Saturday, 21 July 2012

The Dark Knight Rises - spoiler free

The trailer for The Dark Knight is my all time favourite and the film wasn’t too shabby either. There was much anticipation for The Dark Knight Rises trailer but it fell short of my expectations by quite some margin. I couldn’t warm to the previews and excitement for The Dark Knight Rises took a while to build.

PLOT: Eight years have passed since the events of The Dark Knight - crime in Gotham is non-existent, Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) is a reclusive shut in and Batman is hated for (supposedly) killing Harvey Dent. After Bane (Tom Hardy) arrives in Gotham and threatens to destroy everything it is up to Batman to save the city which has lost faith in him. END PLOT.

If The Dark Knight Rises were in less capable hands it would become nothing more than a hero trying to disarm a terrorist threat but luckily Christopher Nolan did not let us down.

After the events of The Dark Knight Bruce Wayne has been left injured and broken.  The Dark Knight’s Rise to being Gotham’s true saviour is slow paced but always utterly compelling. A running time of two hours forty minutes is rare but TDKR didn't waste a second as there were no scenes that felt like filler.

There are many interweaving subplots which all came together in the final act. To say there is a lot going on in the film is an understatement but it didn’t feel bloated or needlessly complex. I respect Nolan for making an intelligent film which requires the audience to pay attention.

Despite a few clunky moments of exposition and a rather unsubtle recap of The Dark Knight the dialogue can’t be faulted.

The tone of the film is bleak and hopeless and doesn’t let up until the credits roll. The overwhelming sense of despair lasted for the entirety of the film which made it emotionally draining. Happy endings are ingrained in my cinematic mind and the reality that I may not be seeing one unfold was hard to accept.

Christian Bale was overshadowed by Health Ledger in The Dark Knight. In TDKR he got his moment to shine and put in a very strong performance but he needed to – with such a large cast he spent quite a bit of time off screen so it was essential that his presence be felt as both Bruce Wayne and Batman.

I don’t know anything about the Batman comics so the announcement that Bane would be the villain was met with no reaction whatsoever. The casting of Tom Hardy was more exciting than the character he would be playing.  This concerned me as with comic book adaptations it should always be the other way around.

Hardy had the physical presence required to play Bane but it was almost an anonymous performance. The much publicised vocal problems were noticeable, not because I couldn’t understand him, but because his voice was so clear and precise it was patently obvious he had been dubbed. It was not subtly done and there were occasions when the voice didn’t seem to match Banes eyes and movements. If there was a fault to be found in The Dark Knight Rises it would be this aspect of Bane.

There was always a big question mark over Anne Hathaway’s casting as Selina Kyle but she was much better than expected.

The supporting cast of Gary Oldman, Morgan Freeman, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Marion Cotillard were all strong and provided solid grounded performances.

Despite the big names and much rumoured cameos it was Michael Caine who stole the show as Bruce Wayne’s loyal butler Alfred. Caine had the least amount of screen time but in the few scenes he had they were the most emotionally charged of the entire trilogy. I hope he is recognised with award nominations but I doubt he will be.

Aside from the football pitch explosion which was shown in the trailer the action felt real. A brutal fight between Batman and Bane was made all the more gritty as there was no music – it was scored by punches and pain.

I wasn’t overly keen on the score used in the trailer but it worked much better in the film. The familiar Batman theme and the “This is Gotham” chant blended very well together.

One of the best things about going to the cinema is the previews and there are some, now matter how often you see them, which will always give you goose-bumps.  It is rare to have goose-bump moments during an actual film but in The Dark Knight Rises there were several.

The Dark Knight Rises is probably the least enjoyable blog I have ever written as I don't want write a spoiler free review that no one will ever read - I want to talk about what an amazing piece of cinema I have just watched with my friends.

Is The Dark Knight Rises an absolutely perfect film? No.

Does The Dark Knight Rises bring the trilogy to an emotional and satisfying conclusion? Yes.

I think people simply have to ask themselves which is more important to them as film fans – for me it is without hesitation the latter.

Christopher Nolan has brought what will now be considered one of the modern greatest trilogies to an end and he made it look easy. The Dark Knight Rises can't must not be considered anything less than 10/10.


  1. Right on the same wave lenght, such a great movie!

    1. So glad we all enjoyed it!!

      It's going to be considered a classic in years to come lol!

      Thanks for reading as always

      K :-)

  2. Was there security in your theater? Glad you liked the movie.


    1. Have you seen it yet?

      There was a report on the radio that certain cinemas would conducting searches on people who were dressed up or were carrying big bags etc but I don't know if it happened.

      Aside from the shock of the shootings I don't think the shootings had any real effect on the cinema attendance here

  3. Good review Karina. This is a very brave piece of work here given by Christopher Nolan and he shows that he can pull-off a near-perfect trilogy, even if a lot of people don’t want to see him go. Hopefully, this means he’s off to doing more original pieces of work like Inception or The Prestige.