The Dark Knight Rises Review: Big Trouble in Bane’s Gotham

Fans of movies and comic books alike gather into theatres in order to be the first to see the blockbuster movie of the summer The Dark Knight Rises, expecting to suspend their disbelief and be immersed in the world of Gotham.

What they get is quite the opposite.

Rises is an overly long series of contradictions which are evidently rushed and a plot full of events which upon completion will leave you questioning their contributions. As well as sound design which is guilty of overshadowing the dialogue.

Rises is the last of the Batman series directed by Christopher Nolan. The Nolan Batman unlike the cartoony Batman movies of the 80s and 90s is dark, gritty and layered with realism.

The story is set eight years after The Dark Knight and for the first hour of the movie they introduce new characters and villains yet leave the “non-fan” with minimal information about them. Also Batman doesn’t show up in the film until after the first hour.

Bane (Tom Hardy) is the key villain in this film and while Bane is a popular “baddy” from the Batman universe Nolan does a bit of discredit to him. Bane’s voice is dubbed in and about half of his dialogue is not understandable. The overuse of flashbacks to describe Bane’s past takes away from the film, and towards the second half of the film Bane goes from an overly intelligent psychopath to almost a background character.

Hans Zimmer’s score for this film does the movie no favors. Often the music is so loud that it is almost impossible to hear the dialogue between actors. There is a reason it’s called “background” music.

The plot is clunky and there are some major plot holes having to do with important events. The more you analyze the movie after it ends the less sense a lot of its scenes make.

Nolan is overly ambitious and turns what should have been a masterpiece into something that is evidently over-written; over-drawn and quite full of itself with the way it jabs at politics and the Occupy Wall Street movement.

The film is cast well with all actors playing to their strength.

Without such strong actors giving support to a spotty script the mess would have been more evident to average moviegoer.

Christian Bale plays the part of Bruce Wayne well as is expected from the previous two films. Thankfully while dressed in the Batman suit he doesn’t have the voice of a chain smoker like in The Dark Knight. It might just be less evident because of the few lines he has while wearing the suit.

The gorgeous Anne Hathaway plays Selena Kyle/Catwoman and portrays the beautiful cat burglar quite well. Her fighting moves and mystique only add to the character’s likeability. Her costume is tight black latex with a mask that has goggles on it. When the goggles are flipped up they look like the iconic cat ears that bring a sense of nostalgia to all the old comic fans.

The truly great performances in this film are done by the supporting cast.

Gary Oldman plays a wonderful Commissioner Gordon who throughout the film dominates any scene he is in. Even in scenes where he has minimal influence there is a sense of importance in his presence.

Morgan Freeman plays Lucius Fox and like in the previous two movies is stellar. Not overly emotional whilst on the fence between morality and obligation.

Joseph Gordon Levitt is masterful in his role of John Blake Gotham Police Department detective who half the story is centered around. Levitt is the focal point in most of the non-action sequences in the film and his role moves the story along.

Michael Caine’s Alfred, Bruce Wayne’s butler and oldest friend, gives a very strong performance showing his range of emotions in the few scenes he is a part of.

There is a difficulty to finishing a trilogy off strongly especially when you follow one of the most beloved movies in recent years.

There is enjoyment to be found in The Dark Knight Rises, you just need to overlook all the painfully obvious disappointments of the film.

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