The Good & Not-So-Good about The Dark Knight Rises – Ted’s Review

Well it’s finally here, The Dark Knight Rises opens in theaters everywhere this weekend. I was lucky enough to have seen it at an advanced screening Wednesday night. Since not many people have seen it yet, my review won’t go into any plot points or spoil anything for you.

The movie is set eight years after the events of The Dark Knight and Bruce Wayne/Batman is still mourning the death of his true love, Rachel Dawes, while Gotham is living the high life because their White Knight, Harvey Dent, died to keep the peace. For those who went to see M:I-4 last winter at the 70mm IMAX theater, you’ve already seen the opening scene of the film. It starts with Bane high jacking and then clashed an airplane. The first half hour of this film started out kind of clunky but once Bane started his chaos and Batman shows up, you’re in for a treat. That’s all I’m going to say about the story, for this review I’ll go through what I thought worked well and what didn’t.

The Good:

Performances-wise, most of the actors did a great job. I was surprised how effective Anne Hathaway’s Selina Kyle/Catwoman was in the film. She played a key role and I thought Hathaway did a great job, he role is much more serious and “realistic” than Michelle Pfeiffer’s Catwoman in Batman Returns.

The returning players are great as always, especially Michael Caine’s Alfred. His one particular scene with Bruce Wayne was quite emotional, well it was to me. But in my opinion, this movie belongs to Joseph Gordon-Levitt, I know it sounds strange to say that but when you see the film, you’ll understand. Whatever speculations you’ve read or heard about his character, let’s just say you’ll either going to be excited or not surprised by it. Bale of course was great as always, in fact Wayne has more screen time than Batman.

Just like all of Nolan’s films, the cinematography in this film was nothing short of spectacular. As you’ve probably already heard, half of the movie was shot with IMAX cameras so if there’s a true IMAX theater in your area, do please see it there. Some of the set pieces were quite stunning on the giant screen. You’d be surprised that the film didn’t have as much action as you’d think but when the action does happen, there were well-staged and no shaky-cam or fast-editing. Thank you Nolan for actually filming action scenes that were exciting to watch. The mano-a-mano fight scene between Bane and Batman was pretty awesome, those who’ve read the comics Knightfall series won’t be disappointed.

Also, I have to mention Hans Zimmer’s thunderous score, the theme is very similar to The Dark Knight‘s but it was still good.

The Not-So-Good:

I know it’s hard to top Heath Ledger’s The Joker but I was hoping Bane could at least be as good but unfortunately I thought Bane was kind of underused as the main antagonist. Even though they fixed some of his voice, sometimes it’s hard to understand what he was saying. Now again I can’t say more without spoiling it for you, so I’ll let you judge his character for yourselves.

Marion Cotillard’s Marinda Tate was also underused, I think the film would’ve worked better had her character was fleshed-out more, her character sort of reminds me of Harvey Dent/Two-Face in The Dark Knight.

With that said, I still think this is one of the best big summer films I’ve seen in a long time. Is it better than Batman Begins and The Dark Knight? I can’t say that at the moment, I plan on seeing it a few more times, then maybe I can decide whether it’s better than the previous two films or not. When Nolan said this film will wrap up the trilogy, he meant it. To me it felt like he finally finished his take on the Caped Crusader.

– review by Ted S.

Well that’s it, for those who’ve already seen it, do you agree with my review? And for those who’re planning to go see it this weekend, hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I did.

23 thoughts on “The Good & Not-So-Good about The Dark Knight Rises – Ted’s Review

  1. Thanks for the early review Ted. I’m very pleased Nolan has decided to show the action properly. Would you say it’s on par with M:I-4 or just a different style?

    Can you say more about the depth of the story, or character development without giving too much away?

