Friday, July 20, 2012

The Dark Knight Rises

I can see how the title of this movie can cause a lot of giggle-worthy jokes by teenage boys on possible bedroom one-liners. However, I wonder why Nolan chose this title. I wonder why people think 3 or 5 is a more rounded number but not 2 or 4. The need to make 3 movies on a concept must become passe at some point in time. When Godfather 3 was made, one didn't doubt the quality of the movie. But the weight of the previous two came down heavily when one assessed the movie stand-alone. I think both Nolan and Coppolla must have stopped with 2.

Just to be clear. I liked the movie. In terms of grandeur and entertainment this movie delivered. But there is a reason why Nolan's movies are diferent from that of - lets say - Michael Bay. And that reason was absent here. I couldn't see what closure this movie brought to the series. It didn't complete an aspect that the previous 2 movies left open. This movie is connected to the previous two from a character continuity perspective. But thats about it. The parts I liked about the movie was that it had it moments of exhilarating action, well-told story and Selina Kyle's character had that extra bit of dimension that had the potential to be explored a la Joker.

The let down in this movie is the fact that it has too many dull moments. The 'high points' that gives the adrenalin rush in an action movie are near absent. It feels long and doesn't have the deep Nolan'esque story to make it engaging. More importantly Bane is an unimpressive villain. In a super-hero movie of this scale - if the biggest clash between Batman and Bane is two 'dishoom' 'dishoom' fight scenes. There is something badly wrong. I also felt the story suffered a lot in-terms of intelligent connectivity between different plot situations and character personalities. FOr example Joker's philosophy towards life seemed to have a connection with that of Batman. Their respective childhood experiences clashed with each other. The cave Bruce Wayne is locked up in - where is it? Why does the Batman world expand beyond Gotham? Why is the president involved? The warlord scenario in the movie's second half is more than a little bit fuzzy. No one understands whether Gordon and other key characters are in hiding or not. It seems like  too many events are rushed up in a hurry in some parts of the movie and in some other parts the movie expands and lingers on rather dull moments. The low presence of Batman throughout the movie is frustrating as well. The intelligence of the plot line and situations that elevated the previous movie is completely absent. I wasn't surprised by the twist near the end. Additionally, I felt the opening Bane escape scene from an airplane was very similar to an airplane escape scene in Cliffhanger.

Criticisms aside - this movie stand alone without the crushing expectations of the previous installment was entertaining. Nolan manages to portray comic book characters in a way that makes us care about them deeply. It weaves together strong characters who are engaging at the emotional level and at an intellectual level. Christian Bale is a wonderful actor. I just love watching his movies and how he interprets characters. He is a very intense character and the best Batman I have seen till date. One of the best aspects about this movie and the whole trilogy is its near-awesome casting. The dark brooding batman and the intense undertone of the movie makes it a genre unseen in super hero movies till now. Michael Caine is another actor that is so endearing for the viewer to see. His presence automatically creates the emotional connection with the movie. While the last movie doesnt leave a bad after taste - I just wish Nolan had spent more time making the story a little bit more deep a the plot situations a bit more clever.

p.s: Watched the movie like a fan boy at 6:30AM with this M, S and this girl. Came back and read the chilling news of Colorado shooting. 


sreekrishnan said...

to me the reason why this was made was because the previous movie ended the Batman as a villain who killed the public face of protection and fight against crime. He had to clear his name and a time had to come when he rises above the cloud he was living and be that hero. Clear his name and vanish. I think that was the conclusion. thats the 3rd part. It however, as you said lost that Joker'esque anarchy and clever story but certainly made the film worth watching. Ofcourse, they can leave it after making the second part with the justification that you die a hero or live long enough to be a villain, but thats not what we want of a Super hero with a good intention. We want him to be the savior la?

if he fought the clever mischief of Joker he fought the strength of Bane here - and "Alfred" says why did you have to risk that moment in saving some thing silly to expose yourselves ..

This didn't have to be the Batman - it's a story for any good action movie, but in context of the previous 2 parts it shows how the society gets to know the truth and is saved again - with a promise that there is some one to take his place if such an event arises later.

This wasn't meant to be a Nolan'ish clever plot but a Batman'ish super hero finish ..

I think !

thepsychologic said...

People like saying 'trilogy' - sounds cooler ;)

Mambalam Mani said...

I didn't understand myself where that cave/well/prison where Bruce Wayne was locked up by Baneis in the movie but the actual location is in Jodhpur, Rajasthan.

Anonymous said...

Why do you expect Michael Bay like fireworks from a Nolan film?

SK //if he fought the clever mischief of Joker he fought the strength of Bane here// People will never get this and crib how Bane was a let down.

Ganesh said...

Ohh... this will be yet another 'movie that could have been' and not a 'movie that was'.

If u pull urself out of the teeniest bit of fanatic Batman-ism, do u feel that progressively he has reduced Batman to a James Bond to end as a normal man ?

Please comment on this: nuclear bomb, Bane only being the second highest in the hierarchy of strategy, hero coming back alive just as Alfred wishes ... There seemed to be nothing new in any of these either in the concept itself being original, or its execution ??

Nolan seems to have played safe by letting grandeur compensate for story ... i think a trend that many other trilogies have had earlier ... (Matrix) ??

Anonymous said...

Felt the same way. Darn it...we went for the 3:45 am show! Never going to be a fanboy again. Except for catwoman, there was nothing satisfying in this movie. Even batman's escape from the pit lacked soul.

Hawk Eye said...


yes, but there could have been better ways to show the physical combat. This wasnt satisfying.




ya. and the escape from that place wasnt really mind-blwing worthy. for a while i didnt know what he was trying to do.


i neither understood your question nor the answer you provided below. But i am not sure why you would expect a michael bay like fireworks in any nolan film.


i like what he did with batman. but didnt show him enough in this movie.

it did feel like matrix reloaded in someways.


agreed with the escape from the pit.

Anonymous said...

The scene where he escapes from the prison in Jodhpur and magically appears at Gotham again was slightly idichifying.

He was broke, no Alfred to help him put, no money, and Gotham is under siege and cut off from the outside world. How on Earth does he get in?

Ganesh said...

Bumped in to this and although at some points it might seem harsh critiquing, i think this is a pretty interesting review: :)

Sandeep Shankar said...

Loved this article! Nice