The latest Batman film really let me down. There were some really beautiful scenes and I appreciated a few of the special effects, but overall I wasn’t impressed with The Dark Knight Rises.
My first criticism is Bane. He is the villain of the film and quite frankly, he was portrayed so much better in the animated series. He didn’t scare me as much as he should have. I also didn’t like his voice. He talked through a mask that gave a weird electronic kind of echo. There were lines that were pretty much inaudible because of it.
The film dragged on too. It was slow. The pacing of it wasn’t great. There was a lady sitting two rows behind me who even yawned loudly, twice.
But my major concerns with this movie come down to the basic story (Spoiler Alert.)
In the comics, Bane breaks Batman’s back and I was expecting that to happen in this film as well. It did, but Bruce Wayne seemed to recover very quickly from this crippling injury and he goes back to battle Bane once again, this time successfully. It just didn’t feel right to me in this movie universe.
In the comic book Batman actually dies. I think he should have in this film. Batman doesn’t need a happy ending. He gets one in this film. It’s warm and fuzzy and seems completely out of character.
There was a battle for the cowl in the comic since the late Bruce Wayne would have wanted The Batman to carry on. In fact, in the movie he mentions several times that Batman was supposed to be a symbol. “He could have been anyone, and that’s the point,” he says to Commissioner Gordon.
And in the movie, someone figures out Batman’s true identity. He coaxes Batman out of his retirement and then heroically fights for justice as a beat cop. Commissioner Gordon even promotes him to Detective. I think this could be a nod to Detective Comics, where Batman first appeared in that comic book series. It shows that this cop is worthy of being a detective and definitely worthy of wearing the cape and cowl.
At the end of the film, this detective throws away his badge. Batman had already saved the day but I think it would have been so much better for Bruce Wayne to have remained broken, for him to have passed the mantle of the bat onto this deserving lad. He remained fearless throughout all of the tragedy in the film. He protected the city just as much, if not more, than Batman did. He would have been the perfect new Batman, but instead we get a joke at the end of the film that his actual name is Robin. Ha ha.
This film was supposed to be an epic last chapter to the Batman trilogy. It hit a few of the notes the story arc demanded but overall it was a let down. The film was too long. Catwoman was essentially a hero, Bane wasn’t scary, the story didn’t make a lot of sense, the ending was off and uncharacteristic of the Batman mythos that the series had been developing, and it was boring.
That being said, I wouldn’t mind seeing a fourth movie in the franchise. I liked the cop character and would love to see him take up the role of Batman in his own film, or better yet, a solo Robin film. Robin does have his own comic title. It wouldn’t be such a stretch.