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Posted by SpawnMan (748 posts) -

Although you Americans won't see it for another day or two in some cases, over here in Oceania, The Dark Knight Rises has landed and the Batman trilogy is well and truly over. If you don't like spoilers, leave now, although this review is less about the plot and more about the overall trilogy, my impression and thoughts. If you don't care, well I probably shouldn't either, but I've just spent 12 hours at the cinema watching Batman, so I am too pumped to cease and desist now lol.

First of all, the context in which I watched Rises was after first seeing Prometheus (again) then seeing both Batman Begins and then The Dark Knight, before the midnight release of Rises. I was supposed to just see the Batman films, but the theatre completely screwed up the file for the film and couldn't fix it. Ah for the antiquity and reliability of film eh? So I watched Prometheus, which is a bloody good film, and reveals itself even more the second time around. Then I stayed until the later showing of Begins in the hope some fanboy's heart had exploded due to over-excitement at the release of the final installment of Nolan's Batman, and left a seat conveniently for my to be fitted into. Being the super lucky m*therf*cker I am, there was a seat in an otherwise sold out series of screenings. No way was I giving up on the chance to see my hero for the last time, on the big screen, all in a row!

So a quick run down of the movies, for those not in the know - Begins is where Bruce Wayne's origin story really begins in earnest. Roughly, murdered parents, blames himself, goes into exile, learns kung-fu from Ra's Al Ghul and the League of Assassins, returns to Gotham city, adopts Batman as his alter ego (or in reality, does Batman adopt Bruce Wayne, billionaire and wastrel as his mask?). He fights the Scarecrow, his own fears, corruption and eventually, the paternal figure of Ghul as he fights to save the city from the evil which created him, all while learning who he is.

It was weird going back to this film. Of the two earlier films, I'd seen Dark Knight several times - twice at the cinema, and many, many more at home - but only had seen Begins twice, and both times many years ago. So I know Dark Knight like the back of my hand, but the opposite is completely true of Begins. So when I saw the Burton-esque style and less-polished feel compared to The Dark Knight, I was taken aback. I'm unsure if the genesis of the trilogy having such a quaint, raw feel is a good thing, or if it sullies the whole thing. It, however, is inescapably necessary to get the beginning of Batman's origin out of the way before you can begin to truly play with the character. So although it's inferior to The Dark Knight, and ultimately, Rises, it's a necessary evil.

The Dark Knight. Batman is a commonplace now in the city. The mob runs scared. Then along comes the Joker to spice things up with his all-touching chaos. I really shouldn't have to explain anything about this movie to you. If you've read so far, you're probably a Batman fan and have already seen the film. If you haven't, then you're probably not a person who should be reading this, but should watch the movie anyway, because if you don't, you'll be missing one of the best, most authentic performances by any actor. Ever. Heath Ledger's Joker IS The Dark Knight (the film, not the metaphorical one). He eclipses Christian Bale and delivers a performance so rare and so beautiful, you can't even call it a performance. Ledger, forever frozen in that film, IS the Joker, living and breathing it. You do not doubt or second guess a single frame he is in. Sadly, it will be his greatest, but last, performance, but if I was immortalized as any character, in any way, there are far worse ways to go out than that.

It's hard to explain how exactly The Dark Knight comes so far from Begins. Nolan only directed The Prestige in between the films, and it doesn't really foreshadow the likes of Dark Knight and Inception, two of my favourite movies of all time. Far from the small, beginning steps of Begins, Dark Knight bursts from the screen like a well polished masterpiece. Begins stuck to the rules. The goodie finds a cause, the baddies cause trouble, and then the hero saves the day and kisses the girl. But The Dark Knight kills the girl, kills the goodies, makes the hero an outcast and makes the main villain not only amazingly likable, but wholly forgivable as a child of the times! You look at superhero movies like Spider Man and Superman. None push the boundaries like The Dark Knight, and that's why it is, and probably always will be, the greatest superhero movie of all time. Rises could always have been a better film story-wise and acting-wise, but it was never going to be as groundbreaking, since the previous installment had already rung that bell.

The Dark Knight ends with a fallen hero-turned lunatic Two-Face taking Commissioner Gordon's family hostage, before dying. Instead of the truth, however, Batman and Gordon decide the city of Gotham needs a true hero, one without a mask, so Batman takes the fall for the murder and Two-Face, or rather Harvey Dent, remains the white knight of the city.

And this leads into Rises. Really, if you don't want spoilers, back away now...

The crowd erupted with applause when the opening scene began, a sign that all had been eager for the return of Batman to the cinema, even if it was to be his last from Nolan. Eight years have passed since The Dark Knight, and Batman has been retired for several years, not unlike Frank Miller's iconic comic book 'The Dark Knight Returns'. Harvey Dent is still the shining example, and Batman is still hunted. Bruce Wayne is a recluse after the death of his love interest in The Dark Knight. The city is at peace. It's a strange and terrifying world. It's funny, but true. A world without the Batman is one where fear doesn't stalk the streets, and yet you feel compelled to will him back into action. It doesn't take long. A perky Selina Kyle soon strikes up Bruce Wayne's interest, and re-instills his passion for life. Selina Kyle, as you comic fans may know, is of course Catwoman, although she is never referenced as such in the film, and that's how I enjoy it. The whole idea of Catwoman can destroy a film if it's not handled properly. I came into Rises knowing Hathaway would make or break the film for me. She normally plays the damsel in distress, so not only does it seem off to have her as the strongest female character in the Batman universe, but it also leads you to examine Catwoman's overall role in the film more closely too. So effectively not having a Catwoman in favour of just Selina Kyle means that fitting her into the Batman mythos goes down without a hitch. However, Hathaway is excellent as Selina Kyle. She plays the role perfectly and you soon forget the actress's previous roles as Hathaway captures Kyle's moral greyness perfectly.

