SPOILERS AHEAD!! The Dark Knight Rises

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So, this isn’t going to be a recap of everything that happened in The Dark Knight Rises. If you’re reading this, it’ll probably make more sense if you’ve already seen it. However, if you haven’t seen it and want to, you have a decision to make here. If you love or don’t mind spoilers and just want to know what I thought of the movie as a massive Batman fan, read on. If you want a breakdown of everything that happened, wrapped up with a critique, you’ll probably want to find a review with a synopsis of the plot and more details about what actually happened in the movie.

With that caveat, here goes … okay, you have one last chance to back out and stop reading (*lol*) … okay, you had your chance.

I was … underwhelmed. And here are the reasons why.

  1. People called Talia last year and the producers, Nolan or whoever denied it … only for it to be true.
  2. Bats’ costume in the light of day, which it seemed to be in most of this movie, was so painfully bulky and stiff.
  3. Speaking of his costume, all I could think when he was fighting Bane in the sewers was, “NO CAPES!!” Seriously, Bane could have yanked that overly long and oddly incongruous cape and snapped Bats’ neck.
  4. Bats was excruciatingly slow … both before and after training in the pit.
  5. Speaking of the pit … this was a great opportunity to explore the inner mind of Bruce Wayne/Batman … to really dig into his psyche, to find him broken only to rise above his physical disability with the sheer power of his mental strength and fortitude. What we had here was the potential to reveal how this HUman can hang with SUPERman, can stand toe to toe with him and earn his respect and admiration. Instead, Bruce gets a little speech, gets angry and climbs a wall.
  6. Bale’s mouth hanging open every time he stopped talking drove me insane.
  7. This is nothing new, but the Bale Batman voice is so annoying. Really wish that they had Kevin Conroy do the Batman voice.
  8. Alfred abandoning Bruce?!?!?! Are you frickin’ kidding me?!?! NEVER.
  9. As soon as I saw the kid from Third Rock, I was like, “Robin?” Then, he told his story and you knew that was probably a sure bet. No surprises here.
  10. Bane? I couldn’t understand him for half the movie … and,
  11. He’s Talia’s lackey with a face mask to ameliorate the agonizing pain that would otherwise debilitate him. Really? Really? That’s how you decide to create a more “realistic” version of a character who pumps himself up with venom to make him strong enough to defeat the Bat and break his back in Knightfall (The series that birthed, “Broken Bat”)?
  12. We have the same plot with essentially the same villains from Batman Begins … i.e. Ra’s al Ghul … I mean, Talia al Ghul … wants to “Destroy Gotham … burn Gotham to the ground … purge the earth …” Still not exactly sure how that is productive and helps the League of Shadows … what, take over the world … destroy the world? Anarchy? What exactly is their end game?
  13. That kiss between Selena (yeah, we can’t call her Catwoman, though she had goggles that looked like a cat’s ears when she pushed them up on her head) and Batman??? Whack!!! The frickin’ atom bomb is less than a minute away from exploding and you waste 15 seconds of it to mack Bats?! Add to that …
  14. There was barely any chemistry between the two the whole movie, but that’s who he settles down with at the end, despite the fact that he had a different, admittedly seriously underdeveloped, love interest earlier in the movie? WT … ?!?!
  15. Bruce gives up the cape and cowl and SETTLES DOWN?!?! Yeah. No. Bruce NEVER finds peace. He IS the Bat. Bruce is his alter ego. Anyone ever see that Batman Beyond episode where Shreik (?) gets old Bruce institutionalized by causing others to think he’s become schizophrenic as he is hearing voices in his head? And, at the end, Terry asks him how he knew he wasn’t crazy? Bats responds, “Because, the voice kept calling me Bruce. In my mind, that’s not what I call myself.” and Terry says, “Well I’m him now” and Bruce says, “Tell that to my subconscious.” Bruce would never completely relinquish his cape and cowl for a life of love and leisure. That’s not what is in his cards. Justice is what drives him.
  16. Bruce Wayne BROKE?!?!  What the … ?!?!  You guys are buggin’!!
  17. I prefer Begins far and above DKR. I LOVED Ledger’s Joker … he was cuhrazzy … and it was GREAT!! But, the Dark Knight is second because I felt Two Face was very underserved as a secondary villain. He is one of my fave tragic villains and he was one-dimensional and boring. And that Maggie Gyllenhal??? OMGosh, she brought me out of the movie every time …. anytime your audience cheers at the death of a protagonist … the protagonist whose death is supposed to be the tragedy that triggers a noble man’s descent into insanity and schizophrenia? You have a problem. I just wish they would figure out how to cast and develop female lead characters. We will never understand why our hero will sacrifice everything for the love of their life when that love is an annoying twit, a one-dimensional bore or a cold, ice queen. They need to figure out how to make US believe that our hero would sacrifice everything for this woman … or would sacrifice his happiness to protect her.
  18. All this to say, again, we have under-developed female lead characters. We never get Catwoman’s story beyond a single sentence about “doing what one must.” C’mon, for real? This is the extent of the motivation for the character? And Talia … Talia … this was like Sabretooth being a lackey with no long, torturous history with Wolvie in X-Men, like Juggernaut not being Charles antagonist brother in X-Men 3 !!! C’mon, get it together folks. Seriously, if you want to totally reinvent a beloved and decades old character, while only keeping a vague resemblance to the history, just call the movie/hero something else and deal with us saying it’s derivative or a knock-off of “so and so.”
  19. Ultimately, I kept waiting for something huge to happen … for Batman to do something so awesome, I’d lose my mind. But, he never did. Nolan wrapped up the trilogy, sure enough … but, IMHO, it went out with a fizzle, not a bang.

