*Fair Warning: SPOILER HEAVY REVIEW*
Does the Nolan Batman films end on the most epically high note ever? …No, but TDKR is still really good!
In my Top Ten…Movie Trilogies list I did a few months back, I preemptively listed Nolan’s Batman trilogy in the list as Number 10, even without The Dark Knight Rises coming out for release at the time. Well it has come out, tragically it become a bigger deal for its opening weekend for something other than its box office numbers. But now we can look back at Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, and The Dark Knight Rises as a complete trilogy and … it’s a powerful trilogy for one of the biggest and greatest heroes in all of comics, Batman.
I really like Batman Begins, its in my opinion the best origin film that has been made. The Dark Knight…is amazing. Backed by a powerful performance by the late Heath Ledger as the iconic Joker, that movie goes well beyond comic book movie status, to just being remembers as an all around great film. So how does TDKR stack up in comparison? It’s not The Dark Knight. Now that is not an insult to the film, it just can’t follow up the great sequel and to be honest I never thought it could, for the sole reason that Bane, Catwoman, and Talia al Ghul combined don’t equal the single great performance of The Joker.
My problems with TDKR don’t out weight my joy from the film, but for arguments sake, these are my three biggest problems with the film:
1) 3 Hour Batman film. Nolan has been met with such success in his career, that I fear no studio has the balls to tell him to trim his films. This movie has no reason to be as long as it is, there is at least a good 20 minutes that could have been left on the editing room floor and the time does take a toll near the middle of the film and as we get to the ring of numerous false endings.
2) Where is The Joker? I understand that Nolan wanted to respect Heath Ledger’s memory and all, but this entire film is predicated on the events of TDK and those events were set in motion by The Joker. A throwaway line about Joker being in Arkham or …something. Just something. It felt like a huge elephant in the room, where we saw something about every single bad guy in the previous films but The Joker.
3) Most importantly how the fuck does John Blake deduce that Bruce Wayne is Batman by a chance meeting 15 years ago and a smile? That’s all it takes? Batman has been spending close and personal time with Commissioner Gordon and he is made out to look like a fool if he couldn’t figure it out as quickly and easily as Blake did. Catwoman has seen BOTH Bruce Wayne and Batman up close and personal and couldn’t figure it out and she is a master jewel thief with a pretty good I.Q. It just bugs the living hell out of me.
Now with all those nit-picky complaints, you might think I didn’t enjoy the movie, but I did. I really did. I think Anne Hathaway easily stole every scene she was in as Catwoman, a interpretation of the character that is nothing like Michelle Pfeiffer’s from Batman Returns, but in a good way. Two completely different, but excellent versions of the original feline fatale. Bane was an excellent choice to follow up The Joker, because he is more powerful in both mind and brawn, giving Batman probably one of the worse beat downs this side of Batman & Robin that I have ever seen. It was just … brutal. I started to feel uneasy watching Bane crack Batman’s cowl with fist after fist.
The movie though is more dedicated to the rising of John Blake aka Robin from street cop to the new Dark Knight…or maybe its Nightwing? Either way a good portion of the film shows how Blake learns from being a beat cop to a detective to finally taking the steps to become a vigilante in wake of Bruce Wayne’s death….
… he didn’t really die. Just in the publics eye, as Bruce really retires with Selina to Italy, finally giving up the mantle of the Bat once and for all…that is until WB reboots and recasts a new Batman film in probably 4 years.
Either way, this is the final addition of Chris Nolan’s Batman trilogy and maybe I will updated my top ten trilogy list to reflect where I now think his trilogy should stand after seeing the final piece of the puzzle.
I give it an EIGHTout of a TEN, on the scale of film merit and overall quality.
But I also give it a BANES VOICE out of TEN, on the scale of how much that voice kept taking me out of the film, as I thought I was listening to Christopher Walken speak.