You'd think the main villain of the film is of course Bane. In a literal sense, yes he is. But in reality, the trials and tribulations of the times are the true enemy in Rises. Bane merely brings about their occurrence. As Batman begins his road back out of retirement, so Bane comes forth with a hidden agenda to wipe out Gotham, and there lies the clash. I think the plot line of having Bane suddenly as part of the League of Assassins and carrying out Ra's Al Ghul's vengeance is a bit forced, but it does become partially believable when Marion Cotillard turns out to be Talia Ghul, Ra's Al Ghul's daughter, and Bane had protected her in a prison. Long story, kinda, but they're all connected. Some may like it, I'm not sure it completely works, but at least Rises ties back into Begins, because otherwise the small film all those years ago would seem even more out of place in the trilogy with the newest installment's jaw-dropping scale. Tom Hardy does well as Bane, but between his mask and the fake voice (which really did drive me crazy at first until I got slightly used to it, but never quite enough), you do not truly connect with him as much as you'd like to. Not until his final scenes do you really feel for him and realize Hardy's performance is astounding.

As I mentioned, the true enemies are the signs of the times. Bruce Wayne's empire is hit by the financial crisis (with some prodding by shady businessmen backed by Bane) and the whole city is turned into a hotspot for civil unrest as the poor displace the rich in control for the city, ala French Revolution-stylez. It resonates immensely with the people of our day and age, and turns what could be just a garden variety, suped-up villain into possibly the most dangerous and deadly villain yet. Bane, true to comic form, breaks the Batman's back. He then sends him to the prison where he himself was imprisoned, to watch Gotham burn and languish without hope. In a way, Rises transcends normal superhero tracks, and becomes a commentary on the world as we know it now, where there is seemingly insurmountable hopelessness, but that we crave that light at the end of the tunnel. Batman must endure the agony of watching his city burn, and must find the will inside, and provokingly, the fear inside, to escape and return triumphant.

The film takes place over several months. Gotham literally is a warzone. Bane has seized control, all the police are trapped underground. Heck, even Alfred is gone! A nuclear bomb sits, ready to explode, holding the city hostage. The danger is very, very real. It's the final installment. ANYTHING could happen. So although the villains don't necessarily feel as gigantic as the Joker from The Dark Knight, the danger is the most intense of any of the films. Watching it for the first time, not knowing what will happen, keeps you on the edge of your seat and your heart racing. You live every moment with Batman and know, all too well, that even he cannot continue with the mask. That soon, all he has will be sacrificed. It is sad. Moving. Emotional.

The amazingly visceral score drives you onward until the final sacrifice. The trilogy truly does end. For Batman at least (there is some shameless sequel bait for Levitt's Robin the Boy Wonder to follow up, which slightly detracts from the emotional impact of the end - I mean you really don't want to be reminded that the studio is going to push out another money making spin off when you're trying to farewell your caped crusader!). You hark back to a scene earlier in Rises where Alfred recounts his thoughts to Bruce Wayne. Without Ledger's amazing villain, although Bale really does shine as the best performance of Rises, it is Alfred who steals the show with his incredibly emotional scenes, and this one is none the different: He tells Bruce how he prayed he would not return when Bruce had left during Begins. How he prayed he'd go to the cafe in Europe where he lived during that time, and glance over to another table and see Bruce sitting there, family, wife, happy. Neither would say anything to the other, but they'd both know. For some reason this idea pulled at my heart strings. And ultimately, this is what happens. The world thinks Batman is dead. And he is. But Bruce Wayne, finally, has a life, with Selina Kyle, and Alfred and Bruce see each other at that cafe. And although they both know, just like the audience, that neither will see each other again, and that the life they've lived all that time is truly gone, neither mourns it. Instead they just smile and know. And that's how the best superhero movie trilogy ends. With for once, the hero gets to rest. He's done his job and he can finally be at peace.

I think this was the smartest and most fitting way to end the series. Batman gave everything to the city of Gotham, and now he is finally at peace. Unlike some series that go on and on long past the expiry date, in the hopes of big returns and some inspiration, Nolan cut the series concisely and intelligently. I've admired the way Nolan has gone about directing the whole thing. Using film, resisting the irritating urge everyone seems to be doing to go 3D, and going against the grain to deliver a stellar trilogy. It treats the fans with respect and is probably the best Batman series of films that will ever be released this side of 2050. Ultimately, I think that The Dark Knight still comes out on top of Rises. They ARE different films, given, so that is debatable. The Dark Knight's villain is insurmountable, but Rises' danger is so intense and real, it elevates the film. And I mean, damn, it's the finale! So go and watch the last film, have fun, enjoy it. If you get the chance, watch all three in a row. To feel the gut-wrenching bellow of trombones and the pulse of massive drums once more is unlike anything else. Farewell caped crusader.

We'll all miss you.

#1 Edited by SpawnMan (748 posts) -

Although you Americans won't see it for another day or two in some cases, over here in Oceania, The Dark Knight Rises has landed and the Batman trilogy is well and truly over. If you don't like spoilers, leave now, although this review is less about the plot and more about the overall trilogy, my impression and thoughts. If you don't care, well I probably shouldn't either, but I've just spent 12 hours at the cinema watching Batman, so I am too pumped to cease and desist now lol.

First of all, the context in which I watched Rises was after first seeing Prometheus (again) then seeing both Batman Begins and then The Dark Knight, before the midnight release of Rises. I was supposed to just see the Batman films, but the theatre completely screwed up the file for the film and couldn't fix it. Ah for the antiquity and reliability of film eh? So I watched Prometheus, which is a bloody good film, and reveals itself even more the second time around. Then I stayed until the later showing of Begins in the hope some fanboy's heart had exploded due to over-excitement at the release of the final installment of Nolan's Batman, and left a seat conveniently for my to be fitted into. Being the super lucky m*therf*cker I am, there was a seat in an otherwise sold out series of screenings. No way was I giving up on the chance to see my hero for the last time, on the big screen, all in a row!

