The Official Star Trek Movie Forum

The Official Star Trek Movie Forum > Star Trek > Off Topic Discussions > Dark Knight Rises Review (Spoilers)
Register FAQ Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 07-22-2012, 10:18 AM
Saquist's Avatar
Saquist Saquist is offline
Fleet Admiral
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 11,257
Default Dark Knight Rises Review (Spoilers)

Last night it seemed I was the only one anywhere that did not see Dark Knight Rises but it was alleviated quickly enough. I told myself month prior that this film had a unlikely chance of succeeding over Chistopher Nolan's second batman film so that my expectations would not be too high. I was expecting something akin to Batman Begins. Nonetheless I was greatly anticipating this film.

Pros:
While Nolan continues to use the same actors in different genre films this film clearly shows why that can be a good call. Michael Cain continues to deliver powerful professional level scenes and dare I say his best performance as Alfred to date. Batman himself (Bale) also delivers what I call his first serious portrayal as both Batman and Bruce Wayne and Maybe that's because this film finally takes it to such a level that it's necessary. In the previous film Batman was not so much the main character as he was minor antagonist but Nolan does not forget what he dole out to Wayne. He continues here with the dramatic results of a Batman post Joker.

Character Pros
As much as I dreaded seeing Hathaway play Catwoman I was once again pleasantly surprised at the non conventional yet conventional approach of the character. I miss Tim Burton's Catwoman but this one was either right on par or mabe even exceeding Pfeiffer's fantastic mentally confused Miss Kitty. Hathaway was firm and beguiling, and actor withing an actor. I was strangely reminded of the brutal honesty that cats are known for, to never betray who they are and what they want. I aplaud Nolan's choice of catsuit costume. It was completely functional even with it's own pair of Cat Ears that were actually Vision goggles. This is one of the best aspects to the Nolan Batman Series the incredible ability to use function in the look of the film stripping away the pretense of a comic book and allowing you to walk unchanged from your world to Gotham.

Story Pros
This film come full circle. It started with Ra's al Ghul and it ends with Ra's al Ghul. This is a good effect because the Second film had little in the form of plot related to the first film. In an interesting turn he uses the last film instead of the second to connect them all. Nolan does this with quite a few characters. and it seems all for the purpose of directly touching Bruce Wayne who has finally arrived as a main character in this trilogy. We truly focus on Wayne the man and not the playboy Vigilante. lastly but not least I enjoyed the use of humor in this film. The last film was so intense and dark it seemed time to lighten up the character interactions especially among Gotham's finest so much kudos for Nolan seeing this need and filling it tastefully. I also enjoyed one "Easter Egg" of bane holding Batman up in the air and breaking his back as was done in the Comic. That's such a great touch and tip of the hat as you can almost forget all this is actually a comic book story.

Story Cons
Nolan has quite a few story aspect to put together so you're in for a another 3 hour adventure. This time though he doesn't succeed quite as seamlessly as he did in the previous outing. I suspect Nolan may have been rushed. The order of the scenes is problem-matic as well as the necessity of the scenes has to be taken into question. I question if we really needed to see Alfred's vision of Bruce Wayne onscreen. It disrupts the flow even if it adds an emotional content to the characters powerful performance. It adds to the jumble of the arcs from the Dent story arc it starts with to Catwoman's, Gordon's, Blake's Banes and Ra's al Ghul's. In many cases this seen would have been a pivtoal point in the film where the character makes a grand decision but this one is just a heart string. It serves to lead us to the characters final decision of what will be Batman's fate. Normally I think that's fine but here in this particular order it seems misplaced. There were other scenes aswell that must be questioned by either use or order, Blakes attempt to get the children out of the city, the Officer that want to stay with his family, the Ra's al Ghul tunnel training flash backs for Bane and Batman. It think these factors as well as a relatively weak Nolan Climax amke it the least powerful of the Batman Nolan Series.

Character Cons

Everyone has been telling me that from the previews this voice was terrorizing and scary as Jokers in the previous film. I never felt that. Watching it I felt it even less. While Bane was better than I though he'd be. (ye of little faith) he still seemed perfunctory and that's because he was actually the muscle of the film and not the mind behind it all. Because they wait so long to reveal this i sense Bane falls a bit flat.

