The Dark Knight Rises (2012)

The Dark Knight Rises
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Violence

Director: Christopher Nolan
Actors: Christian Bale, Tom Hardy, Anne Hathaway, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Gary Oldman, Michael Caine, Marion Cotillard, Morgan Freeman, Liam Neeson, Juno Temple, Aidan Gillen, Matthew Modine, Ben Mendelsohn

Eight years on from the events of THE DARK KNIGHT, a new terrorist leader, Bane, overwhelms Gotham's finest, and the Dark Knight resurfaces to protect a city that has branded him an enemy.

DVD
Status: QuickPick
Run time: 164mins
Origin: UNITED STATES
Aspect Ratio: 16:9
Audio Formats: English Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles:
Bruised and battered
by Simon Miraudo,

It's probably redundant to mention that the final instalment of Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy is epic in scope and ambition, considering a Christ allegory is right there in the title. But The Dark Knight Rises is a gargantuan achievement, making its predecessors look like mumblecore movies in comparison. Though, perhaps that designation is more appropriate for this entry in the series, where Tom Hardy's Bane cheerfully and flamboyantly garbles threats through his Darth Vader-esque mouthpiece in a South American (by way of East London) accent. It's the latest in a long line of beautiful, weird, inspired choices from this franchise, and I'm saddened to think we won't be gifted with more anytime soon. That being said, The Dark Knight Rises works as a conclusion, and less as a standalone...

It's probably redundant to mention that the final instalment of Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy is epic in scope and ambition, considering a Christ allegory is right there in the title. But The Dark Knight Rises is a gargantuan achievement, making its predecessors look like mumblecore movies in comparison. Though, perhaps that designation is more appropriate for this entry in the series, where Tom Hardy's Bane cheerfully and flamboyantly garbles threats through his Darth Vader-esque mouthpiece in a South American (by way of East London) accent. It's the latest in a long line of beautiful, weird, inspired choices from this franchise, and I'm saddened to think we won't be gifted with more anytime soon.

That being said, The Dark Knight Rises works as a conclusion, and less as a standalone feature. Many of the crumbs first littered in Batman Begins and The Dark Knight are picked up here, and they bring great satisfaction, but the socioeconomic satire and references to political upheaval will seem to come from nowhere to anyone not familiar with the early films, or the comics upon which this is based. Then again, we get to see Batman flying around Gotham in a Batplane, and it's hard not to be ecstatically pleased with little victories like that.

Christian Bale, often overshadowed by the show-stealing rogues gallery, rightfully earns his star status as Bruce Wayne here. Eight years have passed since the events of The Dark Knight, and he's shut himself off from Gotham, hobbling around his manor with a gammy leg. Eternally-loyal butler Alfred (Michael Caine) encourages him to return to the world of the living, though a run-in with saucy cat burglar Selina Kyle (Anne Hathaway, a surprisingly perfect fit) and the impending threat of the terrorist Bane sees Wayne re-don the cape and cowl rather than just get a girlfriend as Alfie intended. The plot is far too expansive to summarise in a single paragraph, and there seems to be more characters than there are minutes in the almost three-hour runtime. Just know that Gary Oldman returns as James Gordon (now a Commissioner - congrats!), and Morgan Freeman is back as Wayne's quartermaster Lucius Fox, while Marion Cotillard and Joseph Gordon-Levitt play new characters that fans of Batman lore will love trying to identify.

The Dark Knight Rises has plenty of the pulpy thrills you would hope from a comic book brought to life. Buses filled with orphan children drive towards certain destruction; a football field is decimated by a jaw-dropping explosion; blind prisoners mutter mythological origin stories; an improbably giant nuke is driven around the city with one of those handy LED countdown timers; Hathaway defies logic and human biology by bending her legs in all kinds of astounding directions, at one point using her razor heel to choke villainous investor Daggett (Ben Mendelsohn). For all the talk of this being the gritty, "realistic" version of the Batman tale, it's still super fun and wonderfully silly on occasion. That Nolan and his brother/co-writer Jonathan get away with the dichotomy (and some truly abysmal dialogue, usually delivered by Gordon-Levitt) is a mystery beyond my comprehension. Fact is, I gasped in delight far more often than I scoffed.