So a quick run down of the movies, for those not in the know - Begins is where Bruce Wayne's origin story really begins in earnest. Roughly, murdered parents, blames himself, goes into exile, learns kung-fu from Ra's Al Ghul and the League of Assassins, returns to Gotham city, adopts Batman as his alter ego (or in reality, does Batman adopt Bruce Wayne, billionaire and wastrel as his mask?). He fights the Scarecrow, his own fears, corruption and eventually, the paternal figure of Ghul as he fights to save the city from the evil which created him, all while learning who he is.

It was weird going back to this film. Of the two earlier films, I'd seen Dark Knight several times - twice at the cinema, and many, many more at home - but only had seen Begins twice, and both times many years ago. So I know Dark Knight like the back of my hand, but the opposite is completely true of Begins. So when I saw the Burton-esque style and less-polished feel compared to The Dark Knight, I was taken aback. I'm unsure if the genesis of the trilogy having such a quaint, raw feel is a good thing, or if it sullies the whole thing. It, however, is inescapably necessary to get the beginning of Batman's origin out of the way before you can begin to truly play with the character. So although it's inferior to The Dark Knight, and ultimately, Rises, it's a necessary evil.

The Dark Knight. Batman is a commonplace now in the city. The mob runs scared. Then along comes the Joker to spice things up with his all-touching chaos. I really shouldn't have to explain anything about this movie to you. If you've read so far, you're probably a Batman fan and have already seen the film. If you haven't, then you're probably not a person who should be reading this, but should watch the movie anyway, because if you don't, you'll be missing one of the best, most authentic performances by any actor. Ever. Heath Ledger's Joker IS The Dark Knight (the film, not the metaphorical one). He eclipses Christian Bale and delivers a performance so rare and so beautiful, you can't even call it a performance. Ledger, forever frozen in that film, IS the Joker, living and breathing it. You do not doubt or second guess a single frame he is in. Sadly, it will be his greatest, but last, performance, but if I was immortalized as any character, in any way, there are far worse ways to go out than that.

It's hard to explain how exactly The Dark Knight comes so far from Begins. Nolan only directed The Prestige in between the films, and it doesn't really foreshadow the likes of Dark Knight and Inception, two of my favourite movies of all time. Far from the small, beginning steps of Begins, Dark Knight bursts from the screen like a well polished masterpiece. Begins stuck to the rules. The goodie finds a cause, the baddies cause trouble, and then the hero saves the day and kisses the girl. But The Dark Knight kills the girl, kills the goodies, makes the hero an outcast and makes the main villain not only amazingly likable, but wholly forgivable as a child of the times! You look at superhero movies like Spider Man and Superman. None push the boundaries like The Dark Knight, and that's why it is, and probably always will be, the greatest superhero movie of all time. Rises could always have been a better film story-wise and acting-wise, but it was never going to be as groundbreaking, since the previous installment had already rung that bell.

The Dark Knight ends with a fallen hero-turned lunatic Two-Face taking Commissioner Gordon's family hostage, before dying. Instead of the truth, however, Batman and Gordon decide the city of Gotham needs a true hero, one without a mask, so Batman takes the fall for the murder and Two-Face, or rather Harvey Dent, remains the white knight of the city.

And this leads into Rises. Really, if you don't want spoilers, back away now...

The crowd erupted with applause when the opening scene began, a sign that all had been eager for the return of Batman to the cinema, even if it was to be his last from Nolan. Eight years have passed since The Dark Knight, and Batman has been retired for several years, not unlike Frank Miller's iconic comic book 'The Dark Knight Returns'. Harvey Dent is still the shining example, and Batman is still hunted. Bruce Wayne is a recluse after the death of his love interest in The Dark Knight. The city is at peace. It's a strange and terrifying world. It's funny, but true. A world without the Batman is one where fear doesn't stalk the streets, and yet you feel compelled to will him back into action. It doesn't take long. A perky Selina Kyle soon strikes up Bruce Wayne's interest, and re-instills his passion for life. Selina Kyle, as you comic fans may know, is of course Catwoman, although she is never referenced as such in the film, and that's how I enjoy it. The whole idea of Catwoman can destroy a film if it's not handled properly. I came into Rises knowing Hathaway would make or break the film for me. She normally plays the damsel in distress, so not only does it seem off to have her as the strongest female character in the Batman universe, but it also leads you to examine Catwoman's overall role in the film more closely too. So effectively not having a Catwoman in favour of just Selina Kyle means that fitting her into the Batman mythos goes down without a hitch. However, Hathaway is excellent as Selina Kyle. She plays the role perfectly and you soon forget the actress's previous roles as Hathaway captures Kyle's moral greyness perfectly.

You'd think the main villain of the film is of course Bane. In a literal sense, yes he is. But in reality, the trials and tribulations of the times are the true enemy in Rises. Bane merely brings about their occurrence. As Batman begins his road back out of retirement, so Bane comes forth with a hidden agenda to wipe out Gotham, and there lies the clash. I think the plot line of having Bane suddenly as part of the League of Assassins and carrying out Ra's Al Ghul's vengeance is a bit forced, but it does become partially believable when Marion Cotillard turns out to be Talia Ghul, Ra's Al Ghul's daughter, and Bane had protected her in a prison. Long story, kinda, but they're all connected. Some may like it, I'm not sure it completely works, but at least Rises ties back into Begins, because otherwise the small film all those years ago would seem even more out of place in the trilogy with the newest installment's jaw-dropping scale. Tom Hardy does well as Bane, but between his mask and the fake voice (which really did drive me crazy at first until I got slightly used to it, but never quite enough), you do not truly connect with him as much as you'd like to. Not until his final scenes do you really feel for him and realize Hardy's performance is astounding.

