Moderator / Reviewer
- Apr 4, 2017
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The Dark Knight Rises
Watching the Nolan trilogy back to back has given me more of an appreciation for how Nolan’s vision played out over the three films, instead of watching them every 3 years or so as they were released. However, it also does show just how excellently amazing Batman Begins was, how great (if not a bit flawed) The Dark Knight was, and just how generally flawed The Dark Knight Rises really is. The Dark Knight Rises was kind of like Star Wars: The Phantom Menace was to be back in 1999. I really REALLY wanted to like it more than I did, and I ended up talking myself into liking it more than I SHOULD have when it came out. Looking back at when I did my initial review of the Blu-ray in 2012 and now, I have to re-evaluate just a bit and drop the grade just a bit. The Dark Knight Rises continues on with the heavy crime drama of The Dark Knight, but also tries to infuse some more “comic book” elements of the Batman lore into the film with decidedly mixed results.
It’s been 8 years since the dramatic ending of The Dark Knight, and since that day the Batman has gone into hiding. After Harvey Dent was “murdered” by Batman, he has remained out of sight (and so has Bruce Wayne), while the police and Mayor of Gotham City have cleaned up the streets with the “Dent Act”, a law that was instituted because of the heroic sacrifice of Harvey Dent (*cough cough*). The streets are mostly clean, but there is still a few loose ends lying around. A cat burglar by the name of Selina Kyle (Anne Hathaway) is trying to get a hold of a mythical technological device that can erase a person’s digital footprint and start anew, but the person she’s thieving for is connected to a much more dangerous force. This force is none other than a mysterious outcast of the League of Shadows known only as Bane (Tom Hardy). When the mercenary comes to Gotham he is brutal, cold, and completely mercenary in taking out the entire police forces efforts, forcing the Batman out of hiding once more.
Only thing time, Bruce may have to dig deeper than he has before. Bane is a complete living terror, destroying everyone in his path and leaving Batman shattered and broken (quite literally breaking his back). While Batman is shoved into the same hell hole that Bane came from, the mercenary takes over Gotham City with a nuclear bomb stolen from Wayne Enterprises and institutes martial law with the same vehicles and devices that Bruce has been using as his one man vigilante effort during his life as Batman. Only with the help of Miss Kyle, a well meaning social advocate named Miranda Tate (Marion Cotillard) Lucius Fox (Morgan Freeman) and a rookie cop named Blake (Joseph Gordon Levitt) can the Batman retake his city from the hands of his most powerful foe yet.
There is sort of a chaotic coherency throughout, but Nolan seems to also veer back and try to appease the comic book fan base, inserting little nods and winks to previous characters that are only meant as fan service (the Robin one at the end was pretty eye roll worthy), and the inclusion of The Scarecrow and the rest of the crazies feels very underutilized. In fact, I would say that Cillian Murphy was underutilized in ALL his appearances, and really was one of the best villains in all of Batman Begins. I would really have liked to see more of him. Now, all of that aside, I do really enjoy parts of the movie. The action is superb, and when Bruce returns to the suit to combat Bane in the Wall Street heist after 8 years of pouting away from the public (another character change that really didn’t sit well with the fan base) is truly epic. Hans Zimmer’s music combined with Bale in the classic outfit is amazing. Not to mention the completely epic throw down between him and Bane’s forces at the end of the movie.
Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, some sensuality and language
• The Batmobile
• Trailer Archive
Nolan’s Batman Trilogy is one of those series that I have to really contemplate on. I LOOOOOOOVED Batman Begins, really enjoyed The Dark Knight, but was rather frustrated with The Dark Knight Rises with its inconsistency. Nolan really DID save Batman after the Schumacher debacles, but he also created a series that feels decided “un Batman” at times, so I’m always a little conflicted over the series. I really do love what he started out with, and generally really enjoyed the sequel, but the finale feels like even Nolan was running out of steam and while it has a lot of fun moments, is a rather flawed entry (although I will never drop them down to Batman Forever and Batman & Robin levels). The 4K UHD is a nice step up from the Blu-ray in the video department, making it a definite worthy upgrade for those looking to get rid of the Blu-ray. A solid watch for fans, and a good buy for the 4K ability alone.
Starring: Christian Bale, Morgan Freeman, Anne Hathaway, Tom Hardy
Directed by: Christopher Nolan
Written by: Jonathan Nolan, David S. Goyer, Christopher Nolan
Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1/1.78:1 HEVC
Audio: English: DTS-HD MA 5.1, French, French (Quebec), Spanish, Spanish (Castilian), Portuguese DD 5.1, English DVS DD 5.1
Studio: Warner Brothers
Runtime: 165 Minutes
Blu-ray Release Date: December 19th, 2017
Recommendation: Solid Buy