The Dark Knight Rises movie review


My Score: 90%

The Christopher Nolan & Christian Bale Batman movie series comes to an end with The Dark Knight Rises, and they decided to go out with a bang.  Literally.  Stuff blows up in this movie.  A lot.  At some point, I half expected the stuff that Batman punches to explode.  Still, this movie isn’t just an action flick: it’s an adventure, a mystery, a drama and an inspirational sports movie all rolled up into one, and none of it disappoints as everything from the first two movies ties together nicely and the end satisfies the audience in an anti Inception way.


It’s an Action Movie
You’ve seen the trailer – obviously, it’s an action movie.  Batman shows up and punches people in the face – that’s standard.  Stuff blows up – again, standard.  But it’s more about what the bad guys blow up, how much of it they blow up, how they blow it up, and what else they plan to blow up… it’s crazy.

It’s an Adventure Movie
I guess that’s pretty obvious, too – Batman has to go on this grand adventure.  But it’s different this time…  well, certainly different from The Dark Knight.  This movie is more like Batman Begins than TDK.  A lot more.  Sorry if you consider that a spoiler.

It’s a Mystery
There’s stuff for Batman to figure out, which is nice – I’d always wished we’d get a movie where Batman really has to be a detective, and we don’t exactly get that here, but I think is is as close as we’re going to get for a long time.

It’s a Drama
Bruce Wayne is a dramatic character with a dramatic life, so drama is unavoidable.  This time, though, it’s more internal – as opposed to the The Dark Knight where the drama between Wayne and Rachel, the love triangle and her death was an external conflict.

It’s an Inspirational Sports Movie
In many ways, this movie has things in common with Rocky Balboa.  That might sound weird, but it works nicely.

How’s I do on my Speculating on the plot of The Dark Knight Rises?
Not bad, actually, but then, it wasn’t that hard to guess the skeleton of the movie given what we know about Batman and Bane’s history in the comic books.  Still, that didn’t give away much in terms of the actual plot.

Ranking the Christopher Nolan & Christian Bale Batman movies
For me, it goes The Dark Knight and then Batman Begins and this new one are tied.  I don’t have much bad to say about Begins or Rises, but TDK is just an exceptional movie and I think it will take it’s place in history as one of the greatest action adventure movies of all time.

The Dark Knight Rises was good stuff and I highly recommend it, but you really need to see the first two movies to enjoy it, and if you only saw them once, I recommend a refresher course. I’m looking forward to seeing it again and next time, I’ll do it in IMAX.

The movie takes nothing for granted and deals with the consequences of the lies from The Dark Knight and consequences of Bruce’s actions from that movie and Batman Begins.  You can’t just expect the League of Shadows to just forget about what happened.  They don’t play that.

I liked Bane, and when it came down to it, I didn’t have much trouble understanding what he was saying.  Still, as Dr. Girlfriend points out, he’s not a bad guy you root for in the way you might find yourself doing for the joker, but then, he’s menacing and capable of beating Batman’s ass, so it’s OK.  It is fun to hear the other characters talk about him and speculate where he came from and how devoted they are to him.  I didn’t love Bane’s death, but I guess they had to move on with the movie.

The Al Ghul Legacy
Obviously, the Talia/Miranda 3rd act twist was inspired.  The audience I saw the movie with loved it.  People were audibly saying, “What the FUCK?!?”  It was a great moment.

Selina Kyle/Catwoman
I know a lot of folks had their doubts, but Anne Hathaway  pulled it off in spades.  She was sexy, dangerous, menacing and yet still kind and with heart.  I know she looked a little silly in the stills they released, but she looked pretty bad ass in the movie.  I didn’t love that she just sort of killed Bane without ceremony and made a silly quip afterwards, but that’s certainly not Hathaway’s fault.

John Blake
Joseph Gordon-Levitt carried way more of the movie than I expected him to, but he did a nice job.  I wouldn’t say I loved his performance, but it was certainly serviceable.  I’m not sure we needed the Robin revelation at the end or the idea that he’d take over for Bruce after he was gone, but whatever.

Commissioner Gordon
I thought the idea that Gordon was riddled with guilt over the decision to cover up Dent’s true legacy from Dark Knight was great.  It sounds like Gordon going around and praising the man who tried to kill his son kinda tore him (and his family) apart, which was interesting.

I didn’t love that Alfred was in so little of the movie, but it was effective in putting Bruce totally on his own.  I guess they had to have a falling out to make Bruce seem more vulnerable, but that wasn’t really working for me.  Still, I did like how Alfred’s dream of a normal life for Bruce came true in the end.

Hey guys!  Nice to see you again!
How great was it to see Ra’s Al Ghul back, doing his thing, even if it was only in flashbacks and in Bruce’s mind.  Pretty neat.  And having Scarecrow back was just icing on the cake – well done there.

Bruce Wayne/Batman
I know a lot of people were speculating that Batman would die at the end of the movie, and I’d love to know where people got that ridiculous idea.  Who’d want to watch a super hero movie where the super hero dies at the end?  Sure, it works in an ensemble pic like Watchmen or X2, but not in a solo pic.

No idea why they went to all that trouble to point out that Bruce has all these old injuries from his life as Batman.  Instead of the stupid knee thing, couldn’t Alfred just be like, “Bruce, you’re forty years old.  You can’t be Batman anymore,” instead of the injury list?  Because…  you know… none of that ever comes up again (his elbows, the other knee, his head trauma).  Sometimes you just put some weird thing on your knee and you don’t have to walk with a cane anymore.  I guess.

Up top, when I talked about this was many different kinds of movies, I didn’t mention that in a way, this is also a heist movie – in the end, Bruce gets away with his various Batman crimes and tricks everyone into believing he’s dead so he can go live the sweet life in Italy, which is awesome.  Sure, he left a message for Fox so he’d know he didn’t send him to his death, but it was just… you know, the ending to a heist movie.  Which worked great, somehow.


Speculating on the plot of Dark Knight Rises

The Dark Knight Rises movie review

Dark Knight Rises Premier – Paramus, NJ

About Jamie Insalaco

Jamie Insalaco is the author of, and editor in chief of

Posted on July 20, 2012, in Batman, comic book reviews, movie review and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

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