As I mentioned, the true enemies are the signs of the times. Bruce Wayne's empire is hit by the financial crisis (with some prodding by shady businessmen backed by Bane) and the whole city is turned into a hotspot for civil unrest as the poor displace the rich in control for the city, ala French Revolution-stylez. It resonates immensely with the people of our day and age, and turns what could be just a garden variety, suped-up villain into possibly the most dangerous and deadly villain yet. Bane, true to comic form, breaks the Batman's back. He then sends him to the prison where he himself was imprisoned, to watch Gotham burn and languish without hope. In a way, Rises transcends normal superhero tracks, and becomes a commentary on the world as we know it now, where there is seemingly insurmountable hopelessness, but that we crave that light at the end of the tunnel. Batman must endure the agony of watching his city burn, and must find the will inside, and provokingly, the fear inside, to escape and return triumphant.

The film takes place over several months. Gotham literally is a warzone. Bane has seized control, all the police are trapped underground. Heck, even Alfred is gone! A nuclear bomb sits, ready to explode, holding the city hostage. The danger is very, very real. It's the final installment. ANYTHING could happen. So although the villains don't necessarily feel as gigantic as the Joker from The Dark Knight, the danger is the most intense of any of the films. Watching it for the first time, not knowing what will happen, keeps you on the edge of your seat and your heart racing. You live every moment with Batman and know, all too well, that even he cannot continue with the mask. That soon, all he has will be sacrificed. It is sad. Moving. Emotional.

The amazingly visceral score drives you onward until the final sacrifice. The trilogy truly does end. For Batman at least (there is some shameless sequel bait for Levitt's Robin the Boy Wonder to follow up, which slightly detracts from the emotional impact of the end - I mean you really don't want to be reminded that the studio is going to push out another money making spin off when you're trying to farewell your caped crusader!). You hark back to a scene earlier in Rises where Alfred recounts his thoughts to Bruce Wayne. Without Ledger's amazing villain, although Bale really does shine as the best performance of Rises, it is Alfred who steals the show with his incredibly emotional scenes, and this one is none the different: He tells Bruce how he prayed he would not return when Bruce had left during Begins. How he prayed he'd go to the cafe in Europe where he lived during that time, and glance over to another table and see Bruce sitting there, family, wife, happy. Neither would say anything to the other, but they'd both know. For some reason this idea pulled at my heart strings. And ultimately, this is what happens. The world thinks Batman is dead. And he is. But Bruce Wayne, finally, has a life, with Selina Kyle, and Alfred and Bruce see each other at that cafe. And although they both know, just like the audience, that neither will see each other again, and that the life they've lived all that time is truly gone, neither mourns it. Instead they just smile and know. And that's how the best superhero movie trilogy ends. With for once, the hero gets to rest. He's done his job and he can finally be at peace.

I think this was the smartest and most fitting way to end the series. Batman gave everything to the city of Gotham, and now he is finally at peace. Unlike some series that go on and on long past the expiry date, in the hopes of big returns and some inspiration, Nolan cut the series concisely and intelligently. I've admired the way Nolan has gone about directing the whole thing. Using film, resisting the irritating urge everyone seems to be doing to go 3D, and going against the grain to deliver a stellar trilogy. It treats the fans with respect and is probably the best Batman series of films that will ever be released this side of 2050. Ultimately, I think that The Dark Knight still comes out on top of Rises. They ARE different films, given, so that is debatable. The Dark Knight's villain is insurmountable, but Rises' danger is so intense and real, it elevates the film. And I mean, damn, it's the finale! So go and watch the last film, have fun, enjoy it. If you get the chance, watch all three in a row. To feel the gut-wrenching bellow of trombones and the pulse of massive drums once more is unlike anything else. Farewell caped crusader.

We'll all miss you.

#2 Posted by SpawnMan (748 posts) -

No comments? *Sadface*

#3 Posted by matthias2437 (985 posts) -

I don't think people want to read a review for a movie that isn't out yet that had spoilers.

#4 Posted by SpawnMan (748 posts) -

@matthias2437: But...but...but! Yeah probably true. Although 2000 people have read it but no one has said anything. Either people are going "MEH!" or completely agree with every word I say, so I guess I should be happy! If you don't argue with me, I'll assume I'm right, and we can't have people thinking they're right on GB guys! It ruins the ying-yang! ; )

But seriously, you Americans need to get up with the game! Been out for 15 hours where I live already. *Smug face* Although I suppose it's finally justice for the extra day WE have to wait whenever a new arcade game is released on LIVE. Had to wait until the NEXT day for Minecraft! Grrrr!

#5 Posted by FluxWaveZ (19158 posts) -

@SpawnMan: Or they're clicking on this thread out of excitement and then thinking "wait, I don't actually want to know what happens in the movie before I've seen it" and then close the thread, like I'm doing right now.

#6 Posted by The_Laughing_Man (13629 posts) -
@FluxWaveZ said:

@SpawnMan: Or they're clicking on this thread out of excitement and then thinking "wait, I don't actually want to know what happens in the movie before I've seen it" and then close the thread, like I'm doing right now.

Or seeing a wall of text and hitting the back button. 
#7 Posted by SpawnMan (748 posts) -

@The_Laughing_Man: Lol, but I added pretty picturezzz. ; )

#8 Edited by TheHT (10287 posts) -

@FluxWaveZ said:

@SpawnMan: Or they're clicking on this thread out of excitement and then thinking "wait, I don't actually want to know what happens in the movie before I've seen it" and then close the thread, like I'm doing right now.

Yep. Though, I did scroll down to look at the pictures. Good stuff.

Maybe I'll give it a read after I've seen the flick.

#9 Posted by Red12b (9044 posts) -

good review man, I saw it last night as well, 9 hours of batman,

I'm not batman fiend, i wasn't into the comics, when I was a kid I thought the movies were cool and Animated batman was awesome but i never delved deep into it,

I think that it's the best thought out and executed trilogy, with 2 being the masterpiece and 3 being the thing it needed to be to cap the trilogy off,

it was a lotta fun

#10 Posted by beepmachine (614 posts) -

I don't want to spoil it for myself (I'm going to a batman marathon myself on thursday) so can you say if you liked it or not? Does it live up to the first two. The first teaser that was blurry and mostly dialogue had me really pumped but the trailers have kind of left me wanting.

@FluxWaveZ: Yup.

