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The Dark Knight Rises: Review

**Some vague, non-plot-specific spoilers**

HOT OFF THE PRESS!  I have just returned from the finale of the Batman trilogy, best appreciated on the big screen surrounded by excited wrapper-rustlers and ‘Oh my GOD!’ exclaimers (slightly bitter about the disturbing of the peace, but whatever).  And what a finale.  The plot is huge, as always, and the stretch of Bruce Wayne’s character verified why I will always prefer Batman to Spiderman.  Spiderman is a smart boy in spandex who got lucky.  Batman is a self-made and slightly tortured individual with ridiculous transportation methods and lots of money.

Plus, he has style in abundance.  He still cuts a silhouette in a massive ‘I’M A SUPERHERO !’ cape, for which I would have cried if they’d left out.

Bane, on the other hand, was a perfectly brutish manifestation of terrorism that crumbled the foundations of iconic American culture.  He strikes fear into every star-spangled Yankee heart (whilst wearing a shearling coat). The beauty of TDKR, however, was the spreading of nemesis into every disillusioned, have-not of Gotham. The city’s people have never held a backseat in the Batman trilogy, but the brawling and bitter masses formed an infestation that seeped off the streets and into the sewers.  Batman himself, broken and metaphorically chained as he was, almost disappeared from the plot in many parts of the film.  This was never an issue, though, as the film was bloody long.  The pace kept going, though, so the length did not seem overly-indulgent.

Anna Hathaway was perfect as the quick-fingered Cat Burglar; I feel I have to shrug off my unfair judgements of her as easy-to-watch, lovable fluff.*  And the same goes to Michael Caine, who I’ve never properly appreciated…well, he made me tear up.  Bit embarrassing.  Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Morgan Freeman remain revered as always.  There are many more who deserve a mention, but, safe to say, it was a stellar cast.

And, holy smokes, we are all set up for a spin-off sequel.  Which is SO exciting.  Until then, we can occupy ourselves with three months of costume perfecting.  Hallowe’en is going to be terribly fun this year.

*Quick, somebody make me a catsuit and stilettos with knives for heels.  I really think my life will improve with this apparel.

Cheeky Spiderman reference?


  1. star spangled yankee

    “He strikes fear into every star-spangled Yankee heart”

    Au contraire, Bane rather bored me. Any menace he might have evoked was utterly undercut by the movie’s end, where he’s effectively reduced to a neutered lapdog. I thought the movie’s villains, thus their threat, thus the film, lacked any particular gravity. It takes more than random violence to be terrifying.

    • Actually, I have to agree with you. I wrote this post far too quickly, as soon as I left the cinema, still a wee bit too excited.
      For one thing, Bane was sort of lacking the curiously twisted presence of someone as FANTASTIC as the Joker, and Ledger’s performance. And another related point – I was waiting for some sort of Phantom of the Opera moment where we see Bane minus the mask, all gruesome underneath. I think I wanted the villain to be a little more sickening, and more than just brute force (love the bit where Bane gets all mental and deals the punches like POWPOWPOW).
      But yes…Bane’s death was a bit lack lustre. Shed a tear, cat burglar comes in, BAM. This guy bought all of Gotham to its brawling knees! Really?
      But then, it’s hard not to compare it to the Dark Knight…I think my favourite bit about Bane was that he got under the skin of all the citizens, rather than simply scaring them and then having a one-off battle with Superhero X.

  2. star spangled yankee

    Well, you’re no fun. Here I was, hoping for an international incident, and then you respond reasonably. How deflating.

    I think we can agree that anyone who followed Ledger’s Joker was set up to fail. That actor and role were pure alchemy. And yes, Bane’s death served little purpose other than to furnish us with a Catwoman quip that I cannot quite remember, save that it wasn’t particularly clever. I do agree about Caine’s brilliance; I’d go so far as to say his was the only character who felt real. He was the film’s soul. And although I’d expected to find Hathaway annoying, she was instead note-perfect and, for me, the film’s highlight.

    Michael Caine had a great line during an interview, and I’d love to hear your thoughts. Discussing heroes as geopolitical metaphors, he said “Superman is how America sees herself. Batman is how the rest of the world sees America.”

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