Review: Dark Knight Rises

No spoilers…

Dark Knight Rises Mondo Wallpaper

It’s here.

It’s finally effing here.

And it is EPIC.

There have been nay-sayers, there have been fanboyscough – but throughout there has always been Nolan. Enduring Nolan. Amazing Nolan. Nolan and his unflinching commitment to delivering the best telling of the Batman story he could could possibly tell.

I am here to tell you that he delivers against that commitment.

Deftly wrapping up all the threads that were laid in Begins and TDK, Rises is a film of EPIC proportions. It’s Nolan and Bale, obviously, but there’s newcomers like Tom Hardy, Marion Cotilliard and Joseph Gordon-Levitt too, each splashing the film with their own shades of Inception…  but ultimately, this is Bane’s film.

Tom Hardy is excellent in DKR; knowing, knowledgable, physical – he owns the screen whenever he appears. Another great addition to the cast, somewhat surprisingly, is Anne Hathaway. I don’t know why, but I had my doubts about her role as Selina Kyle’s cat burglar from the moment her casting was first announced but, honestly? She’s ace. Returning to Hardy briefly before moving on, I’m happy to report that the issues with his voice (that were first reported after the 7min preview back in December), have been fixed and the character of Bane oozes through Hardy with animalistic strength and menacing determination.

Remember, for the Dark Knight to rise, first he must fall. And fall he does – in spectacular fashion. In Bane, Batman truly has met his match.

This isn’t the Batman that you’ve got to know through the previous two films, mind. First in story: time has passed [eight years in fact] and a lot has happened. Before Bale dons the cowl in this final chapter, we’re made all too aware of the damage that leading the kind of life Bruce Wayne leads can have. Second, in tone: the 160+ mins are of a completely different breed than what’s come before. Nolan has grown both as a director and storyteller and we, the audience, get a much more mature and visceral cinema experience because of it.

But let’s be clear, Dark Knight Rises is a film of endings. Not in a LOTR: Return of the King ‘lets-end-the-film-five-times-over-the-course-of-an-hour’ kind of way, but in a closing of chapters, tying up of loose ends and the release of deep, set tension and pain way. Whatever Warner Bros do with the Batman licence next, it won’t be a part of this universe, that’s for certain.

There are niggles, few, but most can be plastered over by the sheer courage of the director’s vision to create such an epic conclusion to this trilogy.

When the credits rolled, I cheered and applauded as the final pay off comes together, perfectlty.

See it.


You’re gonna love it…



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Author: James Whatley

Chief Strategy Officer in adland. I got ❤️ for writing, gaming, and figuring stuff out. I'm @whatleydude pretty much everywhere that matters. Nice to meet you x

8 thoughts on “Review: Dark Knight Rises”

  1. Further to my comments that I posted last night, there is one thing I would say about TDKR: it’s a perfect example of efficiency in storytelling. It has been cut to the bone, throughout, there is not a single wasted second of screentime, yet there is nary a nick of a single artery. When they create graphs showing the ebb and flow of films, from the peaks of high-drama to the long slide into backstory dialogue, the one for this film will look more like a heart monitor trace. This leaves me with a conundrum; whilst I said it could do with an extra 15-30 minutes of running time, so that some scenes could have the time for you to soak up the emotional impact, what would be the impact on the rest of the film?

  2. I think I’m actually happier that you’re happy with it than with anything else about the film. I’d have been gutted if you were disappointed, glad it lived up to your hopes.

    James Reply:

    <3 :)

  3. I was pretty disappointed in the movie unfortunately, walked in with high expectations and didn’t think it delivered on some points – it certainly was an ambitious bet to complete the trilogy after The Dark Knight and for me, it could’ve been pulled off bar (what I thought were) a few really silly scenes and plot points. Maybe I’m splitting hair but hey.

    [movie spoilers – don’t read further if you haven’t seen it]

    More specifically, I agree Bane and Catwoman were excellent. On the other hand Marion Cotillard was dreadful (Her last breath scene? Seriously? Bad Z movie material) and plainly a useless character that completely undermines Bane who suddenly goes from being an awesome villain to being Marion’s bitch for no particular good plot reasons. Who cares who’s daughter she is and what strings she pulls in the background when all the badassery was Bane’s..? That was sad to me. Then a few other things like amazingly blowing the city while somehow keeping the police stuck underground for 3 months..? Then the charge of Gotham’s finest with standard issue weapons against batmobile types and a lot of bad guys with AK47s was just weird – should’ve been a blood bath. Anyway. Otherwise the best best line in the movie is Cillian Murphy: “Death by Exile!”

    I enjoyed it overall while being disappointed – I’ll have to see it again for another opinion.

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