The Dark Knight Rises is one of those movies in which I’m initially stumped with how to review it. At times, I enjoyed it, and, at others, it was a confusing mess. It was a like/dislike relationship. I wouldn’t go so far as say it was a love/hate relationship because, in actuality, there was nothing to love and nothing to hate.
I saw this film in IMAX because that’s what everyone online said I should see it in. Unfortunately, the only true IMAX theater in the Pacific Northwest is in Seattle… which I’m 5 and a half hours away from. I noticed that the audio was slightly better, but the picture quality was minutely clearer. This upgrade was not enough to justify the price, and I do not see the big deal with IMAX. Sure, I’ll get around to true IMAX, but it’s not for me currently.
I’m not sure whether or not it was the IMAX or the finished film, but the score was distracting my viewing experience. Hans Zimmer is talented in making scores for films, I’m not trying to take away from that. However, I am not a fan of constant scores. The mixing was too loud for the score particularly when the movie has a lot of mumbling, accents, and weird Bane voices. I was occasionally lost with all of the noises going on.
The film contains many plot holes as well as too many coincidences. It builds and builds and builds but only because one thing leads directly to another rather than having multiple issues pan out. Despite trying to make multiple storylines with almost an absurd amount of characters, the vision remains fairly singular. Along this path, the film was entirely predictable aside from the few spoilers at the end. The screenplay relied upon so many classic tropes that there was not much of a new interpretation on anything, just a rehashing of old material into a superhero film. A lot of the fun was lost when you knew what was about to happen with almost everything. I’m not sure if that’s because I’m an avid movie viewer, study film, or comic book geek – there just were no surprises.
The technical film making aspect was fairly solid. There were occasional shots that made me wince, but I was satisfied with most of the presentation. It’s a good movie when focusing on most of the cinematography.
The action scenes cover up many of the problems with the film with some inspired dirty, hands on fighting. Not only is Bane fiercely intelligent, he can match Batman in a first fight which makes the fighting imaginative and brutal. That’s the great thing about Bane in this form, he’s methodical and may be one of the few multi-layered characters in the film. Christopher Nolan nails the character with an interpretation similar to the introduction of the character in the comics. Many people have since decided that Bane is purely a brute, but, in actuality, he’s one of the more intelligent comic book villains out there.
The acting was fairly consistent in a film that had many loopholes. The stand out character in the entire film is Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s Officer Blake. He’s the emotional center, and we see Gotham through his bright, hopeful eyes. That’s what makes the film so satisfying at the end. He sticks to his beliefs in right and wrong, and pursues justice and even understanding. I ended up caring more about Blake over any other character.
Overall, I came out of the film with an okay feeling. It’s worth seeing in theaters for the experience, but I’m not sure if it demands many repeated viewings.