Friday, July 20, 2012

The Dark Knight Rises could have been better

At the risk of offending Batman fans everywhere (and that's a risky proposition right now), I was a little underwhelmed with ‘The Dark Knight Rises.’

I was looking forward to the movie.

I found the trailers engaging and interesting.

There was something missing from the trailers, though, and I couldn’t put my finger on it until I went and saw the movie today.

Oh, yeah, there was a distinctive lack of fun.

Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy has always been dark. There were still moments of amusement in both previous installments, though.

There’s really nothing fun about ‘The Dark Knight Rises.’

Bruce Wayne is morose. Gotham City is in ruins. Bane finds no glee in the destruction he has wrought.

In other words, the whole movie is kind of depressing.

I don’t want readers to think I hated the movie – because that’s far from the truth.

There are several action sequences that are heart-pounding and riveting – including the football game and the bridge destruction. They’re few and far between, though.

Perhaps it was inevitable. ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ really had no place to go but down after ‘The Dark Knight’ in 2008.

‘The Dark Knight’ was the epitome of greatness – and Heath Ledger’s Joker was one of the greatest movie villains of all time.

Bane just can’t live up to the hype.

I like Tom Hardy as an actor. I’m not infatuated with him, but I find him to be solid and charismatic. You never get a chance to really invest in Bane as a villain, though, mostly because he’s really hard to understand.

I was in a relatively loud theater – and I heard a lot of other people whispering throughout the movie. “What did he say?”

I read that they cleaned up the audio a great deal before the release because they were getting numerous complaints about no one being able to understand Bane. They didn’t go far enough, that’s for sure.

‘The Dark Knight Rises’ brings back the core group of Christian Bale, Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine and Gary Oldman.

Bale is a good actor (if a pain in real life), but his Batman is really morose. I mean, really morose. There’s no charm to his Batman or Bruce Wayne in this film.

Freeman, Caine and Oldman are solid, as always, but they hardly carry the film.

New faces include Anne Hathaway, Marion Cotillard and Joseph Gordon-Levitt.

Hathaway is one of the few sparks in the film, stealing every scene she’s in as Selena Kyle. I would have preferred having more of her and less of Bane, quite frankly. She’s responsible for the bulk of the movie’s comic relief – such as itis.

Cotillard is a great actress but she’s playing an underdeveloped character here. Her performance at the end of the film was, um, unique. And the build-up to the reveal about her is just plain lacking. The same with Gordon-Levitt. Neither is playing a character anyone will remember.

My big quibble with the film is all the flashbacks, though. It was like I was stuck in a ‘Highlander’ movie without all the lightning and beheadings.

I think the thing that struck me most was that I became one of those annoying people that kept checking their phone to see what time it was. I started checking the phone an hour in. That’s not a good sign. To me, it just felt like the film was dragging.

Essentially, the action was great but a lot of the flashbacks were boring. I think you could have easily shaved off 45 minutes from this movie and made it tighter and more enjoyable.

I know there seems to be a lot of animosity between ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ and ‘The Avengers’ fans. I think comparing the movies is hard.

‘The Dark Knight Rises’ is much darker and drearier. It doesn’t feel like a super hero movie a lot of the time.
‘The Avengers,’ on the other hand, was all kinds of fun.

I don’t think you can really compare the two movies.

In the end, though, I’ve already pre-ordered ‘The Avengers’ for release date delivery. It’s one of those films that will be endlessly re-watchable.

‘The Dark Knight Rises’ is not endlessly re-watchable.

Of course, ‘The Dark Knight’ is too dark to be endlessly re-watchable, too – unless you’re a masochist. It’s still terrific cinema.

Nolan created a trilogy that is going to stand for a long time. The characters are richly drawn. He took some big risks – and they paid off. ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ is a solid ending for the trilogy.

I just don’t think it was great.

What do you think? Did ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ live up to expectations?


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home