The Dark Knight Rises (2012) Movie Review

details
Title: The Dark Knight Rises.
Rated: PG-13.
Director: Christopher Nolan.
Screenplay: Jonathan Nolan & Christopher Nolan.
Story: Christopher Nolan & David S. Goyer.
Release Date: 2012.
Runtime:  164 min.
Genre(s): Action, Adventure.
Cast: Christian Bale, Gary Oldman, Tom Hardy, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Anne Hathaway, Marion Cotillard, Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine, and many more!
Budget: $250,000,000.
Opening Weekend USA: $160,887,295.
Gross USA: $448,139,099.
My Overall Rating:★★★★★★★☆☆☆ (7/10).

Previously in the Dark Knight trilogy:
Batman Begins (2005).
The Dark Knight (2008).

thoughts

Have you ever been broken to the point where the concept of hope is nothing more than a word whispered in fairytales? With the Joker having given Batman a taste of madness and chaos by getting deep into his mind to play games, by dissecting the fundamental rules by which he abides by and invite him to break them to defeat him, it was only a matter of time before Gotham’s Caped Crusader would have to face someone just as nightmarish, someone who would not only torture him psychologically, but break him physically, unable to do anything alone to save his city. And there lies the answer to his plight, in a false conviction that he must himself destroy, one that compels him to believe that this war can only be achieved alone. Concluding his critically-acclaimed The Dark Knight trilogy is director Christopher Nolan who now seeks to explore despair and terror through another of Batman’s greatest villains of all time: Bane.

What is The Dark Knight Rises about? Set eight years after the events in The Dark Knight, the Joker’s anarchy is mitigated by a costly plan set up by commissioner James Gordon and Batman as they keep Harvey Dent’s reign of terror a secret from the people to allow his legacy to be maintained intact and give Gotham City a chance to survive and overcome its war on crime. With the criminal organizations that ran the city now dismantled, the city finally sees some light but Batman is nowhere to be found, hidden from citizens who now believe that he was the reason to their loss of their White Knight. It is, however, the arrival of a ruthless and brutal guerilla terrorist known as Bane that yanks Batman out from the shadows to save his city from being destroyed from within.

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Let’s face it. The challenge to meet the expectations that The Dark Knight gave fans in 2008 is almost insurmountable. When I first saw this movie, I was mostly blinded by a love for the director, the trilogy, and Tom Hardy. Upon my last viewing, I’ve come to appreciate this movie with less enthusiasm as its flagrant plot holes jumped off the screen and pummeled me to the ground. If anything, this movie resembled much more to a comic book story, while its predecessor offered fans a truly epic and poetic clash of ideologies through Batman and Joker. From miraculous recoveries and incomprehensible techniques of teleportation to obscure police department strategies centered around sending ALL your resources into an obvious trap, it would be a lie to believe that the movie offered a truly realistic and probable tale of anarchy and revolution. The final result, despite its superficial narrative direction oriented around loss and rebirth, simply felt a mosaic of subplots that struggled to stick together.

That being said, the movie was not completely terrible. It remains an ingenious cinematographic accomplishment completing a fantastic trilogy without tripping over itself. Tom Hardy’s take on Bane remains iconic and unforgettable. His presence on the screen is absolutely breathtaking, sucking the hope and life out of anyone who dares confront him. His dialogue alone merits all the praise in the world, clearly establishing his villain as a physical and psychological menace to Batman and Gotham City. Accompanying him into this final act in the trilogy is also Anne Hathaway’s Catwoman, while not particularly memorable, she does offer some stunning moments showcasing her unique acting abilities. The recurring cast also continues to play strong and consistent roles that highlight their character’s understanding of Batman’s goals and mission.

the dark knight rises gifs | WiffleGif

Engulfed in Hans Zimmer’s music, the movie also excels in terms of establishing an atmospheric and depressive environment as Gotham City suffers the worse of Bane’s plans. The rhythmic tempo also assures that viewers are starkly aware of the threat that grows within the city through Bane. There are far too many moments throughout the movie that simply immersed you into Gotham City as you grasped the danger and the destruction brought upon it through Bane. While the movie isn’t a true triumph in terms of combat and mostly succeeds in its presentation of Batman’s gorgeous technological arsenal, it is worth noting that the first formal encounter between Batman and Bane remains unforgettable, encapsulated by one of the greatest moments in canonical comic book lore. Beyond that battle, the rest of the movie is reduced to a bland fistfight, barely trying to remind us that the Dark Knight is capable of some of the best martial arts in vigilante history. While the absence of a fight choreography is a bit disappointing, the movie remains solid in its rough exploration of anarchy through the decimation of hope.