#11 Posted by SpawnMan (748 posts) -

@Red12b said:

I think that it's the best thought out and executed trilogy, with 2 being the masterpiece and 3 being the thing it needed to be to cap the trilogy off,

Yeah pretty much. Thanks for the kind words. :D

#12 Posted by SathingtonWaltz (2053 posts) -

I'm so disappointed that everyone liked The Dark Knight over Begins. I know I'm not the only one, but it definitely feels like I'm in a minority here.

#13 Posted by jakob187 (21506 posts) -

@SpawnMan said:

Although 2000 people have read it but no one has said anything.

I didn't read it. I just looked at how long it was.

#14 Edited by Napalm (9020 posts) -

@matthias2437 said:

I don't think people want to read a review for a movie that isn't out yet that had spoilers.

Oh, so he dies at the end? That's a pretty big spoiler, I think.

#15 Posted by TheHT (10287 posts) -

@Napalm: wat.

#16 Posted by Dexter_Morgan_ (314 posts) -

@FluxWaveZ said:

@SpawnMan: Or they're clicking on this thread out of excitement and then thinking "wait, I don't actually want to know what happens in the movie before I've seen it" and then close the thread, like I'm doing right now.

Iv'e clicked on this thread 22 times already and backed away before shit got real....

#17 Posted by project343 (2807 posts) -

@SathingtonWaltz said:

I'm so disappointed that everyone liked The Dark Knight over Begins. I know I'm not the only one, but it definitely feels like I'm in a minority here.

Begins was a pretty damn solid origin story with my favourite Batman villain (Scarecrow). But Nolan's trilogy takes a completely different turn in TDK and grounds the series in such a disturbing (yet still oddly hopeful) reality that it stands out as one of the most important and interesting superhero flicks, well, ever. I think where Begins starts to fall apart is with it's distinct lack of focus on the two primary antagonists (Scarecrow and Ra's); in direct contrast, TDK has that added depth that comes with the focus on the twisted psychology and moral standpoint of it's villains that the movie feels a fair bit more layered and interesting than the prototypical '[insert overdone origin drama here]' narrative beats of Begins.

Not to mention the fact that I think TDK was more beautifully shot. But I suppose that's significantly more up to personal preference than is worth arguing about.

#18 Posted by Dexter_Morgan_ (314 posts) -

@SathingtonWaltz said:

I'm so disappointed that everyone liked The Dark Knight over Begins. I know I'm not the only one, but it definitely feels like I'm in a minority here.

I love Begins.

#19 Posted by Tim_the_Corsair (3065 posts) -

Firstly, Dark Knight was better than begins, but the Batman voice came perilously close to spoiling the second movie for me. I was actually laughing it was so bad.

I read the piece, because I am a sucker for spoilers, and I really enjoyed the review. Gonna see it when the wife is off shift, methinks

#20 Edited by Ferros (217 posts) -

I just got back from it, I did not like it. Sure it's no Spiderman 3 but to me it's absolutely the weakest in the trilogy. Bane is interesting but never comes close to approaching the menace of The Joker and his motivations are nowhere near as interesting or entertaining. There is also very little actual Batman in the movie and what there is of him is off kilter. He's far to much of a blunt instrument, there is no cunning or intelligence. In this he is self pitying, weak and beaten handily by the villains at every turn, succeeding only through gadgets and luck. He reminded me of what Indiana Jones became in the later films. It reinforces how much The Joker carried the Dark Knight as Batman and Bane cannot carry this one. It also relies on a very similar plot device to Batman Begins, imaginary technology that borders on the ridiculous. The highlight of the movie being a character reveal far too late to be of any worth and no I'm not talking about JGL because that was completely obvious and a climax essentially borrowed from The Dark Knight, I'll give it a solid, yeah because I've seen the others.

Edit: I can't spell villain.

#21 Posted by Napalm (9020 posts) -

@TheHT said:

@Napalm: wat.

I was piggybacking the quote I quoted (damn it) and stating an example of what the OP wrote that's a giant goddamn spoiler. The Goddamn Batman would not be proud of this.

#22 Posted by SathingtonWaltz (2053 posts) -

@Ferros said:

I just got back from it, I did not like it. Sure it's no Spiderman 3 but to me it's absolutely the weakest in the trilogy. Bane is interesting but never comes close to approaching the menace of The Joker and his motivations are nowhere near as interesting or entertaining. There is also very little actual Batman in the movie and what there is of him is off kilter. He's far to much of a blunt instrument, there is no cunning or intelligence. In this he is self pitying, weak and beaten handily by the villians at every turn, succeeding only through gadgets and luck. He reminded me of what Indiana Jones became in the later films. It reinforces how much The Joker carried the Dark Knight as Batman and Bane cannot carry this one. It also relies on a very similar plot device to Batman Begins, imaginary technology that borders on the ridiculous. The highlight of the movie being a character reveal far too late to be of any worth and no I'm not talking about JGL because that was completely obvious and a climax essentially borrowed from The Dark Knight, I'll give it a solid, yeah because I've seen the others.

Batman stopped being cunning in Begins.

#23 Posted by SpawnMan (748 posts) -

@SathingtonWaltz said:

I'm so disappointed that everyone liked The Dark Knight over Begins. I know I'm not the only one, but it definitely feels like I'm in a minority here.

Sadly so. I mean I'd have loved to like Begins so much more, because my favourite villain is the Scarecrow. But sadly, as @project343: says, the characters lost focus. The Dark Knight was infinitely more deep with the relationship between the chaos of the Joker practically willing Batman to kill him, and Batman's moral insanity and demons. This of course is easy to adopt because that relationship is so deep and powerful in the comics. It'd be hard not to get it right with that much literature on the topic.

@Napalm said:

@matthias2437 said:

I don't think people want to read a review for a movie that isn't out yet that had spoilers.

Oh, so he dies at the end? That's a pretty big spoiler, I think.

