The Dark Knight Rises

It's been close to two full days since I saw The Dark Knight Rises, and I'm still not quite sure how to review it or what I want to say because, quite frankly, my mind is still completely fucking blown. So, I've decided that I'll start off the blog tackling some of the more common complaints I've seen flying around about the film, and maybe that will get me started off. And, as always, there might be spoilers, so if you don't want to read anything other than "I absolutely loved this movie," best kick rocks now.

One common complaint is about how hard to understand Bane was. You know what? Get your ears checked. I understood pretty much every word he said, and the words I missed, I missed because of other sound effects going on, something that happened with characters other than him, too. His voice was fine.

Another complaint I've seen a lot is that people thought the first hour or two was bad. I disagree, but this is of course just opinion. I thought the first how did a great job introducing new characters and catching us up on the old characters and what had happened to them in the last eight years. Was it filled with action? No. Does that mean it wasn't good? Hell no.

That brings me to the last common complaint I've seen; that, hand-in-hand with a lack of action, this was a Batman movie with very little Batman. For one thing, I disagree, I thought there was plenty of Batman to go around. But, whether there was or there wasn't, it goes to what this trilogy... and it might be one of the truest instances of the word trilogy I've ever seen, with the way it connected to both previous movies and really made them greater in the fullness that connection created... is really about. These three movies were never about Batman. They were always about the cost of being Batman on the man, and the power of Batman as a symbol. When you realize that, the fact that a large part of the movie wasn't about Batman but about people fighting to save their own city inspired by what Batman stood for, by the hope he represented, you realize you didn't need to see Batman at all.

Think about it. Go back to Batman Begins. What did Bruce Wayne learn from Ra's Al Ghoul? "But if you make yourself more than just a man, if you devote yourself to an ideal, and if they can't stop you, then you become something else entirely."Yes, Bruce Wayne became a vigilante to protect his city... but he also wanted to give the people of the city something to believe in, to give them a will to fight for themselves so he wouldn't have to.

That's why The Dark Knight unfolded the way it did. It's why the phrase "I believe in Harvey Dent" was so key. With Harvey Dent inspiring Gotham, cleaning up the city, Batman began to think he wasn't needed anymore. The people believed in Harvey Dent... and that's why Batman had to take the fall for Two-Face's crimes; so that his city wouldn't lose its faith, the hope it had found.

And that's why, with hours to go before the bomb went off in The Dark Knight Rises, Batman took the time to create that giant flaming Bat-signal: to tell the people of Gotham there was still hope, that they should not give in to the fear they felt. After all:

And that's why, when when the price of being Batman is too high, there must always be a Batman. I'd explain this sentence more, but that would be too spoilery, even for me.

I guess my thoughts are organized, after all. I loved The Dark Knight Rises. It was mind-blowing and inspiring. I'm not going to talk about how good the cast was; seriously, with Bale, Oldman, Caine, Hathaway, Hardy, Freeman, and Gordon-Levitt, you know what you're getting. Likewise, the directing of Nolan. My words could never do either the cast or the director justice (although I will say that, for me, the debate over the greatest and sexiest Catwoman has been settled, hands down). Maybe it's because I'm in a good place of my own right now, but the message of hope, of rising up against whatever it is keeping us down, of just simply trying, connected with me. What I guess I'm trying to say is...

I believe in Batman.


  1. Nice review Jim. This is probably one of the most epic films I’ve seen in a long, long time and with good reason, because Nolan has created such a great set of stories, that you honestly couldn’t have ended it any better. Perfect way to say bye-bye to Batty.

  2. Thanks man. I agree completely.

  3. How much would Heath Ledger/Joker have been in this movie had he not died?

  4. That's hard to say. I personally don't think he'd have been in it all that much, maybe just a brief appearance like the one made by Scarecrow. I just don't think he'd have fit in much with what it feels like Nolan was going for with this one so I don't think they'd have forced him into a large role just because.


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