Movie Chat-Review: Dark Knight Rises

The Internet doesn’t need another review of Christopher Nolan’s latest installment of the gritty modern Batman franchise. But I’m posting it anyway.

This was basically a trimmed version of the conversation my friend Katie and I had—she saw it yesterday, I saw it this evening.

Spoiler Alert: We both didn’t like it. Also, this review is full of spoilers.

What else you should know: Katie is familiar with the comics, and I am not. I’m only seeing the movies as the movies, without any comic background. It’s this way with EVERY comic book-based film I see. We’re also both massive Avengers fangirls. Also, I liked Batman Begins and I loooved The Dark Knight. I figured I wouldn’t like DKR as much as TDK, but I didn’t expect to dislike it as much as I did.

That said, shall we proceed?

Me: So my favorite part of Dark Knight Rises was a random 10-second preview of something I don’t even remember except that it had Jeremy Irons in it. I don’t even know what the saddest part of that was.

Katie: my favorite part of dark knight rises was when batman first shows up again and they do the pan up from his feet
cause he looked super hot
but i didn’t like catwoman at all

Me: I actually warmed up to her eventually. Which is a big deal because I don’t care for Anne Hathaway.

Katie: bane was a kick ass villain, but i don’t think he did enough

Me: I didn’t like him as a villain. I thought he was too creepy without being fun enough. I guess he was ok as a “bad guy” but I like my villains to be a little fun.
I kind of assumed that I wouldn’t like DKR as much as DK, but I didn’t expect to be quite *so* disappointed.

Katie: yeah same here
it had spiderman 3 syndrome where they tried to do way too much in one movie and it just fell flat

Me: Aaahhhh, yeah, that makes sense.
I mean, you’d know better than I would probably, since like every other superhero/comicbook movie, I’m only going on the movies.
I feel like it ended the trilogy really well, and I thought it was a good Chris Nolan movie, but I didn’t think it was a good *Batman* movie.

Katie: i hated the ending because i know how it’s supposed to be

Me: Oooh, ok. I kept thinking, I wanted to see Batman. And … there wasn’t much Batman. It was basically a cops and robbers drama where Batman occasionally shows up.

Katie: yes!
batman would never have left his city for 7 years and let all his skills go to waste

Me: And I was annoyed that in a city of 12 million people there was no citizens’ resistance to Bane and his few thousand, at the most.
Like, really?

Katie: there was just too much everyone else and not enough batman

Me: It built up the cops as heroes, and then they were still useless. And yeah, you have the good work of random individuals like Bruce and Alfred and Gordon and “Robin” what’s his face and Fox, but come on. The French had the French resistance to THE NAZIS. And at the end of DKR everyone comes out of their homes like “Oh, good, is it all over?”

Katie: it was like the build up in the first one when batman was first training in the league of shadows

Me: Yes!

Katie: he’s already done the training! i don’t want to see him come out of tragedy again!

I was thinking, “If I had known it was going to be so much like Batman Begins, I probably wouldn’t have bothered.”

Katie: i mean…i know bane breaks batman’s back in the comic. all that was supposed to happen, but it made a big chunk of the movie pretty boring
and i feel like he wasn’t really terrifying the citizens of gotham. they drove around once and a while, but it’s not like they were really bothering the normal people. they were just shut in their houses

Me: Honestly, I think the point the movie lost me was the scene at the stock exchange. All I could think was, “One random civilian with a concealed-carry permit shoots Bane in the head, and the movie is over.”
And of course there are a lot of moments like that in a lot of movies.
But for some reason it really bugged me in this one.

Katie: how could he even be let in the building wearing full on motorcycle gear with a HELMET STILL ON???
wouldn’t someone be like…i do believe he’s up to something

Me: I don’t even know!!!!
And at the end, when Batman was taking the device out into the horizon, I swear I was just thinking, “Hmmm, yawn, I’ve already seen Iron Man and Captain America do this.”

Katie: LOL
batman doesn’t leave gotham!!! even if he ‘retires’ he still has to train robin! (who sucks and i hope they don’t start making those movies)
no one likes you robin

Me: When that lady said “Robin” I just thought OH YOU ARE KIDDING ME
I was never even into Batman until the Nolan movies, and even I hate Robin.
Actually, my favorite part of the movie was just when Batman comes back and they have the chase scene and I’m going “YES! THIS IS WHAT I CAME FOR.”
Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand that was it.

