Reviews

The Dark Knight Rises

5

Bat's all folks...

Luckily for everyone, there aren't many points of comparison between The Dark Knight Rises and Batman & Robin. But Christopher Nolan's epic and Joel Schumacher's epic fail do share something: scenes where you truly feel the love between Bruce Wayne and his ever-faithful butler Alfred.

Of course, Nolan's are a bit more understated. But they're the heart of the film, in a film with heart - not necessarily the first virtue you associate with the bedazzling Brit.

And yet, gruff, gritty and gothic though it is, TDKR may bring a lump to your throat that isn't popcorn-related. Its chief summer challenger Avengers Assemble may have bigger zingers, but this has one thing Whedon missed: emotional engagement; a genuine sense of jeopardy; deepening human drama. (OK, three things.)

Meanwhile, it also breaks from the Nolan norm in getting to grips with key, charismatic characters who aren't all blokes.
 
But before we let the cat out the bag, we want to make something clear: this is a Batman movie that's all about Batman. Where the previous chapter ceded the spotlight to Heath Ledger's movie-thieving Joker, this shifts it back on to Bruce as he faces his toughest mission yet: retirement.

"There's nothing out there for me," he mopes, eight years into self-exile following the dark night he took the rap for DA Harvey Dent's crimes.

Holed up in a rebuilt Wayne Manor and hollowed out, this is the most adrift we've seen the character on screen. (He's going grey, too.) Weighing a return to action against taking a new path, Bruce and Alfred debate Batman's future in tense, tender exchanges. You're hooked, and the fighting hasn't even started.
 
After a Bondian skyjack opening already familiar to Imax viewers of Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, Nolan goes small and noiry, a case of stolen pearls opening the door to deadlier misdemeanours. Before long, the movie's massive.

The director and his co-writer/younger sib Jonathan have cooked up their most ambitious scheme yet, bunging faith, idealism, social revolution (via Charles Dickens!) and a combustible crisis that could backbone an entire season of 24 into the blender.

As the scale and stakes balloon, Nolan maintains taut control; if anything the storytelling coheres sharper than The Dark Knight. The trick lies in holding fast to what he - and we - care most about: the cost to a (Bat)man's body and soul. This time, it's painfully personal.
 
Lest this all sound itchily introspective, rest assured: there's a ridiculous amount of cool shit here. "Boy, you are in for a show tonight," drools a fat copper as the Bat-pod burns back onto Gotham's streets, new tricks up its wheels.

There's also a rumbling return for the Tumbler(s), plus magnificent flying machine The Bat. Fanciful but functional, the latter's a winged symbol of what's best about Nolan's Bat-verse: the intelligently heightened realism that lets us buy the idea of a city enslaved by a half-naked muscle-man in an S&M mask. Particularly when he's played by Tom Hardy, whose Bane is a virile mix of brawn, brains and Brian Blessed (those filtered vocals proving mostly legible).
 
A bit camp? Wait till you see the fists of fury he lays on Bats in the film's smarting centrepiece.

The other new recruit from the costumed canon, Anne Hathaway's cat-burglar Selina Kyle (never referred to as Catwoman, unless our ears deceive us), also strays from kitsch. She's a bundle of spiky fun though - not a tragic misfit a la Michelle Pfeiffer, but a wily grifter nuanced enough in Hathaway's hands not to seem like she's just there to add a sexual frisson. Though she does that, too.
 
Top to toe, it's an ace ensemble, no one forgettable even if on screen for seconds here and there (hello, Matthew Modine). Joseph Gordon-Levitt essays solid, un-dull decency as honest cop John Blake, while Bruce's holy trinity of father figures - Gary Oldman, Morgan Freeman and moist-eyed Michael Caine - are at their warmest and sagest.

And Christian Bale? Never more vulnerable, likeable or willing to get his gloves dirty, pushing to new emotional depths for his final Gotham go-around.
 
And yes, it is The End, a resounding resolution for what Batman Begins begun. Threads from that film are picked up, lengthened and strengthened, bringing a staunch integrity - in every sense - to the overall arc.

Is it perfect? Factor in some clunky catch-up exposition near the start, a cringey log-fire love scene and moments where Hans Zimmer's score nearly foghorns the actors off the screen and the answer's no.
 
An even bigger question: is it up there with The Dark Knight? Not quite. The Joker in the pack still gives part two the edge. But there's no shame in coming second to Nolan's Michael Mann with masks masterpiece.

And rather than replaying it in your head, you'll be busy agog at Wally Pfister's cinematography (the harsh beauty of the city under snow); the seamless interweave of genres (police thriller, disaster movie, psychodrama); how Nolan implies brutality without riling the censor; or the equally sly way he slips in possibly controversial elements from the Bat-mythos without risking outrage.
 
Spider-Man 3, X-Men: The Last Stand, Blade: Trinity… third time's often the harm for superhero movies. Not on Nolan's watch.

Verdict:

A smart, stirring spectacle that faces down impossible expectations to pull off a hugely satisfying end to business. Boy, you’re in for a show tonight…

Film Details

User Reviews

    • Pearceyy96

      Jul 16th 2012, 8:46

      Wasn't at all convinced by the review and you rarely even spoke of the action. This is suppose to be the big action film of the trilogy? What was the action like?

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    • Senver

      Jul 16th 2012, 8:54

      I have been waiting for this 5 star review for a while, as your Nolan-worship has been apparant since this film was announced. Two things - "An even bigger question: is it up there with The Dark Knight? Not quite" So a four star review may have been more appropriate then? "Its chief summer challenger Avengers Assemble may have bigger zingers, but this has one thing Whedon missed: emotional engagement; a genuine sense of jeopardy; deepening human drama. (OK, three things.)" You are aware that Avengers Assemble wasn't Part 3 of a trilogy aren't you? Did Bruce Wayne seem in Jeopardy in any part of Batman Begins or The Dark Knight? I don't think you can compare the two films to be quite honest, you are comparing a film which is intended to be realistic with a film about super powered team of heroes who have to work together to defeat an Alien race. Please tell me Total Film, how could you instill a genuine sense of Jeopardy in a film like that? Seeing this on friday and I suspect it will be very good indeed however, I doubt it will be better than Avengers or the dark knight for that matter.

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    • mbembet

      Jul 16th 2012, 8:55

      5

      waiting for Nolan haters to make a stupid and funny coments

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    • sjholland87

      Jul 16th 2012, 10:08

      'And yes, it is The End, a resounding resolution for what Batman Begins begun.' Not from what I have seen. Why is everybody scared of criticising what is an awful ending? If it was any other film series, it would be picked up on and ripped apart.

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    • FBYVerrydt

      Jul 16th 2012, 10:16

      Excellent review. Tells nothing essential from the movie, yet it excites and teases to go and see TDKR. I don't expect a movie on par with TDK. But you can still give a five star review compared to the earlier, because TDK bumped the 5-star ceiling. It easily earned 6 or 7. So see it likes this, TDKR will (probably) be a 5-star movie, whereas TDK was a 6-star movie where the review was limited by review-score guidelines. Looking forward to this one. Nolan is one of the only directors that has yet to disappoint me.

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    • ChrisWootton

      Jul 16th 2012, 10:17

      Just wanted to say thanks TF.. this is the third BIG movie review (Avengers and Prometheus being the other 2) where nothing is ruined or given away, other reviewers will not be as courteous. I actually knew that I could read this review without worrying.. good job!

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    • Senver

      Jul 16th 2012, 10:21

      2

      'And yes, it is The End, a resounding resolution for what Batman Begins begun.' Not from what I have seen. Why is everybody scared of criticising what is an awful ending? If it was any other film series, it would be picked up on and ripped apart. @sjholland87, This and the 'other' film magazine/website are not the places to come if you want impartiality, if this were any other film series apart from one directed by Chris 'Second Coming of Christ' Nolan' ( and I like Chris Nolan btw) this would not have been 5 stars. I have read several reviews for this film now and they have praised the film but given it a solid 4 star rating, both this and the 'other' film magazine's review have both highlighted areas where this film lags because of exposition or has 'too much plot and not enough story' and is not as good as Dark Knight yet it still gets the 5 stars because it's a Chris Nolan Batman film. It's hard to come on sites like this where films are hyped up to ridiculous levels and then gifted 5 star reviews that are not based on fact but rather sentiment or bias, it makes a farce of film criticism in general and this website has been doing this for a long time, the very reason for which, I cancelled my subscription.

