Nolan and Christian Bale have stated this is their last BATMAN movie.
Strikeback
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7:35PM on 08/01/2012
Just got back fron seeing it and have to say Im a bit disappointed. I loved the first two movies and I thought "The Dark Knight" was well worthy of all the hype (if hype is a good thing). "The Dark Knight rises" is a typical sequel in that it shows sign of the times on the franchise. Is it me or were the lapses in logic much bigger this time? I wasnt very fond of the throwbacks to the story of "Batman Begins" - do we really need to shed the myth of its main villan? Felt lazy to me, "The Dark
Just got back fron seeing it and have to say Im a bit disappointed. I loved the first two movies and I thought "The Dark Knight" was well worthy of all the hype (if hype is a good thing). "The Dark Knight rises" is a typical sequel in that it shows sign of the times on the franchise. Is it me or were the lapses in logic much bigger this time? I wasnt very fond of the throwbacks to the story of "Batman Begins" - do we really need to shed the myth of its main villan? Felt lazy to me, "The Dark Knight" pretty much stood on its own feet storywise. I realize that this is supposed to be the cap-off to a series of films so the need to tie everything together comes with the territory but still. Theres too many subplots in this one too, borderlining soap opera. Its a good thing this is hopefully Nolans and Bales last batman movie because Id hate this series to go completely soap-operaish. Its far from a bad film and may have caught me on an off day but on a whole, meh, it was okay but nothing more.
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11:28PM on 07/22/2012

I Guess We're All Just Fans Then...

Movie was phenomenal. Am I a "Nolan-ite?" I've never disliked any of his films and think he is top 3 directors in the business, but I don't have his head printed on any of my tshirts. Then again maybe I would if I knew where they sold them. Not that any opinions in America need defended, and after I've been on this site for 10 years I damn sure know that John Fallon's opinions do not need defended or justified. I've never met the guy but I'd imagine that he is the last guy in the world that
Movie was phenomenal. Am I a "Nolan-ite?" I've never disliked any of his films and think he is top 3 directors in the business, but I don't have his head printed on any of my tshirts. Then again maybe I would if I knew where they sold them. Not that any opinions in America need defended, and after I've been on this site for 10 years I damn sure know that John Fallon's opinions do not need defended or justified. I've never met the guy but I'd imagine that he is the last guy in the world that needs any back up. But why would thanking Nolan for his work being any different than you telling the guy who cooked your steak that he did a hell of a job? I guess were all just fans then. Appreciative fans for Christ's sake. How dare we... haha. Like I said. I've been on this site since I was 19. Ten years ago, and if your looking for Roger Ebert, you won't find him. This is a site for fans. Ran by and started by... a fan. If you want snooty and non-appreciation go to IMDB and Rotten Tomatoes message boards... loaded with that. @AMAZINGSPIDERMAN1, that's the awesome thing about this site man. Everyone gets their own voice. Forget about those kind of people that argue and call your opinion wrong... its not. We all get one. That's what is so cool about movies. Not every Nolan fan is pretentious. Also if anyone thinks there is no room for harsh reviews on this site just go read the review of the Stepford Wives remake. Haha.
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12:39PM on 07/22/2012

Fantastic

I knew from day one this just would not get the almost universal love TDK did. It's just the nature of the beast. But this truly is a great cap-off. Wonderful performances, truly epic in scope and execution and hit all the right emotional beats. One could nitpick inconsistencies all they want, but many of them I feel can just as easily be applied to TDK.
I knew from day one this just would not get the almost universal love TDK did. It's just the nature of the beast. But this truly is a great cap-off. Wonderful performances, truly epic in scope and execution and hit all the right emotional beats. One could nitpick inconsistencies all they want, but many of them I feel can just as easily be applied to TDK.
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10:11AM on 07/21/2012

@AmazSpiderman1

Nothing wrong with thanking an artist for moving you with his creation. That's the way I meant it and see it. Last I checked not everybody that loves the film and thanks Nolan is sending out death threat to peeps who didn't like it. Not everybody will like the same thing, there is no wrong opinion or right opinion in my world, just a difference of opinion. We're all individuals, who came from different lives with our own unique outloook on things. It is a concept that eludes many sadly, but
Nothing wrong with thanking an artist for moving you with his creation. That's the way I meant it and see it. Last I checked not everybody that loves the film and thanks Nolan is sending out death threat to peeps who didn't like it. Not everybody will like the same thing, there is no wrong opinion or right opinion in my world, just a difference of opinion. We're all individuals, who came from different lives with our own unique outloook on things. It is a concept that eludes many sadly, but that has been going on way before Nolan's movies (IMDb message boards is all about that drivel), and that's another conversation. Running a website and putting my opinion out there for 12 years... trust me, I know all too well about that crap... but that goes beyond movies, it's called the nature of some pathetic "people". Even high brow critics fall in that camp. Ebert's Universal Soldier review: " Suppose there is a market for this sort of thing among bubblebrained adolescents of all ages". Ebert's Battle LA review: Young men: If you attend this crap with friends who admire it, tactfully inform them they are idiots. Young women: If your date likes this movie, tell him you've been thinking it over, and you think you should consider spending some time apart.
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3:37AM on 07/21/2012

Continued...

