Geeks, comic book fans, and nerds alike; magic has happened this early morning. I sit here at 3:50 AM, fresh off my first screening of The Dark Knight Rises, and my face resembles that of a pig in sh*t. Christopher Nolan has managed to complete one of the greatest movie trilogies of all-time, and once again he has proved that his brand of movie making is one to be praised by millions of rabid cinema buffs across the globe.
Now that I’ve seen Nolan’s Batman swan song, I’ve been reminded that films based on comic book characters can be serious in nature. They can evoke strong emotional responses, as was clearly evident by the raucous applause my theater mates let out once the credits rolled for TDKR. The Avengers is more of a fun roller coaster ride where TDKR is more of an emotional journey. Both are great films and deserve the gazillions of dollars they’ll end up making, but I have to say that the conclusion to the Nolan Batman era is something special (at least to me haters ; )). I for one think he has come close to topping The Dark Knight, and if he didn’t completely by your standards, he sure at least came close.
I mean honestly, there’s no reason to keep reading. Why are you even searching for reviews about The Dark Knight Rises in the first place? You should get your a*s to the closest state-of-the-art theater to take in this monumental movie going experience for yourself faster than I can say “I’m Batman!” It really is that good. Disregard what else you’ve read, it’s all fiction, and trust the Entertainment Buddha.
In all seriousness, if you really do need more prodding to go and see The Dark Knight Rises please feel free to continue on reading my slightly fanboy tinged review. I’d appreciate your own reactions as well, so please feel free to either agree with me, or sh*t on my opinions by using the comments section below.
Seriously? You need more reasons to see this movie? I’m afraid there’s no hope for you after all…
The Dark Knight Rises
EB 9.5 out of 10 Buddhas
There’s truly only one thing that has prevented me from giving The Dark Knight Rises a perfect score. It’s nothing horrendous, or Star Wars prequels-like, but I did find it worthy of a half point penalty. I really felt that the beginning third of this film moved just a hair too slow. The opening few scenes did little to suck me right in, and were devoid of any major action sequences for the most part. When I’m at a Batman movie, especially one done by Chris Nolan, I want action. This requirement of mine unfortunately took some time to really come to fruition, but once it did things were as the hipsters would say, “On like Donkey Kong!”
Excuse my childish tone right now, but that’s exactly how I feel. Like a kid. The Dark Knight Rises managed to transport my mind back to the simpler days of youth. Its well written, but sometimes unevenly paced tale, took me on a journey with one of my most favorite comic book superheroes, and I was once again reminded why I love to dream. Nolan’s crew went about telling this final chapter in their go with the Batman in a near perfect manner. Outside of the slow start this movie hits its stride about 45 minutes in, and it doesn’t let go of your undivided attention until the theater lights come up.
Opening third of the film is slightly too slow
I couldn’t help but pat myself on the back for not spoiling this movie’s overall plot. After taking in its twists and turns with a fresh, clean, and unopinionated mind this morning, I would have to imagine that spoiling any of its secrets will make their impact less fruitful. By not being a forum troller, or paying much attention to major plot leaks, I really think it helped me to appreciate all of the nuances of The Dark Knight Rises. I loved the story, and as a fan of the Dark Knight I felt like he was treated honorably.
Unless you’ve been living in a bat cave this past year then there really is no way not to have some sort of pre-conceived notion of how The Dark Knight Rises will play out. I can tell you that some of your assumptions will be spot on, while others may surprise you. Some of the big “Ah-ha” moments I saw coming a mile away, but somehow Nolan still managed to make them special, and chills inducing (not the douchey kind).
I can count at least three times where I silently thought “Holy f*ck!” to myself while watching some of the more dramatic scenes play out in TDKR. If you have any passion for the Batman franchise, or even just the character, you will experience a multitude of emotions that will validate this movie’s excellence in your memory archives. Let’s just say that fans of the legend of Batman definitely get more than just one major payoff throughout this film’s 2 hours and 45 minutes run time.
Yeah this isn’t one of those scenes…
On top of the fanboy payoffs, Nolan and team also pulled off some great performances. Tom Hardy kicked arse as Bane, and while his voice is a little hard to pick up on at first, it does get easier to understand as the movie progresses. I thought his backstory was adequate for the average fan, but the more hardcore Bane lovers may be a little let down. To me it didn’t matter what his deal is, because Nolan makes it very clear early on that Bane is a bad egg, and to be honest with you I don’t know much about the character to begin with. I don’t think he was as electric of a villain as Heath Ledger’s Joker, but he is definitely more than a worthy adversary for Christian Bale’s Batman.
Speaking of which, Bale does another commendable job as the Bat. The whole voice thing continues, but at this point it’d be weird if he didn’t talk like he has lung cancer. Batman’s story in The Dark Knight Rises is one of many falls, but it equals those out with some, I’m sorry, rises. This movie really reminded me how tragic of a character Batman/Bruce Wayne is, and it made me appreciate him even more. Kudos to Bale for another fine, yet unfortunately final turn in the Bat suit (According to Nolan this train is toast).
I would be remiss if I also didn’t mention Anne Hathaway’s Catwoman/Selina Kyle. I know many of you balked at her costume when it first leaked last Summer, but I can tell you that she looks sexy as hell in it. If you have issues with her in a skin tight suit, then you’re either a girl, or a commie.
Suit preferences aside, to me she nailed the character of Catwoman. I really found her performance to be spot on, and her addition to the film really added some poignant moments that made her feel more than just another throw-in Batman comic book character. In fact, it kinda sucks to know that her spin as Catwoman is more than likely over due to the fact that Nolan has vehemently claimed that he is done making Batman films. I think her chemistry with the cast was solid, so I’d really like to see her bust Bruce’s balls in another movie or ten.
Goggles? What goggles?
I know some critics out there will probably try to equate the tale of The Dark Knight Rises to real world happenings, and some of them may be right, but that’s why this site isn’t like the rest. We’re a site for the people by the Buddha, so we try to keep our reviews real and far from the ugliness that is real life.
I wouldn’t call myself Batman’s #1 fan, but I’ve been intrigued by him since my 9th year of existence when I first learned about his story by way of Tim Burton’s Batman movie. From then on I’ve always had respect for the character, and I was shown that same respect by Christopher Nolan’s take on the Caped Crusader. For that I’m appreciative to the man. There are definitely some allegories in The Dark Knight Rises, but they’re not done so at the expense of telling a great Batman story.
I opened this review with a bold proclamation of The Dark Knight Rises being so good that it didn’t even need one, and it still doesn’t, but if you’ve made it this far you must think it does, or you actually enjoy my ramblings. Regardless, and in a serious manner, I can wholeheartedly tell you that this movie will not let you down as a fan, strike that, as a geek. If it does then you’re definitely one of those glass half empty types, or you got a little too curious and spoiled some of the plot. We’ve all done it, and we all know that spoilers only lead to expectations you form in your mind that can never be met, so don’t take it out on The Dark Knight Rises because it’s excellent. I give it an EB 9.5 out of 10 Buddhas, and order you to be a good geek and go see it before its opening weekend is through. You’ve been preparing for the hate from those fans who were somehow let down by TDKR…
[#ff entbuddha] “Making you a better geek, one post at a time!”