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    • TheDudeAbides

      Jul 16th 2012, 10:29

      @Pearceyy96 What does not "convince"you about the review. Matt is giving his opinion, not trying to rally you to see the film. And action isn't exactly something to review, plot and characters are. @sjholland You haven't seen the film yet muppet, everyone who has has praised the endingwell. Are you basing off that spoiler on the internet? Give me a break. @Sevener; just because the film dosen't QUITE live up to TDK in their eyes does not automatically mean it is not worthy of a 5 star review. Some people think Two Towers or Return of The King don't fully match up to predecessors, still 5 star films . And why did you go on a rant picking apart they prefer it to Avengers? Big sh!tt!ng deal, they prefer it. Good grief, you just sounded like an angry Marvel fanboy in that piece (and word to the wise I massively enjoy both offerings from Marvel & DC). Anyways, great review Matt, thrilled at the acclaim, Nolan has finally broken the superher threequel curse. You beautiful man, you. Can't wait to see it up on the IMAX screen come Friday.

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    • TheDudeAbides

      Jul 16th 2012, 10:38

      @Senver Oh boo hoo get your facts straight You don't like TF, there's the door. There have only been 9 reviews out (I've been following the review circle) so I know and 7 of them have given it a 9 at least, or have talked about it like a 9 (Variety/THR). And all of them have called the ending a worthy conclusion. At least get your facts straight, before ranting against bias. I am so damn sick of the bias accusations from people, it's called opinions, bias accusations come from people mad some liked/disliked a film they didn't want them to.

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    • marc96

      Jul 16th 2012, 10:46

      wow! i wasnt expecting so much criticism for the review.... i have no problem with them giving 5 stars, even if its because they have a biased opinion of it & were always going to love it.... because im probably going to be the same, unless the series has been ruined by a 3rd film thats on the level of x-men the last stand, if not then im going to love this as well

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    • piffle

      Jul 16th 2012, 10:54

      This reads like a 4 star review tbh, as does the Empire magazine review. That's not a bad thing mind, but it was totally predictable that TF would ignore any flaws in the final reckoning and throw 5 stars at the movie. This is a great review though, gives very little away (no mention of how Josh Pence/Liam Neeson may fit in, hardly any mention of Marion Cotillard) while teasing us on the angles and relationships we do know.

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    • Jareth64

      Jul 16th 2012, 11:04

      I agree fully with Senver here. I'll wait till I see it and then make up my mind; TotalFilm has proven far too often it can't be trusted with reviews. Prometheus 4/5 (more like 2.5./5), Kill List 5/5 (it's enjoyable enough), Chronicle 5/5 (it's alright). I like your features a lot, TotalFilm, but as reviewers you really can't be relied upon. Best head over to RottenTomatoes!

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    • CaptainCrazy

      Jul 16th 2012, 11:46

      Nice review and it got me even more excited. I hope no one else goes to see this as I want the cinema all to myself. :) I'm a selfish b*****d.

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    • Hadouken76

      Jul 16th 2012, 11:54

      Oh FF'ingFS! Reviews are relative to the individual, they are not scripture. Just wait until Friday.

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    • CaptainCrazy

      Jul 16th 2012, 12:08

      I have to back up Hadouken76 here. Matthew delivered a fine review. If you are worried about the number of stars then go work for NASA.

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    • Senver

      Jul 16th 2012, 12:30

      @thedudeabides - I'm not getting into a t*t for tat thing here, I appreciate these things are opinion, my argument here is that a respected and so-called authoritative film magazine could be guilty of Nolan fanboyism. I enjoy DC films, TDK was 5 star no question, I even enjoyed the Green Lantern as a guilty plesasure sort of thing, the reason I noted the comparing to Avengers is they aren't saying they prefer it they are comparing the two based on factors that aren't relevant (making Batman appear in Jeopardy and Making the Hulk appear in Jeopardy requires two very different things) Secondly, I have never met a single person who thinks fellowship is better than TTT or ROTK but I see your point, however, mine is the review above reads 4 stars all day long the reviews I have seen have been 4/5 but because of an affinity or even, yes it is possible, bias towards Nolan/TDKR has turned this review from a 4 star one into a 5 star one (if you do not understand where I am coming from with the Bias argument see recent feature on most rewatchable film = Inception and the overwhelming hype for the film from this site over the last few months which no film, even Avengers, has matched). BTW you tell me to get my facts straight whilst quoting all the other reviews have given it a 9, I assume u mean 9/10 in which case that is exactly what i said about 4 stars instead of 5 just using a different rating structure i.e. the total film one. My final point, It isn't that the film doesn't live up to TDK, it's they mention several flaws that with any other film would not warrant a 5 star review but because it is a film they have been lauding even before it came out they give it the 5. I would expect a film magazine to have the integrity to not attach a star rating to a film before they have seen it then ignore the flaws when it comes out.

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    • gavinmrt

      Jul 16th 2012, 14:44

      To all you people moaning about the 5 star reviews from TF and the other mag that gave it 5 .GET REAL . Every single movie nolan has made has been 5 star material .Yes one nolan movie may be better than another nolan movie but that does not mean that one is 4stars and the other 5 stars. Each and every movie he does is consistently worthy of 5 stars especially when judged and compared to 90% of the rubbish that the studios churn out year after year the rubbish spidermans , wolverine and first class to name a few. And there is a reason why TF has its nose stuck right up nolans a**e and are constantly praising him and that reason is because he is f*#*#*#ing briliant and no one else is making anything or anywhere near as good as his movies . They are not perfect but they get pretty damn close and if you think that avengers assemble is even in the same league as any nolan bat film then you belong in Arkham asylum. Bring on Friday.

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    • DDM88

      Jul 16th 2012, 14:46

      @Senver: as most sites give it a 9 it would actually get a 4.5 star rating, which TF doesn't do. Some 4 star ratings will be closer to a 3 and others to a 5 and so on. This is an unfortunate consequence of the rating system. So my guess is that at that point the reviewer believed it closer to a 5 star film than a 4 star one (also taking into consideration that the complaint about the music might also have been caused by a badly regulated audio system at the screening)

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    • jaykays hat

      Jul 16th 2012, 14:47

      Just f*cking go and see the film and make your own minds up!!!

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    • MoodyMonkey

      Jul 16th 2012, 14:48

      5

      @Senver if you cancelled your subscription and don't hold much stock in TF's opinion then why are you here? i know TF doesn't always get it 'right' but i did enjoy this review myself and i'm looking forward to the movie.

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    • BobbyTwoTimes

      Jul 16th 2012, 14:56

      Ha ha pricks the lot of you!

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    • joker16

      Jul 16th 2012, 15:03

      I've watched Batman Begins and The Dark Knight again in preparation for this film and I've realized that I don't really care about Batman at all. His story just doesn't interest me. It was Christopher Nolan & Heath Ledger that made TDK what it is. I'm looking forward to TDKR like everyone else, but I'm not expecting the moon. I'm more interested to see Nolan do more original, non-super hero movies like Inception.

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    • Senver

      Jul 16th 2012, 16:10

      @Senver if you cancelled your subscription and don't hold much stock in TF's opinion then why are you here? Because agree, disagree or otherwise I am voicing my opinion, just as everyone else is. I don't hold much stock in the BBC's opinion of things but I go on their site for news, it isn't a requirement that I agree with a site to use it. @Gavinmrt- Nolan is the only one making good films. What anywhere? in the world? A quick check of rotten tomatoes illustrates that batman begins is 85% fresh,the prestige 76% and inception 86% this is not proof of consistent 5 star film making? Are you genuinely classing First Class in the same league as 90% of studio produced c**p?

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    • Ali1748

      Jul 16th 2012, 16:18

      Empire also gave it 5/5

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    • gavinmrt

      Jul 16th 2012, 17:30

      @senver Yes anywhere in the world i would say that nolan and 10% of all other directors make great films the rest make rehashed junk. And i dont really care what rotten tomatoes has to say as i have been watching movies for long enough to make my own mind up. And Yes first class was rubbish just having to witness the young beast was enough to spoil it for me. This is just my own opinion so please feel free to ignore me.

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    • Senver

      Jul 16th 2012, 18:19

      @end of days - you make a good point, got a bit carried away with my opinion lol, boring day at work. Here's hoping it is a 5 star film...

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    • rmcmillen01

      Jul 16th 2012, 21:29

      The fire has risen and is finally here! However, so is the question: http://voices.yahoo.com/the-dark-knight-rises-but-will-he-fall-11555052.html?cat=9

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    • sjholland87

      Jul 17th 2012, 20:39

      'You haven't seen the film yet muppet, everyone who has has praised the endingwell. Are you basing off that spoiler on the internet? Give me a break' Love it! You assume I haven't watched it and saying I'm basing it on some spoiler on the internet and THEN go and mention the people who have already seen it. If you notice, reviewers have been skipping the ending. This means something is amiss. You also mention that some people have praised the ending. Most of which are 'fanbois' hand picked by WB to put positive buzz out. Also, yes I have seen it. I have reviewed it. The 'spoiler' isn't that much a spoiler as everybody has guessed it but how it happens is just bats**t stupid. I take it you are one of those that also thinks TDK is the best film EVER! So much you have learnt after your assumptions of someone on the internet...

