A blog by the staff of the Thomas Ford Memorial Library
Christopher Nolan’s vision of Batman has created a new trilogy that brought us back to a darker, grittier Gotham City. All three films, for the most part, have been highly praised for their incredible storytelling, action and visuals, not to mention the actors’ performances, especially Christian Bale. As the final chapter in the trilogy, THE DARK KNIGHT RISES is not as strong as the first two, but still delivers where it’s most important.
I’ve been a Batman fan ever since I saw the first film that Tim Burton did with Michael Keaton. After Joel Schumacher took hold of that franchise there was a steady decline in the quality of Batman films, but I hung in there despite that fact. Nolan revitalizing the character was a breath of fresh air, to say the least. That was the kind of Batman I wanted: epic, flawed, conflicted, gritty and tragically heroic no matter what Gotham’s villains (or the city itself) did to him.
So despite a couple of issues that I had with TDKR, I personally still loved it. I thought the biggest problem was trying to fit such a broad story into one film. The intertwining arcs and storylines do occasionally get tangled up. Because it was so big, this didn’t feel like the conclusion to a trilogy. As some larger characters arcs were ending, others were just beginning or were barely explored.
The next biggest issue for me was Bane’s voice. While the filmmakers did the best they could to make sure the actor’s voice could be heard despite the awkward apparatus on his face, sometimes it’s still difficult to understand the actor, and I was often distracted by just how out of place his voice sounded, too.
The important thing to remember about THE DARK KNIGHT RISES is that it’s not really Batman’s story this time, it’s Bruce Wayne’s. And it’s not exclusively Wayne’s, because Officer John Blake (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), Selina Kyle (Anne Hathaway) and even Alfred (Michael Caine) all have, I would argue, equally important stories being told here. And I think those were done well, in a very compelling and satisfying way.
If you’ve already enjoyed BATMAN BEGINS and THE DARK KNIGHT, then there’s a good chance you’ll like RISES too even if it isn’t as strong as the first two. It’s still an action-packed, fantasy-thriller with interesting twists, great actors and amazing imagery.
Review by Rachel