A recurring problem is Nolan never quite knows how to dispose of the baddies. Bane is established as a gloriously maniacal pupil of Ra's al Ghul (Liam Neeson), with an even more insane plot to have Gotham tear itself apart under the guise of revolution. And though he faces off against Bats in two spectacular fight scenes (Hardy's physicality is, as always, terrifying), the final battle concludes in a fairly underwhelming way. Instead, the finest sequence comes halfway through the picture, and features Wayne attempting to climb his way to freedom from within a pit-like prison following a battering at Bane's hands. It recalls the League of Shadows training sequences from Batman Begins, and reminds us that The Dark Knight Rises is at its best as a bookend.

If the climax is disappointing, the final few shots are as satisfying as any fan could have hoped for. I could go on about how upsetting it was to have Caine's Alfred sidelined for so much of the movie, or how Bane's 'Occupy Gotham' movement doesn't quite have the same thematic, real-world resonance as the post-9/11 turmoil of the previous flicks. However, I meant what I said in the first paragraph: this is a gargantuan achievement. Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, and now The Dark Knight Rises are the product of filmmakers (including cinematographer Wally Pfister and composer Hans Zimmer, the two other heads of Nolan's creative hydra) who give a damn about the subject matter. For the first time ever, we have a conclusion to a superhero saga that doesn't feel less like the door has been left open for a sequel, and far from a committee-made camel. Nolan can be over-serious at times, but it's so nice to know someone finally treated the material seriously at all.

4.5/5

Check out Simon's other reviews here.

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Member Reviews (47)

