Wanted to jot down some of my thoughts on The Dark Knight Rises.
First of all, it was a good movie.
Was it that good?
Compared to what?
Not as good as The Dark Knight.
And not as good as The Avengers.
Now bear in mind I've been following all the news since day one, so there were real no surprises or "wow" moments for me.
Anne Hathaway did a spectacular job as Catwoman. She stole the show.
Next up, Tom Hardy's Bane was very good. Even though Hardy comes in at around 5'9", he still seemed rather large on the screen. The camera work was good, such as in the scene when Bane killed Dexter<sp?> — Bane towered over him. And the voice-work was obviously improved. I still had a bit of trouble following what Bane said at the Gotham Rogues football game, but overall understood the message. Kids are already covering their mouths talking like him, at least this big kid is.
Batman. Not enough, Batman! The general consensus with everybody I went to see the film was just that. We wanted more Batman.
Speaking of, I wasn't that impressed with the Batman vs. Bane fight scenes. I expected more martial arts action. However... Now, at times the movie seemed to say that Bane was a member of the League of Shadows, but my take was that he wasn't a member. When Talia escaped the prison as a young child, she found her father, Ra's, who exacted revenge in the prison, but Bane was deemed unworthy. So my take is that he wasn't trained by the League i.e. Ra's al Ghul, but became more of a member of Talia's division(?). Now did she have her own League? I remember Talia stating she hated her father for that...so..she wasn't a part of Ra's al Ghul's League? Just seemed like Batman was trying to just punch and kick him — and that's it.
Speaking of Miranda Tate, watching the news and set images so close absolutely killed that plot point. Of course, I knew who she was and that she was a bad guy. However, from the audience reaction when she turned on Batman, they weren't expecting that angle. And regarding that, Batman gets stuck with a knife, but he seems fine, like it doesn't even bother him (afterward). And no blood? I can't exactly recall, but was there a drop of blood at all in the movie?
I also thought that Talia wanting to exact revenge on Batman - when she hated her father - but then came around when she learned Batman murdered her father was kinda weak.
Speaking of weak, John Blake - Joseph Gordon-Levitt - just "realizing" that Bruce was Batman seemed rather weak. He says, [paraphrasing] "oh I saw the look on your face and knew right away." Okay.
And what was with the end, where it seemed like Gordon didn't know that Bruce Wayne was Batman? Huh? Batman tells Gordon the story about giving advice and putting the coat on the kid. And Gordon is like, "Bruce Wayne." I thought Gordon already knew that from The Dark Knight? With the Lamborghini scene where Bruce saves the guy who was going to out him? No? Could be I just assumed.
Too over to top?
I had the feeling watching the movie that it seemed too over the top for Batman, at least compared to Batman Begins and The Dark Knight. The cast did consist of a lot of characters.
The Bat? I wasn't a big fan, too much of a convenient plot device. It's like: After 8 years, Fox is telling Bruce, "I just happen to have this." And it comes in handy. And does everything and saves the day.
Nuclear device and bomb? Wasn't a fan that the device was an actual nuclear bomb. I would rather have had it a dirty bomb or neutron bomb or something else. And at the end it blows and we see a mushroom cloud? Naaah..way too over the top for the Nolan films, IMO.
Back to the Batman vs. Bane fight. What? Batman didn't realize Bane's mask was crucial to him when they first fought? He didn't see that as a big arse target? I guess you could argue it was the actually mouth piece, which Batman nailed in their final fight. Still...
The end was cool with the big reveal of who John Blake is, and Nolan did it in a pretty cool way. I also guess Blake filled the role of "Batman" for the movie i.e. being the Detective and putting all the clues togther. But still - it's a Batman movie!
I also expected the fight scene between the Gotham PD and Bane's Mercenaries to be a lot "larger." I know they used 1000+ extras for that scene, but it definitely didn't feel that "epic."
Now I may be acting hypercritical here, but some reports online and from what people are saying, they act like The Dark Knight Rises is the best thing since sliced bread.
Not so, at least for me.