Cons
In general I was excited to watch but I was always in anticipation of a big finally and it didn't seem to fully materialize but there were many senes that override this in the form of moral and litteral victories of the characters and events. ( I will also point out some problems with using Fusion as the the Golden Egg of this film. It doesn't produce radiation from it's fuel, nor is it's fuel particularly cataclysmic like a Fission reactor would be. And I doubt the Bat could travel six miles in 2 minutes as a hover craft hybrid. That's 360 miles per hour and the detonation was much further than six miles from where they lifted off.) But thankfully it's not as much as a Deus Ex as some films have become known for and I congratulate Nolan on a Legendary Series of Films.
__________________

Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 07-22-2012, 10:25 AM
kevin's Avatar
kevin kevin is offline
Federation Councillor
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: East Kilbride, Glasgow, UK
Posts: 21,077
Default

We're ahead of ya............come on over!
__________________
'If the Apocalypse starts, beep me!' - Buffy Summers
'The sky's the limit.....' Jean-Luc Picard, 'All Good Things'


courtesy of Saquist
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 07-22-2012, 11:29 AM
Saquist's Avatar
Saquist Saquist is offline
Fleet Admiral
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 11,257
Default

For those that have the time. (Hopefully like yourself Kevin) I'd like to encourage you to write out a full review of your opinion on the film and perhaps use the other thread to discuss the details more thoroughly. It's a chance to put all your thoughts together in a full summary and gives us all the opportunity to see each other perspective uninterrupted.
__________________

Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 07-22-2012, 11:35 AM
samwiseb samwiseb is offline
Commander
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 1,207
Default

I think it's already too late for me to do such a thing, unfortunately. I can't think of anything original to add.
__________________

Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 07-22-2012, 12:01 PM
Roysten's Avatar
Roysten Roysten is offline
Commander
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Yorkshire, England
Posts: 918
Default

I'll take you up on that Saquist, I'm not always the most articulate but hopefully I'll put a few comments that get people thinking. Can't say I disagree with you much, lets give it a go...

Pros:
I liked how the opening painted the story, set in the near future after the dust has settled, I liked how the uneasy peace was basically created from a lie and that it weighed heavily on Gordon and that Bruce seemed to have faded as a person since hanging up his cape, never quite moving on. I enjoyed his exchanges with Alfred, who recognised him to be wasting his life. Think I'll be of a different opinion to some here but until the end I thought Bane was an effective character, he was very different from the joker, was physically imposing, had a commanding, impressive voice (which was mostly understandable IMO) and came across as intelligent yet ruthless, not completely predictable either which was good. I thought Hathaway's Catwomen was effective, she played it sexy without just being a pouting bimbo onscreen, I agree with Saquist's appraisal of her costume, IMO a nice nod but not over the top and stupid, functional rather than just 'a costume'. She was a nice foil for Bruce/Batman and added a volatility to an otherwise quite cerebral set of characters. I liked Levitt's character arc, being initially exasperated by the other seemingly incompetent and spineless officers then taking things into his own hands. The actions sequences were, unsurprisingly decent and fun to watch, Batman's defeat was well done and painful to watch. The climax at the end built up well to the mushroom cloud. I'm glad that in this lengthy film they didn't spend too much time in the aftermath with quite quick yet effective scenes depicting the end result of all the chaos.

Cons:
First thing which was an initial reaction to the film and something I mentioned in the other thread... It's too long! 164 minutes, I get the feeling it could have been longer but Nolan just tried to fit too much in and ended up diluting many of the points he wanted to make. Gordon's guilt of living the lie was never perused, the US's response to terrorists threats is just not explored at all, we're just left to believe that they'd keep sending supplies to the city until... when? Would have been nice to have seen the discussion and struggles there, I personally would have liked to have seen more about Alfred's grief and his decision making process in leaving. This may be controversial but I'd have taken out Catwoman altogether, I agree with Kevin in that she seemed to be there simply to forward certain plot points, her own redemption arc is left wide open and instead she takes up a fair amount of airtime which could have been achieved easily enough without her. Bane being the henchman... it just invalidates him as a character and so he may as well have just not been there either, thinking about it everything he did could have been achieved by another of the mercenaries and instead he simply becomes the physical foil for batman, shame really as I really didn't think he was that bad. Between Bane and Talia I still don't think you have a villain of the caliber of Ledger's Joker, tough act to follow though and I can see they were going for something different. What really bothered me about Talia was that I really fail to understand her motivation for wanting to kill everyone including her and her followers to what... get revenge on batman for killing her dad, didn't really buy that, which kind of undermines the whole premise for me in some ways. As for Bruce's recovery, I actually think they did it quite effectively but I still felt like singing Eye of the Tiger as he was doing his press-ups and situps.