Paul
says
Absolute Rubbish - Turned it off after 90mins. I can't believe anyone with the mildest intelligence could watch this Film. Nothing more can be said. Trash.
Posted Wednesday, 23 July 2014 See my other reviews
Great loved it!
Posted Monday, 28 April 2014 See my other reviews
Su
says
I totally disagree with the critic. I found this film boring and irritating compared to the first episode just like all the other hollywood trash. Maybe it was the incredible performance of Heath Ledger in first film that gave it the splendour that this film totally lacked....bad
Posted Monday, 27 January 2014 See my other reviews
Lynnieb
says
Great. Loved it. Action packed. Tom Hardy awesome as the villain. And quite scary. Just wondering why the traitor above is in Spanish??
Posted Thursday, 26 December 2013 See my other reviews
Bloody good show. It is a Resurection story and if he can do it, I can do it.
Posted Friday, 20 December 2013 See my other reviews
well, I was expecting a rubbish part 2. I was wrong. You have to see it after the first one. Loved the ending. Do your self a favor and watch it.
Posted Friday, 15 November 2013 See my other reviews
Autumn Sadie
says
Wow! Nail-biting, suspenseful and slow moving - a perfect combination for intrigue. Fantastic on screen dynamics, great back stories throughout, and <3 ending. Totally need to get back into my comics! 5 stars!!!!! As one Artemis B might say, "Totally Pawesome"
Posted Thursday, 17 October 2013 See my other reviews
Cammo
says
Not fantastic. The first half was so slow and boring. Second half was too rushed and silly in parts. Was ok, not as good as other Batman movies but worth a watch if you like Batman movies. Christian Bale is hot.
Posted Sunday, 16 June 2013 See my other reviews
Alison Grills
says
Not as dark as I was expecting. Managed to surprise me. Michael Caine is magnificent.
Posted Friday, 7 June 2013 See my other reviews
Great movie. Fast moving and a bit over the top. Hard to keep up with at times.
Posted Sunday, 26 May 2013 See my other reviews
Stewart
says
Great Movie. The DVD had some scratches that you will want to repair before you send it out so someone does not have the same problems as myself.
Posted Monday, 20 May 2013 See my other reviews
Superb.
Posted Friday, 17 May 2013 See my other reviews
Simon
says
I am a big fan of the Batman franchise, although this one a little over the top - the Dark Knight still the stand out.
Posted Friday, 17 May 2013 See my other reviews
rodney
says
A typical batman movie, most enjoyable
Posted Wednesday, 8 May 2013 See my other reviews
Karen Hedges
says
Good not as great as the previous versions of batman
Posted Thursday, 2 May 2013 See my other reviews
Stuart
says
probably the best of the Christopher Nolan Batman movies. good but not great
Posted Friday, 26 April 2013 See my other reviews
was very dissapointed, worst Bat ever!
Posted Thursday, 21 March 2013 See my other reviews
Otto
says
The best Batman movie yet. Great action, and set up for a Batman and Robin sequel.
Posted Wednesday, 13 March 2013 See my other reviews
Neen123
says
Ok
Posted Saturday, 9 March 2013 See my other reviews
a pleasant movie to watch with the family
Posted Tuesday, 26 February 2013 See my other reviews
darthdorian
says
The third instalment of the francise has less action and more character development. It has the first and second movies tied in. The brotherhood and the death of bruce's girlfrind. If it didn't have these tie-ins, the movie would have been at least 40 minutes shorter and lots more action. But it's a weakened batman we find, both physically and mentally. Alfred calls it quits. (He should have slipped bruce anti-depressants in his food.) But it is a good movie and true to the comics. The only problem with it and DC comics (this is just me) are the locations, which are fictional,(eg: Metropolis, Gotlam City) and makes some happenings convienient, like a nuclear weapon, no one can leave etc.
Posted Saturday, 23 February 2013 See my other reviews
likee
Posted Saturday, 23 February 2013 See my other reviews
Purplesue
says
Whilst I enjoyed this movie immensely, thought the first Dark Knight was better! Still great on the action & special effects tho.
Posted Sunday, 17 February 2013 See my other reviews
poshreany
says
the first dark knight was heaps better then this one i expected more.
Posted Saturday, 16 February 2013 See my other reviews
bi
says
I watched it twice, just super in love with all the bat man movies. lots of action and great surprise at the end, never too long for a good movie.
Posted Monday, 11 February 2013 See my other reviews
A great movie full of action but a bit too long.
Posted Monday, 4 February 2013 See my other reviews
Love this movie
Posted Sunday, 27 January 2013 See my other reviews
Lea
says
A good continue to the batman movie series, we really enjoyed it.
Posted Tuesday, 22 January 2013 See my other reviews
Without a doubt the worst Batman movie ever made. the cartoon Batman that the kids watch would have more appeal than this.
Posted Monday, 21 January 2013 See my other reviews
Johnno
says
They say this is the last of the Batman franchise I do hope that's wrong as I love watching the Capped Crusader, although this was not as dark as the previous "The Dark Knight" it is still a pretty good watch, O.K so it's a bit over the top so what it is based on a comic book character after all.
Posted Thursday, 17 January 2013 See my other reviews
gregory
says
Maybe it was not my sort of thing and I do hate to give any film one-star but this was utter cliched dribble.
Posted Monday, 14 January 2013 See my other reviews
Darren
says
Too long, disjointed story. Villian Bane made no sense in wanting to blow up Gotham City. No one could leave the city or an atomic bomb would be set off....but batman had no trouble returning un-noticed?
Posted Friday, 11 January 2013 See my other reviews
Louise
says
i thought this was going to be 2 1/2 hours of torture. wow what a suprise, it was really good. i even watched it a 2nd time. definately worth watching.
Posted Sunday, 23 December 2012 See my other reviews
sue
says
A pleasant film to watch, even though I hate superhero films.
Posted Saturday, 22 December 2012 See my other reviews
Liz
says
