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My "Dark Knight Rises" Review - **SPOILERS**

Discussion in 'The Okie Corral' started by jasonvp, Jul 21, 2012.

  1. jasonvp

    jasonvp Kantre Member Lifetime Member

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    Don't read further if you don't want to pick up any spoilers. You've been warned.

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    I snuck out of work yesterday afternoon and headed over to the matinee showing of The Dark Knight Rises. First, the trailers of note - one that was there and expected, and the other that wasn't there, but still expected. Nolan is producing a Superman reboot that will be released next summer. I fully expected a trailer for Man of Steel and wasn't surprised that it showed up. But, strangely, Warner Brothers didn't pick this movie to show a longer trailer for the upcoming Hobbit movie. I was fully expecting them to, but... nyet. Oh well.

    As for the movie: I knew full well that I'd enjoy it in its entirety, because Chris Nolan's vision of Gotham, Batman, and his supporting good-guy characters have been spot-on. I expected nothing less this time around.

    My concern with Nolan's vision has been the rogues gallery. NOT the actors that played the antagonists, NOR the way they played said. But the writing for them. I liked the way Ra's Al Ghul was written (even if they insisted on miss-pronouncing his name, dammit!). Dr. Crane's Scarecrow was also done fairly well. But the Joker? Ledger nailed it with what he was given, but I think he was given a big turd, unfortunately. I didn't like the character, really, at all. So knowing Bane is a big part of this movie, I was both wondering how, and worrying that Nolan would screw him up.

    And he did. Hardy's portrayal, based on the writing he was given, was fantastic. But the character development was just all... wrong. Like the Joker, it fit in with, well, basically, none of the canon. Bane was never part of the League of Shadows, as portrayed in the movie. He may have crossed paths with Al Ghul in the past (I'm not sure,) but working together with them? And as little more than a hired thug, no less... Um, no.

    I was fully expecting to see Talia Al Ghul at some point in Nolan's franchise. He dropped a hint of it in the first movie, so I expected to see her, and she did show up. I'm not sure I agree with the actress that played her. She's pretty enough, but Talia is supposed to be another blazing hottie. And this actress, Marion Cotillard, just isn't. She isn't ugly, by any stretch. But she's no Talia.

    On the flip side, Nolan's writing of Selina Kyle and Catwoman were spot on. Just enough of a tease for both Bruce and Batman, but you could never really tell which side of the fence she'd fall on. They did that fairly well (and Anne Hathoway is smokin' hot).

    Rogues aside, I was also a little concerned about some of the hints that were dropped in trailers, interviews, and whatnot. Sure enough, they panned out. Alfred leaves Bruce's service? Um.. no. Not... ever. Bruce shuts himself into a wing of his home for eight years due to Dent's death and other circumstances surrounding the second movie? No no... that's not Bruce Wayne. And of course the police have become so powerful that Batman isn't needed during these same eight years? Yeah... Hey Nolan, is this the same Gotham you wrote about in the first two movies?

    Later in the movie we see Bruce Wayne's fortune literally get ripped to shreds, along with Wayne Enterprises. All due to him being outsmarted and outmaneuvered. It makes for interesting story telling, but again it doesn't fit with the canon properly. There's no way in hell anyone would outmaneuver him and drain his fortune like that. One of the defining characteristics of the man is his ability to out-think anyone, and to always have backups for his backups.

    Those were the bits I didn't care for (as much) in the movie. It may sound like I'm crapping all over it, and that's not my intent. As a whole (like the other 2), it was spectacular. Absolutely stunning visuals and overall story-writing, even if I didn't agree with the details. They did a great job, top to bottom, and this is a good wrap-up for the franchise.

    Are we going to see more of Bale as the Bat? It's questionable, but I'm doubting it. The only saving grace may be: the aforementioned Man of Steel movie. With Nolan producing it (but Zack Snyder directing... so it can go very, very badly...) there's a chance it'll succeed where Superman Returns just fell flat. And with Nolan having say over both franchises, perhaps he can see fit to merge them at some point.

    jas