July 31, 2012 NSR Admin

The Dark Knight Rises (12A)

The “Epic Conclusion to the Dark Knight Legend” left more questions in my mind than it answered. First of all, I spent a long time waiting to actually see Batman. Maybe Nolan was aiming to focus on the drama, or to build up tension. But still, it was a Batman film and it would have been nice to see Bale suit up earlier.

This leads me on to my next point. Batman spent most of this film getting beaten up. With the title The Dark Knight Rises I was expecting to see 165 minutes of Batman kicking ass, especially after how things were left at the end of The Dark Knight (2008). Whilst some of the dialogue could be considered as cheesy, a lot of it was well done and dramatic. My biggest problem was the delivery. I have never been a fan of the voice Bale puts on as Batman. It’s hard to take him seriously when he’s trying to sound like a laryngectomy patient.

Then there’s Bane. Bane was a terrifying enemy, possibly as good as Heath Ledger’s Joker, but his mask made dialogue almost inaudible at times, which was very disappointing considering (from what I could make out), his speech was very good. Hathaway’s portrayal of Catwoman was also fantastic, although a little unoriginal at times. It was a serious improvement from Halle Berry’s portrayal in 2004.

The film’s plot, whilst most unquestionably “outside the box,” seemed to leave me more interested in the fate of Gotham under Bane’s control than what Bruce Wayne was up to. Our hero was healing after a serious beating from Bane and stuck in a prison trying to climb out of a hole. I kid you not. The most interesting thing about this part of the film was what “Deshi Basara” meant and what the clichéd silent old know-it-all had to contribute to matters.

I was interested to see what clever cameos Nolan was going to play with this time. I was not disappointed. It was nice seeing 24’s Secretary of Defence James Heller having been promoted to President and likewise, Prison Break’s Brad Bellick has gone from a prison guard to a prison warden.

The ending was amazingly powerful, resulting in me leaving the cinema with tears in my eyes and a satisfied grin on my face. But the sheer superiority and quality of the ending may have been highlighted by my lack of enthusiasm for the rest of the film.

There were many redeeming features. The visual effects and the soundtrack were stunning. The whole tone of the film was dramatic and epic with fantastic performances from the cast. My problems mainly lay the door of Nolan and the concept of Batman himself. I think it made me realise that the Batman cannot be without the Joker – which is no one’s fault. But setting that aside, The Dark Knight Rises just didn’t seem as polished as its prequel.

Sean Brown