etragedy's The Dark Knight Rises review

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Have to nit-pick because it otherwise would have been perfect.

The final installment in Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy has finally come out. So, let's cut to the chase.

What's good about this movie? Nearly everything. So maybe it's better to start with its flaws. O.K., so what's wrong with it? Well mostly nitpicky things, but lets talk about them. First, there's the complaints I've had about the rest of the series rearing their heads again. For some reason every actor that plays Batman feels they need to deliver their lines in a growly whisper that sounds more silly than threatening.

Then there's the casting of supporting characters. I've mentioned in the past that I think Michael Caine is wrong for Alfred. It's ironic that a film directed by a British guy, and starring a bunch of British people all faking American accents has the one character who's supposed to have a British accent have the wrong British accent. Alfred is a proper stiff-upper-lipped upper crust English gentleman's gentleman, yet we get Michael Caine with his standard Cockney English.

While we're on the topic of miscasting, Anne Hathaway does an adequate job as Catwoman, but was yet another terrible casting decision. She is tall, gawky, ungraceful, not particularly sexy, and the all-around least cat-like Catwoman imaginable.

And finally, there's the Bat-vehicles, which always were cool and loaded with gadgetry, but in this entire series have been way too much like sooped-up sci-fi military hardware, stuff that belongs more in an Aliens move than a Batman one - they don't even seem to follow any known laws of physics. I'm all for cool high tech machines, but I want the Batmobile to look like a car and the Batplane to look like... well, a plane.

That out of the way lets talk about the problems specific to this installment. Minor spoilers blocked. To begin with, at the start of this film, Batman has been gone for 8 years. Bruce Wayne has been a recluse for 8 years - nobody puts two and two together here?

And then there's Bane, the main villain of the piece. I have to admit I've never been a huge Bane fan, but at least this version of Bane was far better than the WWF masked wrestler version we got in Batman & Robin (although there's still some of that). My problem with Bane is that the mask he wears throughout this film, looks ridiculous, like some sort of cheap plastic Halloween mask, and the way he's said to have gotten it seriously stretches credibility. Then he speaks. If Batman's whisper-growl is annoying, Bane's processed vocals are thoroughly irritating, and in a theater with massively loud sound system they come across practically incomprehensible in many places. So that makes the two characters with the most screen time the most irksome to have to listen to.

Earlier I mentioned the Bat vehicles not following the laws of physics well there's an even more bothersome science issue with this film - Bane's plan involves taking out Gotham with a neutron bomb. But, throughout the film they talk about and eventually show a bomb blast, even referring to it at one point as an 'atom bomb'. The problem is, neutron bombs aren't explosive devices. That's just not what a neutron bomb is.

Then there's the whole thing about Catwoman liking guns and Batman being against them. This is just backwards. Especially given every vehicle Batman has even in this movie has large machine guns mounted on it - which he even uses!

Finally there's a lot of things that happen really quickly - Bruce Wayne goes from being rich to being destitute and everything in his mansion covered with bedsheets in about a minute, maybe two. Literally he walks into a boardroom and they kick him out, and before he gets to the lobby they've already towed away his car. I assume this is because there was a lot more actually shot, but it was cut for length.

Now, that may sound like a lot of complaints, but remember this is a two hour and forty five minute film, and is almost thoroughly enjoyable throughout. It has great action, and a plot that has some twists that even Batman fans might not see coming until they happen (and then you'll either be pleasantly surprised, or kicking yourself for not guessing it sooner).

All-in-all, the Nolan Batman films, this one included, hew much closer to the Batman of the comics - both the Golden Age, and the Modern Age than any other Batman films of all the decades the character has been around. And for that we can rejoice.

1 Comments
Posted by TonyPicci

Here's my explanation of the ending! (Spoilers Obviously!)

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