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    • Mattsimus

      Jul 17th 2012, 22:58

      5

      The review concerns me a bit, I have to admit but TF were always gonna give it 5* rating and it prob does deserve it! oh @sjholland87....you didnt make an ounce of sense with your above statement and you are obviously just NOT A FAN of the new Bat series which is fair enough, but dont p**s on everyone elses parade cos people want it to be as incredible an end as it could have possibly been! I havent seen it, im not taking to much to heart and its gotten a 5* rating from every movie reviwer that counts so..........im gonna see and make up my own mind. Which you clearly did before you even saw the film : )......................shame on you Marvel Muff!

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    • gonads86

      Jul 18th 2012, 4:33

      This review was great build up, the suspense, its now July 18th in Australia at 6.30pm I will be in an IMAX cinema watching from start to finish the EPIC Chris Nolan trilogy that was, is and ever will be the best Bat movies ever. 18th July 6.30pm Batman Begins. 18th July 9.00pm The Dark Knight. 19th JULY 12.01AM The Dark Knight Rises THIS IS GONNA BE AWESOOOOOMMMMMMEEEE

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    • sunmonkey

      Jul 18th 2012, 6:22

      Matthew: Well written review! I saw TDKR yesterday at a Malaysia press viewing, and was not so enamored of it as you. Don't get me wrong, it is a good movie, but it really isn't on the same level as TDK. TDKR is peppered with too many self-indulgent and convenient plot points, and tries to cover waaaay too much thematic ground. It is still Nolan, and solid film-making, but I call shenanigans on your five stars.

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    • FBJRider

      Jul 18th 2012, 17:40

      I think you did a fantastic job not including any spoilers. I can't wait for Friday.

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    • Mattsimus

      Jul 18th 2012, 19:36

      IMAX premier seating booked and paid for.......then its review time!......CAN........NOT.........WAIT!!! XMX

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    • TheMovieWaffler

      Jul 18th 2012, 22:05

      Great opening 20 minutes, shame about the other 145.

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    • gonads86

      Jul 19th 2012, 6:04

      The hype built it up, the review accurate, the 5 rating was overrated. I agree with sunmonkey it was a good movie not as epic as TDK but a solid finish to the trilogy. 4* at best.

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    • Trickycustomer

      Jul 19th 2012, 14:55

      I don't get why people are arguing over the film having a 5 star rating? IT'S A MOVIE! If the reviewer found the film to be entertaining (and it must be to be given a 5 star rating) then what's the big deal? If your in doubt of the 5 stars then watch it and decide for yourself.

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    • mazw1991

      Jul 19th 2012, 19:24

      5

      Saw an imax premiere of tdkr last night, I absolutely loved it! Can't wait to see it again :D

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    • Hadjab

      Jul 20th 2012, 12:47

      4

      I saw the film on Wednesday night and mostly agree with TF's review. For those of you wanting a rating on the action - I'd say a solid 4 stars. It wasn't what I'd call jaw-dropping but it was apt. For Christian Bale's performance as Bruce Wayne - 4.5 stars. For his performance as Batman - 4 stars. Maybe I should bump that up to 6 stars as he is hot in the costume, but I'm trying to remain focused on the performance...... For me, the runaway stars of the night were Michael Caine and Anne Hathaway.His performance encompassed both resignation and determination with a huge dollop of love - I honestly felt a lump in my throat at every moment of his screen time. Anne Hathaway surprised me - I find her performances are always just a little grating, much like Rene Zellwegger, but she really blew it out of the water. She was sassy and badass, but with a hint of vulnerability tha really impressed me...and I want to look like that in a catwoman costume. And as always, Joseph Gordon-Levitt turned in a solid and likeable performance. As to Bane, yes there were parts where he was slightly inaudible, but overall he was vicious when called for and philosophical in parts. So from me its 4 and a bit stars.

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    • BigPaul

      Jul 20th 2012, 13:25

      5

      Went to the 5 am showing this morning and was so tired and worried that I might fall back asleep, but I couldn't take my eyes off this movie. Completely deserves 5 star rating, I could write an essay on each individual peice of brilliance but that would take allot of time when I can just say WOW!!! What I will say is Anne Hathaway really surprised me, she was the only thing I wasn't looking forward to in this part but she was great as Selina Kyle. The ever brilliant Tom Hardy was awesome as Bane he really looked like he could rip your arms off just to have something to beat you with (and his vocals are no problem what so ever). Finally this is a proper emotional film tears were in my eyes in more than one occasion. To me this installment has done what few trilogies manage to do, this is simply part three of one long epic film.

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    • Pearceyy96

      Jul 20th 2012, 17:36

      4

      Watched it today... Amazing! It wasn't quite 5 stars but it was obvious that TotalFILM were going to give it 5! The action was superb, the score was terrific and i loved Bane. Not quite The Dark Knight and the film was 25 mins too long but THE ENDING IS AMAZING!!!!!!

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    • brisstubbsgeoff

      Jul 20th 2012, 17:38

      5

      Everyone is being ridiculous. They can't please anyone can they? Anyway, looking at their Dark Knight review it is much more negative than this review, and yet that also stole 5 stars. I think that this was a worthy review, I don't think they are being suck-ups or what not. They genuinely thought it was worth 5 stars. That's how I see it anyway.

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    • Impulse

      Jul 20th 2012, 17:48

      3

      Just back from watching the movie and thought it was pretty good but not great. Possible spoilers! To start with I hated banes voice, at times he was impossible to make out. I could just imagine what it would have been like if they hadn't supposedly fixed it. Next, its way too long, it drags on a bit at times. My main problem with it is, for a batman movie, it doesn't have a terrible lot of batman in it, in fact I would interested to see who got the most screen time. I would guess joseph gordan levitt had to be up there. To be fair though he was very good in it. Gary oldman is brilliant as usual and anne hathaway probably stole the whole film for me as selena kyle. The special effect were superb, even when the flying bat vehicle came on the scene. Im personally happy enough to see nolan's batman finish now. I was never a big lover of bale as batman, and nolans world seems detached from the rest of the dc universe. Out of the three superhero movies this year, I would have to put this last. Just my opinion btw.

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    • DarrenBr00ks

      Jul 20th 2012, 21:21

      5

      Have had a good few hours to reflect since watching this afternoon. All things considered I think the review is pretty much on the money. The Dark Knight is technically flawless, whereas DKR is a ninety niner! Yes the Joker in the pack elevates its predecessor and you admire the craft, however there’s real soul and you find yourself rooting for the man like never before. (Ann Hathaway is perfect and aptly steals the show) Not been this choked up since Band of Brothers and that my friends makes it for me, a slightly greater overall experience. Best trilogy ever? Too early?

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    • thedrisk

      Jul 21st 2012, 1:03

      3

      This was simply a bad film... The editing and pace was all wrong with certain scenes chopped up to lose their impact and other scenes like the jail was overplayed and just came off cheesy. Then you combine this with Bane who just doesn't work outside of a comic as no acting can be done through the mask. But perhaps the biggest let down was there was no growth of the characters to engage you to care what was going on (again due to I suspect bad editing) .... leaving it all a bit dull and uninspiring (and without a lot of BatMan even making an apperance)... On leaving a full cinema I found it interesting that so many snippets of discussion leaving disliked the film finding it a bit cheesy and dull..It does make me wonder how much media hype and great reviews is done by reviewers to ensure magazines get their advertising?

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    • Senver

      Jul 21st 2012, 5:18

      2

      SPOILER ALERT - SPOILER ALERT - After seeing the film, my original opinion remains, I agree with thedrisk. The opening sequence was just badly done and lacked excitement. Bane's voice is appalling (almost as bad as Batman's (Why does he have a lisp in the cowl?), it's difficult to take seriously at all. The film takes an hour to get started and it seems this is more a film about John Blake (who's move from beat cop to super detective takes a little more than 3 days) than Batman. The first chase scene involving motorbikes, just looks tired and uninteresting. The film has very little action in it, the fighting is poorly done, and I simply cannot work out how Bane can destroy batman in every way, then after a couple of push ups and one prison escape later he can then be undone by no more than a couple of punches to the face/mask and the ending (involving the explosion) simply makes no sense. The film also suffers due to a serious lack of any light moments, TDK had Joker who was a riot everytime he was on screen. That said, Hathaway's and Levitt's performance was good (Pfeiffer is still THE catwoman) Oldman's solid as ever and Marion Cotillard is also good. But a huge disappointment from a film that simply fails to live up to the hype - 3 stars and the 3rd best superhero film of the year so far.

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    • Senver

      Jul 21st 2012, 5:19

      2

      in my opinion anyway, I appreciate others will have theirs.