Batman dies, yes. Bruce Wayne? Not so much. It's the justice the character and trilogy deserves. Especially since Bruce is still reeling over the loss of Rachel Dawes who was his only real chance at a life after Batman, or so he thinks. As was thought impossible, Gotham no longer needs Batman, and Bruce no longer needs Batman.

@Dexter_Morgan_ said:

@FluxWaveZ said:

@SpawnMan: Or they're clicking on this thread out of excitement and then thinking "wait, I don't actually want to know what happens in the movie before I've seen it" and then close the thread, like I'm doing right now.

Iv'e clicked on this thread 22 times already and backed away before shit got real....

LMAO! I don't know why, but that comment made me crack up. I hate doing that. Seeing a game review, seeing a minor spoiler. backing out. Then going back in, doing more, then seeing another, backing out. Then you go back in and you see a huge spoiler! ARGH! It's like pulling off a scab in a way... Peel peel peel, ARGH! Too far... Not that I peel scabs. That's gross.

@Tim_the_Corsair: Cheers! And yes, I DID notice the voice was a lot less gravelly in the first film compared to the second. But I liked it more. In the comics, Batman was supposed to have a gravelly voice that he put on to protect his identity. Although it doesn't matter much because it seems EVERYONE knows his identity in Rises, including Levitt for some weird reason... Annoying.

#24 Posted by SathingtonWaltz (2053 posts) -

@SpawnMan: You do realize that film quality is subjective right? To me, Batman Begins was better in nearly every way other than cinematography.

#25 Posted by SpawnMan (748 posts) -

@SathingtonWaltz: Annnnd that's why you're the minority lol. ; )

#26 Posted by Ferros (217 posts) -

@SpawnMan: Batman doesn't die, Bruce has a very hamfisted discussion with Blake about Batman being a symbol. It doesn't matter who Batman is, just that Batman cannot be killed or corrupted. Bruce Wayne retires, which is patently ridiculous as Bruce Wayne is the mask Batman wears, not the other way around. This is why I think this part of the trilogy shows that Nolan doesn't actually understand what Batman is at all and why the character has played a smaller and smaller role as the films have gone on.

#27 Posted by TheHT (10287 posts) -

@Napalm said:

@TheHT said:

@Napalm: wat.

I was piggybacking the quote I quoted (damn it) and stating an example of what the OP wrote that's a giant goddamn spoiler. The Goddamn Batman would not be proud of this.

Man...

fuck this thread. I shoulda just stayed away.

#28 Posted by Grimhild (719 posts) -

@Dexter_Morgan_ said:

@FluxWaveZ said:

@SpawnMan: Or they're clicking on this thread out of excitement and then thinking "wait, I don't actually want to know what happens in the movie before I've seen it" and then close the thread, like I'm doing right now.

Iv'e clicked on this thread 22 times already and backed away before shit got real....

#29 Posted by SathingtonWaltz (2053 posts) -

@SpawnMan said:

@SathingtonWaltz: Annnnd that's why you're the minority lol. ; )

Because my opinion is "incorrect"?

#30 Posted by SpawnMan (748 posts) -

@Ferros: The ideal of Batman never dies, but his body retires. Bruce Wayne doesn't retire, he dies too. But not really. I think you're confusing it too.

@SathingtonWaltz: YES YOU ARE WRONG!! Lol, no, I don't care. YOU are the one who said that you were in the minority, and I just agreed. Troll yourself much lmao?? XD

#31 Posted by iam3green (14388 posts) -

well that was a good read, even though ii got the ending. i don't mind since it said spoiler. i plan on seeing the movie in a couple of weeks when nobody is in the theater.

i am going to go buy batman begins as i don't have that movie. i don't think it got popular like the dark knight. i hope to marathon the two movies.

#32 Posted by Ferros (217 posts) -

@SpawnMan: That's exactly why I think Nolan doesn't understand Batman/Bruce Wayne. Bruce Wayne isn't a real person, he died in the alley with his parents. Bruce Wayne is a construct of Batman so he appears to be a functioning member of society, Blake flat out says it in the movie, talking about recognising the mask Bruce wears over his anger, Bruce is the mask Batman wears. Saying Bruce Wayne wants to retire or can be killed is like saying your imaginary friend wants to retire or can be killed.

#33 Posted by SpawnMan (748 posts) -

@Ferros: You're making no sense lol. First you say Nolan doesn't understand the concept of Bruce Wayne, then go on to say how Blake describes the actual role Bruce Wayne plays in the movie. Who do you think wrote and directed Blake's character to say that? Scottish faeries lmao? I think you're taking what I said in the wrong way. Retired doesn't always mean like a cop goes on a break. Batman placed his mask down. He not longer needed it. Just like children grow out of imaginary friends. But in this case, he re-adopted Bruce Wayne as his real identity, and created a life for him outside of Batman. In the comics and in the movie, you're told that Bruce Wayne is the mask. Sure, but maybe in that prison he understood what Alfred was saying and decided that he gave the city everything, and deserved something in return. IE, a life beyond Batman.

#34 Posted by plub922 (1 posts) -

Truly awesome review SpawnMan. Although I agree that TDKR didnt surpass The Dark Knight, the films grand emotion makes it no worse than any of its predecessors and perfectly wraps up for the greatest trilogy of all time. Ive heard from a few that Selina Kyle and Bruce run away together. Did I miss something or is this just an assumption?

#35 Edited by SpawnMan (748 posts) -

@plub922 said:

Truly awesome review SpawnMan. Although I agree that TDKR didnt surpass The Dark Knight, the films grand emotion makes it no worse than any of its predecessors and perfectly wraps up for the greatest trilogy of all time. Ive heard from a few that Selina Kyle and Bruce run away together. Did I miss something or is this just an assumption?

The very last scene. Alfred looks at Bruce at the cafe - she is sitting there with him, but you can only see the side of her face.

And thanks! :D

#36 Posted by RandomInternetUser (6788 posts) -

Michael Caine almost brought me to tears in a Batman movie. That was something I did not expect.