The Dark Knight Rises (2012) is the weakest chapter of the trilogy exploring a broken bat’s loss of hope and his quest for redemption through sacrifice and perseverance.


EXHIBITA
The Dark Knight Rises is the third and final movie in The Dark Knight trilogy by director Christopher Nolan. Director Christopher Nolan will afterward co-produce and co-write Zack Snyder’s The Man of Steel (2013).

Have you read any Batman/Bane comics?
Have you seen The Dark Knight Rises (2012)? Will you? What did you think about it?
Share your thoughts with me!

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58 comments

  • If I am not mistaken, I have seen the movie though I didn’t watch it analytically. I wonder if I can review movies. Would I be good at that. Fantastic review maybe I should see the movie again to note your points

    Liked by 1 person

  • Honestly? I loved this movie, and I dare not even say it, but I liked this one more than The Dark Knight. I really enjoyed the way Batman fought his way back in this one, and overcame a what seemed at first a pretty impossible to beat foe. It’s Batman’s tenacity and his will that truly shows what a hero he really is, and that one no matter how much the odds are stacked against you, should never give up😊

    Liked by 1 person

  • Fantastic review Lashaan! Isn’t it funny when you rewatch a film and realise it wasn’t as good as you thought it was? It happened to me and my husband a while back when we re watched Planes Trains and Automobiles with Steve Martin and John Candy. It wasn’t funny at all, in fact it was so cringey and rather mean, we were so disappointed and a bit shocked to think that we enjoyed it in the first place! :/

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh man, it’s always such a shame when a movie you have only great memories of end up so full of flaws upon rewatching it, critically or not.

      It’s been so long since I’ve heard of Steve Martin!!! I remember him most for his role in Cheaper by the Dozen. I saw that one so many times as a kid but I think.. if I rewatch it today, I’d cringe a bit too much too hahaha

      Like

  • I recently re-watched The Dark Knight, after reading your review. It still killed me and re-affirmed that I don’t want to own the movies after Batman Begins.

    I’ve got this one on tap as well, but my hopes are pretty low. Broken backs don’t heal because you “want” them to, sigh…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hahahah it’s good to know that it stood YOUR test of time then! But that conclusion doesn’t mean that it was a “bad” movie to you, right? 😮

      Tell me about it. Even the process he goes through is tough to believe… Then again. This movie was filled with a lot of those kinds of “comic book” logic. Hope you can still enjoy some of the iconic moments of this movie though.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Correct, it’s not a “bad” movie, just one that I can’t handle emotionally.

        I’m hoping I will enjoy Rises. But I can already tell I won’t bother owning it. Just Batman Begins for me 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  • Two things I did not like of this movie, Bane’s voice lines were hard to understand, maybe because i did not watch this at the movies and Ann as cat woman, just did not fit for me, specially not that generic look at my great ass as I get on this bike scene… Great review bro.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Ahhh, I love the accent and tone he took but it can indeed be tough to grasp upon the first viewing.

      Yep. They definitely wanted to make sure we understood that she was a femme fatale, especially on the bike.

      Thank you so much for reading and sharing your thoughts, man. Always glad to see hear from you. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  • As I said in my comment to your review of the first movie, I need to rewatch them all, but I found myself nodding in agreement at the point where you describe the atmosphere of the city and the way the movie makes you “breathe” the city’s ambience: this is a detail that has remained firmly in my memory, and I can’t wait to truly revisit it 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  • I only watched the first one in this trilogy and I did enjoy it. I am not sure if I will ever watch the others ones, but I might give it a go. I do not watch movies critically, I just watch for entertainment, so it is always interesting to see what you think about a movie that I watched. Great review Lashaan.

    Liked by 1 person

    • If it’s any consolation, The sequel to the first movie is the best of the trilogy and contains some of the most iconic moments in cinema! Thank you so much for taking the time to read my thoughts on this one, Carla! It’s always a pleasure to share them with readers like you who are curious and open-minded! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  • Is ‘cinematographic’ a real word? {I think you made it up!} 😉

    Yeah, I remember seeing this in the theater and thinking that it had many good features that I liked, but there were lot of elements that did not work so well.

    Great review as always, Boy Wonder.