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    • simcfc73c

      Jul 21st 2012, 8:33

      4

      Just got back from a 5am screening, so nice to go to the cinema with like minded fanboys who keep quiet during the film. I would say its a fitting end to a superb trilogy, comparing it to TDK is a little mean.. especially for me as I regard it as almost a perfect film but I would say its a very good film. Its too long, the cheeky rude bit seems out of place and Banes voice is terrible... oh and the true villian was very obvious but the good far outweigh the bad. The action is excellent, Hathaway is a screen gem and they don't overplay her sexuality too much.. they don't need to, Bane as a villian is okay and Levitt is, as usual, excellent. I love the fact it takes itself so seriously and its sort of based in the real world.. yes it doesn't tie in with the other DC universe but who gives a ****... Nolan is making a film not a 12 film franchise... I had a tear in my eye at the end... maybe I was so knackered I was emotional but I thought the ending was brilliant and hope something comes of it.

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    • 2Dglasses

      Jul 21st 2012, 8:46

      Yeesh, i'm sure most people think its a very good film, call it 4 if you think a few issues (Banes voice does go a bit at times, etc etc) bring down the score and 5 if not. Im happy with 4.5. Michael caine stole every scene he was in, but CONTROVERSY ALERT am i the only one who didnt really rate the selina kyle character? No backstory whatsoever, Hathaway was fine but no pfeiffer, thats one character that worked better in the Burton batverse.

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    • loveroflostgirl

      Jul 21st 2012, 12:02

      I was so very disappointed with this film, having put hiself into a brillient position with The Dark Knight the normally flawless Nolan has produced a bloated, underwhelming mess! Don't misunderstand me it's not a terrorible film just a rather poor one and (considering all involed), that's a far worse crime :(

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    • SiMan

      Jul 21st 2012, 12:37

      ****SPOILERS - but if you've read this far i'm guessing most will have seen the film by now*** - okay, first of all TDKR is an epic film with a grand scale and while watching it i thoroughly enjoyed it. HOWEVER, upon reflection and the more i mulled it over, the more i realised it was not what i had hoped for. In fact, I think it is the weakest of the trilogy. Firstly the good - i didn't have a problem with any of the performances; even Bane's voice (although sometimes hard to understand) didn't really bother me. Bale was good and Oldman/Freeman/Cane all as dependable as ever. Okay, so the parts that irked me - Firstly, and this may be controversial, i don't think nolan is a particularly good action director. His concepts are fantastic and if big enough he can pull it off (the plane heist, inception's rotating corridor scene, begin's train chase), but the somewhat 'lesser' moments are not done very, Cinematically, i suppose. The bike chase, the truck chase at the end and any of the fight scenes Batman's involved in are just so pedestrian. I can understand they are trying to be more realistic, but the Bourne films showed how important a well-choreographed and shot fight scene can affect a film. Then there's the story itself. Firstly, (**BIG SPOILERS FROM HERE ON**) as soon as Alfred told that story about the Cafe and then there was a shot of him there, in France, It was obvious immediately that the film was going to end in the way it did. There was just no other way for it to do so now that it had been done like that. Now, i suppose that it was more to do with the art of film-making, that you let your audience think back to that moment come the end, but if Nolan had just had Alfred tell the story, and not show him in the Cafe at all, it would have been much more subtle in my opinion. Then there's the ending itself. My main question is WHY? - i could understand if Batman had to sacrifice himself to serve some purpose, but there wasn't any. At all. The beginning of the film showed how Bruce Wayne was lost and without purpose because he gave up his crime-fighting life, so why would he just stop? And at a time that the people of Gotham needed him most. There was nothing at all to suggest the city didn't need a Batman. In fact, it was only when the Batman returned that they were saved. He galvanised them. Okay, he could be leaving them a Batman in Blake, but he doesn't have the training. Gotham needs Wayne's Batman. But if there is a reason he can give up the Bat, there is an even bigger question as to why does he give up Bruce Wayne? Again, there is ABSOULTELY NO REASON that he would need to let the world think Bruce Wayne is dead. Then there's John Blake. Now again, i don't particularly have a problem with his character (thought the bit with his name at the end was quite cool), but he had just come out of nowhere. All of a sudden, there's a character who turns up at Wayne manor, knows he's Batman (because he just does) and ends up inheritting the Batcave. It felt almost as if he had been added just to keep the possibility of another film alive. Then there's Bane's plan itself. I don't get it. Why didn't he just let the bomb go off? Was he willing to kill himself too? was the real baddie (who's identity was actualy handled well, even if us fanboys already knew who it was) also willing to blow themselves up with the bomb as part of the plan? It just all seemed too rushed. And the final act. It waswn't grandiose enough, to say this is the closing chapter of a massive, blockbuster film trilogy. There is plenty more as well, but i've ranted on long enough now. In closing, it was a film we needed, but not the Bat-film we deserved right now. I just hope they don't re-boot the whole thing again just to shoe-horn in the Justice League. They should pick it up from Nolan's films and bring Wayne back!

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    • MoodyMonkey

      Jul 21st 2012, 14:07

      5

      Saw it last night and my opinion has not changed. It's by far the best of the trilogy and I left the cinema with a massive grin on my face! I wont waste my time or yours trying to change your opinion if you didn't like it...but for me it was perfect.

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    • hendrixisgod777

      Jul 21st 2012, 16:31

      Not really sure what to expect from this film. I thought 'Begins' was ok in places but was ultimately a bit naff; I thought 'Dark Knight' was good and I think the review for this is poor. It reads like Leyand is talking about a wet dream he had last night as opposed to an objective review of what he saw. Not too keen on the use of foul language which should never be used by a professional writer writing in a public domain as it is potentially offensive and we pay money, one way or the other, for the privilege of reading their words. I think the cat has been out of the bag for a long time regarding these reviews - remember, this was the website that gave Transformers 2 four stars, and it pleases me that people are prepared to call out poor reviewers especially since said Transformers review cost me two hours of my life that I'll never get back. Despite Bane running around in that awful sheepskin coat a la John Motson, I'll watch 'Dark Knight Returns' when I get round to it and I'll probably enjoy it (even though I personally believe that DC characters work better in animation than they do in live action). I will not bore anybody with my opinions on the movie when I do see it but I will continue to come on this website from time to time to find to expose the keyboard terrorists who 'contribute' to Total Film these days as well as praising the next generation of Grahame Russells, Ceri Thomas', and Dan Jolins, who have made this magazine an enjoyable read in the past. Thank you.

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    • marvelboy

      Jul 21st 2012, 18:51

      4

      Saw this yesturday and loved it, on par with The avengers, yes I agree they are two very different films but still The Dark Knight is a truley awesome superhero movie - I say The Dark Knight as it was all three films back to back that make this such a good story, these are not to be watch independely (like Lord of the Rings) Now to the Film - yes three hours may have been a bit to long, but any less and people would complain it was rushed. To everyone who says there wasn't much batman, the sotry is lifted from the pages of the comics were Bane breaks the bat and Bruce has to return - hence why this is a major part of the film. Catwoman - I wasn't sure at frist but this was a great addition to the film - 5* performance Cain as Alfred once again stole the show, his emotion was great. To close and add some meaning to the ending which is also taken from the comics as (Tim) Blake becomes the second batman after Bruce is presumed dead - the only issue of Blake I have is they change his name in the film in order to have the 'suprise' at the end. Over it is one of the best superhero films for a while, but not one of the best films ever, hence my 4* rating - for furture I hope they leave batman alone and work on some of DC's other cast. However if this is to be rebooted, I would love for this to pick up as Blake and Batman, just saying ...

