The time has come, fellow readers, to talk of another superhero. Forget The Avengers, forget The Amazing Spider-Man. This weekend rightfully belongs to the capped crusader. While Christopher Nolan‘s The Dark Knight Rises will undoubtedly own the box office, we can’t help but wonder if his latest will also be a critical hit like The Dark Knight. Several critics have already started publishing their reviews, some positive, others not so much. We’ve compiled a few noteworthy opinions so you can get a better idea of what they’re saying. Check it out.
Anne Hathaway’s interpretation of Selina Kyle, known best as Catwoman to most fans, is indelible, a strong and savvy match for Bruce Wayne, and instead of just being a flip-side mirror to him as she often is portrayed, she is instead presented here as the masked and angry face of the forgotten and the poor, justified in whatever she does because of the way life has treated her. She would have been enough of a character to support an entire film, but Nolan uses her as one part of the thesis of the movie, with Bane, the strange terrorist played by Tom Hardy, as the blunt instrument that drives the point home.
As both Batman and Bruce Wayne, Christian Bale’s work here is master-class, and he gives the character such an inescapable melancholy – a certain perseverance in the face of absolute resignation to his fate – that he becomes a more tragic figure than ever. That said, he’s aided enormously by a never-better Michael Caine, who turns with hope and palpable love what might otherwise be expository dialogue into searing, supportive criticisms of Wayne’s self-destruction.
It has moments that are captivating and special, but also lines of dialogue impossible to swallow, plot developments that meander, and a commitment to real-world political overtones that don’t quite line up with the story.
This is serious stuff; there are no laughs or light touches. Nolan takes Batman to the dark side, a place of operatic drama and pain and history. It is deadly serious, in keeping with the political and social upheaval that are rising up again in Gotham, reminding us these things in our own existence today. This film wasn’t made for kids, it is adult in its issues and its sophistication will find its best home with adults who grew up with the series.
Characters frequently appear out of nowhere, state their motivations explicitly, only to play out an obligatory action scene or just disappear. Massive plot developments are thrown onto the screen with reckless abandon. The dialogue is stilted and trends towards function over form, moving the plot along vs. revealing something interesting about the characters in a plausible way. Action is intercut with more action is intercut with more action to the point where it’s quite difficult to get excited about what’s happening on screen. The film’s tone veers wildly from scene to scene and there’s rarely any build up to the payoffs, although those payoffs admittedly are huge (and maybe that’s enough). There’s essentially enough plot packed into this film for two separate features, and the final result feels like it’s bursting at the seams.
Whoever thought that a bad guy with his mouth, nose, and ears concealed with a metal contrivance was a good idea should rethink the notion, especially when he has to mumble over Hans Zimmer’s generically pounding “music.”
Alright, there you have it. Some love it, some don’t. Still, it doesn’t really matter what anyone has to say about this movie. You go check it out for yourself and then tell us what you thought in the comments section, okay? Alright. Currently the film has 86% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and is at 80% on Metacritic. We’ll have a review for you Friday.
When are you seeing TDKR?