    Liked by 2 people

  • I never made it this far in the Batman movies. Not sure what the last one I watched was, or if it was even in this trilogy. It’s a great review, though, pointing out both flaws and strengths. Given that I can see why some didn’t like this one as much, but others preferred it. It’s always interesting how we each take different things from movies, or stories of any sort.

    Liked by 1 person

    • If there’s a Batman-related cinematic experience that’s already out and available that I’d recommend, it would be this trilogy, especially for the second movie, The Dark Knight. If you ever have a craving for a dark and smart trilogy, this Christopher Nolan trilogy is the way to go.

      And I agree. It’s always fascinating to see how everyone experiences the same movie. There’s never just one way to appreciate them! 😀

      Like

  • Interesting review; I love a recant, and should do more myself. Rises is a big, meaty movie, but it’s bedevilled by logic lapses. There’s a lot of pressure during a film’s release for critics to love it, and I have to admit, I didn’t love this. As blockbusters go, it’s more than decent, but The Dark Knight managed a certain conjuring trick that this doesn’t. And Bane is pretty easily defeated in the end, meaning that the franchose fizzles at the last…

    Liked by 1 person

    • I couldn’t have said it better myself. The Dark Knight’s clever plotting forced this movie’s hands and it clearly couldn’t deliver without sacrificing logic in the process… I am quite saddened by the final Bane moments too and it’s probably due to the “real” villain’s identity reveal too… Oh well. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

        • I remember how sad I was by that sequence as a teenager though. And then found the whole “Ahhh but Bruce Wayne had time to fix the auto-pilot” so awesome. This time around, it was a lot less impressive but at least the epilogue gave us a somewhat satisfying ending where Batman becomes a symbol, Bruce Wayne is happy, and Robin is born?

          Liked by 1 person

          • I was satisfied that it was over. Tropes like this, and Robin too, belonged in the Adam West era. Felt the same about Begins, a long solemn build up to a rote punchup. Taking a small scale seemed to work for the Joker movie, would imagine The Batman will aim to scale down the melodramatic tendencies…

            Liked by 1 person

            • Yep. And I think Matt Reeves has a better vision for the overall tone of Gotham City as the cast is quite extensive with multiple A-list villains making an appearance.

              Have you been getting premiere invites for all the superhero movies so far (unless you pass on them)? You’d actually be able to see The Batman before we all do too, right? 😛

              Like

              • So…if thy;re good, studios are usually keen to get them in front of critics; Disney gave me great access for Iron Man 3, for example, much to the envy of friends. WB have generally been proud to give us each of the Nolan Batman’s in IMAX. They’ve been filming The Batman here in Glasgow, so hopefully we’ll get a look WOR (week of release) or earlier. The location they’re using is the Necropolis, and you can see it in the trailer.

                Liked by 1 person

                • I am both envious and absolutely thrilled for you, dude. Except for Iron Man 3… That’s a promised seance of torture right there! 😉 You merit those screenings for sure though. And sweeeeeet! I usually only look into the production behind-the-scenes stuff after viewing the movie but when I hear about where they shoot some stuff, it often blows my mind!

                  Liked by 1 person

  • Has it seriously been 8 years since this movie came out? I remember my friend and I going absolutely crazy with excitement as the release date was drawing closer. It’s been years since I’ve watched it, though. Great review!

    Liked by 1 person

  • I do agree that this is the weakest instalment to Nolan’s Batman trilogy, but I feel like it gets unfairly criticised as well. I think maybe they tried to pack too much into the film and that’s why it seems a bit more disjointed. Tom Hardy was iconic as Bane, but I wasn’t blown away by Hathaway’s Catwoman either. Having Hans Zimmer composed the score was a genius move. His music always heightens the emotion and tension in any scene and it remains to be one of my favourite scores of all time. I can’t believe it’s been 8 years since this film was released, maybe it’s time for a rewatch.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yep. Many are unable to appreciate the good parts and love to hate on this one for its flaws alone. Like you’ve mentioned, Tom Hardy was fantastic in his role (even his final moments in the movie were lackluster). The score and cinematography also make up for the logic problems.

      I’m always ready to recommend this trilogy to anyone and everyone for a first or 100000th viewing though! 😛 Thanks for reading, Lois! 😀

      Like

  • It’s hard not to be blinded by a love of Tom Hardy. I’ve yet to get past that blindness, lol. (Btw, I wonder if another season of Taboo is coming. I’ve heard nothing about that show.)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Right? Hahahah I would say the same about Venom. It’s not perfect, but Tom Hardy makes it too fun to hate! 😛

      Oh man… I’m still sad by the amount of time they’re taking for another season. With the pandemic, I don’t have much hope for it to be anytime soon too. 😦

      Liked by 1 person

  • It’s really weird how many trilogies have a weak third part. In many cases, I think it’s because the second ups the ante while the third is when we’re just waiting for the pieces to fall into place, but it’s still strange how often it ends up being the case.