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    • AliWatches

      Jul 22nd 2012, 2:59

      3

      This my (quite long) thoughts on The Dark Knight Rises which I saw this evening. I doubt many people will bother to read it, both because it is long and contains spoilers, but I am genuinely interested in what people think about the points I raise. Thank you. ### THE FOLLOWING CONTAINS SPOILERS (INCLUDING THE PREVIOUS NOLAN BATMAN FILMS AND THE BATMAN COMIC BOOK SERIES: KNIGHTFALL ### Batman Begins was excellent, The Dark Knight was even better (an amazing film) and so I was expecting great things of The Dark Knight Rises. Perhaps my expectations were too high, but for me this was a disappointing finale. I was looking forward to a film that would improve on its predecessors, but to me this is the worst of the three. That doesn't made it a bad film, however, given the calibre of the director and cast it was certainly a disappointing film. As someone who has read (and loved) the Knightfall comic book series, I was worried when I heard that Bane was going to be in the film. While I think Tom Hardy is an gifted actor, Bane (from the comic book perspective at least) can't really be portrayed accurately on film without the use of CGI. He needs to be taller and more muscular than any real human (let alone talented actor) is in real life. While I applaud Nolan's realism, if you're going to use a character, you should be true to it. While I was surprised when the Nolan changed the established idea that the Joker's skin is actually white to the Joker using white make-up in TDK, it was a change that worked. Heath Ledger's Joker was truly brilliant and Nolan's decision to have him as a character that applied clown's make-up as a form of war paint was a genius touch, the make-up just adding to the madness. However, changing Bane from the giant mass of both brain and brawn he is in Knightfall to someone who is merely well built just didn't work. In Knightfall, it took both Bane's tactical genius and Venom-enhanced strength to break Batman (along with Batman being both physically ill and exhausted from recapturing the inmates of Arkham that Bane had broken out as part of his plan to break Batman). However, in the TDKR, Batman appears to be no match for Bane and this happens without Bane requiring the use of Venom nor his tactical intelligence. As a fan of the Batman comics first and the movies second, this was a major disappointment that I had hoped Nolan would avoid. Frankly Bane could have been (and should have been) replaced with a made-up for the movie character, requiring no reference to an existing Batman character. I had assumed his mask was going to be the way Bane injected himself with Venom, but it ends up just being a focus point for Batman's punches, like the weak spot of an end-of-level baddie in a computer game. I supposed it might be considered appropriate that Bane's achilles' heel is his mouth, as it certainly had a negative impact on his elocution. What irritated me about this film was its lack of internal logic. While I never really understood why Harvey Dent was supposed to be this amazing White Knight of Gotham in what appeared to be a very short space of time (given his predecessor is killed in the previous film), I went along with the idea of Batman having to take the blame for what Dent had done. This White Knight status and his murder strangely results in a public holiday being created in Dent's honour. Something I found surprising as I couldn't see how his actions in TDK justified such a tribute. Ignoring that though, I didn't understand why taking the blame had lead to Bruce Wayne becoming a recluse and no longer being the Batman. While Harvey Dent's death had apparently paved the way to organised crime being absent from Gotham, Bruce Wayne's parents were killed by a lone criminal, not an organised crime gang. Likewise, Rachel Dawes was killed by the Joker. If anything, it should have added to his desire to be the Batman. Also, Batman was already an outlaw before he took responsibility for Dent's crimes, so surely his motives to be the Batman had not changed? While the police might have been more keen to catch him than they were previously, officially they were always under instruction to capture him, so not much had changed in that respect either. I can only assume this was used to justify Bruce Wayne retiring from being Batman, in order to show him as being of out practice, which in turn would allow Bane to so easily best him. So the film starts with a Bane who is not a true representation of his comic book counter part and a Bruce Wayne who appears to have given up being Batman. Unfortunately, the inconsistencies do not stop there. Given Batman's amazing detective abilities, why does he need Selina Kyle to track down Bane? How does she even know where Bane is, given she carried out work for a man who apparently employs Bane, not for Bane himself. Having found Bane, Batman is easily beaten and his back is broken. Bane then transports Bruce Wayne to a prison somewhere far from Gotham and then returns to Gotham to continue his plans (however, this prison in the middle of a desert, does conveniently have a television that broadcasts the goings on in Gotham for Bruce Wayne to watch). Here, Bruce Wayne's back is seemingly easily repaired using a rope and suddenly Bruce Wayne is back in training to beat Bane (compared Knightfall, where Bruce Wayne has to undergo extensive retraining before returning). Given he couldn't beat Bane before his back was broken, it seems strange that he can so easily beat Bane after it's been broken and then repaired. Also, despite now being penniless, Bruce Wayne manages to get from his desert prison and return to Gotham without Bane apparently noticing. Bane's plan equally appears to lack logic. While the back story of his links to Ra's al Ghul is interesting, it also flawed. Firstly, Ra's al Ghul and the League of Shadows wanted to destroy Gotham because of how corrupt it was. However, the film starts with the idea that organised crime has been purged from Gotham. Surely then Gotham was no longer a city that needed destroying in the eyes' of the League of Shadows. Secondly, despite saving his daughter Ra's al Ghul excommunicates Bane (but not before providing him with the extensive training he apparently has), yet somehow Bane appears to have access to loyal members of the same group he has been excommunicated from (presumably via Talia al Ghul). Thirdly, Bane manages to capture the entire police force in a simple move because nearly everyone of them is sent into the tunnels to look for him. He then obtains the thermo-nuclear device he requires (via the bankrupting of Bruce Wayne - despite which he still manages to hold on to Wayne manor) and manages locate and obtain Bruce Wayne's armoury in the form of the Applied Sciences Division of Wayne Enterprises. After doing all of this, he traps the entire population of Gotham by destroying all but one bridge, which he leaves in tact so that supplies can be brought in (despite the fact that we know from TDK, that people can arrive or leave by boat). He then says that if any one person attempts to to leave Gotham, the entire city will be destroyed. Yet no explanation is given of how he would know of anyone trying to leave (given Batman's unnoticed return, it appears Bane doesn't know). Also, given that Talia al Ghul apparently plans to destroy Gotham, what is the point of any of this? Fourthly, the thermo-nuclear device isn't designed to be a bomb and but is altered by a scientist to become such a device. Removed from its original housing, it then becomes unstable. Somehow Fox knows exactly how long the device has before it will blow. Additionally it conveniently it ends up having a countdown timer on it. This would be logical if it were originally designed as a bomb, but is it really likely that the scientist who changed its configuration to make it in to a bomb would then add a countdown timer that could predict precisely when its instability would cause it to detonate? Given all this, how did Talia al Ghul know the exact time the bomb would detonate and why would did she wait so long to detonate it if her plan was to destroy Gotham all along? On which note, why did Talia al Ghul want to destroy Gotham at all? For her father who she could not forgive for excommunicating Bane? Another question I have is how did Bruce Wayne's death become known? One of the key points of Nolan's Batman series, is that Batman is an myth bigger than Bruce Wayne. John Blake is clearly set-up to become Batman following Bruce Wayne's apparent (albeit faked) death, but if people know that Bruce Wayne was Batman and that Batman is dead, if Batman were to come back they would surely know that Batman is now someone else. Isn't the whole point that Batman can't die because Batman can be anyone? Yet the statue at the end of the film appears to be commemorating Batman's death. Also, how can John Blake hope to become the new Batman without Bruce Wayne's training or financial resources? I know films often have inconsistencies and plot developments you just have to accept, but to me TDKR just leapt from illogical plot point to illogical plot point. It had some excellent moments, the "So that's what that feels like." line was genius and the beginning was very impressive. However, it goes rapidly downhill from there on out and never really recovers. For a Batman film, it suffered from a severe lack of Batman. A lame duck ending to what was an otherwise very impressive franchise. I hope Christopher Nolan will continue making excellent films and this is just a small dip in another wise very impressive career.

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    • Senver

      Jul 22nd 2012, 5:55

      @Aliwatches - Excellent post which sums up a lot of the plot issues with TDKR.

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    • SiMan

      Jul 22nd 2012, 11:23

      @Aliwatches - excellent points (especially about the timer on the bomb), but i have to disagree with your thoughts on Bane.I think for the universe Nolan has created he worked just fine. He was just a big, strong man - and this his physical strength was shown witht he amount of people he killed with his bare hands. The main problem i had was with the fact that it didn't give me a satisfactory conclusion to the trilogy, as i've stated in my (also lengthy) post above.

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    • AliWatches

      Jul 22nd 2012, 14:57

      @Senver and @SiMan - Thank you.

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    • AliWatches

      Jul 22nd 2012, 14:59

      ### THIS COMMENT CONTAINS SPOILERS ### @SiMan - I hope you don't mind me responding to your comment on Bane (I'm apologise if anyone is annoyed with my continuing on this subject). I suspect it will end with us agreeing to disagree, but I am curious as to your thoughts on my on view on the subject. While I agree with you that in Nolan's Batman Universe Bane from the comic books wouldn't fit, I still can't see why Nolan had to use the name Bane? Couldn't the Bane character just of had a different name created for Nolan's Batman Universe? This would have matched Nolan's alternative view of the character. To have Batman beaten so easily by someone who was just a very strong hired thug seemed disrespectful to both Batman and Bane to me. Perhaps I'm too much of a fan of the comic books, but in TDKR, both Bane and Batman are presented as watered-down interpretations of the comic book characters. Frankly, Bane could have been any strong person as I said before, but for someone to beat Batman, to my mind at least, they need to be physically intimating on a larger scale than Tom Hardy without CGI. The only person I can think of who may have been able to capture the idea of Bane on the screen without CGI would have been Andre the Giant. However, while he had somewhere near the size Bane needs, I don't believe he had the muscle tone the character requires. I was hoping for something like a Nolan-esque take on Jason Flemyng's Mr Hyde from The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, with Bane being able to get even larger with an infusion of Venom. If Nolan didn't want to break away from the realistic Batman universe he had created (which I thoroughly enjoyed in the first two films), in my opinion he shouldn't have used the Bane character, in the same way I would not expect him to make use of the characters Clayface, Man-Bat or Killer Croc (to name just three). In addition to which, this still does not explain the lack of the tactical genius of Bane. Ultimately I would have enjoyed like the film more if either Bane had been closer to the comic book version or just been a very strong man who didn't break the Batman. To me, this film wasn't so much The Dark Knight Rises but rather The Dark Knight Retires.

