There’s a 90% chance that 98% of the people reading these words are planning on or already have seen Dark Knight Rises this weekend. You already know that yours truly made a point to go see the flick already.
One-sentence recap: the movie was damn awesome.
Unfortunately, none of my friends are nerdy enough to have seen it already, so I have no one to talk to about it except for you great people. So I’ve jotted down 10 quick notes about the movie. I understand that some of you haven’t seen it yet, so the points are broken up into two parts: non-spoiler points and spoiler points.
STRICT COMMENT RULES: I’ve opened up a spoiler thread at the bottom of the comments for us to discuss the things that the people that haven’t seen the movie won’t know about. Please adhere to only leaving spoilers in that thread. If not, we’ll have to do something drastic like block your comments for a week or leave flaming poo bags at your front door.
Feel free to come back throughout the weekend as you see the movie and join the conversation.
Enough talk. Let’s get into it:
1. I’ll have to watch a few times and let everything soak in first before I rank it amongst the other two movies, but the final chapter definitely at least holds up against its predecessors. While Dark Knight was a Hollywood darling and possibly a better overall movie, TDKR played better into the Batman ethos and is a damn enjoyable Batman movie. It’s almost impossible to compare them since they feel so totally different.
2. One aspect TDKR brings out that the series was drastically missing was Batman actually fighting. If you recall, in Dark Knight, Batman got beat up by Joker with a crowbar, German Shepherds, and Two-Face’s gun. In this final chapter, Batman is an ass-kicking machine and the fight scenes definitely bring out his fighting background. The only part of the Batman ethos they never quite captured in any movie was his ability as a detective, even though that didn’t quite have a place in this installment.
3. Admit it. You were skeptical about Anne Hathaway. Everyone was. But have no fear. She pulled Catwoman off and was the highlight of the movie every time she was on screen. The worst part about the first two movies was how annoying Batman’s female counterparts have been. Catwoman is different. Their chemistry is great and Hathaway is a stand-out.
4. Why are they rebooting this again? TDKR opens eight years after the end of Dark Knigh. I can’t help but think that we could have gotten at least two movies that capture those eight years. The follow-up has huge shoes to fill.
5. In case you’re worried: this doesn’t feel like a three-hour movie. Yes, TDKR clocks in at around two hours and 45 minutes, but the storyline moves pretty quickly. You just might want to
sneak a snack in your woman’s purse buy extra concessions though. After I saw Dark Knight I felt sort of exhausted and wanted to wait before seeing it again. With this movie, I want to go see it again tomorrow.
6. The scene where Bane beats the hell out of Batman haunts me. I almost couldn’t take it. Christopher Nolan managed to create a scene where a guy tears Batman apart with his bare hands and the audience – instead of siding with the badass villain – watches on in complete terror. That fight scene, in which the soundtrack is faded out, is the best scene of the whole trilogy. Easily. And I did, in fact, lose my mind when they had Bane actually break Batman’s back.
7. This movie could have used Heath Ledger returning as Joker. Just imagine how kicked up the chaotic scenes in Gotham would have been if the Joker was adding his own dose of bedlam. His role didn’t have to be big, but I think a small cameo would have given the Blackgate prisoners a voice. I think if Ledger were still alive, the creators would have worked him in without a hiccup. He would have definitely fit in better than Matthew Modine’s character who was just kind of there.
8. Scarecrow was defeated by a taser. Two-Face fell off a ledge. Bane went out like he did. If there’s one major gripe about the series it’s that the way the villains were ultimately defeated left a lot to be desired.
9. You can’t have Batman without Robin. And you can’t have Robin in 2012 without things getting weird. However, those brilliant bastards figured out a way to integrate the Robin character in a way that didn’t come off as contrived while also playing directly into Tim Drake’s origin almost directly. I halfway expected him to turn into Nightwing by movie’s end.
10. How cool was it that they used Roland Daggett, a villain that first appeared in Batman: The Animated Series? That show deserves so much credit for where it pushed the Batman franchise, and Nolan providing a callback to the series is a nice little Easter egg for those of us that grew up on the show.