    Some fans cite The Dark Knight Rises as a disaster, but I wouldn’t go that far, and as you point out, there are plenty of good things about it. It is, however, unequivocally the weakest film in the trilogy, and I feel it doesn’t quite have the “Return of the Jedi” factor going for it in that the payoff is enough to salvage the film entirely. It’s not a bad ending, but it doesn’t seem especially well-thought-out, which is a shame.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The most flagrant one has to be the Godfather trilogy. I despise the third one so much. It really made no sense that it had to end on that note…

      I agree with you. I feel like it could’ve been polished way more. Instead of Catwoman, it could’ve also stuck to the Knightfall story and introduced Azrael but I guess, for a final movie in a trilogy, Catwoman had to appear.

      Liked by 1 person

  • I liked the trilogy. As it happens I saw another Batman movie this weekend (the title escapes me but Superman was dead and the bad guy here was Steppenwolf – I don’t even know what happened) and while watching that I realised even more how much better the trilogy really was ☺️

    Liked by 1 person

  • The Dark Knight Rises gets such a bad rap, but do you know what I love it – yes, scrutinise certain elements of the plot and there are holes (but the film would probably have needed to be about 4-5 hours long to cover everything) but I think it was a rousing and emotional finale to Nolan’s trilogy. I get what you say about the fisticuffs action but Nolan’s Batman was always generally more that way but I still think he was something of a strategist.

    Great to hear your thoughts on this Lashaan, the Dark Knight trilogy remains an awesome achievement, just as Tim Burton’s films were but each have their own different style and approach in accordance with the respective filmmakers. I can’t wait to see what Matt Reeves gives us with The Batman, but I’m also certainly excited to see more Batfleck!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I always also wonder what it would’ve been like if Heath Ledger had been still alive. He could’ve contributed so much to the Arkham escape act in the movie, alongside Scarecrow! 😮 But yes, it’s not a bad movie and it has plenty of excellent and iconic moments that make it a better movie than so many others at the box office.

      Thanks for reading, my friend. I’ll probably be revisiting the pre-Nolan and pre-DCEU Batman/Superman movies during 2021 now that I’ve covered all of the modern DC movies on my blog. A bit sad that the pandemic is forcing studios to push their movies further away too though. We could’ve already had WW1984 by now! 😦 I hope we’ll be able to enjoy Reeves’ The Batman in all of its glory in theaters without worrying about a virus!

      Hope you’ve been doing well though, Chris! You’re killing me with your absence on your blog! 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      • Haha, thanks my friend – you may be interested to see I’ve finally produced a new post, looking back at Sam Raimi’s first Spider-Man film…look forward to your thoughts on that.

        The pandemic is obviously bad for us all and to be honest I’d much rather films we’re delayed until it’s safe to go back to cinemas…I know that doesn’t help the cinema chains and the industry as a whole but hopefully they can get the right financial support until the landscape is better. I feel guilty about this, but I was actually relieved when they announced the delay of the new James Bond film because with rising COVID cases across the country (and I’m in one of the worst affected areas – Liverpool) and the world there’s little chance of many willing to take the risk.

        Pre-DCEU reviews, now that will be most interesting I’ll be fascinated to hear your thoughts on those earlier offerings as they’re quite different and I think you may find the Superman films in particular (bar the first one) difficult to appreciate…I’ll have a post about Superman II coming by the end of the year.

        Liked by 1 person

  • The Dark Knight Rises has some of the same problems as Spider-Man 3; there’s just too much going on. There are also a couple too many silly voices going on. The whole thing with Batman recovering from a broken back in a prison hole is also a bit hard to accept, as is the idea that he quit being Batman for years, yet still had knee problems. But for all the movie’s faults, it still has some very good points. Bane is a legitimately intimidating villain. It might actually have the best soundtrack in the trilogy (The Dark Knight’s soundtrack was also very good). The brief relationship between Bruce and Catwoman is kind of charming. And while the finale is over-the-top and doesn’t really feel like it belongs in a Batman movie, it’s still a great action scene.

    Liked by 1 person

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