#37 Posted by HistoryInRust (6215 posts) -

@SathingtonWaltz said:

@SpawnMan: You do realize that film quality is subjective right? To me, Batman Begins was better in nearly every way other than cinematography.

I am neither agreeing or disagreeing with your position on the Begins v. Knight debate, but I want to chime in.

Film Quality is not subjective. One's appreciation for a film is. Often the latter influences one's perception of the former.

#38 Posted by HistoryInRust (6215 posts) -

Also: Scarecrow is in this, right? He'd better be.

#39 Posted by MethodMan008 (796 posts) -

So.. I cried like 3-4 times through out the movie..

As Skip Bayless would say, I am a prisoner of the moment, but right now it is my favorite movie of all time. :D

#40 Posted by Will_M (342 posts) -

Its a fantastic movie all on its own. Same goes for "begins" and "dark knight". Nolan has easily set the bar for what these comic to movie adaptations can truly be.

#41 Edited by MariachiMacabre (6938 posts) -

I, for one, enjoyed the movie immensely (just got back from it) and thought Hardy's take on Bane was a brilliant contrast to the one seen in the comics. That's the main point I disagree with in the review but other than that (YOU'RE WRONG AND I HATE YOU FOR IT) it was a great review for a great movie. Nolan set the bar really high for himself with TDK and I think he was doomed from the start in attempting to top Ledger's Joker but he got as close as anyone has with Bane and Talia. Overall, I loved this movie to pieces and I think it shows that "fan-servicey" comic book films are no longer going to cut it. Now, this all could be stemming from my undying love for Batman but it's a big point of pride for me that in the last 7 years Batman went from video game and film anathema (thank you Joel Schumacher) to having the best superhero movies AND games. Makes me feel like 2 year old me picked the correct superhero to idolize.

#42 Posted by MegaLombax (381 posts) -

I immensely enjoyed TDKR. That said, I also enjoyed Begins and The Dark Knight. Each component of the trilogy explored different themes and the differences made me appreciate them even more. I usually try to kill any preconceived expectations on the movie itself, let alone expecting the next movie to be better than the previous one. I find that they bar me from enjoying the movie for what it is. TDKR is an amazing piece of cinema experience, regardless of comparisons to Begins or The Dark Knight.

#43 Posted by thechronodarkness (294 posts) -

I must be one in a million. This past week, i watched both nolan movies. I've always loved begins. The setting, atmosphere, music.... But the cast, it all just worked perfectly. Though dark knight, had advantages and disadvantages over the original. The music wasn't quite as epic. The setting and atmosphere didn't even compare to the first hour of begins. And there were hokey moments. The scene at the end with joker and the 3 dogs. Something just doesn't feel right.

Though rises...... What i loved, nolan played around with it. He certainly had some fun..... Batman does get his back broken. But with the other characters, I didn't know if that would be the end there or not. And then they try killing off the character entirely. Bruce is alive, and batman is dead for the moment. Then josephs character possibly becoming something. Either robin, nightwing, or someone. But this is where alot of the public is going crazy. They don't like to be played with anymore. But I will say this. I do believe Nolan knew his mistake of making Anne Hathaway catwoman. Because there is so little of her..... She can't really be a grade A actor like a michelle phiefer. Had a stuffed braw and panties, because of her extremely small nature.

And how bane is exited in this movie..... Its terrible. Bane is such an amazing character. Probably one of the biggest badasses in film now. But his exit is so horribly done. Though his final fight is brutal!

Essentially..... Begins is my favorite. Dark knight has some hokeyness, but is still a close 2nd. And rises has a few flaws that Nolan tries to make up for. Still an amazing movie, but can't top the first 2. And nothing has quite topped Batman Returns for me. Thats both an amazing batman movie, and an amazing film.

#44 Posted by Kierkegaard (556 posts) -

@SpawnMan said:

...

The film takes place over several months. Gotham literally is a warzone. Bane has seized control, all the police are trapped underground. Heck, even Alfred is gone! A nuclear bomb sits, ready to explode, holding the city hostage. The danger is very, very real. It's the final installment. ANYTHING could happen. So although the villains don't necessarily feel as gigantic as the Joker from The Dark Knight, the danger is the most intense of any of the films. Watching it for the first time, not knowing what will happen, keeps you on the edge of your seat and your heart racing. You live every moment with Batman and know, all too well, that even he cannot continue with the mask. That soon, all he has will be sacrificed. It is sad. Moving. Emotional.

The amazingly visceral score drives you onward until the final sacrifice. The trilogy truly does end. For Batman at least (there is some shameless sequel bait for Levitt's Robin the Boy Wonder to follow up, which slightly detracts from the emotional impact of the end - I mean you really don't want to be reminded that the studio is going to push out another money making spin off when you're trying to farewell your caped crusader!). You hark back to a scene earlier in Rises where Alfred recounts his thoughts to Bruce Wayne. Without Ledger's amazing villain, although Bale really does shine as the best performance of Rises, it is Alfred who steals the show with his incredibly emotional scenes, and this one is none the different: He tells Bruce how he prayed he would not return when Bruce had left during Begins. How he prayed he'd go to the cafe in Europe where he lived during that time, and glance over to another table and see Bruce sitting there, family, wife, happy. Neither would say anything to the other, but they'd both know. For some reason this idea pulled at my heart strings. And ultimately, this is what happens. The world thinks Batman is dead. And he is. But Bruce Wayne, finally, has a life, with Selina Kyle, and Alfred and Bruce see each other at that cafe. And although they both know, just like the audience, that neither will see each other again, and that the life they've lived all that time is truly gone, neither mourns it. Instead they just smile and know. And that's how the best superhero movie trilogy ends. With for once, the hero gets to rest. He's done his job and he can finally be at peace.