    1. Ted S.

      Hey Marcus I say the action scenes were kind of similar to M:I-4 but they were quite bigger in scope. Especially one particular chase sequence, if you like the chase scene in The Dark Knight, you’ll love this one. The fight scene between Bane and Batman were quite brutal for a PG13 flick, it was painful to watch. It didn’t look too stagy, it just looked like two guys beating the crap out of each other.

      I don’t want to give away too much of the plot but if you remember what Ra’s Al Ghul was trying to accomplish in the first film, Bane’s mission is to go beyond that and more. As mentioned earlier, I really wish Marion Cotillard’s character were more developed because later in the film, there’s a moment I thought it would’ve been more effective had her character has more screen time and fleshed out. I hope that made sense because i don’t want to spoil it for you or anyone else.

      I hope you’ll enjoy it when you it.

  2. Pingback: What’s Good & Not-So-Good about The Dark Knight Rises – Ted’s Review « The Cinematic Consensus Group

  3. Great review Ted. Totally agree with you when you say the film belongs to JGL. He plays a fantastic role. And so pivotal. But pivotal in that way that’s really rather quietly pivotal. Very well played Nolan.

    I was onboard and think am a fan of Bane. He’s a different type of villain, compared to what we’ve had before. Never has there been a physical and mental match for Batman , so this was definitely interesting.

    I loved the film and can’t wait to see it again.

    1. Ted S.

      Thanks Jaina, yeah I thought JGL was great and would love to see him in the next film if they ever decides to continue this saga.

      You know I thought Bane wasn’t bad, it’s just he wasn’t as prominent as I thought he would be. He’s definitely a good villain that can go toe to toe with Batman. I’m seeing again too, maybe two or three more times.

    1. Ted S.

      Thanks Morgan, yeah I really wish Tate’s character had more screen time to develop the chemistry with Bruce then the big reveal at the end would’ve been more effective.

  4. Pingback: » Movie Review – The Dark Knight Rises Fernby Films

  5. Very nice review. I do disagree about Bane. I mentioned in my review that Hardy’s Bane would inevitably face comparisons to Ledger’s Joker. Honestly it’s an unfair comparison. The two villains could be more different in motivation and approach. I thought Bane was fantastic.

    I also really liked Cotillard and how she was used. There’s a reason she’s used sparingly and I wish I could say more. But no spoilers.

    In terms of characters and performances I really didn’t care for Modine. He only added one thing to the picture. Otherwise he was uninteresting and a throw-away character.

    1. I meant to say Bane and Joker COULDN’T be more different. Also just like Joker in “The Dark Knight”, Bane isnt overused. He doesn’t flood the screen. In fact, I think Nolan may even give Bane a little more screen time than Joker and definitely more back story.

      Just my take. 🙂

      1. Ted S.

        Hey Keith,

        I kind of wish Nolan used Bane more just that when he and Batman goes toe to toe, it would’ve been more effective. I didn’t think he was bad at all, in fact I thought Hardy did a great job throughout the film even though we can really see his face at all. I guess I just want to see more of him on screen.

        Same with Tate, I wish her character and Wayne could’ve developed more chemistry so when the big reveal at the end would be more shocking, not to us the audience but to Bruce Wayne.

  6. Thank you for the review Ted 🙂
    I am going to see it on Wednesday but I am actually a bit worried about the length…I mean 3hours is such a gambling, what if I end up getting bored?

    I am going to gamble.

    1. Ted S.

      Hey Novroz, I didn’t think the runtime was the issue since I was so into the movie that it didn’t feel long at all. I hope you don’t get bore when you see it, if you like the last two Batman flicks then I’m sure you’ll be entertained.

  7. I enjoyed the movie, too and thought the characters were very well cast & acted. I was pleased that Anne Hathaway was so good and thrilled to ‘meet’ Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Will definitely be looking forward to more of him!

  8. I thought bane was fantastic but sometimes you couldn’t understand what he said and wish they fixed that in editing, still though How many times have you tried doing Bane’s voice?
    I have totally got it now, accent and all 😀

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