I'm not gonna lie, but the amount of people saying giving a personal thank you to Chris Nolan gives me the creeps. There is a reason his fans are called "cultish". It's a really bizarre phenomenon. It also irritates me that if someone didn't like any of his movies then that person's opinion is basically belittled like, "Let me tell you why you are wrong, and Nolan is a genius." Drink the kool-aid, everybody. It gets to the point that they have to close down response comments on websites like
I'm not gonna lie, but the amount of people saying giving a personal thank you to Chris Nolan gives me the creeps. There is a reason his fans are called "cultish". It's a really bizarre phenomenon. It also irritates me that if someone didn't like any of his movies then that person's opinion is basically belittled like, "Let me tell you why you are wrong, and Nolan is a genius." Drink the kool-aid, everybody. It gets to the point that they have to close down response comments on websites like Rotten Tomatoes because of the threats by "Nolan-ites" against negative reviewers. Opinions are opinions, and films are subjective, but I'd really be interested to know if extreme fans of this series are self conscious enough to know when they're taking their love too far. I don't wanna feel like I'm gonna get shived for pointing out plot holes in a comic book movie.
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10:51PM on 07/20/2012

A perfect end to a perfect trilogy

Nolan did it again. He took the Batman legend and made it a worthy film. While watching it I had a feeling that this movie would divide people because it was so dark and bleak. But Bane is no Joker redux. Bane is a cruel frightening monster of a man and the only one to break the Bat.
I loved what Nolan did and I respect his vision. He gave us a story of a man who destroyed his body to fight for his city. A city that never even said thank you. He gave us a bleak portrayal of life with the ultra
Nolan did it again. He took the Batman legend and made it a worthy film. While watching it I had a feeling that this movie would divide people because it was so dark and bleak. But Bane is no Joker redux. Bane is a cruel frightening monster of a man and the only one to break the Bat.
I loved what Nolan did and I respect his vision. He gave us a story of a man who destroyed his body to fight for his city. A city that never even said thank you. He gave us a bleak portrayal of life with the ultra rich and the very poor and what happens when people are driven to desperation and given the tools to revolt. Nolan gave us the story of a city driven to the verge of collapse, *No Man's Land* and of a man so driven by the power of rage that it makes him inhuman. *Bane*
It is a pity that there are so many that don't like it because they can't see the film for what it is. A powerful end to a trilogy that chose to go out with a bang rather than a whimper. Thank you Chris Nolan for showing that movies based on comics can be so much more.
From this fangirl who grew up reading Batman, thank you.
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2:46PM on 07/20/2012
I can see why RISES, being the darkest and most ambitious of Nolan's Batman films, would divide people. For some people it will work and for some, it won't. And that's fine.

For me? Just like the Arrow said, I thought it was spectacular. What a perfect way to end this trilogy. Everything about it just works so well. I couldn't be more pleased. THANK YOU, Chris Nolan!
I can see why RISES, being the darkest and most ambitious of Nolan's Batman films, would divide people. For some people it will work and for some, it won't. And that's fine.

For me? Just like the Arrow said, I thought it was spectacular. What a perfect way to end this trilogy. Everything about it just works so well. I couldn't be more pleased. THANK YOU, Chris Nolan!
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12:41PM on 07/20/2012

Just "meh".

The film ended with one of the biggest, poorly written cliches. A scene they just did in "The Avengers" a few months ago, not to mention countless other movies and tv shows. Once that bomb showed up I was like, "Oh great. They wouldn't use that tired plot device would they? Nooo. Nolan would know that's cheesy." Low and behold, they went there. I liked the movie, but it's certainly the weakest in the series, with a lot of lazy writing. "You came to die with the rest of your city?", "No, I came
The film ended with one of the biggest, poorly written cliches. A scene they just did in "The Avengers" a few months ago, not to mention countless other movies and tv shows. Once that bomb showed up I was like, "Oh great. They wouldn't use that tired plot device would they? Nooo. Nolan would know that's cheesy." Low and behold, they went there. I liked the movie, but it's certainly the weakest in the series, with a lot of lazy writing. "You came to die with the rest of your city?", "No, I came back to stop you." Having said that, I did like the more-than-usual call backs to the comics, Catwoman was much better than I expected, and the final action sequence was incredibly well done. Still, I probably enjoyed "The Avengers", "The Amazing Spider-Man", and "Prometheus" better. "The Dark Knight Rises" had a good 40 minutes in the middle where I was getting a little bored, because we really didn't need all those subplots. Did we really need Daggett trying to take over Wayne Enterprises? Or Wayne going broke? I don't think Miranda Tate paid off quite as well as it should have either, or John Blake's relationship with the orphans. Those things didn't really add to the theme of the story. I love Batman, as a character, but I can't get caught up in the hype train enough to excuse average screen writing.
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11:30AM on 07/19/2012

Great Review

I have to say you have said is close too what I thought.I saw the film yesterday and loved every moment off it.Good luck to whoever reboots this series the bar has been put so high I fear we have a future of disappointments.
I have to say you have said is close too what I thought.I saw the film yesterday and loved every moment off it.Good luck to whoever reboots this series the bar has been put so high I fear we have a future of disappointments.
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