I think this was the smartest and most fitting way to end the series. Batman gave everything to the city of Gotham, and now he is finally at peace. Unlike some series that go on and on long past the expiry date, in the hopes of big returns and some inspiration, Nolan cut the series concisely and intelligently. I've admired the way Nolan has gone about directing the whole thing. Using film, resisting the irritating urge everyone seems to be doing to go 3D, and going against the grain to deliver a stellar trilogy. It treats the fans with respect and is probably the best Batman series of films that will ever be released this side of 2050. Ultimately, I think that The Dark Knight still comes out on top of Rises. They ARE different films, given, so that is debatable. The Dark Knight's villain is insurmountable, but Rises' danger is so intense and real, it elevates the film. And I mean, damn, it's the finale! So go and watch the last film, have fun, enjoy it. If you get the chance, watch all three in a row. To feel the gut-wrenching bellow of trombones and the pulse of massive drums once more is unlike anything else. Farewell caped crusader.

We'll all miss you.

First of all, this is a very well written review of the trilogy as a whole. I just quoted the last bits I disagree with because, hey, the internet is all about polite debate, right? God I love the potential in this movie, and even some of the execution. Like you said, the Talia and Bane stuff is odd, but I think it works. And Bruce's journey is pretty solid.

But, oh, the execution. After Bane takes over and breaks Batman's back (all chilling and affecting), the movie crumbles under its own self-importance. Robin Blake is fine. Selina Kyle is fine. Bane becomes an uninteresting warlord. The government trusts the word of a terrorist. The "people" are, apparently, all violent criminals who were locked up without parole while the "12 Million" living in Gotham are hidng and watching Tivo? You get no sense of civilian life or torment. You have no sympathy for the prisoners.

Honestly, what I thought Nolan could pull off, and what I think would have been far braver, would be real failure. Bane is clearly stronger than Batman, and Talia is smarter, so, Boom, they win. Gotham goes nuclear. Robin and Catwoman survive while Batman burns. There's your ending.

Because, without Batman, Gotham doesn't mean shit to the audience. We don't know these people. It's a city for him to save, not millions of people we care about. An orphan yelling "It's Batman" from a school bus? Come on. That's just silly sentimentalism. So, kill them all.

End like Cabin in the Woods did, with the evil unleashed.

Because, as soon as you have an active, unstoppable fusion bomb, you have to have it explode. And nuclear bombs do not go off harmlessly overwater. The light is blinding. The heat is melting. That ocean is fucked. And Gotham is still fucked no matter how far away it was. Going nuclear, literally, could have been okay, but as soon as the shiny bomb is riding in a truck as batman peppers it with explosions and knocking against shit as he flies it toward (apparent) oblivion, it becomes farcical.

Oh, and Talia dying because she wasn't wearing a seatbelt? She's a good character and a major one in Batman lore. That was anticlimactic.

Okay, rant over.

#45 Edited by FluxWaveZ (19158 posts) -

Because I'm not an immense Batman fan, I wasn't spoiled about the Talia Ghul twist by the hints in the movie, so that was fun. Also, that reference to Killer Croc (when I think a police officer talks about a "giant alligator" in the sewers) was amusing, too. As someone mentioned in the NeoGAF thread, it would have been awesome seeing the Joker on the seat as the judge instead of the Scarecrow, but that couldn't be helped.

I definitely like The Dark Knight better than Rises, but Rises ended satisfyingly. I thought he died in the explosion at the end, which made it really moving, but seeing that Wayne lived, sacrificing "Batman", was also moving in its own way.

However, the one major complaint I have with the movie is that I could barely understand anything Bane was saying.

#46 Posted by Schatzy23 (158 posts) -

Very excellent write up duder. Loved the break down of the 3 movies.

This seems like a great place to post this fact that I've been holding onto for awhile that everyone else should check into. If you own a copy of Begins (I have Blu Ray), the character profile section of Ra's mentions he has a daughter named Talia. Her name is there in BIG BOLD LETTERS. It seems Nolan knew all along (and why it really clicked for me at the end who she was) that Talia would need to appear in the trilogy.

#47 Edited by SpawnMan (748 posts) -

@Kierkegaard said:

End like Cabin in the Woods did, with the evil unleashed.

Like seriously.... FFFUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU!!!! You can't do that! I want to SEE that movie!!! Thanks for ruining it for me! I thought it was a spoiler for Batman!!! It's like going: BATMAN BATMAN BATMAN BATMAN BATMANBATMAN BATMAN BATMAN BATMAN BATMANBATMAN BATMAN BATMAN BATMAN BATMANBATMAN BATMAN BATMAN BATMAN BATMANBATMAN BATMAN BATMAN BATMAN BATMANBATMAN BATMAN BATMAN BATMAN BATMANBATMAN BATMAN BATMAN BATMAN BATMAN...

@Schatzy23: Thanks for the comment.

#48 Posted by realph (251 posts) -

I really enjoyed it. Hathaway was brilliant and the ending in Florence was perfect. Nolan did a fantastic job with the trilogy!

#49 Posted by FluxWaveZ (19158 posts) -

@SpawnMan: That didn't spoil The Cabin in the Woods in the least.

#50 Posted by kishinfoulux (2078 posts) -

@Ferros said:

I just got back from it, I did not like it. Sure it's no Spiderman 3 but to me it's absolutely the weakest in the trilogy. Bane is interesting but never comes close to approaching the menace of The Joker and his motivations are nowhere near as interesting or entertaining. There is also very little actual Batman in the movie and what there is of him is off kilter. He's far to much of a blunt instrument, there is no cunning or intelligence. In this he is self pitying, weak and beaten handily by the villains at every turn, succeeding only through gadgets and luck. He reminded me of what Indiana Jones became in the later films. It reinforces how much The Joker carried the Dark Knight as Batman and Bane cannot carry this one. It also relies on a very similar plot device to Batman Begins, imaginary technology that borders on the ridiculous. The highlight of the movie being a character reveal far too late to be of any worth and no I'm not talking about JGL because that was completely obvious and a climax essentially borrowed from The Dark Knight, I'll give it a solid, yeah because I've seen the others.

Edit: I can't spell villain.

He far outclassed the Joker in that regards. He left poor Gotham in shambles. He accomplished his goal, for the most part.