ETA (20-28): I thought of even more reasons why DKR was not good:

  • What was the point of the Bane minion staying in the plane? “One of us needs to be here.” Ummmm … why? Wasn’t the point to kidnap Pavel without anyone knowing and everyone thinking he died in a tragic, but accidental plane crash?
  • And when’s the last time they used blood to ID someone (the “fake” Pavel that they blood transfused into one of the plane passengers) … in fact, have they ever? It’s dental records dummy!
  • Bruce is going to really sit around with a messed up leg for 8 years? Even if he wasn’t going to be Batman anymore, he would have done something about that.
  • And even if he wouldn’t have, Alfred wouldn’t have sat idly by for 8 years while his surrogate son became an invalid recluse.
  • You had 5 months to disable this bomb and you wait until 24 hours before it’s set to go off to disable it?
  • How the hell did Bruce get back into Gotham????
  • Why the heck did Miranda/Talia sleep with Bruce? She already had what she wanted before she kissed him. What was her motivation as she had no reason to seduce him since she already had the company and the device? If this was supposed to be the set-up to make the “cut” burn deeper when she betrayed him, maybe they should have actually made it seem as if Bruce fell in love with her. And, maybe she should have said something about playing him out. Instead, their tryst simply appeared a Playboy Bruce dalliance with no significance.
  • Speaking of Talia again, not once did she call Bruce, “Beloved.” Well, since they failed to develop their relationship in any meaningful way, I guess that would have seemed ridiculous in the context of this plot.
  • And back to Bruce being broke, the trade(s) that caused him to lose all of his money happened during a terrorist attack of Gotham Wall Street as a madman shot and killed multiple people and then took hostages. And he doesn’t get his money back because it was obvious fraud?

Oh well. To end on a good, happy note though (mind you, I get immense  joy in critiquing all that’s wrong in a movie/show … especially when I can do it with/among friends who feel the same ;)), I still want these socks:

They glitter … ooooooooh.

And these too, as a matter of fact.

Actually saw these first. A friend took the pic to send to me ;).

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Did you see The Dark Knight Rises? If so, what did you think of it?

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17 responses »

  1. Pingback: Volume or Definition? That is the Question. « hairscapades

  2. Ok Shelli, see that’s why I like you girl, lol, you know your stuff! Although I’ve seen most of the Batman movies, I’ve never completely followed the comics or series, so I just base my view of the movie on what I remember from previous ones. My point being this, I really wanted to like Batman, and everybody that I know who has seen it has been crazy about it so I thought something was seriously wrong with me when I only felt lukewarm about it. I would never admit that to a die hard fan because I don’t want to get beat on, lol, but I liked the Dark Knight way better than this one. I definitely feel what you are saying about how they could’ve done more with Two Face’s character and I really couldn’t STAND Maggie Gyllenhal, but of course Heath Ledger made the movie for me. I NEVER liked Bale’s Batman voice, I always laugh at it. PLUS, I kept waiting to see more of Bane’s backstory since he seemed like he could’ve been an awesome villian from the previews, but that also went ka-put. To say that I saw the movie on Friday night and can’t remember half of it shows how much it left to be desired. I just couldn’t admit that to anyone because so far no one else has felt like I have. Good to know that I’m not the only one 🙂