Katie: HAHA! exactly!

Me: Every single movie I have seen this summer, I’ve been thinking, “Eh, it’s OK, but I’d rather we watching The Avengers.” I really thought that DKR was going to break that pattern. Aaaaand it did not.

Katie: all i was thinking about was the avengers!


Katie: there’s just no topping it ever

Me: Toward the end I actually thought, “OK. Let’s reboot the Batman movies and see what Joss Whedon does with them.”
Oh, by the way, I also noticed that Christian Bale is starting to look old. I don’t know if that was a deliberate movie-makeup move, but it was slightly depressing.

Katie: i was thinking the same thing
i thought he also looked too skinny
like…it looked unhealthy in his face

Me: You could eat soup out of the hollows in his cheeks
Cold soup, of course. You wouldn’t want to burn his skin.

Katie lol!!

Me: Still, the batman voice never fails to crack me up
And the later scene with Bane and WHERE IS THE DETONATOR!!!!??!?!??!?!??!??? (or whatever it was) I was almost falling out of my seat.

Katie: ME TOO!!!!!
i was dying when he got in the bat plane with catwoman and was like, IT’S NOT A CAR!!!!
really? is that necessary? she knows who you are. there’s no need for that voice

Me: Habit, I guess.
I also kept thinking of Batman and Superman in the “How it should have ended” videos

Katie i was just thinking how they’re gonna be all over it cause that ending was sucktastic
how it should have ended: batman never retired

Me: Here’s another thing that bugged me, and it’s only because it’s too realistic for a superhero movie ANYWAY:
That scientist who was the only one who knew how to disarm the device?
That couldn’t happen. Because scientists and researchers don’t just develop stuff on their own. They have research teams, and assistants, and they build on previous findings.

Katie: and could he really have done some sciency things and armed the core into a bomb in that short amount of time?
i mean, i’m no expert here, but i think it would take a little longer

Me: But yeah, I don’t really get how you can just say “let’s switch out this thing and that thing, and voila! We no longer have a source of clean energy, we have a NUCLEAR BOMB.
Eat THAT, Tony Stark!
APPARENTLY Doug Walker didn’t like DKR either! YES I FEEL VINDICATED

(So then we took a break to watch his Bum Review and then his Real Review)

Me: Haha another thing I was thinking of during the movie was when my friend Joy said “Well, it doesn’t have as much eye candy as Avengers” and I was sitting there thinking, “I dunno, I guess that depends on your feelings toward Gary Oldman.”
“And Michael Caine, I guess.”

Katie: i love how his legs are miraculously healed and he seems to have no more problems with them once he decides to come back
it’s not like he had those leg braces in that prison

Me: There’s one moment where he has those braces and we were supposed to go “Oh ok, good enough.”

Katie i have this flimsy brace on…now i can kick through brick walls!
i’m back!
no, sorry
it was seriously made up of wires

Me: I couldn’t stop picturing Tony Stark rolling his eyes every other moment.
Oh gosh, when Doug said he thought Avengers was going to be the movie people actually come back to, I was thinking, “Like three more times?”

Katie: That’s true.

3 thoughts on “Movie Chat-Review: Dark Knight Rises

  1. Ohhhhh, Michael Caine. Michael Caine made me WEEP.

    Here’s my beef: never mind Batman’s suddenly being sturdy enough to kick through walls and whatnot. HOW is Jim Gordon alive? My brother noted that, having gotten shot and thrown around a sewer and taken to the hospital, where he’s in the shadowlands of drip machines and tubing, he seems to improve remarkably quickly on leaving his bed and donning his Magical Coat of HEALING.

    Okay, also still wondering why someone didn’t just try shooting Bane in the head. And wondering how he eats. That is all.

    • Hahaha! Yes, Gordon’s magical recovery annoyed me too, but it was such an overused movie convenience that I just kind of shrugged it off.

  2. 7. BUT. Let’s appreciate what Christopher Nolan did here for a second. Can you imagine what would’ve happened had this movie sucked? Like, really sucked? It would’ve been even worse than the fallout from those last two Matrix movies, and a huge black mark on an otherwise stellar career. You don’t live that kind of failure down, and the pressure he was under to create a blockbuster movie that was emotionally gripping and made you think was enormous.

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