Plot summary (from the studio): It has been eight years since Batman vanished into the night, turning, in that instant, from hero to fugitive. Assuming the blame for the death of D.A. Harvey Dent, the Dark Knight sacrificed everything for what he and Commissioner Gordon both hoped was the greater good. For a time the lie worked, as criminal activity in Gotham City was crushed under the weight of the anti-crime Dent Act.
But everything will change with the arrival of a cunning cat burglar with a mysterious agenda. Far more dangerous, however, is the emergence of Bane, a masked terrorist whose ruthless plans for Gotham drive Bruce out of his self-imposed exile. But even if he dons the cape and cowl again, Batman may be no match for Bane.
Warning: Major spoilers below!
- I thought Anne Hathaway was good as Catwoman. I know her performance has sparked debate, with most diehard fanboys hating it, but whatever. I’m not a diehard fanboy, just an average moviegoer. She was a light and fun character in a movie that desperately needed some balance to the darkness.
- I liked the John Blake character, too. He was smart and competent without being arrogant and overbearing.
- The action sequences felt right to me. Too often in summer blockbusters, they just drag on and on and on, with so many explosions and crashes going off left, right, and center that you can barely understand what’s going on. The action in TDKR was of appropriate length and filmed in such a way that the viewer could figure out what was happening.
- That prison was a nice touch. Bane was right that giving people hope against all odds is much more of a torture than shutting them away in a completely locked cell where they know they’ll die shortly. The whole “escape or die trying” thing intrigues me. I could imagine some people just procrastinating half their lives away saying “I’m not ready today, but surely tomorrow…”
- I liked the ending. Yeah, people are calling it a cop-out or whatever, but come on. This is a superhero movie and superheroes aren’t supposed to die! For those saying it goes against the “Batman as a symbol is greater than one individual” philosophy of the first two films, well, just because Bruce Wayne survived that doesn’t mean his beliefs are suddenly null and void. He didn’t have to die to prove the worth of Batman’s symbolism.
- Was it ever explicitly spelled out why Bane needed to wear that type of face mask? He got beat up at the prison for helping the girl, right? But even if his face was fully disfigured, why would he need a weird mask like that and why would it hurt to take it off? For that matter, why didn’t Batman try to rip it off when they were fighting?
- I hate political statements of any kind in movies, even if I happen to agree with them. All that Occupy crap was boring as hell.
- Did this movie really need to be 2hrs and 44 mins long??? No wonder some critics called it self-indulgent and bombastic.
- I don’t understand the point of having Blake turn out to be Robin. Is there going to be another Batman and Robin movie? I thought this was it for the Nolan/Bale combo. If not, then is there going to be a spinoff series featuring Robin alone? That doesn’t make sense to me because Robin is a freakin’ sidekick, not the leading man!
As a casual viewer/non-comic book reader, I was still able to appreciate The Dark Knight Rises on a superficial level. It was entertaining, had some good action sequences, and featured some decent acting performances. But at the same time, I felt the story could have been told more succinctly instead of dragging on for nearly three hours. I give this film 4 stars out of 5.