After seeing The Dark Knight Rises Wednesday night, I wanted a good day to decompress from it prior to writing my review. I walked out of the theater in awe of a finale that reminded me of Return of the King nine years ago. I wanted to make sure it wasn’t just pre-showing euphoria and I wanted to think through it to see if nearly twenty four hours if I felt the same. And I do.
Before I dive in, let me say that I’ve always preferred Batman Begins to The Dark Knight. The way Two Face was used and killed off in the second movie just reminded me of wasting Venom in Spider-Man 3 and it really soured the second movie for me. They should’ve saved Two Face for the third movie instead of cramming him into the end of the second, especially with how much they built up Dent and how Bruce saw him. The story also lacked the focus of Begins, which has always made Begins more entertaining for me to watch.
Following Rises, I’d rank it above Begins. The scale is much larger than both previous movies combined and it combines elements of both Knightfall and No Man’s Land from the comics. Bane in the movie does what you expect Bane to do, unlike how he was used in the Schumacher romp. This is the man who broke the Bat in the comics, and that plays a big part of the movie. Bane’s takeover of Gotham and the chaos it causes is very similar to how Gotham ended up in the No Man’s Land comic storyline where a massive earthquake hit Gotham and cut it off from the rest of the world.
Catwoman is also handled very well, and is easily the best big screen version of the character ever done; despite how good Burton’s version was in Batman Returns. She’s a great love interest/ally to Batman/Bruce Wayne and the heroic side of the character definitely shows itself here. There have been some pretty crazy rumor of who the character of John Blake really is, and one of them turned out to be true. That revelation causes one of the huge cheers of the movie.
One great thing about the movie is that all of the storylines from the two previous movies tie up nicely in a finale that’s very similar to Return of the King’s. The only problem is that this ending opens up some possibilities for a fourth movie that would be awesome to see. Unfortunately Nolan says he’s done with Batman, but one can wish that Warner Brothers would roll an oil tanker full of cash up to his front door to come back and make THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS.
This third movie isn’t perfect. There are some huge plot holes and strange continuity gaffs in the movie, especially when it comes to time and the ticking clock on a bomb. Bane’s voice is also a problem and I struggled to understand a good half of his lines through the mask. The dialog has been fixed a bit from the IMAX prologue, but it’s still very hard to understand him a lot of the time.
In the end, the payoff this third movie gives to what was started in Batman Begins is something special. The three movies form one amazing saga of Batman that I really don’t think we’ll be lucky enough to see on the big screen again. When most trilogies completely fall apart with their third movies, The Dark Knight Rises ends its trilogy on a high note. Do not miss this.