Review: The Dark Knight Rises


By Heather Mason

This weekend you couldn’t go anywhere without hearing something about Christopher Nolan’s big end to The Dark Knight Trilogy. Whether the tragedy in Colorado, box office speculation or spoiler-avoiding articles on the internet, The Dark Knight Rises bombarded the media. I work at a movie theater and spent the majority of the weekend trying to avoid spoilers left and right until I could see the film, which I now have twice.


Something that never ceases to amaze me with Nolan’s Batman is just how dark it can be in every sense of the word. A huge section of the movie takes place at night or in the sewers which it’s just physically dark. Add in the ability of Batman to cut the lights whenever he feels the need and it’s truly a dark film. The interesting thing is how deceptive darkness can be. Bane mentions this when fighting Batman saying that he was “born in darkness” while Batman simply “adopted” it later. The difficultly being how to tell which characters are good and which are evil. Bane’s goal is to “liberate” the people of Gotham from James Gordon, the chief of Police, who has been lying to the people for years. Of course his lies were meant for the good of the people but lies all the same. Where is darkness and where is the light? Which side is which?

An obvious theme in the film is rich vs. poor. Not only does Selina Kyle steal from the wealthy but Bane punishes the rich and powerful above everyone else once he’s taken over the city. Is this representative of what can happen when the rich get increasingly rich and the poor get fed-up? We’ve seen similar small scale versions of this in the real world. But what was Bane’s true motivation? By the end it seemed that he wanted to protect Talia over “liberating” Gotham. Easy to see shades of grey in this film.

The beauty of this film is that you can see in it what you want. The Dark Knight Rises manages to not only be well acted, written and directed but also a little inspiring. After all, Batman is merely a symbol. The real meaning of the symbol is to say that anyone could be Batman. Anyone can be a hero. I think that if nothing else was learned this weekend, we all learned that.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars


  1. gregJuly 26th, 2012 at 8:37 pm

    don’t read this if you have not seen this movie but it tells me that Nightwing is coming in theatres

  2. WintorzJuly 28th, 2012 at 8:14 pm


    I can definately see the likelihood of a Nightwing movie, particularly with how much of a favoured actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt has become.

    However, I found TDKR to be too implausible compared to its predecessors, particularly TDK. Sequels seem to always need to out do their previous instalments in terms of scale, and that’s where this fell down for me; Batman has to face a nuclear bomb. Its too much of a jump to truly create a connection with an audience. In truth I think it suffers from having such strong prequels. The Joker is far more menacing foe than Bane, with a vastly superior plotline. And Ra’s al Ghul is such a key element of Batman’s Origins in the trilogy, that even he vastly out classes Bane. And the film (despite its length) could have done with being longer. The time from when Bruce Wayne starts training after breaking his back onwards starts to feel like a long montage, cramming everything in to the point where it was impossible to consider or connect to anything. It was just a blur of images on the screen. And while I can’t deny Nolan is such an incredible director that he did make these flaws still compelling, ultimately this conclusion to the series just feels inferior to TDK. Its a 4 star film in my eyes, that suffers from following on from an iconic 5 star film. And that’s its biggest problem.

    I don’t know. I’m sure a lot of people will disagree with me, and that’s more than fair enough. I’m not trying to be controversial and (despite what it must sound like) I’m not slating the film. It’s a good film. But for me it lacked the punch of the previous film(s) that would have made it extraordinary.

  3. HeatherJuly 30th, 2012 at 11:22 am

    I agree 100% that the film had flaws. And I admit that TDK is in fact a better film. But I think that the average moviegoer would enjoy seeing TDKR in theaters. There were several implausible things but a lot of them only came to me AFTER I left the theater. That tells me that they did a decent job of keeping audiences in the world of the film during the film. I think the directing was great and the acting too. That’s what kept this movie as a 5/5 in my mind.

  4. WintorzJuly 30th, 2012 at 5:26 pm

    @Heather Fair I can completely see where you’re coming from. I study cinema and photography so I admit I can be a little ‘harsh’ at times or even snobbish. It is a credit to Nolan and cast that they can make audiences suspend belief in such a way.

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