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  3. Ok! See we on the same page! I was talking to my brother the other night about the man and I felt confused trying to explain to him how I felt about the movie! LOL. IT was like I liked it cause there was a lot of action and the movie reminded me of Arkham Asylum (A Batman video game. Both 1 & 2 were awesome!) BUT!!! the major issues for me were the characters!
    First off, they did get Bane’s character right as far as being intelligent and super strong. But the mask? Really? I would have rather they brought back that same Bane they used from the 90s Batman Forever (The one with Poison Ivy) and teach him how to talk!
    Catwoman was a disappointment for me! I give Anne Hathaway her props for trying to bring her own twist. However, she was not cutting it for me with seductiveness. Catwoman oozes sex appeal and Hathaway didn’t. She felt more like a woman scorn than a villain who is a klepto and just loves to live on the wild side. And I totally agree with the fact that her & Batman’s chemistry was almost non-existent until the very end which is stupid because there is suppose to be a sexual energy between the two almost every time they encounter each other.
    ALFRED ABANDONING BRUCE WAYNE/BATMAN IS A BIG HELL TO THE NAH!!! Alfred NEVER leaves! Regardless what Batman decides to do!
    ANOTHER MAJOR FLAW WAS THE BATMAN SUIT! After Bane breaks Batman he was suppose to upgrade his suit & lose the cape (I think if I remember correctly. Definitely remember the upgrade tho). He climbs out of the pit & puts back on the same damn suit?????
    And who the hell is Robin John Blake? In the movie they hinted towards him being Robin but I’m like….”I never heard of a John Blake being Robin?? Maybe he might be the future Nightwing??”

    As far as it being a closure….it did ok job. It was entertaining at best! But satisfying to those who are true or even semi DC comics fans it was really lacking! And I am happy that I am not the only one who felt somewhat cheated from this movie. .

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    • April, I TOTALLY agree with you on Hathaway’s catwoman. I really like her as an actress and I think she is talented, but she does not have/give the sex appeal that is supposed to ooze and be unmistakable for catwoman. IMO Michelle Pfiefer was awesome as cat woman. She definitely was seductive and could easily use it to catch a man off guard and run away with the family jewels. Hathaway and Bale seemed more like brother and sister to me, and that kiss was just akward.

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  4. Shelli, thank you! I thought I was a bit of a hater for not loving the movie like so many other people. I was just so underwhelmed. It held my attention for 2 hours 44 minutes but so did not live up to the standard set by the first two movies! Overall disappointed and did not warrant me rushing out on opening weekend, standing in line and all that jazz.

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  5. I couldn’t stop laughing at all the points you brought up in your list – you hit home on a lot of the holes.

    I didn’t get too excited about DKR on purpose, and I’m kinda glad I didn’t. The movie had a lot of great elements, but it lacked cohesion.

    My biggest issue, though, was Bat Bale. Since the beginning I was unhappy about him playing Bruce/Batman, and not even because of his bat-voice, but because he doesn’t come off as a convincing Bruce. He doesn’t have the sex appeal, confidence or intimidating essence to make me believe that his other side is a scary, crime-fighter. (SPOILER) I mean, look at when he get’s his behind handed to him by Tate at the charity event. She dupes HIM? Makes HIM look like an idiot? I’m sorry, but Bruce PLAYS inept and aloof – he’d have known from the get-go what was going down…but I digress. Bruce isn’t intimidating enough and Batman is an MMA fighter who likes to dress up and punch people. They don’t write him as a genius (That’s FOX) and they don’t make him a detective (Commissioner Gordon). The elements that make the Dark Knight awesome weren’t there.

    I did like Bane, though. Maybe it’s just my unhealthy infatuation with Tom Hardy (sexy goodness), but I was able to look past the voice problem and really liked his character. His face…err…eyebrows translated a lot of the emotion and sarcasm for the character – I think Tom executed Bane pretty well, given what he had to work with.

    Anne Hathaway has my respect, pulling off a decent catwoman. From the get-go I thought she was a strange choice for the part, and though she did a good job, she was definitely a different Selena from past incarnations. She and Bale were really awkward, more like kissing-cousins or really messed up brother and sister. Their scenes had almost a campy quality to them (especially in the tunnel, I rolled my eyes to the back of my head during that entire scene).

    I would have liked to see more of the commissioner and expected to get some more development with Blakes’ character (speaking of, where the heck was he at the end of the movie?!).

    It seems like the overall consensus for the movie is “Meh”.

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  6. All I have to say is #4, 5, 8, 11, 13-16, 18 & 19 are so very true. I didn’t realize this until I read this but you are so right. I also loved April’s comment so true because I loved Heath as Joker. And the Bat & the Cat were just off but I wasn’t surprised because I had VERY low expectations for Anne considering nothing about her screams or even whispers sexy; but I do like her other movies. I whole heartily agree w/ Keedy because Michelle P. will always and forever be my favorite Cat because she had the crazy sexy sassy thing down to purrfection ( sorry I couldn’t resist=p ).