Overall I'm thinking 7/10, a lot to like, but just enough to make you frown that it can spoil certain bits of it for you.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 07-22-2012, 12:02 PM
kevin's Avatar
kevin kevin is offline
Federation Councillor
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: East Kilbride, Glasgow, UK
Posts: 21,077
Default

Let's see........

Overall, I find it fine that the film brings the story back around to the League of Shadows and that's fine. A trilogy should have a bit of that element to it, even if in TDKR the plot elements become too silly at times.

As I said in the other thread, the problem I have with Catwoman (although she's never actually called that) is that to me she isn't there because the film itself truly needs her in it. She's there because Rachel was blown up in the last film and Nolan needs to give Wayne someone to get away with. But they don't have any chemistry and I don't buy that there's a depth of relationship there that she would be the person to end up in the sunset with Bruce. I don't think Hathaway was bad in her performance but she was a little too polished looking to accept that she was made the way she was by Gotham and it's 1% problems. Plus her sidekick could have been cut from the film totally.

I liked Levitt as Blake but again, I didn't buy his story for how he knew Wayne was Batman. It's there as a convenience in the plot because Nolan (again) needs someone to pass the Batsuit to at the end, so someone has to figure out who he is. But then if you stop and look out it seems unrealistic that nobody else (even Gordon) never once correlates the appearance/disappearance/reappearance of Bruce Wayne and Batman are always linked events.

Is Blake the only observant person in Gotham? Maybe.

Bane was a letdown and the reveal of Tate as Talia was too last minute in the film. However, for me, I think people would not have been totally surprised by how that played out if only because Marion Cotillard is playing her. And Marion Cotillard in a Nolan film is not merely playing a member of the Wayne Enterprises Board, so I think your 'alert' sensors would be on to her early that something is afoot.

I've already outlined the problem that I think Bane suffers as a result of the reveal he's nothing more than a henchman. I wasn't overly scared by him because of the voice that seemed to get a bit cartoony at times. Is it wrong that I sat unmoved when Batman was beaten by him?

Caine's work I liked, even if he vanishes for the whole middle of the film, and I actually felt some emotion at his scenes. And Bale was always solid in the role and that's no different here.

I've never thought that Nolan's Batman films were devoid of silliness, logic issues but it seems here that they stand out as being sillier than previously. Or maybe that's because it's fresh in my head. The ticking time bomb plot is very rudimentary in it's nature and I could wonder just a few things about the logistics of how Bane was able to set up the city so seemingly easily (again, sudden presence of cartoon corporate rival notwithstanding) to be cut off (fair enough on the concrete infrastructure but bridges are made of Steel so how did he rig ALL the bridges in Gotham simultaneously? It's not something that needs an attempt an at answer but still, it came to mind as I was watching it, much like how Bruce actually got back into Gotham).

I don't have any problem with the themes that are in the film but I found it so unsubtle and blunt that while he throws a lot in there he doesn't really pay any of it off. Economics seems to be the big one as terrorsm was in the last one, but he leaves a lot of jumble in his wake as he blows stuff up.

Like Roysten, I thought one underdeveloped aspect was Gordon's conscience over what had happened in the city since the night of Dent's murder and the lie that had been propagated ever since to protect Gotham. We see that has taken a toll on him but again (and the whole idea of Gordon making a big speech in the first place in public didn't feel right either) it's kind of left until one scene with Blake.

And yet, it really isn't that I didn't enjoy it on a basic level of blockbuster entertainment. I just think that what the film is stating is that Nolan had less to give this time around and made some slips that he didn't end up correcting. I mean, Bane's death is just a total 'I can't be bothered now to do any better' and even Tate's final speech is like one of those Dr Evil speeches in Austin Powers before she finally expires amusingly.

If this were from another film-maker it would probably seem fine, but I do think Nolan was capable of better.
__________________
'If the Apocalypse starts, beep me!' - Buffy Summers
'The sky's the limit.....' Jean-Luc Picard, 'All Good Things'


courtesy of Saquist

Last edited by kevin : 07-22-2012 at 12:05 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 07-24-2012, 10:33 PM
chator's Avatar
chator chator is offline
Commander
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 1,261
Default

