All my movie reviews so far have been for films that were (at the time) in the cinema, with The Dark Knight Rises being one of them. All of those reviews have been recommendations rather than full in-depth reviews with no spoilers at all. I’m going to do the opposite this time around because The Dark Knight Rises will no doubt be the biggest movie released this year. I don’t think I really need to recommend it because the two predecessors, the biggest action movies released in their respective years, made their impact on the movie theatre and you had the choice to see them and decide if you liked them. If you liked them, then you’ve probably already seen The Dark Knight Rises. If you haven’t seen them, or didn’t like them, then the new one most likely won’t change your mind, unless you want to know what the fuss is about.
So here’s the spoiler warning. If you don’t want spoilers, scroll down to the last paragraph to see my overall consensus and review score. This review is going spoil the movie, so if you haven’t seen it or its predecessors, DO NOT READ BELOW. Even if you don’t plan on watching them, don’t read below, because I bet you will watch them at some point in time.
If you’re reading from here on, you’ve already seen all three movies now, am I correct? If not, leave now. Ok good. What an amazing movie. What an amazing trilogy!
All three movies are really consistent – great characters, great villains and of course great action. It’s easy to see that they designed this movie in mind to end the trilogy. Just like in the comics, Bane “breaks the Batman”. It’s emotionally exhausting to watch Bruce Wayne finally be defeated physically and mentally. Bane is such a threatening and effective villain, even though it’s hard to understand what he is saying sometimes. I also thought Selina Kyle/Catwoman worked really well in this movie. By the end, she was a radically different person and she was a lot of fun to watch on screen.
When I was watching the film, I was in disbelief by the awesome action that I saw presented on screen. While there was doubt that Batman would save the day again, I didn’t expect to see the city suffer so much destruction and then be held hostage. The tension was so high that by the end it’s hard to take it in. The twist at the end when Tate is revealed to be a villain was incorporated the exact way a great twist should be; I never saw it coming, but it explains some of Tate’s questionable actions throughout the film. I was glued to the screen when I watched Batman take the bomb that his enterprise created away from the city. You do get the feeling that Wayne would give up his life for the city, but would also be smart enough to program the autopilot. It’s also great to finally see Bruce Wayne move on, doing what he should have done after The Dark Knight. Batman has retired, while Bruce Wayne has started fresh, just the way Alfred wanted. While I’m sure this series won’t continue in spin-off form, Nolan has made an ending that allows fans to interpret what will happen afterwards. Blake takes over the batcave, will he become Robin or the next Batman?
It’s great to see some closure for the characters, after going through such a thrilling climax. The film is long, about 3 hours, but after I left the cinema I couldn’t believe that 3 hours had really passed. As someone who hates long movies, that’s a great testament to this one as it manages to go over three hours without dragging on. I can’t really decide which is my favourite film in the trilogy, I’ll have to (and will) watch them all again at some point on Blu-Ray. One thing I am sure about is this is one of the greatest movie trilogies ever made; it’s one of my favourites tied with the Toy Story trilogy. The Dark Knight Rises takes everything you liked about the previous two movies and turns it up to a new level. I rate it 5/5 and think it’s the best movie released this year.