I generally like things.
Games, movies, books, and most entertainment mediums for that matter. I’m THAT guy who actually enjoyed Spiderman 3, despite recognising its flaws. Fundamentally it takes quite a bit for me to actively dislike something, regardless of hype or hyperbole.
Which is why I was genuinely surprised that I not only didn’t like The Dark Knight Rises, but actively disliked it.
I’m a fan of Christopher Nolan, I enjoy his grandiose approach to movies as much as I appreciate his character development. Inception is a movie I can quite happily watch over and over again. Similarly, Batman Begins and The Dark Knight are superb examples of superhero movies translated into a modern realistic setting that could only be achieved with a non-supernatural character such as Batman.
And even when suspension of disbelief was required, the momentum of the story and the investment in the characters were so strong that it hardly even registed. Not so with The Dark Knight Rises, which is full of unnecessary characters, poor dialogue, and superfluous plot points.
By attempting to tie the movie in to the original (obviously not something planned from the beginning) it taints the themes raised to make them almost irrelevant. Alfred giving up on Bruce to prove a point goes completely against his ethos from the second movie suggesting that one must simply endure for the greater good. The aspirations of the League of Shadows to destroy and rebuild Gotham because it has fallen so far make no sense now due to the success of Gordan/Batmans deception of Harvey Dent. It’s not just a case of continuity issues, it’s ruining the complex and interesting themes and issues raised and addressed in the previous movies.
Then there are the decisions of the characters themselves. There is simply no reason, none at all, for Batman to put any faith whatsoever in Seline Kyle. After a serious beat down and a montage proving a chiropractor and push-ups is all you need to cure a broken back, the brilliant plan to take down Bane is to … what … get in another fist fight with him?
The Joker, for all the anarchy and chaos the character represented, as least formulated plans to prove a point. Bane on the other hand decides to spark a rebellion within Gotham in order to … what … I honestly don’t know. And he probably didn’t either, considering he was going to blow it all up within 5 months anyway. What was the point? What was his plan? What exactly was he trying to prove?
And honestly, was there any benefit to proving Batman hadn’t flown off into the sunset for the last time? Did we need the proof that he survived? A perfect ending would have been Michael Caine sitting at the café, looking at the camera and giving a wry smile. Cut. End. Inception style. Leave it probable but not confirmed.
So no, I did not like The Dark Knight Rises. I honestly, truly wish I did, and I’m envious of those who feel differently to me. There were parts of it I enjoyed, and I imagine I’ll warm to it more once I’ve watched it again a few times, but it turns what should have been an amazing iconic trilogy into a competent one, relying on the sum of its parts rather than being a fulfilling experience overall.
What did you guys think?