Review | The Dark Knight Rises

Last night got a chance to check out the new Batman flick The Dark Knight Rises and in Comic Book Daily tradition, Scott and Anthony are going to go Head to Head and let you know what they thought of the movie. Be aware this will be full of spoilers so don’t read it you want to be surprised.

Anthony: First off, I should note that we saw this in an IMAX theatre and if you have the option definitely purchase an IMAX ticket. There is a full 72 minutes of IMAX footage and the size of screen and clarity of image is impressive, remarkable, and well worth the extra couple of bucks. The movie is also much brighter that previous installments (much of the action takes place during the day) and visually is reminiscent of Christopher Nolan’s other action epics. I did find some of the visuals looked very similar to Inception though, but it isn’t really a crime to steal from yourself.

Scott: Quite a bit of the film takes place during the day and it makes Batman’s costume look completely out of place; why dress in black body armour and a black cape when you’re out and about during a sunny afternoon? Previous Batman films have worked the “in the shadows, creature of the night” element but this time around he frequently looks out of place in his own movie. We do get to frequently see Bruce Wayne as himself; by the end of the film every major character in the film knows Bruce Wayne is Batman.

Anthony: I’m not sure that Batman needs a daywear look, although I’m sure that the toy companies will fully support your idea. I found the characters really drive this installment,  with rookie cop John Blake and Selina Kyle stealing every scene they are in. Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Anne Hathaway do a great job taking their roles and running with them. The Catwoman costume works well (I especially like that the ears fold down for infrared goggles), which is more than I can say for that monstrosity of a sleep apnea mask on Bane. Tom Hardy plays Bane well, has great dialogue, and is physically imposing in the role. But he looks ridiculous. And you can still only understand about half of what he says. I am puzzled as to why they didn’t just follow the drug-use from the comic. Maybe they wanted to distance this Bane from his last on-screen incarnation from Batman and Robin?

Scott: Character development seemed to be the focus and for the most part was successful. It felt like the end of a trilogy, with no loose ends. Bane was a great physical presence, portrayed as an older and more experienced version of Bruce Wayne, but was constantly muffled. They tell us he needs the mask otherwise he’s in constant agony, but later we learn his origin and only his head is wrapped in bandages so how does that work out. Batman hits the mask in the endgame fight, dislodging a few tubes on the front and that takes Bane down. The tubes are slipped back into place and he’s right as rain; no sense whatsoever. Mask is a total fail. A few times Bane is delivering a speech to a crowd and you can tell Tom Hardy is trying to put everything into it but all we can see are his eyes squinting.

Anthony: Yes, it did feel like the end of the trilogy and while there aren’t loose ends they leave the movie open to further sequels. I feel that the end also borrows from Inception in that it is slightly open to interpretation. All in all this was, as the previous films have been, a great movie and any faults are really only nitpicking. I don’t think that this movie will outgross Avengers but it will have a very solid showing at the box office.

Scott: Absolutely: I can see a Catwoman and a Robin/Nightwing/Batman movie easily coming off The Dark Knight Rises. It’s a solid film that presents a complete cast of characters working towards opposing goals.

Anthony: I also feel for the poor SOB that is going to helm the next Batman reboot that is slated to build to the Justice League movie. It might be a fantastic movie, but there is a larger chance that it will be inferior to the Nolan trilogy.

Scott: Fans seem ready for a character reboot every decade and this may be Batman’s best so far.

Scott VanderPloeg
Scott VanderPloeg

Scott works in I.T. but lives to eat and read. His other ramblings can be found at AE Index and eBabble. Art collection at Comic Art Fans.

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