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  7. Shelli, you are absolutely hilarious!! I don’t know who was funnier you or the guy who had 70 reasons why the movie sucked. You both pointed out some obvious flaws… i personally thought it was decedent.(I don’t think I have ever read a comic book in my life, LOL!!!) BTW, I saw it twice, once with my dad, then with my fiancé.

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  8. Y’all are hurting my heart here, I LOVED the movie I thought is was perfect conclusion to Nolan’s trilogy. Which I think people people forget. Nolan used the comics as inspiration, but he didn’t want to make a copy of them, he wanted to retell the story, the whole story of Batman. Shelli I do agree with you on one thing: I’m really upset they didn’t explain how Batman got back into Gotham.

    But I loved, loved Anne Hathaway as Selena she had a really get take on her. Sexy enough but not overtly so. She was a great foil for Batman and a perfect love interest. Rachel, was too perfect for him she fit more of the Bruce persona than the actual Batman persona. While Selena was flawed: selfish yet kind, tough yet gentle. She actually understood Batman and could relate to him in way no other women could.

    In the first move Ra’s mission was to reset Gotham. The people (the rich) became to opulent they were slaves to their greed. He mentions that the League of Shadows, burned Rome (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Fire_of_Rome) and London (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/London_fire) because both had to become selfish and to big. He wanted to return them both to the people. Talia took up her father’s mission but instead decided to just destroy Gotham as the world watched. So that the world could know that the greed of others and those in power can understand how easily it can all be taken away.

    I was super happy about the inclusion of both Cotillard and Hathaway. We have a real powerful female villain. One so powerful she is actually the force behind Bane and the hysteria created in Gotham. She was able to manipulate Bruce, Fox, and Alfred into trusting her and believing in her. When really she’s the one they really need to fear. Also Hathaway isn’t just used as some babe for Batman to fall in love with, she has her own motivations: a new life. We can assume that she had to steal to survive as a child/teen and ended up with a wrap sheet as a consequence. She wants to start over but can’t cause who’s going to trust and hire a convict.

    I’m sorry you were so disappointed with the movie. But don’t fret there’s going to be another soon, since the Justice League movie is coming out in 2015.

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  9. First of all, I’ve been coveting those socks for a while. Second, thanks for the review, maybe I’ll wait for the DVD release. Oddly, after I read this post yesterday, Superman/Batman: Public Enemies was on the Cartoon Network (here in Canada) and I thought of you 🙂

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  10. Pingback: Shrinkage & Return of the Pre-Poo Big Bun « hairscapades

  11. I love ur posts. However i loved the flick. Thought it was better than the previous. Bane was the truth…probably a true villain. The comic book series can answer a lot of ur concerns regarding plot (batman broken, etc) w some exceptions.

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    • Thanks LC:). As to the books answering my concerns, not exactly certain what you mean? Are you talking about KnightFall (and Broken Bat)? I referenced that in my post … I own/read the series. I also read a decent amount of No Man’s Land, which I think was also partially borrowed for the plot of DKR. So, not sure what concerns they would answer? My issues are mostly with the hole-riddled plot and the lack of character development. I also think, at the end of the day, Bane was a lackey … and hence, became impotent. Bats didn’t even defeat him, Catwoman did. That’s one of the failings as well … Bane humiliated and crippled Bats, but he didn’t ultimately defeat Bane, Catwoman did. Now, I know Batman would never kill, but he didn’t have to kill Ra’s al Ghul or Joker and he still was the one to defeat them. Really, when I first saw the movie, I was underwhelmed as it ended. Now, I think that it was really bad. I’m a bit of a Batman purist I guess and this movie failed to deliver on the basic tenet of Batman. Batman is forever seeking justice for his parents … a justice that he can never truly attain … and so he will be Batman, he will fight for justice to the grave. You can change a lot of things, re-imagine events and characters … but you can’t mess up the raison d’être of the character. Also, here’s another whole plot. Bane was super strong … he was punching through brick walls. They wanted him to be realistic and not pump him up with venom … but there is no real explanation for his inhuman strength. We are just to accept that the mask does nothing but hold back the pain. Seriously, how hard would it have been to use the premise of injected steroids or an adrenaline drug are pumped into him through that mask? Okay, I’m ranting again!! LOL!! Sorry LC … I have spent the last week with my comic book nerd friends and we have dissected many aspects of the film and all of us have found it lacking. So … I’ve been on a roll!!

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