I'm not going to give a full length review. I'm just going to say a few things. First, my main problem with the film was the editing. I didn't feel it was too long, as I quickly became engrossed in it, but it did feel like Nolan was squeezing a lot of story into 2 hours and 45 minutes. I would have preferred it if they had spent the first half hour building up the Bane character, then next show us Wayne and Gotham post-Dark Knight, then we can get Bane terrorizing, and lastly Wayne deciding to return as the Batman. Instead, I felt Batman's return came too quickly, before the Bane threat had fully materialized. One thing I like about Nolan's previous Batman films is that the Batman only makes an appearance when really needed. He isn't there to take care of every street thug, carjacker, like Spiderman. I'm not sure the John Blake character was really necessary, especially, since I think it is questionable WB will go forward with a Robin/Nightwing movie, as he isn't a big enough character. Foley, the Matthew Modine character was also kind of unnecessary. The secondary characters I liked were Selina Kyle/Catwoman and Alfred. Gordon should have had a bigger role, instead of being confined to a hospital bed for 1/2 of the movie. He should have had a bigger role in bringing back the Dark Knight, not John Blake. Talia should have been cut out, as she undercuts the Wayne/Kyle romance, and Bane as villain. She's simply there to provide an unexpected plot twist, I feel her scenes could have been reworked for Selina Kyle/Catwoman, as Blake's could have for Gordon. So the other problem besides trying to tell too big of a story is having too many secondary characters.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 08-05-2012, 09:12 AM
thestartrekker's Avatar
thestartrekker thestartrekker is offline
Lieutenant
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Ireland
Posts: 293
Default

I agree with some of the points above, and think that the movie is the weakest of the trilogy, that sometimes it feels like it was rushed or Nolan tried to squeeze too much in.

I think it would have been better as a stand alone film. Sure you can pick up where you left off, even 8 years later, but you could have a story with a life of its own rather than trying to tie the first two into this one. The efforts to do this seemed cumbersome and forced at times.

Ras and Scarecrow cameos were both a bit pointless.

Banes voice was fine and perfectly understandable, even if, as pointed out, became rather cartoonish at times, especially that opening scene on the plane. But as a villain he was underwhelming. Aside from the awsesome fight-scene where he breaks Batman, the sense of threat and menace never really materialised, certainly not after this scene. The dialogue, and its delivery, was as crucial as the action, and I found that scene really quite chilling. Compare that to the nonsense blabber he spouted to Gotham to rally the people. Trying to be political without really getting political, 'the oppressed' blah blah blah whine. Understand it was a ruse, and he didn't believe it as a character, but neither did I as a viewer. ( I think also some scenes are clearly cut short to achieve the pg13 rating, which had they been left in would have added to the threat. I'm thinking the neck snapping, Foley getting mowed down by the tumbler, the crowd being shot up etc.)

Yeah, the whole police force get trapped underground for 5 months they don't get out, no one helps them out la la la. Gothams finest best plan and tactic was a headlong charge at an angry mob. Mmmmm....

The ticking bomb, why not just take a nuclear reactor or something, instead of inventing a new bomb that you have to spend half an hour explaining?

Talia just undermined Bane, and like someone said the reveal was too late, and her motivations a bit forced, but when you insist on tying all the movies together in a forced way....

Catwoman put in a good performance, maybe the best of the movie, but her role was perfunctory and really served no purpose at all. Had they ditched her they could have made more of Rob..ahem..Blake.

Bane leaving Gotham to take Batman to a prison in India, and slips back into Gotham , as does Batman, and no one seems to stop either of them.?? Maybe I'm just knitpicking at this point.

'The Bat' while I agree with having it in principle, the design just didn't ring true or as feasible as the tumbler did, or the pod IMHO.

Batmans convenient bionic leg. Why hobble around for all those years when such a nifty, convenient, easy to use bit of gadgetry is lying around there.

Where was the pain relief in banes mask, it didn't seem connected to anything, and why didn't it smash up as easily in the first fight. What age is Bane supposed to be. Talia is say in her mid to late 30s. So Bane should be aged 20+ years depending on when she escaped the prison, just as she has aged. Did that make young Ras too young? And why are there so few Indian prisoners in an Indian prison?And all the failed escape attempts didn't add to the realism, just the running time.
Ok, whinge over, other than that an enjoyable film, but the weakest of the trilogy. 3 out 5 stars.
Roll on Bourne and Total Recall
__________________
You may find that having is not so pleasing a thing as wanting. This is not logical, but it is often true." Spock (Amok Time)

Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 05:43 PM.


Forum theme courtesy of Mark Lambert
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright © 2009 by Paramount Pictures. STAR TREK and all related
marks and logos are trademarks of CBS Studios Inc. All Rights Reserved.