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    • AliWatches

      Jul 22nd 2012, 15:22

      ### THIS COMMENT CONTAINS SPOILERS INCLUDING BATMAN BEGINS AND THE DARK KNIGHT ### Once again, my apologises to anyone who thinks I am going on, but I have a few additional points that I didn't make in my original comment. Again, I don't expect anyone to read them but if you do, I would be interested in your opinions. One of my biggest annoyances with TDKR is the lack of tension. In both BB and TDK, there is a genuine level of tension in both Ra's al Ghul attempting to reach the water hub in Wayne Tower and the Joker's midnight dead-line for the boats. However, in TDKR, the tension doesn't work because the bomb plot is so confused. Saying that if one person tries to leave Gotham it will be blown is simply ludicrous and unworkable. While it's plausible for the Joker to be watching that no-one tries to get off either of the boats in TDK, it's not realistic to be able to detect if just one person tries to leaves the city. When the Joker created the situation on the boats, you could feel the tension he'd created and imagine the mob justice that would inflicted on anyone trying to leave their boat. How could that possibly work on the scale of an entire city full of millions of people? Added to which the fact that Talia al Ghul has some unfathomable ability to know the exact time when an unstable thermo-nuclear device will blow and her desire to destroy Gotham, the tension is just lost. Another minor point in regard to the bomb is why Fox would even suggest the idea of the detonator being an infra-red device. Infra-red requires line of sight and given that the bomb was being driven round the city inside a fully enclosed truck, infra-red wouldn't even be an idea I would thought a man of Fox's incredible intellect would consider. Additionally, why did Bane allow supplies to reach a police force he himself had entrapped and that would be destroyed when the bomb went off? To me there is a variable acceptable limit to the number of plot holes a film can have and still be enjoyable. Unfortunately, in my opinion, TDKR just has far too many.

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    • Senver

      Jul 22nd 2012, 18:06

      @Aliwatches - I think there was an issue with this film from the beginning. I feel that Nolan felt he needed to do something that hadn't been done before. My knowledge of Batman villains is not particularly vast, but I do think that Nolan's Bane idea came from a good place and the concept of someone who is not just an intellectual match but also a physical one came from a good place but was just not executed effectively. As well as the many issues you have already pointed out with the plot, I felt the 'Occupy Gotham' movement and the whole oppressed rising up against the wealthy theme was not suited for the film and seemed to me to be an afterthought to make it relevant with what was happening around the time in the real world and it seems rushed and not really thought out. A minor thing I noticed is the very obvious New York skyline in several scenes, maybe I missed something but it was unusual to see 1 WTC & the Empire State building in a 'Gotham' skyline. I think Heath Ledger's death may have adversely affected the story as I could see him having some part to play in the finale and I think that would have been a perfect summation for the trilogy. I think Nolan was facing an uphill struggle with this film and I genuinely believe that there are too many suspensions of disbelief required to fully enjoy it.

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    • Ali1748

      Jul 22nd 2012, 18:09

      5

      Nolan has done it again.

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    • Senver

      Jul 22nd 2012, 18:16

      SPOILER ALERT - I also feel that far too much energy was put into making us feel that this was the end, the destruction that Bane was causing etc forcing us to wonder if Batman was going to die meant that when Bane was stopped by Batman I wondered how he had managed to get beaten by Bane in the first place. I think there really should have been an epic fight between Bane and Batman with Batman finally getting the upper hand through some imaginitive use of a gadget (Batarang or something similar) or out thinking Bane in some way. I do feel that the film has been getting a lot of rave reviews from magazines etc due to the British connection running through the film (Nolan, Bale, Oldman, Caine) but I think if seen with objective eyes there is an unacceptable number of plot holes that, if this were not a Nolan batfilm, would have been dissected and heavily criticised. That said, I look forward to Nolan's next film and hope it will be in the same vein as his work on TDK, the Prestige and Inception, all great films.

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    • SiMan

      Jul 22nd 2012, 19:29

      @Aliwatches - yes, i know this could turn into a lengthy debate, but i'll respond to whata you've said regarding Bane. Firstly, there's one big point with casting Tom Hardy in the role - the guy can act. No matter who else you may cast who may physically like the Bane of the comics (you mention Andre the Giant), the fact is that if they aren't good actors, it will affect the film even more. Even CGI has it's limitations and costs. There's also nothing to say that Nolan's Bane didn't take some kind of strength enhancing drug. It never specifically says either way. I agree with the points about his tactical ingenuity in the comics though. In the film he just seemed like a thug with a big bomb - and another point i've just remembered about the film; Bruce Wayne loses all his money because they steal his prints and sell his stock (or buy some worthless stock, can't remember specifics) - and Fox says 'we may be able to prove fraud, but it will take months' - oh yeah? could you Wayne not just say, 'Hey, you know when all that stock stuff i did that went really bad for me. Well, did you guys kind of notice that it happened AT THE TIME A LOAD OF TERRORISTS WERE MESSING WITH THE COMPUTERS AT THE GOTHAM STOCK EXCHANGE!' - seriously, surely any trades at that time would have been suspended or at least investigated. And seeing as how the outcome has a major bearing on the rest of the plot, you'd think it should be something that actually made sense. I love Nolan's films, going back even before Begins (Memento and Insomina are both excellent, and the Prestige is one of my favourite films) but i really, really am dissappointed at how TDKR turned out. @Senver - you got it spot on. Far too much was made of this being the 'end' - as if it was solely made as being the end of a film trilogy, rather than the journey of a central character. How exactly did the Dark Knight 'Rise' in this film? In the trailers, Alfred says the line about 'you only see one end to this......'but sometimes, a man rises out of the darkness....' Now, i'd always assumed that he was meanig Batman would find away to rise above the need to sacrifice ones self and was looking forward to how this would be done. But no. That line is Alfred talking about Bane. I'm going to have to stop typing now. The more i think about, the more i'm growing to dislke the film, and i really don't want to. Avengers is the best comic book film of the year. By far.

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    • Flynners

      Jul 22nd 2012, 19:33

      Although I accept the film was not flawless, wasn't the whole point of not blowing up Gotham straight away to give people enough hope to make their eventual deaths worse, like the sunlight in the prison? Hence the cops being sent food. As for the bomb, If it had a remote trigger then there must have been a reciever attached to the bomb, maybe one with a timer set to go off as a backup with a time-frame within the expected lifespan of the bomb. This way Talia could predict when the bomb would explode had her trigger failed for some reason. Are we certain John Blake will be stepping into Batman's shoes? I took it he would be Robin as opposed to trying to convince people that Batman didn't die and he now has a Xavier style home of orphans to maybe train, anyway the people don't need Wayne's Batman necessarily now that his legend will inspire Blake and others to work outside the law and become symbols, and as for him needing Bruce's training, he seemed able to handle himself pretty well already. Maybe he learned how to fight mercenaries at the same magic karate club Selina Kyle did. My biggest problem was how Bane was beaten by damaging his mask, Is he ever beaten with a different method? And Talia's reveal at the end seemed like it might be sudden and contrived to non fanboys, as well as reducing Bane to a henchman once again.

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    • Katang

      Jul 22nd 2012, 23:18

      5

      Just got back from seeing this on IMAX, and I loved it. I get the impression that certain reviewers on this comment thread just wanted to dislike it. There's all this talk of plot holes and illogical plot setups - it's a film about a rich guy who dresses like a bat. Actually the film was superb, and #POSSIBLE SPOILER ALERT ALTHOUGH QUIT FRANKLY IF YOU WATCHED THE TRAILER YOU COULD FIGURE IT OUT YOURSELF BUT HEY PEOPLE COMPLAIN IF YOUDONT TELL THEM...# it took several cues not just from the obvious reference of Knightfall (that moment in the film was just brilliant) but also Cataclysm and No Man's Land, the enforced isolation of Gotham being an obvious point of comparison. To those complaining about the fact the bomb had a timer on it... Did the little time bombs he fired at the skyscraper in TDK need timers? No? Hmmmm...... Maybe that's one of the film conventions you need to adhere to as a shorthand for "there's a deadly deadline - get it?". To those people complaining that there wasn't enough Batman in this film - a hallmark of the Nolan Batfilms is the lack of Batman in them. You are really watching Bruce Wayne - at no point do you ever forget that. That was the one scene in TDK that always rankled with me - why did Bruce have to talk with the silly gravel voice in front of Lucius Fox when handing over the sonar system to him? if I had one complaint about this film it's that I wasn't totally sold on the Batwing - the design just didn't work for me - I loved the Tumbler design, but applying it to a flying macine as manoeuvrable as that depicted in the film just made it look like off cuts from Transformers. Sorry - but that design really did pull me out of the moment. But you know what? All in all it was solid grade A entertainment. Yes there were bits that were a bit OTT in places, and the adjustments to Bane's voice made it a) still difficult to understand and b) sit outside the soundscape of the movie, but on a scale of amazing to Spiderman 3, this ranks at least a solid Return of the King! It is a five star movie, although I will add the caveat that like Ofsted inspections in schools, there is a lot of play in what a certain grading means. But hell, just watch it for yourself - one thing you cannot argue with is that Nolan played it safe with his final film in the trilogy (Jedi anyone?), and for that alone the fifth star is well earned. P.s. to the commentator above who said they had never met anyone who preferred fellowship to TTT and RotK - I found TTT to be very disappointing, although the extended cut did flow a hell of a lot better.

