So here it is (Karina). With my first ever film review, I figure you might as well start with a bang. And what film this summer is bigger than The Dark Knight Rises? Oh, right. The Avengers. Well, besides The Avengers, I am here to review, albeit late, The Dark Knight Rises.
The Dark Knight rises is written by Jonathan and Christopher Nolan, with a story credit given to David S. Goyer. As with the other two films in the trilogy, Christopher Nolan directs this final chapter as well.
As we all know from the end of The Dark Knight: Batman went on the run to protect the image of Harvey Dent, The Joker was (presumably) taken in to custody and the citizens of Gotham City decided that today wasn't a good day to die.
Eight years have passed since the end of The Dark Knight. Commissioner Gordon (Gary Oldman) and the citizens of Gotham annually mark Harvey Dent Day. Commissioner Gordon does not agree with what Harvey Dent Day stands for, but, due to crime being practically eradicated from Gotham City, continually preserves the lie.
Batman and Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) have both stepped away from the spotlight. Granted no one seems to notice that both disappeared around the same time, but hey, this is a comic book film. Bruce has become a shadow of his former self. Living a life of exile inside his sprawling mansion still reeling from the loss of his love; Rachel Dawes. Bruce's trusted servant, Alfred Pennyworth (Michael Caine) keeps at Bruce, trying to make Bruce push his life forward and have meaning.
All the while, a terrorist known simply as Bane (Tom Hardy) descends upon Gotham City, bringing his many minions and threats of destruction. As a multi-tiered plan, understanding what he has truly in store for Batman and the citizens of Gotham takes a good chunk of the film. Bane's plan, like the script to this film, takes the long way to get to a short resolution.
While this is going on, you also get Selina Kyle (Anne Hathaway) showing up as a cat burglar who straddles the line of good guy/bad guy and police officer John Blake (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) acting as the eye for the audience as he snoops around Gotham City finding out information about Bane's plan and Batman himself.
Now, it may sound like I am being harsh on the film, and that may be somewhat accurate. The first two films in the Christopher Nolan Batman trilogy are some of the best comic book adaptations ever. With this film, though, 'Rises' seems to struggle with trying to live up to the prior films. The success of The Dark Knight no doubt put so much pressure on this film that it is a miracle that 'Rises' is as good as it is.
The biggest fault with this film, though, lies in the screenplay. As stated, Jonathan and Christopher Nolan wrote the screenplay, with a story credit by David S. Goyer. The story feels like a first draft of a script with none of the fat removed off yet. There are characters and plots that take up valuable time within the script that could have been removed and the script would have continued on without missing a beat. In my opinion, the most glaring example of someone/thing that could have been excised was Selina Kyle. If you have seen the film, imagine the film without her. There is not much she adds to the story that other characters couldn't have done in her place. Now this isn't a knock on Anne Hathaway, as I thought her performance was fine, but that her character was underwritten and could have easily been edited out to condense the already excessive runtime.
A few more issues that I must address come in the end. First, the final moments between Bane and Batman are so utterly disappointing. I will not go into why they are so disappointing, just to say that the resolution between these two characters is an awful resolution. Secondly, a character in the film undergoes a plot twist. Prior to this twist, they are not really needed at all in the film. It is never good having a character in a film for just the sake of a plot twist. And my last little complaint lies within the ending. This film has the feeling of dread hanging over it the entire time. With this being Batman, I can understand why the film ended the way it did. I just feel that the ending didn't match the tone for most of The Dark Knight Rises.
There are many issues with The Dark Knight Rises; from the excessive runtime to the screenplay. With that said, though, this is still an entertaining film with a lot of good things to see. Tom Hardy's Bane is much different that Heath Ledger's Joker and I think it was a smart move on Christopher Nolan's part. Instead of replicating what was done before; having a charismatic character like the Joker, Nolan instead provides Bane who is just brute strength. This is not to say Bane is better, not by a long shot. It was just a good idea of Christopher Nolan to not go to the same well again.
Overall, this is not a bad film. This is a good film with a lot of flaws. I wish the screenplay had been edited down to have given a tighter and leaner film instead of the bloated film we got. Like I said, though, this film has a lot of good in it as well. When it comes down to it, this superhero film is nowhere near as bad as Superman IV: The Quest For Peace. And in the end, isn't that all that matters?