PG-13, 2 hr. 45 min. Directed By: Christopher Nolan. Release Date: Jul 20, 2012.
So yeah. I think The Dark Knight Rises was consumed a little bit by its own hype. It’s The Dark Knight plus eight years, and the outcome is more or less what we expected. New villain(s), new madness, same old Gotham. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed this, but I’m going to come out and say no to this as a Best Picture nominee this year unless a member of the cast suffers an untimely death, then I’d be willing to consider it (and, if I was an actor, I’d SERIOUSLY be reconsidering any offers to work in the 2015 Batman reboot that’s already in the works).
I’m going to start with the problems I had with this, mostly because there won’t be that many, and also because I’m sure there are a few folks who are just going to gush about this movie. Bane is the single biggest problem in this movie. Not Tom Hardy, but the imagining of Bane: the way he looked, the way he dressed, and ye gods, the way he talked. Listening to Bane talk made me want to punch kittens. It was like Sean Connery had the Ghostface voice changer and was getting to ask Marion Cotillard what her favorite scary movie was, but in the form of a double entendre. I also had a problem with potions of Michael Caine’s Alfred. Is it just me, or does he sound more Cockney with every passing installment of this trilogy? If he had said a word about kippers getting scuffed, my ass was out the door.
In terms of story, I thought this was… ambitious. Too ambitious. It tried to take on a lot, and in many ways was an excellent end to this trilogy. There were too many characters, too many moving pieces, and I found it a bit predictable. Not just about Batman, but about two-thirds of what I saw in the last thirty minutes or so of the movie. Despite that, I think Christopher Nolan did a hell of a job directing this movie. He also seems to have continued his trend of using Hitchcockian themes in movies that aren’t intended to be like anything Hitchcock ever directed. The impact to the suspense margin is marked. Unfortunately, the clues to the ending are a bit ham-fisted and appear frequently. About five minutes after I started piecing together the ending, the two Kevin Smith lookalikes behind me started talking about the ending. For a change, I failed to ruin the tale for anyone.
No matter what, this should be a movie seen on the big screen. I didn’t see a 3D option, but there wasn’t anything in this movie that would make 3D worthwhile. IMAX might be cool, though, especially since the scenes of Gotham are pretty great.
I’m not going to talk about this in conjunction with the shootings in Aurora, Colorado, except to say that the two aren’t linked in the way that I’ve seen the media claim. The mind behind this latest tragedy used the screening of this movie as a crowded venue. The movie didn’t spawn this act of violence, he had clearly been thinking about this before The Dark Knight Rises, and the movie gave him a venue to do this terrible thing, not a motive.
My sympathies go out to the people of Aurora who lost loved ones I feel terribly for the family of James Holmes. When this kind of thing happens, it’s a tragedy for all of us. Not to the same extent, but everyone should be taking stock this weekend.