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    • AliWatches

      Jul 23rd 2012, 13:41

      @Senver - If I may say so, I think you make some excellent points. Your explanation of Nolan's use of Bane does make sense. I just thought Nolan's expertise based on his previous films would have been able to make it clearer that Bane is possibly the most physically and mentally challenging opponent Batman has ever faced. As I've said before, I just don't think Nolan's Bane captures that sufficiently, it's almost as if he thinks the use of the name is enough.

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    • AliWatches

      Jul 23rd 2012, 13:55

      @SiMan - Thank you for your response. As I spread my comments over a number of posts, it might not have been clear that I agree with you about the importance of the ability to act. I could not agree more that Tom Hardy is an incredbile actor. When I heard he had been cast in the role of Bane, I had high hopes as I personally feel his physical and emotional protrayl of Charles Bronson in Bronson was incredible. There is no doubt that Tom Hardy was a perfect choice from the point of the acting, but as I've said previously, I cannot think of a single actor (regardless of the abilit to act) who could physically protray Bane. In the comics, Bane is a colousus, who to towers over Batman. When I first saw Batman face Bane in the comic books, my first thought was "How on earth is Batman going to defeat this guy?". Sadly, Tom Hardy's Bane doesn't give the same impression. I know CGI has it's limits and costs, but surely this was a movie with a large enough budget. Perhaps though you are right, as Bane has far more screen time than say the Hulk or Mr Hyde in their repsective films and perhaps also it would have been difficult to convey the right acting through CGI. That said, did you not feel that the mask hinder's Tom Hardy's performance? While he still gave an amazing performance, I think it would have been better without the mask. ### SPOILERS FROM THIS POINT ON ### I also agree with you about the bankruptcy plot. The first part of the film seems to hang on getting Bruce Wayne's finger prints in order to commit fraud which is then carried out by armed robbery. It just seemed like a set-up for an action scene which wasn't really neccessary.

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    • AliWatches

      Jul 23rd 2012, 14:12

      @Flynners - ### SPOLIERS CONTAINED WITHIN ### I can certainly see your point about giving them hope. However, I thought the point was to free Gotham from the authories (hence the trapping of the policemen), but I just didn't see the anarchy I would expect to come from a situation like that. Also, yes a timer could have been added and while I know next to nothing a bombs and their detenators, I would have thought adding a denator would have been a much simplier affair than adding a percise countdown timer. Especially to a device that is discussed about as being unstable. When Fox mentioned it was unstable, I got the impression it would denotate in 28 days but that he couldn't be sure to the precise hour, let alone minute or second. Yet when Talia al Ghul presses the trigger and the bomb fails to detonate, she says: "So, Gordon's bought you 11 more minutes." Raising multiple questions; how did she know exactly how long was left, how did she know Gordon was the reason the bomb fail to blow, why did she want to blow the bomb while her and Bane were still in Gotham? It would have made far more sense to me if she had tried to blow the bomb in some dying act. The timer just seemed added on to provide suspense for the final scene with the bomb. During which, Batman apparently has time to kiss Selina Kyle and tell Gordon his identity in a cryptic fashion.

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    • AliWatches

      Jul 23rd 2012, 14:30

      @Katang - ### CONTIANS SPOLIERS ABOUT BB, TDK AND TDKR ### I am geninuely pleased you loved the film. I wish I did. If I'm one of the reviewers you think wanted to dislike the film, I can assure you that nothing could be further from the truth. Perhaps, as I've said previously, I wanted to love it too much. TDK is an truely amazing film and I think it set the bar too high for TDKR. I guess nothing was going to top it and I shouldn't have expected TDKR too do so, but sadly I did. I don't agree with your implied argument that just because Batman is a concept about a rich person dressing in a costume justifies plot holes. The Batman concept is plausible, in so much that he is given both the resources and motivation to become the Batman. It would be less pluasible if he just got home one night and said, "I'd got loads of money. I bet if I put on a fancy dress costume I could go out in to the night and beat up criminals no sweat." To answer your question, yes the sticky bombs fired on Lau's skyscraper were necessary. The whole point of them was to create an exit point for Batman and Lau precisely when the Skyhook would be in position. Yes, you're right that the timer was used as "there's a deadly deadline - get it?" and that's the whole problem. In BB, the deadline is created by the speeding monorail heading towards Wayne Tower, without the need for on countdown timer. When it was done in TDK, the midnight deadline was clever and perfectly conceived. The Joker placed people in a horrific sernario, providing them with deadly dilema and gave them a tight dead-line in which to act or face the consequences. Bane and Talia al Ghul basically tell the entirety of Gotham that the bomb could blow anytime the trigger person chooses but they also know this unstable bomb will blow in a precise time frame. As I've said before, to me it was just a sloppy conclusion to a wonderful set of films.

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    • AliWatches

      Jul 23rd 2012, 14:32

      Does anyone else feel that TDKR could have been better if spread over two films? I have read that original screenplay was too long and had to be drastically cut down so that it could be shot as a single film. This would certainly explain to me why TDKR comes across as so rushed.

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    • strongbow21

      Jul 23rd 2012, 15:02

      5

      Some of you guys seriously need to get laid lol Good film, understood everything bane said, liked the ending, main gripe was they should of just shown alfred smiling and raising his glass and appearing to nod at someone at the end, not shown *spoiler* bruce wayne sat there with selina kyle, a inception type ending if you will, would of been better in my opinion

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    • strongbow21

      Jul 23rd 2012, 15:04

      If your just looking for action in this film, just watch the trailer, it pretty much has everything thats in the film

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    • Hadouken76

      Jul 24th 2012, 0:32

      3

      it was alright.

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    • Ali1748

      Jul 24th 2012, 16:45

      I want to see it again, this time I'll just make sure not to drink so much pepsi.

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    • lukebmitchel

      Jul 25th 2012, 2:34

      In their review, TF says, "or the equally sly way Nolan slips in possibly controversial elements from the Bat-mythos without risking outrage." What is TF talking about here? Catwoman possibly having a female lover in the form of Juno Temple? Bane being a paedo? I can't work it out. Can anyone help?

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    • mattymjp

      Jul 25th 2012, 13:42

      4

      Liked it. Not everything about it, thought it dragged a bit at times and wasn't enthralled by the ending. It wasn't TDKR but it was still a great movie.

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    • MaggieH

      Jul 25th 2012, 19:28

      @aliwatches & @senver agree with both you guys, wanted to love this film but left the cinema feeling cheated. Will definitley watch it again in the hope that I'll see something I missed the first time round, but for me Bane was a mistake. I don't know anything about the comics (except what i've heard) but even I wouldnt have picked Bane as the villan, the scarecrow was disturbing and scary, the joker, twisted but funny. Bane was a typical movie thug you could have seen in any action film. For me the movie felt rushed. How the hell did Bruce Wayne go from crippled recluse who hadnt seen the light of day for 8 years, to a*s kickng Batman in days, i know he had the special leg thingy but come on, are we supposed to believe that although he was depressed and morning the loss of Rachael, he was a regular home gym bunny, working out just so he could look hot in that batman suit, cos he does :)

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    • tsquare

      Jul 30th 2012, 1:21

      Sweet! I've just received my free minecraft giftcode! >> Minecraftcodes.info

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    • Mattsimus

      Jul 31st 2012, 21:59

      5

      To be honest, its almost beyond obsession reading these comments.....i mean seriously too much guys and gals! ya know I loved the original bat series of films, well at least batman / returns and this entire trilogy has been a return of quality and class and it will much like LOTR never be rebooted with such excellence! We all have opinions and are all entitled to them, but the reality is in regards to Bane, Nolan wanted you to adjust to the voice and not hand it to you on a plate and as such was an excellent villain, Cat woman (Although not referred to as catwoman, although slightly in the newspaper article"The Cat Strikes again") was a great idea, different from michelle but good....not revolutionary enough to spin her own movie mind! but hey. The film is amazing, f**k certain editing blips that all three movies had, enjoy what has come and remember this kind of quality will never come again for the superhero genre.....and if Avengers had the colourful fun, this has the legendary longevity and class! GO SEE THIS FILM.....................THEN SEE IT AGAIN! XMX

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    • JesseMeredith

      Aug 1st 2012, 10:53

      3

      Considering the hype and reviews from everywhere, this was actually a disappointing end to Nolan's trilogy; in fact a disappointing film compared with Nolan's back-catalogue. The Dark Knight was flawlessly written, perfectly acted and the cinematography was second-to-none. Rises, however, fails in every aspect. The script and dialogue had it moments, but was largely disappointing. The ideas behind most of the scenes were flawed. The acting was incredible, but only when it was used. Tom Hardy is one of the most promising actors of this generation, and considering he had Heath to live up to as a suitable villain, he was terribly, ashamedly underused. Even how the film play out doesn't have the flow and excitement of the previous two. What disappointed me the most though was that this is not a Batman film. Yes, the characters are there, but there is no chemistry, and very little of the excitement and tension usually commonplace in Nolan's filmography. Be prepared for a war film, not a superhero movie... and it helps if you don't view it as a Batman film either.

