Ravingnerd Reviews: The Dark Knight Rises

No spoilers. Spoilers are evil.

I would like to take this time to extend my sympathies and condolences to the victims and their family and friends of the Aurora shooting. It is almost unimaginable to think that an escapist fantasy such as movies or comic books could also be the target of such a violent and senseless act. Once the charity fund is established, I urge all of my followers to contribute in any way. It’s at tragic times like these that our community of people is at its best, and I intend to continue that tradition.

Now that I have said that, I will get right into it. Last night I had the privilege to watch the Nolan trilogy on the big screen. I enjoy Batman Begins thoroughly and was excited for Dark Knight. As many of you know however, I was displeased with the Dark Knight. In almost every way imaginable. The looming darkness that prevailed through the entire movie prevented me from really enjoying the escapist fantasy I was trying to be apart of. This of course, left me anxious and honestly less than excited for the Dark Knight Rises. I will now conduct a review in my usual fashion.

The Cast: The cast is all instantly recognizable to us, the actors have been consistent and great. I won’t spend too much time on the older actors, because we know how great they are. I do feel the movie was hurt by…. eliminating…. one of the cast members early in the movie. The entire cast is terrific, and I know there are bound to be dozens of others whom are also displeased with his early exit. Christian Bale is better at Batman than he was in Dark Knight. His voice seems less fake, and he seems more naturally suited for the role. For the first time ever. Joseph Gordon-Levitt proves once again why he is one of the most talented younger actors and in just minutes creates a character that we want to see more of. Now the question is, do I start with Tom Hardy or Anne Hathaway? I’ll start with the one that appears first. While Tom Hardy is a consistently strong actor, his performance is marred by his mask. At times he’s brilliant, but often it’s hard to understand what he’s saying. It gets to the point where you are trying to concentrate hard on what he is saying, which forces you to miss key things in the movie. The character he portrays is done better than I had anticipated, but is hurt by some of the twists and turns of the plot. Anne Hathaway delivers as Catwoman. While you can complain about her costume all you want, it’s her character that really shines. She is the Catwoman the world wants to see, she is exactly what Catwoman is supposed to be, and she is exactly what the movie needs her to be. Plus the brilliant Marion Cotillard is always a pleasure to see.

The plot: Is intricate and well done. While people have complained at the length of the movie, I felt it was perfect for the story they were telling. I could have done without opening scene, but that’s just me. While the movie was dark, it was not nearly as dark as Dark Knight. If you liked that about Dark Knight, then we probably shouldn’t speak on the subject again. I got a different underlying theme. The theme I left the movie with was redemption and hope. Both of which are much better in my books than overwhelming darkness and grit.

Fighting/Action/Drama/Suspense: While I felt it was missing quite a bit of suspense, everything else was spot on. Tom Hardy may have a hard time speaking with his mask, but he can throw an incredible punch (go watch Bronson on Netflix now). Hathaway is a capable fighter, and Bale shows just how powerful Batman is. The action is also some of the most cinematically pleasing points in the movie. coincidentally they are also some of the darkest. But hot damn they are beautiful!

Obscure Nerd References: Just one. I saw this film with a group, when a certain line is said in the movie my friend and I turned to each other and squealed with excitement. No one else in the theatre quite knew why. However we did. Other than this, there are many overt references to the Batman mythos. You’d pretty much have to have lived in a cave your entire life not to catch them. Why do I feel there was a joke in there somewhere?

The Closeness to the Comic it Hails from: This movie is one part Dark Knight Returns and one part Knightfall. This being said, the movie surpasses anything within either of these comics. It takes ideas established in both and presents a unique movie interpretation. I appreciated how accurate many scenes in the movie were, but also appreciated just how good the movie was at taking the ideas from bad comics and making them good. Yes, I may or may not just have stated Dark Knight Returns is bad. This being said, Nolan’s movies are still very far off from any Batman universe I’ve ever read about and this movie was still a bit more gripping and gritty than I’d like to see from an escapist fantasy about a man in tights. But hey, I’m a comic guy, not a movie guy.

Comparison to other like films. It is very similar in feel and quality to Batman Begins, this movie shines because it is nothing like it’s predecessor, which is often claimed as one of the greatest films of all time. Dark Knight Rises is to Dark Knight what Kingdom Come is to Watchmen. You may not understand what that means, but I do. And in my opinion it is a very good thing.

Favorite Part of the Movie: The fact that Nolan’s trilogy is over. While it ended on a high note, the franchise is finally finished. I no longer have to count the months until we are free from it. We are finally done.
Least Favorite Part- The awkward plot twist involving Bane and another nameless character in the film. It’s just awkward and SOOOO not Batman.

The Dark Knight Rises earned a rank of……
Are you ready?
Like really ready?
Can you stand the excitement?


Yes, Dark Knight Rises was a brilliant movie. A movie that I could watch over and over again. It exceeds all expectations (though they were rather low) and makes the entire trilogy so much better than it was before this movie. This movie saves Nolan’s trilogy from being judged by the harsh views of this nerd. And for that, I am thoroughly pleased with. I know that many of my friends, followers, and contacts did not enjoy the movie. I know their reasons and accept those reasons, just as I now accept the reasons you love a movie I so vehemently dislike (Dark Knight). While I am always open to your opinions and debate, I am hoping that my opinions will be respected, as I am respecting yours.

Until the next time, live long and prosper.



5 thoughts on “Ravingnerd Reviews: The Dark Knight Rises

  1. You forgot about the rather large reference to No Man’s Land, and one of my small complaints about the film is that it wasn’t explored further. But the long length doesn’t let that in much already, so I’ll forgive them for that. I actually liked the Bane twist (even though it was somewhat obvious for those who read the comics) because it actually puts Bane even further as a foil character to Batman. And I actually might have wept a bit however how spectacular ending was.

    • I realized after I posted that I failed to mention No Man’s Land, which was quite apparent through the entire film I rather enjoyed the ending. It was sentimental and though it was heavily foreshadowed, I still enjoyed seeing it.

  2. I agree with most of what you said after finally seeing the film. I liked the twist, and by the time we were too that point I had forgotten the one character’s identity. I also loved that it was a trilogy, and is tied up with a bow and is done.

    • I am so glad that you liked the movie. And I am glad that we have the same opinions on the movie. Most of my friends are film majors, and hated the movie because it wasn’t the “cinematic masterpiece” that Dark Knight was. Or something I can’t understand.

  3. Pingback: Ravingnerd’s first Bloggiversary! Part 1 | Ravingnerd

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