Disappointed! Very slow and boring start. It only livened up half and hour from the end. Bane made for a poor villan. Too much 'Anonymous' style, "we will save the world by destroying it" type rubbish. The Joker was a vastly superior foe, this guy really just needed a hug and a calming cup of earl grey! Christian Bale really annoyed in this one too. The only saving grace was the righteously awesome Anne Hatherway as Catwomen. The only reason to tune in.
Posted Friday, 21 December 2012 See my other reviews
Jeff
says
Have been a fan of this series and this addition did not disappoint
Posted Thursday, 20 December 2012 See my other reviews
Mrs D
says
I love Ben Mendleson in this...
Posted Wednesday, 19 December 2012 See my other reviews
Jan K
says
I felt the first half was too long but the second half made up for it. Disappointed with the Bat machinery though - none of it seemed to look as "realistic" as in previous episodes and catwoman on the bike just looked absolutely ridiculous. The catwoman character was lacking too I felt. Unfortunately I was sent the DVD rather than the blueray which was a huge disappointment, but overall I enjoyed it.
Posted Monday, 17 December 2012 See my other reviews
edi
says
One of the best Batman movies - solid story, great editing & soundtrack - just well made all around. Worth the 2 1/2 hours!
Posted Wednesday, 12 December 2012 See my other reviews
kimbo
says
Nolan stands true to his word. It is an EPIC conclusion to the Batman trilogy. it is worthy of multiple viewings and I would suggest an IMAX viewing if possible. The scenes, the canvas are breathtaking. So are all the action scenes and of course Mr.Zimmer on the keyboard. The soundtrack fits right into the scenes and enhances the visual experience. The newly added star cast further adds to that experience and fit right into the master puzzle that Nolan has created while his old allies ensure that the movies moral compass is pointed in the right direction. The movie justifies its length of 165 mins and you won't realise how fast they went.
Posted Tuesday, 11 December 2012 See my other reviews
joffa
says
although i believe the batman franchise has now been well & truly over done, this latest instalment does not let down previous titles. It is full of action right from onset with interesting storyline throughout. I even thought the ending was 'appropriate'!!. overall a very good watch........... great if you are a fan
Posted Monday, 10 December 2012 See my other reviews
Shane
says
Too Long, weak plot needs a new Batman.Some of the characters were impossible to understand what they were saying. Why Bane had a scottish accent was beyond me. The acting was not over the top enough no pazzaz like the last one. The twist near the end was more annoying than unpredictable. The fight scenes between Bat and Bane were rubbish. As always some nice toys for the Bat and Iliked the fact that they have made it obvious there will be more Batman movies in this franchise. Lets hope the next one is better with some NEW blood.
Posted Monday, 10 December 2012 See my other reviews
A very weak Batman, literally speaking.. Getting knock down all the way until the end, was wondering where the Batman from the last two movies was! It is also way to long, way to slow and with a messy storyline. A 164 minutes that seem an eternity as it was an eternity. As much Batman 2 was really good, Batman 3 is a real let down. The Cat Woman character could have been better casted. I had the feeling that people involved in this 3rd Batman (writer and director) wanted it to be complex, with too many characters involved, with too many back stories that actually do not bring anything new to the storyline but link it to the first movie). In the end, I was lost and bored. This film failed as too much time has no Batman in it and when he is finally on screen, he is way to weak! The fight with Bane in the street in full daylight looks frankly stupid. The magic of the 1st and 2nd movie is totally absent.
Posted Sunday, 9 December 2012 See my other reviews
Le goret
says
Holes in the plot bigger than a house. Disappointing.
Posted Friday, 7 December 2012 See my other reviews
David Williams
says
Loved it !!!!!!All that I hoped for.Cast was fantastic as was the story and directing.Pure entertainment......
Posted Saturday, 1 December 2012 See my other reviews
Ok, this is a little hard to explain. While I liked 'The Dark Knight', there was something about it that did not sit quite right with me. Seeing 'The Dark Knight Rises' really drove home the problem, and that is this: Batman is unrealistic. Now I know some of you are saying "Well duh, it's a comic book movie", but the problem is you have a film that is otherwise set in the real world, but with a guy dressed as a bat fighting crime. The character just does not work - You need the surreal world of Tim Burton, or the campy world of Joel Schumaker, or even just *other* superheroes in the same world for the concept to work. The film makers seem to realize this, since "Batman" (as opposed to Bruce Wayne) is barely in the film at all. There also seemed to be an attempt to take as much of the Batman mythos as possible and shoehorn a 'realistic' version of it into the film. It is comes off as jarring. Also the villain, Bane. Tom Hardy does an admirable job, but next to Heath Ledger's Joker, he seems bland and uninteresting. Also the mask he wears muffles most of his dialog, making it really difficult to understand. Anne Hathaway was fine as Selina Kyle, but the character could have been cut from the film without losing much. Again it was like "OK, this is the last film we are doing, better get Catwoman in there somehow". Ultimately, while not a bad film by any means it is easily the weakest of the trilogy, and probably the weakest of the three big superhero movies released this year. 3/5
Posted Wednesday, 29 August 2012 See my other reviews
Nigel W
says
The caped crusader saves Gotham City from another nutter who wants to destroy it. Though an improvement on its overlong and muddled predecessor this final chapter of the Nolan trilogy is nonetheless riddled with plot implausibility’s and a relentlessly thumping soundtrack to make it distracting. The actions scenes are epic without being inspired and the two fight scenes between Batman and Bane ham fisted. Worth a look though. 3.5 stars
Posted Monday, 23 July 2012 See my other reviews
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