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    • Jareth64

      Aug 4th 2012, 16:42

      3

      Disappointing, I must admit. The weakest of the three by a long way - it has it's moments but the hype has got in the way of reality here. Nolan's an incredible director; Inception and The Dark Knight are masterpieces. Dark Knight Rises is an enjoyable film but is a flawed finale to what could have been an exceptional trilogy.

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    • ChrisWootton

      Aug 6th 2012, 10:20

      3

      Hmmm.. extremely flawed.. overlong and to be honest I found Bane to be very annoying (when I could actually understand what he was saying). I didn't see the relevance of the 8 year hiatus as it just showed that Bruce is battered from all the fighting but after a new knee tightening device... hey presto! Free to punch people in a boring manner. Not the greatest end to the trilogy.. actually felt like an overlong trailer.. Catwoman was good though.. and was anyone else annoyed by Gary Oldman's hair?

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    • Tedders

      Aug 7th 2012, 11:26

      5

      How can people not understand Bane? There are a few time you go "what?!" but most of the time you can hear him, if you can hear Darth Vader and understand him you can understand Bane. *SPOILERS FOR THIS FILM..* I thought the film was brilliant as a whole, thought Tom Hardy's acting as Bane was brilliant the menacing look in his eyes, how many people could act that well when you can hardly see their facial expressions? Gary Oldman was superb as usual as he is in practically every film. Not enough use of Anne Hathaway in my opinion thought there could be more of her in the film. I was going to complain when they made it look like Bane was Ra's Al Ghul's child seeing that there is no reference to the comic books, (I'm not a big reader but I know that for a start) and I didn't see Talia coming into it at all though. But the film series has tried to make it more realistic, people may complain Bane wasn't a huge muscle bound freak but who was complaining when Heath Ledger's Joker wasn't wacky and gag filled like he normally is portrayed? Overall was a great film, was slow to get into however, but was brilliant and would not be surprised if it had a better critical opinion from those haters as it time goes on.

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    • ChrisWootton

      Aug 7th 2012, 13:39

      I could understand what he was saying when there was a couple of lines but when he's explaining his plot I couldn't hear a f*****g word... mumble mumble mumble

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    • fhakan34

      Aug 8th 2012, 10:55

      This is an awful ending to what started and continued as great. I am a fan of Nolan and his other films, but here he tried to pull off something great, it came out as something overdone and full of cliches, like children desperately crying for a superhero to save them.

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    • TLaron

      Aug 9th 2012, 0:14

      THE DARK KNIGHT RISES is by far the best movie of the series, one of the best Batman movies ever and one of my favourite movies of all time!!! ;) Check out my review below... http://tlaron.tumblr.com/post/29006670436/the-dark-knight-rises-definitely-rises-to-the

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    • Vegas

      Aug 10th 2012, 14:43

      2

      This movie was a huge let-down. Whatever you guys say, The Avengers was way better. Batman wasn't on screen for like 40 minutes, Bane sucked as a villain (can't even come close to Loki), and who the hell thought casting Anne Hathaway as Catwoman would be a good choice?! She was terrible. I actually liked the ending, but there were so many unnecessary scenes, not to mention plotholes...and by the end of the movie almost everybody knew who the Batman was. Action scenes were horrible and the editing...pfff... It was too long, I found myself looking at my watch quite frequently and I'm just glad I didn't pay to see this in IMAX. Should have watched The Avengers again instead. Most of you only praise this movie, because Nolan directed it and so what? Yes, he is a very good director, but he's not god like many of you claim him to be. Batman Begins and The Dark Knight were amazing, but I'd just like to forget this installment of the franchise. Play Arkham Asylum or Arkham City instead and don't waste your money. I feel like I'm gonna get a lot of hate for this...whatever.

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    • CharlieJenkins

      Aug 15th 2012, 11:45

      2

      Yo Adrian, they stole my movie! Could help noticing throughout the film how familiar the story was. The hero/villain relationship of the younger hungrier fighter coming on the scene, pasting the complacent hero, who then goes away to find the fighting spirit he once had under the tutelage of the wise old mentor and comes back to then paste the younger fighter...its rocky 3 dressed as a batman film, (it even has Alfred quitting as his coach like Micky does “if you’re gonna get yourself killed, then I won’t be a part of that”) Which is a shame and a missed opportunity. There is a lot of potential for a story centred on social injustice and the greed of the rich during a time of recession and increased poverty. Could Bane become a great anti hero, could Batman be torn in his views as to who is truly righteous and who is really evil, could the batman franchise actually make an important social commentary. Sadly no. As soon as it looks interesting, they give Banes crew guns and a huge bomb and make them kill indiscriminately so we are back to archetypal villains again...such a shame. It doesn’t work well as an ending piece either. Rather than concluding it opens up and infinite possibility of sequels. Ra's al ghul could have had many children, many other members of the league of shadows etc. Bane doesn’t really work, he has the voice and articulation of a Hannibal, John Doe type, but not the poise and patience that needs to go with it for the character to unnerve you. Katwoman is completely unnecessary, the film would have worked equally well without her as she has no links with any other characters or story (unlike robin who improves the story) Some bits I liked, the police realising their roles as protectors in the film. The robin back story and how it links with batman was good. Gary Neman as commissioner Gordon is fantastic as always. I even like Bane..ish, but could have been a much more interesting story, lessons of the city could have been learned etc and could have been a modern fable and narrative of our times. I liked it enough, but disappointed this is what they chose to do with the last film

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    • luke100

      Aug 29th 2012, 0:20

      2

      Batman told me this: 'I got my back broken and a guy fixed it in a Well and I jumped out of it by not having the rope around my waist then I saw Catwoman, a petty-pretty-lady-of-the-night-thief that weighs around 6 stone that knows all types of martial art combat and knows how to drive anything and she says real darn hunky words to me and I says them back to hers and we stop everything, my butler cries a lot throughout which is real emotional leverage and Gary Oldman is real super silly as a cop then Bane says stuff that sounds like Yoda with a hangover and boom, I realise his intricate mask thing is what I need to punch then punch it and he cries as he guards the french too-nice-and-cool-and-beautiful-to-love/trust/hug-lady and save Gotham and Morgan Freeman is a brilliant man.' I wiped a tear away and watched Memento. I love Memento.

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    • MrT83

      Aug 30th 2012, 19:00

      4

      I really enjoyed the movie, but I think that there could have been a bit more in the way of action. Some of the scenes dragged and action seemed labored and a bit too clinical. Perhaps I'm a bit cynical as I'd have liked the movies to have been a bit truer to the comic e.g. Batmans enemies do not all die. That's what set him apart like when the saves Heath ledgers joker in TDK. Didn't really leave much scope for future films without another big reboot, and there will be more because effects get better all the time and there are so many characters to use for the bad guy. Personally I'd like to see killer croc or the black mask used. But I don't get all this hate for a good movie that was worth watching.

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    • keefcross

      Sep 1st 2012, 17:29

      This movie sucked, maybe cause it followed the Dark Knight, but all i have to say is, how are you gonna have a 3 hour batman movie, with no batman, i mean , he was only in the movie as batman for like 15 min....

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    • jamesking

      Sep 5th 2012, 5:51

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=BQyLjWXiTl0 Comedic Review of The Dark Knight Rises. Take with a grain of salt.

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    • rmcmillen01

      Sep 5th 2012, 20:39

      Incase you've missed everything in the trilogy up to this point, you can see a slight rundown at http://voices.yahoo.com/and-batman-begins-11691546.html?cat=9

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    • Mck123

      Dec 16th 2013, 13:05

      1

      I wish this film did not exist. Terrible on every level from editing, score, sound editing, Plot and script through to casting. After the brilliance of Nolan's first two films this disaster comes along, gets over hyped by the media and fan boys and makes a shed load of money. However I think it should have made more than it did it should have certainly beaten The Avengers or Iron Man 3 but it just was not any good. One star for Wally Pfister's work and that is it. Shame on all involved, they should have left it at two movies.

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